Nikon vs Nikkormat ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by phigmov, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov FF Regular Subscribing Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    Hi fellow forum-ites,

    Hoping someone schooled in Nikon history can spare some time to explain the differences between these two ?

    From what I can gather (Wikipedia), the Nikkormat range was the budget/consumer line and the Nikon branded stuff was 'Pro' (at least until they killed Nikkormat as a brand and changed their numbering schema to differentiate their market-niches).

    However, based on the second hand market the Nikkormats that are often on sale look to be built as well as anything else that bore the Nikon badge.

    For my sins, I've been mostly collecting and using the FE/FM and single digit Nikons (actually, the only one I have is the F3). I'm always on the lookout for F/F2 models but they're fairly pricey (even with wear & tear). The F6 is overkill - my F100 fills my AF Nikon film-needs very well.

    To date, I've seen the Nikkormats appear at auction but haven't really given them much attention.

    Can anyone comment on build, usability, comparability with the 'Pro' range, ones to buy, ones to avoid ?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. RichardB

    RichardB Super Moderator

    Mar 23, 2015
    Maryland, US
    According to, the Nikkormat line was aimed at the same pro-am segment of the market that the FM and FE would later be aimed at. If you like the FM and FE, you'll probably like the Nikkormats.
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  3. phigmov

    phigmov FF Regular Subscribing Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    Cheers @RichardB@RichardB

    Have you handled one ?

    I might keep an eye out for the FT3.
  4. PaulJ

    PaulJ FF Rookie

    Feb 22, 2016
    Apart from the F4, I've owned all of the "F" line at one time or another, I've also used FE, FM and Nikkormats (including the FT3) down the years. Broadly speaking, the Nikkormats (or Nikomats as they were branded for some countries) appear to have the same industrial strength build quality as the F and F2. However, they did not have the capability to accept motor-drives / winders and, probably for that reaso, were not regarded as "pro" cameras - whatever that means. I saw many pros with one or two as back-ups..

    The Nikkormat range was extremely well built and, unless you craved exposure compensation, motor drives and other frippery, they were all you needed.

    I've moved away from SLRs these days but, if I was to start from scratch again, I'd have an FT3 and an F2SB again. Then again, I really liked the F3HP and, although the F6 was questioned for not having interchangeable finders, I have never used an SLR with a more fool-proof meter, though the F5 runs it close.

    I would definitely seek out an FT3 (though nothing wrong with FT-N, FT2). Because they weren't used extensively by pros, their condition can be very good and prices are dirt cheap right now.
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  5. Kurt

    Kurt New to FF

    Dec 28, 2015
    'In the day' there was a significant (to a young pro) price difference and the Nikkormat was just as good as the F for almost every situation. Now the criteria have change and the F2 would be my choice for usefullness, style and price. F3 and later are great, but bulky.
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  6. ajramirez

    ajramirez FF Rookie

    Mar 26, 2015
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio Ramirez
    I own a Nikkormat FT3 and a Nikon FM3a. Though they both are extremely lovely, I prefer the smaller size and handling of the FM3a. However, the Nikkormat is an absolute brick, and feels much more solid than the FM3a. I would recommend seeking out an FT3, just because it is the only Nikkormat with AI. In my case, it had to be the FT3 because my Zeiss ZF.2 primes do not have rabbit ears, which makes them significantly more cumbersome to use on non-AI bodies.
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  7. Brian

    Brian New to FF

    Mar 24, 2015
    My first Nikon is the Nikkormat FT2, and I still have it after 40 years-

    But, it would be the F2 or F that I grab for use. The Nikkormats are based on the copal metal shutter, noticeably louder than the titanium foil shutter of the F2 and F. I prefer picking the focus screen for use in the F2 and F, the Nikkormat is not (easily) replaced.

    What is your budget? $100 gets you a nice Nikon F2 Photomic these days, not to mention an F3HP.
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  8. phigmov

    phigmov FF Regular Subscribing Member

    Mar 23, 2015
    Partly GAS. I have an F3 an FE & FM + a more modern F100. Was contemplating back-filling with an F or F2 but they're still kind of pricey. I was particularly interested in a mix-and-match F or F2 panda (silver or black body with opposite viewfinder). When I looked at the prices (often the prism finders alone were more expensive than the bodies) I figured I'd try something a little cheaper.

    On hold for now. My mortgage now has less than 12mths left to run - the end is in sight. Will be trying to be frugal for a little while longer and make best use of what I have :)
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  9. Brian

    Brian New to FF

    Mar 24, 2015
    At one time the eye-level finders were cheap. The cameras with them are pretty. Black eye-levels for the F are very expensive, same with the F2.

    I hear you on the end in sight on the Mortgage- just realized ours has ~ 1year to run.
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