Nov 302010
 

COULD THERE BE AN EPSON R-D2 IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

Lots of buzz going around some of the photo websites today that Epson may be working on a successor to the beloved R-D1, which was the first digital rangefinder camera ever! Released in 2004, and available in 2005, I was one of the first to own one of these cameras and I LOVED IT. To this day I still have a soft spot for the R-D1 and even at the NYC street meetup last month one of the attendees brought along his Epson to shoot with. When I held it I remembered why I loved it so much. It is solid. It feels AMAZING in my hand. It has a swivel LCD. The analogue dials up top are beautiful. It has a film advance lever that you must cock when you shoot a photo. A 100% Viewfinder. It’s like shooting a film RF but digital. Oh, and the files and colors were ahead of its time and for those who do not know, yea,  it has a Leica M mount.

So…will Epson bring out a successor to the legendary R-D1?

Here is the qoute from someone at Epson which caused the stir:

“Whether we come out with another version of the R-D1 is a possibility,’ said Rob Clark, executive director of Epson’s European Marketing Division. He also said the firm would re-enter the digital camera arena if it felt such a product was ‘commercially viable’.

Well, to me that doesnt really sound like they are working on an R-D2 but if you look at what he said it is possible. I think we all know that a product like an R-D2 is “commercially viable”. Look at the huge success of the Leica M9! Leicas profits are up 40% and they are doing amazingly well. From near bankruptcy to huge profits. All due to the M9 and the lenses.

So I would say to Epson – BRING IT ON! Leica needs the competition as it will ensure they really work hard at the next digital M and the Epson would most certainly be more affordable, which would allow many more of us to get into a digital Rangefinder camera. I know I would buy one in a heartbeat.

So this post is not just another fluff post to say “HEY, Epson may be working on an R-D2″ – No, this is a post to celebrate the R-D1 (which was and still is a kick ass camera) AND to tell Epson to BRING OUT AN RD-2! I think today more than ever more and more shooters are getting interested in RF photography and with the interest that the Leica M9 has created, I think an R-D2 would be a home run hit. It’s funny but back in 2004 when the R-D1 came out it had pretty nice ISO 1600 performance, especially in black and white. The out of camera B&W files were VERY nice and the color was also superb. Id love to see what Epson could do with todays technology and sensors. Could be exciting…

So with all of this R-D1 talk, I dug up a couple of shots that I took with my old R-D1 from back in 2005. All hail the R-D1! If any of you ever see a nice clean used on for sale at a good price SNAG IT! You wont regret it.

All images from the Epson RD-1 and Leica 50 Summilux ASPH circa 2005 – Goes to show…there are scenic areas in Arizona…just have to get out of Phoenix!

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  26 Responses to “Epson Talking About an R-D2? Could be, and that would be cool!”

  1. This could be the camera I’m waiting for…

  2. I absolutely love this idea. I say just put a full frame sensor around 10-12 mp and put it in the exact same RD-1 body. I am sold instantly.

  3. I would buy one instantly. Steve, may I suggest a poll and if the results are good then send it to Epson. This would be awesome.

  4. Yeah, bring it on, please, Epson!
    I was the very first R-D1 buyer in Rome, back in 2004, and having been a Leica M4-P and CL user for decades, I immediately felt at home (whereas the same DIDN’T happen when I bought the M8, which I sold one month later).
    The R-D1 was an outstanding camera, cleverly designed and very well built. I wish I hadn’t sold it in order to manage paying the M8 then, as it delivered an extremely good image quality, a quality I didn’t find in the next couple of cameras I got, despite their higher resolution.
    I hope this rumor is well-grounded. I’m ready to order an R-D2 as soon as it hits the marketplace.

    By the way, Steve, I really appreciate your blog’s concept, with its balance of real world gear experience and love for photographic art.

  5. I remember the R-D1 too. Too cool.

  6. It would be awesome to have more choices of digital RF’s in the market. Hate to be pessimistic about it, but I just don’t see Epson making a comeback into the RF camera market. It just wouldn’t make business sense for Epson. Hoping that I am terribly wrong though!

  7. Bring it Epson!
    The time is nigh.

    Oh and can you add live view? and a 0.5m min focus distance ability? :-P

  8. Steve, very nice set of photos. Forgot to mention that earlier!

  9. I’ve only had my R-D1s for a couple of years now (got it used in late ’08), but I love it. Wish I’d got it long ago – and an R-D2 would be fantastic, in case anyone from Epson is reading this. The only possible upgrade from it currently is the M9; but the price, the price!

