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Thread: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

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    R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I am trying to move from DSLR to RF system now. I got the Leica M film body and lenses, and looking for digital system that I can use my leica lenses.

    No money for M8/M9... I am not a professional photographer.

    Mostly, I will take pictures of my family including my 2 years old girl. and I also love to take a street photo and a landscape photo.

    Which one should I pick??

    Or should I wait until new fuji mirrorless comes out?

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I looked at many options and had a similar decision. I can't speak to the Nex5N too much other than if you have an interest you will also have access to AF lenses. I went with the GXR with the M-mount. My main reason was I had a Nikon DSLR and I wanted to experience the lack of an AA filter. I already had an AF camera though.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    An Epson R-D1 or R-D1s is a delightful 6Mpixel camera, however I am a bit wary of it since they only made a relatively small number. This makes repair information, parts and support a risk. Batteries are easily available still and there are a couple of places that advertise new ones (usually from Japan) on Ebay from time to time.

    The biggest issue is that the R-D1 is often no less expensive than a used Leica M8 and the Leica you will certainly have service and support for some time to come. The Leica also has a higher resolution sensor and, while not perfect, if you want a rangefinder camera it's one of the three available.

    The GXR is what I use as complement to my Leica M4-2. I find it an excellent camera in every way and like its controls significantly more than the NEX cameras.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    You've only listed one rangefinder, so to me the choice is easy based on that.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I went a similar route in constant trying to find a cheaper alternative to getting a digital rangefinder. The truth is you will just eventually end up with a digital M anyway so start saving. Mirrorless cameras are very nice and can produce very nice images. I have no experience with the RD-1 but like others say I've seen them for about the same price as a used M8 (~$2,000.) I'm not a professional photographer either and it's just a hobby for me as it is for many here but there really is not substitute for a real rangefinder when you want a rangefinder in my experience. Everything else just leads you to desiring it more.

    Case in point I can't remember the last time I touched my NEX-5 but the G1 still gets used on occasion.
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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    I went a similar route in constant trying to find a cheaper alternative to getting a digital rangefinder. The truth is you will just eventually end up with a digital M anyway so start saving. I'm not a professional photographer either and it's just a hobby for me as it is for many here but there really is not substitute for a real rangefinder when you want a rangefinder in my experience. Everything else just leads you to desiring it more.
    I agree... if you want a mechanical rangefinder, then only a mechanical rangefinder will make you happy.

    Also, Pro has nothing to do with it... there are many Pros who cannot afford Leica. It is a matter of priorities, salary, and frugality that generally makes one not buy a Leica.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Everyone, thank you for the comments. I didn't notice that R-D1 could be as expensive as M8. I thought I could get the R-D1 about $1,200.

    I think I will try to get GXR for now.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by ark8012 View Post
    I thought I could get the R-D1 about $1,200.
    You can sometimes.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by ark8012 View Post
    Everyone, thank you for the comments. I didn't notice that R-D1 could be as expensive as M8. I thought I could get the R-D1 about $1,200.

    I think I will try to get GXR for now.
    Occasionally you can find the R-D1 available at around that money. At present, there's one listed on Ebay for $1400 BIN from Matsuistore in Japan ... but camera, charger, battery only, not mint. I am tempted myself, but then I think to myself, "That's money that I could keep in the bank for an M9-P next year."

    Although I'm champing at the bit, the truth is that I'm horrendously busy right now and even the GXR-M is only getting light use. I think I'm just going to force myself to be patient and acquire what I really want, the M9, next year when I planned to.

    BTW, I agree with the comment
    ... Also, Pro has nothing to do with it... there are many Pros who cannot afford Leica. It is a matter of priorities, salary, and frugality that generally makes one not buy a Leica.
    I've been a working pro and not off and on since 1970. I am "not" at present: having accepted a full-time position doing something else for my living and doing photography as my avocation, not my career, again. I always weight the cost and advantages of equipment against my other priorities very carefully.

    I am fortunate to say that I can easily afford the M9 now ... my new position is quite lucrative, a huge change from where the photography business was going ... but I find it better not to distract myself with too much equipment buying in too short a time. I've already been through a round of new equipment gathering this year and now will start simplifying as my photographic interests and intent has re-formed away from the pressures of making money once again.

