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Is there a recommended place to buy Leica products?

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Hi everyone,

 

I’m soon to get a TL2 and the 35mm 1.4. I would like to ask, to be safe since this is a massive investment, if there are any particular stores that are particularly good for buying Leica products?—perhaps because they throw in some useful bundle, etc.

 

And is there any reason to buy directly from a Leica store? I live not too far away from one.

 

Thank you for any advice.

 

(I am US based, but will be in Japan soon.)

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The Leica dealer locator is the best way to find both franchised Leica Boutiques and Leica-selling private camera stores: Leica Dealer Locator

 

In general, your satisfaction will be higher by working with your local Leica shop and I encourage everyone to support them.

 

However, there are some people who are remote or who prefer mail-order and for them there are options also:

 

B&H Photo in NYC is the largest volume Leica dealer in America

 

If you want used I recommend sending an email to PopFlash identifying what you are looking for and ask them to get in touch if someone offers on consignment.

 

I'm sure you will have many recommendations as everyone will have a favorite seller. I've heard good things about Leica Boutique Miami and I personally deal with Aziz at Leica Store DC.

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My first go to store is Leica Store Miami; second is B&H Photo & Video in New York (Brooklyn).  New York and Florida have no sales tax for out of state purchases, and for Leicas, that can be a sizable sum.

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I have been looking at the same thing, except that I am looking at an M10 and a 35mm and/or 50mm lens.  I've been looking at both new and used (and agree with the above sales tax point, as well as suggestions for dealers).

 

I see on the Leica Forum Buy & Sell pages interesting offers from time to time (e.g., currently a silver anodized 35mm f/1.4 FLE for $3,500), but it is scary to deal with a stranger, especially if the seller has few posts in the Leica Forum.  Respected online dealers that also have a brick-and-mortar store (such as Adorama) will advertise both in their own used items website page and also on eBay.  I have not yet learned why a store might offer a product on eBay but not its own Used pages, or vice versa.

 

In the used Leica product category, I have not yet learned which Leica warranties are transferrable to the buyer.  I think that the camera body warranties are not transferrable, but maybe the "Passport" lens warranties are transferrable (?).  

 

Unless you are receiving a Leica warranty, it is also pot luck to buy online a lens that might need adjustments/calibrations, unless you will promptly test the lens on receipt and return it within a seller's return-items time window (if any)--or unless you are prepared, if necessary, to send the lens at your own expense to a respected Leica service person (you can see names by following various threads in the Leica Forum or by reading product reviews from widely known photographers).

 

Reading about all the opinions and options on Leica Forum and other websites has taken up much of my spare time over the past four months (ever since on a vacation I saw a fellow tourist with a new Leica M10 while I was lugging around a big DSLR plus a pocket camera).  However, reading all the opinions and posts--and pondering my tentative choices that fluctuate daily-- has been a lot of fun and is a big reason why I will probably choke on the money and buy something very soon.

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My first go to store is Leica Store Miami; second is B&H Photo & Video in New York (Brooklyn).  New York and Florida have no sales tax for out of state purchases, and for Leicas, that can be a sizable sum.

 

I also look first at B&H Photo--efficient "Amazon type" ordering and shipping service, has accepted returns, and has the best website for specs, reviews, etc.  When they are out of stock, I used to look to Leica Store Miami, but they would usually be out also.  So recently I found what I wanted (M10, Summicron M 35mm ASPH, and related items) at Leica Store DC and had excellent results both in inventory telephone and ordering service, and prompt delivery. 

 

I dealt with Chris Paul (same name as the basketball player) at DC; very efficient and friendly.  DC had one non-Leica product (a Billingham case) listed at a higher price than at B&H Photo, but when I mentioned that, DC promptly matched the price.

Edited by david.kize

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I have been looking at the same thing, except that I am looking at an M10 and a 35mm and/or 50mm lens.  I've been looking at both new and used (and agree with the above sales tax point, as well as suggestions for dealers).

 

I see on the Leica Forum Buy & Sell pages interesting offers from time to time (e.g., currently a silver anodized 35mm f/1.4 FLE for $3,500), but it is scary to deal with a stranger, especially if the seller has few posts in the Leica Forum.  Respected online dealers that also have a brick-and-mortar store (such as Adorama) will advertise both in their own used items website page and also on eBay.  I have not yet learned why a store might offer a product on eBay but not its own Used pages, or vice versa.

 

In the used Leica product category, I have not yet learned which Leica warranties are transferrable to the buyer.  I think that the camera body warranties are not transferrable, but maybe the "Passport" lens warranties are transferrable (?).  

 

Unless you are receiving a Leica warranty, it is also pot luck to buy online a lens that might need adjustments/calibrations, unless you will promptly test the lens on receipt and return it within a seller's return-items time window (if any)--or unless you are prepared, if necessary, to send the lens at your own expense to a respected Leica service person (you can see names by following various threads in the Leica Forum or by reading product reviews from widely known photographers).

 

Reading about all the opinions and options on Leica Forum and other websites has taken up much of my spare time over the past four months (ever since on a vacation I saw a fellow tourist with a new Leica M10 while I was lugging around a big DSLR plus a pocket camera).  However, reading all the opinions and posts--and pondering my tentative choices that fluctuate daily-- has been a lot of fun and is a big reason why I will probably choke on the money and buy something very soon.

Leica, the factory, has a worldwide warranty on their products, irrespective of original buyer or not. Local importers may differ, but one can always fall back on Wetzlar.

