Classic Cameras Friday! Nikon Nikkormat FT – 1965

Hello there;

Today wanna share with you a classic, and one of my all time favorite, the Nikkormat FT 1965, here some facts:

  • Nikon SLR for the masses
  • $270 with f2 lens in 1965 ($1869 in 2010 dollars)

The 1965 Nikkormat FT was Nikon’s second attempt at a less-expensive body that could take F lenses; the first was the 1962 Nikkorex F (shown in this post).

The Nikkormat FT was priced at $270 with an f2 lens, which was around $70 less than a Nikon F with the same lens. (Today $70 doesn’t seem like much, but it was equivalent to about $480 in 2009 dollars.) Interestingly, the FT had mirror lock-up, which meant that it really could take all the Nikkor lenses, even the fisheye whose rear element extended into the mirror’s path. This was important if it was to serve as a second body to a Nikon F.

The “T” in FT stood for TTL, or through-the-lens, just as it did in Photomic T, the TTL finder for the Nikon F.

In 1967 Nikon updated the FT with the FTN, which improved the metering with center-weighting and made it a bit easier to tell the camera what the lens’s largest aperture was. (After mounting the lens, you twisted the aperture ring to its extremes; the FT used a more awkward method.)

The FTN was hugely successful: Over a million were sold in nine years before it was replaced by the FT2. The Nikkormat name was retired in 1977; after that all the Nikons were just called Nikon.

The Photomic T finder for the Nikon F and the Nikkormat FT came out around the same time, with the same metering technology, so Popular Photography reviewed them together in its January 1966 issue, shown below.

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