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Nikon Historical Society -- hosted by the founding member Bob Rotoloni and members of the society. The NHS, based the US, has a worldwide membership. Our "Nikon Journal," published four times a year, concentrates on the history of Japanese photo equipment from the perspective of the Nikon Camera Company. The Nikon Journal often includes Nikon information not published anywhere else in the world. This forum provides an opportunity for conversation between collectors and users of classic film Nikons. See forum “stickies” for more information about the Society. If you are a serious Nikon Collector, you MUST be a NHS member. Join at http://www.nikonhistoricalsociety.com/!

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FTn Paint
Old 01-27-2012   #1
1750Shooter
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Question FTn Paint

Just got back my Ftn that had been on long-term loan to my brother ("let me borrow it for a couple of weeks...now 27 years later) & it's really brassed badly & needs a new cover. I'll get the cover from Cameraleather, but have never painted a camera. Has anyone? Or does anyone have any suggestions on how to do it? Thanks in advance. I'll post pictures when/if I get it done.
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Old 01-29-2012   #2
dave lackey
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Can't believe no one has answered yet, so...

Bump for discussion!
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Old 01-29-2012   #3
Steve Bellayr
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Not worth the effort for a Nikkormat. It was a common camera. Besides new covering and the effort of the painting there is some question about the efficacy of using modern batteries and the non-Ai lenses have been superceded by the Ai-S quality. If you want a manual Nikon save you money and get the F3HP which is a far better user.
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Old 01-29-2012   #4
FrankS
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Suggest you buy a replacement with better cosmetics.
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Old 01-29-2012   #5
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No such thing as 'brassed badly' with a Nikkormat!




Show us a shot? :drool:
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Old 01-29-2012   #6
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DSC_0990 by Johan Kuiper, Portretteur.nl, buzzardkid, on Flickr
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Old 01-29-2012   #7
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Yep, some of us just love these things!
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Old 01-29-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bellayr View Post
It was a common camera. Besides new covering and the effort of the painting there is some question about the efficacy of using modern batteries and the non-Ai lenses have been superceded by the Ai-S quality.
Right, let me get this straight, all photographs made before Ai-S are now superceded? I've heard of developments in technology allowing for new discoveries, but even in science they rarely trash the tried and tested older discoveries. Its a shame because some great photographers made their names using non-Ai-s lenses????

As for re-painting your otherwise excellent Nikkormat have a look in the Leica film forum for tips on repainting bodies and the types of paint to use.

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Old 01-29-2012   #9
dave lackey
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I would LOVE to see a re-painted FTn!

How about posting a photo of the camera as it is now?
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Old 01-29-2012   #10
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I thought many Ai-S lenses were optically the same as the pre-Ai equivalent ?
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Old 01-29-2012   #11
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in all honesty, I'd probably keep it! It's kinda cool if you think about it: the camera has your brother's mark on it!

Though if you're set on repainting it, I suppose you'd have to strip the paint, disassemble the camera, prime the body, spray a new coat, then re-assemble and re-align the camera. At least thats what I've gathered from the re-paint projects I've seen here
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Old 01-29-2012   #12
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1. take off all chrome parts
2. use muriatic acid strip off chrome
3. stripe off nickle (go to gunsmith)
4. dip into muriatic acid again, wash clean dry
4. use automobile lacquer paint
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Old 01-29-2012   #13
Jack Conrad
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Nikkormats have a feel to them. The feel of the film advance. The short firm stroke. The sound of the shutter. Really nice slr. Simple rugged machine, but really well made.

I like!!!

And I love pre AI-S.
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Old 01-29-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Jones View Post
I thought many Ai-S lenses were optically the same as the pre-Ai equivalent ?
Ai lenses replaced the non- AI lenses and at first many were the same lens with the new mount. Over time, as with all things, new improved versions came out. Lenses got better because computers took over both the computational and manufacturing aspects of lens production. Of course this was offset by the desire to make lenses cheaper. The Ai-s lenses were the last incarnation, where the mount had a slight modification for the Nikon FA (?).

