Classic Camera Review: Nikkormat FT-2, The Poor Man’s Nikon F


Single lens reflex cameras (SLRs) began arriving on our shores from post-war Japan during the mid-1950s. Though reflex viewing systems have been around since the first camera obscura was introduced, in 1676, consumers had to wait until 1936 when Exacta introduced the Ihagee Kine, the first consumer 35mm SLR. Other companies soon joined the party. In 1959, Nikon raised a number of eyebrows when it introduced the Model “F”, a camera that set the standard for quality camera gear to this very day. Six years down the line, Nikon introduced the Nikkormat FT, which quickly became known as the “poor man’s Nikon F.”

The Nikkormat FT was soon replaced by the FTn, followed by the FT-2 and, finally, the FT3. Each model featured progressive improvements to the metering systems and the addition of a hot shoe, along with a number of internal tweaks.

Photographs © Allan Weitz, 2017

Poor man’s Nikon or not, Nikkormats soon became as popular as the Nikon F and its replacement camera—the Nikon F2, in 1971, and deservedly so. The dye-cast aluminum Nikkormat bodies are as solid as the Nikon F-series cameras, and though Nikkormats have fixed prism housings (the prisms on F-series cameras could be swapped out for dedicated meter prisms, waist-level finders, and sports prisms), they accept most Nikon F-mount lenses, flashes, and other Nikon accessories.

Rather than a removable camera back, which was needed to facilitate Nikon F motor drives, Nikkormats featured conventional hinged doors. They also had improved film advance levers with plastic tips that made them more comfortable to use.

The Nikkormat FT-2, which was introduced in 1975 and available in chrome or black, features an all-metal, multiple-blade Copal Square S focal plane shutter with a shutter-speed range of 1 to 1/1000 of a second.

The layout of the camera controls on Nikkormats is totally unconventional. Rather than a shutter-speed dial, Nikkormats feature a concentric shutter speed ring located along the base of the lens mount. ISO settings are selected using a sliding dial at the bottom portion of the mount assembly.

Nikon F-series cameras had a top flash sync of only 1/90 of a second. The vertical-travel Copal Shutter in the Nikkormat had a top sync speed of 1/125 of a second which, while not a dramatic increase in sync speed, was nonetheless warmly welcomed by studio photographers.

Other features found on the FT-2 included a permanent hotshoe, located on top of the prism housing, and a single sync port for flash (X) and flashbulbs (M)—earlier models featured separate X and M ports.

A new feature that would become a long-time standard for Nikon cameras was a new Type K focusing screen that had a 3mm split-image rangefinder with a 1mm micro-prism collar for fine focusing, surrounded by a 12mm etched circle that indicated the central portion of the camera’s 60/40 center-weighted metering system (60% of the light reading is taken from the central third of the image field and the remaining 40% is taken toward the edges of the frame).

One of the quirks of swapping lenses on Nikkormats (and Nikon Fs) has to do with prepping the camera’s meter linkage and the lens aperture ring prior to attaching the lens.

You must first set the smallest lens aperture against the ISO scale (located on the shutter speed ring). After that, you have to cock the meter coupling pin (located on the lens mount) all the way to the right, set the lens aperture to f/5.6, and only then can you attach the lens to the camera. And yes, you have to repeat this little dance every time you swap lenses. (For the record, it’s a quicker and easier procedure than it sounds).

In use, the Nikkormat sits firmly in one’s hand. Film can be advanced in a single stroke of the film-advance lever, or in a series of short strokes. The camera’s center-weighted metering system activates when you advance the film lever enough to uncover the red dot on the camera’s top plate. The meter remains on as long as the film-advance lever is pulled out. Always tuck the film advance lever flush to the camera body when not in use to prevent battery drain.

Viewed through the viewfinder, your chosen shutter speed (surrounded by the preceding and following shutter speeds) is indicated on the bottom of the frame. You set the exposure by rotating the aperture ring until you center the needle between the plus/minus exposure indicators located on the right side of the viewfinder frame.

