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  1. #1
    snegron's Avatar
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    Are Titanium Cameras Less Heavy?

    I have read that titanium is lighter than other metal alloys used by camera manufacturers. I was looking at a Nikon F3/T online and was wondering if it is that much lighter than the regular F3? Also, does anyone know if Nikon makes a titanium MD-4 to go with the F3/T?

    There are several cameras on the market (or at least there were not too long ago) that are titanium models. Are they really any lighter or tougher or is it just marketing hype?

  2. #2

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    Not necessarily, but they are stronger.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

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  3. #3
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    no, but you get better bokeh LOL.
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  4. #4
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    The Titanium F3 body is quite stronger than the normal F3 body. I have two F3 bodies with the HP finder and one MD4 drive. The F3 body that does the lions share of the work is battered, dented and looks like it has been dragged through a war zone, but it works like the day I bought it.

    I have a friend with the same outfit, but one of the bodies is a titanium body.

    What is interesting is to see the difference after about 15 years with two bodies side by side in a camera bag.

    The F3 bodies are very strong, but the material they are made out of is slightly malleable. That is, they take a bump and the outer shell bends or kinks slightly, they also lose their outer coating of black relatively easily, showing up a brass coloured material underneath. I think the term the English use is, "brassing".

    Back to my friend with the two different F3 bodies, the normal one is brassed quite heavily and has knock marks all over. The titanium body is almost mark free and dent free, although it does have some minor dents. Considering some of the knocks I have seen it take, the titanium body is way stronger than the normal body.

    The normal or HP finder is not titanium and the MD4 isn't titanium either.

    The MD4 is tougher than the F3 body material and is virtually undentable by comparison, if you know what I mean.

    I would have an F3T in a flash if one was available, even though I'm not on the market for one.

    The best thing about an F3 with a drive attached is that you can carry the camera around very easily, even with very sweaty hands. I road tested an F4 when they came out, was given it for evaluation in fact. I didn't like it as the rounded shape meant that when I was walking around with a 300 or 400 mm lens on, the thing kept slipping out of my sweaty hands, I went back to the F3 before the test period had ended. For what it's worth the F4 is more or less an F3 with an inbuilt drive and autofocus, other than that, they are basically the same thing.

    Mick.

  5. #5

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    I think the weight difference would be measured in grams not ounces.
    The innards are the same in both cameras. only the covers are titanium.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  6. #6
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    By sheer coincidence, my friend with the F3T has just popped in, we whacked them on the scales and this is the result.

    Normal F3 747gms, titanium F3 743 gms. The difference though, could be the drive cover on the base of the camera, which was off on the F3T as he had it on the drive and we just popped it off.

    The view finder is also titanium.

    The early models were all titanium coloured, whilst the later models were black according to my friend.

    His is the titanium coloured model!

    Mick.

  7. #7
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    This will surprise you.

    From The new Nikon Compendium:

    F3 and F3HP weigh 700 g.

    F3T weighs 745 g.

    p. 346

  8. #8
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    George, that is interesting, I just put my one of my F3HP cameras on the scales and it came up at 765gms with a roll of bulk loaded plastic cassette film.

    I checked out a roll of film at 17 gms so that makes my battered F3HP 748 gms.

    There is also the weight of the battery to be taken into consideration, I don't have spare set of batteries to weigh though.

    Perhaps there is a +- issue and the factory weight is an average weight.

    There is of course the aspect of how accurate are my electronic scales. I don't think they would be that out, but I recognise that they wouldn't be certified.

    Mick.

  9. #9
    snegron's Avatar
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    Interesting findings Mick! I thought that there would be more weight differences than just a few grams though. I agree with your comments on the square ergonomics of the F3. It feels better than any other camera Nikon has made.

    I am about to go on a 4 day trip and I had to make up my mind which two cameras to take with me. I placed different combinations on my bag and realized that it was way to heavy to be treking through a city, tropical beach with my favorite combo:two F3HP's (one with an MD4), three small lenses, and a Vivitar 285HV flash. After thinking a bit too much about the weight and the potential for loosing one of my F3's, I decided to go with an F100, 28-105AF, 70-210 AF, an SB800 flash, and more rolls of film. This second combo is much lighter than the F3 combo I had originally (not to mention that if the F100 and lenses are lost or damaged I won't be as upset). The weight issue got me thinking about the titanium bodies. If the F3T was considerably lighter it would be the perfect travel camera. At least that's the excuse I was going to give my wife for having to purchase an F3T in the near future!

  10. #10
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    George, that is interesting, I just put my one of my F3HP cameras on the scales and it came up at 765gms with a roll of bulk loaded plastic cassette film.

    I checked out a roll of film at 17 gms so that makes my battered F3HP 748 gms.

    There is also the weight of the battery to be taken into consideration, I don't have spare set of batteries to weigh though.

    Perhaps there is a +- issue and the factory weight is an average weight.

    There is of course the aspect of how accurate are my electronic scales. I don't think they would be that out, but I recognise that they wouldn't be certified.

    Mick.
    Mick,

    I'm as confused as you. Although the chart shows the three models (i.e. F3, F3HP and F3T on a single line) it only shows two weights (700 and 745). I have to think that the F3HP would weigh more than the F3.

    Perhaps what the chart means is that the F3 and F3T come in about the same (700g) and the F3HP is 745g?

    That would make more sense - but it's unclear from the chart.

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