Feb 142013
 

leica-logo.pngLeica will be opening it’s newest store in Miami, FL (technically it’s in Coral Gables, FL) at 372 Miracle Mile. The festivities begin on February 22, 2013 at 6 PM. The following Saturday Leica Store Miami will be hosting a Leica S System Demo Day starting at 10 AM. I, for one, am very pleased to see this happen as it will save me a lot of travel time (the next nearest Leica Store is in West Palm Beach). I will have another update when I visit the store.

Peter from the Leica Store Miami saw this post and sent me this additional information:

Our new retail location on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables will carry the full line of current Leica products, from the legendary M-System and the revolutionary Leica S line, to the full range of sport optics.

Leica Store Miami is not only a retail space, it is a place where we seek to ignite the spark of creative inspiration in photographers at all skill levels and from all walks of life. Our gallery will showcase a rotating exhibit of images, enabling customers to get an up-close look at how Leica has become a witness to history and a tool in creating the finest photographic art.

In addition, we will be hosting several in-house demos and workshops for professionals and enthusiasts seeking to discover or enhance their photographic skills. Workshops will be provided by the Leica Store Miami staff, Leica Akadamie, Magnum and other Leica professionals.

[UPDATE]

Friday night’s event was a great success and I had a wonderful time. The Store’s design reflect Leica’s german roots and Bauhaus aesthetics – simple and elegant.

 

Leica Store Miami - Exterior
Exterior
 
Leica Store Interior
Interior
 
Wall of Leica
Wall of Leica
 
Wall of Accessories
Wall of Accessories
 
One of the highlights of the evening was hands-on time with the S System in a model shoot. The S System, for the uninitiated, is Leica’s medium format digital camera system. The S System, like all of Leica’s other camera lines, oozes quality and engineering excellence. The S System is the only fully weather sealed camera in the medium format digital space (the Pentax 645D body is weather sealed, but only the newer lenses are weather sealed) and like most MFD cameras, will set you back the price of a german car (that doesn’t start with the letter “V”).
 
Leica S System
The S System
 
Carlos behind the camera
Yours Truly (Pretending to Know What He is Doing)
 
The S System handles like a large DSLR (which is exactly what it is) which is a big plus if you are moving up from 35mm. I found the weight comparable to my trusty Sony A99 + Grip combo. The camera was tethered to a Dell computer running Adobe Lightroom 4. 
 
Lightroom in action
Lightroom 4 In Action
 
Model Shoot
Model Shoot
 
I was allowed to use my own memory card (kudos to Leica for supporting both CompactFlash and SDHC cards) and I was able to process the S images through my regular workflow. Despite their larger size, I was able to manage and manipulate them fairly well. When I move up to the S System I will have to budget additional RAM for my Mac Pro and a whole lot more storage. Anyway, here is the result:
 
The Result
The Result
 
 

The image required minimal adjustment (only had to drop the exposure by ⅓ stop) and I ran the image through my usual portrait routines without any problems. The sensor does not have an anti-aliasing filter and I encountered some moire patterns in the model’s clothing. This is easily managed in Lightroom 4 via Adjustment Brush.

NOTE: This camera captures a scary amount of details. You will see every flaw your subject has and possibly some you were not aware of. Be prepared to retouch the image to compensate for this.

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