Tag Archives: Epson R-D1 Digital Camera

Rangefinder Digital Cameras

With the proliferation of digital SLR’s on the market over the last decade, it comes as no surprise to see the digital rangefinder following suit. Epson has started the trend with the R-D1 which works well with a wide range of M and L mount rangefinder lenses. Leica has managed to take control of this upscale market over the last few years with its Digital M-series.

The M8 and R-D1 are expensive compared to the digital SLRs on the market right now. They don’t have a few of the standard features as live preview, movie recording, and face detection. Many pros and advanced amateurs are grateful for that because they don’t want the camera’s technology to get in the way of their photographic style or techniques.

There are only a few brands digital rangefinders around but the ones that are here are very good at what they do best. Thousands of great RF cameras and lenses were manufactured by Konica, Minolta, Leica, Zeiss, Voightlander. Most of these RF cameras are still in usable condition over the decades. Many owners have heavy investment in very expensive lenses and want to get a digital camera to put them on.

The choices of players in the DRF market are meager. The prices are high and the pickings are slim in this market right now. Someday when digital R&D costs come down, there will be niche players in the photographic market again. But until then, get used to not having your needs fully met if you are a serious amateur or professional photographer looking for great balance between amenities and price in your digital rangefinder cameras.

If you’re looking to get a brand-new camera, you should know that both digital SLR’s and rangefinders are going to be costly. You can choose a lesser known brand for the body and put your money in the lenses. This is one option many budding photographers have considered because all the major camera manufacturers pride themselves in the quality of their lenses.

Pros and amateurs with a collection of M-mount lenses would be very happy with a really good digital camera body in a mid range price that allowed them to use their lens collection. There already are a few rangefinder digital cameras being manufactured today in a few high and mid range price ranges. Manufacturers such as Voigtandor, Canon or Leica are promoting the format again. A lot of factors surface when choosing a camera for your overall use; format and function does matter along with price.

These companies should be given serious consideration if you’re thinking buying a DRF this year. Rangefinder digital cameras are topping out on the resolution and beginning to focus more on ease of use and memory management.

The hunger for digital is still growing strong. Many young people who have started by taking pictures with their phones have graduated to more detailed and precise photographic tools. Having access to a few good rangefinder digital cameras will only help improve their art.

35mm Rangefinder Cameras

Some of the best 35mm rangefinder cameras came out during my formative years in the 60s. If you are a fan of these cameras, you may be familiar with the Yashica brand. Back in the early -70s, the camera was with me every day. It was sturdy yet easy to shoot; being a lightweight model that was perfect for a hobbyist.

The 35 mm Rangefinder camera has a certain mystique about it that’s unique from its SLR cousin. They bring back memories of the emerging U.S. space program, the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 and young women with white vinyl boots and miniskirts. This model was my first introduction to real photography.

A 35mm rangefinder camera can simplify your picture taking in natural light and when taking casual photographs. The focus feature meant that you could take a picture easily so long as there was enough light to achieve focus. With RF cameras you have wider latitude with which to work. This may be one reason why so many of the greats of yesteryear used to them.

Not only were these cameras sleek and compact, there were much quieter than their SLR cousins. Even in the 21st century where the digital camera has taken over from its analog ancestors, digital rangefinders are far quieter. Perhaps that’s why I always associate the rangefinders with espionage.

The 35mm rangefinder camera continues to impress in both style and function. Although the modern camera has a lot of interesting features, I find them not to be as well made and sturdy as the classic 60s and 70s models. My 40 year old Leica and Yashica RF models will still function even when the battery dies. They can be set in fully manual mode and the shutter and apertures will work just fine.

The classic compact 35mm rangefinder camera from the 50s through to the mid-70s was very well armored. I’ve often joked that you could walk the streets without fear with one of these because you are basically armed and dangerous. Even the new Leica M series has a sturdy metal frame that reeks of quality and durability.

With the proliferation of digital SLR’s on the market over the last decade, it comes as no surprise to see the emergence of the 35mm rangefinder following suit. Leica has managed to take control of this market over the last few years with its M-series. Epson has joined the fray with the R-D1 which also works very well with a wide range of M and L mount rangefinder lenses. The challenge for most of us is the price.

My main considerations for digital 35mm rangefinder cameras are; ISO accuracy, file buffer handling, RAW processing capability and price. I can appreciate the work that goes into these models but there is still a matter of finding the right lenses that won’t leave you broke. This is the biggest upgrade cost for many photographers. Visit various websites that offer discounts on photo equipment to get killer deals.