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Leica Opens San Francisco Store Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

16 August 2014

As we mentioned in yesterday's Around The Horn, Leica has opened a retail store in downtown San Francisco with a grand opening this weekend. The company has spent the last seven weeks prepping the narrow space next door to Le Central at 463 Bush St., just a few steps away from the Grant Ave. Chinatown gate.

We dropped in to welcome the team to the city and asked if we could take a few photos.

"We encourage it," the charming Leica rep said. "This wouldn't be much of a camera store if we didn't," he smiled.

Leica San Francisco. The elegant retail space features a gallery and lecture room. Mouse over or tap to see the captions.

We shot the space from front to back. The front of the store features a very long gallery with photos hung along the brick wall to the right. Through Oct. 31, the gallery will feature prints by Peter Turnley from this book French Kiss -- A Love Letter to Paris, signed copies of which are available in the store. And Turnley will hold a Leica master class Oct. 24 to 26 at the store.

Across from the gallery wall is a series of red display cases in a black wall holding various current and historical Leica gear. It's a cross between a museum and a retail display.

And on the wooden floor between the two walls are a few stand-alone display cases showing off both digital and film versions of the company's cameras. The whole line is represented including the Leica M, Leica T and S-System, but no Leica seems left out.

Beyond the gallery, the service counter faces a wall of black shelves where stacks of the red Turnley book were the highlight. A small but comfortable screening room takes up the rear of the store.

And the mood? Delightfully low-key, civilized, pleasant. Where you are welcome to enjoy the gallery at leisure or chat with the knowledgeable staff about sensor size or get a replacement shutter release button for your Leica.

The festivities continue through the weekend. Ben Ross, Leica S-System specialist will host an indoor and outdoor fashion shoot with the Leica S-System today between 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. And there are photo walks and other events scheduled through Sunday.

Not to mention those Turnley prints, which are worth the trip all by themselves.

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