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Q to R-D1(s) and X100 owners (former/current)
Old 10-09-2012   #1
xpanded
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Question Q to R-D1(s) and X100 owners (former/current)

Please excuse my long intro:

Basically I do not need a new camera, but must do my part to conquer looming/acting recession ;-) That is the spin doctor version at least…

Ever since I saw the X100 at Photokina two years ago I have wanted one. Last year I bought a full set (cam, bag, etc.), but the camera was faulty and after some difficulties I managed getting a full refund since replacement was not an option (seller only had one specimen).

Since the camera was bought for a special occasion it was hugely disappointing and cooled me off a bit. I only shot very few exposures with it since I needed to return it [the EVF-view had some kind of debris inside]. But the seed was planted and the urge has started blooming again as of late (the X-Pro 1 does not do it for me).

For me the bench mark IQ that satisfies me is from my .erfs developed in Epson PhotoRAW mainly shot with Voigtländers so not high end optics.

Now the prices of the X100 have come down quite a bit (occasionally available at amazon/uk for £600) and yet my finger hovers over the mouse button hesitantly.

I am aware that the X100 today (with firmware updates) is a far better camera than upon release. I also assume that the sticky problem have been solved once and for all. Ideally I would use the X100 as my take everywhere camera and I would like to try working with the 35mm for a prolonged time (the Epson is usually equipped with a 35mm, so almost a standard in use).

Funds are limited so would like to get it right.

For those of you who have owned or owns both bodies could you please shed some light on:
1) How well these two cameras co-exist?
2) Did you stop using the Epson once you got the other (or, horror, got rid of it)?
3) Do you find that you use them for the same kind of photography?
4) Is the X100 IQ far superior to the R-D1s’?
5) Are the “self-turning” dials a problem in real life?
6) Other relevant info

Thanks in advance
Cheers,
Xpanded
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Old 10-09-2012   #2
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I actually have both cameras at the moment, and my first response is that I wouldn't give either camera up.

To answer your questions in sequence:

1. So far I have uses for both cameras. RD1 for 50/75mm (equivalent focal length) and x100 for my 35mm needs. So I would say that they co-exist pretty well.

2. No. Due to the selection of lenses I own (a 15mm Voigtlander, 35mm Zeiss, 50mm Nikkor), I find that I use both cameras equally. X100 for when I go out with no idea on what to shoot, and RD1 when I actually have something in mind that I want to capture.

3. No. To be honest, I find it tough to compose using the 35mm zeiss already (50mm efl) as I wear glasses. I can't imagine using a 21mm on the RD1. Which is why I still love my x100 alot. X100 as my general all round camera, RD1 for selective close ups and better isolation for subjects.

4. Lens dependent for sharpness. Although I'd say the bright lens and high iso capability of the x100 saved my bacon a few times at night. For an extremely old camera, the RD1's sensor is something special (or maybe it is the lens). I have no complaints except for the megapixel count (x100 allows me to crop off quite a bit). I do have an easier time getting sharper pictures off the x100 though. But the RD1's IQ is no slouch.

5. Not for me.

6. I should add that I find using the Epson more frustrating than using my x100, due to the inability to close focus. Night time shots with the rd1 is hit and miss as my brightest lens is a 2.0. Because of that, I mostly shoot my rd1 in the day, and totally give up on it at night.
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Old 10-09-2012   #3
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I have both. I second Larken's response. I only have one lens for the R-D1, a 35 2.5 CV, and this suits me fine. IQ from both is fine for the size I print (A3+ max) - once I reach "fine" I don't really care about whether one is better than another. If I want light weight and options, I take the X100, if I want selective focus I take the R-D1, otherwise I take whatever my mood dictates and often take both. If I had to choose only one, it would be the x100, simply because of its versatility, but i do enjoy using the R-D1 more.
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Old 10-09-2012   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larken View Post
Night time shots with the rd1 is hit and miss as my brightest lens is a 2.0. Because of that, I mostly shoot my rd1 in the day, and totally give up on it at night.
How aperture of lens affect night shots as long as you don't speak about freezing movement without using flash, on rangefinder?
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Old 10-09-2012   #5
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Thanks for a very detailed and thorough response. It seems they actually can live together in harmony ;-)
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Old 10-09-2012   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gid View Post
If I had to choose only one, it would be the x100, simply because of its versatility, but i do enjoy using the R-D1 more.
I think I get that - thanks.
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Old 10-09-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btgc View Post
How aperture of lens affect night shots as long as you don't speak about freezing movement without using flash, on rangefinder?
A faster lens allows you to shoot at speeds you can handhold, which for a slower lens may require too low a shutter speed as to be possible. Unless, of course, you are on a tripod, in which case lens speed will not be an issue.
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Old 10-09-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btgc View Post
How aperture of lens affect night shots as long as you don't speak about freezing movement without using flash, on rangefinder?
I'm not sure on what you're asking, but as far as my rd1 is concerned, I don't use flash on it. My f2 lens is a 50mm, which means a efl of 75mm. Even on iso 1600, moving subjects are out of the question at night. As for stationary objects, it's hit and miss on handheld shots. Much easier to just go with my x100 instead.