Conversely, you can set the aperture and adjust the shutter speed ring until you get a balanced exposure. In addition to the meter settings in the viewfinder, you can also set your exposure using a secondary exposure setting indicator, located on the top deck next to the film rewind knob. The only exposure controls on Nikkormats are the shutter speed and aperture rings—Nikkormats predate Program, Aperture, and Shutter-speed modes.

Other controls found on the top deck of the Nikkormat include a small, glass-covered frame counter and a depth-of-field preview button. The self-timer is located on the front left side of the camera.

To illustrate my Nikkormat FT-2 review, I headed down to Point Pleasant, New Jersey, where I went about taking pictures along the docks where commercial fishing boats tie up after a day at sea. I’ve taken pictures there countless times over the years, and I’ve never come away disappointed with the pictures I’ve taken of the fishing boats, the docks, and all of the colorful details one can find along the way.

I used four vintage Nikon lenses on the camera: a 28mm f/3.5 NIKKOR-H, a 50mm f/1.4 NIKKOR-S, a 135mm f/3.5 NIKKOR-Q, and a 200mm f/4 Micro-NIKKOR. For film, I used Kodak Portra 400 color negative film, which was processed and scanned by a local lab. Being a bright, sunny day, my exposures were 1/1000of asecond @ f/11.

Nikkormats are easy to come by and reasonably priced. There’s also a plethora of used Nikkor lenses available for the camera, at equally reasonable prices, many of which can be found at the B&H Photo Used Department. Nikons and Nikkormats were built for the long run, and that’s why there are so many of them in use decades after they were first introduced.

Have you ever shot with a Nikkormat? If so, which one? And if not a Nikkormat, do you have a favorite classic camera that you like to use? Let us know—we’d love to hear about it.


I've had my FT2 since I was a teenager in 1975. I used it all through high school photography and yearbook, then in road bands I played in throughout the 1980s, in the southeast. Then in the 1990s it went with me to 27 countries playing overseas. I've shot so many rolls with it, and especially loved using B&W and infrared film with it. It only let me down once in all those years: at the top of Mount Fuji in Japan the film advance froze up mid-advance, while taking photos of the clouds below me. But I can't blame it - I froze up there, too! Sadly, for the past 20 years or so it has sat in a closet, as I don't take film photos any longer and I don't have the heart to let it go to a landfill. No one seems to want these any longer, and the market is flush with similar stories. I'm really at a loss as what to do with it.  :(

I am glad to hear that you got so much valuable use out of your camera.  While I may consider either keeping the camera as a keepsake, or pass it down to a family member who may be interested in the camera, if you do want to get rid of the camera, you can contact our Used Department to inquire about selling or trading in your camera equipment.  If that is not an option, if you have a local high school or college in your area and they have a darkroom department, and see if they are interested in accepting a donation.  If there are no colleges or high schools in your area that need film camera equipment, while the following options are not affiliated with B&H Photo, a few organizations I would recommend would be Youth In FocusPhoto Start, or the Film Photography Project.  These are organizations who can use your equipment and introduce young people to photography and give them similar experiences to those you were able to experience with your Nikon FT2 35mm Film SLR Camera.

Those are excellent suggestions. Thank you very much! I may contact your used department about the body, and also look for a digital Nikon that will accept my old Nikkor and third party (Soligor) lenses. I've heard that there are focusing issues using these with Nikon digitals, though, so I'll have to brush up a bit first.

Still using the FTn I bought new in 1974, you don't need to convince me.  Unless one needs the "system capabilities" of the F (which carry a steep price in bulk, weight, and price), what advantage does the F offer over the Nikkormat?  I argue, none (other than "prestige", which doesn't make better images)   

I'd also suggest that, extending this same thought, that for those who prefer the "improved ergonomics" and smoothed aesthetic of the F2, that the EL is the similar analog.  Every bit as robust, an easier to use package, with AE to boot for those who want it.  And, like with the FTn series vs F - and maybe even moreso - remains a tremendous bargain relative to the F2.  And, like the FTx series N'mats, can be had in nonAI and AI versions depending on user preference.... 

