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Archive 2013 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?
  
 
OldProf
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p.1 #1 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Are all the electronic components in our cameras and lenses going to break down within 10 years?!!!!

For some years now, electronic components have lead-free solder. The tin (stannous) in this type of solder grows whiskers and spreads out with time.

These growing whiskers will eventually cause short circuits and the electronic component will malfunction or burn out. Is this, as I would imagine, a serious problem with all electronic components (computers, cameras,lenses, phones etc....)?

We pay a lot of money for our cameras and lenses. I would not like them to bust within a few years.

Has this subject been brought up before in these forums?

Do camera manufacturers use lead-free solder? If so what guarantees do they offer us? Should we be apprehensive about this problem?

This is scary and needs to be discussed.

Saba



Feb 15, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Slug69
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p.1 #2 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Do they only grow whiskers when current is flowing?


Feb 15, 2013 at 04:27 AM
OldProf
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p.1 #3 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Slug69 wrote:
Do they only grow whiskers when current is flowing?

Good question! I will check if there is any literature on that. It could also be a good research topic for a chemical physicist or electrical engineer.



Feb 15, 2013 at 04:32 AM
mike-in-ak
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p.1 #4 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


The question of printed circuits being shorted out by tin whiskers has been around for quite sometime. I think NASA or one of its minions did the first research into the phenomena after the failure of a couple of satellites.

I am not too concerned about it.

If you want, you can hyper yourself into a frenzy reading about it here at NASA Goddard Tin Whisker page



Feb 15, 2013 at 04:34 AM
OldProf
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p.1 #5 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


mike-in-ak wrote:
The question of printed circuits being shorted out by tin whiskers has been around for quite sometime. I think NASA or one of its minions did the first research into the phenomena after the failure of a couple of satellites.

I am not too concerned about it.

If you want, you can hyper yourself into a frenzy reading about it here at NASA Goddard Tin Whisker page


Thank you for your response
The link was very useful. It was enlightening to actually see pictures of the whiskers. They remind me of the transistor whisker diodes we used to use a long time ago.



Feb 15, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Dudewithoutape
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p.1 #6 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Well think of it this way, most manufacturers don't believe it'll last that long. How long is the warranty? How long do they have parts for old equipment? I'm quite familiar with this lead-free solder, having fixed a lot of electronics over the years. I'd say use it and hope it breaks under warranty or get the latest and greatest when you can afford it. If you're really worried, buy extended warranties or insure your equipment.

Also, as equipment get more and more complicated, it is much easier for individual components to break down causing the whole to malfunction. Its not just the yun whiskers you should worry about.

Edited on Feb 15, 2013 at 05:05 AM · View previous versions



Feb 15, 2013 at 05:01 AM
tedbare
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p.1 #7 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Must... restrain... self... eerrrg...

In 10 years, photographers (or whatever they're called in the future) are going to look at us just like we look at film photographers from the 70's. They'll be laughing at how much we paid for our gear (seriously? you really paid $5000 for that D3s? dude, that thing is a worthless boat anchor!).



Feb 15, 2013 at 05:04 AM
Dudewithoutape
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p.1 #8 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Very true. Bodies, and even lenses to a lesser extent, are technology goods. Newer and better models are always coming out. Pushing down the value of yester year's cameras. Will you be using this camera body in ten years? Will you even worry? How much will it cost to replace?


Feb 15, 2013 at 05:10 AM
Slug69
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p.1 #9 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


For the record, my D70 is still working the same as october 2004.


Feb 15, 2013 at 06:10 AM
bemyzeke
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p.1 #10 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


10 years, seriously? It is like worrying that earth will be depleted of oxygen in a billion years! In ten years, you will be lucky if you don't have to pay to have your camera recycled.


Feb 15, 2013 at 07:58 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Thorsten
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p.1 #11 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


It's a pity, really, but I guess that's progress that can't be stopped, and of course it has its upsides, too. I have a few AI and AIS lenses that work as well as they did 40 years ago, and I have no doubt they will still work 40 years from now. With today's lenses, with VR and AFS motor and CPU and what not, we can be virtually guaranteed they won't last anywhere near that long.


Feb 15, 2013 at 09:24 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #12 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Slug69 wrote:
For the record, my D70 is still working the same as october 2004.


Your D70 isn't RoHS-compliant (it doesn't use the tin). It is newer stuff (last 4-5 years I thin) where you'll see the little symbol:


I guess I'm OK if the bodies die in 10 year - like a PC, they are going to be pretty lame at that point.

