epson r-d1??

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by alexknudsen, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    just sorta found out about this camera, Always dreamed of having the leica m8, does anyone know how the epson is?
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I’ve thought about the Epson myself too. Epson produce two generation R-D1 and R-D1s I’m not sure what is different in the two models. The used price for the body only seem to be about 1500-2000 US dollar. There are a few Japanese dealers on eBay that have them in used and old new stock
     
  3. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    yeah, and the voigtlander lenses arent that expensive either
     
  4. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    however I have never shot with a film rangefinder
    is it a crazy move to spend the money on a digital rangefinder? can someone explain the rangefinder to me?
     
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maybe, if you have to ask. Explaining about rangefinder is extremely wide open questions. I’ll try my best.

    What is a rangefinder: An optical instrument for measuring distance
    How they work http://www.answers.com/rangefinder&r=67

    Ok, with 35mm rangefinder cameras you do not look thru the lens for focusing. You focus the camera by looking thru the rangefinder eyepiece/viewfinder and lining up the target or by zone. The lens is linked to the rangefinder by a cam. So as you turn the focusing ring on lens it moves the target in the eyepiece/viewfinder. When the target lineup the camera is in focus.

    Leica and Cosina along with partners Zeiss & Voigtlander/Ringfoto (past Epson, Rollie & maybe others) are the only companies still making new 35mm models. Other that the Russian block counties companies and maybe the Chinese too.

    Advantages:
    1) Because there is no required mirror clearance lenses can penetrate into body shorting their length. Smaller, lighter and less intrusive a compact camera without lost of image quality.

    2) A lot of but not all 35mm rangefinder cameras use ether the Leica M or L39 lens mounts. M mount cameras with an adapter can use both types.

    3) Lost of nice new and used lenses in all price ranges from 12mm to 135mm

    Disadvantages:
    1) You don’t see how the shot is arranged in the viewfinder from lens’ angle.

    2) Most models do not have frame line for each lens, an add-on viewfinder maybe needed

    3) Only two digital models

    4) Longest lens 135mm, only center of frame is viewable

    5) Only two zoom lenses both Leica M, the Tri-Elmar 28-35-50 & Tri-Elmar 16-18-21 and not cheap


    As for the R-D1 IMO its biggest disadvantage is that it’s only 6mp, the 1.6 crop factor and 4-year old technology
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is no physical difference between teh R-d1 and R-d1s... firmware upgrade of the R-d1 will make them identical.
     
  7. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two other advantages I can think of with rangefinders:

    - No mirror means less shake when the shutter is released, which in turn means camera can be handheld at lower shutter speeds.
    - The brightness through the viewfinder does not depend on the maximum aperture of your lens
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You should probably borrow a rangefinder or purchase a film one (they are some inexpensive options.. Canonet is a wonderful choice). They are a different tool that fits a certain style of shooting. There are lots of advantages and disadvantages that are outlined in the posts above. Honestly, jumping into a digital rangefinder (there are only two. R-D1 = expensive. Leica M8 = REally expensive) without any previous experience with rangefinders is probably not a smart move.

    As for me... i love mine. I own a few rangefinders and nothing seems to be better for a street photographer.

    Specific for the R-D1
    ADV:
    - Lovely ergonomics. Feel just like a traditional classic rangefinder
    - Wonderful user ergonomics. WB, Quality, ISO, Shutter, Aperture all integrated in manual switches and dials. Just like a classic rangefinder
    - Good low light performance. Known to be better than most cameras but not as good as the latest coming out of Canon.
    - Noise that is present is very film like... pleasing.
    - IT IS A RANGEFINDER. Thus all the advantages shooting with one. As outliined above. No TUNNEL VISION.
    - Non-obtrusive. Stealthy Quiet. thus wonderful street/journalist style of shooting.
    - BIG one in my opinion. M-mount. which opens up to a whole history full of wonderful lenses. Leica and Voigtlander included.
    - Just like the classic rangefinder there is a wonderful simplicity about shooting with a rangefinder.
    - Looks and acts like a film rangefinder. Attracts less attention.
    - Great image quality.
    - Pretty darn compact compared to SLRs
    - Rangefinder paired with fast glass.. nothing comes close in low-light situations.


