Dec 242014
 

My Favorite Camera Shops & Dealers. Ever.

There are so many camera shops, store, internet sites and dealers out there ready to take our cash and send us a new fresh box of happiness. If you are like me, receiving a new package from the Fed Ex or UPS man brings  not only a smile, but a rush of energy, happiness and joy.

I love my cameras and over the last 20 years I have learned WHERE To buy from to get the most hassle free and enjoyable experience, as well as the best deals sometimes.

I always get e-mails asking me “where should I buy XXX camera”? Well, here you go. These shops are also site sponsors because I accepted them as sponsors (I turn down many every year). 

Over the years I have recommended the same dealers here. Those that I have worked with and bought from on many occasions. I have shopped from a few other sources but sometimes have had a negative experience so this is why I only recommend those who I trust and those who have really went above and beyond. I only allow advertisers and sponsors whom I trust and support back and know would never rip anyone off.

Look what the USPS man drug in..direct from Ken Hansen. The Leica Monochrom in silver chrome and the new M-P in black. 

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Below is a list of whom I buy from, who I have had great experiences with and all of those that I trust and put my name behind when it comes to camera dealers and shops!

1. Ken Hansen – This guy is everything LEICA. He has been a Leica dealer forever and used to own a store in NY. He now works from his home as he is semi-retired but his Leica business is still going strong with many Leica shooters praising his name every day. Ken has become a legend..legendary. I have never in my life experienced anything like Ken from ANY shop, dealer or store, ever. He goes above and beyond and the funny thing is he does not even have a web site, a Facebook or twitter ;) He runs it all from his home via phone or e-mail. He has been with me since day one and you may have seen his ad in the sidebar before. It will be there for the life of the site because if it not for Ken (and a couple of other friends) this site may not have made it!

Ken has new Leica and often times has used items and unique items as well. Just call him at 212-879-3263 or send him an e-mail at [email protected] and let him know what you want, need or are looking for. Most likely, he will have it. Plus, mention my name and you may get a bit of a deal..maybe. I stand 100% behind Ken Hansen.

2. B&H PhotoThese guys are the king of Retail and Online sales. They do MASSIVE volume. I mean MASSIVE. I have been to the store and it is a sight to see. Hundreds of customers at any given time, long lines to check out (but they go fast) and conveyer belts that travel through the store to deliver your goods when you exit. Amazing. They have the best online experience I have encountered. First, if an item is in stock and ready to ship, it says so clearly. If it is not, it clearly states this. No guessing games. They ship same day as well if you order before a certain cut off time. So technically you could order a lens on a Monday morning and have it arrive Tuesday. They also are top notch on their returns, undo nay to Amazon. It is an online automated process, never needing to email someone or call someone for an RA number. B&H Is the king of camera retailers. You can see their site here and they sell all kinds of goodies, not just photo related. They are sort of a giant electronics megastore. I give them a 100%!

3. Amazon- Who does not shop from Amazon? Myself and everyone I know shop at Amazon and they are doing amazing things..amazing. Amazon is the future of internet shopping, food shopping and everything in between. I believe in 10 years Amazon will have the most amazing services. You can get anything and everything from Amazon. I have certain household items get delivered every month using their subscribe and save feature and I also buy tons of music (LP’s) and camera accessories such as Gariz cases, caps, batteries, lights, etc. They have anything and everything. Click here for a link to Amazon and see for yourself. Never an issue with them, ever! The return policy and process is painless and simple. You even get a label to print for easy return. My score = 100%!

4. PopFlash.com - PopFlash has been around for a long long time and Tony Rose is the man who owns and runs it. He is well-known among Leica shooters but he also sells Fuji, Olympus, Zeiss and many other brands at his online shop. I have purchased Leica lenses, cameras and Artisan and Artist bags and cases from PopFlash and Tony always comes through. They have some superb prices as well and when you see the “used/mint” pricing on some Leica items you may be super tempted to go for it. Check out the site at PopFlash.com! 100%

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5. The Pro Shop - These guys are great and know their stuff. They have years of experience and sell Leica, Nikon, and even the Hasselblad Stellar and Lunar line. They have so much to choose from so here is where I would go for not only the best camera brands but for some of the best advice and experience. 100% for these guys as well! You can call them for info at 561-253-2606 or see their website HERE.

