Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nikkormat FTN - it just feels great

Twenty-dollar beauty

The Nikkormat series of cameras were solid, well-made all-metal SLRs from Nikon from 1965 through 1978. The most widespread and esily obtained model is the FTN. With the metal-bladed copal square shutter, and speeds from B to 1/1000 sec and a center-weighted 60:40% meter, it is a dependable workhorse of a camera. The only downside, is the use of mercury cells for the metering, which can be overcome with one of the C.R.I.S. adaptors to allow the use of silver-oxide batteries - well worth the expense. Mine still has a mercury cell in it.

I have been shooting with it again -- using color print film, and getting it developed and scanned at Walgreens. I paid 50 cents for the film -- expired Kodak Gold 100, and $5.15 for the develop and CD. The results are outstanding. Fun how a nearly 40 year old camera with cheap film can still compete with the DSLR for image quality.

evening garden

Our garden, early evening, on tripod with about a 1/2 second exposure. Nikkor 28mm.

foxglove 2
Foxglove, sorta close-up.


Anonymous said...

Not so funny, I think. These beautiful objects where built for one thing only: taking photos. Oh, and to last for ages, not like modern DSLR.

Erich said...

I used to get angry when people would ask me why I used old obsolete cameras. Now I just laugh - people are really missing out, as your photos show. That Kodak Gold is great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I've got an FTN, an FE, and an N80. I got the FTN on eBay with a Nikkor 50 1.4 and third-party 28/2.8, 200/4 and really heavy 85-205 f3.8. Sure, the N80 has spot-metering and the FE has aperture priority exposure (and is lighter) but the FTN actually feels the most solid to me. I also like the sound of its shutter (the FE has a slight echoing clank),

Roland said...

Thanks for this post. Someone just gave me an FTN. It's quite a camera!

jrhudson said...

You are right, the Nikon Nikkormat is a great camera! see

BOMBOVA said...

Thank you for this:, camera, film n picture story. i owned two Nikomat's, i bought them in Tokyo, and a few lens, 28 n a 200 for the Canadian Artic Island , oil patch work of 67 through 73, just so many good pictures, a news hound for Yellowknife paper bought the gear off me as i was going out. only other camera body n lenses, that i could say were comparable, were Konica, and Hexanon lenses, all, good stuff, OH for Koka Gold 100, what a good film , cheers, all,