    DIS:
    - Rangefinder misalignment seems to be a popular issue
    - Questionable long term support/repair from epson
    - 28-35-50 frame lines only.
    - Short rangefinder base which means limited accuracy on near and far end
    - Slow write time to SD card
    - 6mp although that has never limited me...
    - ITS A RANGEFINDER.. All the disadv of a rangefinder. Not good for macro and telephoto for example.
    - Battery life is good but limited. it uses lithium-ion which has adv and disadv in of itself. I carry 4 with me.
    - The cost of a digital rangefinder + lenses can really buy some nice high end Nikon and Canon stuff.
    - no such thing as a zoom. the Tri-Elmar isn't really a zoom more like a lens with 3 settings of focal lengths.
    - No Autofocus and all he gagetry found in the latest SLRs.
    - 1.6 crop




    If I think of more.. I'll post. BTW.. If you do decide on an Epson R-D1, they are pretty darn difficult to find. Interestingly, their popularity has increased since Epson discontinued them and Leica released the M8. So save up and be ready to be quick if you see one for sale.

    My Epson R-D1 with Noctilux (which is physically the largest lens in leica line.. most rangefinder glass is very compact/small).

    [​IMG]

    As far as I know, there are only two active members here that will have input... Iron Flatline and I. Haven't seen others but I could be wrong. Iron is the guy with both Leica M8 and the R-D1. I personally decided against the M8 and will wait for Leica's next iteration of the digital rangefinder.

    There is something intangible and hard to describe when shooting with a rangefinder.. you just seem more involved in the actually creation of a picture while shooting with an SLR can feel mute and removed from the subject.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thought of more

    DIS - No auto TTL flash. Basically take your manual flash pack of choice and use a flash meter

    ADV - Decent flash sync speed of 1/125.


    BTW... If you do decide to dabble rangefinders, the following site is a great resource specific to rangefinders (in addition to the TPF)

    www.rangefinderforum.com

    This fellow named Rich Cutler has a wonderful site that he maintains for Epson R-D1:

    http://www.richcutler.co.uk/r-d1/
     
  10. alexknudsen

    alexknudsen TPF Noob!

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    thanks!!!

    the 6mp really doesnt bother me, I shoot with a 300d and I love everything that has come out of it.
    I also really want to do photojournalism/ street photography, so maybe the rangefinder may be a good approach

    thanks for all the help!
     
  11. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    i believe iron flatline has one.
     
  12. OMG I can't believe I missed this thread until now...

    ...and I have ZERO time these days, so this will be short.

    In a nutshell, RF shooting is masochism - at least to someone who loves modern SLRs.

    I have both those cameras, and they are great. Right now I am in love with my Espon R-D1 (firmware upgraded to "s" version). It's completely anachronistic. Heck, after taking a shot you have to manully cock the shutter like a film-advance - I keep doing an empty thumb-motion when I shoot with the M8 now.

    You have a very different relationship to your images when you shoot with a Rangefinder. It's a much more deliberate exercise. You spend more time thinking about composition, and the available light. I come home with a LOT less images than when I was shooting with an SLR, but a much higher number are "keepers." You take up position, and you wait for someone to walk into your chosen scene, or for a crowd to move in a way you expect them to. I waited for 10 minutes for the shot below. But it's a smaller camera, so no arm cramping, and no one looking at me with a big camera. Most people just think it's a big P&S.

    You frame the image, the camera doesn't need to hunt for focus or adjustments because being manual it's already set, and you just fire when you're ready.

    From Sunday, R-D1:

    [​IMG]

    If you want to set the camera as a nice Point&Shoot and not worry about nailing the focus, you set it to f/8 or f/11, and everything further than 5 feet away will be in focus. All you need to do is think about composition. Or if you're stationary you can shoot wider and get a shallower DOF.
     

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