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The dreaded black/blank frames
Old 07-24-2012   #1
rollbahn
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The dreaded black/blank frames

I bought my Epson R-D1 a month ago from someone on RFF and unfortunately yesterday I got the dreaded blank frames e.g. I take a photo and get a black image - nothing.

I have tried different batteries and all sorts of things I have found on here and elsewhere but it looks as though I am just damn unlucky.

I have taken almost exactly 1000 frames with it and no issues - I was enjoying the camera so much, it is very disappointing.

I'm in Australia so it looks like the only option for me is to send it to Epson Japan and have it looked at?
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Old 07-24-2012   #2
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A general (non-RD1 specific) thing to try is pull the battery and let it sit overnight with no battery. Changes are low it will work but it's worth a try.
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Old 07-24-2012   #3
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are you shooting in a rapid succession?
the rd1 is slow to load images on to the sd card.
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Old 07-24-2012   #4
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i agree that black frames are usually the sign of a battery problem or being overly aggressive with the cocking lever - slow down a little.

if that doesn't help i would suggest new batteries, not just different batteries. it's likely the batteries you have are the original ones from whenever the camera was made and are beyond their useful life. new 3rd party batteries can be bought for around $6 a piece on the internet
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Old 07-24-2012   #5
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back alley - Thanks but I'm not shooting rapidly. I always let it write to the card fully before shooting another shot e.g. watch the red blinking light.

paradox box - Thanks for the help. As above I'm not shooting quickly at all - I shoot once and let it write. I go fairly slowly with my shooting style.

I didn't try different batteries that I already had as I knew the six or so I was given in the sale would be fairly old so I went out and spent $40 on a good one at a local battery store (avoiding the $6 ebay ones), allowed it to charge fully but same thing unfortunately.

That doesn't discount the probability that an Epson battery may fix the issue as Rich Cutler has mentioned but I am fairly sure if it was a battery issue, this one would have solved it. I can get an Epson from Japan for about $70 but I'm not sure that is going to fix anything.

kdemas - I haven't tried that for as long as overnight so will give that a go - thanks very much.

Thanks again to everyone for their help. It feels so helpless having a big black dead brick instead of my beautiful camera!
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Old 07-24-2012   #6
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One last thing...have you tried a different card?
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Old 07-24-2012   #7
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kdemas - Yes I have two cards. One a cheap SanDisk and the other a Sandisk Ultra and both produce the same result.
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Old 07-24-2012   #8
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Sorry everyone - I should clarify that it takes the blank frame for every shot. If I walk over to my camera and turn it on and take a shot it is blank. It's not sporadic - it's completely blank every time no matter what shutter speed, Bulb etc.

Looking back through the 30 shots or so that I took yesterday before it died I had one very underexposed shot in amongst a bunch of good ones (no change in settings at all - EXIF the same and no change in aperture as I was using f8 all day) and then about 6 frames later I had a totally bright white frame (severely overexposed) and then about 10 good frames after that it was dead.
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Old 07-24-2012   #9
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Contact the Japan Camera Hunter if you decide to send it Japan. When he receives the camera he will relay it onto Epson Japan and then send it back to you.