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6. CAMERAQUEST - Run by Stephen Gandy this long time Voigtlander dealer has just about anything you could ever want from the brand. There are a few Voigtlander lenses that stick out to me and some I like better than Leica glass! The 35 1.2 II, the 15 4.5, the 50 1.5 Nokton, all superb and all a fraction of the cost of a Leica lens. If you want a great buy and fast shipping on Voigtlander lenses then you must check out CAMERAQUEST! 100%! Check out the shopping site HERE!

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7. Leica Store Miami – These guys are in actuality Dale Photo in Florida, but this site is much improved and all about LEICA. This shop has it all from cameras, lenses, cases, accessories and even used Leica cameras and lenses. I bought my fancy Leica case from them and my shipment arrived in one day. You must check them out! I give them an easy 100%. Never an issue. Never a problem. You can see their site HERE. 

As you can see, all six shops/dealers get a full 100% from me because I would not recommend anyone who I did not shop with, buy from or feel 100% about. If I was 90% I would not recommend them! If you buy from ANY of the above dealers you will not be disappointed. With Amazon, if you have an issue the return policy is so good you can just return it. No questions asked. Just be sure to buy from Amazon and not a third-party (or prime). Same with B&H and some of the others. For me it should be about customer satisfaction and all of these do it very well.

So there you go, my fave dealers and vendors. When you want to buy a camera or lens or accessory or ANYTHING, check them out! They are what help to keep this site running!

Aug 072014
 

Leica launches new soft releases!

With all of those soft releases being made and sold over the years it appears that Leica has said “Hey, why don’t we do this”? So now. they have. You can now pimp your Leica with an “official” soft release. Designs are shown below. Let’s just hope they STAY in and do not fall out. My issue with these kinds of releases has been that every single time I have bought one, they have fallen out and been lost. I have yet to have one stay put. Maybe these do?

 

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To get your own release or set of releases, check with your favorite Leica dealer.

Mine are Ken Hansen ([email protected]), PopFlash.com, the Pro Shop and Leica Store Miami.

Mar 012013
 

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Talk about excitement. My flu is 100% gone today AND finally, after months and months and months my Leica M 240 Pre-Order will be here tomorrow morning and the 1st thing I will do is make a full video overview sharing my 1st thoughts, the menu system, the new controls and of course the feel, speed, and the new live view aspect of the camera. I will be shooting it (and perfect timing as I am heading on a trip in a couple of weeks) non stop with what I feel is the best Leica lens made (well, tied with the 35 Lux FLE), the 50 Lux ASPH. So over the next few weeks look for my thoughts on this new Leica M 240 as I will be going over every little detail as well as starting a new Leica M 240 Daily Diary. A full review will be up eventually but I have to make sure it gets real use before I write that one up.

For those that have pre-ordered the new M, I have heard that Leica sent ONE to each USA dealer and there may not be anymore until April, but who knows what they will do. We may see more in March, but I really do not have any confirmation of anything. I do know there are quite a few who will be getting their new M over the next few days..those who were #1 on their dealers lists. I was #1 on Ken Hansen’s (email: [email protected])  list so mine was overnighted today for tomorrow delivery and I CAN NOT WAIT! First thing I will do is put my new A&A strap on as I feel it is going to look super sweet on this new M. :)

Check back this weekend for more!

Jan 252013
 

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Site Sponsors that keep this site going, I thank them all! Plus some Leica used deals…

It is no secret that in the past few months that Leica gear has been in stock at most dealers in the USA. Just about any lens or camera you want (besides the Monochrom and new M) are available right now, brand new. You guys know who the sponsors of this site are and I can highly recommend ANY of them if you want great service, great pricing and no hassles. It is because of these guys below that this site continues to rock on day after day. Without them it would really be tough so I wanted to thank them and let all of you guys know once again that these three dealers below are all TOP NOTCH, best of the best .

Ken Hansen – You can e-mail him at [email protected] and he deals in Leica new and used. I never know what he has used but in the past I have purchased all kinds of goodies from Ken including M6′s, MP’s, Contax T2, etc. If you are looking for a used item Ken might just have it and he is amazing when it comes to customer service and speed of shipping.  Ken is taking pre-orders for the new M and Monochrom so be sure to send him an e-mail if you want in.

