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mfs
01-11-2005, 13:02
Just read the review of the RD-1 in AP. The review wasn't all that good. The chief complaints were sRGB only, hot pixels at higher ISO levels, complaints about the center weighted meter causing underexposure, significant vignetting with lenses < 50mm, and the price.

The review praised the good noise control, and color reproduction.

I was disappointed especially with the lack of Adobe RGB.

The metering complaints are not new. Center weighted means just that. The meter can be fooled with strong peripheral illumination (inherent in the sensitivity pattern).

The vignetting issue is inherent in the lens-sensor geometry, and Leica's comment about using a new sensor design to overcome this problem is interesting. But which sensor will they use?? I assume that the new mystery sensor will have some type of improved micro lens design to help with the inherent edge effects of a deeply recessed rear lens element. Unfortunately, Leica's digital version is just talk at this point, and I expect the cost to be only stratospheric!!

What do you RD-1 users think about the review???

Martin

Sean Reid
01-11-2005, 16:33
I've commented on this review before on another forum. In short:

hot pixels: have seen none at high ISO

metering: generally excellent outdoors, far better than my $8000 Canon 1Ds Indoors tends to be under by 1/2 to 2/3 stop but is consistent so EV correction is simple. R-D1 meters better than many DSLRs including all three I've owned from Canon.

vignetting: depends on the lens; I explored this at length in my lens review

price: wish it were $2000 instead, hard to say what Epson's costs were, spread over only 10,000 units

sRGB: t'would be better if it had an Adobe RGB option but that's not nearly as important as many people make it out to be. Epson printers work in SRGB space as do many custom lab printers

Overall, it's still my favorite digital camera of all that I've tested or owned.

Sean

krimple
01-11-2005, 18:34
And another comment...

You don't have a choice of color space with JPEG, but when developing RAW images, you can select Adobe or sRGB for the output image.

jlw
01-11-2005, 18:57
Originally posted by mfs
Just read the review of the RD-1 in AP.

By "AP" do you mean Amateur Photographer, the British photo equipment magazine?

Or American Photo, the US-based trendie/celebrity/fashion photo lifestyle periodical?


Not having read the actual review, I'm reluctant to comment in depth -- other than to say that I like my R-D 1 a lot (I'd go so far as to say that it's the only digital camera I've ever really liked) and I'm not about to send it back just because somebody else didn't!

Some specifics:

-- Hot pixels: Yeah, I've got two that show up at EI 1000 and above. I'd rather have zero, but it's still better than the Nikon D100, the only other digital camera I've used extensively at high ISOs.

-- sRGB color space for JPEGs: That bothers me in principle, but in practice I can't see any effect on the results.

-- Vignetting: I don't own any lenses wider than a 35, so I can't say I've ever noticed it.

-- Price: In terms of build quality it feels comparable to the top-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Do reviewers complain about those being overpriced? I don't need magazines to tell me whether or not something is worth the money to me; I can figure that out for myself. I wish the R-D1 hadn't been so expensive, since I had to sell a lot of other pretty nice equipment to afford it -- but I don't regret it.

mfs
01-12-2005, 02:21
I really appreciate all of your replies. I find that the best review is from actual users.

BTW AP is Amateur Photographer magazine. I find their reviews are far more objective than U.S. magazines whose reviews sometimes seem like extensions of manufacturers websites.

Sean - your extensive reviews in Luminous Landscape were really great. I must admit that those reviews have sparked my interest in purchasing the RD-1!!

I would appreciate any additional comments from other users.

Thank you for your input.

Martin

Sean Reid
01-12-2005, 03:25
Ken,

That's a good point about RAW conversion color space options. if someone is really going to notice the increased gamut of Adobe RGB they're likely to also want the maximum quality that RAW provides.

mfs,

Thanks. The various summaries of this article I've read have all hit the same key points. I think the key question one has to answer when deciding whether or not to buy this camera is: How much do I want to work with a digital rangefinder? I myself have been waiting for years for a camera like this but if it weren't a good camera I would have given it a negative review. It turns out that it's an excellent camera so then the second question becomes: Can I afford $3000? What can I sell to buy this?

Cheers,

Sean

chrisso
01-12-2005, 11:59
Think $3700 or $3900 and you might be able to see AP's point of view (a UK magazine).
If I could have walked into a store and picked one up for $2999, I probably would have done so by now.

Sean Reid
01-12-2005, 12:26
Hi Chris,

There's still that Calumet option. Would you believe they still have not picked up that second R-D1? DHL just called today.

