Lens Mount Question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by TheSohnly, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. TheSohnly

    TheSohnly Member

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    First off, I'm very new to the SLR scene. I found a Nikkormat FTn on CL for $20 and it came with the standard 50mm f/2 f-mount lens. I was told it was a good deal (not by the seller, but by some other friends online), and probably a much better camera than my Minolta X-700. Needless to say, I got the thing.

    I'm looking for a few lenses for it, but I don't understand lens mounting systems and how to look for lenses on the internet or in shops. I know it is a Nikon F-mount, but that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge on this subject.

    Can someone help me out and explain lens mounting systems? I'm totally in the dark.
     
  2. ttown_jeff

    ttown_jeff Member

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  3. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    If you want to use full-aperture metering, you'll need a lens which has a "fork" on it (in the preceding post's picture, the thing at about 11 o'clock).
     
  4. KenFretz

    KenFretz Member

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    …and now for the good news (It isn’t very often when you kind of question is asked I get to say that). Your Nikkormat FTn (and mine) will take any lens made by Nikon from 1959 on.

    The only problem you will have is with exposure automation. Starting in the late 1970’s, Nikon started making lens without the “rabbit ears” to engage the maximum aperture setting for the light meter. For these lenses you will need to use the stop down method of metering. See page 26 of the user manual. If you don’t have a copy you can download it from http://www.butkus.org/chinon/nikon/nikkormat_ftn/nikkormat_ftn.htm.

    Have fun, it’s a great camera.

    Ken
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    To reiterate though, you cannot use "G" lenses. They have no aperture ring.
    The older lenses will have the fork and perform well enough that most people cannot tell prints from either lens apart. It will make your life simpler to just get older lens with the fork than using stop-down metering.
     
  6. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

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    Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING could be farther from the very obvious truth. The Nikkormat FTn is Nikons 1967 version of ubiquitous 1964 Copal technology which was shared by nearly every second tier Japanese manufacturer, and it was not ever actually even made by Nikon, but by a very credible outside shop. I own a Nikon Ftn newer than the Nikkormat and even its fragile meter system. is based on a battery which is no longer made and the rare substitutes leave much to be desired. The Copal shutter is not repairable (by design) should it break. Even is 1967 this camera was a compromise at best.

    Your X-700 is a decades newer design which avoids most of the mechanical pitfalls of both the Nikkormat shutter and meter. It is in every respect more accurate than any Nikkormat ever was, and being electronic most likely still is. It was marketed until 2007 and was the last of the MF Minolta's. The 1960's F2 50mm Nikor is no match for any of the Rokkors.

    Enjoy your $20 bargin, but enjoy it for what it is. Much better than a Minolta X-700, not a chance. Put a roll of Velvia in both and let your eyes tell you which you should find more lenses for.

    Any Minolta X series lens made since 1962 will work on the X-700. If you think you are in the dark now, just try to figure out the various permutations of the Nikon F mount, and why. I know. I own both systems. (Nikon Lenses from 21mm-600mm)

    Fred
     
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  7. TheSohnly

    TheSohnly Member

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    Oh boy. Now I gotta find some of them too...

    Thanks for the help
     
  8. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    I was going to say that too. While the Nikkormat is nice, the Minolta X-700 is a far more advanced camera. The truth is, they are capable of taking equal photos, but the Minolta X-700 will be easier and faster to use. Although I disagree about the quality of the 50mm f2 Nikkor - it's roughly equal to the Minolta 50mm f1.7 from the same era. Across the lens lineups, some Nikons are better (105mm by far, 180mm, 55mm Micro) Some Minoltas are better (24mm by far, 16mm fisheye, 200mm) but most are equivalent quality.

    The Nikkormat is all metal, and weighs a ton - the Minolta X-700 is a mix of metal and high durability composite plastic, but I would bet it's noticeably more reliable than a 15-20 years older Nikkormat, and the Minolta's metering system is surely far superior.

    Oh, and BTW, in the used market, lenses for the Minolta cost around 1/2 or less than comparable lenses for the Nikkormat.
     
  9. TheSohnly

    TheSohnly Member

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    looks like i have a winner then...I'm out of a job right now and looking for wide and/or super-wide lenses. No offense to the camera; I'm sure it's great, but I can't afford it right now.

    It could probably fund one of the lenses I want, if they are so cheap. What do you think I could sell it for nowadays? Anyone wanna buy a Nikkormat FTn? It comes with the flash mount and a pretty leather case...
     
  10. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Fully working well described Nikkormat FTn bodies sell for $30-$40 on ebay. As is poorly described ones sell for $20-$30. With the 50mm f2 lens, if the camera is completely working, and you properly describe it, you could get around $60 for it.
     
  11. GJA

    GJA Member

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    Dispite what others have said, if you want lenses that work for it, check out KEH. Go to Nikon Manual Focus and then fixed focal length lenses. All of those should work and meter with your camera.
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    As they say "opinions are like a__holes, everybody's got one" The Nikkormat may be older and quirky, but when it's working properly there's not much it can't do.
    It's different ergonomics take a little getting used to much the same as the Olympus cameras.
    I guess no one is familiar with the capacitor failures in the Minoltas. It's an easy fix and it's pretty common. What's that you say it's 15 years newer than the Nikkormat? So what. They both have positives and negatives.
     