Hi, Phillip S. Indeed, the author of this article and one of our copy editors are still fans of the Nikkormat series; our copy editor cut his first serious photographic teeth with an FT3. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts on these great old workhorse cameras. We know our readers appreciate this information as much as we do!

I was a professional photographer in Sweden in the 70 ies working for a university hospital in Stockholm

i used Nikon and Hasselblad

i also used a Nikon F2 privately until it just broke down many yrs ago , but I kept my lenses , mainly the 85 mm with the 1:1,8 so good for portraits

today I just bought on a fleemarket in Geneva a dirty Nikon nikkormat with a 135 lens for just 10$

After some cleaning it just look brand new , seems to work perfectly so I ll buy some new batteries 

so just can t wait to buy a T Max 400 and go for it 




Bought an FTn in 1974 and with it I generated thousands and thousands of negatives all over the world.   Only recently the advance mechanism jammed, but I am repairing it - it's a great instrument.  In the meantime I picked up a nearly-new Nikkormat EL for very little money.  Nikkormat joy with F3 convenience.  

Hi Allan,

Thanks for this. I am a big fan of your work and you have been an inspiration for sure. I love to take photos by the water (having grown up around boats, boathouses and of course there are the sunrises and sunsets over the water) and have watched your B&H video at least twice and now will be watching it again. Please keep taking those wonderful boat photographs and details of same. It was your work that made me realize where I should devote my photographic time. I started in the old days with a Miranda Sendorex because I coudn’t afford a Nikon. The metering for slides was amazing on that camera. Squeezing the front shutter helped me with camera shake. When I finally bought a Nikon I then realized I wanted to buy my Sensorex back. And I did

I still love those Miranda cameras.

All the Best


Thanks for the thorough write-up on the Nikkormat Ft2.  I have gone digital, but have fond memories of using my "poor man's Nikon" for maybe thirty years.  I still have it, along with several lenses (all fixed focal lenght) and even a bellows, but it hasn't been shot in a few years.  Just reading about it made me feel good.  

little late to the game for my coment on the nikkormat ft2 I had. I am a relitivly late bloomer for film photography. I hear all the time how i missed out on kodachrome but i do remember shooting ektachrome. I cannot wait for that film again! i did start taking film pictures when i was around 10 years old I am 27 now.  I recieved a  camera as a gift family friend around when i was 12. The camera was a nikkormat ft2. I learned the basics in photography on that camera. it would have lasted forever if I had not dropped it in the harbor here... total loss. I have always wanted another and still do. After the dreded harbor incedent I ended up with a nikon d70 and later on a canon 30d. canon 30d is another story that is full of regrets. it seemed I had given up on film but soon picked it up again. During my sophmore year of college i found a nikon f3 in pristine condition in a dusty box in the photography department. My professer at the time said the school was giving the box to a local thrift store and I asked if I could buy the nikon F3. he said sure its just a bunch of old junk. I gave him 5 dollers. I have taken far better photos than I ever did with my digital cameras with the nikon f3! The story does not end there. The camera bit the dust last winter. Seems I have the only nikon f3 that the electronics died. So I went out and bought an fm2 and a nikon f4. the f4 was more of a gift from a friend but works great with old non ai, ai, and ais lenses along with d type and g type lenses.  I carry the fm2 with me everywhere and mostly use the f4 for slide film and the occational photoshoot. I owe all of my enjoyment in photography to the old beat black(but mostly bronze looking haha) nikkormat ft2. its always in the back of my mind.  Who knows what would have happend if I had not dropped that camera.

I enjoy reading about the classic cameras, even Nikons. I got my start in photography in 1980 with a Canon A-1 and added a used New F-1 in 2013.