Cheers,

Sean

DaShiv
01-12-2005, 16:44
Originally posted by Sean Reid
It turns out that it's an excellent camera so then the second question becomes: Can I afford $3000? What can I sell to buy this?

For me it turned out to be:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS

...which was most of my DSLR lenses. In a way it's a terrible investment, since my R-D1 will depreciate much faster than those lenses would. But it's a rangefinder, it's digital, and I'd have to delve into selling body organs, not camera equipment, if I were to afford the eventual digital M.

Now I have the camera in my hand though, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Those Canon L lenses were massive.

David Kieltyka
01-12-2005, 19:11
I was finally able to read the AP review yesterday and found it disappointing. Mainly so because the author is familiar with RF cameras and should've had a good idea of what to expect from the R-D1. But instead he's chosen to write with the tone of someone annoyed by having to think about what he's doing rather than simply pointing & shooting.

He also exaggerates the vignetting issue. While it's certainly a genuine issue with wider lenses the article implies it's a problem with all lenses out to 90mm. This is of course not true at all.

Then there's the comments on unreliable metering. Mainly what he's complaining about is the meter's tendency to preserve highlight info when you aim it at something bright. Well, duh...it's behaving the way centerweighted meters are supposed to behave. Now sometimes a photo will contain specular highlights too bright to be captured accurately without compromising the rest of the photo. In these cases you should let them clip, and the R-D1 will indeed do this if you meter a midtone area and lock the exposure. But you have to actually evaluate the scene with your brain and aim the meter accordingly. Do this and you'll get very accurate exposures. Aim & fire without thinking and "unreliable metering" is what you'll get.

The point made about the camera going into sleep mode at inconvenient times is valid. But it's also an issue shared by all but a handful of digital cameras, and in my experience the R-D1 "wakes up" faster than most. The real issue here IMO, unmentioned in the review, is that the R-D1 doesn't assertively let you know it's going into sleep mode. It just shuts off, and you won't know this unless you look at the analog dials and notice they've moved back to their default positions. I work around this by tapping the shutter release every so often while I'm taking photos. A better strategy would be for Epson to include an Always On mode. And of course I'd expect the R-D2, should one ever be made, to wake up instantly. And have a huge RAW buffer (the small-ish buffer is another genuine issue not commented on in the review).

-Dave-

Sean Reid
01-13-2005, 02:35
You know, it's funny because Bob Shell (a very experienced camera reviewer) said the guy who wrote this AP review has a good reputation and yet he (the AP review author) really seems to have missed the boat. That's not to say that the R-D1 doesn't have weaknesses - it, of course, has several - but rather that this analysis of the camera just seems to have gone very wide of the bull's eye.

Cheers,

Sean

chrisso
01-13-2005, 04:40
Although I don't own an RD-1, from the examples I've seen in the LL review I don't regard vignetting a huge issue any more.
Regarding focussing etc....
All the online pics I've seen so far, here and at the Leica Digital Forum, have been very pleasing to the eye. The users have not reported struggling with focussing and/or light meter inaccuracies.
The only thing I haven't squared away in my mind is the price vs picture quality issue (speaking about the slightly inflated UK price).
Sean, Calumet refused to sell me your spare RD-1, saying they had to allocate a camera from stock for me. Once you added in their preferred 'express' shipping method and the extra tax that incurred, the price became that little bit too close to the UK RRP.
I would imagine they've forgotten you have the second body. :cool:

Sean Reid
01-13-2005, 04:57
DHL is supposed to be picking it up today. I'm almost sure they did forget. Is it worthwhile for you to look into a less expensive shipping method? How about getting one from Singapore or Japan?

Cheers,

Sean

chrisso
01-13-2005, 05:10
Well, not to hi-jack the topic, but there have been some decent deals on Ebay and I'm not afraid of Ebay in general, but I would have preferred to grab a body from a recognised dealer or someone I know.
We'll see.

Sean Reid
01-13-2005, 05:27
If this thread shifts into a discussion of the best places to buy an R-D1, I hardly think anyone will mind.

Cheers,

Sean

Sean Reid
01-13-2005, 10:40
That's a good price. Do you know if the warranty is valid in the US?

Cheers,

Sean

chrisso
01-14-2005, 02:07
Going back to the main topic (not that I'm bored with talking about cheaper RD-1's)......
I find some magazines are quite conscientious about speaking to their target market.
Maybe Amateur Photographer thought 2000+ was a lot of money for an amateur to pay for an arguably niche product with 'issues'.