  13. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    I've owned several Nikkormats, and several Minolta X-700s. And in fact, I own both systems and am very familiar with both. There's no question that both of them are quite capable cameras and can each deliver outstanding results. But If I were looking for the more capable and more practical film camera on a tight budget, the Minolta would win easily. They each can have issues, but I'm quite sure that the Minolta is the more reliable camera at this point in time, with exactly one known reliability problem that you pointed out which is easily fixed. Copal Square shutters used in Nikkormats, as has been mentioned, are not repairable when they fail - and replacing them is simply not economical. The Minolta uses modern batteries in the meter, the Nikkormat requires one of several workarounds that either involve cost or some other compromise - and the meter is far more likely to fail within the next decade or two than the Minolta's is. I'm also quite sure that the Minolta metering system is far more advanced than the Nikkormats, using fast Silicon Blue Cells, not CdS. It's not even close. And of course, the Minolta offers Aperture priority and Programmed auto-exposure & TTL flash, takes a motor or winder, and is just all around a more modern camera. And nowadays, the Minolta MC and MD lenses are simply much more economical for essentially the same quality lenses. I've actually been buying them recently because of how cheap they are for the quality.

    The Nikkormat offers a strong impression of heft, and is, as you say, quite capable. But the OP was looking for the best film camera and lens options on tight budget constraints, and frankly, it's not even close - The Minolta easily wins. The only edge I could honestly give to the Nikkormat are a more retro feel with fully manual exposure.

    One more thing I would add: If I were a serious user of EITHER Nikon or Minolta system, I would not be looking to use either the Nikkormat FTn, or the Minolta X-700, although the X-700 is AMONG the best choices in the Minolta system, the X-570 is better - mainly because it ditches programmed exposure mode, and replaces it with genuinely good metered manual, and in doing so, also gains complete compatibility with every Minolta manual lens made from 1962 onward. There are numerous Nikon bodies that are superior to the Nikkormat FTn, and on a tight budget, I'd be looking at the FE, FM, and FG as being much better choices.

    Clean working Minolta X-570 bodies can be easily found on ebay for under $25. The Nikon choices I recommended above are more typically around $50.
     
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  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    "Best" is entirely subjective.
     
  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Perhaps, but best within a tightly constrained budget is not subjective at all. Because for a fixed amount of funds, you can easily buy twice as much Minolta film gear than one can get the comparable Nikon gear. These are typical ebay prices:

    Examples: Minolta XD-11 ($50-70) vs. a Nikon FE-2 ($120-150)
    Minolta X-570 ($20-35) vs. a Nikon FG ($40-60)

    Minolta MD Rokkor X lenses vs. Nikon AI / AIS lenses
    Minolta 80-200mm f4.5 ($25-35) vs Nikon 80-200mm f4.5 ($60-80)
    Minolta 28mm f2.8 ($25-35) vs Nikon 28mm f2.8 AI ($60-80) AIS ($150-180)
    Minolta 100mm f2.5 ($70-90) vs Nikon 105mm f2.5 ($120-160)
    Minolta 135mm f2.8 ($15-30) vs. Nikon 135mm f2.8 ($50-80)
    Minolta 200mm f3.5 ($20-30) vs. Nikon 200mm f4 ($50-80)
    Minolta mt Vivitar 70-210 S1 ($20-30) vs. Nikon mt Vivitar 70-210 S1 ($35-50)
    Minolta mt Vivitar 28-90 S1 ($25-35) vs. Nikon mt Vivitar 28-90 S1 ($40-60)

    If I were to assign you to buy the BEST Nikon body + 50mm lens or the best Minolta body + 50mm lens that you could find on ebay for $25, you would find that there is no "best Nikon" in that range, because there isn't ANY Nikon in that price range - even an EM with series E lens costs more than that. But there are numerous Minoltas you could buy, including an SRT-200 or 201, almost any XG series camera, and IMHO best of all, an extremely nice and functional X-570.

    Similarly, if I told you to buy the best genuine Nikon lens, or best genuine Minolta lens for $25, you would again come away empty handed in the Nikon camp (except for possibly a real beater lens prior to the AI mount) while there are PLENTY of Minolta mount lenses that could be found for under $25 - I recently picked up a near mint condition 80-200mm f4.5 MD Rokkor-X for $20. I have been consistently unsuccessful in getting a Nikkor AI 80-200mm f4.5 for under $60 within the last month.
     
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  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    doug,
    Get over it.
    you just keep trying to justify an opinion.. Yours.
    It's still an opinion and subjective.

    In the past years I've run into a couple of interesting people who got "BEST" deals.
    One is a Hasselblad 500CM w45degree finder and 120 Makro for $70 at a yard sale. It was missing the internal section of the film back and "missing parts". The other was a BLACK PAINT Leica M4 for $25 also from a yard sale. This one a mother bought for her son so he could take a basic photo course. She wanted a "good camera" She wouldn't have anything to do with trading it for anything.

    I think red cars are prettier than other cars, given the proper $$$ I could give you several pages of information trying to justify it. I don't have the motivation.
    Just accept that others may not agree with you.
     
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  17. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    The fact is, John, you put your own opinion ahead of the interests of the OP. The OP stated that they have an extremely tight budget, and there is no doubt that they can get more camera, and more lenses, in the Minolta system than in the Nikon system on an extremely tight budget. You are clearly ignoring this very straightforward statement by the OP:
    The OP has both a Minolta and a Nikkormat, and he's obviously looking for the one that he can get the most out of with VERY limited funds: I happen to use mostly Nikons myself, because I'm not constrained with a tight budget. But if I was, there wouldn't be any question in my mind that Minoltas would give me more for the limited bucks. Your argument is like telling someone who has $1000 for a car that they are better off with a Red Porsche 911, because you happen to like red sports cars, than they would be with a functional old Toyota. It's just plain ignorant of their real-world constraints.

    The fact is, based on the market prices Nikons and Nikon lenses cost more than Minoltas and Minolta lenses. And for every $25 Nikon you can find, I can find a comparable Minolta for $10.
     
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  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ooooooh, You are good, you are.
     
  19. TheSohnly

    TheSohnly Member

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    aaaaaaand I think that wraps it all up.

    Thank you all for the help and research.