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Thread: Now a new Epson vs the G1

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Now a new Epson vs the G1

    With quiet fanfare Epson just announced an updated version of their original 6 MP digital rangefinder. It will be sold ONLY in Japan (for around $3000 U.S.). But who knows what will happen. Rangefinder focusing (and viewing of course). Relatively silent shutter. Access to scores of superb Leitz and Cosina lenses. IR filters necessary.

    For a grand more you can now get an M8. 10.2 MP. Rangefinder focusing. Relatively quiet shutter. Access to their legendary lenses (and Cosina's as well). IR filters necessary.

    For $2330 LESS you can get a G1. 12 MP (with extraorinarily low noise below ASA 400 and reasonably so through 800 with BW at 1600 ASA having a sort of romantic quality about it and unparalleled color accuracy according to some reports). More accurate EVF focusing to aid in manual with no shift to worry about. Relatively quiet shutter. Live view. Articulating rear LCD (I think the Epson RDF has that too). No IR filters necessary. And through adapters access to not only the legendary Leitz and Cosina lenses but the stellar Olympus optics and scores of others as well. (Yeah there's some softness in the corners but I don't take photos of maps and if that's where your subject is you need to work on your framing...just kidding....basically I didn't have a problem with that issue certainly before or after it was brought up).

    Anyway, is Epson on crack? Oddly enough, and I never thought I'd ever say this, Epson are actually making a good value case for the M8! (And, of course, an even better one for the G1.)

    Peter
    Last edited by peterb; 27th February 2009 at 09:43.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    I find the my R-D1 in many ways more satifying to shoot than the M8. It's quiet, has nice analog control never have to go to menus and requires manual cocking.

    It also feels less bulky than the M8. The sensor is the same that was in the Nikon D100 at that time if I recall. I don't see where a G1 trumps an R-D1.

    Different tools for different uses and styles. I hate the G1 Faux-dSLR look by the way.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    I hate the G1 Faux-dSLR look by the way.
    I agree. Dopey marketing department.

    But you're right. Different strokes for different folks. And I too like the analog-ness of the RD, too. And it's marginally (but still noticeably) slimmer body. Just think a 6 MP camera, while admittedly still quite capable for sure, seems a little out of step today when the opportunity for a larger equally low noise (if not superior) sensor might have been had. Particularly if it could have been a 10 MP FULL FRAME sensor which, to me would have really caused a stir in the camera world.

    Peter
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    i am an unabashed R-D1 fan that is only tempted by the M8.2 for it's discreet shutter. it is quite obvious they had left over stock (and it seems to be more like $2000 btw). perhaps if it's finally appreciated (i.e., sells), they will upgrade the sensor, etc. to FF.

    what is amusing me to no end is that the G1 seems to fuel the fire of using all these glorious old lenses but doesn't quite satisfy old M users. they're selling their G1's and moving up to Epsons

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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    The M8 and M8.2 requires additional filters for IR as I suspect this was needed for the limitations found in current M digital rangefinder class cameras. With 1.3x crop, and higher resolution sensor which can reveal more detail and defects, to keep image quality, Leica applyed the use of using angular micro lens in front of the sensor, as well as using an extremely thin IR cut filter. This is all really due to the fact that Leica M lens were optimized for film and not digital.

    the quality of the images coming out of the M8 with Leica M lens, in essence should be better than using leica M lens on the G1, especially in terms of corner sharpeness, thanks to these dedicated technological advancements.

    no doubt though the G1 has its place, and one hopes to see more native G1 fast primes come out, which are purpose built for digital sensors.

    I have always been a fan for the RD1, with its very analogue appearance, and love the idea of being able to completely hide the LCD panel by folding it back on itself, hence giving the camera a complete analogue transformation in appearance.

    Looking forward to seeing the results of what Epson have to offer now in terms of an upgrade from the RD1

    MAzor

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    Ranger 9
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    I'm planning to keep my Epson AND my G1. Currently in my own use it's shaping up like a replay of the rangefinder-vs-SLR battle of the 1950s: the Epson has no finder blackout and is better for wide-angle lenses, while the G1 is better for long lenses, macro, etc. There's a spot in the middle where they overlap... but I like having choices.

    (I'd like to have the new Epson if only because it can use SDHC memory cards, so I could carry one set of 8gb+ cards to use in both the Epson and the G1. The original R-D 1 is limited to 2gb cards. But as I've posted elsewhere, what I think is really exciting about the new Epson is that it means they'll need to continue carrying spare batteries and repair parts that also will be usable on my old one...)

