Nikkormat FTN: One of a kind?

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Kelsomatic, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Kelsomatic

    Kelsomatic TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, first time posting here so thanks for having me. I picked up a Nikkormat FTN with a 50mm 1.4 (in pretty fantastic condition) for $15 at a garage sale a few months back. This is the first film camera I've ever purchased, and I knew nothing about it on purchase other than that it looked pretty. Just picked up some film and am halfway through the first roll.

    Looking for info on how to properly operate the camera I began to notice a theme: Not a single Nikkormat FTN on the internet seems to look quite like mine! I'm not sure if maybe this was cobbled together with pieces of silver and black versions, or if it's something special. As you can see in the pictures below, it's the silver version but has a black plastic film winder knob on top (don't know the proper terminology, excuse me), a black plastic lens mount, logo panel, and shutter speed ring.

    NikkormatFTN1.jpg
    NikkormatFTN2.jpg
    NikkormatFTN3.jpg

    I've been digging for about an hour now and can't find one that looks just like mine, and I'm just super curious if anyone knows what's up! Thanks!


     

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  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Looks to me as if somebody took the nameplate off of a BLACK-bodied FTN, and put it onto your chrome body, and also put a black rewind knob on in place of the original. Kind of did a "Panda" on this, which is/was fairly popular in some countries. The film advance lever does not have the plastic tip on it either. I would say that this camera was simply fitted with some replacement parts from a black-bodied FTN. It does look lovely the way it's done up!
     
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  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most Nikkormats were chrome but some were all black. The black ones cost a little more so not as many were sold.

    But, yes, the name plate and rewind knob on your camera came from a black version. No big deal. Those parts are easily swapped out.

    Owners manual here:
    http://www.cameramanuals.org/nikon_pdf/nikkormat_ftn.pdf
     
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  4. Kelsomatic

    Kelsomatic TPF Noob!

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    That was kind of what I thought as well. Does that account for the shutter speed ring/mount assembly as well? I have no idea how difficult that would be to swap out but it seems so odd that anyone would want to, haha.
     
  5. Kelsomatic

    Kelsomatic TPF Noob!

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    Awesome! Thanks so much. The manual is much appreciated. I was having fun figuring out how to work the camera through trial and error but this will help clear up those remaining points of confusion. <3
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That is one handsome camera, good catch that it was different than most - you seem to have done some homework. Hope you enjoy using it.
     
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  7. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nikkormats were built like tanks and are very reliable cameras. That's a great lens too.

    And, yours looks to be in very nice shape. An excellent score for $15 for sure!
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In another life long ago (1970s) I worked in a camera store that had a large collection of derelict cameras abandoned by customers. On my lunch hour I would tinker with them and over time got better and better until the boss actually started to let me do light service work for customers. Jump forward a decade and I'm teaching photo at a local college. When I could I would fix student cameras with minor problems. This resulted in occasional donations of broken cameras for parts. I'm going to say late 80s -- I wound up with three broken Nikkormats -- two FT-Ns and an FT-2. One had been badly dropped and none of them functioned. I combined parts from all three to produce a working camera and I thought it was fun to swap some of the chrome/black body parts; one of the FT-Ns was a black body. When I got the camera working I gave it to a student who needed a camera. We of course joked about it and called it Frankencam. That was 30 years ago and I haven't seen either the camera or student since who would now be in his early 50s. Your camera looks very much like Frankencam; probably a cousin but who knows.

    Joe
     
  9. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A friend and I did that in college with our cars. We both had BMW's (2002) and we would comb this BMW junkyard for stuff we thought was good stuff, then make the parts fit in the cars we had. Example: I had distributor weights from a six cylinder engine in my 4 cylinder. Never had the opportunity/idea to do so with cameras.
     
  10. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As others have noted, a real steal @ $15. The lens alone is worth about three times what you paid for the camera and lens.

    The battery that powered those Nikkormats is a 1.35 volt mercury cell (PX13), no longer available. You can substitute an appropriate sized silver oxide cell (1.5v), but the voltage differential can cause the meter to read inaccurately. A Wein Cell will replace the mercury cell, but uses a hearing aid battery in a small fitted case. Those will last about 1 year.

    Congratulations, and good shooting.
     
  11. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    I have the FT3, in black - a little newer, and the same lens.
     

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