Finally, a Nikon.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_drawbridge, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. For years I've avoided the ownership of a Nikon, other than a very haggard old F2 in the Parts Department. I've always suspected that if I started in on Nikons, it might be a case of adding more fuel to the addiction. Furthermore, I'm a Canon man, right? I've used Canons almost exclusively in my work for the past 40 years, and found no good reason to change. Anyway, with the winds of Autumn chilling our small town , I sidled into one of the antique shops to check out the stock, and the proprietor, (who knows me rather too well) said, "Bought a few old cameras yesterday, mostly old junk, but there's one that may interest you."
    "What is it? I asked, in a guarded sort of way.
    "It's an old Nikkormat" he said, "Looks a bit rough, but it's all there."

    "Peter"' I said, "You know I don't do Nikons."

    "It's cheap," he said persuasively. He trotted into the back room and emerged with a camera that he plonked down on the counter in front of me. I know enough about Nikkormats to recognise a FTN, and this one was filthy, coated in dust and the patina of disuse. Slightly dubiously I picked it up; it felt good, and under the grime it appeared to be surprisingly unmarked, a slight tracery of fungus behind the front element of the Nikkor lens being the only obvious flaw. The shutter was smooth, the mirror looked pristine, the aperture was snappy. I felt myself slipping..."I have some batteries in my kit in the car that might fire up the meter" I said.

    The meter seemed fine. " It's yours for thirty bucks," said Peter.
    "Done", I heard myself saying.

    So, now I own a Nikon, and here it is.
  2. It took an hour to clean the beast and it came up very well. I undertook the delicate task of removing the front element cluster and removing the fungus; it had left a faint tracery on the coating but nothing serious, I was surprised just how slight an object is the front element, very thin and fragile. I hope you Nikon fans can tell me a little more about the Nikkormat; we're into a seriously rainy spell for the next week, and I managed to shoot off only a few frames of B&W as the storm clouds gathered. And I have to admit that I'm delighted with the Nikkormat; it handles beautifully, feels as solid as a rock, and fits my hand like a glove. The 50mm Nikkor f/2 is beyond reproach. Can't wait for the sun to shine; do I sound like a Nikonite in the making? I might have to do a full post, a little further on.

    I attach just a few frames, Arista EDU 100, ID-11, scans from an Epson V700.
  3. What a fine looking camera. When I was in high school 35 years ago, my parents gave me your exact set up as a Christmas gift. I loved that camera.....wish I still had it. I just picked up a mint black F2 photomic. I think after seeing your pics, I may start to look for a Nikkormat FTN like yours. Enjoy it!
  4. Rick,
    like you I've stayed away from Nikons to date, but if I was going to go there, an original F with a plain prism and a Nikkormat would be my top two picks! Great shots as always. That lens is sharp!
  5. I love Nikon cameras (some), and the Nikkormats are something special. How could anyone not love the shutters in these? They have such a nice "snick" to them. They sure are heavy, but feel reassuringly solid. Nikon glass is not my favorite, but w/ today's adapters you have many more choices than in the past. Your camera has one of the best Nikon lenses ever made in my opinion. Much nicer than the newer 1.8 variants, which I found to have rough bokeh and too much contrast. Try some shots wide open and you will be very happy.
  6. Rick--wow! GREAT find! That camera is in great shape. Still has the screen type sticker on the advance lever. Says to me it hasn't had much use. If the meter isn't "jumpy," it is a true bargain. You'll also love the 50/2--very underrated lens. I'm afraid you're hooked now.
    Thanks for posting.
  7. Congrats Rick. I too bought a Nikkormat under similar conditions about 10 years ago and was quite impressed. I prefer my Canon FTb but I compare the two quite favorably. While heavy, they both give the impression of quality and simplicity with all the functionality anyone would need. Both were bargains compared to their more sophisticated offerings.
  8. One just like that was my first Nikon SLR when I was eighteen (many years ago). I foolishly allowed my father to trade it in for a Nikon FG a couple of years later (which I still have) as I was seduced by the name Nikon on the front instead of merely Nikkormat.
    I now have another Nikkormat FTN, inherited from my father.
