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Old 03-18-2014   #41
paradoxbox
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you know, if enough people would get onboard to buy another camera in the same style as the R-D1 i could probably talk to some people to make things happen..!

i recently became friends with a powerful person in the seiko/epson company, he'll listen if we can prove a profitable market for another version of this camera.

they're not only looking at the japanese market these days and with "abenomics" trying to weaken the yen they are getting more and more receptive to the idea of exporting to european, chinese, and north american markets in order to lock in profit margins.
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Old 03-18-2014   #42
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I think Stephen mentioned 5 millions USDs and with a few thousands sign up for it at 2k/3k each camera it can make it financially possible. I'll be in for sure, miss mine after switch to a gxr ricoh. i do ok with the evf but i truly prefer optical vf. Great news if you can help to make it happen!
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Old 03-18-2014   #43
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Oh boy, if it were FF, I'd be veeerrrry interested. Even if my wides didn't play completely nice with it -- I can use Cornerfix. I'd have to anyway. I like my film Bessas. I think the ergonomics are good.
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Old 03-18-2014   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxbox View Post
you know, if enough people would get onboard to buy another camera in the same style as the R-D1 i could probably talk to some people to make things happen..!

i recently became friends with a powerful person in the seiko/epson company, he'll listen if we can prove a profitable market for another version of this camera.

they're not only looking at the japanese market these days and with "abenomics" trying to weaken the yen they are getting more and more receptive to the idea of exporting to european, chinese, and north american markets in order to lock in profit margins.
Where do I sign?
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Old 03-18-2014   #45
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Epson's USA marketing was beyond belief.

3 months after the RD was announced in Japan, Epson USA in Long Beach California had not heard of it.

Epson only authorized 3 or 4 Epson RD dealers - among them B&H and Calumet -- cutting off hundreds of dealers that wanted to sell it from the git go.

Its like the Epson board made the decision to make sure the RD was a marketing failure.

For a short time Epson held the future of Rangefinder Photography in their hands - and completely blew it.

It was rumored Epson and Cosina tried to bring Leica into deal, but Leica did not want to play with others in the digital rangefinder sandbox.

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Old 03-18-2014   #46
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if they could somehow get nikon to run a fresh batch of D700 sensors to stick it in, you would have one epic camera. provided able marketing, i'm sure people would line up to get one if it weren't closing in on M240 pricing (and the sensor played nice with corner performance... D700 sensor would certainly be cheaper than a new A7 sensor, though its performance with steep-incident angles from rangefinder lenses would be the deciding factor).
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Old 03-18-2014   #47
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Where do I sign?
+1

I'm still in love with mine. I think only the sensor needs a change, the rest of the camera is about as perfect as you can get.
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Old 03-18-2014   #48
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+1

I'm still in love with mine. I think only the sensor needs a change, the rest of the camera is about as perfect as you can get.
excatly,
nearly no R&D, just the sensor, and choice for 2 types of viewfinder as in Bessa.

I have an A7 along my R-D1, and I can say the sensor is great with many of the RF lenses, better than the A7R

even no color shift with the wonderfull CV12mm or 21mm 1.8

Please, put this sensor in the actual R-D1, and it will be a succes, I sign today for a pre-order
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Old 03-18-2014   #49
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As long as we are dreaming, the rangefinder base of the Bessa/R-D1 is a tad short which should become more apparent with more pixels thrown in. If the viewfinder magnification is smaller, the effective base length suffers. Anyway, if the Bessa rangefinder design were to be kept, perhaps the LCD could be used to focus the critical short-distance wide-open f/1 product shots. As long as you can swivel the screen away, it should not take away any of the pure R-D1 magic.