    I spent two months travelling through Canada & a bit of the US this summer, and while I had my 1DMkIV with me (and paid for insurance on it while travelling!), in the end I shot the whole trip on the little rangefinder instead. It’s just so much more enjoyable…
    R!

    p.s. photos from the trip – Newfoundland ( http://robertcatto.tumblr.com/post/938909048/newfoundland ), Nova Scotia ( http://robertcatto.tumblr.com/post/944004943/novascotia ), Montreal ( http://robertcatto.tumblr.com/post/959320116/montreal ) & Upstate New York ( http://robertcatto.tumblr.com/post/935505349/upstatenewyork )…mostly with the Leica Summilux 35mm pre-ASPH and a newer Zeiss 28mm Biogon, since I’d bought them both at the beginning of the trip and needed to test them out!

  10. I’d buy it. Immediately.

  11. Another vote for a RD-2. Deep in my little black heart I am still not sure my M8 was that much of an upgrade over the R-D1. That wonderful viewfnder (100%) and the better higher iso performance (good noise free colour shots at iso800!) made it a very useful camera. Like many others I sold mine to fund my M8 – big mistake! Please,please, please Epson – a crop sensor rangefinder based on the D300 sensor (I believe that the R-D1 used the D100 sensor) and I would happily buy one.

  12. The RD 1 is amazing!!! You don’t see many on eBay, but FYI here’s one up now… Looks like a good one :-)

    Epson R-D1 Rangefinder Digital Camera MINT- IN BOX

    http://wap.ebay.co.uk/Pages/ViewItem.aspx?sid=l52toeyfduowjf45cvpq2n55&aid=180591542743&sv=Epson%20r-d1&emvcc=0

  13. I’d love it if Epson would name it R2D2

  14. Oh Epson Please…Yes please! Full Frame and good iso Please…

  15. I would love to see M cameras back in the hands of pro press and documentary photographers. We’ve seen “almost there” entries but nobody has made a realistic option.

    Basically take a Bessa R4a and a Nikon D700, put them in a blender and you will have one happy photographer. I want 12mp, low light, tough as nails, plus M lenses, and No B.S. design.

  16. the R-D1 was a fantastic camera, actually, it still is.
    R-D1 produces the most beautiful color i’ve ever seen out of all of my digitals. I really regretted selling it to finance my M9. The new generation sensors nowadays seem to have different look, but then again, maybe it’s just me……

    i vote for foveon sensor for an R-D2!!! ;-)

  17. R-d2?Please with an APS-C chip!Price? 1500 USD!A low-budget digitak rangefinder!Please!

  18. I have a R-D1s and I am loving it. The only possible upgrade I see is the M9 if Epson does not come up with the R-D2 soon

  19. What about the Fujifilm X100 that is coming out next season? Any comments?

  20. Steve and others, I don’t know if you are aware that the Epson R-D1X has been available for some time now overseas, albeit at an extremely expensive price. An Rd2 would be most welcome, but Epson would have to price it right to make it work. Here is a link for your viewing pleasure: http://shashinki.com/shop/epson-rd1x-digital-rangefinder-camera-body-only-p-3381.html?manufacturers_id=34&currency=USD

  21. I just bought a used R-D1. It is a wonderful camera, I love its easiness of use, the way it works and how it renders the picture, especially in raw mode. Black and white is astounding, color is amzing. It an R-D2 will ever be released, I hope it will be full format and 12 MP. Everything else should be left as it is.

  22. When we see the huge success of the Fuji X100, I think it’s time for Epson to get back to work on a R-D2; the market is ready out there! Hope someone at Epson will read that! ;)

  23. Bought an Olympus E-P1 hoping to find an optical viewfinder camera with exchangeable lenses, but a tad smaller than the typical rangefinders, to make it pocketable. After nearly two years, I think I would accept the trade-off of a somewhat bigger camera, if I just could get back good ergonomics and user interface.

    So, bring it on!!!!!!

    It might even be an option to do the focussing not by an optical rangefinder, but electronically, which might help reducing the size. An optical (non rangefinder) _viewfinder_ will of course be essential, maybe like on the X100.

  24. And before someone starts telling me I am an idiot because M lenses are MF, not AF, I off course meant a manual, but electronically controlled focussing aide, like in the Nikon F3AF. Phase contrast (like in Ricoh and some Fuji compact cameras), combined with an indication in the viewfinder, like two arrow LEDs pointing in the direction into which the focussing ring is to be turned.

  25. I love my R-D1. I’d buy me an R-D2!!!

  26. I know that I’m 2 or 3 years late to this party but if Epson released the RD-2?

    I’d have my checkbook out so fast you couldn’t even see it!

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