Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/11/29

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Subject: [Leica] The Epson RD 1 - a dog?
From: cummer at (Howard Cummer)
Date: Wed Nov 29 19:29:11 2006
References: <>

Hi Vick,
I was an early adopter of the RD 1 - played with a prototype in July  
2004 - and wanted one so badly that I was the first buyer in Hong  
Kong in September that year.
See < 
msg_id=009ezS&tag=> for my 2 Oct 2004 review on Photo Net and  
subsequent discussions.
  The prototype had a rangefinder problem - the image not being  
coincident vertically or horizontally at infinity and I was surprised  
when my purchase had the same problem. I took it back and exchanged  
it for another which was more in alignment but not perfect and that  
specimen had clumps of dead pixels. I took it back and exchanged for  
a third body. The third one also had a vertical rangefinder problem -  
a slight vertical misalignment - but by then I knew how to fix it and  
took the camera and corrected the alignment and used the camera until  
this Fall. I sold it in anticipation of the M8. It was wonderful to  
have a platform for my Leica M lenses, and those who got a good  
example fresh out of  the box are no doubt happy - as indeed I was  
after three tries. But, having handled maybe thirty units in the last  
two years, maybe 10 had no problems with the rangefinder, and I can't  
speak about any other problems, failing dials, dead pixels etc. Over  
on the Rangefinder forum there is a survey which has been running for  
about two years which indicates that about 30-40% of cameras had some  
problem. Please see:
the first two entries are the poll results. The quality control  
problems did not go away - it seems - with higher serial numbers  
either. Epson just couldn't seem to get it right - but the company,  
at least in my experience, was really good about exchanging problem  
cameras. On the Rangefinder list some have gone through as many as  
four or five exchanges! Still, in the history of cameras the RD 1 is  
note worthy as the first digital M and for forcing Leica to go ahead  
and develop the M8. The RD1 was (is) in my view a lovable dog.
Howard (in HK)

> Message: 29
> Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 17:31:31 -0500
> From: "Vick Ko" <>
> Subject: [Leica] So is the Epson RD1 a dog?
> To: "'Leica Users Group'" <>
> So is the RD1 a dog?
> As far as I can tell, if one buys one, it most likely will have an RF
> problem.
> Is that so?
> Or are the "happy owners" a silent majority?
> ...Vick

Replies: Reply from rangefinder at (Didier Ludwig) ([Leica] The Epson RD 1 - a lemon)