I would definitely pay A7R money for the original R-D1 with an A7 sensor without giving it a thought. More with some real design improvements. A digital rangefinder with a current sensor should IMO have an easy way to adjust the rangefinder to spec by the user themselves. That's why they have the "live view" there. Even Leica didn't get this right on the new M. Obviously it is no simple thing to do, since it requires a new mechanical design.
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Old 03-19-2014   #50
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From what I was told (I used to run the well-known "R-D1 FAQ website", which I gave to Camerquest - see their website), the camera was never meant to be sold and marketed like a typical product. It was simply an exercise to promote Seiko/Epson and show off their technology and manufacturing ability.

That photographers took the camera seriously caught Epson by surprise. I expect they they thought the 10,000 initial cameras made would sell slowly and evoke little interest beyond simply a few mostly non-photographers thinking it was cool technology.

Think of the R-D1 more as a limited-edition concept rather than a typical product to be marketed normally with the aim of making a profit and evidence of Epson's entry into a niche high-end camera area - that was never Epson's intent.
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Old 03-19-2014   #51
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As good as the RD-1 is if they wanted to rock the boat Cosina should build a digital version of the Ikon with Zeiss. (Zeiss aren't interested as we know of course!) Better finder, longer RF base length etc etc. With a sensor along the lines of the one in the D700 that would be a killer camera IMO.
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Old 03-19-2014   #52
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That would be killer Keith. The base length is a tad short for focusing anything fast (f1.4 for 35/50). But i would still be happy with what existed and add a new sensor. cant ask for too much. miss the shutter advance crank on a digital camera.
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Old 03-19-2014   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichC View Post
From what I was told (I used to run the well-known "R-D1 FAQ website", which I gave to Camerquest - see their website), the camera was never meant to be sold and marketed like a typical product. It was simply an exercise to promote Seiko/Epson and show off their technology and manufacturing ability.

That photographers took the camera seriously caught Epson by surprise. I expect they they thought the 10,000 initial cameras made would sell slowly and evoke little interest beyond simply a few mostly non-photographers thinking it was cool technology.
It may have been meant to showcase their technology and manufacturing ability but not at the expense of being a money loser though, Rich. I remember reading an interview with an Epson executive when the R-D1 was released in which he stated they hoped to sell 10,000 units per year. He definitely said per year. The interview was in Japanese and I don't think it was made available in English or other languages though. So they certainly initially planned to sell a lot more units than they actually did end up selling.

Edit: I still haven't found the interview, but I did find this article from 11th March, 2004 in which the last line states 同社では、R-D1の予定年間生産台数を、全世界で1万台としている > Epson expects annual production of the R-D1 to be 10,000 units worldwide.
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Old 03-19-2014   #54
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As a product, the R-D1 has clear signs of being built for technology promotion. I don't think the amazing Seiko dials would have ended up on a regular camera. For most products and without knowing the Epson organization, I would be surprised for these departments to even talk to each other. The camera also came in a box that I recall was nicer than what Leica M8 shipped in.

The rest of the Epson digital camera lineup does not appear very exciting, although there may have been some products that were nice at their time and price point. This was a special product for the company, or a very powerful individual in the company. Which of course does not rule out plans to move some units. Those plans were however not backed up by marketing (at least outside of Japan). Epson is probably not enough of a camera company for that to happen, although this product proves they can make cameras with the best of them.
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Old 03-19-2014   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
It may have been meant to showcase their technology and manufacturing ability but not at the expense of being a money loser though, Rich. I remember reading an interview with an Epson executive when the R-D1 was released in which he stated they hoped to sell 10,000 units per year...
That's what Eddie Edatsune said to Zone Numérique in 2005 at least ("10000 pièces annuelles").
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Old 03-19-2014   #56
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The problem with upping the sensor is that the focusing needs to follow suit, Leica Ms have the same issue. Rangefinders aren't going to be accurate enough for fast lenses and high pixels.

