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Epson R-D1: Common faults

Analogue gauges incorrect and cannot be recalibrated

There are rare reports of the battery needle indicating fully charged batteries as part charged, and the menu calibration function will not reset the gauge. Even rarer, other needles may become misaligned (e.g. the white balance pointer) that recalibration will not correct.


  1. Switch the camera on
  2. Use the menu calibration function to partially calibrate the gauge
  3. Select ‘Finish’
  4. Switch the camera off
  5. Repeat steps 14 until fully calibrated.

It can take three or four cycles to fully reset the gauge.

Blank frames

There are a reports of the shutter tripping but blank black frames being recorded instead of an image. An old or poor-quality generic battery can cause this owing to inadequate charge; however, there are a few reports of this problem occurring with a fully charged battery.


If the battery is not the cause, professional attention is required.

Misfocusing or misaligned rangefinder

This is by far the most common fault, with nearly one-third of owners reporting that their new R-D1 had focusing problems or a misaligned focusing patch: a new camera should be in perfect adjustment.

However, all rangefinder cameras will require the rangefinder to be recalibrated at some stage owing to normal wear and tear.


This should be fixed under guarantee for new cameras. It is a straightforward job that any camera technician should be able to handle, and can also be done by yourself.

Misaligned framelines

Some R-D1 cameras have framelines that are tilted in the viewfinder.


This is a manufacturing fault that should be fixed under guarantee.

Seized shutter

This is often due to using an old or substandard generic battery that has inadequate charge. However, although the shutter is a high-quality component made by Copal, there have been a few reports of shutter failure unrelated to the battery.

Similarly to the Cosina-Voigtländer Bessa cameras, the shutter can jam if it is cocked before it has fully released.

Before worrying unduly, do check that the battery hasnít run out or that the memory card isnít full!


The temporary solution is to turn the camera off then on; alter the shutter speed dial if the shutter remains seized. The permanent solution is to discard the battery as the shutter could jam, requiring professional repair.

Professional attention is required if a new battery does not solve the problem, as the shutter mechanism will need attention.

LCD screen not working

There have been rare reports of the LCD screen dying: it simply stops working.


This may be fixable yourself if you're happy to dismantle your camera and have some knowledge of electrical circuits; otherwise, the camera will need to be sent off to Epson. Steve’s Camera Service Center, based in the USA, have experience of servicing and repairing the Epson R-D1 and may also be able repair the camera.

The most common reason for this fault is a blown internal fuse or a faulty switch on the LCD swivel mechanism, or a combination  the latter can cause the former.