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need advice concerning UK


Tonki-M

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I'm heading to London in March and i need your help. I plan to visit the Mayfair store and Red Dot Camera (they seem to be very popular on the web). Generally I'm looking for places that sell Leica gears and perhaps, shops with older LTM lens. Any suggestions are welcome! I thank you in advance. i'll be in the vicinity of London for about a week or so, so feel free to recommend!

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Tonki-M,

 

Other places in London where you'll find used Leica lenses are The Classic Camera, and Nicholas. My advice is to steer clear of the second one and be be prepared for a wait at the first one. If you search the forum's threads you'll find some strong, negative opinions about both.

 

There are other places in London who sell used Leica lenses but since they don't support the forum through advertising I'm not prepared to give them free publicity through this thread and at the same time enable them to compete with Leica dealers who pay substantial fees to advertise here.

 

Personally, for good selection and excellent customer service, my first stop would be at Red Dot Cameras.

 

Pete.

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R G Lewis and Richard Caplan have used Leica too, and I'm pretty sure that both aperture stores had Leica when I was there last November, but beware their odd opening hours, on Saturday they don't open till 12.00!

 

I do wish someone would let on why Classic is so villified, I have been in there and bought stuff from them, no problems, they are a bit snooty if they think you are just gawping but most of them are.

 

Gerry

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Pete,

 

Genuine question - you mention Nicholas, have you ever actually seen a Leica lens at the shop?

 

I went there (once) after first phoning ahead to check what they had. Everything was 'in the warehouse' i.e. they had nothing there.

 

I've been told they dont have what they claim to, but buy in whatever a customer wants, from other dealers and sources. I really wouldn't waste my time with them.

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I do wish someone would let on why Classic is so villified, I have been in there and bought stuff from them, no problems, they are a bit snooty if they think you are just gawping but most of them are.

 

Gerry

 

Two instances I've read about, claiming to be an official Leica dealer when they're not. They sold someone here a grey import which meant that they missed out on the Passport warranty which official Dealers provide. Claiming faulty goods were damaged by the customer and refusing a repair or refund.

 

I guess if you buy something which doesn't require any after sales service and you can bear the 'experience' they're probably fine.

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Pete,

 

Genuine question - you mention Nicholas, have you ever actually seen a Leica lens at the shop? ...

James,

 

I don't think I have. Nicholas advertises many Leica lenses on its website but, like you, I was told that the lens I was interested in wasn't in the shop but it would be there in two days when I returned. I didn't.

 

Pete.

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I got the same response from Nicholas when I called in about a 21/4 Voigtlander, but he closed the shop and went and fetched it while I had a coffee round the corner!

I have bought three secondhand lenses from Classic, one was a 21/2.8 asph, I had been looking for a couple of months and they were the first who rang. The viewfinder broke after a few days (the foot fell off, poor glue used on that batch I presume) but they swopped it for another straight away without question. No problems with the other two and fair prices.

 

Gerry

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If it was me, I'd call all dealers in advance and see if there was a lens I wanted them to hold in advance.

 

I'd include Red dot, Aperture, RG Lewis, I would have a look at the Mayfair shop too and Richard Caplan. I would get a map out and probably tube too, Leica Mayfair and Richard Caplan are a 10 minute walk away

 

Sounds like a great day out !

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Yup, to echo what other people said, Red Dot and Aperture are my first stop. they're not in any way close to each other, but RG Lewis, Richard Caplan, Aperture, Leica store, and Classic are all in (nice) walking distance of each other, if you figure out the route :)

 

There's a few other smaller non-specilist stores around that cluster, which often have one or two things, but I wouldn't go on spec.

 

Tempted to put together a google maps group with markers for all the Lieca-ish stores, but I should probably do some work instead :)

 

Red Dot usually carry the most stock, and their website is pretty up to date.

 

I've also had good service from Classic Camera, and they're one of the few places that sells new Voigtlander stuff, but I've not used them that much. Service is slow, and I've only bought a couple of things from them though.

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If it was me, I'd call all dealers in advance and see if there was a lens I wanted them to hold in advance.

 

I'd include Red dot, Aperture, RG Lewis, I would have a look at the Mayfair shop too and Richard Caplan. I would get a map out and probably tube too, Leica Mayfair and Richard Caplan are a 10 minute walk away

 

Sounds like a great day out !

 

this helps tremendously! it really do sounds like a great day out! i'm looking forward to it.

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....

 

You've had what you consider to be a good experience at Nicholas. Well done for you, I'm pleased for you and wish you all the best with your future purchases from them.

 

Try reading my original post and the one above more carefully.

 

To clarify things for you, I refer to The Classic Camera. I have no idea who Nicholas is.

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This is exactly why I posed the question, here we have several good or neutral experiences of Classic Camera (including my own) and the usual innuendo without facts.

If its true, it can be mentioned anywhere, here is no different to any where else, if its only hearsay or rumour it should be ignored, but if there is a history of failing to deal fairly with customers by any dealer we should know about it and be forewarned.

 

Gerry

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I have personal experience having visited several times and bought once. I bought a 19mm Elmarit-R from them - having looked for one for months and never seeing one for sale before. That sale was done grudgingly, as if it was too much trouble to get up off the chair and open the glass cabinet. Even booted and suited and with an expensive briefcase, one would get the look down the nose.

 

But, I will not go back again. There are far better dealers, still authorised Leica dealers, in London. They are the ones who get my support if I buy in London.

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