    I know, however, that I want a Leica M in my kit again ... the M4-2 proves that to me beyond the shadow of a doubt ... and as much as I still like the look and feel of film, I'm much more productive and happier with a digital camera. So an M9 will be mine when the moment is right. ;-)

    --
    Wanted to add that I really like using the GXR as well too. It's a different tool, a different kind of camera, with far more flexibility than a rangefinder, and tremendous lens versatility. For instance, I use it with both Ricoh's own A12 50mm and Micro-Nikkor 55 and 200mm Macro lenses, with the Micro-Nikkor 200 plus TC-300 teleconverter for an ultra-tele field of view, etc etc. The Ricoh GXR-M produces incredibly good quality images and by popping another camera unit in can be everything from an ultra zoom point and shoot to a pro-capable serious shooter, all with the same control interface. A wonderful little beast!!
    Last edited by Godfrey; 1st December 2011 at 09:07.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    The Nex works fine with m-lenses but it is a different feel than an optical rangefinder.
    I would really recommend to handle the options in a store and see if you like them from the user interface side.
    The rd1 is closest to a digital M, the gxr and nex give you the option to use both-the m-lenses but also a af zoom when you need it.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Easy decision from my point of view... Epson R-D1.

    Shot with one extensively until I sold it to fund the M9. Quirky, short battery, hard to find battery replacement, 3 frame lines only, a dated sensor... but boy is it a fun camera to shoot on a daily basis. The 1:1 viewfinder truly made it an extension of the eye. Pair that camera to a tri-elmar 28-35-50 and you have a very flexible single camera/single lens combination. I liked the images it produced.

    Future repairs may be a concern. As someone mentioned. I recall www.stevecamera.com accepting repair requests.

    I miss it.. wouldn't hesitate buying one if funds were available. I sold mine for more than what I paid for it (refurbished from Epson, Japan)

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    And then there is the Nex 7...

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    There is, indeed, the NEX7 - but If you're happy contemplating 6mp on the RD-1 (lovely, but such old tech, and not totally reliable). Then a NEX 5n with a viewfinder is definitely a thought.
    of course the Ricoh also has focus peaking - but by all accounts the viewfinder is nothing like as good as the Sony one.

    Still - I can't really comment on the Ricoh,

    What I can say is that the NEX 5n is the only non-leica camera I've ever thought it worth shooting M glass on - and it's rather a joy with focus peaking (read MR on the NEX7 at luminous landscape which has the same viewfinder).- but you do need the plug in EVF (IMHO). The image quality is fantastic - added to which there are some decent kit zoom lenses, and certainly more NEX AF lenses coming.

    no-brainer I'd say

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    There is, indeed, the NEX7 - but If you're happy contemplating 6mp on the RD-1 (lovely, but such old tech, and not totally reliable). Then a NEX 5n with a viewfinder is definitely a thought.
    of course the Ricoh also has focus peaking - but by all accounts the viewfinder is nothing like as good as the Sony one.

    Still - I can't really comment on the Ricoh,

    What I can say is that the NEX 5n is the only non-leica camera I've ever thought it worth shooting M glass on - and it's rather a joy with focus peaking (read MR on the NEX7 at luminous landscape which has the same viewfinder).- but you do need the plug in EVF (IMHO). The image quality is fantastic - added to which there are some decent kit zoom lenses, and certainly more NEX AF lenses coming.

    no-brainer I'd say
    I don't know what the no-brainer here is. I've only seen some NEX 7 results with M-bayonet lenses and the color shifting/edge smearing problems were immediately apparent (nowhere near as good as the NEX 5n images I've seen or the Ricoh GXR-M). While the NEX 7 body looks to be very nice indeed, I suspect it is going to be a fine performer with NEX and adapted SLR lenses only.

    I find the NEX 5n control layout pretty miserable, but the EVF and articulated screen are very nice. The GXR's EVF is good if not great, the screen is excellent if not articulated, and the control ergonomics are superb. The GXR's image quality with CV, Leica and Zeiss RF lenses, particularly short focal lengths, is more pleasing to me than what I've seen of the NEX 5n although they're close. The NEX 5n has about a 1-1.5 stop sensitivity advantage over the GXR on the noise front, if ultra-high-ISO shooting is essential to you.

    The GXR's ability to do personality changes by switching camera units is not achieved by any other camera on the market.

