Nikkormat FTn


Nikkormat was Nikon's prosumer brand back in the 1960s. This black FTn model was made in 1969,

This chrome model was from 1967. The optional cold shoe is attached by screwing out the ring around the viewfinder, inserting the shoe and screwing the ring back on.

The FTn is more modern than the original Nikon F and has a built in exposure meter that works on a "match needle" basis. I.e., you fold out the film advance lever with your thumb so the meter turns on, then adjust the shutter speed and/or aperture until the needle in the viewfinder falls between the plus and minus signs.

You want to make sure when you're done shooting that you fold the film advance lever all the way back in so that it saves the battery. These used to take PX625 mercury cell batteries with a weird voltage of 1.35v that aren't made anymore for environmental reasons. You can buy a modern 1.35v Wein cell battery as a replacement. These batteries have a much more linear discharge lifecycle than today's modern alkaline watch batteries. If you use the latter, you'll get inaccurate readings from the start as they are 1.5v and the voltage varies greatly as the battery ages. The mercury and Wein cell batteries maintain a more constant voltage, but when they start running out, the voltage drops to near zero, so they have much shorter lives than alkaline batteries. They come packaged with a pull tab that you have to remove before use so that they have a long shelf life.

Anyway, the FTn is a pretty good camera. In order to make best use of the built in exposure meter, you need to use lenses with the little "feeler ears" on them and when you mount a new lens, mount it with the aperture set to f/5.6 and then do a twist to wide open aperture and then closed aperture to "index" the meter. All "non-AI", AI and AI-s lenses will work with the Nikkormat built in meter.

Here are a few test shots made with the FTn and a non-AI Nikkor-H f/2 50mm lens:

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