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Nikkormat FTN

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#1 Dallas


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Posted 23 December 2008 - 08:04

What are your experiences with this camera? This topic will be indexed on our Equipment pages. Please keep your responses relevant to your personal experience with the item so that others may derive value from them.

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#2 Millirehm


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Posted 23 December 2008 - 08:42

My comment on the Nikkormat FTN can't be too rational, because that's how it all started in 1985. It was my first Nikon and at the same time my first camera at all so there is some touch of a "first love aspect". Besides one neccessary repair it proved to be a reliable camera, together with the AR1 it was the smoothest shutter release feeling I ever had, and can perform reletively long  shutter-speeds handheld compared to any other Nikon I ever used. The FTN had stop-down button and even mirror-lockup (though not designed for vibration reduction but rather to intake the first superwide and fisheye lenses) that was not state of the art at the time nor was the 1/125 X sync. It still had an M-sync slot that never was of any use for me. What this camera is lacking is a flash-shoe, and the ISO setting is a finger-nail consuming nuissance. The Nikkormat FTN is in no way overfeatured, a simple camera where you can fully concentrate on the two variables aperture and shutter-speed (of course you should not forget to set the right focus  ;D ). Interesting that it derived it's name that photographing with a camera like that (Features like film - transport and setting up the shutter with the same lever, metering at full aperture) is quasi automatic. I rarely use it now, but form time to time I still get lust to grab it and use it mainly together with the yellow coated Nikkor-S Auto 50 mm f/1,4 my fastest lens but not usable on the newest body because it is Non-AI.

#3 Hampus


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Posted 04 January 2009 - 22:58

This is a great "little" camera. It pretty much has everything you might need. DOF preview, light meter, self timer and best of all it will take pictures even without batteries. In addition to what Millirehm has written, I can say that it has the weight and ergonomics of a small brick. It's just as sturdy too :) The lightmeter is simple with a digit pointing to either + or - and it works great. It was designed for an older battery though, no longer availabe, so for use with modern batteries the meter has to be modified. The shutterspeed lever is a bit of a fingertwist and not very comfortable. Shutterspeeds range from bulb to 1/1000. It lacks an apperture window, so you have to look at the apperture ring on the lens to know what you set, or you need to have a really good memory. Apart from the meter, the entire camera is 100% mechanical so it will survive the nuclear holocaust. After more than 40 years of service, my FTN still takes great pictures and everything still works on it. It's never been to service. If that isn't quality, I don't know what is! I am utterly convinced that I will still have the Nikkormat FTN and that I will still take pictures with it, years after I've sent the D300 to recycling. They just don't build them like that anymore. Pictures are taken with D300 and Nikon 180mm f2.8 IF ED.

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