    Nothing "no brainer" about choosing which of these cameras is going to do the best job ... There are a lot of considerations and none of them are easy to determine without some study by the person who's going to use the camera.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I know, however, that I want a Leica M in my kit again ... the M4-2 proves that to me beyond the shadow of a doubt ... and as much as I still like the look and feel of film, I'm much more productive and happier with a digital camera. So an M9 will be mine when the moment is right. ;-)!!
    Yes, I bought the M9 last year because I wanted the camera I truly wanted to use... mechanical rangefinder, full frame, m mount, digital, etc. However, I live in NYC and don't own a house, don't have a car, and don't have a kid. If I did have any of these, I wouldn't have bought the M9 most likely (due to the funds being used elsewhere). I love the M9, but I cannot see myself buying the M10... which I think will be around $10,000. Luckily, Leica will be making a APS-C camera that may be good enough and the Fuji LX10 looks good too.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I have no experience on Epson so I won't comment on it.

    I have been using NEX-5N with Contax G lenses (28/35/45/90) and Leica R (50/60/90/100APO/180APO/400) lenses for a while and I am very happy with the IQ. The performance in high ISO is excellent. The native Sony lenses I have (24/18-75) were good but not great. Just recently, I started using Ricoh GXR with 28/2.5 and 50/2.5 lens modules as a travel set. I really like the IQ from Ricoh. These Ricoh lenses are top notch performers. Personally, I prefer the images from Ricoh (but that's just me and it's very subjective). To my eyes, Ricoh images have deeper and richer colors with beautiful rendering signatures. But as stated by others, you won't go wrong with either NEX 5N and Ricoh GXR.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    As some one else said, you have listed only one digital rangefinder, the Epson.

    If you like that exact method of focusing, the coupled range finder as implemented by Leica, then it is the only choice on your list. As you have a M, you know all about this.

    I have an RD-1, and I go through the angst about selling it often. Mint, in box, they go for 1200-1400 on RFF classifieds. ( If they ever come back on line )

    In addition, I have shoot pretty extensively with a G1/G3, and while good, mirror less is not CRF. It is different, may or may not suit your needs.

    An RD-1 is a great machine to use!

    Dave

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I don't know what the no-brainer here is. I've only seen some NEX 7 results with M-bayonet lenses and the color shifting/edge smearing problems were immediately apparent (nowhere near as good as the NEX 5n images I've seen or the Ricoh GXR-M). While the NEX 7 body looks to be very nice indeed, I suspect it is going to be a fine performer with NEX and adapted SLR lenses only.
    Hi Godfrey - you could be right . . . certainly with expect to M mount wide angle lenses
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I find the NEX 5n control layout pretty miserable,
    I think they're so left field that you really do need to spend a week or so to get to grips - but I don't need to use the menus anymore, having configured the relevant buttons - it's certainly not as intuitive as the Ricoh, but fine when you get used to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

    but the EVF and articulated screen are very nice. The GXR's EVF is good if not great,
    Yes - but EVFs are really at the edge of usability - IMHO neither the much vaunted Olymps VF2 nor the Ricoh are in the same ball park as the A77/NEX5n/Nex7 viewfinder, and while this technology is so close to being unusable this really really matters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    the screen is excellent if not articulated, and the control ergonomics are superb. The GXR's image quality with CV, Leica and Zeiss RF lenses, particularly short focal lengths, is more pleasing to me than what I've seen of the NEX 5n although they're close. The NEX 5n has about a 1-1.5 stop sensitivity advantage over the GXR on the noise front, if ultra-high-ISO shooting is essential to you.

    The GXR's ability to do personality changes by switching camera units is not achieved by any other camera on the market.
    Hmmm well, my NEX does some grand personality changes . . . one minute there's the 18-200 zoom (which is big, but better than it deserves to be). The next it can have a Leica 180 f2.8 app, and the next a 70-200 f2.8 with phase detect.

    I understand you can put small sensor zooms on the Ricoh, but I don't personally think that's preferable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Nothing "no brainer" about choosing which of these cameras is going to do the best job ... There are a lot of considerations and none of them are easy to determine without some study by the person who's going to use the camera.
    Well, sorry Godfrey - I think it is a bit of a no-brainer - whilst I absolutely agree that the Ricoh interface is much more elegant I think that the flexibility and image quality (and price) of the 5n knocks it into a cocked hat.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I'm reading this thread with great interest. I currently use a Leica M8, an Olympus E-30, and a Panasonic G1.

    The M8 is my main camera, I'm a long-time confirmed rangefinder guy. The E-30 is for times when I a DSLR is a better tool, particularly for telephoto. I wish it had better low-light performance--I live in mostly cloudy Seattle, not sunny California. But in general, I'm pretty happy with it.

