nikon question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by bohica, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. bohica

    bohica Member

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    I bought a Nikkormat FTN in Viet nam in 67 and a used EL a few yrs later, The FTN hasn't gotten much use since the death of mercury cells ( i don't like the life span of the Wein replacements) and i would like to upgrade to a newer model( b4 anyone suggest an F6, I like older cameras). Thinking about a FM or FE since they would let me use my non AI lenses, but like the specs on the FE2 and Fm2 and Fm2n. Any thoughts, warnings or ideas on these cameras?


    oh and thanks Matt for your timely answer to my moon shots question!!!
     
  2. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I have an FM2 with four lenses that I picked up cheap after it was retired in favor of a digiwigi. Good solid camera, all manual, easy-to-use controls, pretty compact. It came with the standard 50mm, a 24mm, a 50mm macro, and a 70-200 zoom. Pretty hard to beat for a 35mm. Have to admit that I've hardly used it since going to LF, but it never gave me reason to complain about anything.

    In fact, since its pretty much collecting dust, I could be talked out of it.
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I have an FA and an FM3a. The FM3a is, in my opinion, as close to the perfect 35mm SLR as I can imagine. Do try to check one out before making your decision.
     
  4. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I use FM's and an FM2n, as well as the F3. All damn good bodies. The FM2n doesn't have the swing out tab that the FM has for use of the non-Ai lenses. It really isn't expensive at all to get the lenses modified...
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    In the FE vs. FE-2 comparison, the FE has the tab for pre-AI lenses, and the FE-2 has TTL flash metering and a faster shutter. Which is more valuable to you is a personal decision...but there are some amazing deals out there on pre-AI glass.

    (Of course, I've been using an FE-2 since they were first sold, so I'm missing out on all of those deals...)
     
  6. Gim

    Gim Subscriber

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    You can always buy a hand held meter and continue to use the older nikkormats. I purchased a Gossen Digisix. I only have one camera that has a working meter, a FM2n and thats a great camera also but I really enjoy the older ones best.

    jim
     
  7. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    I agree with Mongo. I have numerous FE's & FE-2's, and they're both great cameras. You can also have non-AI lenses, AI'd, quite cheaply. The FE-2 has 1/250 flash sync, which I find very useful. Plus TTL flash metering.

    Kiron Kid
     
  8. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I had an FE2 and wish I had never sold it. There is one in the classifieds right now for $225 or less, the seller has said to make him an offer. Here is the link: http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17497

    I don't know why someone hasn't bought it yet! I would but I don't have the money right now. :sad:
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I use my 70s era Nikon F with modern silver cells. I measured it against my handheld and compensated by adjusting the film speed to match. Check it once every few months and comp. to match. It costs nothing and works great. If you ever have it CLA'd, tell them to to adjust the meter to the higher voltages.
    It would be hard to find a better camera today.
     
  10. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    I still use a nikkormat that has no functional lightmeter, and it works great. If you are shooting black and white film, you can really learn to meter reasonably well and print for the minor corrections needed. If you are shooting chromes, you need a real lightmeter as there is no room for error. Or bracket everything...
     
  11. bohica

    bohica Member

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    thanks for all the suggestions,,,bottom line is it's a win-win situation no matter which one i choose
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    bohica,
    You should be able to have your lenses modified to work on the FM/FE2 models. Depending on the lens, you may be able to replace them with AI lenses for similar cost.
    The modification consists of removing the aperture ring & notching it to engage the meter coupler. The only important reference is the start point for the meter.
     
  13. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Go for the FE-2. The manual focus AI lenses are dirt cheap nowadays. It's a fantastic body. (1/250 flash sync, TTL flash....).

    Kiron Kid
     
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  15. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    If you still want to use the FTN, the mercury cells problenm could be solved by using a battery adapter: www.criscam.com

    Hans
     
  16. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    If you do not require the use of TLR exposure reading then a F or F2 are both very elegant and durable cameras if you buy one that is in really good condition.

    I feel that Nikon made a significant mistake in eliminating the removable prism.

    I almost always use my 35mm equipment on a very heavy and stable tripod. The nicest and most useful accessory for me that Nikon offered was the high magnification finder: 5x-6x depending upon the model. To me, for what I like to do, this is more worthwhile than any auto-focus could ever be.

    When I got back into 35mm equipment a few years ago the choices came down to a Nikon F5 vs a Contax RTSIII. I am certain that either camera would have worked well for me.
     
  17. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    The F2 (especially the F2 titanium) is in my opinion the best 35mm SLR that Nikon ever made.

    It has all the features I need (durability, reliability, mirror lock-up, interchangeable motor drives, interchangeable view screens, interchangeable viewfinders, 100% viewfinder accuracy, choice of four non-metered viewfinders, and battery independence).

    I am still using one F2 that I bought new in 1971.
     
  18. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    That will work, or you can just have it adjusted for the more stable and readily available 1.5v silver oxide batteries.

    Kiron Kid
     
  19. bohica

    bohica Member

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    Kid, this was something I was wondering,,,some of the old cameras work fine with the silver batteries, though not accurately,,but some of them couldn't take the increased voltage w/o damage. I found a liat at one point that listed some of them but nikons had not been tested
     
  20. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Bohika

    It's a common remedy to the battery problem. My camera guy does it all the time. Works great on the older Nikon bodies.

    Kiron Kid
     
  21. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I've used the silver batteries for years with my F. As Flotsom does, I adjust the film speed to match my spotmeter. Works just fine.
     
  22. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I have a Nikkormat Ftn, I love it.

    I was in daipers when you were in 'Nam and my Nikkormat was probably on the assembly line in Japan. I use the higher voltage silver battery and Ihave yet to replace it since I picked the camera up going on two years ago. I would get your Nikkormat Ftn CLA'd adjust it for the kosher batteries and start working that shutter with some B&W film. I am a huge fan of 1960's/early 1970's Nikkor lenses. They beat anything made today, save for Leica of course.

    Bill
     
  23. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    You said it!

    Though my two cents come late, FM or FE seems to fit best your situation to me. I was VERY disappointed when I saw that the pre-ai device was discontinued on FM2 and FE2. The whole ring is made of cheap plastic on the two latter, by the way. I can't recall ever having needed their two extra speeds.

    As a last note, I use my Nikkormat with contemporary batteries, and to say that the meter works PERFECTLY is an understatement. Same with all my other cameras and handheld meters. I consider the famous battery debate all just internet's rumours. I understand, however, that at this point you're already in a "new camera coming" mood... :wink:
     
  24. bohica

    bohica Member

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    Actually I broke down and bought a Wein cell for the FTN and had so much fun with it, that I've sent it out for a CLA and new foam, There's nothing on a FM or FM2 that I need that isn't on the FTN,So it will continue....May still upgrade the EL to an EL2 or FE
     
  25. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    There are several sites on the web which discuss options for older cameras that use mercury batteries. Search on "mercury battery problem". If the camera uses a single battery then it is easy to insert a 1N34A diode in series with the battery to adjust its voltage to 1.35 volts and use a silver battery. This diode costs a few cents from most suppliers. Cameras using two batteries would require the use of a Schottsky diode.
     
  26. Trivette

    Trivette Member

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    I have an FM (actually it's my wife's). It's great for situations which need an SLR. (I'm a rangefinder person.) Some people might consider the maximum 1/1000 shutter speed too slow, but I've never found that to be an inconvenience.