Nikkormat FT2

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by antonyg, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. antonyg

    antonyg Member

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    I purchased a pristine, well cared for black Nikkormat FT2. I have used it for Slides and the accuracy is very good. I thought Olympus OM1's were good Cameras, until I got this Camera. Nikon, were wrong to consider this Camera as being their budget range. The fact you can use all of the Nikon Lens, is cause for celebration. It is not important that you cannot change the screen, like the OM1. The Nikkormat's Fresnel matte screen is well designed and bright, job done
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I had a Nikkormat about twenty five years ago. I used mine for slides most of the time too. Exposure was usually spot on.

    After a couple of years I changed to a Nikon FG which I still have and use. This is another model which gets overlooked but it is as compact as the Olympus OM and was well featured at the time with manual, aperture priority and program modes and it could also support TTL flash (which I don't use).

    I suppose there was no real need for me to change from a Nikkormat to a Nikon but when you are young the name on the front is important.


    Steve.
     
  3. mhanc

    mhanc Member

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    the nikkormats are a really nice camera. i bought a late FTn back in 1975 and have just bought an FT3. all mechanical and straightforward with only the basics/essentials: film speed, aperture, shutter speed and focus. they are real pleasure to use and as you note produce results that are on par with the best 35mm cameras.

    i suspect the FM, FM2, FM2n mechanical nikons that followed in 1977 are nice as well but have had no personal experience.
     
  4. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    I've owned many of these bodies over the years in all the FT-series flavors. They're very durable beasts. Good build quality, reliable, and pretty accurate, meter-wise, as long as the carbon ring resistor's in good shape. They're also cheap. If you're used to having the shutter speed dial on the top cover, it make take a little time to get used to having it as a ring around the lens mount. But, that does give you the ability to change both shutter speed and aperture with one hand.

    One malady I recently discovered: Bought an FTn with a dead meter a few weeks ago. Found that there was a pretty mean looking dent underneath the wind lever. Once I removed the top cover, I was able to short the contacts together on the meter switch. Meter worked fine. So, sometimes, a dead meter can be solved by replacing the top cover with an undented part.

    -J
     
  5. marsbars

    marsbars Member

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    Not to mention that if in a fix you can drive nails with them. I have 2 FTn's. One ugly as all get out and the other almost mint. Both have a working meter. They are both about a stop off of my F3 so I just adjust the ASA to match. So simple. I love them.
     
  6. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Which way are they off a stop? Is it overexposure or underexposure? Reason I ask, is that if it's the former, try a normal silver-oxide PX625 in there. Might bring the meter back into spec...

    -J
     
  7. marsbars

    marsbars Member

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    I will have to try that John. Is PX625 the actual part number for the silver replacement or is it the same as a SR44?
     
  8. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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  9. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    For the FTn, which takes the 625 size batteries, you'll need to find a mercury 625 (highly unlikely; these haven't been available in the US for years). Or, get a 675 size zinc-air hearing aid battery and use a washer or something that will enable it to fit the battery compartment, since the 675 is smaller than the 625. Mercury 625s and the zinc-airs give the proper voltage, 1.35V.

    You can find alkaline 625s, but they give 1.5V and so would underexpose by 1 stop with the FTn's meter. I don't believe you can find silver oxide 625s. The SR44 is also 1.5V (and is the size of the 675, so needs a spacer also). You can use 1.5V batteries in the camera OK; just set the film speed one stop slower -- for 400 speed film, set the camera for 200 speed, for example.

    Silver oxide batteries work similarly to mercury batteries, in that they produce constant voltage almost right up to when they die. Alkalines aren't as good, since their voltage falls off slowly and steadily over their lives. Not critical for print film, maybe, but this could be a problem with slide film.
     
  10. ny_photog

    ny_photog Member

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    The FT-2 was my first, and for many years it was my only, camera. Mine has literally gone around the world with me.

    It is built like the proverbial "brick shithouse" and if weren't for the fact I want to be creamated at death I would have it buried with me.

    It is one of Nikon's greatest cameras - even if they did call it a Nikkormat! :wink:
     
  11. marsbars

    marsbars Member

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    OK, I sometimes get backasswards with over and under exposure when it comes to ISO/ASA. I just checked my FTn with the F3 and the F3 is set at ISO 400. To get the same exposure value I have to turn the ISO on the Nikkormat to ISO 100. So that is 2 stops but like I said I get confused if it is over or under exposing.
     
  12. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Under. So, the FTn needs repair work done to it. How's the other FTn in comparison to the F3?

    With respect to batteries, there is a silver-oxide battery made by Excell. Part number is S625PX. My F FTn has two of those installed.

    -J
     
  13. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Uh, no. If the speed of the film in the camera is 400, setting the film speed to 100 would result in overexposure of the film by 2 stops. With print film that actually shouldn't be a problem; slides would clearly show the overexposure.
     
  14. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Uh, yes. The meter on his FTn matches his F3, when the FTn is set to ISO 100 and the F3 is set to ISO 400. So, the FTn would be underexposing by two stops @ ISO 400.
     