    The G1 is my "light, small, good enough to use in most situations" take-anywhere camera. I can use practically any lens I own on it. In practice, though, I've found non-native lenses of less than 50mm too much of a bother. I primarily use with its kit zoom and a 20/1.7. It's nice with an Oly OM 50/3.5 macro. I've taken a VC 90/3.5 for Leica with me on trips, and found that for relatively static subjects, it makes a great effective 180mm lens on the G1.

    I've been thinking about extending my low-light capabilities a bit. I've considered going to either a Pentax K-5 or a Nikon D7000 or 700. But that would mean getting into a whole new system, including new lenses. So I've been thinking seriously about the NEX-5n, NEX-7, or the GXR to replace the G1 as my go-anywhere do-anything camera. So far, improvements in Micro 4/3 have been small and incremental, but the low-light and dynamic range improvements in the NEXs and GXR are enough that I might consider making the jump.

    So I'm eager to know how others have fared using the NEXs and GXR with Leica-mount lenses. I'm interested in usability, how "fiddly" it is, working with non-static subjects, focusing ease, and image quality.

    --Peter

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Klein View Post
    I'm reading this thread with great interest. I currently use a Leica M8, an Olympus E-30, and a Panasonic G1.

    The M8 is my main camera, I'm a long-time confirmed rangefinder guy. The E-30 is for times when I a DSLR is a better tool, particularly for telephoto. I wish it had better low-light performance--I live in mostly cloudy Seattle, not sunny California. But in general, I'm pretty happy with it.

    The G1 is my "light, small, good enough to use in most situations" take-anywhere camera. I can use practically any lens I own on it. In practice, though, I've found non-native lenses of less than 50mm too much of a bother. I primarily use with its kit zoom and a 20/1.7. It's nice with an Oly OM 50/3.5 macro. I've taken a VC 90/3.5 for Leica with me on trips, and found that for relatively static subjects, it makes a great effective 180mm lens on the G1.

    I've been thinking about extending my low-light capabilities a bit. I've considered going to either a Pentax K-5 or a Nikon D7000 or 700. But that would mean getting into a whole new system, including new lenses. So I've been thinking seriously about the NEX-5n, NEX-7, or the GXR to replace the G1 as my go-anywhere do-anything camera. So far, improvements in Micro 4/3 have been small and incremental, but the low-light and dynamic range improvements in the NEXs and GXR are enough that I might consider making the jump.

    So I'm eager to know how others have fared using the NEXs and GXR with Leica-mount lenses. I'm interested in usability, how "fiddly" it is, working with non-static subjects, focusing ease, and image quality.

    --Peter
    Hi Peter,
    I am a long time Leica M user (M6 then rd1 later M8 and now M9), and also have owned m4/3 and now nex as small camera.
    On the m4/3 I have used the M lenses only very few times and then prefered to just use Oly/Pana m4/3 lenses.
    The Nex works better with M lenses IMO first because of focus peaking and second because with the nex viewfinder I sometimes forget its EVF (I dont forget when using m4/3). IQ looks pretty good to me so far, but I dont think its up to a M8 or M9 at lower ISO.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I bought a used Leica M8 almost two years ago for $2500, 400 clicks, "mint" with box.
    The M8 gets a lot of use. With some patience, you can find a lightly used one at a good price- $2000 range. I also have an Olympus EP2, use it with Leica mount lenses- but prefer the M8.

    I liked the M8 enough to pick up an M9 about 6months ago, paid for by selling gear. The M8 with a C-Sonnar and the M9 with a 35mm is a great combo. Both get used.

    Some shots here with the Combo, Jamestown Settlement on Thanksgiving Day.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...
    I think they're so left field that you really do need to spend a week or so to get to grips - but I don't need to use the menus anymore, having configured the relevant buttons - it's certainly not as intuitive as the Ricoh, but fine when you get used to it.
    It's not a matter of having to use the menus, I just don't like the organization of the controls at all. It feels very awkward in my hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Yes - but EVFs are really at the edge of usability - IMHO neither the much vaunted Olymps VF2 nor the Ricoh are in the same ball park as the A77/NEX5n/Nex7 viewfinder, and while this technology is so close to being unusable this really really matters.
    Matter of opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hmmm well, my NEX does some grand personality changes . . . one minute there's the 18-200 zoom (which is big, but better than it deserves to be). The next it can have a Leica 180 f2.8 app, and the next a 70-200 f2.8 with phase detect.