Great camera - tough as nails - I dragged my FTn through southern Africa in the 1970s (along with a Nikon F2) and it still works fine today. The shutter speed track can get a bit gritty leading to soem dead spots in metering but with a bit of use it always clears up. The shutter speeds are amazingly accurate given the age and use.

My lens-swap technique  (I also used this camera as a backup when I was on staff at a large newspaper) was to just "hook" the metering pin into the notch on the lens and then mount. You then had to "index" the metering range by racking the aperture ring to both extremes.

Small detail - I believe "dye-cast" should be "die-cast"?

I believe you're right about the 'die-cast' flub.... good catch...



I learned to be a photographer back in the 1980's using a Nikkormat FT. I had always taken pictures, but what a discovery when I picked this up and learned to make the camera do what I wanted it to do!! No more point and shoot! This camera was the best thing that ever happened to me. I only stopped using it because my professional lab stopped processing film.

Hi all !

Thanks for the old time review.

As a co-incidence, only yesterday my 11 year old son was shooting with an old Nikkormat FT2 while I was shooting with a Panasonic GH5. I wanted 4k 50 fps Video, He wanted Black and white negs to process for his school project.

What a treat it is when you have an opportunity to show your children what you did for a living, especially when they ask to have a go.

Cant wait to see ghis eyes when the images first appear in the developer tray.

as a point of interest, we used two exposure methods... 1/500 f8 sunny day at 100 ASA, like the old Kodachrome diagrams, and compared it to the readout from a Nikon Coolpix used as a meter. The film was a box of Tri X that i was given, its about 15 years out of date so I have rated it at 100.

Some were bracketed. some not.  Lets see.

Happy shooting.


Same back at you Mr. Sparks!

It's awesome that you can share this experience with your son - life can be good!


I received a Nikkormat FT-2 with a 50mm F/2.0 for my high school gratution in 1975. It started me on a 40+ year devotion to Nikon products. After sitting on my bookshelf for years, I just ordered a meter battery and a roll of Tri-X. I cant wait to shoot with my old friend.

Go get 'em Chris!

Let us know how the pix turn out.

Most of all - enjoy cranking those frames!


I had The Nikkormat Ft since the late 1960-s, and when I brought a Nikon F (with the FTn prism/meter) I decided to keep it as a second camera - typically I would use the Nikon for color and the Nikkornat for B&W, or sometimes the Nikon was loaded with Kodachrom II (or Kodachrom 25) while the Nikkormat was loaded with Ektachrome 400, pushed to 800. While the Nikon is certainly better made and fills better in ones hands, the Nikkormat was an excellent second camera, with which I shoot numerous rolls of films and got great pictures. It joind me in many trips, including several hiking trips in variouse deserts, it fell several times, but except for external scratches and a minir dent, it kept serving me as it did when it did when it was new. In  2003 I got my first digital camera, a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707, and retired the Nikormat. 

Even if you don't put film through your camera anymore you should still excercize the shutter a few times a year just to keep things in good working order ('cause you never know when you might get the urge...).



I bought my Nikkormat FT in the summer of 1967, from Ehrenreich Photo in Garden City NY. I was a young boy and this was my first serious camera. The Nikon line and the Nikkormat made me a life-long photo entusiaist. I have stayed true to the Nikon line, yet have made the switch over to digital. But the look, feel, weight and performance of the Nikkormat is unmatched by anything today. It sits on "display" on the shelf in my famiily room, and anyone who lifts it up is surprised by it's weight and feel. If i ever were going to shoot film again, it is the only camera i would use.

Love my Nikkormat FTn.  Bought it 1974.  Relegated to B&W status when I bought my F2s in 1977.  Used it daily until the 1980s when I got an F3 and the F2s took over duties as my number 2 camera.  Still used The FTn into the 1990s to shoot Kodachrome on days I was using my other cameras for newspaper work.

Transitioned to digital with a D200 in 2006.  Continued to shoot film as long as Kodachrome was available.

I'm starting to use my film cameras again.

I enjoy using F4 and F5 and my digital cameras, but the FTn, FE2, and F3 are the most fun to use.  If Kodachrome 25 was still available, I'd still be using them daily.

