Ivan Aguiar's sexy-red Epson R-D1

Replacing the rubber covering

Camera Leather supplies numerous real leather alternative coverings that are self-adhesive and easy to apply (this US-based company will re-cover your camera for you if you do not want to do it yourself). Morgan Sparks, the owner of Camera Leather, states:

You can order any of the materials we have in stock for your Epson. The factory covering is a molded piece, and our aftermarket kit will give the camera a slightly thinner circumference. But it is not an issue, really. The new covering fits nicely inside the edges of the top and bottom plates. There is an issue with the molded back grip piece, and here is what I have been letting other R-D1 owners know about the issue:

We strongly suggest you leave the original molded part on the back. Removing it creates a condition where, if you are holding the camera with your right hand without a strap, your thumb will push up to the card slot door, and if it opens you may drop the camera. This has been observed by one of the two photographers that have been beta testing the R-D1 kit. It’s enough of a concern that probably we will not offer anything for the back once the R-D1 has a real dedicated section on our site.

I’ll be happy to include the two-piece section for the grip area on the back, as long as you understand and accept the limitation and risk in applying them. Otherwise, you can just apply the front sections and not worry about it!

Tip: In re-covering your camera, the removal of the original glue that held on the rubber covering can be a pain. See this thread on Rangefinder Forum for tips the ‘thumb rubbing’ technique. Also read this thread on re-covering the R-D1. You can also find some examples of the R-D1 re-covered on the forum.

Ivan Aguiar's sexy-red Epson R-D1

Figure 1. Epson R-D1 recovered with seal-grain leatherette from cameraleather.com. Image courtesy of Ivan Aguiar.

There are two general reasons why R-D1 users re-cover their cameras. First, the rubber covering may start peeling off and/or showing wear. At the time of writing, you can have your camera re-covered by Epson in Japan (covered here), but you may decided to opt for a covering provided by Camera Leather. Second, some owners just like to ‘tweak’ their cameras by re-covering it themselves with Griptac or gray lizard leather.