Timeless: Epson R-D1x

Fighting the current boredom from the photo industry, which I had referred to in my previous post, it came to my mind that I had to do something, write something and post something, in order to keep this blog alive and prevent readers from thinking Measuring Light is about to collapse.

Truth be said though, I find it hard to motivate myself to write something useful or minimally interesting — because there is hardly anything interesting happening with camera brands now.

With this came the idea of posting some photos of my camera gear and share with you the story behind each of my cameras — yes, every camera has its own story, like when and why I bought it, where did it go with me, to what trips with whom, and so on.

Precious gem

I doubt anybody in 2020 would be searching for the Epson R-D1x, let alone contemplating the idea of buying one. Or even knowing it exists. But I just thought that if I’m going to start something here featuring mouth-watering photos of my cameras, then I should start with this one for sure.

I bought the Epson R-D1x in 2019 and wrote a long story about this camera that can be found here in case you are interested.

I was so impressed with this camera that I started to call it my precious gem. And indeed this is such a beautiful camera. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let the following shots make justice.

This camera is unique. And for me it was love at first sight. The chemistry was immediate. Bells and whistles are a waste of time in photo gear and, to some extent, in everything we interact with in life.

When the fundamentals are right — and this camera felt like the perfect fit since day 1 — then no adaptation period is required because you bond with the camera immediately. You feel comfortable and start shooting in no time, because there’s nothing getting in your way — no special setting to learn, no LCD brightness to set. Everything is transparent and there is full mutual understanding.

Products like this one are rare nowadays. At the same category I can only think of digital Leica M cameras, which are obviously very similar in principle. These products are a joy to use due to their simplicity.

And, because of this, they are beautiful to look at, they are very elegant. The sort of elegance that will stand the test of time because they are pure. The Epson R-D1x is based on the old analogic Voigtlander Bessa, just as current digital Leica M bodies are based on the old M series rangefinders.

These cameras were solid on the very beginning, were solid since their first iteration — hence their digital versions are similarly solid.

And timeless.

Obviously you can call this camera obsolete by current digital standards. But frankly this is not how you should approach this camera — after all, this is a vintage product. Its CCD sensor produces photos with brownish, pastel-like colours that look like old film — and this is part of the fun.

Yes, because using this camera is good fun. Checking the analog dials, pulling the lever to re-cock the shutter after each shot… It’s pure and it’s what photography should be: simple and no distractions.

Why can’t camera manufacturers nowadays produce more products like this one for us to enjoy, is just a sad reality.

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