Fuji X100 milled out of metal?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by RichA, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Is the implication here that like the Leica M9, the Fuji is milled out
    of blocks of aluminum/magnesium and not just cast and then machined?
    If so, kudos to Fuji.

    1Design concept: The camera as a metaphor.

    * The word metaphor originates from the Greek word 'metapherein',
    which means 'transfer', and describes a word or phrase literally
    denoting one kind of object or idea used in place of another to
    suggest a likeness or analogy between them. In designing the X100, we
    wanted to make a camera that evoked certain associations such as 'at a
    glance, anyone knows it’s a tool for taking photos' and 'anyone who
    sees it, immediately associates it with capturing high-quality
    photos.' The transformation of impressions such as these into a
    concrete form is where the design team started.
    * For many the image of a camera is formed from their original
    encounter with a camera as a child. For example, for some people, the
    camera could be something that, in their childhood, they often saw
    adorning their father’s room – a precious device that they were never
    permitted to touch, but have always yearned to hold. Also for today’s
    young generation, the trend is the near-futuristic designs of the
    latest cell phones and digital cameras may not look new. In contrary,
    they sense a newness in analogue craftsmanship and precision that
    embodies the essence of tools. This is the image that X100 is designed
    to express.

    2Day after day of rethinking and refining the design. One of the first
    things to come out of this process was a renewed awareness of the
    'power of colour'.

    * In the mockup stage, the design team actually studied a variety
    of forms from a cutting-edge look that exemplified the contemporary
    digital camera to more orthodox styling. However, as long as the X100
    is a camera equipped with a lens of exceptionally high image quality,
    manual operation and the large easy-to-view viewfinder, it was
    believed that the most suitable appearance should evoke memories of a
    camera seen sometime in the past.
    * The epitome of the camera of yesteryear had a black body
    sandwiched between the base part and the upper control deck, and
    integrated a silver lens. The combination of silver and black somehow
    instantly communicates that 'this is a camera.'
    * While this choice creates a huge gap with the state-of-the-art
    technology packed inside the camera, the use of the orthodox colour
    scheme makes a large contribution to expressing the X100 concept.

    3The first challenge: Positioning of the aperture ring on the same
    axis as the lens.

    * Throughout the X100 design process right up to its completion,
    the design team received input from many professional photographers.
    The objective was to not only create a camera with a beautiful
    exterior appearance, but also realise operability that would measure
    up to the work demands of pro photographers.
    * About the time that the overall form and the positioning of
    dials were decided, several pro photographers strongly urged the
    inclusion of a 'lens aperture ring.' Without doubt, enabling the user
    to control exposure – the most important factor in photography, while
    looking through the viewfinder, is an indispensable function.
    * However, in the case of the X100 with its large sensor, compact
    body and 'bright' large-aperture lens, the incorporation of an
    aperture lens ring without changing the size posed an extremely
    difficult challenge. From a design perspective, the team was initially
    ready to omit a lens aperture ring, but after carefully listening to
    the photographers who opened the team’s eyes to why this specification
    was necessary, they revisited the design with renewed enthusiasm. The
    result of the design and refinements is the realisation of the current
    form.

    From the website;
    Design encompassing a tactile experience, the amount of force (torque)
    required for the controls, and even the sound of camera operation.

    * In order for the design to evoke the image of luxury items such
    as a classic fountain pen or a wristwatch and bring out the quality of
    its materials while leaving a tactile impression when touching the
    smallest details, each part is precision milled from metal.
    * Unlike the more generally used method of press fabrication, the
    milling of metal block material makes it possible to create parts that
    are free from pressure deformation and processed with high precision
    to exact measurements.
     
    RichA, Mar 8, 2011
    #1
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  2. You mean like how the M8's base-plate was also milled out of metal and then
    would conveniently crack-off when the camera and lens was tilted forward
    while mounted on a tripod? Sending both, costly lens and costlier camera,
    crashing into the concrete below due to its MILLED parts? Like that?

    Yes, kudos to ... err ... someone with a brain. That be not you by the way.

    Why do you even bother/ When you clearly don't comprehend enough to ever
    make a valid point about ANYTHING related to cameras and photography. It's
    already been proved time and time again that you've never even touched a
    real camera. Shouldn't you at least start there?
     
    Outing Trolls is FUN!, Mar 8, 2011
    #2
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  3. You mean like how the M8's base-plate was also milled out of metal and then
    would conveniently crack-off when the camera and lens was tilted forward
    while mounted on a tripod? Sending both, costly lens and costlier camera,
    crashing into the concrete below due to its MILLED METAL parts? Like that?

    Yes, kudos to ... err ... someone with a brain. That be not you by the way.

    Why do you even bother? When you clearly don't comprehend enough to ever
    make a valid point about ANYTHING related to cameras and photography. It's
    already been proved time and time again that you've never even touched a
    real camera. Shouldn't you at least start there?
     
    Outing Trolls is FUN!, Mar 8, 2011
    #3
  4. RichA

    Jeff R. Guest

    Ummmm... I don't understand.

    Really.

    What's wrong with casting Al/Mg alloys then machining them?

    Has someone told Ferrari and Lamborghini?
     
    Jeff R., Mar 8, 2011
    #4
  5. RichA

    Bruce Guest


    Are you sure that rules out "cast and then machined"?
     
    Bruce, Mar 8, 2011
    #5
  6. RichA

    charles Guest

    maybe they can run them off on a printer.

    Not as farfetched as it might sound.