He is one of RFF sponsors.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-24-2012   #10
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Thanks Maiku - much appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2012   #11
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Blank frame every frame sounds like a serious electronics or mechanical problem
Sending it in is probably the only soluction
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Old 07-25-2012   #12
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Mr Flibble - Yeh I try to tell myself it isn't but deep down I know it must be I am very unlucky to pick the one that had this problem but that's the chance when you buy secondhand I guess.
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Old 07-26-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollbahn View Post
Mr Flibble - Yeh I try to tell myself it isn't but deep down I know it must be I am very unlucky to pick the one that had this problem but that's the chance when you buy secondhand I guess.
Don't beat yourself up about buying second hand. You take chances when you buy new as well. Not unusual for things to go bad just after the warranty expires.
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Old 07-26-2012   #14
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My R-D1 does this sometimes after I take the SD card out, load the images onto my computer, put the card back in the camera and format it. The first shot on the card after the format will sometimes be blank. I then "quick format/full format" the card a few times in the camera, turn the camera on/off a couple of times and the camera eventually goes back to shooting normally.
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Old 07-27-2012   #15
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Is the shutter firing?
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Old 07-27-2012   #16
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Thanks guys but she's definitely dead as I have tried everything and it just fires one blank shot after another. I tried the formatting and checked the shutter firing, which it does so it seems a serious issue. The old girl is on her way to Tokyo as we speak - $50 postage before we even start on the repairs!
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Old 07-27-2012   #17
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i sent one of my rd1 bodies in for the spa treatment to japan...the cost was very reasonable and it was fairly quick - tho i did have a second body handy so it wasn't too stressful for me - it was running well before i sent it and it now seems even better...just tighter and no hassles at all.
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Old 07-29-2012   #18
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Thanks that's great to know. Thankfully I hadn't sold my GXR M-mount yet so I will survive the next few weeks.
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Old 07-29-2012   #19
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sorry to hear. it's likely to be an expensive repair but just suck it up and keep using the camera after you get it back..! you'll love it once it's working nicely again
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Old 07-29-2012   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maiku View Post
Contact the Japan Camera Hunter if you decide to send it Japan. When he receives the camera he will relay it onto Epson Japan and then send it back to you.

He is one of RFF sponsors.

Good Luck.
Curious. What would be the benefit of having an extra link in the chain (two, if you consider both directions)?

Would it not be just as good, or better, if the OP sent it straight to Epson?

Nothing against our beloved sponsor here. Just seems like an unnecessary step to take.
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Old 07-29-2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunghang View Post
Curious. What would be the benefit of having an extra link in the chain (two, if you consider both directions)?

Would it not be just as good, or better, if the OP sent it straight to Epson?

Nothing against our beloved sponsor here. Just seems like an unnecessary step to take.
you could if you spoke japanese...
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Old 07-29-2012   #22
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actually i think there are english speakers at the epson call center. when you call epson you actually don't speak to the camera repair center, you just speak to the call center and the (almost always female) operators will relay your message to the repair people who are located in a different area
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Old 07-29-2012   #23
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I speak a little Japanese but handing someone about $70 to handle the entire process I am sure is well worthwhile. I think it would prove almost impossible trying to do it yourself via Epson Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunghang View Post
Curious. What would be the benefit of having an extra link in the chain (two, if you consider both directions)?

Would it not be just as good, or better, if the OP sent it straight to Epson?

Nothing against our beloved sponsor here. Just seems like an unnecessary step to take.
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Old 07-29-2012   #24
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I am quite excited to get it all done as I was always thinking I needed the the RF calibrated properly and get a general service but unless it was broken I probably never would have wanted to send it away for that long.

So it sort of works out well as I still haven't sold my other camera yet and I get back a properly working camera that doesn't look like I've drunk too much bourbon when I turn my lens to infinity

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sorry to hear. it's likely to be an expensive repair but just suck it up and keep using the camera after you get it back..! you'll love it once it's working nicely again
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Old 07-29-2012   #25
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Quote:
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.... I get back a properly working camera that doesn't look like I've drunk too much bourbon when I turn my lens to infinity
You did check to make sure you had the lens cap off, right?

Sorry rollbahn, had to do it. Looks like you're keeping a sense of humor through all this. Hope all works out in the end.

I bought the RD-1 way back when it first came out. After I got some calibration issues sorted, man that camera was magic. Now she's carefully boxed and I will never sell it. My first entry into Rangefinder Photography, no looking back!
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Old 07-29-2012   #26
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Ah damn forgot to check that!

I've only had it for a short period but I really love it despite its shortcomings. I am very tempted by the M8.2 but it seems apart form the 10mp I am probably better staying with the R-D1 and getting an M9 whenever I can afford an old one down the track.

Just put up the gallery from my first shoot with the R-D1 - the colour out of the colour is so great.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=122071

BTW You have to wonder whether we will see an R-D2 at some stage - the time seems so right for a lower cost good quality rangefinder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WPalank View Post
You did check to make sure you had the lens cap off, right?

