Home Cameras/Lenses Leica London’s oldest existing Leica store to close

London’s oldest existing Leica store to close

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Richard in his decidedly up-market photographic store in the heart of London's Mayfair (Image Mike Evans, 2105)

Richard Caplan, one of the last independent Leica stores in London, will close on December 21 after 25 years’ service to the Leica community. Richard is retiring but will continue to pursue his hobby of film photography.

He began working for the famous photographic retailer Wallace Heaton in 1961. He then went on to start a photographic and hi-fi business in west London before moving to Mayfair in the mid-eighties to establish his trade-mark premium image.

Richard in his decidedly up-market photographic store in the heart of London's Mayfair (Image Mike Evans, 2105)
Richard in his decidedly up-market photographic store in the heart of London’s Mayfair (Image Mike Evans, 2015)

Over the past 25 years, Richard Caplan Photographic has operated from three locations, all clustered around the St. James area. The current store is on Pall Mall, in the heart of clubland and opposite St. James’s Palace. During this time, as Richard told me, the Leica store has attracted more than its fair share of royal customers, including the late Tony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowden) and his son, Viscount Linley, the Queen’s nephew.

Richard Caplan was one of the few remaining independent Leica specialists in London. The others include The Classic Camera near the British Museum, Aperture Photographic near Broadcasting House, and Red Dot Cameras in the City. But Leica is still well represented in London, with additional stores and in-store franchises at department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods. There is no shortage of places to exercise your credit card.

Richard Caplan’s unique up-market store will be missed by the Leica fraternity. The closure follows the demise of R.G.Lewis, which was the oldest Leica store in the capital, in 2015.

The closing-down sale is now on and you could find just the bargain you are looking for. Check out the web store here.

Amateur Photographer this week marks the end of an era for Leica retailing in London.

7 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like a great store and it would be wonderful to have such great service locally. Where I live there are no real Leica dealers – they will order for you so you cannot fondle to decide on purchase.

    FYI, I know you like things to be accurate, the date on the photo is long after the store closes 🙂

  2. Richard was always on my list when I visited London.
    Some of my “finds” there have been amazing.
    Most recently a set of Summar macro lenses.
    I will miss his friendly chats with a colonial.
    Of course his landlady is a great Leica friend, Her Majesty.
    Cheers
    Philip

    • I don’t know about HM, Philip, but I remembering Richard telling me that the owner of the property was an embassy and that technically he was on foreign ground. I can’t remember the country but it could have been a Canadian province.

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