D4's back is plastic?

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
mitsosmitsou
Regular MemberPosts: 306
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D4's back is plastic?
May 4, 2012

I got a D4 in my hands for a couple of hours yesterday and I noticed that the

back is made of polycarbonate! Did I see well? What a pity! this must be the 1st pro

Nikon SLR with plastic back. This means that after some hours of usage the back will

get ugly-shiny as always the plastic parts of my cameras and lenses get . Why? Is
magnesium so expensive? Is it difficult expensive to manufacture?Is the D800's
back the same?

Nikon D4 Nikon D800
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Lea5
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it's magnesium alloy
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

D4 & D800 are made of magnesium alloy.

mitsosmitsou wrote:

I got a D4 in my hands for a couple of hours yesterday and I noticed that the

back is made of polycarbonate! Did I see well? What a pity! this must be the 1st pro

Nikon SLR with plastic back. This means that after some hours of usage the back will

get ugly-shiny as always the plastic parts of my cameras and lenses get . Why? Is
magnesium so expensive? Is it difficult expensive to manufacture?Is the D800's
back the same?

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Grevture
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Allergic to plastic materials?
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

mitsosmitsou wrote:

I got a D4 in my hands for a couple of hours yesterday and I noticed that the

back is made of polycarbonate! Did I see well? What a pity! this must be the 1st pro

Nikon SLR with plastic back. This means that after some hours of usage the back will

get ugly-shiny as always the plastic parts of my cameras and lenses get . Why? Is
magnesium so expensive? Is it difficult expensive to manufacture?Is the D800's
back the same?

Hm. I cannot help wodering ... Are there a lot of people with allergies to plastic materials?

The reason I am asking are these weird questions which keep popping up every now and then, where people are upset when they discover that plastic materials are used in cameras and lenses.

I mean it cannot be becuase they really are so backwards they actually think platics are generally inferior?

(And no, the D800 and D4 have a chassi built from magnesium alloy, while - thankfully - some surfaces are made of or covered with platic materials)

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

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mitsosmitsou
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Re: it's magnesium alloy
In reply to Lea5, May 4, 2012

Although the photo is of D800, probably the D4 is the same. Then it would be

my idea although I did the "tongue test" where you place your tongue and check the
temperature of the material and usually this test is accurate! Thanks anyway...

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mitsosmitsou
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Re: Allergic to plastic materials?
In reply to Grevture, May 4, 2012

As once popular photography wrote (when it was a big magazine), "why skyscrapers

are not made of polygarbonate, then"? Of course plastic is inferior to magnesium...

Grevture wrote:

mitsosmitsou wrote:

I got a D4 in my hands for a couple of hours yesterday and I noticed that the

back is made of polycarbonate! Did I see well? What a pity! this must be the 1st pro

Nikon SLR with plastic back. This means that after some hours of usage the back will

get ugly-shiny as always the plastic parts of my cameras and lenses get . Why? Is
magnesium so expensive? Is it difficult expensive to manufacture?Is the D800's
back the same?

Hm. I cannot help wodering ... Are there a lot of people with allergies to plastic materials?

The reason I am asking are these weird questions which keep popping up every now and then, where people are upset when they discover that plastic materials are used in cameras and lenses.

I mean it cannot be becuase they really are so backwards they actually think platics are generally inferior?

(And no, the D800 and D4 have a chassi built from magnesium alloy, while - thankfully - some surfaces are made of or covered with platic materials)

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

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joejack951
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Re: Allergic to plastic materials?
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

mitsosmitsou wrote:

As once popular photography wrote (when it was a big magazine), "why skyscrapers

are not made of polygarbonate, then"? Of course plastic is inferior to magnesium...

Why aren't skyscrapers made out of magnesium?

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hkenh
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Re: D4's back is plastic?
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012
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marike6
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Re: D4's back is plastic?
In reply to hkenh, May 4, 2012

Magnesium Alloy, not plastic. Μην ανησυχήστε, Mitso.

Cheers, Markus

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xrdbear
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Re: Allergic to plastic materials?
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

mitsosmitsou wrote:

As once popular photography wrote (when it was a big magazine), "why skyscrapers

are not made of polygarbonate, then"? Of course plastic is inferior to magnesium...

The people who design these cameras are not idiots. This is a top of range camera, every material is chosen because it does the best possible job without turning the camera into a NASA project. The body is chosen to be magnesium allot for maximum rigidity with minimum weight and able to survive impact. The Polycarbonate skins are used in places where they can save further weight while allowing excellent accuracy of complex moulding and have the rigidity to support weather seals etc.

There will be other reasons I'm sure but the best way to dispel any anxieties is to get out and enjoy the camera.

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Brian
Fine Art Print sales of the Isle of Skye at:
http://www.eyeofskye.co.uk/

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M Lammerse
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Re: D4's back is plastic?
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

I think the possible models you ever will shoot with a D4 will contain more plastic than the actual D4 camera itself

Michel

mitsosmitsou wrote:

I got a D4 in my hands for a couple of hours yesterday and I noticed that the

back is made of polycarbonate! Did I see well? What a pity! this must be the 1st pro

Nikon SLR with plastic back. This means that after some hours of usage the back will

get ugly-shiny as always the plastic parts of my cameras and lenses get . Why? Is
magnesium so expensive? Is it difficult expensive to manufacture?Is the D800's
back the same?

