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

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon - now Leica is non-Mg
From: jwlee01 at (John Lee)
Date: Sat Jan 21 23:04:32 2006
References: <BAY101-F9EC8AC20100299491A828AB1F0@phx.gbl> <002a01c61e95$8d7ce210$7feb4142@D1S9FY41>


Your information for the Leica R9 from the Leica website is incorrect!
The information in the LEICA R9 is also incorrect.

My source: Leica, Press Release, September 2002, Nr. 40e, 02, page 1

"At photokina 2002 in Cologne, Germany, Leica Camera AG introduced the
a single lens reflex camera that incorporate numerous enhanced
characteristics that
are important photographically. Thanks to the use of new materials
such as magnesium,
the new camera is 100 grams (just over 3.5 ounces) lighter than the
model LEICA R8, yet it retains the same rigidity."

page 2, page 3

"Weight reduction by means of light metals: Weighing only 790 grams
(less than 28
ounces), the LEICA R9 is 100 grams (more tha 3.5 ounces) lighter than the 
R8. The lion's share of the weight reduction was achieved by paring 70
grams (2.5
ounces) from the weight of the top cover. The magnesium top cover now
weighs only
40 grams (less than 1.5 ounces) , which is only about one third of the
weight of the
previous top cover, which was made of die-cast zinc. The rigidity of
the new top cover
is identical to that of the previous cover. Magnesium, the same
material used for
Formula 1 engines, was ideally suited for this weight reduction. The high 
standard of longevity, however, required a research project in which
Leica explored
new technological domains.

Magnesium is particularly difficult to manage with respect to
corrosion resistance
and scuffing. Leica for the first time employs a plasma-chemical
process for coating
the light metal. This transforms the surface of the magnesium into a
thin ceramic
layer. In this process, special demands are placed on the magnesium
alloy and on
the preparation of the surface. Special lacquers are then applied to
achieve an extra-
ordinary long-lasting finish. A greater fabrication effort is also
required for casting the
magnesium in the molds, because this takes place temperatures of 700 degrees 
(1292 degrees F) as compared to 400 degrees C (752 degrees F) in the 


On 1/21/06, Seth Rosner <> wrote:
> 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
> suggested.
> 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.
> Respectfully,
> Seth
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Replies: Reply from raimo.m.korhonen at (Raimo K) (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)
Message from sethrosner at (Seth Rosner) (Was RE: [Leica] DSLR choice - now Zeiss-Ikon - now Leica is non-Mg)