View Full Version : RD-1 Prices

12-14-2004, 09:42
Hello all.
I'm excited to find (courtesy Sean Reid) another location to talk Epson RD-1.
I admit I'm only contemplating a purchase, rather than already being an owner.
The picture examples I've seen, especially recently, have reconfirmed my interest in the camera (having wobbled back and forth over the last 6 months). I must say, even the pictures of the RD-1 body with exotic lenses and finders attached have got my mouth watering.
My number one issue is price.
No, not the $2999 :rolleyes: but the 1700 plus tax, which UK dealers seem to be charging. Even without tax, that's $300 (nearly a Voigtlander 15mm) more than US buyers are paying.
Including tax (you pay sales tax in the US and Japan as well don't you!) it comes to a whopping $800 more.
I've contemplated buying from abroad, but having seen a few people mention minor faults, I'm worried about that. It kills any savings if you have to ship the camera back to The States to have the RF focussing adjusted, or similar.
Anyway, I know you all can't do anything about the situation. I just thought I'd raise the subject. It seems the US and Japan prices are fairly equal, it's just the UK consumer who gets screwed as usual.
By the way, I love the RD-1 B&W work people are posting on the various forums.

Huck Finn
12-14-2004, 10:40
Chrisso, I expect that this is a problem for manufacturers as well as for consumers outside USA. Epson set this price months ago. During this time the US currency has continued to erode vs other currencies as the US government spends wildly without the revenue to support its spending & then borrows to pay the bills. The difference in prices is $275 today. I'll bet the USA & UK prices were a lot closer 3 months ago. So, Epson is losing money during this time.

Imagine the problems that the Zeiss Ikon is facing. Hasselblad released prices to its dealers a month ago & at least one dealer has already published the price list. The ZI is not scheduled for release until May. What losses will Zeiss/Hasselblad incur over in the US market over the next 6 months? Or will they be forced to into the embarassing position of raising the price on a product before it is even released?

In regard to your dilemma, does Epson have the same policy regarding imports as Nikon, Leica, & others? Maybe not. Perhaps you can purchase overseas but still obtain factory authorized service in UK. Otherwise, you can purchase overseas & put your $835 savings into a bank account to pay for service if & when you need it. (chuckle)

12-14-2004, 10:42
Chrisso, welcome to RFF!

If you think UK buyers get screwed over you should try and buy things in Holland. :) I don't know what the price of the RD-1 will be in Holland (if offered at all, which I seriously doubt) but I reckon it'll be even more expensive than in the UK.

Perhaps you can buy one in the US or Japan if you go there on holiday or have a friend/relative buy it for you. I'm not sure whether you'll have to send a defective camera back to the US or Japan; it could very well be that Epson UK will take care of it for you, at least I would expect them to do so for a 1700+ GBP camera.

12-14-2004, 11:27
Well it's probable that I don't understand high finance and currency markets.
With a weak US dollar, you would think the price for the Japanese made RD-1 would be the same for US and UK buyers......if not more in the US.
I don't geddit.
I'm in the music biz and understand the laws of supply and demand which lead to musical instruments being much cheaper in The States. But there is a rumoured finite amount of RD-1's available, so bulk buying by US dealers should not factor into the price.
I know I can pick a US RD-1 up for about 1600 though, compared to 1700 plus 17.5% sales tax.

Huck Finn
12-14-2004, 11:51
Chrisso, the point is that back on September 1, 1 GBP = $1.76. At that time 1700 GBP = $3000 approximately. Today, 1 GBP = $1.95 & 1700 GBP = $3300 approximately.

So, when Epson set the price before they took the camera to Photokina in September & PhotoPlus Expo in October, etc. the price in UK & USA was the same in terms of exchange rates at that time. Since then, the US dollar has declined but the price of the RD-1 has stayed the same as announced 3 months ago. In other words, currency has been floating as it always does, while the price number attached to the product has remained the same. That number is not worth the same today in US dollars as it was worth then, while the number in terms of UK pounds is still worth what it was then.

12-14-2004, 14:04
1) The currently weak US dollar situation is not some government foolishness. It's part of a deliberate policy by the US government to strengthen domestic industry by making exports less expensive and imports more expensive. This is great for exporting manufacturers (and the employees who work for them) and tough on non-US manufacturers who want to sell in the US. If you follow the papers, you'll have noticed that it was European finance ministers who have been complaining about the state of the dollar, NOT US finance officials.

What this means to camera prices is that since the US government is allowing the dollar to fall deliberately, and since it seems to be working, you shouldn't expect the situation to change anytime soon.

2) About UK buyers getting hosed: this has been a complaint from the UK for a long time, and I have read that it has to do with 'retail price maintenance' being legal in the UK but not in the USA. I believe that UK importers can specify a minimum price at which retailers can sell; in the US, they can offer inducements (such as advertising allowances) to retailers who hold the line, but to force retailers to hold to a minimum price would get them swatted with a restraint-of-trade lawsuit.

This may not be up to date, as it was a couple of years ago that I read it (in a UK photography magazine) but it probably explains why retail photo-equipment prices in the UK tend to be higher than in other countries that otherwise are similar markets.

Yup, it makes it pretty stinky for someone in the UK who wants to buy an R-D1 on the home market. But as you've pointed out, any money you save by buying offshore might very eaily be absorbed if you have to send the camera back for an RF adjustment or whatever. I haven't had any trouble yet with mine, or any sign of trouble, but with a new camera model it's always worth keeping in mind.

12-15-2004, 01:20
Thanks all.
I'm currently pondering a price quote from Calumet (US).

By the way, are fast 512mb cards like the Sandisk around $75 in the US?
I didn't think they were, but that's the price (before tax) quoted by the same UK dealer I could by an RD-1 from.

Huck Finn
12-15-2004, 04:26
Chrisso, I just looked at one for my son & that's about the same price they are charging at B&H. Best of luck with your purchase.

12-15-2004, 06:07
By the way, are fast 512mb cards like the Sandisk around $75 in the US?
I didn't think they were, but that's the price (before tax) quoted by the same UK dealer I could by an RD-1 from.

I think the ones I got from B&H with my R-D1 were about $69 each. By the time you figure shipping, your dealer's price was pretty close.

Huck Finn
12-15-2004, 07:20
Current B&H price = $79.95.