We unfortunately won't be seeing the likes of Kodachrome again but that shouldn't keep us from shooting the films that reman available - and more are coming back to market on a regular basis these days.

Thanks for stopping by!


I own two FT3s (one's a "backup"). Properly serviced, it's a good "straight manual" cameraI. My "better" one was serviced and resealed recently, with all shutter speeds tested to within 10% of the target. The light seals are good. I use the FT3 at least 3-4 times a year with Ilford XP2 C-41 Black And White film. I use a hand held meter for incident light readings. For subjects in the same general light, taking reflected readings just creates exposure differences that are better ignored. I find creating good images in monochrome is just a satisfying as using a modern color digital camera. On the other hand.... Getting film processed and digitized is not cheap. A lot of people would have a hard time with the 1 kilogram weight of an FT3 plus a AIS 28mm F2.8. And an FT3 is huge compared to something like my Nikon D5500.

My FT3 has been in the closet now for 7 years or so. Even though I also have an FM, it was my favorite. But, neither gets used anymore and I really miss them. 

So dust them off and take them out for a spin Mike... problem easily solved...



One of the first things I noticed about my FT3 is the buttery-smooth shutter/mirror action, making it one of my favorites to shoot. 

I have been using 2 Nikon F3 HP cameras since I boufgt the first one in the 70's and later purchase a backup so I could always have one fitted with a portrait lens. I love to do close-up work so my standard is a 60mm Macro. Also use extension tubes when appropriate to the work.  I also have a Nikon D50 with a few auto focus lenses. I still prefer the F3's over the D50. Auto focus IS NOT as good as it is made out to be. Sorry!. I get much better pictures when I am doing the focusing myself. Doing lots of close-up stuff I need to do my own focusing. I rarely shoot color negative film preferring the much superiior color saturation of most slide films. Life sort of interfeared with my photo work and only recently found some slide film on the BH site. Now I am happily using the F3's again.  They still take much better pictures than the D50. As I said before "auto focus" is NOT what it is cracked up to me, in my opinion.  

Even though I also prefer manual focus over AF for most applications, one genre of photography I almost exclusivlely shoot in MF is macro. With few exceptions MF is notably preferable over AF.




I still have my Nikkormat FTn (Nikomat) purchased through Woods Photo in Hong Kong back in '64. I added several lenses to the 50mm f1.4, including the 135mm f2.8, the 43-86mm f3.5 zoom, and the 85-250 f4-5.6 zoom, added two bodies (one black) to the collection, all of which have unfortunately now been collecting dust for the last 10 years. Given the likely fetching price I still don't have the heart to let go of them. One of the things I liked the most about it was its ability, with the matte focusing screen, to be able to focus on the surface of water, something nearly imposible to do with a split screen. I also like that it weighed much less than a full Nikon Ftn but lacked nothing in the way of features that I needed to use. Lastly, it proved its durability on more than too many drops and bumps, still working flawlessly until the day I shelved it for posterity.

Still got my "Nikkomat--no 'r', Japanese version--although it's the FTn if memory serves. Foam is sticky; otherwise it's still in great condition. Last time I used it--10 years ago?--metering battereis were hard to find. Good camera; feels great in the hand, and forces a return to basics, which is useful. 

The foam is easy to replace - and if the foam in your camera is crumbling make sure it doesn't get into places it has no business being in.

As for batteries - you go to B&H!


I purchased a Nikkormat FT-2 brand new in 1976 and used it extensively for several years. It came with the rugged 50mm f/1.4. I subsequently added a 3rd party 28mm and 135mm. Those 2 lenses didn't hold up well. But I still have the camera and 50mm. There is a poor connection in the meter now, and it only works when it wants to. But otherwise, the camera is still in great shape. The thing is built like a tank. And I still use the 50mm on my D800e from time to time.

