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Nikkormat FTn
Old 06-09-2015   #1
dave lackey
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Nikkormat FTn

It took awhile but I am now up and running with my F2A and the 50 1.8 lens. This camera is addicting.

I love this beast and it now resides in an old Domke waist pack alongside the black Nikkormat FTN. So I thought I may as well check the meter and used the lens from the F2A and sure enough, the meter works perfectly. But.... The FTn doesn't have a lens of it's own. And the black body with chrome advance lever is too cool to let it sit in a bag! I need to find a lens or two!!!

I am a diehard 50mm shooter it seems but I love the 105 and even a wider lens like the 28 or 35. Any lens with character is desirable but of course I am limited by price.

Anyone have recommendations?
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Old 06-09-2015   #2
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Everyone will point you to one of the excellent primes made by Nikon. Fast 35 or even the very nice 24. I'm going to suggest the most lowly of the low, the lens designed to be paired with all of the Nikkormats, the 43-86 zoom. It flares, there are abberations galore and best of all, a 3.5 maximum apature but it looks great on a Nikkormat and it really isn't (nearly) as bad as everyone says.
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Old 06-09-2015   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
It took awhile but I am now up and running with my F2A and the 50 1.8 lens. This camera is addicting.

I love this beast and it now resides in an old Domke waist pack alongside the black Nikkormat FTN. So I thought I may as well check the meter and used the lens from the F2A and sure enough, the meter works perfectly. But.... The FTn doesn't have a lens of it's own. And the black body with chrome advance lever is too cool to let it sit in a bag! I need to find a lens or two!!!

I am a diehard 50mm shooter it seems but I love the 105 and even a wider lens like the 28 or 35. Any lens with character is desirable but of course I am limited by price.

Anyone have recommendations?
Unless you're looking to stick with pre-AI models for the style ...

Nikkor 28mm f/2 AI (I prefer the AI over the AI-S in this case)
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI-S

Go for it. ;-)

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Old 06-09-2015   #4
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This lens looks the best on a silver nikkormat. Nice rendering too.



http://www.destoutz.ch/lens_35mm_f2.8_233092.html
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Old 06-09-2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
Everyone will point you to one of the excellent primes made by Nikon. Fast 35 or even the very nice 24. I'm going to suggest the most lowly of the low, the lens designed to be paired with all of the Nikkormats, the 43-86 zoom. It flares, there are abberations galore and best of all, a 3.5 maximum apature but it looks great on a Nikkormat and it really isn't (nearly) as bad as everone says.

Dave,
If you are a 50mm guy, I think he is really on to something here. 43>86.
That is the lens designed for the Nikkormat.
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Old 06-09-2015   #6
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Here is my vote.


Nikkormat FTn by P F McFarland, on Flickr

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Old 06-09-2015   #7
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How about the Pre Ai 50 f1.4. It lived on my Nikkormat FTn for 35 years.
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Old 06-09-2015   #8
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Black Nikkormat, two options come to mine immediately.

Black metal barrel 35/1.4, no plastic, sharp and fast.
Any sonar 105/2.5.

The 105 is in your price range with realitive ease, the 35 will take some hunting but you will find it.

The 24/2.8 is legionary, another good option for matching looks, likes to distort a bit much for my preference these days but a fine lens in all other aspects (including price).

Those would be my recommendations.

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Old 06-09-2015   #9
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It might be that in the US the 43-86mm was the lens more often seen in a Nikkormat, but here it was the Nikkor-H 50mm /2.
And you can't go wrong with the Nikkor 28mm /3.5 Pre-Ai.

Most people weren't that rich to get the 35mm /1.4. More often you'll see the /2.8 as was pointed above.
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Old 06-10-2015   #10
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Nikkor-H 50mm /2.
.
This is the one.
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Old 06-10-2015   #11
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Wow, such great suggestions and some I never thought about!

