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Nikon FT questions
Old 05-26-2017   #1
rbiemer
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Nikon FT questions

Stopped at my first garage sale of the season today and ended up spending a bit more money than I intended. But, I got a Nikon FT with a 50mm f/1.4 lens (with a Nikkor F 50/1.4 hood and period correct, I think, cap), a 28mm f/3.5 lens with both front and rear caps, a Nikon slide copy adapter--not really useful by itself, a few filters, and a Strobonar 860(?) flash unit with several misc. cords. Paid $150 for the lot.
The camera is in used but well cared for condition--I'm the second owner --both lenses are looking good, and I don't really care one way or the other about the other stuff.

The mirror lock up switch does not seem to be working but I don't want to force anything. According to the manual, it "is pushed down to lock the mirror." Should not take a lot of force?

No corrosion in the battery compartment since the owner took the last battery out when he stopped using the camera. Shutter speeds sound appropriate, apertures on both lenses stop down as they should. A quick dusting/gentle wipe down and I can be taking photos with this.

My primary question is about battery replacement for the meter. Are the CRIS or the Thai made adapters still the best options? I looked through a couple of old threads here at RFF and the consensus seemed to be that they both worked well in most cameras. Has any one used these adapter in their FT?

I looked at two different web sites with serial number info for the camera and my "new" FT is number 3134459 so I think it's relatively early? Maybe early to mid 1960s? Which leads to my next question: I should be looking for "pre-AI" lenses for this? Or, will most lenses with the aperture prongs work?

Thanks,
Rob
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Old 05-26-2017   #2
Livesteamer
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I have used the Chris cam adapters in my Nikon FT Photomic and they worked well. This was the first TTL meter for the Nikon F, an averaging meter. Sadly, many of these no longer work. There were several variations of the meter having to do with asa setting. In both the asa is set on a dial opposite the lens maximum aperture.

The mirror lock up is done by turning the button and firing the shutter. Mirror lock up in the Nikon F required you to waste a shot. I still have a Nikon FT Photomic, it was my first F and it did a lot of film for me. Congratulations on a good deal. Joe
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Old 05-26-2017   #3
x-ray
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I've not used the FT but have used the CRIS adapters in other meters and been quite pleased.

Any lens with the index fork will work whether AI or non.

Both lenses are good lenses. I've got several 50 f1.4 lenses and picked up a nice early 2.8cm f3.5 that's very good.

A lot of these older lenses can be bought for $25-35. I paid $35 for a like new non AI 35 f2.8 a while back and have seen others as nice and as cheap since. I always was biased against them in favor of the f2 until I bought the f2.8. The f2.8 is a great performer and better imo than the f2.

Keep your eyes out for the early non AI 24 f2.8. They can often be found well under $100. I bought one for $60 on a nice Nikkormat FTn with a case. I probably wouldn't pay $100 unless it was like new. 85's run high for some reason but Sonnar version 105's are relatively cheap. Also I'd expect to find a good 200 f4 in the sub $50 range. 20's are pricy but not fantastic lenses. Generally they're way over priced and not as good as the 24's. Last on my list is the 50 f3.5 micro. I own 2 right now and have bought and sold several for $40-45. They're stellar lenses.

If the meter doesn't work a friend of mine has recently had several FTn finders rebuilt. PM me if you need the name and I'll email my friend for the contact info. The problem is it's probably cost about what you spent for the kit to get it fixed.
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Old 05-26-2017   #4
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Another +1 fr CRIS battery adapters. And Livesteamer has provided the info for mirror lock up.
Your FT meter will connect with any Nikkor lens with the "prong" but as X-ray says - pre-Ai can be found very at really bargain prices. I'd look for one with the "C" designation indicating improved coatings
You got a really nice deal - enjoy
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Old 05-26-2017   #5
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One overlooked zoom is the ugly duckling 80-200 f4.5 . I use it with my Df and it's even sharp wide open at all FL's. Matter of fact it's amazingly sharp. There's one on eBay right now for $19 in nice shape.

I put together three vintage zooms to use with my Df. All are excellent performers even by today's standards. The 80-200 f4.5, 25-50 f4 and 75-150 f3.5.
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Old 05-26-2017   #6
NIKON KIU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post
Stopped at my first garage sale of the season today ...
I looked at two different web sites with serial number info for the camera and my "new" FT is number 3134459 so I think it's relatively early? Maybe early to mid 1960s? Which leads to my next question: I should be looking for "pre-AI" lenses for this? Or, will most lenses with the aperture prongs work?

Thanks,
Rob
This serial number you listed is not for a Nikon FT
This is a serial number for a Nikkormat. Right?

Kiu
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Old 05-26-2017   #7
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I was wondering if he meant Nikkormat. A wonderful but very different camera from a Nikon F. Joe
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Old 05-26-2017   #8
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I was thinking when he said "push down and the mirror should lock up" that it was a Nikkormat. Could even be an FTN.

