FWIW, my F3 weighs;
775g with HP finder, including the strap
745g with non-HP finder
Without the cover on the bottom plate for the motor.
don't have a titanium one to weigh though.
Since all the guts are the same with titanium or without I suppose it wouldn't make much weight difference. Titanium can take much more bending without deforming permanently than aluminum, steel, or probably brass which is what accounts for the lack of dents in use.
Correct me if I am wrong, but Titanium is used because, for a given amount of weight, it gives much greater strength and rigidity.
Thus, while its use may result in a weight savings, it is generally used to increase strength and rigidity, without sacrificing light weight.
I might expect a Titanium Nikon F3 to be lighter, while I would expect an Olympus OM4T to be stronger.
Can anyone point to greater reliability in a titanium-covered body, though? We have all seen (and many of us have used) incredibly battered F-series Nikons and I have never heard of external damage that stopped a brass camera but wouldn't stop a titaniam one. I'm thinking in particular of a Vietnam-era F with which a friend stopped a bullet...
My own belief is that titanium body coverings are a marketing ploy, nothing more or less. Even a titanium top-plate on an M-series Leica -- a BIG piece of metal, machined from the solid -- wouldn't make that much difference to the weight because there's too much other brass and steel in there.
To me making Nikon F series in titanium sounds similar to making a mountain bike with lots of heavy parts but with titanium frame and expecting it to be lighter.
I have a rather rare Konica Hexar Titanium as well as original Hexar AF black. I disassembled both cameras and you know what- the only difference is the top cover. The same mechanisms and electronics are found under the cover. The titanium cover may be stronger than aluminium one but if significant impact is given I think the circuit boards underneath may crack or other problems will develop... and the dent or scratch on the cover is least of my concern... (However, I found Konica Hexar to be pretty reliable camera except for the problems I discussed in depth on my website.)
Titanium is very useful when used to make woks for stir frying. It's relatively nonstick like anodized aluminium, lightweight, good heat conductor, browns food nicely, corrosion resistant (againt salt, acid, heat and Thai chilis), and all that.
Titanium is good for decreasing weight in one's wallet, if nothing else.
as for strength and rigidity, yes in general it improves the strength to weight ratio. It's often described as nearly as light as aluminum, and nearly as strong as steel. But rigidity, and strength are not necessarily the same. Aluminum frame bicycles are much more ridgid than steel bikes, even though the material isn't as strong for it's weight (aluminum tubes are made thicker).
Does anyone know if the Ti F3 used titanium for the core casting or only on the cover plates? I think the standard core casting was either aluminum alloy or magnesium. Titanium wouldn't offer very much weight advantage over either one.
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Titanium is very difficult to machine or cast, even now but more so at the time of F3 production.
Also, aluminium tubes are made thicker in bicycle frames, partly because greater thickness is required to weld aluminium tubes. I ride an aluminium frame folding bike (about 13kg), and it's only a couple of pounds lighter than comparable steel framed version, which is half priced. I looked into titanium version, which is a couple of pounds lighter than my aluminium bike, but it is double priced.
Picked up a used F2T (with the standard prism) in 85 and beat it up for 12 years till I sold it in 97. The camera "felt" lighter but that was probably just the small prism talking. It took many accidental knocks and drops with aplomb, and on the day I gave it up that flat black finish was still unworn, unpeeled and dentless - some kind of metallurgy thing I guess.
PS There is a supposedly brand new never used F2T Titan for sale overseas for 4K if you've got to have one!!!!
It's interesting that the brief hey day of the Ti bike coincides in part with the period of the Nikon F3T.
Originally Posted by Ryuji
Ti bikes had a brief run of popularity in the 80's and 90's as many frame builders wanted to move away from the heavier steel framsets. Titanium was seen as an "alternative answer" to the introduction of aluminum bikes (e.g. Cannondale) - since some riders of the latter were put off by the stiff ride of aluminum and the oversized tubing.*
But the high expense of Ti bikes was always a problem and once carbon fiber tubing became available - most high-end frame makers moved to it as providing the best "stiff, yet flexible where it needs to be, and affordable" alternative to aluminum. Even Cannondale now makes a carbon/aluminum "hybrid" frame.
What intrigues me is why camera makers never moved to carbon fiber bodies - since CF offers both significant weight reduction and toughness?
* In interests of full disclosure; I've been riding Cannondale bikes for 25 years (bought one each of original production models - both road and touring - and later models too). But I am now about to switch to carbon!
I kinda doubt main F3 body casting is titanium. More likely, titanium areas are limited to top and bottom cover and meter housing top cover. Olympus OM-3Ti, 4T, 4Ti have titanium tops and bottoms and that saved a few ounces in weight. As noted, machining titanium (which a body casting would require tons of) makes it unlikely the body itself is titanium.
Originally Posted by snegron