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Archive 2013 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600
  
 
borismilan
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


Two weeks ago my D600 fell to the asphalt, mounted on my tripod by my lack of attention the camera fell from about 6 feet without anything that could stop it fall
I was horrified and I was in the middle of a paid shoot, no back up camera (my old smaller camera died and havent purchased another), and I see my camera on the ground I know is damage.
I picked it up and examine it, the left side is bent, scratched, the ring that is used to hang the strap is bent and part of the upper frame is cracked, in from the plastic frame around the lens and the Lens release button are exposed..I try to make the piece comeback to its place , my feel is I killed my camera
The AF Motor is not working on my 35 f2D, but
To my surprise on closer look the camera is working, I take my 35mm out and mount a 50 AFS 1.8.. it focuses fine, Is taking pictures, I go around to work and try to be professional and not think on my camera or how much it cost to repair, I hope my insurance covers the accident and carry on finish my portrait session.
Once in my house I manage to make the AF motor work
This fall was killer, it hit the ground with all the earths gravity energy , but the camera survived.
I sent the D600 to repair but I haven't heard from Nikon yet (it arrived last Friday), i just hope it can be properly repaired
I wanted to share my experience, these "plastic" bodies are much stronger that we think
Here are some images


My D600 felt to the paviment by boris68, on Flickr


This is what worries me the most by boris68, on Flickr


D600 damaged by boris68, on Flickr



Feb 26, 2013 at 04:07 PM
theSuede
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


The same arguments arise over "plastic body" vs "magnesium" body from time to time.

What most people ignorant in mechanical design will say is that magnesium is SOOOOO much better in all circumstances. Plastic is for wussies. Unfortunately that is also a big fat lie, and demonstrably wrong in so many cases of industrial design that one could think that people should some day learn that different material characteristics have different "best uses" in different scenarios.

Magnesium / aluminium alloys are typically very stiff, and have very high modulus values. This makes it very brittle in many cases - and it also gives the casing extremely small amounts of impact damping. Any force applied to the camera casing is directly transferred without loss on to the mechanics inside.

Drop a camera from table-top height and have it land on a magnesium outer surface (if that outer shell is directly coupled to the inner cage of the camera) and the acceleration stress on the components on the inside of the camera can be between 100 and 1000 times higher than if you have a slightly flexible outer layer on the camera. The exterior of the camera will maybe not even get a dent (since the surface is so hard) - but the risk of something vital inside the camera breaking has been increased almost a hundredfold

Now do the same, but have the camera land on a fiber-reinforced construction plastic in stead. The plastic will deform slightly at impact, and this absorbs most of the extremely high initial acceleration - sparing the innards of the camera (that is still contained in a magnesium cage that holds all the important bits at constant positions) from extreme mechanical stress. The plastic will then hopefully bend back.
...............

If the surface (outer shell) that met the asphalt - on your camera - had been made of metal, the camera would have been toast. Shutter, mirror, prism alignments would have just shattered. Moving part sockets would have bent out of shape.

So just as the makers of "Camera Armour" type of protection sleeves (and skylift remote controls, industrial-use voltmeters, rangefinder lasers, high-precision levels and so on) know from long industrial use experience, a flexible impact-absorbing coating on top of a hard inner cage is the best way to protect precision mechanics from abusive use.

It may not be the nicest looking, or most rewarding surface to sit and stroke lovingly in your free time - but it sure does what it is supposed to do. Keep your gear intact.



Feb 26, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


^^^ What Suede said.

Where the magnesium alloy frames come in are with larger bodies that would flex under normal handling due to their extra size and weight

But to some degree, magnesium frames, even on smaller bodies where the lens mount is concerned makes sense. When large lenses are mounted there are always moments where the body ends up supporting a good portion of the weight of the lens ... BUT, you don't want the casing of the camera to be ridgid mounted to the frame for all the reasons Suede mentioned. A plastic outer case with rubber shock mounts to a metal frame would offer the best over-all performance in terms of shock resistance and body strength.