Rob, if it is a Nikkormat, there should be a window on top of the camera next to the rewind knob that shows a meter read-out. If there is an N above this window, then you have an FTN. Also, if the pusher pin on front is mounted on a wide piece of metal, instead of a narrow one, that also shows it is an FTN.

The methods for indexing the lens to the camera, and setting the ASA/ISO are different between the FT and FTN.

PF
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Old 05-27-2017   #9
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If it is a Nikkormat, you have to push decently hard to get the mirror to lock up. Don't break it though.
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Old 05-27-2017   #10
rbiemer
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Yes, I did Say "Nikon FT" and I should have said "Nikkormat FT". Sorry about that!
Attached is a phone pic of my new toy.
Thank you all for the info, etc!

Rob
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FT and Coffee 2.jpg (36.9 KB, 19 views)
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Old 05-27-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIKON KIU View Post
This serial number you listed is not for a Nikon FT
This is a serial number for a Nikkormat. Right?

Kiu
Yes, it is a Nikkormat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
I was wondering if he meant Nikkormat. A wonderful but very different camera from a Nikon F. Joe
I did mean Nikkormat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
I was thinking when he said "push down and the mirror should lock up" that it was a Nikkormat. Could even be an FTN.

Rob, if it is a Nikkormat, there should be a window on top of the camera next to the rewind knob that shows a meter read-out. If there is an N above this window, then you have an FTN. Also, if the pusher pin on front is mounted on a wide piece of metal, instead of a narrow one, that also shows it is an FTN.

The methods for indexing the lens to the camera, and setting the ASA/ISO are different between the FT and FTN.

PF
Not an FTN, it is an FT.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchu View Post
If it is a Nikkormat, you have to push decently hard to get the mirror to lock up. Don't break it though.
Just now, I did apply myself to the button/switch and it does lock up the nirror and it does require a fair bit of force. So that works. I did not want to break anything so I was being a bit too gentle with that yesterday as I was checking out the camera.

Rob
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Old 05-27-2017   #12
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Well, if the meter works, that's a big plus. But if it doesn't, then just use it like a plain F. It's more fun that way.

PF
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Old 05-27-2017   #13
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Quote:
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Well, if the meter works, that's a big plus. But if it doesn't, then just use it like a plain F. It's more fun that way.

PF
Loaded some film and will be going for a walk with it once the drizzle we're having here blows through. Ought to be plenty of fun regardless of the meter working or not.

Rob
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Old 05-27-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post
...I should be looking for "pre-AI" lenses for this? Or, will most lenses with the aperture prongs work?

Thanks,
Rob
Almost all lenses with an f/stop ring will work, whether there is a shoe/prong or not. Those with the prong will couple to the meter for full aperture metering. Those without the prong require that the body's coupling be set correctly, but when so done they will work fine though metering is done by the stop-down method.

There are a few "ancient" Auto-Nikkors dating from the first year or so of the F's release (ca 1959-19600) that will not mount on metered Nikkormats nor will they mount on any AI body, even though with the movable tab. These lenses have an f/stop ring that overhangs the lens flange by a larger (~3-4mm) amount. They are frequently nick-named "tick mark Nikkors" as there are small tick marks (lines) by each f/stop marking, much like a ruler would have.
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Old 05-27-2017   #15
rbiemer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
Almost all lenses with an f/stop ring will work, whether there is a shoe/prong or not. Those with the prong will couple to the meter for full aperture metering. Those without the prong require that the body's coupling be set correctly, but when so done they will work fine though metering is done by the stop-down method.

There are a few "ancient" Auto-Nikkors dating from the first year or so of the F's release (ca 1959-19600) that will not mount on metered Nikkormats nor will they mount on any AI body, even though with the movable tab. These lenses have an f/stop ring that overhangs the lens flange by a larger (~3-4mm) amount. They are frequently nick-named "tick mark Nikkors" as there are small tick marks (lines) by each f/stop marking, much like a ruler would have.
Thhank you for that further clarification!

Rob
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Old 07-03-2017   #16
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Ordered one of pratedthai's battery adapters and then spent a morning going to the local drug stores looking for the correct battery to use in it. Tried checking first on-line for the various stores, then calling my local ones. That was frustrating--online searching turned up the 386/301 button cell easily enough...with a note to "check your local store for availability." Calling the local stores got me a very helpful response of several different versions of, "did you look at our website?"

And we no longer have a Radio Shack here, either.
I could have just bought a few from Amazon but figured that the battery wasn't that obscure so there ought to be some available. The sixth store I stopped at did actually have some in stock. So, I bought three--half of their stock.
And, the meter seems to be fine.

Maybe I could just stick with my phone and get one of the Zink/Polaroid pocket printers...nah, don't think I could.

Rob
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Old 07-03-2017   #17
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I've bought 386's at my local grocery store. I think our CVS drugs carries them. You now have about three years supply. If you refrigerate them they'll keep longer. I store all my batteries in the fridge.
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