That Nikkormat FTn.

dave lackey

Local time
4:16 PM
Feb 20, 2007
It just sits there on top of my desk looking at me. So, I pick it up and go through the motions with it, put on a rubber eyepiece and a different strap and check the meter.... delicious in it's on right as Johan has mentioned.

So, I am just about finished with my first color roll. Getting itchy wondering how the FTn did, but have to wait for another 5 frames or so. With the cherry blossoms in full bloom, I guess it is time to get busy with it.

That danged Nikkormat... can't put it down for long for some reason.:p

I have three.......Aside from them being able to use all Nikkor glass, they are BY FAR the best bargin camera in the universe!! I have three because I just can't resist such a monster machine selling for under $75. its criminal.
Last night I loaded my shabbiest black FT3 with hp5 for this week's daily carry and knock about camera.
Fine choice for a knockabout, Frank. The size of the Nikkormat is a plus.

Tried Johan's suggestion about actually using the meter on the top plate and that is a lot easier to get used to than I thought! Just set it and wait for the moment to bring the camera to your eye and that's it! Cool.:cool:
Oh dear! Now you've done it. My daughter has had my second FTn body and the 43-86 zoom for a number of years but she's gone digital so I've asked to get the Nikon back. I seem to end up with almost two of everything!
We had the seals replaced a few years ago but it's been in the tropics for most of the time since so I'll have to check it out - and get another battery adaptor gizmo for it.
They are lovely pieces of work, though. I have 200/135/85/50/50 Macro/35/28 and 20 primes for it. Plus all the hoods and filters.
Just realized that my FTn seems to be a 1971 model... time for a birthday present. Does anyone know of a quality half-case that fits the FTn?

I picked up a mint eveready case for the R4 ($25) and normally leave the half case on all the time for better grip, so it is time to clothe the naked Nikkormat.:p

Happy Birthday to Nik.
Looking at the photo (a very handsome camera indeed) I was wondering why you have the meter coupling prong on the left (as you see it in the picture) and not on the right where it should be for stop down metering?

Just curious.

I have an FTN chrome and a FT2 black. The FT2 has the split image rangefinder so it sees all the activity but the FTN was my first real camera bought in 74 so it will never go. But neither are getting much love these days what with my newly modified F.
Ha! The first roll went through flawlessly, except for a few operator errors.

Looks like I can bond with this camera!:D I like the size and the interchangeability of lenses and it looks cool, too! So, enough for the color film test roll, it is time for

A question to the Nikkormat crowd here:
Is the nikkormat slap stronger than the one on the FM/ FM2?
Do you feel the later can yield better results in the 1/60-1/15 speed range?

A question to the Nikkormat crowd here:
Is the nikkormat slap stronger than the one on the FM/ FM2?
Do you feel the later can yield better results in the 1/60-1/15 speed range?


Well, cannot speak for the FM/FM2 since I don't have one anymore and my memory about the camera slap doesn't go back that far...however, the FTn I have now is an early one and the slap is quite noticeable. The local camera store has a very nice chrome FTn with a 50mm F2 lens and it is smoother and quieter than the one I have. Guess I need to send mine out to Pete Smith one day.

Just mentioned this because there is significant difference between the Nikkormat bodies due to condition.

I, too, am curious about the comparison.:)
Update...that danged Nikkormat FTn is a siren, calling me to use it!

So, this week, I have TriX loaded up and ready to go. With the 28-55 zoom lens, this should be a hoot.:)
Was just done fiddling my two black paint Nikkormat FTns (which do not look half as new as yours, Dave!) when I noticed this thread. Never saw it before.

As said before (where was that, can't recall), the meter on top is brilliant and with the first type 105/2.5 is almost like a spot meter. I use a Nikkormat in conjunction with a meterless Leica and it's real nice to just point the Nikkormat at the subject without even lifting it and still being able to get a good indication of light measured.

On the other body I use a 58/1.4 Nikkor and am hoping to shoot some Noctilux-like stuff with that soon. Should/could be looking like it, the story goes...

EDIT: I decided to stick a picture to the praise. Those bodies are built like tanks, all controls are smooth (mine are older than I am!) and the mirror slap, while more fierce than on an FM2, is simply absorbed by the heft of the body. Never been an issue for me.

DSC_0992 by buzzardkid, on Flickr
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Mirror slap differences between the Nikkormat and FM are best determined through test reports from old Popular Photography issues where they show vibration results throughout the entire shutter speed range. Unless you have a collection of non-AI lenses, the FM would be the better shooter since it's easier to get batteries.
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That is a good looking Nikkormat there, and black too! I've a black one and a chrome one, neither of them as pretty as Dave's. But then, they cost me a total of $30. I don't remember checking the meter in the chrome body, since I usually use a Sekonic, but the black one was right on when compared with a couple of other camera meters. Those little battery adpaters are very useful, by the way. :)