  9. Beautiful camera, Rick! Like you I'm a Canon man but have still owned quite a number of Nikons and have grown to have a few favorites, including this one. Like Paul indicated, I'm afraid that once you've started down this path you may be tempted to try a few more of them. While I absolutely love the F2, F3HP, and F100, I also really love the simple but elegantly smooth operation of the FE that my Dad gave me some years ago, and I have a feeling that you would too. Great pictures as always! Enjoy your new toy and I hope we get to see even more pictures from it.
  10. Paul,
    ""Still has the screen type sticker on the advance lever. "
    Could you tell us a bit more about those stickers? How many different ones were there? What do they signify?
  11. Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses are superb and for a long time they were the dominant choice of photojournalists. I never got into Nikons because:
    1. They were too expensive for my student budget;
    2. The Nikon owners I encountered were almost as arrogant and obnoxious as Leica owners;
    3. I thought the Photomic meters glommed onto Nikon bodies destroyed their elegant lines; and
    4. In 1970 I was able to buy a used Canon FT-QL for $150 and its performance was truly excellent.
  12. Hello Q.G.--that little sticker on the advance lever usually indicated the type of screen installed. The "A" screen was the clear spot with the microprism; the "K" is the split prism. Here is a link to a pretty good site on Nikon:
    It indicates that Nikkormats did not have interchangable screens; in that case--the "A" sticker may have just been window dressing. The new F2 and F3 that I had--many years ago--had the "K" sticker on the advance lever. BTW, Rick's camera is apparently a late model--1975. Nice!!
  13. I too as a teenager had a Nikkormat (FT2) with a 50 f/2 as my first saved my pennies "new in the box" camera. (Had a "K" sticker)
    I usually saw the "K" sticker on top of the advance pan screws of these units coming in for repair.
    Here's an excerpt from a web page that may further help the "sticker" question.
    "FTn also offered a choice (made at purchase time or by replacement at factory service centers) of brighter fixed viewfinder focusing screens: Nippon Kogaku's standard Type J with central 4 mm microprism focusing aid plus 12 mm etched circle indicating the area of the meter centerweighting or the Type A with central 3 mm split image rangefinder plus 12 mm etched circle. - The FT2's viewfinder also switched to Nippon Kogaku's new standard Type K focusing screen with 3 mm split image rangefinder and 1 mm microprism collar focusing aids plus 12 mm etched circle indicating the area of the meter centerweighting." Wikipedia
    As usual, great job Rick !
    I've stated many times that the Nikkor 50mm f/2, is a stunning performer at a bargain price...
  14. My older brother's first slr in the early to mid 70s was your camera. He traded up all the way to an F2 Titanium over the years, but after they were all gone and traded away, just a few years ago he bought another ftn on ebay for old times sake, and you can bet he paid more than you did. It is a great camera.
    On his lens reviews page, Bjorn Rorslett ranks the 50 f2 pre AI and AI amongst Nikon's best normal lenses.
  15. Come on in - the Dark Side is lovely
    After decades of OM usership, I fell like a ton of bricks the first time I picked up an F3HP/MD4. Now, 4 Fs, 2 F2s, the F3HP, an F4S, an FM/MD12, a Nikonos V and a stack of MF Nikkors later, I'm somewhat in recovery, but poised to fall off the wagon again if the right item presents itself. Oh, the humanity!!
  16. I can't add much to what's been said, I've got a battered old black FT which I did a post on a while back, and an FTn. Its almost impossible not to pick up and fire these cameras if only to feel the buttery smoothness of the action, and hear and the satisfying sound of the shutter tripping.
  17. Thanks for the explanation, Paul!<br><br>Nice camera, Rick.<br>I'm not a Nikonist either. In fact, have not been a 35 mm user anymore for too many years to remember, so it's unlikely that i will join you in joining the Nikonist ranks. But i still wouldn't mind the thing Brett mentioned: a nice Nikon F with plain prism. So if you decide Nikons are not the thing for you, come across one of those original Fs in the usual (for your finds, that is) pristine state for as little as what you appear to pick these great finds up for... let me know. ;-)<br>I keep being amazed at how you come up with such finds time and again. Was at my local camera store today, and all they had in their 'used'-cabinet were a bunch of overpriced, beaten up Canon digital 'Rebels' noone would ever want to have even when given away free.
