Recently I chanced to come across a Nikorrmat FT2 for £25 .
The camera was made in the mid 1970's a time where mechanical cameras were the norm, most being assembled and tested by hand.
Looking at the camera it seems to have been hewn from on solid lump of steel, it has hard un-egonomic (by todays standards) edges that give it a very rugged purposeful look.
In the hands it feels very solid, and has the precision instrument feel of a very expensive hand made mechanical device, and feels remarkably comfortable in the hands.
The shutter sounds absolutely wonderful, noisier than a Leica (just) but has just about the most positive feeling release of any manual camera I've used. The design of the shutter is a Copal square with metal blades and speeds 1-1/1000 + B, flash sync is 1/125.
The speeds are located round the throat of the lens mount á la OM1 which takes a little getting used to if your previous camera had the speeds on the top plate.
The top plate has a minimalist feel without the speed dial. The control from right to left: wind-on lever (also switches on the meter) frame counter and stop down button.
To the left of the prism is a match needle meter which I'd imagine might be useful for macro work or street shooting.
Next to the meter is the serial number and the re-wind crank is in the normal position.
On very welcome feature of this model is the mirror lock up situated to the left of the lens mount, to the right is the mechanical self timer which seems to take around ten seconds, maybe slightly less.
Mounted on the camera is a 50mm F2 Nikkor H, which seems to slightly pre-date the camera but nonetheless is a very capable performer with very sharp good contrast, flare free images.
One problem with this model is that over time the meter seems to either become erratic or stop working, I'm told there is a resistor that needs cleaning or replacing.
The camera I purchased seems to have a non operational meter, which doesn't worry me as I'm used to using a spot meter with most of my film cameras.
Overall the camera is a joy to use, and as these cameras seem to be going for very little money this is a chance to buy something of real quality for pennies.
Like I stated in a previous post, if I could write a note to my younger self about to embark on the start of my photographic odyssey it would be get this camera, and a Rollei TLR.
finally a couple of pictures with the 50mm F2 H