As far as night-time shooting goes, I'd probably go for the 35mm f1.4 voigtlander or summilux if I can afford it, but currently I don't own any of those.
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Old 10-09-2012   #9
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re 5) Yes, the "self-turning" dials are very annoying! I had lots of occasions, where I pulled the camera out of the bag and turned the dials by accident.
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Old 10-10-2012   #10
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A bit late to this thread but I second most of what Larken stated. I have both cameras and will use them alongside each other with little trouble. I use CV 15, 28 and 50 focal lengths. Being a glasses wearer too, I found I had problems framing with the 35mm so went back to 28 and have no issues. Love the 15 (23mm efl) on the RD1 especially when shooting in crowds, just point and shoot. I have less problems with the dials on the X100 now I've fitted it with the Lensmate thumb grip and it improves the handling too.
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Old 10-10-2012   #11
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I've owned both, but no longer own either of them. Here's my answers for what it's worth:

1) How well these two cameras co-exist?
Unless you specifically want the manual RF experience, I see no point in owning both. For all practical reasons they are the same form factor. So, if you really want one which is manual AND you want one with really good image quality, that would be the only reason I see to own both.

2) Did you stop using the Epson once you got the other (or, horror, got rid of it)?
I never owned them at the same time. I sold the X100 for two reasons: because I figured I had too much money in cameras (have a 5dmkii as well) and because contrast AF annoys me. So I sold it, then I missed the form factor of the X100, but I didn't want contrast AF so I opted for R-D1 because then at least I would get proper manual focusing.

3) Do you find that you use them for the same kind of photography?
Yes, exactly the same actually.

4) Is the X100 IQ far superior to the R-D1s’?
Yes, the reason I sold the R-D1 was mainly the fact that I couldn't let go of what I personally considered to be slightly to poor image quality. Not that it's bad, but for me it was enough to annoy me constantly.

5) Are the “self-turning” dials a problem in real life?
I guess you are referring to the X100? I think I only had the problem a few times, most likely directly related to keeping it in a bag those times.

6) Other relevant info
One upside with the R-D1 is that you can change lenses obviously. The problem I had with it though was that I went trough 3 different lenses because I wanted slightly better image quality. In the end the difference was very small though, so I concluded it was the resolution I had a problem with. If resolution and sharpness is important to you at higher magnifications then you should go X100, if not, then R-D1 might be more fun. All in all R-D1 is a lot more "fun" to use, for lack of a better description. Image quality wise I would say that the R-D1 doesn't even come close to the X100.

However, I feel that there is a little need for explaining myself regarding image quality. I know a lot of people thinks that 6mp is enough because most shots end up online anyway and so on. I completely agree with that, but the resolution thing becomes a psychological problem. In a world where even the cheapest cameras have higher resolution you get used to the resolution in itself. I almost never crop images at all, and when I do I only do it ever so slightly, so I have never had a need for lots of resolution to crop a wide angle shot into a macro shot. Still I just couldn't help but get annoyed every time I was post processing a shot - even though I knew that I was just going to upload to Flickr. If you don't suffer from those psychological problems then you're fine. I used to own a D70 with the same resolution in 2004 or something, and back then obviously it never annoyed me, but today it does. 6mp just isn't enough for me to be happy with it if that makes sense.

I haven't used an X100 with the latest firmware, the AF might be better nowadays, or so they say. It did annoy me that with the X100 you have the choice of either sluggish AF, or completely unusable MF. That lead me to opt for proper MF and no AF at all with the R-D1. However, the biggest reason by far for selling it was infact that I didn't find it "appropiate" for me to put so much money into cameras as I had done at that time. I still miss the X100 a bit every now and then. I never had any problem with it's "quirks" other than AF speed.
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Old 10-11-2012   #12
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I have both X100 and RD-1s.