    I understand you can put small sensor zooms on the Ricoh, but I don't personally think that's preferable.
    Changing a lens is quite different from changing a camera unit. The "changing a lens" transformation you see with the NEX is the same as doing it with the GXR-M. But when you snick in a different camera unit (remember, there are four, with another APS-C camera unit coming, not just the M mount and the small-sensor P10 and S10 zooms), it is actually a different camera but with the same, excellent control interface.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, sorry Godfrey - I think it is a bit of a no-brainer - whilst I absolutely agree that the Ricoh interface is much more elegant I think that the flexibility and image quality (and price) of the 5n knocks it into a cocked hat.
    Another matter of opinion. I don't see that the 5n is any more flexible or versatile, and don't see that it performs any better than the GXR-M with the lenses I use. Switching to the A12 28 and A12 50 camera units, I don't see any Sony lenses of comparable performance to GXR fitted with these camera units. The price difference isn't so significant when you're going to spend $500-$1000+ a pop on M-bayonet lenses to have far more usable ergonomics.

    For me, the only real draw to the NEX 5n is the new EVF and the articulated LCD, and that's not enough of a draw to "knock it into a cocked hat" at all.

    Both cameras can make superb photographs, of course. The differences we're going on about are a matter of minutiae and personal biases.

    "Equipment is transitory. Photographs endure. ... Equipment often gets in the way of Photography."

    G

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Wow, thank you guys. I think I got a lot of useful/interesting information for this thread.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    My R-D1 and my Nex C3 are up for sale right now - I am still clutching my GXR with five modules in my sticky little fingers (and saving up for the APS-C zoom)

    Keith

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Interesting discussion.
    We enjoy here the hospitality of the Leica forum to discuss Sony and Ricoh.
    At least we are talking about the usefullnes of rangefinder lenses on these cameras.

    One thing I would like to add, besides its interface, is the design/feel quality of the Ricoh. Cold metal.
    The camera is small but feels/is very sturdy and looks to me somehow more like a classic camera in concordance with its interface, and not as a designed box with electronics in it with which you can take (great) pictures. In that respect the NEX 7 is moving in the right direction.
    You can also put a lot of adapters on the M mount as well and use lots of other lenses. I bought the M42, MD, FD and Leica R adpters for it. Works great.
    I red somewhere that they tested the mount up to 5 kg instead of the max. of 1 kg on a G1 or GH2. My Leica R APO Telyt 180/3.4 doesn't feel like it's going to drop off like on the GH2.
    Did not try my 300 Canon FD yet

    The M mount module makes the Ricoh a little (wider) bigger which I like, and it feels that it is made for rangefinder lenses.

    Absolutly nothing wrong with the quality of the files.
    So I hold my breath for a while with the Nex 7 and wait for the near developments of (a full frame) Fuji and Ricoh some time more.

    In the meantime I have a lot to enjoy with the Ricoh.

    Michiel

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    rd1 body will sell for between 1200 and 1600 now...1100 for a quick sale.
    batteries are easily found on ebay...i have 2 bodies with about 6 batteries and 2 more new ones still in the packages.
    when it was a new camera/sensor it took great images and funnily enough it still takes great images...lovely low light/high iso...fab colours...film like.
    epson japan will still do a full cla on one for an amazingly low price...all coordinated by a broker in japan for a low fee.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Do any of the Nex or similar cameras have a proper shutter speed dial or is it all done by menus or auto-exposure? That, and the absence or otherwise of an optical viewfinder would be the determining factors for me. I bought a RD-1 when they first came out (late 2004?) and was pretty underwhelmed at the time but I'd take the RD-1 any time in preference to shoehorning an M lens onto what looks like a glorified P&S digicam.*

    *Maybe I'm missing something but putting M lenses on these Sony things seems about as attractive a proposition (from a user/ergonomic perspective) as sticking a lens on my iphone.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    I have never seen an R-D1 sell for anywhere near $2000 in the last (at least) 4 years. But if they have gone up that much, I have a very nice perfectly functioning one with all the beautiful packaging and accessories I might be convinced to part with.

    I have had 3 of them and one had a problem that Epson service fixed in a little over a week. My only M8 had to spend a couple of months, IIRC, to have a warranty problem fixed. So, I don't perceive the Epson as any less reliable - though I am not sure if Epson still provides that level of service.

    The Epson is such a pleasure to use that I hate to think of not having one around but I admit to using it a lot less since I got an M9. But I am thinking of selling something to get a GH2 for video - though I suppose I should look into the Nex and Ricoh as well....

