View Full Version : Infra Red with the R-D1; and update of focus problems

Ed Schwartzreic
02-05-2005, 04:18
Does anyone have IR images taken with their R-D1? I verified that one could get an image by putting a Leitz IR filter on a 35 Summicron, but since it is the dead of winter here in Vermont I have no typical foliage outside to photograph.

Also, on another note, I will shortly be getting back my R-D1 from Don Goldberg (DAG). My rangefinder was quite definitely off , and Don popped the top cover and adjusted things. It turns out there is a second horizontal RF adjust which is not accessible from under the hot shoe, and which is set and lacquered in position at the factory; mine had clearly been set wrong. According to Don, it was not a home fix that most of us could do. He will be sending photos of what he did, which should prove intersting.


02-05-2005, 07:52
Hi Ed,

Did you attempt to get a replacement from Epson before sending it to DAG? Just curious if the warranty still valid?
If this works out for you, DAG may be the way to go vs a replacement from Epson.

02-05-2005, 10:30
How strange. Just this morning I was thinking I should test the R-D1's IR response and now here's a thread about it. Of course, I haven't done it yet, so no insight to share.

I always like rangefinders for shooting with ND or IR filters though, since obviously you don't need to look thru the lens to frame or focus.


Ed Schwartzreic
02-05-2005, 10:52
I sent it to DAG both because I have a Japanese warranty, not a US one, and also because others who did have the domestic warranty merely got replacements, which often themselves were similarly out of alignment.


Sean Reid
02-05-2005, 13:49

That's fantastic news about the alignment. I want to mention it to Epson's Product manager for the R-D1 the next time we talk. I'd like to see Epson set up a relationship with someone like Stephen Gandy who knows rangefinders in general and Cosina bodies in specific. The existence of the second lacquered adjustment screw is something I had heard about earlier but it's good to know that Don wasn't reluctant to get into it.

Where are you in VT? I'm in the southeast corner.



02-05-2005, 14:01
[QUOTEIt turns out there is a second horizontal RF adjust which is not accessible from under the hot shoe, and which is set and lacquered in position at the factory; mine had clearly been set wrong. According to Don, it was not a home fix that most of us could do. He will be sending photos of what he did, which should prove intersting.[/QUOTE]

Most RFs are like that. There's a baseline adjustment that's used for setting up the rangefinder at the factory, and a "fine-tune" adjustment that's accessible to a repair technician.

Interesting that yours escaped with the baseline adjustment off! Good thing for you DAG was able to fix it. I'll be interested to see the pix...

Ed Schwartzreic
02-06-2005, 05:15
Thanks for the responses.

Sean, I live in Waterbury, probably about 2 hours from where you are. It's good that you have a relationship with the Epson Product Manager. This may help straighten things out faster. I had been trying to get Tom Abrahamsson to ask Kobayashi of Cosina about the RF problem, as they are friends; Tom had lent me the first R-D1 that I used (for a week!) and set me on a course to get my own ASAP. In Tom's example the RF was better adjusted then mine, but it would not couple with the 90 Apo-Aspheric, while mine does. Clearly there are teething problems here.

jlw - I am aware of the usual arrangements for adjusting rangefinders, but what was notable here was how difficult it was, relatively speaking, to get at the baseline adjustment. The top plate is held in by only 4 screws, but a front plate has to be removed as well, and there is a flexible circuit board which has to be unplugged. Also, all the RF adjustments on the R-D1 except for the vertical alignment one seem to be rather crude / sensitive, even though the overall RF mecahnism is nicely done (per DAG). DAG was impressed by the overall build of the R-D1, as most of us have been.

I hopeto get the camera and the photos by mid-week.


David Kieltyka
02-06-2005, 07:57
I can confirm the R-D1 handles an 87C IR filter quite well...unlike my Canon 20D (and the 10D before it), which requires very long exposures even in bright sunlight and delivers mushy results even with a wide lens at f/8 or f/11. As it's dead-of-winter here in Michigan too I've only taken a few test IR photos, but I plan to take plenty once spring rolls in.


Ed Schwartzreic
02-11-2005, 04:16
Here is an update on the RF adjustment issue. Don still has my R-D1, in part because he has been quite busy, and in part because he has not yet optimized the adjustment. He was puzzled because after what he thought was appropriate tuning , replacing the cover, and taking some shots, the RF was still quite off at 10 feet and infinity. He and I spoke last night about the possibilites: that even the baseline adjustment could be thrown off by the structural stresses of replacing the top plate, that Cosina had designed a basically not-so-hot rangefinder, or that somehow he was not following what might be proper procedure in the alignment. He plans to work on the problem again today, and we will speak later this afternoon about it.