  18. Welcome to the dark side Rick. Your FTn seems to be in top shape. It is a capable little camera and almost as good looking as the F with the plain prism, but good luck finding one of those for $30. And the Nikkormat has a meter to boot. As others have said (and your pictures show), the 50/2 is one of the best 50's Nikon has ever made. Now you've opened up a whole new world of Nikkor glass to buy! ;-)
  19. But i still wouldn't mind the thing Brett mentioned: a nice Nikon F with plain prism.​

    They are things of great beauty. I have two Nikon Fs. One chrome and one black, both with matching metering prisms and one plain black prism. I think the black F with the black plain prism is one of the best looking 35mm SLRs ever made.
  20. While I love your eye for color, it's always good for you to remind us how good you are at composition, too.
    The Nikkormat FTn was my camera for my PC-Nikkor back in the early 70s. I stayed with Nikon until 2004. My Nikkormat FTn is still working, but no where near as clean as your result. Of course the light meter is out, but that's not surprising. That yours is still working is more of a surprise.
    One of the favorite things to dislike on this camera is the setting of the "ASA"-speed. Not only were Nikkormat users characterized by the twitch in their lens mounting hand common to all early Nikon users, but also Sherlock Holmes would have noted the broken fingernail from the meter setting that indicated a Nikkormat FTn user.
  21. Rick,
    I also bought a Nikkormat FTN as my first Nikon. It was also after 40 years of Canons. I think my dislike of Nikon started at the sight of a Nikon F with a Photomic head. The meter on my FTN still works fine but as with all these 1970 era cameras you have to learn the metering pattern and adjust for it.
    Here is a test of the Nikkormat FTN from Modern Photography April 1968.
  22. Here is page 2.
  23. I've always been a Canon man also, but in the last couple of years I've somehow come into possession of two early Fs. I always made fun of them, thought they were the ugliest cameras ever made. But they grow on you, so be careful!
  24. Some great images, Rick, the camera itself looks great. I used to have one but it was a Nikomat EL. I sold it after it has been sitting in my bag with very little use. The one I had I got for $14 dollars with a 50 f1.4 lens, and I had it CLA'ed for 70 bucks. Man that thing was working great even before the CLA. Again, great images and lovely presentation.
  25. I have many types and brands in my collection. Right now I would say I'm in a Minolta phase. Yesterday I shot some color print film with an X-700 using a 35/2.8 MD Celtic, a 55/2.8 Vivitar macro and a 100/3.5 MC Rokkor-X. I would guess that I have about two dozen Nikkormat and Nikomat bodies now. I favor the FT2 because it takes the newer MS-76 battery, has the built-in hot shoe, uses both pre-AI and AI/AIS lenses easily and makes changing the film speed setting a lot easier. Your camera is the later FTN with the Appolo F style self timer lever and the plastic tipped film advance lever. I think it's more handsome than the earlier version. The 50/2 HC and later models are quite good and have modern coating. I think I prefer the 50/2 AI to the 50/1.8 AI even though both are very good. My favorite of the 50/1.4 manual focus lenses is the first 'K' version. The one I have used most is an old pointy prong S. I must have taken my favorite Nikkormat photos with a 35/2.8 'K' or a 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor PC.
  26. Glad to see you finally join the Nikon ranks, Rick. A very beautifully made camera. I have a mintish black FT2 and it is sweet. Works smooth as glass. The entire Nikon manual focus line is fabulous to use. Wait till you get your mitts on a clean F2 or F3HP Titanium or the compactness of the FM2n. And the lenses...oh my! As your lovely photography demonstrates. Good luck with it and thank you for sharing.
  27. Glad to see you finally join the Nikon ranks, Rick. A very beautifully made camera. I have a pile of MF Nikon's including a mintish black FT2 that is sweet. Works smooth as glass. The entire Nikon manual focus line is fabulous to use. Wait till you get your mitts on a clean F2 or F3HP Titanium or the compactness of the FM2n. And the lenses...oh my! As your lovely photography demonstrates. Good luck with it and thank you for sharing.
  28. Yours is a late production FTN, having the N'mat FT2 trim (black self timer and tipped advance lever). Based on serial number, your lens was made close to the end of the 50/F2's manufacture run. It has the later coatings and is regarded as the best of the bunch.
    This exact kit was my only camera/lens at age 16 (c 1970). The Kodachromes I shot with it still look great 40 years on. I still break it out once in a while and shoot with it.
