Author Topic: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?  (Read 1764 times)

David H. Hartman

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2021, 00:22:57 »
Damn! I want a Nikkormat FT3 and Nikon EL2 with AW-1 winder. No money.  :(

I only owned the Nikkormat FT3 for a few days. I developed a technique with the Nikon F2 of putting slight pressure on the film advance lever. As soon as the shutter was released film advance would begin. With the FT3 this did not happen. Worse pressure had to be released from the advance lever before it could be stroked. This was a technique I used in PR photography to get a second or third shot off quickly. The FT3 was messing with my reflexes so I sold it.

Dave
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Matthew Currie

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2021, 00:37:23 »
If you were in the US, I'd suggest that LeZot camera, in Vermont, might have some interest.  They do a small business in refurbished and reskinned cameras, and I think Nikkormats are one they do.  I suspect they don't pay much for the originals, and probably not enough to make shipping worthwhile, but as a long shot you might try them.  http://lezot.com/

Hugh_3170

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2021, 01:07:29 »
Yes, the FT2 and the FT3 Nikkormats thankfully both use the silver oxide S76 batteries that are still available.

A good repair man can convert the FTn Nikkormats to use the 1.5 Volt silver cells and recalibrate the meter which has the same part number as the meters in the FT2 and FT3 Nikkormats. 

For a while there was a silver oxide version (SX625) of the PX625 1.35 Volt mercury oxide cell, so the battery chamber did not need to be altered - however a straight physical size adapter in plastic is easy enough to fabricate.

The gadgets that take a silver oxide cell and drop the voltage to 1.35 volts with a germanium diode do not deliver a stable voltage like a cell of the correct voltage - their output voltages are current draw dependent.

Wein air cells that deliver a stable 1.35 Volts are another way to go - if the air cell is resealed after use, their lifetime may be extended.  However they DO NOT last as long as the good old mercury or silver oxide cells.

(Yes, I plead guilty, I too have a Nikkormat collection - the only camera collection that I have as such.  Even have the old FS with no meter and the early FT without Automatic Indexing.  The simple Nikkormat with its Copal shutter was a pretty tough customer.  Its metering circuit was simple and worked well, but the more complex balanced bridge metering circuit arrangement of the Pentax Spotmatics of the day were much less dependent on a stable voltage source, so switching from 1.35 volt to 1.5 volts is of little issue for them.)




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One issue with earlier Nikkormat(s) is probably a battery for the meter as the FTn used a Mercury battery but if students are using these cameras for learning film photography a hand held light meter would be a good learning tool. The Nikkormat FT3 probably uses the S-76 battery which last I checked was still available.
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Dave
Hugh Gunn

Matthew Currie

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2021, 06:11:32 »
I've never done a Nikkormat, but the F's FTn meter is not hard to adjust.There are two potentiometers within, one for the meter and one for the battery indicator, and they're slightly interdependent.  There may be some argument about how perfect a mere adjustment is at all stops and speeds, but since the F's usual lenses and shutter speeds operate in full stops, and the center weighted meter is not super-precise anyway, I found it was easy to get well within range for film.

For calibration I used a fairly new Minolta X-370 which always delivered extremely good exposures, and since I could set up both the Minolta and a Nikon on a tripod with comparable 50 mm. lenses, aimed at an evenly lit beige wall, I just duplicated the Minolta's readings.  To account for any non-linearity at extremes, I set the exposure at a low ISO (probably 100), and a shutter speed and aperture more or less in the middle range.  There are likely fancier and more scientific ways to do this, but I got my three FTN's to read repeatably within 1/3 stop of each other and the Minolta, and they delivered good slide exposures for years.

You have to take the leather skin off the finder to get the top cover off.  My favorite glue for putting it back is a craft glue similar to white glue sticky when wet, and more flexible when dry.  In the US, the stuff I like is "Aleene's Tacky Glue." It holds up well, but is easy to remove without tearing or residue if need be.  I originally recalibrated all my FTn's for silver oxides, back when you could still get the large ones.


What I don't know is how the battery box of a Nikkormat compares.  The F used two batteries, and the positive contact is not at the end but the side.  Because of this, you cannot adapt smaller batteries with an o-ring or plastic sleeve (as you can on, for example, a Pentax Spotmatic), but must use a conductive ring.  You can fudge it with aluminum foil too, but for a more secure connection, a fitted metal ring works best. I have seen somewhere the suggestion of taking the shell of a  larger cell (obviously not a mercury one) and fitting the smaller battery inside that.

You can also use alkaline cells if need be, but as everyone knows, they don't retain their voltage after a certain point, but if you calibrate for 1.5 volts, and the cells are fresh, they'll last a while, and the battery indicator should tell you when they've dropped.

Although it's pretty simple once you look inside, I used to have a link to a web page with instructions for calibrating the FTn, but I don't think it survived a recent computer crash that obliterated my hard drive.  If need be, though, I might be able to find a copy somewhere, as I did back some stuff up.

MEPER

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2021, 07:57:46 »
If you were in the US, I'd suggest that LeZot camera, in Vermont, might have some interest.  They do a small business in refurbished and reskinned cameras, and I think Nikkormats are one they do.  I suspect they don't pay much for the originals, and probably not enough to make shipping worthwhile, but as a long shot you might try them.  http://lezot.com/

Thank you!
I will try to find something similar here in DK that like to restore/CLA those cameras.

