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09-16-2018, 10:06 AM - 1 Like   #1

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fulton County, Illinois
Posts: 2,600
Nikkormat FTn Serial No. 3676365

Next to my interest in Pentax cameras (and their shirttail relations) and compatible lenses, no less the screw-mounts than the k-mount variations, and somewhat more manual focus than autofocus lenses, is a parallel general interest in the history of photography, photography equipment, and various brands of camera and other photo equipment makers and labelers. Normally I would have a certain aversion to over-hyped brands and premium brands (which I suspect overlap), but a lot of that is because, as much as I might like sometimes to have champagne tastes, I usually have a beer budget.

The latter objections, however, didn't seem to stand in the way of my picking up an old Nikkormat FTn, sold as is, but described as seeming to work except for the light meter, for six bucks plus postage off of the auction site. It turned out that the sliding mechanism with the aperture engagement pin being bent back, keeping it from working as it should, was the only light meter problem, nothing electrical. After some corrective bending, it worked just fine. With a 1.45 volt zinc air hearing aid battery in the camera, the internal meter seemed to read consistently 1/3 stop higher than my external meter across a range of lighting conditions, making recalibration a matter of adjusting the iso setting.

The cheapest good condition pre-AI-mount lens of the camera's era I could find was a Nikkor-Q f/4 200mm. I began testing the combo with a roll of Fomapan 400 shot at iso 250, and before the roll was finished a Nikon PK-3 27.5mm extension tube arrived. Giving the 200 some close-focusing ability, which it did not ordinarily have.

Here are three of my favorite shots from the roll. These all taken in Lewistown, Illinois :

Fulton County Court House dome, with foreground bokeh. (F/5.6 v 8, 1/1000 sec) :

Episcopal Church crosses, with bird. (F/5.6, 1/1000 sec.) :

Older of the two old grain elevators, upper part. (F/8 v 11, 1/500 sec.) :

In a later post I'll include one or two of the close-ups with the extension tube, but generally I didn't find those quite as good. User error may have been a factor, moving a bit and loosing precise focus where I meant to place it and/or not choosing or being able to use as fast of a shutter speed as I ought to have used. I think a film with more resolving power than Foma 400 might have helped, too. Elsewhere I posted a picture using the Nikkor 200 scrunched onto my Pentax K10D, finding that also a useful combination.

More to follow from this roll. Are there other Pentaxians with a fondness for the old Nikkor FT line?

Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 09-16-2018 at 11:01 AM.
09-16-2018, 10:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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My first SLR was the FT3 Nikkormat. I still have it. Love it.
09-17-2018, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #3

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fulton County, Illinois
Posts: 2,600
Original Poster
Here are a few more:

A line of gravestones, Oak Hill Cemetery, Lewistown, Illinois. (200mm wide open at f/4, 1/1000; focus on third polished granite stone):

Long before the Beatles Box Set, was the Beadles Block building -- north side of courthouse square, Lewistown, Illinois. The 200mm focal length seems to be especially suited for taking pictures of the tops of things! (F/5.6, 1/1000):

Zinnia bud, leaves. (f4 200mm + 27.5mm extension tube, F/5.6 v 8, 1/500 sec) :

Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 09-17-2018 at 08:42 AM.
09-18-2018, 12:47 PM   #4

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fulton County, Illinois
Posts: 2,600
Original Poster
A few more with the 200mm on the FTn --

Grave monument with statue, Oak Hill Cemetery, Lewistown, Illinois. (f/5.6 v 8, 1/250 sec.)

Powerline pole with transformer. (f/11 v 16, 1/500 sec.)

Farmstead security light. (f/5.6 v 8, 1/1000 sec.)


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