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The Nikon F100's Brass Lensmount
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Nikon F100

Nikon F100 and Nikon 24mm f/1.4. I'd get it here, and check here, too.

What about that brass lens mount flange? Some amateurs don't want to admit that they were had buying a four-digit camera that is intended as a professional's expendable. How do we know that the F100 makes do with just brass instead of stainless steel as professional cameras like the Nikon EM and Minolta X-700 do?

Stainless is expensive, and even more expensive to machine because it is so hard. That's exactly what makes it good for wear items like lens mounts and lens mount flanges. Pro cameras like the Mamiya 6 and 7 use stainless even for the mounts on the lenses themselves, as well as the flanges on the camera. It is mentioned in the sales literature when it's used. Nikon skips stainless for mounts attached to lenses, and now is skipping it on the cameras themselves. No where in the F100 sales literature 8CE43004 (F100 Technical guide) or 8CE43001 (F100 sales brochure) does it specify stainless, even though the tech guide spends two pages whining about the "professional" ruggedness. Rockwell's law of advertising states: "The more someone has to go on about something in an ad, the less likely it's true."

I saved the best for last. Just look! People familiar with metals can see the different looks of aluminum, steel, silver, stainless, and different types of plating. It's odd that photographers, who need an artist's eye, are sometimes blind to this. Even if you can't see the difference on the outside, just look at the wear spots and you'll SEE the brass underneath. Seasoned used-camera buyers know how to look for lens mount wear and "brassing." Brassing is seeing the underlying brass under the paint or chrome plating above. My F100 already has wear spots where the plating has worn off to reveal the ordinary brass below on its lens mount flange.

What's next? Aluminum mounts, paper or plastic? As I said in the beginning, don't worry too much about the lens mounting flange. In the old days we had to grind fixed-focal length lenses on and off the camera all day. Today the whole point of 35mm cameras is to have a zippy zoom lens and just go for it, so there is a lot less lens changing going on.

Hey, Japan is a disposable society, so just get over having to buy new gear every few years. If you want a camera to last for decades buy German.


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