Sorry rollbahn, had to do it. Looks like you're keeping a sense of humor through all this. Hope all works out in the end.

I bought the RD-1 way back when it first came out. After I got some calibration issues sorted, man that camera was magic. Now she's carefully boxed and I will never sell it. My first entry into Rangefinder Photography, no looking back!
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Old 07-29-2012   #27
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Just one more question, did you see the over/under exposed in the LCD or computer screen?
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Old 07-29-2012   #28
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gilpen123 - I was out shooting my daughter's sports day when it happened. I was taking random images and then suddenly blank shots. I checked my aperture, then shutter speed etc thinking I had knocked something, then the lens cap etc.

I rely on the histogram for checking exposure at this stage as the LCD is terrible as it always looks burnt out when the actual shot is fine. I have found Exp Comp of +1 is needed most of the time for me or 1/60 when the meter shows 1/125 etc.

So to answer your question I first saw it on the LCD on the camera and confirmed by histogram and then double checked when I got home.
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Old 07-29-2012   #29
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Ok looks like it needs repair. One time I did this not noticing my ISO was set at 1600 during a daytime shoot, you know what will happen with the output. Good luck with the repair, cheers!
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Old 07-29-2012   #30
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Quote:
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you could if you spoke japanese...
And you need to speak German to be able to send a Leica back? What about Canon & Nikon & Pentax & [insert camera maker not from an English speaking country here]
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Old 07-30-2012   #31
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Quote:
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And you need to speak German to be able to send a Leica back? What about Canon & Nikon & Pentax & [insert camera maker not from an English speaking country here]
Slightly different scenario here as Leica, Canon, Nikon and Pentax can be serviced (at some level pretty) much anywhere. The R-D1 has to go back to Japan plus I think there's one or two places in the US who can still fix it and defintely nowhere in Australia.

I speak some Japanese but there's no way I would want to be trying to explain things to Epson Japan
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Old 07-30-2012   #32
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Steve's Camera (US) I believe can do some work on the RD1 as well.
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Old 07-30-2012   #33
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it's my understanding that epson japan only deals in japanese...i could be wrong.

i know that i used a broker and all i had to do was ship it to them and pay...very simple, inexpensive and expedient.
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Old 09-28-2012   #34
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I have exactly the same problem on my old RD-1 with only original battery used. At first, the problem is not serious, but later half of them are black, and still gets worse. Steve Choi said it was due to normal wear and tear on the shutter. An shutter overhaul fixes the problem but it might come back again later. A better solution is to get the shutter replaced.

Therefore, I have no choice but to send it over to Japan EPSON. Still waiting to hear the response.
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Old 09-28-2012   #35
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Hitchhiker,
It would be interesting to find out what Epson replaces in your camera. I doubt they send a repair list back with the camera, but I sure would like to have a more definitive reason for the black-frames. I'm still not sold on it being a shutter problem. I've had about a half-dozen in total over the years, and I have sort of suspected it to be a write-problem to the sd card. I could be very wrong -- it might be the shutter closing too soon. But it would be nice to get an answer from Epson.

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Old 09-28-2012   #36
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Try japan camera hunter, he deals with this sort of thing.
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Old 09-28-2012   #37
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I got mine back from EPSON Japan finally sorry for not posting sooner with what happened.

The shutter did get replaced entirely plus they gave the camera an overall service which was great even though the RF is still off and I had to fix it myself when it got back!

Anyway so that is the black frame solution it seems.
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Old 09-28-2012   #38
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Thanks for the follow up. I'm thinking of send mine out sometime next year for a tune up.
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Old 09-28-2012   #39
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I think it's great that Epson still services this thing. They introduced it in 2004, stopped making it in 2009, don't make any cameras anymore at all, but they still service them, a nice tough in the digital age.
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Old 09-30-2012   #40
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rxmd - Agreed and I think that is why people feel safe buying one still. I would have blown $1000 if they weren't around to service it anymore as mine died 4 weeks after buying it.
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