    Economist Magazine has an article at:
    http://www.economist.com/node/18114221?story_id=18114221
     
    charles, Mar 8, 2011
    #6
  7. RichA

    DanP Guest

    Milling when casting can do the job is plain stupid, it only makes the
    product more expensive with no benefit to camera quality.
    If you are clumsy and drop your camera on concrete get a plastic body,
    is more resistant to shocks.
    Or use the neck strap.

    This week you bitch about product quality, next week about price.

    DanP
     
    DanP, Mar 8, 2011
    #7
  8. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Block usually means a piece of extruded metal, not a casting.
     
    RichA, Mar 8, 2011
    #8
  9. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Casting can introduce problems. Voids can show up and unless the
    metal mix is accurate and even, you can get weak spots.
     
    RichA, Mar 8, 2011
    #9
  10. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    ....er no, your ignorance is to be expected.

    Let us take an engine or cylinder BLOCK for example. These can be
    produced by several different manufacturing methods.
    1: Rough CASTING and made functional with the addition of cylinder
    liners and valve guide inserts, with milling on surfaces to be mated
    with other components, such as a cylinder head.
    2: Precision sand cast, milled and machined.
    3: Milled and machined from a solid cast block.

    In the cast of many metal parts and frame components, there is also the
    sintering process. This is where powdered metal alloy is used to fill a
    mold (usually ceramic). That is then heated in a sintering furnace to a
    temperature point where each molecule is fused to form a solid casting
    which is then milled and machined to produce the final product.
    I believe many of the metal camera bodies/frames are made using sintering.

    Extrusion production is something else all together. A metal, ceramic,
    plastic, or other material is forced through a die at high pressure to
    form the structure. Great for the production of wire, and complex cross
    section shapes for some aluminum beams and construction materials. I
    believe you will be hard pressed to find any metallic BLOCK produced by
    extrusion.

    Every metal block is a CASTING, some of those castings can be anything
    from "pig iron" to precious metal ingots. All blocks produced by
    casting without even a sniff at extrusion.
     
    Savageduck, Mar 8, 2011
    #10
  11. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    See my other response to you, where I threw sintering into the mix.
    Sintering addresses just that issue, and produces quality castings
    which can then be machined to final finish.

    BTW: Just when did you become so knowledgeable on metallurgy?
     
    Savageduck, Mar 8, 2011
    #11
  12. RichA

    RichA Guest

    But anodized, machined billet stock looks SO much better than cast and
    painted product. It is also stronger.
    I thought sintering resulted in a porous mix? Isn't that why they
    use it to make metallic filters?
     
    RichA, Mar 8, 2011
    #12
  13. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    Strange that you should mention "billet stock" since that is normally
    cut from lengths of extruded bar or rod stock. In your other post you
    stated the following;
    "Block usually means a piece of extruded metal, not a casting."
    Now if you were referring to a block or billet cut from bar stock that is true.

    Certainly, a machined piece can have a very appealing appearance, when
    compared to a casting. However that does not mean castings cannot be
    finished with the same degree of fine polish, and many castings are
    machined to the same final finish as parts parts machined from billet
    or bar stock. Don't confuse rough and precision casting.

    What has paint got to do with castings? Not all castings are painted,
    just as not all parts machined from bar stock are anodized. Castings
    can be anodized if needed.
    Anodizing is not applied to all aluminum or aluminum/magnesium alloy
    products, and is certainly not even considered for steel products.

    Not necessarily.
    It can result in a more porous material, that is dependent on the
    individual process and density specifications needed. This leads to a
    high degree of control of the porosity of the final product. Some
    sintered products are of high density and minimal porosity
    It also results in products with higher levels of alloy purity and
    uniformity than those produced through standard refining and smelting
    methods. There are also no added stresses and deformations found in
    other manufacturing processes such as machining, milling, and/or drop
    forging.
    They also use it to make firearm receivers, which strangely enough,
    when aluminum, magnesium, and titanium alloys are used, can be, and are
    anodized.

    Quite possible. It is also why it is the preferred method for producing
    specialized bearings today. Just remember it is best not to generalize,
    as there are many different sintering processes, just as there are many
    casting and forging processes.

    Then consider the necessity for having the fine finish you demand in a
    camera. In a camera such as the X100 exposed metal parts have an
    appeal. However when that magnesium alloy frame is hidden by cladding
    of a different material the need for that beautiful machined piece is a
    questionable manufacturing expense. For that argument I give you the
    D300s, D700, and the D3 series, where all the cosmetic benefits have
    been hidden.
     
    Savageduck, Mar 8, 2011
    #13
  14. RichA

    Me Guest

    Fuji Press release states:

    "The upper control deck/bottom surface has been cast from magnesium
    alloy (semi-solid metal casting) to contribute to a high-precision
    camera body with high rigidity."
     
    Me, Mar 8, 2011
    #14
  15. RichA

    Peter N Guest

    We can all see how busy the Canon marketing department is.
    Wonder if all employees there are given Nikons.
     
    Peter N, Mar 8, 2011
    #15
  16. RichA

    Peter N Guest

    The term is frequently used as a descriptor of a type of head
     
    Peter N, Mar 8, 2011
    #16
  17. RichA

    Peter N Guest


    About the same time as:
    Marketing
    Finance
    Strategic planning
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Etc
     
    Peter N, Mar 8, 2011
    #17
  18. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    I expect it will be a pressure-die-casting.

    Regards,

    Eric Stevens
     
    Eric Stevens, Mar 8, 2011
    #18
  19. RichA

    Me Guest

    Me, Mar 10, 2011
    #19
  20. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Eric Stevens, Mar 10, 2011
    #20
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