Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/15

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Remembering Alfredo's Cameras
From: "Craig Roberts" <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:21:59 -0400
References: <>

Good morning,

I'm an old Leicaphile (with an M3 and IIIf...both used regularly), but new
to the list.  Since a couple of threads have been devoted to dealers lately,
I wonder if anyone remembers Alfredo Olivera (Alfredo's Cameras) of New

This short, stocky and LOUD alleged former Argentine championship boxer and
minor diplomat was one of the more colorful characters I've ever met in any
business.  He sold me my first Leica in the early 1970's (a used M4) which
he restored to "better than original" condition by black anodizing the top
and bottom covers (settle down, was absolutely beautiful).  He
was fierce defender of Leica's place in the photographic universe,
pronouncing upstart Oriental camera manufacturers as makers of "Japanese
junk" (you'd have to hear his rich accent to appreciate how this sounded)
and Leica the only 35mm camera worthy of exposing emulsion to light.

A favorite trick of his was to ask to borrow a Nikon or Canon from an
unsuspecting walk-in customer, especially if the customer seemed a little
"uppity".  Alfredo would then hold a Leicaflex  SL (brand new then) in one
hand and the customer's camera in the other, both by their backs.  He'd then
unlatch the SL's back and and fling the camera open with its body and lens
flying forward - rebounding against the back hinge - then flip it closed.
There was no apparent damage, of course.  He would then offer to perform the
same stunt with the customer's camera.  Invariably, the customer would grab
his big Nikon or Canon "F" and flee the store with Alfredo yelling behind
them: "...and don't come back in here with your Japanese junk!".

Alfredo had a devoted...if somewhat fearful...following.

Does anyone else have any Alfredo stories?

Craig Roberts

In reply to: Message from Michael Scarpitti <> (Re: [Leica] Michael Scarpitti)