David Kieltyka
01-14-2005, 16:37
All sensors have some hot and/or dead pixels. We just don't see them because the firmware interpolates around them. Or should. I wonder if Epson isn't properly mapping out hot pixels before pronouncing a camera ready-to-ship.

In any case my R-D1 has no persistent hot pixels. Sometimes I get one or three in ISO 1600 shots but when I do they're never in the same place.

-Dave-

Ed Schwartzreic
01-17-2005, 09:56
I'm a new poster here. I have an R-D1 with a Japanese Warranty (bought from one of the members of this forum, actually). I sent the Warranty filled out with the help of a Japanese speaker back to Japan, and got back a form saying it was registered, but that the Warranty was only good in Japan, which was what I expected. Nonetheless I would think that any major repair would have to go back there anyway.

Don Goldberg (DAG) helped me with a minor RF adjustment problem 2 months ago, and his knowledge base must be growing, so one might consider contacting him for minor repairs our o warranty.

Ed

Tom Conte
01-31-2005, 06:08
For me it turned out to be:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS

...which was most of my DSLR lenses. In a way it's a terrible investment, since my R-D1 will depreciate much faster than those lenses would. But it's a rangefinder, it's digital, and I'd have to delve into selling body organs, not camera equipment, if I were to afford the eventual digital M.

Now I have the camera in my hand though, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Those Canon L lenses were massive.

Bob,

Interesting to see you over here, as you know I'm an FM'er.

I'm strugging with the decision of whether or not to get an R-D1 myself.

There are a lot of lenses I could part with... but the 85 f/1.2L... how could you?

Best
Tom

wblanchard
01-31-2005, 07:24
Sean, isn't the ccd sensor size (being somewhat small) going to cause images to turn out "not so good" with wide Leica lenses?

Sean Reid
01-31-2005, 07:45
Here's a long and detailed answer to that question:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/rd-1-lens.shtml

Cheers,

Sean

wblanchard
01-31-2005, 08:07
Thanks Sean. I need to spend more time digging around your site. :D
I'm just happy to see a more expensive digital camera than my Digilux 2 out now. Maybe the owners of the RD-1 can catch some of the flak I got for spending so much money.

Sean Reid
01-31-2005, 08:13
I'm glad it's helpful. It's not my site, though, it's Michael Reichman's. I just write for them from time to time.

We all spent way to much money buying the R-D1 but it's been very good to many of us.

Cheers,

Sean

DaShiv
02-01-2005, 11:42
Bob,

Interesting to see you over here, as you know I'm an FM'er.

Howdy Tom, as I recall my 24-70 got mangled by UPS on its way to your place. :D Hope you've found another copy! (I've sold mine after sending it to Canon for a full repair.)

I'm strugging with the decision of whether or not to get an R-D1 myself.

I can't in good conscience recommend the R-D1 to anyone because it's such a poor value proposition compared to other digital cameras (IMO). Then again, I wouldn't recommend a new M7 or MP either and there are lots of happy M7 and MP owners, so YMMV. If you can wait, the next-gen digital rangefinder from Leica, Zeiss, and/or Epson I'm sure will be better bang for the buck (well, maybe not the Leica). For me personally though, I used to be reluctant to take my 20D out on the streets, but with the R-D1 I've been shooting a LOT more than I used to, so I've been happy with my decision. The way I see it, the real value of something is how much use I get from it.

There are a lot of lenses I could part with... but the 85 f/1.2L... how could you?

I had earmarked it for sale (and I do need to sell it to pay for the R-D1) but I've still been holding off on pulling the trigger finger and putting it on chopping block at FM. It's so hard to let go of this lens! :D

Sean Reid
02-01-2005, 11:56
For someone who loves rangefinders, the R-D1 is a wonderful thing to work with. If one is willing to sell equipment to raise the $3000, or otherwise has the means, I recommend it highly. One aspect that softens the blow somewhat is that the camera works very well with many excellent (and fairly inexpensive) older RF lenses. That somewhat offsets the total cost of owning the system. I spent $3000 on the Canon D30 when it was first released and have never regretted spending that money. Of course it paid for itself in commercial work but even if it hadn't I wouldn't have regretted it.

Sean

Tom Conte
02-01-2005, 17:07
Howdy Tom, as I recall my 24-70 got mangled by UPS on its way to your place. :D Hope you've found another copy! (I've sold mine after sending it to Canon for a full repair.)


Thank you again for being such an excellent seller when that happened!



I can't in good conscience recommend the R-D1 to anyone because it's such a poor value proposition compared to other digital cameras (IMO). Then again, I wouldn't recommend a new M7 or MP either and there are lots of happy M7 and MP owners, so YMMV.

