Leica Generations apart: how does the 2004 Epson R-D1 hold up against modern tech?

The R-D1 uses the same sensor as the Nikon D100. Crop factor of 1.5x, IR leakage not as high as the M8- but is there. I've seen some comparison images that indicated Blue response was low, similar to sensors in the 90s. Kodak introduced new chemistry to their sensors in the late 90s to improve blue response.

I almost picked one up recently, was $750. I had just bought the APO-Lanthar 50/2 coming out, so spent my "camera money".
I also have an M8, which is now the recreational camera. I bought it 10 years ago for $2500 with case and spare battery, had been used 3months. The M8 came out in 2006, but has a CCD designed by Kodak with offset microlens array for optimal use on M-Mount lenses.

To add- I recently got into a discussion regarding reviews of M-Mount lenses on Sony cameras being used to judge performance on Leica digital cameras. The review of the 7artisans 50/1.1 stated there was "Whopping 4.1 F-Stops of Vignetting". The reviewer did not make it clear that this was a function of the sensor not being designed for M-Mount lenses. The Vignetting of this particular lens is 2.5F-Stops on my M Monochrom. Stated differently: the Sony lost 3 times the light at the corners compared with my Leica. The comparison shown in the Linked Article would have been more interesting had the R-D1 been compared with an M10.
 
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Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
That's one of the cameras I used to want, badly - until I laid my hands on the M8; the performance of that body really ended all further searching for a "cheap" digital M mount body for me.

Still, great, great find - I'll always admire the courage and the unique setup; such a wonderful approach to digital photography: Just take a film body and stick in the appropriate innards (and only those, nothing unsuitably fancy). I've by now given up hope someone will do this with the same level of consequence and ingenuity (and don't tell me Leica did it with the M10-D - they didn't; they just took away the screen and added the "lever").

M.
 

albertk

Veteran
I don't have it. Apart from that: my observations . .
Don't be offset by the 6 MP size. The IQ is high. It is a CCD sensor like the Leica M8-M9-M9M. And unlike the 10MP M8, also a crop sensor, the R-D1 does not have IR problems.
Too bad Epson never followed up on it. It seems to have been a 'teaser' to get other camera vendors accept their sensor as OEM.
I like the analogue-ness.
 

M. Valdemar

Top Veteran
Location
New York City
Since they came out, I bought and sold 4 R-D1 cameras. I was always sorry after I sold one and bought one back when I found a good deal.

I've been editing a lot of my old photos recently, and when I look at images, the ones that stand out are usually ones made with the R-D1.

I'm sorry they never came out with a modernized full frame version. In many ways the camera was brilliant.
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Andrew
I’ve always been intrigued by the Eason rangefinder. Never found one inexpensive enough to justify an “experiment” purchase.


I did settle on the faux rangefinder -ness of the Fuji XPRO2.


It has satiated me for the time being. However, prices on the used M8 have dropped to what I would consider reasonable for a Leica.

That is certainly a temping proposition. I may reconsider the Epson too.

I miss the CCD sensor some times. I look back at some of the images taken with my old D50 and in good light, that is one heck of a sensor for “only” 6mp.

As cheap as they are now, I considered snagging another for nostalgia sake, but I’d also need to get some lenses for it too as all my current ones are more modern now.

Who knows, I might just rent a Leica some time when I give up the the pro business and just have some fun to shoot cameras. That might be in another 30 years though. Lol
 
If you search Epson R-D1s here on the forum you can see a number of posts I've made using my R-D1s. The IQ from the camera is pretty amazing.
The only issue with a used one may be that the rangefinder will be out of alignment. Mine was when I bought it. Stephen Gandy at Camera Quest did a great job realigning it for me. Well worth the money.
There's something about the images that the camera produces that are difficult to replicate with another camera. At least in my opinion.
Good luck.
. . . David
 

M. Valdemar

Top Veteran
Location
New York City
The Epson EDIART chip in the camera was unique. I quote this from a comment I found but I have also read it elsewhere.

" Photos from this camera is inviting and has a mood no other camera can capture (just like photos in this article), that is all due to the magic of the processor (designed by Eddie Edatsune - Epson's engineer) to make photos to mimic film with grain. I learned this from Eddie san himself when his team visited my studio in London 2005."
 
Ebay prices for the R-D1 are higher than a comparable condition M8. Good ones occasionally pop up on forums. Prices on Digital RF cameras hold much better than rare Digital SLR's. I picked up a Nikon E3- came out before the D1, maybe 100 made, for $200 several years ago. Prices on the R-D1 and M8, hold up.
 
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M. Valdemar

Top Veteran
Location
New York City
I've been following R-D1 prices for years.

From a low of about $600 - $800 a few years ago, they are now up to $1500 - $2500 and beyond. Demand is high for them in Japan.

I have 4 mint Kodak SLR/N's with very low shutter counts. I'm thinking now might be the time to sell them, or I'll take them to the grave.......:frown:
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
The bit about the rising prices is interesting - because this certainly doesn't happen here; you can get M8 bodies between $900 and $1200, $1500 including lenses ... I almost bought a minty one just to have a backup if mine fails. But realistically, a move like this doesn't really improve my chance of having one for longer (i.e. the spare might fail before the one I use). I think when the M8 goes, I'll just have to move on ... which will be difficult.

M.
 
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