  15. marsbars

    marsbars Member

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    It reads about dead on but it is in much worse overall shape. Kind of a beater. I just use the ASA slide to tell the meter what it needs to know. As a matter of fact all of my meters on all of my cameras get adjusted. I once read a book that had a section that said to calibrate your meter to a neutral color or gray tone in bright sunlight. I want to say it was Shaw that wrote the section in the book. So I tend to do that from time to time. The first camera that I did that to was my F2 and all I shot in that for the longest time was slides and they came out perfectly exposed if I followed the meter suggestion. I don't think that I paid more than about 40 or so dollars for either of of the Nikkormats with lenses so Paying to repair it is just not really worth it. However my F2 split it's shutter last summer, and that one is worth fixing so it will be off to Sover Wong after the first of the year. Even that one is in user condition and not mint.
     
  16. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Wonder if it was Galen Rowell in his Mountain Light book. I remember reading the same thing. And, did the same with my original FTn, FT2, and FM2n bodies.

    With respect to the FTn's, it's not too hard to swap the cosmetic items between the two. Top cover is three screws, the disc that covers that hold down nut for the wind lever, the rewind crank hardware, a nut underneath it, and two wires that have to be desoldered from the PC contacts. If the nicer body's a late FTn, go ahead and swap the self-timer lever and wind lever over to the other body, so you gain the updates. If not, check around at camera repair shops for the updated parts. I wouldn't pay more than $10-$15 for them, though. $5 might be better. Should take you about 25 minutes or so from start to finish to get the top and bottom covers replaced. The mirror box would be more time. The "Another "This Old Nikon" project" thread on the manual focus Nikonians forum shows the FTn that I'm overhauling. Got it for $43.50, including shipping. Meter was supposedly dead, but, as mentioned in the thread, I found that the dent below the wind lever was shorting out the meter switch, preventing power from reaching the meter. Grabbed a bunch of parts for it @ the repair shop for $20, and started swapping things over. Now, it's fully functional, and looks decent. It's not mint, but it's better than KEH UG grade now. Went from a 426xxxx serial number to a 376xxxx number, tho. No biggie.

    -J
     
  17. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I've heard/seen varying reports on the Excell batteries. What's been your experience with them and over how many (i.e. sample size)?
     
  18. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    It depends on the size, since they're usually repackaged batteries from other companies. Some are generic, some are obscure European/Russian brands, and some are name-brand batteries. The S625PX is also marked Supercell, IIRC. Comes in a lavender blister pack. I've had good luck with those, as well as with the Vinnic S76PX batteries, although, I prefer to use a Varta CR 1/3N in the bodies that can accept them. When my Nikomat FTn's V 625 U (Alkaline) finally kicks the bucket, I'll be swapping in a S625PX.

    -J
     
  19. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    For the Nikkormat FTN, head off to Costco and buy a pack of the blue tab hearing aid batteries, $13 for 30 here in Canada. The meter resopnse is very non-linear with the 625 alkaline battery :sad: unless you have the meter recalibrated or use a silver oxide battery and a diode to drop the voltage.
     
  20. lens_hacker

    lens_hacker Member

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    Just to remind everyone- The Nikkormat FT-2 and FT-3 use 1.5v Silver Oxide batteries. One solution is, as cheap as these cameras are now, to pick up an FT-2 or FT-3. ALSO: The ASA selector is redesigned to NOT break fingernails everytime you need to change it. They also add a hot-shoe for the flash. Otherwise, the FT-2 is the same as the older FT-N and the FT-3 uses AI coupling.
     
  21. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Although, if you forget to pull the lock out on the shutter speed ring tab, you'll definitely break a fingernail. Did that the first time I ever shot an FT2. I've only owned one FTn that had an ASA bracket assembly that was stiff enough that I needed to use a small jeweler's screwdriver to move. Every other body has been pretty easy to adjust, even my current black FTn. The FT2 does have the advantage of the built-in hot shoe, which is nice. The only negative about the FT2/FT3, is that they never came stock with a J screen installed. Was either the K or the A screen. I prefer the J screen for use with the Nikkormat/Nikomat series, due to the fact that it makes slower lenses, like a 200f4 or 300f4.5 easier to focus than the screens with the split. I've been able to solve that in my case, by having the FT2's serviced and a J screen installed at the same time. In fact, just parted out a chrome FTn that had a few issues with it, for a few parts that I need for a chrome FT2 that will be arriving soon. Probably will have the only chrome Nikomat FT2 that looks like an early FTn out there.

    In the case of said black FTn, it's already been recalibrated to 1.5 volts. The alkaline batteries aren't really recommended for the FTn, but, only one company is making a 625 form factor silver-oxide battery, and that happens to be the company mentioned in my previous post.

    -J
     
  22. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    The FT2 is my favorite Nikkormat. It takes MS-76 batteries and works equally well with AIS, AI or pre-AI lenses. Your AI/AIS lenses will need a prong and you will need to index them when you mount them but this is easier than using pre-AI lenses on an FT3 with stop down metering.

    When I first started collecting and using Nikkormats I had an FT with an FTN top. It took me a while to figure that out. For macro work or when using a slow lens I take out an FE with the E screen but for general work the FT2 is very nice. If I want to use an FTN I'll just take an MR-9 adapter out of one of my other cameras and use that. The silver oxide cell in an MR-9 will last a lot longer than a hearing aid battery.