I understand and I think I agree. Look at my avatar, I don't wear a timex either. Something is clearly amiss in my grey matter.


I had earmarked it for sale (and I do need to sell it to pay for the R-D1) but I've still been holding off on pulling the trigger finger and putting it on chopping block at FM. It's so hard to let go of this lens! :D

Don't do it. Canon made a classic in that lens. You'll just end up buying one again.

Tom

Tom Conte
02-01-2005, 17:10
For someone who loves rangefinders, the R-D1 is a wonderful thing to work with. ... I spent $3000 on the Canon D30 when it was first released and have never regretted spending that money. Of course it paid for itself in commercial work but even if it hadn't I wouldn't have regretted it.


I hear you. I loved my D30 and it was also worth every penny. I still regret selling it to 'upgrade'. The R-D1 makes sense to me.

My decision is done. My R-D1 should arrive tomorrow via FedEx :D

Tom

Sean Reid
02-01-2005, 18:22
Cool, let us know what you think. Have you worked with many rangefinders before?

Cheers,

Sean

Tom Conte
02-01-2005, 18:32
Sean,

Long ago, yes. My very first 35mm was a Yashica RF fixed lens jobber.

Tom

DaShiv
02-01-2005, 19:50
I hear you. I loved my D30 and it was also worth every penny. I still regret selling it to 'upgrade'. The R-D1 makes sense to me.

My decision is done. My R-D1 should arrive tomorrow via FedEx :D

Congrats! Once you've gotten past the sticker shock, the R-D1 is simply a blast to use. It's as analog--and as digital--as I want it to be when I'm shooting with it. Being able to do "digital" things like changing the white balance and compression settings without needing to flip the LCD around is a very smart design, and on the other hand I can still leave the screen out for when the mood to chimp strikes me. I'm sure you'll be enjoying it as much as I have been!

pshinkaw
02-09-2005, 12:53
Popular Photo and Imaging (or is it Imaging and Photo?) just published a review of the R-D1. I received it yesterday. I may have missed it in the review since I am not an ardent digital fan, but can anyone tell me what the rewind knob does?

-Paul

Sean Reid
02-09-2005, 13:39
The rewind knob is used as a setting wheel for various settings: ISO, WB, menu selections, etc. It works like a charm.

Cheers,

Sean

driggett
02-09-2005, 16:52
Popular Photo and Imaging (or is it Imaging and Photo?) just published a review of the R-D1. I received it yesterday. I may have missed it in the review since I am not an ardent digital fan, but can anyone tell me what the rewind knob does?

-Paul

What was the review like? Can you post a synopsis?
Thanks,
Chris

sevres_babylone
02-14-2005, 13:19
Following from the last postings, I bought the Popular Photography issue from the newsstand. The review is by Michael McNamara and there is an interesting sidebar from Martin Resnick. I would describe the review as largely positive, though a bit schizoid. It mostly takes the camera for what it is, emphasizing its retro features. Not surprisingly, it sees the price as a downside. It suggests it is a camera one would buy with one's heart, rather than one's head. In terms of mixed messages: In a text box, the two-inch LCD is included in "What's hot,", but then the text suggests that given the price, there should be a larger LCD. Still it's a more sympathetic review than the one in the British magazine "Digital Photographer" which found all kinds of things wrong with the controls. The Popular Photography article says that the Nikon D70 "delivers better overall image quality." As someone close to buying an RD-1, I have two questions arising from the Popular Photography review. The review concludes that its resolution figures are lower than most 6MP DLSR's, even when tested with a Leica lens, and that even the 5MP DSLR outresolves it. Does this matter in the real world? Martin Resnick, whose articles on street-shooting I have admired for a while, complains about the shutter-noise compared to a Leica, and what he calls the "dim finder." The shutter noise issue has been discussed in various forums and reviews. The finder comment is more troubling, and confusing for me, because I don't know what "dim" means. That is, I don't know what the comparison would be for me. I don't own a Leica. I mostly shoot using an Olympus SLR. My Rangefinder experience is with my Mamiya 7 and an old Olympus XA. With respect to the latter, my problem was never dimness, but its size. How dim is the RD-1 finder compared to an OM camera with a fast lens, or to the Mamiya?

mfs
02-14-2005, 15:03
I thought that the Popular Photography and Imaging review was also schizoid, but prodominately negative. The last lines indicate that the images produced are not as good as the Leica lenses could produce. I wonder where the reviewers got the idea of what the Leica lenses could produce on a digital body since no one has done it before.
Are they comparing the images to a Leica film camera???? That would be an unfair comparison since as we all know there are significant differences in the two "storage" systems.

