Brand­ing the build

Get­ting across the hid­den strengths of Nikon gear

NPhoto - - Feature -

How do you dis­tin­guish a new cam­era from the rest of the pack when the raw specs may be sim­i­lar, in the race for dig­i­tal SLR one-up­man­ship? Twenty-some­thing mil­lion pix­els? Of course! Mul­ti­ple cross-type AF points? Check. ISO north of one mil­lion? You’d bet­ter be­lieve it.

So Nikon’s mar­ket­ing team must have been high-fiv­ing all the way to their white­boards when the engi­neer­ing depart­ment came up with the idea of us­ing ‘Sereebo’ in the con­struc­tion of the D750. In­stead of an all-magnesium al­loy body, the front body and front cover are made from a car­bon-fi­bre re­in­forced ther­mo­plas­tic used in a ‘mono­coque struc­ture’ (an­other high five). Mono­coque is a method of con­struc­tion that re­lies on a struc­tural skin, rather than a chas­sis, for its strength, with the cam­era’s ex­te­rior pan­els serv­ing as a frame that pro­tects the in­ter­nal struc­ture, in ad­di­tion to shav­ing a lit­tle off the weight.

Sereebo was ac­tu­ally first used in the struc­tural parts of the D5300, re­leased in 2013 – in fact, it was the first time the plas­tic had been adopted in a com­mer­cial prod­uct. Since then, it’s be­come a fa­mil­iar sell­ing point for up­dated Nikon bod­ies, with ‘a mono­coque car­bon-re­in­forced shell’ (high five!) be­ing used in the likes of the D5400, D5600 and D7500. In fact, even the D500 flag­ship DX body uses a blend of magnesium al­loy at the top and rear and car­bon fi­bre at the front (see above). Shuter nut­ter s Aside from the cam­era body, the big­gest stresses in a DSLR oc­cur within the mir­ror assem­bly and shut­ter. Nikon has again led the way here, with the shut­ter foil in the orig­i­nal Nikon F SLR be­ing made of ti­ta­nium (0.02mm in thick­ness) for the first time in the world. The shut­ter and quick re­turn of the mir­ror were re­port­edly put through a 100,000-cy­cle stress test to en­sure re­li­a­bil­ity.

These days, the shut­ter blades of high-end Nikon DSLRs are made from Kevlar/car­bon-fi­bre com­pos­ite and tested to en­sure they have the dura­bil­ity to cope with the in­creased load that comes from the ma­chine-gun frame rates and prodi­gious buf­fers that pro­fes­sion­als de­mand. Ac­cord­ing to Nikon, the D5 has been tested to 400,000 cy­cles, with the shut­ter unit loaded into a fully as­sem­bled cam­era. The flag­ship FX body also in­cludes a self-di­ag­nos­tic shut­ter mon­i­tor that de­tects any dif­fer­ence be­tween the shut­ter speed and the ac­tual speed of the blades, and min­i­mizes

this ac­cord­ingly.

Nikon’s mar­ket­ing team must have been high-fiv­ing all the way to their white­boards

Nikon’s use of fu­tur­is­tic ma­te­ri­als makes its cam­eras tough and light

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