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Vico and Claudia. son-in-law and daughter of Ken Hansen, continues the Leica dealership. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard
   
 
   

The Story Behind That Picture:
"The Legacy of Ken Hansen Continues"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. December 11, 2019.

 

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Ken Hansen’s daughter and son-in-law continue the business

Legendary Leica dealer Ken Hansen left us earlier this year, but thanks to the strong unity of the Hansen family, his legacy continues. His son-in-law and daughter stepped forth from the background to ensure that the way Ken Hansen serviced the Leica society will continue.

You can still reach the Ken Hansen dealership by email, and from today forward you can also see the stock list of second-hand Leica equipment here.

I've written about Ken Hansen earlier, so if you are not familiar with one of the most unique Leica dealers, the story starts here: "A Talk with Ken Hansen".

Ken Hansen’s son-in-law, Vico worked with Ken over a span of twelve years, since 1991. During that time, he married Ken’s daughter (1992) and thus joined a tight and loving family, as well as a camera business.

 

To Florida and back to New York

As an example of how close the family unit was, when Ken’s daughter Claudia campaigned for getting out of New York and moving to sunny Florida, the whole family moved to Florida. Ken sold the lighting department of the store and opened a small camera store in West Palm Beach in 1994.

"I would go to New York twice a month, but I was bored in Florida," she says. "So I told my dad, I'm moving back to New York. It's too quiet in Florida."

Ken Hansen replied, "What, without me?" and they decided that the whole family moved back to New York.

"Fact was", Vico says, "even though it was beautiful and all in Florida, 99% of our business came from New York. We had gotten some local contacts, but New York was still the center of the business."

 

Ken Hansen's daughter Claudia and her husband Vico continue the legacy of Ken Hansen and service Leica fans all over the world. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 28mm Summiliux-M ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Ken Hansen's daughter Claudia and her husband Vico continue the legacy of Ken Hansen and service Leica fans all over the world. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 28mm Summiliux-M ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Ken Hansen Photographic New York

The family moved back, and Ken Hansen opened the store "Ken Hansen Photographic New York" on 509 Madison Ave in 1997.

"I'll have a place there for seven years, because those are my lease terms," Ken told his family, "Then we can think about what we'll do after that".

As the lease ended in 2004, Ken closed the store and started operating from his apartment near Central Park.

"When we closed Madison Ave, we had huge inventory of Hasselblad, Nikon, Olympus and a lot of other stuff.", Vico tells. "Ken told me 'I'm just keeping Leica, you can keep the rest of it."

"I told him I didn't deserve all that, but he said, 'Yes, you’ve earned it. You have bills to pay, it is all yours.' and so it was", Vico remembers. "It was very Ken Hansen to be like that."

"Ken continued from his apartment, I continued from mine. I sold Leica reflex on eBay, R6 and all that. I still have a ton of stuff today from back then. It was a big stock."

 

The Legacy of Ken Hansen continues

It took Vico some weeks after Ken passed to decide he would continue the camera business and the Leica dealership, but since this he has been the one answering the calls and emails from clients who wanted to buy, sell or trade.

When Ken Hansen was ill, Vico and Claudia's daughter were frequently with him at the hospital. As Vico recalls, “He told her that all inventory goes to me. 'Whatever he wants to do with it, Vico decides', was his word. I think we're all trying to do what Ken said, and he also felt strongly that the family should stay close."

 

See the updated stock list of Ken Hansen NY Inc here:

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Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
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Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
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Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
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Above: Vico and Claudia. son-in-law and daughter of Ken Hansen, continues the Ken Hansen Leica dealership. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Photo: Sheikh Khalid Al-Thani.
Photo: Sheikh Khalid Al-Thani.

Thorsten Overgaard is a Danish born photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing for magazines and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. You can follow him at his television channel www.magicoflight.tv

 

 



 


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 
           
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