  29. A great response; I feel truly welcomed to the world of Nikon! It's interesting that many of us acquired Nikons late in our careers and now appreciate and enjoy them. I'd echo William's sentiments, to a degree; in my mis-spent youth Nikon owners tended to exhibit a degree of elitism, and the cameras were expensive. As Brett suggested, a F1 with a plain prisim sounds an attractive proposition, and Louis, I've already been looking at a couple of black F2's. Hmm... Thank you both for your comments. I agree with you, Steve S; the black F1 is indeed a beautiful camera.
    Andy and Les, I'm pleased you enjoyed the post post. That Arista EDU is a nice film, though I prefer the Kentmere I'm also trialing. Thanks for the information regarding the Green Sticker, Paul and Gus; I'd been wondering what it was all about. It would be hard to choose between the Canon FTb and the Nikkormat, Daniel, though I think I prefer the cleaner layout of the Nikkormat with the speeds around the lens mount and the stop-down button very conveniently placed on the top deck.
    I laughed at your comments regarding the film speed setting, JDM; it is a little fiddly but luckily one doesn't have to perform the operation very often. You seem to have a great collection of Nikons, Jeff, and thanks for the model observations. My knowledge is increasing...As many of you observed, the lens is excellent; I'd already come across Bjorn Rorslett's fine site, Mark, and was surprised and gratified to read his high opinion of what I had assumed to be a fairly "kit" lens. Thanks , Marc, for the fascinating old reviews, and thanks to QG de Bakker, Kris, Cory, John, Todd, Jody, Steve L., Steve M. and David for your contributions.
  30. I appreciate that, Les...Actually, it was a typo I didn't spot until it was too late to edit. Also, I put the wrong caption on the product pic and I'm not sure how you edit a caption to an attached image in; does one have to delete the image and start again, and can you put the revised image back in the correct place?
  31. I'll join in late to the party, and admit to being a Nikon snob (a few F2's over 30+ years). My favorite manual focus lens is also the cheapest, the 50mm f2.0 AI just like yours Rick. It has a great combination of sharpness and contrast no other lens can touch. Never had a Nikkormat FT series though but have used a relative's FTn a few times. I'll add that you are a virtuoso with Arista EDU 100 and ID-11. Those shots have beautiful tones. Nice work.
  32. Thanks, David, I've known some very nice Nikon snobs, over the years...I'm not sure about the Arista; it's a fairly ancient European emulsion, but so far, so good.
    James, this talk of the Dark Side is perturbing; to quote my uncle Darth Vader,"I sense something, a presence I've not felt since......." As for the Wolf Bane, I'll check out the local Garden Centre. Looking forward to hearing from you.
  33. AS usual late to the parts.. I too, tended to avoid Nikon for mmuch the same reasons mentioned. Primarily cost! As the prices ahve dropped I too have been eyeing the same model as the rest .. no wonder everyone wants the those plainfinder F1s and they remain elusive. I did have the good fortune to receive a mid 70s Nikon F301 as a gift. and with the exception of the right hand grip extrusion; an attractive body and excellent covering. It too just falls into place in your hands and works great! The dark side is on my side .....
  34. Les, it's always been my view that Nikon sort of set boundaries around what Canon could call their pro cameras shortly after Canon released the F-1. The Canon F-1 was released in 1971 and the Nikon F2 was also released about the same time -- maybe a year later? Not exactly sure, but at any rate, by naming their next pro camera the "F2" Nikon sort of boxed Canon out of extending the name of their pro camera line the way you might think they wanted to. Calling the next edition the "New" F-1 sort of underscores this.
    Rick, like a few others here, I too am a Canon guy who also shoots Nikon. Me, I started shooting Canon cameras in the early 1980s, but by 1990 I began acquiring Nikon gear. It was mostly because of Nikon's backward compatibility. But ironically about the same time I began acquiring Nikon gear, I also began acquiring EOS gear, so my original reasons for buying into Nikon didn't last very long.
    I've always equated the mechanical Nikkormats to the Canon FT and FTb, mostly the FTb because of its full-aperture metering. Features and robustness of construction are almost identical. I, for one, prefer the Nikkormat's ergonomics over the F's -- mostly the placement of the shutter release. I've always found the placement of the release on the F to be awkward, whereas its placement on the Nikkormat is the same as the F2, F3, FM, FE, and most other manual-focus Nikons.
    The 50mm f/2 Nikkor -- in its various iterations -- has always been considered one of Nikon's sharpest optics, and your photos seem to bear this out. So in short, you've wound up with one nice photographic tool.