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For used Leica I have favored Leicashop in Vienna, they rate their wares fairly and the price is good too -- especially when the $ is stronger against the euro. This can even work in your favor for new goods. For new goods, though, I usually go to Leica Soho (NYC) -- good guys and fair prices for trade-ins.

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For used Leica I have favored Leicashop in Vienna, they rate their wares fairly and the price is good too -- especially when the $ is stronger against the euro. This can even work in your favor for new goods. For new goods, though, I usually go to Leica Soho (NYC) -- good guys and fair prices for trade-ins.

Thanks for your tip about Leicashop Vienna.  I did not know about them.  I just visited their website, which is in English.  They have a well-organized, extensive selection of used equipment with good details about each item and fair prices.  Also, there is free worldwide insured shipping for orders over 500 euro.  This is a site that I will keep in mind and check, in addition to the usual U.S. sites.

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Thanks for your tip about Leicashop Vienna.  I did not know about them.  I just visited their website, which is in English.  They have a well-organized, extensive selection of used equipment with good details about each item and fair prices.  Also, there is free worldwide insured shipping for orders over 500 euro.  This is a site that I will keep in mind and check, in addition to the usual U.S. sites.

One question I would have about buying from Leicashop Vienna:   Will the U.S. customs office impose a tariff on the value of the imported goods?

 

That would be a big increase in the cost of the purchase.

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Has anybody had experience, either positive or negative, with this Leica dealer in Chicago? - 2015 TAMARKIN CAMERA - 300 West Superior Street, Suite 202 Chicago, Illinois 60654

 

Thanks.

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I have bought new and used equipment from the Leica stores in both Miami and DC via online and express delivery and both have worked out very well.

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I have bought new equipment from both B&H Photo and from Leica Store DC—in every case with good results. However, I recently put in an April 30 order for a 50mm Summilux just before the May 1 price increase. They still have those lenses on back order. In the meantime, Leica Store DC received these and other lenses and I could have obtained quicker delivery from them. I didn’t order one, but it was the same story with 75mm. So I will no longer assume that B&H Photo, with its high volume, is most likely to be among the first in the USA to acquire more inventory.

 

Tamarkin in Chicago seems to have an excellent reputation, judging from online comments. I have called them once or twice, and they gave me in the call the information that I requested. But they didn’t have in stock the items that were also out of stock elsewhere. If I lived in Chicago, I would visit their store. As it is, dealing by phone or purely by website (which Tamarkin does not offer) is a matter of personal preference.

 

I have dealt with Leica Store DC both by website and by phone, each time with good results. I think that B&H has the most useful website, in terms of quick access to specs, comparisons and reviews.

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I should add to my previous comments recommending Leica Store DC ---

 

I have recently purchased online a used lens from Leica Store Miami.  The website was easy to use and nicely descriptive of the item.  When I placed the order by credit card, the order was approved and I had a UPS tracking number within five or ten minutes.  Very impressive.

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I should add to my previous comments recommending Leica Store DC ---

 

I have recently purchased online a used lens from Leica Store Miami.  The website was easy to use and nicely descriptive of the item.  When I placed the order by credit card, the order was approved and I had a UPS tracking number within five or ten minutes.  Very impressive.

 

+1 for Leica Store Miami

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Re: Leica Store Miami (which I like very much) and Leica Store DC (where I also had a good experience):

 

1.  When I bought my used 75mm Summicron M lens recently:  Leica Store Miami advertised it (at a good price) as used and in very good condition with no signs of excess wear.  Website ordering was quick and easy, and delivery was fast.  The lens had a recent serial number (416xxxx), and was in mint condition--I could not find any marks, wear, or signs of prior use.  This was a great purchase for me of a lens at only slightly over half price.

 

2.  I had been waiting since my April 30 order from B&H Photo for a Summilux M 50mm lens--which I ordered on the last day before the price increase.  After 2 months, I am tired of waiting.  So I cancelled that order today and instead made another quick and easy purchase of this lens from Leica Store Miami today.  

 

3.  I had earlier purchased my M10 camera from Leica Store DC which at the time had available inventory that was backordered elsewhere.  That was also a good customer experience.

 

4.  It appears that some or many of the Leica stores get inventory replacements before the high volume stores such as B&H or Adorama.

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I strongly believe in bricks and mortar shops. I have only ever bought cameras (or nearly any other gear) from independent "mum and dad" shops. The big box retailers and mail order companies don't care about you nor give you personalized service. And besides, you want your bricks and mortar shop to be around if you need something quick and simple (like a new SD card) that you don't feel like waiting around to be delivered. 

 

The last Leica shop I visited in Malaysia was staffed by sales drones. They don't care about you (or Leica) either. 

OTOH, my preferred bricks and mortar shop is Camera Electronic, in Perth. I live in Melbourne. I have bought cameras from them for more than 20 years, and even after moving to Melbourne I still buy cameras from them. The shop owner is always on the premises and he gives me unbiased advice because my continued business is more important to him than making a sale which might make me unhappy. 

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I've had good service from Camera West in California though I live in Tennessee.  They will buy my old equipment at reasonable prices. They sell new and used.  Sean the owner has been around for years since before the internet and knows about all things photographic.  They do much business in Leica.  He is a real deal maker in that he will drop the used price a bit to get the stock moving thus he is one of the best market makers in Leica gear.  

https://www.camerawest.com

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