Please have a look at the Epson R-D1

Started Jan 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Peter Nelson
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Please have a look at the Epson R-D1
Jan 14, 2012

Yes look at the old 2004 ($3,200 new) to present Seiko/Epson R-D1, R-D1s and current R-D1x for the Japanese home market (only). You can look them up and perhaps even purchase a new R-D1x on certain Japanese web sites.

The R-D1 is an affordable fully manual digital rangefinder camera. At it's release in 2004 it was the firts such mirrorless rangefinder camera in the world, before the Leica M8.

I still have mine. Yes, at 6mp it does not seem to have a modern spec of 12mp or more. But, even at 6mp it's a fine camera and will provide 13" x 19" prints that look very good. The R-D1 is missing the modern spec of the Hybrid EVF/Optical finder and a rear Live View LCD as well as the 12mp.

However it does havre an articulting rear LCD for viewing your shots and setting up some of the menue's. It's the large amount of external controls that still to this day set this camera apart and perhaps above anything else that's like it including the X100 and X-Pro1.

Please do some research and see all those manual controls. The R-D1 can be used exactly like a 35mm film rangefinder camera. You csan close the rear LCD into the body so it does not show at all. It has a shutter advance mechanism exactly like those on all the 35mm SLR/and Rangefinder cameras and this provides a comfortable rythem to my shooting. It has many more external controls than the Canon G10/11/12 or even the new G1X. Read a few reviews (older) at Luminous Landscape on the R-D1.

Lastly it takes all the Leica M (Leica Bayoned Mount Lenses) and M39 (Leica Thread Mount Lenses). The M39 LTM lenses can be prurchased in very good condition for $250. This allows you to get a complete kit say 28mm, 35mm, 50mm 85 and 90mm and 135mm for not all that much compared to any new lenses. Also the Leica M lenses are among the very best and they can be found second hand also at prices better than whatt Fujifilm will be charging. But you would really have to look for these good deals. BTW the R-D1 has frame lines for 28mm, 35mm and 50mm. I use a Russian Made Trurrent finder mounted in the hot shoe that has frame lines for 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm so I cam use all my lenses with correct framing.

If Seiko/Epson where to release an updated R-D1 with just more MP and the Hybrid EVF/optical finder and a Live View rear LCD and the frame lines for lenses wider than 28mm then this camera would be very obviously superior to them all. For myself I can do wiith out the hybrid EVF/Optical finder and the Live View rear LCD. I can even do without an increase in MP. So this means...that I already have the camera that people call their dream camera.

At the very least if you are lookin at an Fujifilm X-Pro1 or other makers (future) ILMC the R-D1 shows us all just what these cameras should provide in terms of full manual controls and if you learn that from looking at the R-D1 then my post is a successfull one. More manual controls, sensibly implemented will enhance our photography experience and that is my entire point.
-Peter
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Epson R-D1 Epson R-D1x Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-Pro1
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