By the way I had a Nikkormat that was branded Nikomat like the one at the top here:
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/htmls/models/htmls/slr7577.htm

Hugh_3170

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2021, 09:08:55 »
The Nikomat bramding was for the Japanese and other Asian markets;  Nikkormat was the branding for everyone else.  Otherwise identical.
Hugh Gunn

mxbianco

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2021, 09:14:51 »
A full collection of Nikkormats/Nikomats would be 30 items. You have to account for the chrome and black version, some Nikkormats don't have the Nikomat variant, and the nameplate reads "Nikon".
So you would have
Nikkormat Fs, FT, FTn, FT2, FT3, EL, ELw: 7 models, 4 variants each (Nikkormat black & chrome, Nikomat black & chrome)
Nikkormat EL2: 2 variants (black & chrome, branded Nikon)

The winder for the Nikkormat EL-2 is labelled Nikon AW-1. Really slow, you could be  2x faster with your thumb!

Nikomats were identical to Nikkormats, except for the nameplate, they were for the japanese market only.

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mxbianco

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2021, 09:31:13 »
Model          Start #    End #   St.Date   End Date   Quant.   MIN Obs   MAX Obs  Notes   
Nikkormat FS   7400001    75xxxxx   jul-65   sep-67   100K   7406542   7410036   
Nikkormat FT   3100001   32xxxxx   jul-65   aug-67   100K   3126066   3199089   
Nikkormat FTN   3500001   47xxxxx   oct-67   mar-75   900K   3517637   4718123   
Nikkormat FT2   5000001   54xxxxx   mar-75   jun-77   300K   5254701   5439479   
Nikkormat FT3   6000001   62xxxxx   jun-77   oct-79   200K   6012854   6149756   Ai mount
Nikkormat EL   5100001   xxxxxxx   nov-72               
Nikkormat ELW   7500001   xxxxxxx   feb-76               
Nikkormat EL2   7800001   xxxxxxx   may-77   sep-80                                    Ai mount

The above table is what I was able to find on the Web related to Nikkormat production dates and serial numbers.
You can compare your own serials, eventually the documented minumum and maximum serial numbers can be greatly improved.

Ciao from Massimo
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Akira

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2021, 09:57:45 »
As all the "Nikkormat" models were sold as "Nikomat" (and thus engraved as such on their front panels) in Japan, the foreign models were regarded as rarities here during the film days.

Nikon used "Nikkormat" name for the affordable series for the foreign market was probably to take the advantage of the popularity of Nikkor lenses.

Were the Fuji Natura films still available, I would have liked to have a Nikkormat (or Nikomat) for the color negative UV photography.  Preferably FS.
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mxbianco

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2021, 11:40:17 »
...
Were the Fuji Natura films still available, I would have liked to have a Nikkormat (or Nikomat) for the color negative UV photography.  Preferably FS.

The FS is the rarest model, being really basic it was easily trashed when it broke, so few FS cameras remain. Nowadays it's the one most sought by collectors. To avoid paying a premium, you could stick to the FT, which has more reasonable prices.

Ciao from Massimo
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Akira

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2021, 11:47:26 »
The FS is the rarest model, being really basic it was easily trashed when it broke, so few FS cameras remain. Nowadays it's the one most sought by collectors. To avoid paying a premium, you could stick to the FT, which has more reasonable prices.

Ciao from Massimo

You are right, Massimo.  If I remember correctly, FS is essentially FT without meter.
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Bent Hjarbo

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2021, 14:48:46 »
There ar a number of Nikkormats for sale on the Blå Avis, so you may get some money to use on the new Z system ;)

MEPER

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2021, 19:13:10 »
I think the price for a body alone is quite low so I think more fun to give them to some "enthusiasts". Let us see what happens :-)

Matthew Currie

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2021, 20:28:48 »
Here's another question on meters.  I've used various cameras that took mercury batteries, and the results varied so much that I can't entirely predict results, but on at least a couple that used a single cell, it was possible to offset the ASA enough to compensate the meter for a higher voltage, without running out of room for normal speed films.  For reasons I can't quite fathom, some two-cell cameras were further off.  So, for example, the old Konica FT took something like 4x offset, and even with hearing aid batteries was off by 2/3 of a stop.  Fortunately that one had an ASA dependent battery test too, so all you'd have to do with any battery was to adjust it until the test needle was centered.  The F doesn't work that way, and my recollection is that without compensation it was about 3 stops off.  It might be possible to fit a Nikkormat with modern batteries and see how much offset is needed, and just tell future users either to offset the ASA setting, or if that's impossible, to compensate by a set amount. 

When I was regularly using the Konica FT3, I just had a little stickon label on the back to remind me how to set it.

MEPER

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Re: What to do with 10 old Nikkormat bodies?
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2021, 21:20:16 »
When I used the Nikkormats I used a Sekonic hand hold light meter. Probably the most safe to do. I also had a Cosina-Voigtländer light meter to put into the hot-shoe.
But or course always nice with a coupled ligt meter.

Apart from that I can see I have some nice Nikkormat accessories like an angle viewer. Think this one fits other bodies as well. Not only Nikkormats. The quality is very nice and I keep those.....