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    I didn't like the RF on the RD1. Short base and constantly needed re-alignment and adjustments. The M8 is a little better, but still can't touch the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder quality. C'mon Zeiss get into the digital arena with a Zeiss digital RF.

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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    i just ordered a used rd1s and plan to keep one g1 kit and hope to sell or trade the other g1 kit, maybe towards another rd1 body.
    i'm thinking the best thing about the 'new' rd1x is that parts and service availablility will be extended.

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re:Zeiss Ikon rangefinder

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    C'mon Zeiss get into the digital arena with a Zeiss digital RF.
    Now you're talking!

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    I think it is hard to compare the R-D1 and the G1. Do you want the rangefinder experience? R-D1... Do you want the flexibility of using longer lenses and M lenses (along with many others)? G1 w/adapter... Do you want 6 MP or 12 MP?
    I have had both an R-D1 and a G1 and they are totally different animals to me.
    My choice right now is M8 and G1, but I would be happy with R-D1 and G1. If I could only have one, it would be G1.
    I'm wishing for that Zeiss rangefinder, too.

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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    I just did a session last night in which I used both the R-D 1 and the G1 (will try to get some pictures up later) and while I agree with Cindy that they're totally different animals, they're animals that seem to work really well as a combination.

    The R-D 1 gives me much better "situational awareness" -- it's easy to see what's going on all around, thanks to the 1:1 life-size viewfinder (the M8 doesn't have this) which allows me to view easily through the camera with both eyes open, so my peripheral vision can pick up potential subjects. On the other hand, the "tunnel vision" effect you get using the G1's magnified eye-level finder makes it easier to ignore extraneous distractions.

    So I tended to keep a wider lens (21, 28 or 35) on the R-D 1 and a longer one (50 or 100) on the G1; I'd scan the scene pretty constantly through the R-D 1, then pick up the G1 when I wanted to zero in on details.

    Sure, I could do the same by using an RF and a conventional SLR... but then I'd have to carry two sets of lenses!

    (I do own a Kodak Retina IIIs and Retina Reflex S, which as far as I know are the only RF and SLR systems that were designed to share the same lens line... but hmmm, for some reason Kodak never got around to issuing digital versions of them...)

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    doubledan
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    I

    I'm wishing for that Zeiss rangefinder, too.
    ---------------

    Count me in as well. If enough of us clamor for it, maybe we could at the least start a new wave of rumors. I recall that Zeiss said quite a while ago they would bide their time until the technology was there for a FF digital rangefinder. But heck, I'd happy meanwhile just to have the Epson in a ZI body (that viewfinder!) with the same crop factor and maybe a modest pixel-boost.

    Dan

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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    i think it's cool that you love your G1 that much, Cindy! really, truly.

    i am enjoying the whole rangefinder experience and prefer to use my glass on an RF. period. if i expanded, i'd be more tempted to go the Nikon route for low light. the tweener aspect of the G1 just doesn't appeal to me.... in Ranger 9's situation, though, it seems a brilliant compromise.

    all this said, i will await Oly's offering to see if i change my mind and, like many of you, would be totally chuffed if Zeiss came out with something

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: Hurrah for the Zeiss

    Quote Originally Posted by doubledan View Post
    ---If enough of us clamor for it, maybe we could at the least start a new wave of rumors. But heck, I'd happy meanwhile just to have the Epson in a ZI body (that viewfinder!) with the same crop factor and maybe a modest pixel-boost.
    BUT - Keeping both the foldable LCD and that retro cocking lever system - don't it just make ya think before shootin'?

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    Re: Hurrah for the Zeiss

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    BUT - Keeping both the foldable LCD and that retro cocking lever system - don't it just make ya think before shootin'?

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    Senior Member back alley's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    I just did a session last night in which I used both the R-D 1 and the G1 (will try to get some pictures up later) and while I agree with Cindy that they're totally different animals, they're animals that seem to work really well as a combination.

    The R-D 1 gives me much better "situational awareness" -- it's easy to see what's going on all around, thanks to the 1:1 life-size viewfinder (the M8 doesn't have this) which allows me to view easily through the camera with both eyes open, so my peripheral vision can pick up potential subjects. On the other hand, the "tunnel vision" effect you get using the G1's magnified eye-level finder makes it easier to ignore extraneous distractions.

