Rubber Eyepiece for Nikkormat Ftn

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by escuta, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Hello all,

    I'm thinking of buying a Nikkormat Ftn for my son. I found a good one online but it lacks an eyepiece with a rubber ring and I need to protect those expensive high-powered glasses of his! Is the Nikkormat Ftn eyepiece the same as those for the F/F2/FE/FM?

  2. I think they are the same but I am not sure. Depending what kind of glasses your son wears he may need different glasses for the viewfinder.
  3. I believe they are the same as for the F or F2. Don't know about the Fe or FM.
  4. escuta likes this.
  5. Thanks a lot Ben, Robert and BeBu. Good to know!
  6. I bought a Nikkormat FTn new back in "sometime before your mother was born" times, and it came with a serrated metal edge to the VF cover glass that was absolutely guaranteed to scratch any eye-glasses.

    Rubber edged is not "authentic" but it's a lot nicer.
  7. The same is true of all the Nikons of that era.

    I have a DL-1, an incredibly rare and simultaneously useful piece for the F2 Photomic and F2A. It's a small light that illuminates the meter read-out. It is attached by just such a ring threading through the bracket on the back.

    I love the little rubber bumpers that you can get now-they protect your glasses without forcing your eye back too far. I still can't see the entire viewfinder of a low eyepoint camera with any kind of ring on it, but the bumpers minimize the amount of eye movement I need.

    BTW, I always buy Crizal coatings on my glasses, and they carry a 2-year scratch warranty. My recent interest in these Nikons has made the cost of the coating well worth it-I think I'm on my 3rd set of replacement lenses. I've considered having a set of glass lenses fitted to one of my old frames for use with these Nikons, as they should theoretically be more scratch resistant than plastic. My only issue is that my left eye is bad enough that I need high index materials to avoid a "coke bottle" lens, and I'd be afraid that glass would have that same effect.
    escuta likes this.
  8. Ah, thanks for the information about the DL-1. I have just this week received a F2 Photomic and by coincidence, last night I was wondering about how to illuminate that little light window on top of the head. For lack of better ideas I was thinking of using a mobile phone and perhaps rubber bands for this! Hadn't heard of the DL-1 but found one here in Brazil online now for about US$30 and bought it. It does look really useful. I was disappointed about how hard it is to read the meter in low light. All the best!
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  9. I also found the eyepieces you suggested locally. I need 2 of these, one for my son and one for my second camera. Unfortunately quite expensive here. I may be changing plans however on the Nikkormat as I've found a very cheap FM body with rubber eyepiece for just twice the price of a new eyepiece. Waiting on confirmation that the light meter is working.... If it is, I'll get the FM and give him a spare 50mm 1.8 AF that I have which is in perfect condition.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  10. All said and done, I think the FM is probably a better choice even though the Nikkormat is certainly a capable camera.

    On the plus side of the Nikkormat, you can meter with any lens that has an aperture ring(AF lenses will need to have a fork installed). I find the lens mounting procedure a bit annoying, though. You must press the metering prong all the way over manually and then set the lens to f/5.6 before mounting(you can then twist the ring back and forth to set the maximum aperture). They're not like the F Photomic FTN and the non-AI F2s where the aperture ring can be set at any position when mounting.

    Also, the Nikkormat was designed for mercury batteries, and there are no GREAT substitutes for them. The FM just need any common and cheap LR44/SR76 battery, and will meter correctly provided that there is enough power to illuminate the LEDs. It can also meter with any lens that has an aperture ring, with no modification needed for lenses without a coupling shoe. For non-AI lenses, just flip up the coupling tab before mounting the lens. You can then do stop down metering-press the DOF preview button with the aperture set, and if exposure is correct the center LED will light. In practice, it's not that difficult.
    escuta likes this.
  11. Nikkormat FT3 takes the 'regular' batteries, if I remember correctly ..
  12. The FT2 switched SR76s, although I can't find anything on whether or not they must be silver cells. Regardless, that's generally what I use in all cameras that need this type of battery.