    My favorite Nikon is the F2 -- Nikon's last hand-built camera. Its ergonomics, with its softly rounded contoured corners, are some of the nicest ever. Even nicer than the old Canon F-1, which is still my favorite camera. Now that you have adopted this new system, my guesses are that it won't be long before you start looking for more Nikon gear to add to your collection. That's what I do. You'll find that clean F2s can be picked up for about the same price as clean Canon F-1s. Nikkor lenses tend to be a bit pricier than Canon FD lenses because of their backward compatibility -- and the fact that they can be adapted for use on other DSLR systems, unlike FD lenses -- but because of the emerging popularity of mirrorless digicams, I think these price differences are disappearing. At any rate, why limit yourself? Canon has made some great optics that Nikon didn't make and Nikon made some great optics that Canon never made. By combining the two systems you can have the best of both worlds. And you can have bucket loads of fun while you're using the two systems. It's all good. Me, I've recently begun branching out into Pentax K and M42 -- rather tentatively, I'll admit. And an even more tentative move into manual focus Minolta. I've wanted a Contax for years, but even old original RTS models still go for good sums as do their lenses, so I've not yet ventured into the Contax arean yet. All in good time.
  35. Nice line-up, Les. Too many "F" 's, I agree, as I demonstrated earlier. Canon really made it complicated, right down to FD mount and "New " FD mount....Thanks, Michael, some interesting observations and handy information in your response. I'm already keeping a weather eye open for a nice black F2. Just watch that move into Minoltas; I sort of stumbled across the marque a few years back, and it's a fascinating history of an under-rated also-ran, with some fabulous cameras involved, and a high risk of addiction...Thanks, Chuck, it's reassuring to know so many members approve the Nikkormat.
  36. Damn wonderful. Thank you.
  37. Wonderful write up and photos! I would agree that the 50mm f2.0 is one of the best Nikkors made. Welcome to the Dark Side!
  38. Congratulations. Nice set, and as has already been said, "Welcome to the dark side." Funny coincidence, the meter on my FT2 seems a bit off. I adjusted the ASA dial to compensate in the meantime. The FT2 was my introduction to Nikon. I was happily snapping away with my Prakticas and a rebadged Chinon CS when a friend from work (a true friend) told me that her husband wanted to sell the camera and wanted it to go to somebody that would use it and appreciate it (bless their hearts). It also came with an F2/50 Nikkor as well as an F4/200 Nikkor (there was a third party zoom but I never used it). All that and a camera bag for $45.00. A few years later while on my deliveries, I started talking shop with one of my customers and I ended up buying an F3.5/28 Nikkor and an F4/105 Micro Nikkor along with a Soligor 2X TC and a cable release for $50.00. I really love the Micro Nikkor. I just finished off a roll of Kodak Gold 100 today with this camera. Results to follow soon.
  39. Thank's Gene and L.Mar, it's certainly great to know that my initial high opinion of the lens is shared by those of you with a better acquaintance of it. You have done well for a $95 expenditure, Rob; I'm looking forward to seeing your post with the Micro Nikkor. As for the Dark Side:
  40. "I have 4 Fs, 2 with [...]"

    Which is, of course, why we who don't have such a hard time finding ones, and why they will be so expensive when finally we would.
  41. Ach, James, I'm a hearing off in the middle distance the skirl o' the pipes and the snap and rattle of the snare as I read through your poem. Wishing for a dram or two of Glenfiddich, but telling m'self it's yet a bit early in the morn for it.
    My ancestors hail from Kirkcudbright -- a picturesque little town on the River Dee in southern Scotland -- that I hope to visit someday.
    As for your friend, true friends like that are hard to find. Good luck on your quest for an SP. Ones in "user" shape are not so ridiculously priced, I've found. Can't always say that about the lenses, though.
  42. I've notice a few F2's for sale bearing the "25th Anniversary " badge. Does this add to (or diminish) their collectable value? I ask this as a descendant of the canny MacDougalls of Argyll...
  43. Rick, honestly I think it depends entirely on how much of a premium the buyer or seller wants to put on the 25th Anniversary models. Back when I was a camera dealer during the late 80s through most of the 90s, at the camera shows I'd go to, I just didn't see them going for much more. Now, on the other hand, if you had a truly rare piece like the F2 Titan, for example, that was a whole 'nother animal.