 

POPFLASH – Tony Rose is no stranger to Leica fans and I can not say one bad thing about his business, service or pricing. In fact, you can find some great buys at his website when it comes to Leica gear. He always has interesting gear to browse and also sells some of the killer Artisan and Artist gear such as straps and bags. He sells Zeiss as well so take a look over at POPFLASH.COM to see what he has available today.

popflash has this SWEET Zeiss Super Wide Ikon setup on sale for $1,777 (normally $2497) – See it here!

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THE PRO SHOP - The newest and last “shop” sponsor of this site the Pro Shop has all kinds of Leica gear, and a huge inventory of new stock of lenses, cameras and even the new S2-P for $19,999 brand new in box with special warranty – aBOUT $6K less than B&H Photo is selling a used one for. These guys are also great and know their stuff. If it is Leica you want, give them a call at 561-253-2606 or check out their site HERE.

Just so everyone knows, YES these are site sponsors but what you do not know is that I do not take ANYONE as a site sponsor. I have turned down 4 other stores/dealers in the past even when I needed them. Why? Because I will only recommend to YOU the best of the best, and to me, these guys are the best there is when it comes to Leica.

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Other shops I HIGHLY recommend for everything and anything else

Other shops I recommend are B&H Photo, Dale Photo and of course, Amazon for just about anything you could ever need. I use Amazon every week and even have home necessities on subscription. Every months I get a case of dog food delivered, cat food, paper towels, dishwashing soap and laundry detergent and more. This cuts down on my grocery trips, saves me money and is super convenient. So while I recommend the guys above for anything Leica, I recommend B&H photo for all other photo needs and Amazon for just about anything you could ever want. Cameras, electronics, music, and everything in between. When you guys follow my links on this site to these shops and make a purchase of ANYTHING I will then get a small commission, a few cents when you buy some diapers for example. Over time it adds up and helps this site to keep expanding and going.

SO FOR THAT I THANK ALL OF YOU! Without the readers, all of you, even those who disagree with me…well, this site would not be able to go on. So thank you all.

 

As mentioned, Dale Photo is also an exceptional Leica dealer so be sure to check them out as well because they also have some cool used deals at times as well as pre-orders on new gear.

Of course there is one more site sponsor and I use their services quite often..LENSRENTALS.COM. They rent the coolest cameras and lenses and they make it so easy to do so. Hassle free, even including the return packaging and label, all prepaid. If you ahve been thinking of a camera but are not sure, rent it first so you know. They even rent the Leica Monochrom! 

With that, here are a few USED Leica deals on the B&H Photo used site:

Leica Noctilux F1 with slide out hood (latest before the new f/0.95) and this one comes in at a recent record low of $5995 It is softer than the 0.95 but has so much more “Character” – see some samples HERE from quite a while ago.

LEICA 90 Elmarit, latest before discontinuing. This lens is the one everyone seems to search for. B&H has one for $1499, $800 less than I sold my last one for a couple of years ago. With the new M, this lens should be a breeze to focus. $1499

How about this? A used Leica M8.2 Safari Limited Edition set with chrome 28 Elmarit. I so wanted this when it came out but just could not swing it. Looks like it is keeping its value though because at $6999 it is not cheap! Dale has it USED. 

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A great find here…A Leica 35mm Summicron f/2 “King Of Bokeh” V4 with 6 bit coding. $1995 at Dale

I hope everyone here has a GREAT weekend, enjoy it!

Steve

Dec 132012
 

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A look at the 99 Years of Leica Book!

A couple of weeks back I received a package from UPS direct from Leica that consisted of their new coffee table book “99 Years”. This book surprised me with its content and even though I have not read the whole book yet I have been very pleased with what I have seen and read so far. This book covers 99 years of Leica from the beginnings to the current and brand new “M” model. It also has loads of iconic photos, interviews, articles, info on prototypes such as the original “S1″ digital camera and much more.

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At $130 it is not cheap but it is also not expensive for what you get. This is a book for any true Leica fan and it is very well made with a hardshell cover/case and all. Take a look at the quick video I made to show you what the book is like:

 

This book is available right now through Ken Hansen for $130. You can e-mail him at [email protected] as he has about a dozen in stock. To some $130 is expensive for a book but this is a very well made 300 page coffee table book with just about every piece of information you would ever want to know from the last 99 years with Leica. Very cool to have and for those who still think it is expensive, check out this MONSTER book from the band Kiss for $4200 :)

All in all I can say that if you love Leica, you will love “99 Years”!