    The EL takes a 6V PX-28. I think it and the Nikon EL2 are the only cameras that take this battery. I run lithiums in both my EL and EL2 as I don't want to forget about them and have them leak.

    The OP asked about the FTn, though, which does need mercury batteries.
    Albin''s images likes this.
  13. I often use alkaline batteries in old cameras designed for mercury.

    So far, the meter has been close enough (for black and white film).

    As noted, many of the newer cameras are not so sensitive to the actual voltage.

    I have alkalines in a Canon FT, and that seems to be close enough.

    As to the original question, as far as I know, all the round Nikon eyepieces are cross compatible.

    Newer ones have a rectangular shape, and are different.

    There are also third party rubber cups that work with round eyepieces.

    (Many years ago I had one. It then let the eyepiece get too loose, and I lost it.)
  14. Thanks again everyone. In the end I bought a cheap FE body without an eyepiece after missing out on the extremely cheap FM body, with an eyepiece (which i mentioned above). I'll have to buy the eyepiece separately. Buying from outside Brazil isn't an option, unfortunately, as pieces like that can sit on the docks for months before getting delivered and are subject to 100% duties on the item and freight. A pain about the Nikkormat Ftn, it was a beautiful looking camera and lens, but the FE should be a winner and I'll give it to my son with the spare 50mm 1.8 AF lens. All the best!
  15. As others mentioned, prior to the FM and F3 Nikon did not normally supply rubber-rimmed eyepieces. The F and F2 had no eyepiece out of the box: only a thread with raised metal rim. The Nikkormats originally came with black knurled metal-rimmed eyepieces that screwed into a bare chrome thread. All of these were rather unkind to eyeglass wearers.

    The FM of 1977 was the first Nikon camera to come with a rubber-rimmed eyepiece. Three years later, the F3 combined the old Nikkormat eyepiece with a new large rubber ring that was very comfortable. These are swappable between Nikon bodies of the same thread size, but not always with the same usability.

    All FM and F3 (pre-HP) eyepieces will fit the F, F2,F3 and Nikkormats. Those who have difficulty viewing the entire frame with their glasses might prefer to use the much thinner FM eyepiece on those bodies. It lets your glasses press closer to the viewfinder while still avoiding scratches, but isn't as "stable" or comfortable as the thicker rubber of the F3 eyepiece. Unfortunately the rubber of the FM eyepiece is glued on, and only the standard eyepiece includes the rubber coating. All optional FM diopters have a bare metal rim and the rubber from the standard eyepiece is not transferable. So if you need diopter correction on the F, F2, F3 or Nikkormats you must use the F3 diopters instead, and transfer the rubber ring from the standard eyepiece to the diopter.

    The FM, FE and FA series cannot conveniently use the larger F3 eyepiece: it will fit the thread but hang over the film door, preventing the door from opening to load or remove film unless you unscrew the eyepiece first. The comfort of the F3 diopter with thick rubber ring might make the inconvenience worthwhile for those who don't burn thru multiple rolls of film.

    The significantly larger F3HP eyepieces will not fit the older cameras at all, and cause much confusion when shopping for loose eyepieces, diopters or rubber rings. Very often, the HP accessories will be listed vaguely as "F3" and vice-versa: you really need to question the store or individual about the exact size they're offering. Things get even more irritating when shopping for film bodies: the volatility of the used Nikon film-camera market means you need to pay close attention to listing pictures and ask questions about minor things you can no longer assume are standard.

    Like the nice rubber-rimmed eyepieces. Film photography rides a rollercoaster of boom and bust popularity: in some years, bodies like the FM and FE were practically worthless. To cut their losses, sellers would often remove the rubber eyepieces to sell separately, as they were in more demand than the cameras. Today, the FM/FE and FM2/FE2 are hot again, and prices are up, but many of these are the same bodies that had their eyepieces harvested five or six years ago. If you are looking for such a body, make sure it includes the eyepiece (if you want it). Otherwise, you might get stuck trying to replace it: as escuta notes, that can be prohibitively expensive in some countries.
    escuta likes this.

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