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Gift of a Nikkormat FT
Old 05-14-2016   #1
skucera
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Talking Gift of a Nikkormat FT

My wife's uncle brought over three film cameras that he didn't want anymore, but he figured I'd maybe want them. One of them is a Nikkormat FT with its original Nikkor-H Auto f2.0 50mm lens. The lens was in a little velvet bag, without front or back caps, with fingerprints covering front and back lenses, so I have to clean that up. It also came with a modern digital Nikon zoom lens mounted to it. Amazingly, when I read up on it, I found that if I moved the film advance lever back to expose the read dot and turn on the meter, that the battery was still good and it appears to meter accurately.

I'll clean it up and take some pictures of it soon. Now I just need to find some lenses for it, and lens caps too.

Scott
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Old 05-15-2016   #2
nikon_sam
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Scott...you failed to mention the other two cameras...
It's always nice when you're gifted a camera...but a Nikkormat Ft with lens...extra nice...
I was recently gifted an Argus C3 with a flash...not anywhere close to the Nikkormat on the coolness factor but Hey it's a free camera...
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Old 05-15-2016   #3
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Yeah, I did forget to mention the other two. One is a point-and-shoot auto-focus Bell+Howell (note the plus sign in the trademark) built by Canon in China. I popped a CR123 battery in it from another camera and it came to life just fine. I put the battery back in my Stylus, though, because the Bell+Howell is a brick that won't fit comfortably in a pocket, and I'll probably never use it.

The other camera is a Bell & Howell Two Twenty 8mm movie camera in very good shape. (Yeah, it's old enough to use an ampersand in the trademark.) It's built like a tank, and runs very smoothly. This morning I looked into buying some film to shoot on it, and it is surprisingly reasonable. A 25 ft. roll is ~$50 with developing included. I may pop for a roll just out of curiosity.

Argus cameras have some cool factor. Lately, a whole bunch of Argus cameras have ended up at Goodwill thrift stores around town. I think a camera enthusiast died of old age, and his or her family donated all the cameras at once. They're each priced at $30, but their rangefinder patches don't seem to be calibrated to the distances the lenses are focused to. I hope yours is in better tune. As you can tell, I've fondled each of the Argus cameras I've seen there and pondered whether I should buy one or now....

Scott
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1917 No. 1A Autographic Kodak Junior
1940 Kodak 35 Rangefinder
1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
1976 Konica Autoreflex T3n
1977 Canon 110ED 20
1979 Minox 35 GL
1979 Olympus XA
1980 Pentax Auto 110
1987 Polaroid Spectra
1996 Canon EOS Elan IIe

Last edited by skucera : 05-15-2016 at 17:54. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-15-2016   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skucera View Post
Yeah, I did forget to mention the other two. One is a point-and-shoot auto-focus Bell+Howell (note the plus sign in the trademark) built by Canon in China. I popped a CR123 battery in it from another camera and it came to life just fine. I put the battery back in my Stylus, though, because the Bell+Howell is a brick that won't fit comfortably in a pocket, and I'll probably never use it.

The other camera is a Bell & Howell Two Twenty 8mm movie camera in very good shape. (Yeah, it's old enough to use an ampersand in the trademark.) It's built like a tank, and runs very smoothly. This morning I looked into buying some film to shoot on it, and it is surprisingly reasonable. A 25 ft. roll is ~$50 with developing included. I may pop for a roll just out of curiosity.

Argus cameras have some cool factor. Lately, a whole bunch of Argus cameras have ended up at Goodwill thrift stores around town. I think a camera enthusiast died of old age, and his or her family donated all the cameras at once. They're each priced at $30, but their rangefinder patches don't seem to be calibrated to the distances the lenses are focused to. I hope yours is in better tune. As you can tell, I've fondled each of the Argus cameras I've seen there and pondered whether I should buy one or now....

Scott
It could simply be someone has taken the lenses off those C-3's, and gotten them out of register with the rangefinder when they were remounted. It may only be a tooth or two, or quite a few if they were totally careless. It's an easy fix if that is the case.

PF
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Old 05-15-2016   #5
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I'm not going to do anything with this C3 as I have another that I recovered a few years back, it's in great shape (I took it apart and totally cleaned it up) and I've run a few rolls through it already...I did take the flash and mounted it on mine, for now the camera & flash are sitting on a shelf...
I'm trying to find some pictures I took of it but can't locate them right now...