Feb 26, 2013 at 05:37 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


That sucks....that's why i dont have 2 bodies.....i have 5....


Feb 26, 2013 at 05:37 PM
honorerdieu
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


Judging from the photos, it doesn't look too bad. They will most likely replace the damaged panels, recalibrate your autofocus system and then do a general check up. I'm guessing you'll be paying less than 300 bucks for the repair.


Feb 26, 2013 at 06:00 PM
BruceF99
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


The D600 isn't a plastic body. It has a magnesium alloy top and rear.
http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d600/features03.htm



Feb 26, 2013 at 06:08 PM
sivrajbm
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


Can't believe you were on a paid shoot with only one body. Glad it worked out for you. Get that back-up body quickly...


Feb 26, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Cagey75
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


theSuede wrote:
What most people ignorant in mechanical design will say is that magnesium is SOOOOO much better in all circumstances. Plastic is for wussies. Unfortunately that is also a big fat lie, and demonstrably wrong in so many cases of industrial design that one could think that people should some day learn that different material characteristics have different "best uses" in different scenarios.



Who says this exactly? You're just generalising right? Because I've never heard or seen anyone actually say "Plastic is for wussies"

Same thing could be said for plastic lenses V steel. If you drop a plastic lens, there's less chance of it smashing actually, as the weight behind a full on pro steel lens will make it explode on impact. The trick is, not to drop them! Tougher materials aren't put in place to save them from drops!



Feb 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


I dunno - I recall the video that is probably still on YouTube of the guy who dropped his D3x from a moving motorcycle and kept on using it...

The D600 probably survived where a D3200 probably wouldn't have. A D800 would probably have been damaged less and a D4 even less than that...



Feb 26, 2013 at 06:56 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


M635_Guy wrote:
The D600 probably survived where a D3200 probably wouldn't have. A D800 would probably have been damaged less and a D4 even less than that...


You can't possibly know that.

It's possible that the plastic caved where the magnesium wouldn't, and it's possible that everything could have been bolted together well enough where the impact wouldn't have jarred something else loose, thus allowing the D800/D4 to survive intact.

It's equally possible that the plastic absorbed an impact that the magnesium would have transmitted into the internal components, knocking everything out of whack. It's equally possible that a D4, with its heavier weight, could have been damaged more than a D800, and that the D3200, being the lightest, might have been damaged least of all.

Impact damage is not something you can speculate on by just looking. Sometimes, the survival of a dropped component is just luck. You could drop ten cameras from the same height and get ten different outcomes depending on how they landed.



Feb 26, 2013 at 07:06 PM
 

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borismilan
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


honorerdieu wrote:
Judging from the photos, it doesn't look too bad. They will most likely replace the damaged panels, recalibrate your autofocus system and then do a general check up. I'm guessing you'll be paying less than 300 bucks for the repair.


I really hope you are right, I have read some crazy horror stories from Nikon (and Canon) service, my gear is insured but I have never placed a claim, lets see how it goes



Can't believe you were on a paid shoot with only one body. Glad it worked out for you. Get that back-up body quickly...

Yes I hear you, I am not a professional, I'm more of a semi-pro doing gigs here and there when people ask me to, if I where a full tim pro I would have had a second body.
Last year I was shooting Canon and when I saw the D600 I saw the opportunity to switch and go FF.. I have invested quite a bit switching brands, and my "backup" was a Canon 30D that died in the process of buying new gear, flashes, lens etc, Im looking to get something.

TheSuede

It may not be the nicest looking, or most rewarding surface to sit and stroke lovingly in your free time - but it sure does what it is supposed to do. Keep your gear intact.

I will lokk into a protection cover for my camera , thanks!


The trick is, not to drop them! Tougher materials aren't put in place to save them from drops!

Yeah.. it happens


Hamler
That sucks....that's why i dont have 2 bodies.....i have 5....

