Tag Archives: Nikkormat

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 27 – Return of the Samurai

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The Nikkormat line was a series of SLRs released by Nikon through the 1960s to 70s that were aimed at the consumer market. While there were some electronic Nikkormat cameras the ones we have on the table today are the mechanical ones of the FT line. These are great cameras that you can have for a cheap price and still using all your Non-AI, AI, and AI-S lenses. AI and AI-S providing they still have the claw, unless you have the FT3.

Cameras Featured on Today’s Episode

Nikon Nikkormat FTn – An improved version of the original Nikkormat FT and the oldest one we have on the table. The meter coupling pin on the camera still had to be aligned with the meter coupling shoe on the lens, but the lens maximum aperture no longer had to be manually preset on the FTn. It also improved the lens mounting technique that you could rock the aperture back and forth so that the claw would catch on the pin.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 27 - Return of the Samurai

  • Make: Nikon
  • Model: Nikkormat FTn
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangable, Nikon F
  • Year of Manufacture: 1967-1975

Dead Mill
Nikon Nikkormat FTn – Nikkor-H 50mm 1:2 – ORWO UN54+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

Scan-130425-0002
Nikon Nikkormat FTn – Nikkor-H 28mm 1:3.5 – ORWO UN54+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

Now Entering Leslieville.
Nikon Nikkormat FTn – Nikkor-O 35mm 1:2 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Nikon Nikkormat FT2 – Released as an answer to customer suggestions for improvement of the FTn. The FT2 would have a silver-oxide battery and a fixed hot shoe to mount and external flash. The FT2 also has a +/- in the match needle metering readout.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 27 - Return of the Samurai

  • Make: Nikon
  • Model: Nikkormat FT2
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangable, Nikon F
  • Year of Manufacture: 1975-1977

Cherry Blossoms
Nikkormat FT2 – Tamrom 17mm ƒ/3,5 – Fujichrome Velvia 50

Caffenol-C 2 Bath Test
Nikkormat FT2 – Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 – Polypan F @ ASA-50 – Caffenol-C 2 Bath 5+5

Firewood (Nikon Version)
Nikkormat FT2 – Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 – Polypan F @ ASA-50 – Ilford ID-11 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Nikon Nikkormat FT3 – Released as more of a stop-gap measure, the FT3 is a rare model of Nikkormat that can mount AI-S without needing the claw/pin interface. They were short lived as Nikon released the FM/FE line in 1977 a few months after the FT3 hit shelves.

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

  • Make: Nikon
  • Model: Nikkormat FT3
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangable, Nikon F
  • Year of Manufacture: 1977

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3
Nikon Nikkormat FT3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3
Nikon Nikkormat FT3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3
Nikon Nikkormat FT3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix…check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, Film Plus, Belle Arte Camera and Camtech, if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario. In Guelph there’s Pond’s FotoSource For those further north you can visit Foto Art Camera in Owen Sound. On the West Coast (British Columbia) check out Beau Photo Supply. Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

CCR Review 46 – Nikon Nikkormat FT3

To be perfectly honest, I’m a sucker for mechanical match needle SLRs. They’re simple, elegant and great to learn on and even now still a joy to shoot. The FT3 is just that, an easy to use, fun camera that can if needed double as a self-defense weapon. The sad part is that the FT3 only was made for a few months before being superseded by the Nikon FM. A unique creature among the more consumer oriented Nikkormat lines the FT3 can use AI and AI-S lenses even if they don’t have the coupling claw. Sadly you won’t be able to use the Non-AI glass that many Nikkormat shooters love.

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

The Dirt
Make: Nikon
Model: Nikkormat FT3
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F Mount (AI)
Year of Manufacture: 1977-1979

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

The Good
The FT3 is a strong camera, hands down. The best part about it is that it can take AI/AI-S lenses, unlike previous Nikkormat models. Which means you have a solid lineup of glass available to you as well as inexpensive Nikon Series E which you shouldn’t dismiss out of hand. And while this is a slightly more modern camera it feels like one made in the 1950s or 1960s, but it still feels great in the hand. And as an added touch, I like the round film counter window adds a nice retro look to it. Combine the look, feel, and weight with a short throw on the film advance you have a comfortable camera to use. The FT3 is also built like a brick so you can easily take it into almost any situation and it will come out on top. And finally, there’s battery power, while not needed (thankfully) it takes a normal silver oxide cell, so you don’t have to worry about keeping the meter running.

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

The Bad
Sadly the FT3 will not accept the Non-AI lenses; the coupling pin is missing from the camera body. While not a big issue for me as I have all AI/AI-S glass, it could be for someone who is using it to replace an older Nikkormat body. There are a few usability issues that I have with the camera that could be just because of age and my unfamiliarity with them. The first is the shutter speed control. The shutter speed dial is located on the lens mount, and while there is a nice handle, it is still not visible in the viewfinder which makes it a little difficult to operate the camera. Additionally, the slider for setting the film speed is a bit awkward to use as it is connected to a locking section of the shutter control handle. And last is a jumpy meter which could mean the camera just needs a good Clean, Lube, Adjust, but I have gotten good at catching a right meter reading before it jumps around. But since the FT3 is mechanical I can always fall back on Sunny-16.

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

CCR Review 46 - Nikon Nikkormat FT3

The Lowdown
The FT3 is the perfect camera if you want a solid mechanical camera that won’t break the bank, and already have a collection of AI/AI-S glass. And even though they don’t say ‘Nikon’ on the front doesn’t mean they don’t have the same quality. And if the older Nikkormats are just as good as the FT3 the whole series of cameras gets my blessing. Just watch out and get one that can use the lenses you have on the model as older Nikkormats require you to have the coupling claws present on the lens.

Photos taken in Toronto, Ontario
Nikon Nikkormat FT3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C