KR hates my favorite Nikon lens so I may just look for the 43-86 just because it has character and because he hates it! Lol...
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Old 06-10-2015   #12
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I think that you would benefit from a lens for portraiture. If you are a 50mm user, the wide angle stuff is not your piece of cake. As suggested above, the 105/2.5 any version you like and/or can afford would be good. This is from the 105/2.5 P

201213510 by marek fogiel, on Flickr
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Old 06-10-2015   #13
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You can't go wrong with that H glass.


Nikkormat FT and Nikomat FTN, wearing some "H" glass. by Mike Novak, on Flickr

But the lens that gets the most mileage on my FTN is the wonderful Vivitar 70-150mm Close Focusing Auto Zoom. Put that in the bag with that 43-86mm zoom and you will be loaded for bear.
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Old 06-10-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
I think that you would benefit from a lens for portraiture. If you are a 50mm user, the wide angle stuff is not your piece of cake. As suggested above, the 105/2.5 any version you like and/or can afford would be good. This is from the 105/2.5 P

201213510 by marek fogiel, on Flickr

Beautiful portrait! The 105 lens has to be on my list! Thanks for that...
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Old 06-10-2015   #15
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You are in luck there are so many good and sometimes great Nikon pre Ai lenses that can still be had cheaply. A few of my favourites: The 50mm f1.4 (of course), the 50mm f2 (superb), the 35mm f2 (a classic) the 105mm f2.5 (Sonnar version). These are all acknowledged as classics. You might also like to pick up a 135mm f3.5 which can be had very cheaply and is an under rated lens as is the f2.8 variant. I suspect the only reason these are underrated is that they are so common. I still use all of these lenses on my D700 (having converted some of them myself and bought others pre converted).

I have a Nikkormat Ftn in black and it is a beauty. Also built like the proverbial brick outhouse. One thing not many people know I suspect (I certainly did not know until I bought mine) is that this camera came in a late variant as well. It seems that when Nikon came out with the Nikkormat that superseded the FTn (I think it was the FT2) the later FTn bodies were sold with some of the parts from that later model camera.

I suppose they ran short of parts and it was an effective way of selling the remaining FTn bodies. In any event the shutter lever, self timer lever etc are tipped in black plastic just like on the FT2 on my camera, whereas the earlier FTn cameras had the older style full metal levers. I must admit to liking the look of mine which is very smooth. Of course it did not have the hotshoe which is the prime defining feature of the FT2 model. But other than this that late variant looks very like the camera that took its place.
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Old 06-10-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
...One thing not many people know I suspect (I certainly did not know until I bought mine) is that this camera came in a late variant as well. It seems that when Nikon came out with the Nikkormat that superseded the FTn (I think it was the FT2) the later FTn bodies were sold with some of the parts from that later model camera. ...
Yes, the FT2 was a stop-gap model. It was basically a FT3 with the older meter coupling, marking time until the Ai coupling was introduced.

The differences between an FTn and the FT2 are small:
  • FT2 used Nikon's FRE (Functional Resisting Element) instead of a carbon resistor in the meter coupling reducing the wear and dirt issues.
  • FT2 dropped the FP-sync and had X-sync only.
  • FT2 had an integrated Hot Shoe replacing the old removable cold shoe
  • FT2 used the new "F2 style" Nikon flash cord socket (PC with threaded lock collar) replacing the old "F style" Nikon socket (PC with snap lock collar).
  • FT2 had the "Apollo" style wind lever and matching cosmetic change to the self timer lever.
  • FT2 had the newer "F2 style" strap lugs (brass with steel inserts).
The last two appeared on some later FTn samples.
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Old 06-10-2015   #17
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My vote...The Nikkor-O 35mm 2.0 (this one has been converted to the Ai mount...)
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Old 06-10-2015   #18
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For the most part, I keep a Nikkor-H 50mm f/2 lens on my FT-2. I also have the Nikkor-O 35mm f/2 for it.
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Old 06-10-2015   #19
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Go wide with a 20mm F3.5
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Old 01-30-2016   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
Yes, the FT2 was a stop-gap model. It was basically a FT3 with the older meter coupling, marking time until the Ai coupling was introduced.

