Is it paint or chrome?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by herb, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    I am wondering about the finish on "silver" cameras. Do the different RF cameras that are "silver" finish have paint or is it plating, i.e. chrome or whatever? The CameraQuest site says their Voiglanders are paint, but Zeiss nor Leica calls their finishes paint. Wazzup with that?
     
  2. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    There is paint and there is chrome...

    Leica Ms are difinitely chrome. Cheaper/newer cameras are often paint (on plastic).

    Don't know if "paint" is the right word, some other process is probably used, but it is far from the classic chrome on metal base finish.
     
  3. stevebrot

    stevebrot Member

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    The coating is paint (powder coat?) and the bodies are magnesium clad on current Bessa models. Zeiss states that the Ikon top, bottom, and front covers are "varnished magnesium" :confused:...whatever that means. As for Leica...probably annealed fairy dust or somesuch.


    Steve
     
  4. Fern

    Fern Member

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    The silver Zeiss Ikons have a paint finish. Chrome Leicas are indeed chrome. If its paint, Leica will say so in their literature. The new Steel-Gray finish on the M9 is paint, for example.

    The Zeiss Ikons have metal top and bottom plates. The Voigtlander Bessa L, R and T have plastic top and bottom plates. Bessa models starting with the R2 have metal top and bottom plates.

    Chrome Leicas (and chrome Leica lenses) are heavier than their black counterparts. I had my M3 painted black by Robert Jagitsch. The chrome plating was removed but I elected to keep the nickel plating underneath for two reasons. First, the paint will stick better to nickel than to the bare brass. Second, leaving the nickel plating kept the weight of the camera up. I just love the feel of the heavier chrome equipment; especially the lenses.
     
  5. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    the older chrome M Leicas have a brass top cover which is electrolytically chrome-plated. The very seldom black M 3 or M 2 or olive drab cameras for the German army are paint coated. The black M 4 (late production), M 4-2, M 4 P and standard M 6 are black-chrome-plated (a special galvanizing process, also formerly used by Minolta). Special black and other colour editions for collectors (MP) are paint-coated again. The M 6 has a zinc dye-cast top-cover, the MP again brass.