Bought the X100 first then the RD-1s.

I got the X100 because I wanted something very compact yet still high IQ. I went to look at the X10 but tried the X100, fell in love and bought it. At this stage I had only seen the RD-1 going for over £1k so thought it out of my budget (for a used camera, my budget for new was more).

After buying the X100 I found I used other gear less so sold it which freed up some money and then I found an RD1s within my budget.

I immediately regretted buying the X100, I should have just held out for an in budget RD.

I've had them both about a year or so and now I probably use the X100 more just out of laziness.

As for your questions,

1) Not very well, I wouldn't go out with both in the bag. I'd rather carry 1 film and 1 digital camera but maybe that's just me.
2) Not applicable since I got them in the other order. I did stop using the X100 when I got the RD but probably because the RD was a novelty when it was new. Nowadays as above I probably use the X100 more but enjoy them equally.
3) Sometimes for the same type but there's def stuff the X100 can do that the RD cannot (or at least not so easily/well) ie low light.
4) In certain circumstances (ie low light) then yes but in more general terms, not so noticeable. The raws out the RD are pretty darned nice.
5) Hmmm, it's a pain but something you learn to live with and check before shooting.
6) The X100 is now probably the significantly cheaper option.
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Old 10-11-2012   #13
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Thanks - I will/would probably use it with a hand strap, so no pulling problem (me hopes)
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Old 10-11-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuvvy View Post
A bit late to this thread but I second most of what Larken stated. I have both cameras and will use them alongside each other with little trouble. I use CV 15, 28 and 50 focal lengths. Being a glasses wearer too, I found I had problems framing with the 35mm so went back to 28 and have no issues. Love the 15 (23mm efl) on the RD1 especially when shooting in crowds, just point and shoot. I have less problems with the dials on the X100 now I've fitted it with the Lensmate thumb grip and it improves the handling too.
Thanks Kuvvy - Being a glass wearer [looking like this ] myself I did it the opposite way. Cannot use 28mm on the R-D1, but have no problem with 35mm. Did not know of the lensmate thumb grip. Must look into that.
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Old 10-11-2012   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennylovrin View Post
6) Other relevant info
...but the resolution thing becomes a psychological problem. In a world where even the cheapest cameras have higher resolution you get used to the resolution in itself.
...6mp just isn't enough for me to be happy with it if that makes sense.
Thanks for a long and detailed posting. I have recently started to suffer from the same "psychological" problem. With D600/D800 bringing more and more pixels, my trusty old D700 seems under spec'ed. But I think I am getting too old to carry DSLRs.
/Xpanded
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Old 10-11-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andephotographic View Post
I have both X100 and RD-1s.
...I've had them both about a year or so and now I probably use the X100 more just out of laziness.
This is the "trap" I fear falling into myself. I have already (almost) given up shooting film for the same reason, although I own far too many very fine film cameras

After I moved abroad I have stopped selling stuff and hoard it instead. But even if I did pull myself together to try and offload some of the digital stuff I cannot make myself sell the film cameras. I have an F5, an Xpan, a GA645zi and a Ricoh GR - all very fine film cameras. Maybe here is a New Years promise to myself - shoot more film!

Thanks for your detailed input.
/Xpanded
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Last edited by xpanded : 10-11-2012 at 23:03. Reason: Homo Sapiens at the wheel
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No Fuji this time around - R-D1s stays
Old 10-12-2012   #17
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Red face No Fuji this time around - R-D1s stays

Quote:
Originally Posted by xpanded View Post
Basically I do not need a new camera, but must do my part to conquer looming/acting recession ;-) That is the spin doctor version at least…
Thank you all for the detailed input - much appreciated - but...

After mailing with Fujifilm UK on Friday morning I got quite annoyed with the fact that Fujifilm limit their remarkably lucrative offers to UK/ROI. Unable to persuade them to sell to the Continent I decided to vote with my feet or rather my money. So I have decided to not buy into Fuji at the moment and if (more likely when) I do, then second hand.

Instead I got me a Nikon V1 for approximately €413 at amazon.de. This is likely to be a totally different experience than the X100. Maybe I will regret it soon enough, but at least I have the Epson to lighten my day then

On a side note it is unsurprising but nevertheless telling, how many of us R-D1 owners always seem to comment that it is "more fun" to shoot with or similar words than almost anything else. I guess a modern sensor equivalent (an R-D2) is what I really want most of all. That will hardly materialize - unfortunately.

/Xpanded
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