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    Do any of the Nex or similar cameras have a proper shutter speed dial or is it all done by menus or auto-exposure? That, and the absence or otherwise of an optical viewfinder would be the determining factors for me. I bought a RD-1 when they first came out (late 2004?) and was pretty underwhelmed at the time but I'd take the RD-1 any time in preference to shoehorning an M lens onto what looks like a glorified P&S digicam.*

    *Maybe I'm missing something but putting M lenses on these Sony things seems about as attractive a proposition (from a user/ergonomic perspective) as sticking a lens on my iphone.
    The form factor of the Nex is hard for me to warm up to as well. Your comparison to mounting it to the iPhone is a good one, IMO...

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    *Maybe I'm missing something but putting M lenses on these Sony things seems about as attractive a proposition (from a user/ergonomic perspective) as sticking a lens on my iphone.
    Hmm - well, I think you're missing something. I spent years and years saying NEVER to EVFs, tried many, hated all of them. Shooting M lenses on a NEX5n is fine - focus peaking makes focusing really fast and easy - all over the frame - no crappy zooming in and out - the shutter lag is almost non existent (much less than my lovely M9). It's a funny thing, and it takes getting used to, but I now rather like it. The low light is really really good - put a nocti on it and you can take black cats in a coal mine. The EVF is really good - so good that you begin to forget that it isn't optical . . . and then when you go back to an optical viewfinder it's horrifying that it doesn't show the white balance!

    . . . . and the NEX 7 will give you separate dials for shutter speed and ISO (or whatever else you want them to be). The NEX5n has one on the back for shutter speed, but it's fiddley.

    The Leica R 180 f2.8 APO is wonderful on it as well. . . . and the 28-90 zoom, focusing simple and fast. excellent.

    . . . . as for ergonomics, it has a fine grip for your right hand, and you hold the lens with your left - dials are a little close together, but you quickly get used to them, and I can do anything with my eye to the viewfinder now . . . .if you have to go into the menus, then the touch screen is fast and efficient.

    It's not romantic, but it does work really well . . . so well, that I often use it on evening jaunts with M lenses instead of the M9.
    all the best

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    *Maybe I'm missing something but putting M lenses on these Sony things seems about as attractive a proposition (from a user/ergonomic perspective) as sticking a lens on my iphone.
    Yes, it isn't useful, IME. See also: http://www.flickr.com/groups/carlzei...7628147189651/

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by GDI View Post
    I have never seen an R-D1 sell for anywhere near $2000 in the last (at least) 4 years. But if they have gone up that much, I have a very nice perfectly functioning one with all the beautiful packaging and accessories I might be convinced to part with.

    I have had 3 of them and one had a problem that Epson service fixed in a little over a week. My only M8 had to spend a couple of months, IIRC, to have a warranty problem fixed. So, I don't perceive the Epson as any less reliable - though I am not sure if Epson still provides that level of service.

    The Epson is such a pleasure to use that I hate to think of not having one around but I admit to using it a lot less since I got an M9. But I am thinking of selling something to get a GH2 for video - though I suppose I should look into the Nex and Ricoh as well....
    A couple years ago, when the M8 was still going for $5500 and the M8.2 was going for $6000, the RD-1 variants were still selling in the $2-3000 range... Mostly because of "cult status" and being a reasonably affordable digital rangefinder IMO. I only know this because I was just starting to get serious about pursuing a digital rangefinder around that time. I settled for a G1 and later a GF1 to hold me over until I could raise the funds for a M8... but then of course the full frame M9 rumors began and I skipped the M8 altogether. I eventually bought a M9 last year and a M9-P last week when they were readily available without having to wait months for one.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Yes, it isn't useful, IME. See also:
    Hi Vivek -
    How much experience do you have? I tried with the NEX5 - rejected it as unusable and forgot about it. For a different reason I got a NEX5n with a viewfinder . . . and then a Hawks factory helicoid adapter because Douglas recommended them , and I find that the combination is a joy to use - the controls all work properly without taking my eye from the viewfinder, focusing with peaking is a snap, and the whole package handles beautifully. The ability to focus close with M lenses is great fun . . . and useful too.

    I understand that these things are a matter of taste and opinion . . . . but I'm not the only person to like it - certainly it takes getting used to. The only caveat I have is that I don't think it's a good solution for wide angle - but then no APS/c or smaller sensor is going to be that.