Martin

Tom Conte
02-14-2005, 19:47
I surely do not think the R-D1's finder is dim. In fact, it is the same brightness to my eyes as my M6 TTL's finder.

David Kieltyka
02-14-2005, 19:50
Well...with a 6mp sensor photos are limited resolution-wise by the sensor, not the lenses. This is true of all 6mp cameras, and true of the 8mp Canon 20D as well. The Holga's lens is perhaps an exception. :) Nothing unique about the R-D1 there. Did Pop Photog expect Leica lenses to perform magic?

In my experience the R-D1 provides image quality equal resolution-wise to the Canon 10D. Better in terms of tonality. Nikon D70 photos are likely a bit crisper out-of-the-box since that camera uses a weak anti-aliasing filter. For real-world photos I doubt the difference is worth fussing over.

Much more significant is the difference in approach a person takes with an RF camera vs. an SLR. If RF cameras encourage you to be creative in a way SLRs don't then IMO that pretty much trumps everything else. I bought my R-D1 mainly because I enjoy working with RFs more than other types of cameras.

As for the "dim" viewfinder...nonsense. The R-D1 has one of the nicest RF viewfinders I've ever used. My M2's VF is better still but the R-D1 finder's 1:1 magnification reduces brightness a little. The shutter is louder than a Leica's but hardly noisy. My Canon 20D's shutter is noticeably louder.

Geez, first Damien Demolder of Amateur Photographer in the UK writes his R-D1 review as though he's forgotten everything he ever knew about RF cameras. Now we have Mason Resnick, who should also have a clue, complaining about dim viewfinders and loud shutters. The R-D1 has its faults to be sure...but this stuff is off the mark.

-Dave-

jlw
02-14-2005, 21:06
One of the things that we can't expect magazines such as Pop Photo to "get" is that part of the appeal of the R-D1 is all the cool old lenses it lets us use!

Here's something I shot with mine this evening. Sure, using a Nikon D70 (or the D100 I own) might have given me "better" image quality... but I couldn't have put a vintage Canon LTM 50/1.2 lens on that, and I really like the way it makes this image look! (Of course, you can see more of the effect at a larger size than I can post here.)

The ballet is the death scene from Romeo and Juliet, by the way, which means the setting is a dimly-lit tomb. How dimly lit? Well, the EXIF data says I needed an exposure of 1/239 at f/1.2 at the EI 1600 setting. Incidentally, despite the large expanse of dark background, I was able to use the straight, center-weighted meter reading with NO exposure compensation! The girl's dress is on the edge of burning out, but I can accept that to retain some detail in the faces.

Sean Reid
02-14-2005, 22:30
Reviews are inevitably subjective, I suppose. My experiences, having now owned the camera for a couple of months (using it for personal and professional work).

Finder: excellent, not dim at all

shutter noise: I agree with Resnick, wish it were quieter. That said, it isn't a big issue for most work.

Resolution: I didn't do res. charts because they bear little relation to my real world professional work. The R-D1 files are sharper and better detailed to my eye than those from the Canon 10D (which I owned and worked with extensively) and the Olympus E-1 (which I'm testing right now). They don't match files from my 1Ds but that wouldn't be a fair comparison.

Either I have a magic R-D1 or the camera does much better in real-world use than it does in technical tests. Any camera that is able to show the differences between a Voigtlander 28 Ultron and a Leica 28 ASPH is resolving a good amount of detail.

It's interesting that some reviews are so critical of the camera and yet most R-D1 owners I know of are extremely happy with it. Go figure.

Sean

Jim Watts
02-15-2005, 00:56
[QUOTE=sevres_babylone] Martin Resnick, whose articles on street-shooting I have admired for a while, complains about the shutter-noise compared to a Leica, and what he calls the "dim finder." The shutter noise issue has been discussed in various forums and reviews. [QUOTE]

Well you could hear a pin drop in this room in the British Museum on Friday when I shot the attached picture and at least the shutter wasn't loud enough to wake the dead. :angel:

P.S.: I forgot to mention that if you look carefully you will see this is a " Reconstruction of the Barnack Grave" But I don't think its Oskar. :)

schaubild
02-15-2005, 02:16
This guy looks quite dead indeed. :-)

Jim Watts
02-15-2005, 03:08
Another "Ouiet"" :) shot in China Town on Friday.
Happy Year of the Rooster to all.