-- hide signature --
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sandy b
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So you stuck your tounge on your camera
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

And came here to report a plastic back D4. Google is your friend. 30 sec of search would have revealed the truth. Kind of funny though.

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Scott McMorrow
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Re: D4's back is plastic?
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

Funny. Plastics are derided as inferior, however, if we reinforce them they are stronger by weight than any metal. Carbon fiber (graphite fiber reinforced epoxy "plastic") comes to mind.

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jjnik
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Re: it's magnesium alloy
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

mitsosmitsou wrote:

Although the photo is of D800, probably the D4 is the same.

Actually, that photo is of the D7000 - not the D800!

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Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul
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Re: Allergic to plastic materials?
In reply to Grevture, May 4, 2012

(And no, the D800 and D4 have a chassi built from magnesium alloy, while - thankfully - some surfaces are made of or covered with platic materials)

I don't know about material but it covered with something Nikon call "Thermal Shield".

They claimed it better for outdoor used.

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I'm photographer from Thailand and English not my primary, sorry.

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Lifer
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Re: D4's back is plastic?
In reply to Scott McMorrow, May 4, 2012

They use carbon fiber products in aircraft bodies. Anybody who doesn't think it measures up is uninformed.

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Richard R. Price

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kenwj
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Re: D4's back is plastic?
In reply to Lifer, May 4, 2012

Plastic skin absorbs heat and cold much more slowly than metal and is a much better insulator. My old Nikon FM is not a treat to use on a cold day.

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Grevture
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Bingo! ;)
In reply to Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul, May 4, 2012

Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul wrote:

(And no, the D800 and D4 have a chassi built from magnesium alloy, while - thankfully - some surfaces are made of or covered with platic materials)

I don't know about material but it covered with something Nikon call "Thermal Shield".

Or in everyday language: Plastic

They claimed it better for outdoor used.

Yep, it indeed is. I often work outdoors in freezing temperatures with my gear, and I have a very limited love for metal surfaces ...

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

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Grevture
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The myths about inferior 'plastic' materials
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012

mitsosmitsou wrote:

As once popular photography wrote (when it was a big magazine), "why skyscrapers are not made of polygarbonate, then"?

As someone else asked: If so, why aren't skyscapers built in magnesioum alloy then?

If skyscrapers is the model to how we should build our cameras, they would be built of steel, concrete and glass. I am not convinced that would be such a good idea

Of course plastic is inferior to magnesium...

Wrong. Plain and utterly wrong.

Are you aware there are more then one type of and quality of plastics? Actually, there are thousands, upon thousands of different plastic materials of every type with different properties. Some very elastic, others very rigid, others unbelivably strong, others rather weak. Some cheap, some expensive and many in between.

There are plastics which are much stronger then magnesium alloy, and lighter to boot. So why arent they used? Because they are very expensive to form into precision chassis like the ones we have in cameras.

Back in 2008, at the Photokina fair, I spoke to a japanese Canon engineeer about materials. He said they could build a Eos 1D which was something like 15% lighter the the current design (using a magnesium alloy chassi), and which would be much stronger. So why didn't they? Well, such a camera would probably need to be three or four times more expensive (and the 1D was not cheap even back then) just to pay for manufacturing such a plastic chassi. So in essence, one could say they use not the best materials in their pro bodies, but the cheaper ones

It all boil down to a balance between price (for the material itself, and for forming it) and what properties it can offer. In a cheap camera you use cheap platics which are weaker then magnesium alloy. In pro cameras they use magnesium alloy because it offers a good balance between strength and price of manufacturing. And to some degree because the metal is practical for heat dissapation, something plastic materials are less good at. And that is incidently also the same reason you do not want metal surfaces where you hold your camera or lens - heat dissapation which translates into freezing your fingers off in cold weather.

Metal makes sense for some parts of cameras, platics for others. And there is no general rule saying plastics is inferior to metal. Some are, others are not. The manufacturers tend to use what makes sense from a cost/performance perspective. The fear or plastic materials is just an uninformed emotional reaction from people who a) has obviously never used their gear in sub zero environments and b) are unaware that many plastic materials are actually way superior to metal.

Grevture wrote:

mitsosmitsou wrote:

I got a D4 in my hands for a couple of hours yesterday and I noticed that the

back is made of polycarbonate! Did I see well? What a pity! this must be the 1st pro

Nikon SLR with plastic back. This means that after some hours of usage the back will

get ugly-shiny as always the plastic parts of my cameras and lenses get . Why? Is
magnesium so expensive? Is it difficult expensive to manufacture?Is the D800's
back the same?

Hm. I cannot help wodering ... Are there a lot of people with allergies to plastic materials?

The reason I am asking are these weird questions which keep popping up every now and then, where people are upset when they discover that plastic materials are used in cameras and lenses.

I mean it cannot be becuase they really are so backwards they actually think platics are generally inferior?

(And no, the D800 and D4 have a chassi built from magnesium alloy, while - thankfully - some surfaces are made of or covered with platic materials)

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

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Doug Pitts
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Re: The myths about inferior 'plastic' materials
In reply to Grevture, May 4, 2012

...what else can the amateurs inform us of??

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RBFresno
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Re: D4's back is plastic? I prefer cast iron!
In reply to mitsosmitsou, May 4, 2012
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