  44. Rick, a great camera is a great camera regardless of the name. I shot a borrowed Nikkormat at a ball game long ago and really liked the way it handled as compared to my Nikon Photomic FTN. I bought a "beater" F2 at a pawnshop and it is a bit better (no intent to copy Betty Barter bought a bit of bitter butter) {;o) in the handling department as well as taking an easily available battery. Liked the bolt pix best.
  45. "I just want to go quietly in my sleep, just as my grandfather did, not screaming and yelling, like the people in the car he was driving at the time."​

    The version of this I heard ends... "like the passengers on his bus".
  46. The 25th anniversary thing was something thought up by Ehrenreich, the US Nikon importers, to mark 25 years of importing Nikons. They repackaged standard F2s, and stuck the 25th Anniversary plate on the front of the camera body. Nikon itself had nothing to do with it. I imagine it can't hurt their value, but I certainly wouldn't pay extra for one.
  47. Thanks for the furthers responses; I go away for 24 hours and the thread has diversified in a most interesting fashion. Thanks for the Scottish input, Michael and James, and your comments on the status of the Anniversary Model. David's explanation is interesting; it appears to be solely a U.S.creation. James, as Paul mentioned in an earlier post, the sticker on the advance leaver denotes the type of focusing screen installed, "A" being a clear spot with microprism, though this camera actually has the microprism with a split-image central spot. All very curious...I hope that eye problem has resolved itself, and thanks for all the interesting and amusing observations. Steve's "bus" version of the anecdote is the one I'd heard...
    Nice quip, Q.G. with more than a grain of truth...Thanks Randy, I'll really have to get an F2, just so I can make the same comparison. I'll take some more interesting photographs when time and weather allow.
  48. Thanks, James, with the wonders of the internet on hand I will visit the store...The internet may have improved communication, but it's certainly increased expenditure. In my case, anyway...
  49. Rick, always something interesting!
    I too, have resisted the Nikon siren song, being a devote Canonista. But, as my collection has grown beyond my F and A series FDs to include Pentax, Olympus, Minolta and Nikon SLRs.
    I picked up this Nikkormat FT3 about a year ago and I have to admit it is a tank. I always felt my FTbs are tough and well built and this also.
    If your like me, i keep turning the lenses the wrong way.
  50. Thanks, Ed, that's another very tidy Nikkormat. Funnily enough, I ran a test film through an FTb yesterday, having not picked one up for some time, and the similarities between it and the Nikkormat were apparent, both very much cameras of the same era. Overall, I think I preferred the Nikkormat; I prefer the "needle in the centre" metering rather than the "match needle", I like the stop-down button on the Nikkormat's uncluttered top deck, and the viewfinder on the Nikkormat seemed brighter, despite the Canon wearing a f/1.4 lens. But it's all pretty much a question of taste...
  51. " It would be hard to choose between the Canon FTb and the Nikkormat" Rick D.
    How this question jogs my memory; as a teenager I wrestled over this fork in the road.
    Differences seen in their respective brochures (I almost wore them out) that helped me make my choice for the Nikon road.
    Back then it was the Nikkormat's cool:
    Red Dot On-Off switch, the meter needle in the top plate, metal shutter and the faster flash sync.

    Funny about the Modern Photography lens comparison/tests posted by Marc B..
    I'm not sure if they considered "focus shift"
    Look at the difference between the ranking at f/4 vs. f/8.
    Accurately re-focus the subject matter at the taking aperture, and the performance at f/4 is better across the field...
  52. Welcome to the Nikon way.
    Not the dark side, the way of light!
    Really nice pix from a great camera. Often looked down by the F, F2 owners, me included!
    I had 2 though. Only real problem that the F has 100% viewfinder and Nikormat about 85%.
    Truth is the less showing easier than the perfect one.
    I went from Pentax to Nikon. Well using. I kept the Pentax system.
    Reason was the Pentax gave me headaches with viewfinders set for far sighted folks,
    me being short sighted. Thought that all the Canon owners i knew were full of it!
    The Nikons simply superb, the lenses all perfect for me.
    I traded a battered Leica M2 and 50mm Summilux for a new in box,
    full warranties, Nikon Ftn with 50mm f2.
    Yes the Nikons not worth much but i look at all the service and repair charges, i never had to pay.
    The Nikons saw service in a land in transition. Civil mayhem, terrorism, faction fighting.
    If situation very dicey, the Pentax were used..less to lose or abandon..
    I have acquired some lenses i could never afford.
