Nikkormat FT2--meter coupling, is it still repairable?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by william_spiropoulos|1, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. hi folks
    A good many years ago I had to jump through certain hoops to make the meter on my FT2 expose correctly; nevertheless I enjoyed using the camera and produced a lot of great photos with it. When I finally took it in to get it fixed (Chick's Camera Exchange in downtown Columbus), ol' Chick informed me that the meter coupling had been snapped at some point and thus the meter was stuck several stops off relative to the ASA setting. (Maybe that was why it had ended up in the garbage when I'd found it!) He had to cannibalize another camera body to repair it and then there were no problems. However, more recently I, like a regular schmuck, mounted a lens incorrectly, and heard an inoffensive little *snap!*...
    Please tell me that a camera repairman can still, in 2015, find and install an intact meter coupling whatever-it-is in my beloved old Nikkormat. Side-question: although I don't particularly want to do so, is it possible to convert an FT2 to an FT3 with an AI lens mount? That old-style meter coupling, all that tap-dancing you have to do to mount a lens, is the only real pain-in-the-ass of an otherwise stellar camera.
    Billy S.
  2. Incidentally, all three of my lenses for the Nikkormat are pre-AI so I know that's not an issue.
    Billy S.
  3. I suspect only with parts cameras. Which are pretty much dirt cheap. Just bought a working Nikkormat FTn for about $20, the ring resistor is just starting to get flaky, only at long shutter speeds.
    The ring resistors that read the F-stop are the ultimate Achilles' heel of the Nikkormats and the Photomic prisms for the Nikon F. They wear out, no parts available for ages.
  4. I would look for a Nikon F, F2, or FE an forget about the FT2.
  5. Hi William,
    I love my Ft2's and have had several repaired recently by Jim at Vermont Camera Works. He does good work.
    It's true as John says that you may buy several working examples for less, but who knows if they will work.
    They are going cheap, even with nice lenses.
  6. Just because they are old doesn't make them junk. I enjoy keeping these older film bodies running and in use. The resistor ring in these old Nikkormats is a wear issue but at least we have some good repair men for a while yet. And past that problem I find them to be near bullet proof, they simply keep on working wherever I take one. Same goes for the F2. While I keep more or less current digital gear close by, there is usually an old film body in the bag too. Just in case :).
    Rick H.
  7. Changing an FT2 to an FT3 would not be worth trying. It would cost less to get an FT3 in good condition. My repairman likes the FT3 because it doesn't have the complex indexing mechanicals of the earlier Nikkormats. In 1977 when Nikon introduced the AI cameras and lenses it essentially went with the indexing system which Minolta had been using since the SRT 101 of 1966. My favorite Nikkormat is the FT2. It works equally well with pre-AI, AI/AIS lenses. If a lens has no prong then stop-down metering can be used. One of my FT2s was serviced twice for meter problems and is fine now. I have enough other Nikkormats for a long time of Nikkormat shooting. The FT2 has some advantages over the FTN. It takes the MS-76 battery, changing the film speed is much easier and it has a hot shoe.
  8. Much less expensive to buy a another ex+ Nikkormat than have current one it repaired. Check prices at dealers.
  9. Probably cheaper to buy another, but if repair is the decision, I'd second J Louis Campo's suggestion of Vermont Camera Works. Jim knows and likes old Nikons and seems to have a deep reserve of bits and pieces.
  10. I may look up your man Jim if/when I
    decide to get my FT2 fixed again ;
    thanks for the tip. If I could afford it
    right now I'd try to scope out someone
    here in NJ or in NYC, but any repairs
    are going to have to wait till after I
    move back to Columbus. I don't know
    if Chick is still in business, or any of the
    other old-school camera repair shops
    there, for that matter. I could just buy
    another body as you say, but since this
    Sherman tank of a camera has some
    sentimental value to me, I'd like to
    keep it roadworthy, so to speak. :)


    Billy S.
  11. Google Sover Wong. He specializes in the F2 but works miracles on "unavailable" parts and might be able to fix a Nikkormat. But he's in England, so if you're in the U.S. the shipping alone will outweigh the value of the camera. The meter is convenient, but you don't actually need it to take pictures.
  12. I recently bought an FT2 off eBay for $10. I cannibalized it for a couple of parts missing from my FT3. I think that's gonna be the best route for you.
  13. A year or two ago, I bought an FT3 for $50 (with AI 50/1.8) and FTn for $16 with 28/3.5 lens.
    They may not be easy to find for those prices, but that gives you an idea how much to pay for repairs. I like the FT3, as most of my lenses are AI or AI compatible.

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