Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/01/20

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Subject: Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon
From: billgem at (Bill Marshall)
Date: Fri Jan 20 14:45:39 2006

This issue of magnesium alloy as the material of choice for the outer 
cladding of the Zeiss Ikon has been treated as if it's some kind of a scam 
by Zeiss & Cosina to substitute a cheap, corosive material for the real 
thing or as if it's some kind of fashion statement to sell cameras with a 
new glitzy "look" aimed at high consumer appeal.

The fact is that the top-of-the-line professional film SLRs made by Leica, 
Nikon, & Canon all use magnesium alloys in their body cladding - companies 
that pride themselves on the build quality of their cameras & with 
reputations based on past results in doing so. These are not disposable 
cameras, or digital wonders designed to be replaced in 18 months, or point & 
shoots made to look sleek in someone's purse. These are professional cameras 
for rugged use in any environment. So at the very least, it can be fairly 
said that the Zeiss Ikon is adhering to the highest level of state of the 
art in its choice of materals.

Any search of the internet for applications of magnesium alloys is replete 
with the wide range of its applications & with technical reports of how 
corrosion issues have been solved. Its uses range form aeronautics to 
aerospace to missile technology to automotive applications as well as 
cameras, computers, watches, & appliances - in other words, in the most 
harsh & demanding environments as well as in applications very similar to 
the uses for a camera. The engineers in all of these arenas must know a 
thing or two.

Zeiss Ikon reports on its website the envrionmental testing it did to 
subject the camera to extremes of humidity, temperature, shock, & vibration. 
But don't believe them. Here is what Nikon says about the F6:

"As you'd expect, the F6 satisfies the uncompromising standards of 
reliability that professionals command. An aluminum-alloy die-cast chasis, 
magnesium-alloy front body and covers (top, bottom)
. . ." (This is identical to the construction of the body of the Zeiss 

"Harsh environmental testing: To ensure the camera could withstand the most 
severe conditions and environments, the F6 has been subjected to rigorous 
testing. The F6's . . . reliability is a function of . . (the) right 
materials for the right place . . . Our engineers considered countless 
situations for camera use, then submitted the F6 to real life testing to 
virtually guarantee exceptional dependability wherever and whenever 
photographers shoot."


Replies: Reply from Frank.Dernie at (Frank Dernie) (Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon)
Reply from sethrosner at (Seth Rosner) (Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon - now Leica is non-Mg)