My favorite picture taken with the Argus...

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Old 05-15-2016   #6
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Here's a picture of my new Nikkormat FT:



Nikkormat FT by Scott Kucera, on Flickr


And here's the little movie camera:

Bell & Howell 220

by Scott Kucera, on Flickr

Isn't it cute?

Scott
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1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
1976 Konica Autoreflex T3n
1977 Canon 110ED 20
1979 Minox 35 GL
1979 Olympus XA
1980 Pentax Auto 110
1987 Polaroid Spectra
1996 Canon EOS Elan IIe
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Old 05-15-2016   #7
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You will be happy with the Nikkormat FT. I have the slightly later FTn also with the 50mm f2 which is a fine classic lens that turns in lovely images.



_DSC0299a1a by Life in Shadows, on Flickr
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Old 05-15-2016   #8
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That's a nice FT...looks like it wasn't used all that much or the case did it's job very well...
The Bell & Howell is a little fancier than the one my dad used when we were kids.
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Old 05-16-2016   #9
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Scott--beautiful FT! And you'll love the 50/f2. But--I wouldn't trust that strap another instant!
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Old 05-16-2016   #10
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There's a lot of strength left in that old strap. It's ugly, with the patent leather finish flaking off. The original owner got Alzheimer's and did some very odd things to his camera cases, usually with electrician's tape or fine wire. No lasting harm was done, luckily enough.

Scott
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1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
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1977 Canon 110ED 20
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1980 Pentax Auto 110
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1996 Canon EOS Elan IIe
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Old 05-16-2016   #11
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That 50mm f2 is one of the greats. I have trouble distinguishing between pictures I made with that one and pics done with my Leica and DR 'cron.
Nikkor-H
Jardin des Tuileries by Vic Stewart, on Flickr
Summicron DR
Pau by Vic Stewart, on Flickr
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Old 05-16-2016   #12
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Vic, those are both absolutely beautiful photos. You've got me curious to load some T-Max and go on an expedition. Normally I shoot color, but you pictures are inspiring me.

Scott
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1940 Kodak 35 Rangefinder
1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
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1977 Canon 110ED 20
1979 Minox 35 GL
1979 Olympus XA
1980 Pentax Auto 110
1987 Polaroid Spectra
1996 Canon EOS Elan IIe
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Old 05-18-2016   #13
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What you really have there is an FTn, Scott. Look at the meter window by the rewind knob, and you should see an N right above it.

PF
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Old 05-18-2016   #14
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Yeap, it looks like an early FTn.

Scott,
Look at the shutter release, please. Is there a Leica bell thread?
If not, it is a really early one.
I'll advise you to read the manual. You can find one at Butkus.
Have fun with it!
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Old 05-19-2016   #15
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These old Nikkormats and the Nikkomats are such strong and sturdy cameras. We have a few in the shop where I work but rarely get asked for one. Most prefer the FM or FE variants. Some nice shots here guys.

Paul
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Old 05-19-2016   #16
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I have said for years that the Nikkormat is by far the best body - value in film. Also much better in weather than the F especially in the bush.
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Old 05-19-2016   #17
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Yup, there's an "N" above the external match needle display. OK, it's an FTN.

But, what is a "Leica bell thread"? That's a new phrase for me. I inherited my Leica only this summer, and I'm still a total noob about them, and even more of a noob with this new Nikkormat.

Next, I've got to correct my signature....

Scott
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1940 Kodak 35 Rangefinder
1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
1976 Konica Autoreflex T3n
1977 Canon 110ED 20
1979 Minox 35 GL
1979 Olympus XA
1980 Pentax Auto 110
1987 Polaroid Spectra
1996 Canon EOS Elan IIe
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Old 05-19-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
I have said for years that the Nikkormat is by far the best body - value in film. Also much better in weather than the F.
Yes, they are great. I still love the black version of the early FTn.

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

Erik.



And then whith that Nikkor P 105mm f/2.5.

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Old 05-20-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skucera View Post
Yup, there's an "N" above the external match needle display. OK, it's an FTN.

But, what is a "Leica bell thread"? That's a new phrase for me. I inherited my Leica only this summer, and I'm still a total noob about them, and even more of a noob with this new Nikkormat.

Next, I've got to correct my signature....