    So I tended to keep a wider lens (21, 28 or 35) on the R-D 1 and a longer one (50 or 100) on the G1; I'd scan the scene pretty constantly through the R-D 1, then pick up the G1 when I wanted to zero in on details.

    Sure, I could do the same by using an RF and a conventional SLR... but then I'd have to carry two sets of lenses!

    (I do own a Kodak Retina IIIs and Retina Reflex S, which as far as I know are the only RF and SLR systems that were designed to share the same lens line... but hmmm, for some reason Kodak never got around to issuing digital versions of them...)
    i like the idea of the rd1 and g1 as a combo as well.
    i also think the g1 makes a great combo along with my zeiss ikon film camera. small and light kit, back up bodies if needed and the same lenses for both, plus great kit lenses for auto focus when wanted.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    The M8 and M8.2 requires additional filters for IR as I suspect this was needed for the limitations found in current M digital rangefinder class cameras.

    Snipped

    MAzor
    Actually my R-D1 shows a little of the dread magenta black. That was a minor problem with several Nikon (Sony) sensor at that time. I just leave my IR filters on (unless shooting at night or where IR isn't a problem) with both the M8 and the R-D1.

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  18. #18
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    R-D 1 and G1 combo workout

    Since we've been mooting the idea that the R-D 1 and G1 work well together as a way of sharing a set of M-mount lenses, I thought I'd post a few examples from a workout I gave the "combo concept" this weekend.

    Example 1: DanceBrazil

    Example 2: Mia McSwain

    (Eventually, once I've done final edits etc., the photos will get turned into Soundslide shows for the sponsoring organizations' websites... but I know some of you prefer to flip at your own pace, so these are simple Lightroom shows.)

    And a couple of G1-image detail views for you pixel-peepin' papas and mamas (you know who you are!)




    Herewith, the executive summary:

    You M8 owners don't need to be as interested in the idea of supplementing your RF camera with a G1, since your cameras have finder frames for longer lenses, and a long enough RF base to focus most of them accurately (although I think even yours might be challenged by, say, a 100mm f/2 Canon at close distances.)

    But as some of you know from earlier in the thread, I've been pursuing the idea that a G1 plus M-mount adapter might be a good supplement to an Epson R-D 1, sort of a modern version of sticking a reflex housing on your RF camera. (The G1 probably isn't any larger than a typical reflex housing and most likely is lighter in weight!)

    Anyway, Friday night and Saturday I had the chance to shoot documentary stuff of these two dance master classes, both in the same space and under nearly the same conditions. I learned a lot of interesting little things this way, such as:

    -- My original worst-case-scenario workout with the G1 had left me worrying that its high-ISO performance might not be up to snuff in terms of noise. Now I think it's not so much strictly a performance issue as that the G1 simply does not tolerate underexposure at all. I hadn't learned this when I did the DanceBrazil photos, many of which have marginally crummy-looking dark areas, but for the Mia McSwain workshop I caught on and tried a procedure that seemed to work better: I'd use the AE lock to hold a workable base exposure, then dial in exposure compensation with the front dial as needed to push the in-finder histogram well over to the right. I did get a few overexposed shots this way, but they were all savable with a curve adjustment.

    -- The difference between the R-D 1's basically instant shutter response and the G1's slower response (I know Monza thinks this is all in my head, but my shutter finger says different) took some getting used to, but I did get used to it.

    -- I continue to be impressed by how well I can focus wide-aperture lenses on the G1 without resorting to the "manual focus assist" magnification feature. I only used it about twice, and both times it showed peak focus where I already had gotten it at normal magnification.

    -- Looking at the shots in Lightroom, I was worried that the G1 images seemed to display more chroma noise in dark areas. But when I exported them, they looked considerably better than what I had seen on the monitor -- and in fact better than a few comparison images I exported from Raw Developer. Maybe I can stop worrying about this, at least in most cases...

    -- I was shooting roughly equal amounts with both cameras, but was surprised to find that my initial "quick picks" favored the G1 by about a 3:1 margin. I suspect this is mostly because I used the R-D 1 for wider lenses and the G1 for longer ones, and being a bit of a throwback I still like the old-fashioned photojournalism approach of using just a few wide "establishing shots" to set the scene, then trying to tell the story with details.

    Anyway, the combo-concept experiment seems to be going well for me... and maybe it's my imagination, but carrying a bag with the R-D 1, the G1, and five M-mount lenses (21, 28, 35, 50 and 100) still seems lighter than carrying a bag with my Nikon D300 and 35/2, 50/1.4/ 85/1.8, and 70-200/2.8!

