Leica "chrome" vs. "nickel".

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by summitar, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. I have several screwmount Leica's and the 50mm Elmar collapsible lens. I have a variety of Leica guidebooks and they describe the venerable Elmar as coming in chrome and nickel versions. In photos, they look the same to me, shiny and silver colored.
    Can someone tell me how I can distinguish the nickel and chrome versions without doing a metallurgical test?
  2. Hi Kerry
    Chrome plating looks 'silvery' whereas nickel plating looks very pale 'golden' especially if the nickel has oxidised a bit, as it will have done if it's an older lens. It's very easy to tell when you have the two side by side.
  3. Nickel is easily distinguished from chrome when seen in person. It is now a popular finish on high-end plumbing fixtures, so a quick stop at the local building supply will give you a clear idea of what nickel plating looks like. it's much easier to see than to describe.
  4. One more thing about nickel - it'll wear through with handling. One of the reasons chrome plating pretty much replaced nickel was that chrome was much harder.

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