The procedure for swapping lenses varied among the Nikkormat and Nikon models, the earliest i.e. the Nikkormat FT as described in the above review, while successive models elimiated one or more steps such that the last of the mechanical Nikons and Nikkormats - the ones taking advantage of the AI meter coupling - requires no more than removing one lens and mounting the next.


One quirk of the Nikkormat FT-series, unlike the Nikon F, is that the shutter cannot be released if there's any thumb pressure on the film advance lever

My first camera was a Miranda Sensomat (affordable for a high school kid).  When it was stolen, I replaced it with an FM-2, and later added a used F2 body as a backup.   I continued to use them until I gave into digital, and still use the lenses with my D7100.  

Between you and me I actually remember the Miranda Sensomat..... Shhhhhhhhh...



I still have my second-hand black Nikkormat FTn - with a new shutter. It was used a lot and serviced twice. After the second service i checked the camera in the shop, wanting to test the upgraded film advance lever (original was a flat piece of metal, the new was FT2-type lever with plastic tip). Firing it with the back plate open, i got all the shutter lamels bursting out ..... The full service was quaranteed for sor some time period and i got the camera repaired for free, with a totally new shutter!
For the service period i needed a camera body for my travel bag and found an EL in the same shop. It was upgraded twice and now i have a chrome NIkon EL2 with winder. My other Nikons are now F3HP with motor (my old work camera) and an old F without meter.
My all Nikkors are second-hand primes, originally used by local press photographers and serviced to top condition on the professional Nikkor road-tours of the 70´s and 80´s (old big aperture Nikkors accumulate dust from aperture blades and must be periodically opened, cleaned and lubricated). All equipment has a beautiful long use patina and clean lens surfaces.

And it's probably all good to work for another 50 years before you'll need to service them again...



I bought a Nikkormat EL in the summer of '74.  It's never let me down. I have a 50mm Nikkor lense, and a less expense 28mm and telefoto.  I have several more modern cameras and out of curiosity I asked a manager of a local camera shop what my Nikkormat EL, three lenses and case were worth?  Everything was in excellent condition.   Forty dollars was the insulting answer.  

I would like to hear about the Nikon FTn, which I used for many years, and glad to say, continues to be as reliable as it was when I purchased it in 1968.

It was a sweet pleasure to read about the camera that I used to travel with, across 30 countries, and served me so well. I acquired my black Nikkormat FT2 in Paris in September 1976 when I was just 16. 1695 French Francs. I used the money I had earned selling old stuff in open markets (“puces” in French). So yes, it was a good compromise when you are a “poor man”. It came with the cheap but fine 50mm F2, the “poor man” standard lens. I used it for more than 18 years until the zip of my EastPack broke when I was visiting the marvelous Bayon in the Angkor site in Cambodia. The camera felt on the stone. That is a world of stone there right? And the curtain never recovered from the fall. I move to more recent Nikon, FX90, D80 and D7100, that I enjoy.

Recently in the US, I came across a Nikomat EL with a NIKKOR-H 50mm F2, that is similar to my old FT2, and I shoot one film showing my sons, 10 and 8, how an old camera works. Thank you for your article. Btw interested to know how you digitalized the photos of your article.

Hey Francois,


Thanks for sharing your story - and better yet, two points for showing your kids 'the real deal'.

As for digitizing, though I own a Nikon Coolscan 4000 these images were scanned by the lab that processed the film.

And for the record - the scans are far too 'crunchy' for my personal tastes but time and scheduling made it difficult to carry the process thruogh on my own.


Bonjour à tous

It is the "corner of the frenchies" :)

Sorry for my bad english but i want to participate and support this very good report.So just a testimonial...

Me too, i acquired a (new) black Nikkormat FT2 in Lyon in June 1976 when i was student (so poor man...everyboby who was student can understood !) it was my first serious camera, because before i used a canonet 1.9 without the possibility to change lens.