    I've played around with the GXR and the M module, and I thought it fine (the controls are certainly nicer), but the LCD isn't really as good as the NEX, and the viewfinder on the Sony is really in a different league it's so much better. If you want to shoot jpg - fine - get the GXR - if you want to shoot RAW, then I think the Sony produces better results as well.

    Not suggesting you should like it for yourself . . . just pointing out that there are different views on this.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    A couple years ago, when the M8 was still going for $5500 and the M8.2 was going for $6000, the RD-1 variants were still selling in the $2-3000 range... Mostly because of "cult status" and being a reasonably affordable digital rangefinder IMO. I only know this because I was just starting to get serious about pursuing a digital rangefinder around that time. I settled for a G1 and later a GF1 to hold me over until I could raise the funds for a M8... but then of course the full frame M9 rumors began and I skipped the M8 altogether. I eventually bought a M9 last year and a M9-P last week when they were readily available without having to wait months for one.
    You must be talking about new R-D1 prices; I was referring to used prices. The three used ones I bought ranged from $1300 ( refurb'd with warranty from Epson) to $900. The first I bought was from Epson in 2006.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Not suggesting you should like it for yourself . . . just pointing out that there are different views on this.

    Jono: That (different view or rather experience) was the purpose of my earlier post. It is quite likely that I have little xperience than anyone who had bought and sold a camera in a flash, in general. It is also likely that I have very little experience with Leica gear. Neither impact my user experience.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...If you want to shoot jpg - fine - get the GXR - if you want to shoot RAW, then I think the Sony produces better results as well...
    Interesting indeed. I have experience with none but i would have thought the contrary. May i ask which raw converter you've used with the Ricoh?

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    They're all good but ...

    Way back during the rangefinder vs SLR wars of the 1960s and 70s a single quiet technological advance forever tipped market share towards SLR dominance. When auto aperature became the norm for SLRs in the early 1970s it meant that rangefinders no longer had superiority with respect to focusing and shooting at middle and small aperatures. An SLR shooter no longer had to focus at the widest aperature and then manually stop down the aperture prior to exposure - this technologial advance improved the "shooting workflow" for SLRs.

    We've given up this auto aperature advantage when we adapt manual focus lenses to DSLRs, mFT, NEX, and other non-rangefinder mirrorless systems. Optical rangefinders have, and always will have, this "shooting workflow" advantage. So will film SLRs with auto aperture.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by LCT View Post
    Interesting indeed. I have experience with none but i would have thought the contrary. May i ask which raw converter you've used with the Ricoh?
    Well if I may join in on this.
    I have a Ricoh and although the JPEG's are very good, I prefer RAW, of course.
    I like to turn the files into the JPEG's, or whatever, I want. Lightroom does well but I red a fellow called Malland, who is working with the M module much longer then me, in Rangefinderforum (down again), who says that for the Mac RPP (Raw Photo Processor) is very good. Have to try that soon.

    Anyway there is lots of room to play in the files of the M Module and I see no reason to be limited to JPG.

    Michiel

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
    says that for the Mac RPP (Raw Photo Processor) is very good. Have to try that soon.

    Michiel
    RPP is an acquired taste...once you understand it is it outstanding...

    Really allows a lot of latitude and development.

    C1 LR 3 and RPP .... all recognize the Ricoh DNG...not bad. All sorts of choices for development.

    Bob

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by LCT View Post
    Interesting indeed. I have experience with none but i would have thought the contrary. May i ask which raw converter you've used with the Ricoh?
    Oh - none - I've just looked - the point really was a criticism of the Sony jpg files rather than a criticism of the Ricoh RAW (and ricohs have always produced good jpgs). But when it comes to RAW, the sensor in the NEX5n is really excellent - the extra resolution isn't wasted, the dynamic range and high ISO are excellent, and the colour is also good. I use Aperture.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Work gave me a NEX-5N to use and it is quite excellent, focus peaking works exceptionally well! I have yet to try my M lenses on it though. The offset microlenses are supposed to work very well, but I haven't confirmed that for myself yet.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Oh - none - I've just looked - the point really was a criticism of the Sony jpg files rather than a criticism of the Ricoh RAW (and ricohs have always produced good jpgs). But when it comes to RAW, the sensor in the NEX5n is really excellent - the extra resolution isn't wasted, the dynamic range and high ISO are excellent, and the colour is also good. I use Aperture.
    My feeling about the Sony's raws as well but the Ricoh's are somewhat more MF or Leica like i feel in that they need less sharpening than the formers. Might come from the fact that the Ricoh's sensor has no AA filter perhaps i don't know.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Can't speak about the Sony's but the Ricoh files are subtantially sharper then what comes out of my GH2. Eventhough one never ones to take a step back in MP's it is worth it this time especially for M mount (wide angles) lenses.