    So far, I'm liking the idea...

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    The Epson Store Japan's price 299,800 yen (US$3071).

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Senior Member Y.B.Hudson III's Avatar
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    yehh...it's a paradigm shift... invest in just one [email protected] Lense (@ $10,000... notyourLuX)...and change camera body for a different "effective [email protected] length...

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    Super Duper
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    Re: R-D 1 and G1 combo workout

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    -- The difference between the R-D 1's basically instant shutter response and the G1's slower response (I know Monza thinks this is all in my head, but my shutter finger says different) took some getting used to, but I did get used to it.
    Heh. Literally, I think it's all in your finger.

    Actually from a previous post, if memory serves, you had said the D80 felt faster than the G1, although the G1 actually has a shorter lag (for all practical purposes they are identical -- 77ms vs 83ms.) 6ms is far too short of a difference for a human to perceive.

    OK, I looked it up to be sure:

    "I always have to anticipate the action a bit: with the R-D 1 hardly at all, with the D300 a bit more, with the D80 a bit more than that. The G1 seems to require a little more than the D80."

    Similarly the difference between the RD1 at 40ms and the D300 at 45ms is too short to perceive.

    My gut tells me you are sensing differences between the various cameras in 'feel' or handling or some other perception (the feel of the shutter button press itself?) rather than actual difference in lag.

    Impressive detail in that Nokton, I must say. And very helpful info regarding underexposure...the Epson and the G1 are definitely complementary.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: R-D 1 and G1 combo workout

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    ...snip...

    You M8 owners don't need to be as interested in the idea of supplementing your RF camera with a G1, since your cameras have finder frames for longer lenses, and a long enough RF base to focus most of them accurately (although I think even yours might be challenged by, say, a 100mm f/2 Canon at close distances.)
    ...
    I am interested because I would never take my M8 to an event alone and I don't have a backup M8. I agree with you that the G1 complements the R-D1, but I think that my G1 complements my M8 for the same reasons. It is wonderful to have a backup that easily fits in the bag, uses the M lenses (with adapter), and costs less than $1000.

    I really enjoyed looking at this series. Thank you for sharing it.

  23. #23
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    Re: R-D 1 and G1 combo workout

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    My gut tells me you are sensing differences between the various cameras in 'feel' or handling or some other perception (the feel of the shutter button press itself?) rather than actual difference in lag.
    After re-reading your quote noting that originally I was comparing the G1 to the D80 rather than the R-D 1, I think I now understand what was going on.

    I assume nobody disputes that the R-D 1's lag time is shorter, since nothing else has to happen before the shutter fires; no mirror to flip, no G1 shutter to close and re-open, etc.

    But, I can believe I was mis-estimating the amount of lag in the G1 vs. the D80. What I was observing with the Brazilian dance class, for example, was that with the G1 I had to "lead" movement (which was very fast) by about "half a gesture" -- for example, if I wanted to show the arms out, I had to shoot when they were in, and vice-versa.

    Now, for all I know, I might have had to do the same thing with the D80. The difference is that with the D80, I wouldn't know until I "chimped" later whether I had gotten the right moment or not; with the G1 (assuming review is turned on; I usually keep it set to 1 second) I would find out right away whether or not I had hit it. So, my misses were more evident with the G1 than the D80, simply because with the G1 I found out about them right away.

    So, case closed and Monza was right, at least in the case of D80 vs. G1 -- there really isn't any significant lag difference, and I was thinking there was because of misperception.

    I think it's still pretty evident that the R-D has less lag, but that's not what Monza had been questioning originally.

    Incidentally, my key point in the most recent writeup was that although the G1 has more lag than the R-D, I was able to get used to it pretty quickly. I suspect that the instant feedback provided by the in-finder review makes it easier to get my timing dialed in.

    We should all know that it's not how much lag that counts, it's how consistently you can anticipate it -- after all, sports photographers of the '30s got great action shots with Graflex cameras that had, relatively speaking, about enough shutter lag to drink a cup of coffee between pressing the lever and the shutter actually firing...

  24. #24
    Ranger 9
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    The Epson Store Japan's price 299,800 yen (US$3071).
    Anything on there about spare batteries? I can't read Japanese (being an ignorant gaijin) and Google wasn't able to translate the page...

  25. #25
    Super Duper
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    Re: Now a new Epson vs the G1

    I think for $3000 I'd look towards a lightly used M8 or a new FF dSLR (without any major improvement to sensor design as good as it was for it's day.)
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