Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/01/21

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Subject: Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon - now Leica is non-Mg
From: sethrosner at (Seth Rosner)
Date: Sat Jan 21 06:18:43 2006
References: <BAY101-F9EC8AC20100299491A828AB1F0@phx.gbl>

Bill Marshall wrote:

> 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.

Frank Dernie, IMHO, is entirely correct.

> 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 -

I do not know about Nikon and Canon but you are just plain wrong about 
Leica, Bill. This is exactly how these myths are started, a bit of wrong 
information, stated as though it were fact and repeated. Here is what I have 
just copied exactly, without addition or deletion, from the Leica Camera 
website about the construction of the R9:

      Camera Body       Material: The top cover is a zinc die-casting, 
lacquered in black or in anthracite. The inner housing is made of aluminum, 
firmly attached to the aluminum tripod plate. The baseplate is made of 
fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate
      that incorporates an aluminum tripod plate. Stopping-Down Lever: for 
visual evaluation of the depth of field and for triggering the test flash. 
Tripod Thread: A 1/4 (1/4"), in the tripod plate, secured against rotation 
by means of two steel inserts, according to DIN standard 4503 ; centered 
under the optical axis of the lens. Back Cover: Illuminated LCD field for 
the display of various functions or operating status (see above). Window for 
checking the film type, speed and number of exposures stated on the film 
cartridge that has been inserted. Window for checking the film advance. 
Operating Voltage: 6 V. Power Supply: Two 3 V lithium cells, type CR2 in the 
battery compartment. With the LEICA MOTOR-WINDER R8/R9 : two lithium cells, 
type 123 of the winder. With the LEICA MOTOR-DRIVE R8/R9 : Ni-MH
      battery pack of the drive, battery control by means of a symbol in the 
back cover LCD display.

Not a single mention of the word MAGNESIUM. Note that Leica use 
fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate, a preferred material as Frank 

Incidentally, I checked the Leica website tech info on the R8 and its only 
reference to material is "all-metal". However, as the R8 weighs 100 grams 
more than the R9 (890 vs.790), one can safely assume that it does not use 
the very light-weight Mg; the lighter-weight of the R9 is likely due to its 
use of polycarbonate.

Leica's refusal to succumb to fad or marketing compromise in its 
professional equipment and its persistance in seeking to maintain the very 
highest quality possible is precisely what has always distinguished the 
Company and resulted in the high prices they must charge.



Replies: Reply from jwlee01 at (John Lee) (Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon - now Leica is non-Mg)
In reply to: Message from billgem at (Bill Marshall) (Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon)