Preference of camera metal

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cliveh, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    My Leica II is made from Nickel and I think the metal on the lens is also of the same material. I find the finish/soft colour of the metal and its weight one of the most endearing properties of this camera. Were any other cameras manufactured from Nickel? I have heard some people have an allergy to this metal, so it may have a down side.
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I don't know of any camera made from nickel, but well from nickel-galvanized brass.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My Leica's are made of Brass, that's why they suffer from "Brassing". :D

    Ian
     
  4. jstout

    jstout Subscriber

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    Nickel and chrome are used for plating things. Nickel has a nice warm appearance compared to chrome.
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Sorry, then plated and not made from, but it has a beautiful finish.
     
  6. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Yes, it was just used as a coating and most often found on the bright parts before the widespread use of chrome. Nickel has a lovely warm tone and not as shiny as chrome, and seemed to be used until the second world war. I just bought one of those new CV Heliars (yes I know, I know) for my Leicas that is finished in Nickel to give that "retro" look. Must admit that like Titanium it has a very nice look.
     
  7. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

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    Chrome took over in the 1930s, it has a cooler tint than nickel. I don't really know that I prefer one over the other though. Chrome is much harder wearing than nickel though, and generally doesn't go dull, which is why car manufacturers switched to chrome faster than pretty much anybody else.

    On the subject of chrome, I don't think anybody did chrome as well as Exakta did. I love the softer/smoother finish Exaktas have compared to other cameras.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2013
  8. Cold

    Cold Member

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    Though maybe not for cameras, nickel was/is also used as an alloying metal along with copper and zinc to make what's known as nickel silver, most often used for small items similar to camera bodies. Again, not saying that it was, in fact, used as a camera body, just another possibilityfor nickel to have found it's way into a camera.
     
  9. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I'm slightly allergic to nickel so I have to give it up to titanium as the coolest metal. Even though it's been around for awhile, and there have been big advances in aluminum and magnesium and all their alloys, titanium still stands out. It has a nice look to the bare metal that gives it a softer appearance if that's the right term. Whenever I hear it, I think of space age materials, stealth jets, and race cars. It was supposed to be the material of today!!! What happened?!
     
  10. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    My 1936 Leica Standard type E in black have nickel hardware and a nickel 50 3.5 Elmar. Looks very nice against the black body.

    Tony, i have one of those Nickel Heliars too, (50 2.0) beautiful little lens.
     
  11. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    Expense, and manufacturing difficulties. Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium
     
  12. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Make mine gold . . . :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    What happened is Titanium is as light as Aluminium, as strong as Steel but is as expensive as Silver.
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yes, nobody has yet discovered a way to get metals to live up to advertising hyperbole. Sad, isn't it?:wink::wink:
     
  16. benjiboy

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    I'm vey familiar with Titanium, I used to be an engineer with a company that made some of turbine blades for Rolls Royce jet engines with it, and I still have a ring I made for myself out of it.
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I have a passing acquaintance as well, I've used it to make connecting rods in miniature engines. The strength/weight ratio allows the rod to be made lighter thus reducing vibration, there is no way to properly balance a one cylinder engine. It needs a bronze bushing to wear well, and machining requires a light cut, fairly high surface speed, and plenty of coolant.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    It should be clarified: cameras are made of an aluminium alloy casting, many parts of various materials such as steel, brass, plastic, etc; and are covered with brass covers which are either painted (usually black) or electroplated with either chrome , nickel, "black chrome" or, if you're an aspiring pimp, gold.:wink:

    The metal you see when you look at the camera's top and bottom plates, (or a lens barrel), is an electroplated (or anodised) layer.
     
  19. The Old Pharaoh

    The Old Pharaoh Member

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    I think metal camera bodies are made of magnesium alloy.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Some of the nice things about brass.

    o easy to machine
    o does not rust or corrode
    o strong
    o dimensionally stable
    o brass on brass threads will not seize
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Some undoubtedly are. Many are aluminium alloy. Some were cheaper metals/materials.
     
  22. The Old Pharaoh

    The Old Pharaoh Member

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    Nikon bodies are made from magnesium alloy. The same goes for their new digital ones. As for other manufacturers, I am not quite sure.
     
  23. The Old Pharaoh

    The Old Pharaoh Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2013
  24. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I think, if you do some research, you'll find aluminium alloy is the leader... Start with the metal-body large and medium format cameras from the mid-to-late 30s, work your way up to the present day.
    BTW, aren't the Leica M9 and the Nikon d300 digital cameras?
     
  25. The Old Pharaoh

    The Old Pharaoh Member

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    Yes, sir, they are indeed digital but I only included them from a quick search. As for the Nikons, you will find that F3, FM2 and FM2n are all magnesium alloy. Zeiss too uses magnesium and this is not digital, I guess. I don't disagree with you that probably some use alumium, but there are some books on cameras that confuse magnesium-aluminium alloy for an aluminium alloy. It is mainly magnesium with aluminium added to it in small quantities not the other way round.

    I am afraid I will have to leave it here because an additional post with a few more brands was blocked for some reason or another. Perhaps because I gave an example of brands that are not approved of.

    I don't think I will be posting anything else in the near future. I will return to being just a reader as I have been in the past.
     
  26. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    From the manuals/brochures of what I have:
    1. Asahi Pentax (original) - die cast aluminum
    2. Olympus OM4T - Titanium
    3. Pentax LX - molded aluminum alloy
    4. Nikon FM3A - Copper, silumin aluminum alloy construction chassis and metal outer body