I also phoned Tom Abrahamsson last night. He will be going to Cosina in Japan in mid-March and says that they will be quite interested in hearing about this problem. He has asked me to get Don to write up the issues as he sees them, with photos too, and he will pass it on to Cosina.

So, if Don can only approximate a fix, there will likely be another chapter.


Ed Schwartzreic
02-18-2005, 12:54
I got my R-D1 back from DAG the day before yesterday. I did not get his photos of the innards until today, and also could not rigorously test the camera until today. I am happy to relate that DAG did indeed perform a fix, and the RF now seems quite accurate, with the caveat that at distances over about 15 feet the focus for me is more of a guesstimate due to the short RF base and the 1:1 low magnification. However, I don't see that I would be using a lens at f/2 or fater at that distance very often.

I have posted DAG's pictures of the R-D1 innards at:



Ed Schwartzreic
02-18-2005, 13:29
Sorry about calling 1:1 low magnification. The problem is with the short RF base.


03-05-2005, 14:30
I've only had a brief look (lousy weather here in London) but it seems to me the R-D1 isn't far off the good old Oly 2020, which is a classic for IR, as far as sensitivity is concerned.

I tried a SRB (uk) IR filter, which they advertise as harder cutoff than the Hoya R72, but actually lets in some deep red. Result: the b/w versions look ok, but the colour ones show a maxed out red channel, so I'll experiment further, but it looks quite optimistic for using channel mixer to get a good b/w result.

scott pruett
03-06-2005, 11:16
Erwin's review noted that it uses the same sensor as the D70 (sorry if this was already posted somewhere; I just started researching the RD-1)... anyway, I've seen some solid IR images from the D70, so I'd imagine you could get something pretty decent from the RD-1.

Sean Reid
03-06-2005, 11:29
It doesn't use the same sensor as the D70. It uses the same one as the D100 which is a different unit. The D70 also has a weaker AA filter than is used on the R-D1 which means the files require less capture sharpening but may have other problems due to aliasing. I just sent the correction to Erwin.


scott pruett
03-06-2005, 12:01
Thanks for the correction Sean.

That's interesting though... $3k for a camera using an "old" D100 sensor. Yikes. I'm curious to see what the RD-1's replacement will get... assuming a replacement is somewhere in the pipeline.

John Shriver
03-11-2005, 17:38
Interesting thing about those photos of the R-D1 with the M6 rangefinder unit above it. If they took out that exotic (and expensive) triple meter assembly, there would be room to put in the M6 rangefinder, or one with an equally long base line. All in the same size and shape of camera.

Ed Schwartzreic
04-07-2005, 06:20
Just back from Louisana and the LHSA Spring Shoot. After a weekend in New Orleans, my wife and I traveled for 3 days around the area. It was early spring there and I wanted to try out shooting IR. I had along an 8-element 35/2 Summicron and a Leitz IR filter, and tried several shots with it. These showed some IR effect, but not that strongly until I got the idea of dialing in the red filter setting on the film menu in addition to the IR filter on the lens.

Here is a shot, originally in RAW and with minimal PS 'ing of the Mississippi River from the bluffs at Natchez.


04-07-2005, 07:43
And your camera settings too????I would be interested because I have been doing IR for years with my Mamiya6 film cameras with the B+W 92 filter. I usually shoot at F5.6/60 setting the film at 200asa

David Kieltyka
04-07-2005, 08:03
I've taken some shots with the R-D1, 21mm lens and 87C IR filter. If I remember right exposures were in the 68 second range in winter sunshine at ISO 200 and f/8. The photos were nice & crisp.


Ed Schwartzreic
04-07-2005, 09:24
OK. Filter was a Leitz 13126D. For it's later lenses, I think Leitz only made one IR filter, probably equivalent to a Wratten 25. The camera setting was Monochrome with a red filter dialed in. Exposure at ISO 400 was 1/500, and f/8 or f/11; I don't remember, as I checked the results on the screen.

I opened the file in the CS raw converter, converted directly, and processed it with Covert to B&W Pro for exposure tweaking.


Ed Schwartzreic
04-07-2005, 12:06
I guess I was rerading the exposure data wrong on the RAW file-- probably too tired, getting back at midnight last night at the airport. It was 1/30 sec at f/8 or f/11, which makes more sense.


04-07-2005, 13:20
Brian....I'm sure this has been suggested to you before, but doing a careful conversion of the digital capture (form your RD) using a layer or two of channel mixer in Photoshop...plus...some judicious layer masks can produce an IR appearance much like you are used to. As long as you are using digital capture, why not utilize the technology a bit further?


04-07-2005, 15:47
Where are you in VT? I'm in the southeast corner.

I am too when not at school. crazyness.