It was for me the beginning of a new era with the material Nikon. After the university (understand "less poor") i continued to buy and use (like an amateur) the Nikon products, till today, and because i am "conservative" all my nikon cameras are "alive" and it is a summary of my amateur photography life

Just to have a look: Nikon D3s, D200, F, F2, F2A, F3, F4S, F5, FM, FM2, FE2, EL2, F55- Nikkormat FTn, FT2, EL, (this follow part came from my father)Leica IIIf, Yashica Mat124G, Canon QL19.

All these cameras are in good condition to do their job today (no breakdown during all these years) with a lot of hapiness in this hobby.

Again, thanks a lot for this excellent article




My first serious camera was a Canon FT, which was very similar in features and build quality to the Nikkormat. I had the option of buying a Nikkormat but went with the Canon instead. Unfortunately, my Canon FT was stolen. I then moved on to some Canon electronic shutter bodies, which performed well but lacked the bullet proof construction of the FT. When Canon stopped supporting the manual focus FD system in the late 1990's, I switched to Nikon and bought two FM2n bodies. As most of you know, the FM2n is the lineal descendent of the Nikkormat. I still shoot a lot of film and continue to use the FM2s on a regular basis. This is 20/20 hindsight but if I had bought the Nikkormat rather than the Canon back in 1971, it would probably still be in use today because Nikon's system has never become obsolete. 

When I bought my FT2 in 1986, I was also considering the Canon FTb that was exactly at the same price. Your account is interesting.

My first SLR was a black Nikkormat FTn with a 50mm f2 lens, which I bought used in 1977. I moved to Olympus in 1980 (OM-1n) and gave the Nikkormat to my father; where it is now I don't know. I used the Olympus for many years, eventually buying two OM2-SP in 2000. They were light but not as robustly build as Nikon and suffered from sever battery drain. I still have them but three years ago bought a Nikon FE2, which is as small and as light as the Olympus OM series bodies. Not long after, I bought a used F5, an extraordinary camera, and if I am shooting 35mm it is my first choice using a modern 24-85mm VR lens. I have some primes (24mm, 35mm, 50mm f1.4 which I use on the FE2. I do wish I'd kept the Nikkormat just for nostalgia.  

Thanks for the refreshing review of the Nikkormat FT2. I bought one in August 1976 after I was out of high school in Olympia, Washington. I had been a yearbook photographer, using the school's cameras, and felt naked without a camera. At $310, this black body Nikkormat was still plenty expensive enough, but it was a good margin cheaper than the Nikon F series (that I really wanted). The big thing about the Nikkormat was that it used all the Nikon optics that you mentioned. That camera got me through a lot of shooting needs until I finally added to the stable with a Nikon FM2 in 1984, plus a motor drive. The Nilkormat went to the bottom of my camera bag as a backup that was never used again. I sold it on eBay maybe 12 years ago at something like $15. I was emotionally torn, but since I was well into digital by then, the Nikkormat was just one more thing to look after, keep clean and store, with no benefit of use. But the Nikkormat FT2 was my old standby. Your article was like a letter from an old friend, I appreciated reading it.

I have a black Nikkormat FT and a chrome FT2 that I bought new in the early 1970s. Also Nikkor-NC f:2.8 24mm, Nikkor-H f:2.0 50mm, Nikkor-QC f:4.0 200mm and Zoom-Nikkor f:3.5 43~86mm lenses. I love the look and feel of this equipment.  Age has brought on deterioration of the light baffle material for the film doors, and maybe some day I’ll get ambitious and replace it. Meanwhile, I’m tempted by the digital Nikon Df because it accepts the old non-AI lenses. 

Hey Jim,


Replacing light baffling along the door is relatively easy. It's also a service any qualified camera repair shop can perform for a modest fee. While you're at it, have the shop clean and calibrate the camera to make sure all the parts are doing what they should be doing.

In addition to the Nikon Df, do keep in mind you can easily adapt your older Nikkors to just about any mirrorless camera system - full-frame, APS-C, or Micro Four Thirds, and most all are smaller and lighter than the Df.



Thanks Allan. Didn’t know that about the mirrorless cameras. Jim

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