The differences between an FTn and the FT2 are small:
  • FT2 used Nikon's FRE (Functional Resisting Element) instead of a carbon resistor in the meter coupling reducing the wear and dirt issues.
  • FT2 dropped the FP-sync and had X-sync only.
  • FT2 had an integrated Hot Shoe replacing the old removable cold shoe
  • FT2 used the new "F2 style" Nikon flash cord socket (PC with threaded lock collar) replacing the old "F style" Nikon socket (PC with snap lock collar).
  • FT2 had the "Apollo" style wind lever and matching cosmetic change to the self timer lever.
  • FT2 had the newer "F2 style" strap lugs (brass with steel inserts).
The last two appeared on some later FTn samples.
The FT2 also used the 'new' 1.5V silver oxide cells which are available anywhere. That for me is the most important difference.
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Old 02-07-2016   #21
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My brother Alex,

Shot on a black Nikkormat Ftn with lots of patina with a Nikkor H 50 f2 lens with Ilford HP5 400 processed in HC110 b.

Alex Smith at Lunch by Bill Smith, on Flickr
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Old 02-07-2016   #22
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McLaren Side Road and dairy farm shot yesterday afternoon in Caledon On about 50 min Northwest of Toronto.

Same Black Nikkormat FTn as above but with a Nikkor O 35 f2 lens with Ilford HP5 400 processed in HC110 B.

MacLaren Side Road Mid Winter 2016 by Bill Smith, on Flickr

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Old 02-07-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Wow, such great suggestions and some I never thought about!

KR hates my favorite Nikon lens so I may just look for the 43-86 just because it has character and because he hates it! Lol...
The 43-86 was terrible. It's not sharp at any aperture or focal length. In the 70's the owner of the ad agency I worked for bought one on a Nikormat EL and I had to print some of the negs. It was simply terrible. I've never seen another lens that was as consistently bad. Don't wast your money unless you like soft images.

I'd suggest the 35 f2.8 it's excellent. I bought a like new for $35 and its excellent, small and light. Next I'd suggest any of the 105 f2.5's especiayly the first generation non AI. It's a classic sonnar design. Beautiful in every way. You should be able to find a really nice one for $65-100. The second generation isn't a sonnar but it's equally as nice. Next I'd suggest a 55 f1.2. They're not outrageous and wide open to f2.8 it has magic. The 50 1.2 is equally as fine but newer and more expensive. I love my 50 1.2. Stopped down to 2.8 and below its killer sharp. Next I'd say the non AI 85 1.8. It's sharp! There are 3 versions of the 24 f 2.8. All are good. I bought a non AI v1 on a nice Nikkormat FTn for $60. The 135 f3.5 is a bargain and fantastic in a ways. It's very sharp, small and light. I have a non AI 50 f2 that's killer good even at F2. In zooms the 25-50 f4 constant aperture, 75-150 f3.5 E, 70-200 f4.5 are all exceptional even by today's standards. They are very cheap as we with the 25-50 being the most expensive. I've used all of these on my Df and looking at files on a high grade monitor they are all beautiful.
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Old 02-07-2016   #24
Erik van Straten
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The Nikkormat FTn is a fine camera.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor 50mm f/2, TriX.

Erik.

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Old 02-07-2016   #25
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Thank you, Erik. You are always such an inspiration. I am pulling my FTn out of the bag right now to fit it with the Nikkor 50mm 1.8!
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Old 02-07-2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The Nikkormat FTn is a fine camera.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor 50mm f/2, TriX.

Erik.

Excellent image!

My FT2 shows up tomorrow. Fingers crossed it is in decent shape.
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Old 02-07-2016   #27
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Here is my vote.


Nikkormat FTn by P F McFarland, on Flickr

PF
Yeah, that's really a beautiful camera and lens and as much photographic capability for the money as I can possibly imagine.
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Old 02-08-2016   #28
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Yeah, that's really a beautiful camera and lens and as much photographic capability for the money as I can possibly imagine.
David, I could not agree more.