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Nov 202012
 

 

Black Friday Mania Begins! 1st up.. Lens Rentals used lenses 10% off plus 5% back!

LensRentals.com, (a site sponsor that helps keep this site going btw) is having their annual “Black Friday” sale by giving 10% off any used gear they have for sale starting Thanksgiving day at 6am and running through November 26th. They are also haveing 25% off of all rentals during this period so now is the time if you wanted to rent that something special. 25% off is a chunk of change so give that Leica Noctilux a try, or Leica Monochrom :)

To check out what they will have for sale at 10% off, click HERE for details. I already spotted a couple of Zeiss ZM lenses there that look tempting as well as a few Leica selections. With the holidays coming LensRentals is just one place you can find some great deals. Amazon is also having their Black Friday specials as is B&H Photo. 

You can also check out the other site sponsors like PopFlash, Dale Photo, Pro Shop, and Ken Hansen ([email protected]). Without them, this site could not continue!

B&H Is having some specials on Apple products with 50% off of Apple Care as well!

Aug 312012
 

Leica 50 Summilux ASPH IN STOCK AGAIN!

B&H Photo sold out of their 50 Summilux ASPH stock after I posted about them the other day but I noticed today that this lens is still in stock at a few select dealers and you can get one now if you are still looking for one.

PopFlash.com has BLACK AND SILVER in stock – They also have a slightly/lightly used one for $3697 in black! 9.88 out of 10 condition!

Dale Photo has the black in stock HERE.

Ken Hansen should have some as well. You can e-mail him at [email protected]

Also sold by Adorama HERE with 4 in stock

Mar 072011
 

Let us all welcome Ken Hansen as a site sponsor!

OK, all of my site sponsorships have been filled up! Today I proudly welcome Ken Hansen, Leica dealer extraordinaire to the list of those who support this site. There are many choices out there in Leica land but my dealers of choice has always been Ken Hansen, B&H Photo and Dale Photo. Three top choices for Leica cameras and lenses. I have dealt with and bought from all three of them and received nothing but the best in return in regards to speed and service. Ken has been around since 1958 selling Leica and has also owned and operated a nice photo shop in NYC for many years. He has since retired from Retail but now sells Leica from his home office and usually has stock on hand of everything Leica (well, besides the elusive 50 Lux ASPH though dealers do get one or two a month it seems). He even usually has the film classics like the M6’s or M7’s in stock as well as the little film cameras like the CM and Minilux.

Ken has been with me and my site since the first days, loaning me lenses or cameras to review. He has been a great supporter of this site and I have been happy to send him business, as he has always provided stellar service to me and others that have raved about him to me via e-mail.

So when you need camera gear be sure to shop at the sponsors of this site as without their help this site would not exist! You can e-mail Ken Hansen anytime at [email protected] and ask about what he has available in Leica (I have bought an MP, M8.2, X1 and varous lenses from Ken). You can visit Dale Photo HERE and browse their online shop. They sell Leica as well as Artisan & Artist cases and bags for your Leica (I have bought 2-3 Leica lenses from David at Dale, super fast delivery and top notch service). Let’s not forget LenRentals.com where you can RENT Leica lenses! No need to spend thousands up front. Try them out 1st! I think lensrentals may be the only place to rent Leica glass and even the M9.

For all of you Sony NEX shooters, J-Tec provides cool accessories for your NEX-5 so check them out if you haven’t already. Of course there is also B&H Photo who I have been raving about since the start as well. I have spent probably over $200,000 with them in 10 years and never had one issue. B&H is great for Leica as well as ANY other brand of camera or accessory. They sell just about everything and when you buy from them using my link I get a small percentage that helps this site go on! They also usually have a nice supply of used Leica.

So thanks to all of my sponsors and for those who were asking about sponsoring the site, I am now all filled up! I only planned to offer four spots and only to those whom I know and trust and easily recommend. I had some shady sites trying to pay me pretty good $$ to advertise here but I turned them down. Nope, what you see here are the best of the best IMO for Leica and everything else photographic!

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