Lenses, on the other hand, kind of tick me off. They don't tend to lose their efficacy as tools over time, and aren't the kind of thing that tend to wind up in landfills in large quanitities (which is the whole point of RoHS - eliminate lead and other toxic stuff from winding up in landfills as poison sludge going God-knows-where). I'm sure there are many much better products to target for RoHS - higher volume, actually "disposable" techonolgy in one sense or another, etc.

It seems like I've read somewhere that the 10-year concern is over-stated, but I could be wrong. It does seem like the minimal amount of time lenses spend with power running through them wouldn't lend itself to the whiskers, but I know nothing about it.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM
binary visions
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p.1 #13 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


I agree that the bigger problem here - if you can call it a problem - is simply that the complexity of this equipment is increasing exponentially.

I mean, it's all well and good to point at the lenses and camera bodies of yesteryear and see how they've withstood so many years of use, but the fact is that they didn't have very much to break. Heavy metal components (not because they wanted beautiful build quality, but because plastics and lighter alloys were not as widely worked with, or as cheap). Sparse on electronics (again - forced into it, not a choice by designers). Simple design, simple features.

So... now we have AF-S for silent and fast focusing. VR for shooting handheld. Plastic, rubber and aluminum abound for lighter weight. Our cameras have so many features and options it's hard to keep track. That's what is going to kill this equipment: not the lead-free solder, but that there are so many more things to break. It's great that we have options, but some of you buying the new Zeiss lenses or whatever will certainly be enjoying them longer than my G AF-S VRIII E N wonder-lens. On the other hand, I can handhold in the dark and still focus track a flying owl, so there are tradeoffs...



Feb 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM
saph
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p.1 #14 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Same here as Thorsten, I have a couple pre-AI lenses from the 1960s that work just fine today.


Feb 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #15 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Thorsten wrote:
It's a pity, really, but I guess that's progress that can't be stopped, and of course it has its upsides, too. I have a few AI and AIS lenses that work as well as they did 40 years ago, and I have no doubt they will still work 40 years from now. With today's lenses, with VR and AFS motor and CPU and what not, we can be virtually guaranteed they won't last anywhere near that long.


I agree with you 100%. Furthermore when I go into retirement, my financial priorities will change. This is a factor I will have to take into consideration.



Feb 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM
DaveOls
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p.1 #16 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


Do you think you will be alive in 10 years? There are no guarantees.


Feb 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #17 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


DaveOls wrote:
Do you think you will be alive in 10 years? There are no guarantees.


Actually, I kinda do. And I'd love it if the core photography investment I've made in lenses would still be working.

I guess the other question is whether something will replace the F-mount in that time.

I know Trey Ratcliff and others have said mirrorless will change the landscape, but (A) I've heard that abou a lot of technologies and even when it is true it usually takes longer than everyone thinks, and (B) I'm not sure the technology effectively replaces what many of us want and (C) so many people have so much investment in their equipment that it will be hard to change

Anyway, I'd love to hear a simple, informed answer about lenses and RoHS.



Feb 15, 2013 at 01:04 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #18 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


You all know that little "10" symbol doesnt mean "recycle in 10 years", or "this gear will only last 10 years".....that's just a myth...

https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/21761/~/why-is-there-a-10-symbol-printed-on-my-lens%3F



Feb 15, 2013 at 01:22 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #19 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


NathanHamler wrote:
You all know that little "10" symbol doesnt mean "recycle in 10 years", or "this gear will only last 10 years".....that's just a myth...

https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/21761/~/why-is-there-a-10-symbol-printed-on-my-lens%3F


That isn't very helpful to what it does mean - it (sorta) addresses what it doesn't, and certainly doesn't make me think it is a myth.

My understanding of it is that it eliminates lead and uses substitutes that are expected to last at least 10 years. Anyone have some concise, informed details?



Feb 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM
DaveOls
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p.1 #20 · Are all our lenses and cameras going to bust in 10 years?


M635_Guy wrote:
Actually, I kinda do. And I'd love it if the core photography investment I've made in lenses would still be working.

I guess the other question is whether something will replace the F-mount in that time.

I know Trey Ratcliff and others have said mirrorless will change the landscape, but (A) I've heard that abou a lot of technologies and even when it is true it usually takes longer than everyone thinks, and (B) I'm not sure the technology effectively replaces what many of us want and (C) so many people have so much investment in their equipment that it will be
...Show more

I had a Pentax SP 500 a number of years ago that I really liked. Pentax changed from the screw mount to a bayonet. So when my Pentax developed light leaks, I changed to Nikon who still uses the old F mount. I believe Canon also changed their mount a number of years ago.



Feb 15, 2013 at 04:03 PM
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