My own black FTn resides in its own bag, as of yesterday. I hope there is a 105mm lens residing on that camera body in the future. For now, the 50 1.8 will do nicely.
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Old 02-08-2016   #29
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A nice feature of the Nikkormat FTn is the shutterspeed selector. You can use that lever without taking the camera from your eye. No other camera from that era has this feature AFAIK apart from the Leica M5.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor 50mm f/2, TriX.

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Old 02-08-2016   #30
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all of this nikkormat talk has made me get out my nikkomat (yes, nikkomat) ft2 with nikkor 50/2. i have been dry shooting it the past few minutes. what a smooth truck. i may have to put actual film in it, thanks to you guys. i have two rolls of ilford hp5 left ...
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Old 02-08-2016   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
A nice feature of the Nikkormat FTn is the shutterspeed selector. You can use that lever without taking the camera from your eye. No other camera from that era has this feature AFAIK apart from the Leica M5.......
OM-1 had it, as did the CL, and the Canon EF.

Feeling way too old knowing that....

B2 (;->
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Old 02-08-2016   #32
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OM-1 had it, as did the CL, and the Canon EF.
These were all a couple of years later. The Nikkormat FT (wich had this feature already) is from 1965 and the others are from around 1974, so there is a difference of nine years ...

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Old 02-08-2016   #33
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105 2.5 . Sonnar is not as good very close wide open. Otherwise the very similar.

50 1.8 50 2.0 are better for general use than faster lenses. 1.4 is kind of optimized for close range sacrificing far.

35 2.8 is better than 2.0 unless you want 2.0. More flair and posting with 2.0

28 2.8 that focuses to .7 meter has CRC (close range correction) ,almost no distortion, sharp into corners. I have two one I bought while the first was awaiting repair diagnosis after a fall. This was issued as a to die for lens with the designers given no limits.

Never used a 28 2.0 , but reports do not rate it as highly.

AiS lenses are best as they were the last of the manual focus lenses.
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Old 02-08-2016   #34
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These were all a couple of years later. The Nikkormat FT (wich had this feature already) is from 1965 and the others are from around 1974, so there is a difference of nine years ...

Erik.
Leica M5 was 1971
OM-1 was 1972
Leica CL was 1973
Canon EF 1973
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Old 02-08-2016   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
Leica M5 was 1971
OM-1 was 1972
Leica CL was 1973
Canon EF 1973
OK, but the Nikkormat was the first. Apart from that, it had a very handy lever, the M5 and the EF had dials that worked only if you had a strong index-finger. The OM was not build to professional standards, but the Nikkormat was.

The CL doesn't count, that was a nasty toy.

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Old 02-08-2016   #36
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dang. loaded my nikkomat, and exposed three frames a while ago. it is the one film camera i am keeping ...
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Old 02-08-2016   #37
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The Nikkormat FTn is a fine camera.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor 50mm f/2, TriX.

Erik.

Ab super shot Erik!

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Old 02-08-2016   #38
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Yeah, that's really a beautiful camera and lens and as much photographic capability for the money as I can possibly imagine.
Thanks, David. I bought one with the 50/1.4 back in '73, and kept it until '76 when I stupidly sold it to a friend of mine. Got a hankering for another one a couple of years ago, and wound up with three. First was an FT that came in a box lot, and two FTn's. The first FTn because of the lens on it, but it had mechanical issues, so I then got another FTn, which also has a good meter. I plan on keeping it in the F2S bag/kit, once I get some reorganizing done.

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Old 02-08-2016   #39
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Ab super shot Erik!
Thank you, Robert.

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Old 02-08-2016   #40
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OM-1 had it, as did the CL, and the Canon EF.

Feeling way too old knowing that....

B2 (;->
Sorry Bill, but something is wrong.
The OM-1 doesn't have the shutter speed in the viewfinder and that's what Eric was talking about.
Unless you have some very special OM-1, I have 5 of them and I don't see that in any of them.

Just to confirm, please have a look at this page: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography.../om1/index.htm
It shows what one sees in the viewfinder.
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Ricardo Miranda
Canon P. Voigtlander Bessa R

Olympus M-1, OM-1/N, OM-2/N, OM-4, OM-4Ti
A bunch of Nikons
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