I felt sick to my stomach when it happened.. I'll tel my wife I need 4 more bodies, see what happens



Feb 26, 2013 at 07:09 PM
honorerdieu
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


My D800 was dropped 5 months ago... the LCD screen landed on the asphalt. The only two components replaced were the LCD screen and the back panel. I don't think your bank account will take a huge hit.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8017340814_c53aca85f3_b.jpg






Feb 26, 2013 at 07:16 PM
borismilan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


honorerdieu wrote:
My D800 was dropped 5 months ago... the LCD screen landed on the asphalt. The only two components replaced were the LCD screen and the back panel. I don't think your bank account will take a huge hit.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8314/8017340814_c53aca85f3_b.jpg




Ouch.. I am so sorry
But thanks for the tip



Feb 26, 2013 at 07:19 PM
MalbikEndar
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


Cost of a D800...$2800.

Knowing you have magnesium under all that plastic...priceless.



Feb 26, 2013 at 07:43 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


binary visions wrote:
You can't possibly know that.


Did you notice the word "probably" in there? I didn't make a definitve statement - at least it wasn't my intention for it to be read that way.

But by the way, I work in a technology field where I regularly review shock and impact testing on products with magnesium inner frames. It isn't something I'm completely idly speculating on - I've got a fair bit of background that is fairly applicable.

In the case of the OP, the weight of the camera is somewhat less important because it was bolted to the tripod - there was a lot more overall force in play than was generated by the camera alone (unless I'm mis-reading what happened - sounds like it tipped/blew over with the camera attached).



Feb 26, 2013 at 09:13 PM
MikeW
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


couldn't help but see you have a manfrotto quick release plate. Get an acra swiss. Those manfrotto systems are terrible, my mothers d7k w/ 24-70 came flying off in similar circumstances.


Feb 26, 2013 at 09:33 PM
borismilan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


Last week I bought Benro B3 with swiss arca plate head after the fall
Yes this is a crappy thing to have, I have been meaning to buy a new head and legs for some time, I kept saying that mine was enough; Perhaps if did bought the better legs this would not have happened
BTW, just got my Nikon estimate.. 334$ with tax and shipping, while not a cheap fix, is less than I first imagined (don't tell Nikon)
Thank you Mike



Feb 26, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Kisutch
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


When I was into ski jumping, I remember that people would get concussions regardless of whether they had a helmet on. Isn't that part of the issue with cameras surviving falls? Does it matter if the shell doesn't break if the insides are getting severely rattled? I've had a couple Rebels get smacked around and they both developed issues later in the year, error 99 on one and a power drain issue with the other. Maybe a coincidence. No signs of damage on the outside.


Feb 26, 2013 at 09:45 PM
theSuede
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


M635_Guy wrote:
Did you notice the word "probably" in there? I didn't make a definitve statement - at least it wasn't my intention for it to be read that way.

But by the way, I work in a technology field where I regularly review shock and impact testing on products with magnesium inner frames. It isn't something I'm completely idly speculating on - I've got a fair bit of background that is fairly applicable.

In the case of the OP, the weight of the camera is somewhat less important because it was bolted to the tripod - there was a lot more overall force
...Show more

Uhm... What?

The only difference between falling "on tripod" and being dropped free-fall from the same height is that the mounted on tripod fall will be from a 5% higher altitude (the cosine of the leg prop angle as it topples over).
Or do you mean that the angular lock that the tripod mount causes (the camera can't spin freely just AT and just AFTER the initial impact?) increases the initial deceleration peak?

You might be (you're probably?) right, I'm just curious as to your reasoning.



Feb 27, 2013 at 12:09 AM
borismilan
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · A comment on plastic bodies, the D600


Just so you understand, yes the camera was bolted to the tripod, completely extended about 6.5 feet high, then the wind blew one of my umbrellas-stands that hit the camera... the tripod then fell creating an arch , and due to the weight if the camera, I believe (at least it looked that way) created a momentum that actually made the speed increase as it was falling closer to the ground.
The smack of the camera to the asphalt made such a loud noise that I was expecting parts and lens to fly into the air
To my surprise the camera, while hurt, was in one piece.
Closer inspection showed where and what was broken, however the d600 survived and actually worked, pretty amazing IMO



Feb 27, 2013 at 12:19 AM
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