Photographing “Yoga Truck” with an Epson RD1

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

I love to photograph old trucks that have lots of personality like the one above. For another example, see my post, “Shooting Wide Screen Photography with Film,” that was shot with a Russian-made Horizon panoramic film camera.

I photographed The Yoga Truck using an Epson R-D1 digital rangefinder camera that was originally announced in March 2004 but was later discontinued in 2007. It was, in fact, the first digital rangefinder camera, even before Leica made one.

The R-D1 was jointly developed by Seiko Epson and Cosina, who used to make Voigtländer cameras but now specializes in creating beautifully crafted and unique lenses. The Epson RD1 used Leica M-mount lenses and you could fit earlier Leica screw mount lenses by using an adapter. The R-D1 and the subsequent versions of the camera used the same 1.5X Sony sensor as the Pentax *ist D (remember that one?) and also Nikon’s D100. The R-D1 was, alas, never officially imported into the US but I was able to borrow one for a few weeks and made, among other images, the above photograph.

How I made this shot: Lens was a Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2 lens with an exposure of 1/1600 sec at f/8 and ISO 400. The camera originally sold for $599 or about $800 in today’s dollars but you will have to cough up double that number to get one in nice condition these days. If you’re interested in learning more, see my review of the RD1 on the Shutterbug website.