    Oh i have a special modified 200mm Takumarf3.5, that belonged to Ian Berry/Magnum.
    It was 1/2 stop faster than Nikons 200mm at time.With fastest color slide at 160ASA, it meant something.
    Only problem now that i have aged, the pro bag way too heavy for me..
    Can use Body and one or two lenses. OH! Meter works in one head, not the other.
    Have a chipped plain prism.
  53. Gus, I took the Canon fork, as you may have gathered, and stayed on that path. It's nice to come across the fork again. While I enjoy reading the old lens tests, I know they don't really constitute the full critique of a len's performance, and I really have no idea how well most of my favourite lenses would perform on a test bench. Jason, I'm sure I'll eventually acquire a F2, but I do admire the Nikkormat for its rugged simplicity and smooth operation. Rather a viewfinder that crops a little, than the reverse...Thanks for your interesting observations.
  54. Rick, I have been away for a week...and what do I have crossed to the dark side! But of course you can't be a collector and not have a Nikon, glad you have realized that.
    You do know that you can have BOTH systems, as I have done, a true camera-holic...we are collectors right? Just ponder on all those fine Nikkors that you now have to have, not to mention a nice Nikon F and get the picture!
    Would I choose between a Canon F1 or a Nikon F2, or the Canon EF and a Nikkormat...easy, don't have to!
  55. Thanks, Tony, I guess I've seen the light. Or the Dark... As for choices, I just end up having dilemmas...
  56. Tony's got it right. By far, the easiest and least angst-filled way to go is to populate your shelves with examples of both systems. Heck, multiple systems! 's what I've ended up doing. In my case, I switched from Canon FD to Nikon back in 1989, but a funny thing happened. I couldn't stay away from Canon. At first, it was an EOS Rebel for the wife to take snapshots of our newborn. Then I start adding lenses and a nice flash to the EOS kit. And then not much longer after that, FD gear starts reappearing in my kit. These days, I have a pretty good balance between the two systems, but it does lean more toward Canon than Nikon. (11 Canon FD bodies versus 5 Nikons and a similar ratio in lenses). Plus I have several great Tamron AD2 lenses, which really frees things up for me. For instance, ever since briefly owning a Pentax KX during my camera dealing days, I've wanted another. I finally came across a good deal on one a couple years ago, so now my Pentax urges are largely assuaged. Still looking for a deal on an LX, but the Pentax boys make sure that its prices on the used market remain high due to demand. And leave us not forget Contax. Nowadays, it's finally possible to pick up an RTS of various flavors for not a lot of money, but then you gotta think about the Zeiss lenses to go with it, and they remain quite spendy. Yes, I know, I can get an AD2 adapter for Contax for my Tamrons, but it isn't the same. Gotta have at least a couple of Zeiss pieces, and at least one of those has to be a nice Planar.
    Have you ever bought a camera just so you can mount it to a favorite lens? I see myself doing that with Minolta, for example. About 20 years ago, I briefly owned an MC Rokkor 15mm full-frame-fisheye. What a lens! So, yeah, I'd pick up an SRT-101 or similar just so's I could use that 15mm Rokkor. Considering all the outstanding lenses that Nikon has made over the years, it woud be real easy to fall into that same sort of reasoning. But you won't have to now, Rick, cuz you own a Nikon now. Heh. Happy Hunting!
  57. Now I feel guilty. My recently aquired FT3 with 50 f/1.8 E is still in my car. Need to finish the spool of Delta 100.
  58. Thanks, Michael. I'm not exactly stuck for choices, though Nikon adds a welcome name to the shelves. In a fit of nostalgia, about five years ago, I bought my first old camera, a Praktica identical to the first SLR I'd owned as a teenager. Now, there are about 25 Prakticas, and the Canons, Minoltas, Yashicas and Fujicas. (I did start out on Fujicas becuse of the magnificent Fujinon lenses)...And then the rangefinders and folders and boxes and Mju's... It's an eclectic and aimless collection, in the main, but there's always something to run a film through. With most old lens now adapting to the DSLR's that's always a temptation, as well, and I'm rather fond of old exposure meters. Pentax's are poorly represented, apart from a few Spotmatics and the earlier "S" series that I really like, and the 6x7 collection. Initially it was a cheap hobby, but prices have gone out of sight compared to the halcyon days when I started out.
    Finish that film, Wayne, and post some pics!

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