Scott
Hi Scott,

I know it as a Leica bell cable release adapter.
Many Leica L39 and many Nikon F, F2 and Nikkormats had a thread around the outside of shutter release.
This is the adapter to allow normal cable releases to be used on a Leica L39 and some Nikons.


On this Nikkormat FTN, you can see the Leica Bell thread:


The Nikkormat FT and the early FTn didn't have the outer thread for the Leica adapter.

EDIT: here is my Nikkormat FTn without the Leica bell thread.
WP_20160520_10_12_40_Pro by Ricardo Miranda, on Flickr
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Last edited by ravilamir : 05-20-2016 at 01:20. Reason: Added info and picture.
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Old 05-20-2016   #20
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Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
What you really have there is an FTn, Scott. Look at the meter window by the rewind knob, and you should see an N right above it.

PF
You beat me to it...

... what caught my eye was the raised chrome bezel around the frame counter window. The FT & FS lacked this making the plastic lens vunerable to being broken or chipped off.
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Old 05-20-2016   #21
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You're right, in that it has the threads for the Leica bell adapter. Thanks for introducing me to the feature. I'll have to look into getting one of those. The shutter release button also has the internal Copal cable-release threads. There's a lot of versatility designed into those features.

I've been looking up FTN serial numbers against the years that they were reported as being manufactured, and my 4,070,nnn serial number appears to have been just before the cut-off when several design changes happened in 1974. The lens has the non-AI rabbit ears too, which also seems to confirm that it was built before the AI version of the Nikkor H 50/2.0 lens was introduced in 1974, so I'm guess-timating that this camera was made in 1972 or 1973, or possibly early 1974. Without finding a better list of serial numbers produced in each year, that's about as far as speculation can take me.

I've also been looking into buying a few more lenses in the original non-AI mount. I've got to admit that I enjoy buying period accessories for my cameras, assembling period correct collections of each camera system. I'm a conservator that way. The non-AI Nikkor lenses are sure affordable.

Thank you all for the great information! If you have any more nuggets, please educate me.

Scott
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1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
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1977 Canon 110ED 20
1979 Minox 35 GL
1979 Olympus XA
1980 Pentax Auto 110
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Old 05-22-2016   #22
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Originally Posted by skucera View Post
You're right, in that it has the threads for the Leica bell adapter. Thanks for introducing me to the feature. I'll have to look into getting one of those. The shutter release button also has the internal Copal cable-release threads. ...
... which can cause some balky operation when using a PC threaded release with an adapter. The small diameter pin from the adapted release tries to enter the threaded hold and sometimes snags a thread. This makes the release point somewhat vague and variable. Standard Nikon and Leica cable releases that have a permanent "bell" fitting will have a large diameter face on the end of the plunger inside the filling.

I wouldn't recommend using an adapter with a Nikkormat FTn/FT2/FT3/EL/ELW/EL2. Use either a true Nikon/Leica release or use a standard release without the adapter.
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Old 05-22-2016   #23
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Scott, you probably know: that Nikkor-H 50 is a very fine lens.

Body looks good, too, doesn't it !
Congrats on the fortunate acquisitions.
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Old 06-05-2016   #24
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Last Sunday I saw and purchased a mint, Black Nikkormat FT.
Came with a non brand "Image" 28mm f2.8 lens.
Price was C$15.00
Ran a film thru, it works fine.
Battery for meter after process film..It works.
Needed to set higher ISO* to match F3.
Might need that resistor thing.
I once owned 2, regret selling them off.
One was for Pam, who found it too large and heavy.
Her Ruger .22 Marksman with extended barrel weighed about same ?
Really fascinated with the camera.
My Nikon Ftn's meters are both gone.
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Old 06-05-2016   #25
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I recently found this negative in my files, a picture I've made in the summer of 1973 in Ronda (Spain) with my Nikkormat FTn. It was a chrome one. The lens was the great Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 and the film ORWO 21 DIN.

A Nikkormat shoots almost as easy as a Leica M5, only focusing is harder and the camera is noisier.

Erik.

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Old 06-06-2016   #26
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unless you know, the battery might be hard to locate. In my old Nikkormat it was under the mirror.
Not sure if that's the case with your model.
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Old 06-06-2016   #27
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unless you know, the battery might be hard to locate. In my old Nikkormat it was under the mirror.
No, that is the case with the Nikkormat EL. The FTn has the battery in the bottomplate.

Erik.
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