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Thread: Is Zone VI really gold?

  1. #1

    Cool Is Zone VI really gold?

    Just got a nice Zone VI as my only field camera, and I noticed some of the fittings look like they could use a polishing.

    Are the fittings really gold plated? Will that rub off? (presuming it IS gold, which I find hard to believe)

    I read somewhere the fittings were gold, just in case you thought I was dumber than I really am.

    I suspect they are lacquered brass.

  2. #2
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    I'm guessing that if it looks like it needs polishing, it's not gold. Gold doesn't corrode.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    They did gold plate the fittings at one point.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    Over the long run the brass looks better anyway IMO.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #5
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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    Hi Herb,

    Fred Picker was not satisfied with the way polished brass fittings tended to tarnish, even after they were protected with lacquer.

    He decided to improve his brass work, and he ran a series of Zone VI 4x5 cameras that had beautiful gold plated hardware.

    Your camera is from that series.

    Yes, the gold sometimes wears or peels off.

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    The fittings on mine are real gold (plated, probably quite thin). I don't know what the actual metal is.

    They did this for a couple of years. I don't know if it was an option or standard on the product.

    These cameras were made by Zone VI in Newfane Vermont. I don't think any of the other versions had gold fittings.

    One thing to check...
    Make sure all your screw fittings have the nylon washers in place on both sides.
    Tightening a knob without the washers will definitely damage the plating.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7

    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    Thanks guys-I will see how some light polishing works.

  8. #8
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Herb Cunningham View Post
    I will see how some light polishing works.
    Gold plating is very thin (measured in milliionths of an inch), and can be damaged or removed by abrasive polish.

    Examine the discolored area very closely with a magnifying glass to see if there was lacquer on the fitting that has come off.
    If there is, the fittings are brass with a lacquer over-coat. They won't be damaged by polishing. You'll need to re-coat after polishing.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    A properly lacquered brass finish is easily as durable as that gold flash plating Picker put on. And, when the brass wears, it looks like honest wear, not like a pimpmobile that's seen better days.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is Zone VI really gold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    Hi Herb,

    Fred Picker was not satisfied with the way polished brass fittings tended to tarnish, even after they were protected with lacquer.
    Properly lacquered brass is good for quite a few decades, judging by some brass items I have from the century before last. I'm no fan of Fred Picker, and I think the gold plating he used was just a pretentious gimmick.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

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