Personally, the non-Ai lens, for the most part are excellent lenses.
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Old 01-29-2012   #15
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Having used both the non-Ai and Ai-S lenses I found that the Ai-S lenses to perform better. This does not mean that the non-Ai lenses were bad just that their replacements were better.
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Old 01-29-2012   #16
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A brassed camera is a thing of beauty. Replace the cover if you need to, but I'd let the brass show. It's a sign of maturity, like wrinkles.
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Old 01-29-2012   #17
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Funny, but the best lenses I've ever owned were made WAY before computers were involved in their designs. Just because something is newer, well..... how are you going to "improve" on a Summicron DR or a Heliar, to name just two?

If it were me, I'd recover the camera and just touch up any paint surfaces. I've only owned one Nikkormat, the same model you have, and really regret selling it. My 50 2.0 and 105 2.5 non AIS lenses were fantastic, and the camera was wonderful to use. No problems getting correct batteries, and the sound of that shutter was beautiful. Oh, it was big and heavy, but really felt like a well made camera.
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Old 01-29-2012   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
. how are you going to "improve" on a Summicron DR
The latest version? Sorry, the DR has a nice "look" but the newest versions blows it away.
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Old 01-29-2012   #19
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Send us a picture or two and we (in our - ahem - infinite wisdom) will decide if it needs re-covering or repainting. Does it really need new covering? The stuff Nikon used for these was really tough -- maybe all it needs is gluing of the edges, and cleaning?

As for the lenses, it's true that Nikon, like everyone else, worked steadily at improving their lenses, what with recomputed designs and improved coatings. But the pre-AI Nikkor lenses were what gave Nikon its reputation, and they measure up quite well, even today. Really the only lens from that era that seems to have a bad reputation is the 43-86/3.5, but Nikon did redesign that, and later versions are fine lenses. Search places link Nikonlinks.com and you'll see several different lens reviews of the range of Nikkors.
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brassed Nikons
Old 02-01-2012   #20
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brassed Nikons

I bought a couple of black Fs in '72 and still shoot with them. You would say they are "badly" brassed. I say they earned every nick and dent. They are a chronicle of my photographic life and "nicely" brassed.
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Old 02-01-2012   #21
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Yikes.....brassed Nikkormats are very very cool and with a new covering I would def keep it!! As for non AIS lenses I use them on my 3 Nikkormats and love the results. Except for my 105 I can't really see the difference.
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Old 02-04-2012   #22
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They look rather cool with some brassing on them ! I'd suggest to keep them as what they are now.

Save the trouble and spend the time on bringing them out for a walk !
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Old 02-05-2012   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1750Shooter View Post
Just got back my Ftn that had been on long-term loan to my brother ("let me borrow it for a couple of weeks...now 27 years later) & it's really brassed badly & needs a new cover. I'll get the cover from Cameraleather, but have never painted a camera. Has anyone? Or does anyone have any suggestions on how to do it? Thanks in advance. I'll post pictures when/if I get it done.

So, what did you decide? If it were me and I had the money and I wanted to hire someone to paint, nothing would stop me. A new paint job and cover and it would be a joy to use. It is your money after all, not ours, so do what YOU want to do.

Personally, I think you could find a near mint FTn for not much money and have two for far less but then it wouldn't be the nice one you would have had painted after so many years. The emotional attachment should not necessarily be dismissed.
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Old 02-20-2012   #24
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"Amen" to the emotional attachment. Even though it's worn, it's my first Nikon. I happen to love the non-Ai lenses. Unfortunately bro kept my 50mm f1.2! I've decided to recover it & see if the brassing bothers me. Thanks for all your advice. I can always count on you guys for thoughtful insight.
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Old 02-20-2012   #25
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1750...it's only money, but it is your FIRST Nikon! Wish I had kept mine...
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