Yes, in this era of smartphone photography, the legendary German camera brand Leica is actually opening a store in downtown Washington, D.C.
Pretty! The Leica M9-P, a "professionally targeted digital rangefinder"
I first learned about Leica as a freshman photography student; I idolized the photojournalism master Henri Cartier-Bresson, who shot only with his Leica Rangefinder.
Henri Cartier-Bresson with his Leica in 1957
I “settled” for Nikon (after a freshman year utilizing my old Honeywell Pentax 35mm to the max), as Leica gear is incredibly expensive. It has become a glamorous sort of brand, coveted by enthusiasts for it’s sleek, minimal design and superior engineering and optics (and connection to the greats, no doubt.) Robert Capa shot with Leica, as did Alfred Eisenstadt, Edward Steichen and Man Ray. If those names aren’t ringing a bell, these photos might:
Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Spanish Civil War, 1936, by Robert Capa
The Kiss, 1945, by Alfred Eisenstaedt
And look at this guy:
Stanley Kubrick with a Leica in 1949
Back to the store, which looks like it should be an interesting experience, with the entire range of Leica photography and sport optics products represented. Even if you’re not ready to lay out some serious cash, there are other draws. Roland Wolff, Leica’s Director of Corporate Retail says the DC store will create a “completely immersive experience into the world of photography.” There will be a photography gallery (images shot with Leica equipment), a demonstration studio and workshops will be offered. The Grand Opening is May 2 and 3 at 977 F St NW!
I imagine you can do that at the new store! (ad from 1938 catalog)