That said, an affordable APS body with rangefinder focusing could be attractive to photographers with the sense enough to stop down a bit....
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Old 03-19-2014   #57
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That said, an affordable APS body with rangefinder focusing could be attractive to photographers with the sense enough to stop down a bit....
I don't see any advantage with APS size given the lens selection. While Sony A7 is not free of problems, the sensor in it seems to be good enough for rangefinder use as is. What Leica has is better, but this is quite reasonable.
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Old 03-19-2014   #58
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I don't see any advantage with APS size given the lens selection. While Sony A7 is not free of problems, the sensor in it seems to be good enough for rangefinder use as is. What Leica has is better, but this is quite reasonable.
Well mainly that an APS sensor might cost $80 versus $600 for a FF one. And more lenses seem to get along with the smaller sensors than the larger ones.

But we are only day dreaming here because the camera industry is contracting... that we get anything like the Sony A7 or the Fujis is quite lucky because in spite of all our enthusiasm, they aren't ever going to sell in numbers high enough to impact the direction of the industry. M4/3s cameras have been out for several years now and offer some nice advantages to enthusiasts but they've barely registered within the industry.
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Old 03-19-2014   #59
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As a product, the R-D1 has clear signs of being built for technology promotion.
I think this is right. My Japanese is very rusty, but the blog post that was linked at the top of this thread seems to say that the point was to provide a demonstration of the potential quality of digital capture, so as to underscore the value of high quality inkjet printing which is where Epson's strength really is, but now that many high-quality digital cameras are available from other vendors, the need for that has passed.

You can argue about whether the R-D1 really defined the state of the art in file quality even when it was introduced, but the idea of a demonstration project to generate some excitement around Epson digital imaging more broadly sounds plausible.
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Old 04-01-2014   #60
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What is (has been) service like on these cameras? Is there a US shop -and continued support? And, what might this "end" mean in this regard?
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Old 04-01-2014   #61
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What is (has been) service like on these cameras? Is there a US shop -and continued support? And, what might this "end" mean in this regard?
It's my understanding that Epson is no longer servicing the R-D1, but will continue to service the newer R-D1s, x for a while yet. This was already the case when I bought the camera, I think. It was serviced by the previous owner by Epson in Japan just before I bought it. I understand there are still places in the US that will work on them, but parts would maybe have to come from a donor camera. Anyone more knowledgable please feel free to correct me.
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Old 04-04-2014   #62
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Epson Japan won't service the R-D1 anymore. With R-D1s, servicing stops in 2016. As for the R-D1xG, servicing will continue until 2021. Parts should still be readily available for R-D1s/x. As for servicing in USA, I believe Steve's camera handles most of them nowadays. I personally didn't have previous experience with Steve's camera, I'm sure other members of the group can provide better info about that.
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Old 05-19-2014   #63
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Epson Japan won't service the R-D1 anymore. With R-D1s, servicing stops in 2016. As for the R-D1xG, servicing will continue until 2021. Parts should still be readily available for R-D1s/x. As for servicing in USA, I believe Steve's camera handles most of them nowadays. I personally didn't have previous experience with Steve's camera, I'm sure other members of the group can provide better info about that.
1. I bought my RD1s used about 6 years ago from a guy who had it serviced at Steve's Camera - he was pleased with their service.

2. RD1s is my favorite camera, period. most unique and fun to use!

3. Who knows? Perhaps the Seiko-Epson collaboration is the winning combo? Matching a predominantly watch manufacturer with a predominantly printing tech company. What could be next? a Rolex-Leica joint venture on the high end? or on the low-end: a Swatch and Lomo marriage?
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Old 10-30-2014   #64
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Isn't it RFF has done a lot of marketing for Epson? Nowhere else can you find user information and sample pics than here.
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Old 06-18-2015   #65
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The RD-1 was long in the tooth for long while. It will always have its mysterious charms. I love my RD-1s.
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Old 06-18-2015   #66
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When everything is said and done, the R-D1 -and later models, continue to produce pictures that stand-out. I cherish all three models and will use them as long as possible. Re rangefinder allignment, I am looking into possibilities to have a well-known lens repairer -with a background in the optics industry, to service the R-D1 in Bucharest.
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