    The only draw back for me is focussing, in some conditions, when you need to do it fast.
    It is a little slower stil then with the GH2, but I am still in the adapting stage and playing with different focus settings.

    Michiel

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
    Can't speak about the Sony's but the Ricoh files are subtantially sharper then what comes out of my GH2.
    Michiel

    Depends on the total amount of glass in front of the sensor (including the fixed cover plate).

    The GH-2 sensor has a total of ~5mm (!) of glass. Even after removing the AA filter, the addition of a plain glass with similar thickness to maintain the registry focus, the sharpness (or the fuzziness) remains the same.

    The Sony NEX have a total glass thickness of ~2.5mm in the optical path of their sensor.

    It could be that Ricoh might have even thinner glass, thus reducing the amount of aberration.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Sounds like the Ricoh has simply no AA filter at all. http://www.dpreview.com/products/ric...oh_gxrmounta12

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    AA filter isn't the only thing between the sensor and a lens in a camera.

    A sensor normally has a cover glass to seal it and protect it from the environment. This is usually ~1mm (perhaps a tad less in APS-C sensors).

    Then there is AA filter and then there is UV/IR cut filter.

    If the Ricoh does not have an AA filter, it still would have an UV/IR cut filter and that may double up as the cover glass (as in the Leica M8) thus reducing the overall "glass" in the optical path.

    The Epson RD1s is quite a dog in this aspect. >3.5mm of glass on the sensor.

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    Thumbs up Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    Do any of the Nex or similar cameras have a proper shutter speed dial or is it all done by menus or auto-exposure? That, and the absence or otherwise of an optical viewfinder would be the determining factors for me. I bought a RD-1 when they first came out (late 2004?) and was pretty underwhelmed at the time but I'd take the RD-1 any time in preference to shoehorning an M lens onto what looks like a glorified P&S digicam.*

    *Maybe I'm missing something but putting M lenses on these Sony things seems about as attractive a proposition (from a user/ergonomic perspective) as sticking a lens on my iphone.
    The rear dial of the NEX can be used as a shutter speed dial.

    OVF can't match the accuracy of a zoomed in EVF. Focus peaking is also a nice tool to use.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    i've read that GXR's like to be focused wide open then stopped down for the shot?

    from luminous landscapes:
    Just one parenthetical note. Because Leica M lenses have manual aperture rings one will always achieve best focus by doing so with the lens wide open. If you try and focus with the lens stopped down to shooting aperture, particularly at smaller apertures, depth of field can lead to some inaccuracy. My method of working is to open the lens wide (counter-clockwise), focus, and then stop down to shooting aperture. Once you know how many "clicks" it is to a given aperture one can do this with the camera at eye level.

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_vs_ryu View Post
    ...OVF can't match the accuracy of a zoomed in EVF. Focus peaking is also a nice tool to use.
    With wides as well?

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    Re: R-d1 vs GXR vs NEX 5N

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_vs_ryu View Post
    i've read that GXR's like to be focused wide open then stopped down for the shot?

    from luminous landscapes:
    What the Luminous Landscape quote says is accurate, but it's a matter of what works best for you. The GXR doesn't care or enforce any particular methodology ... how you focus the lens is your preference.

    I find that at my usual working lens openings (between f/2 and f/5.6) I get spot-on focus using the magnification and focus assist tools without bothering with going to wide open then stopping down again. Exactly what magnification and assist mode works best depends on both the subject matter and the lens, and to some degree on what lens opening I've chosen.

    The focusing tools are so effective that I've lately been spending time not using them because for speed and fluidity when shooting I find it important to be able to at least get an acceptably sharp focus setting without them. This is easy with normal and longer focal length lenses, a bit trickier with wides. But then with wides you can put more into presetting the focus zone anyway at smaller apertures.

    The EVF/LCD does eventually darken too much to be useful, but only in relatively dim circumstances where nearly any other TTL camera's focusing system is compromised as well. I've not yet come to a situation where I couldn't get a precise, critical focus if I concentrated on the task (usually I blow the focus by simply being too casual about it... !).

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