Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikkormat EL - Features & Controls Part IV

 

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Nikkormat EL.jpg (17k)
One of the major interest in the Nikkormats was its higher sync speed as compared with the professional models of ALL made during the '70 & early '80. With its focal plane shutter curtain traversing the film area in just 7 milliseconds, the Nikkormat EL provides synchronization at high shutter speeds for all types of flash. The camera is synchronized for electronic flash at speeds up to 1/125th second and for FP, M and MF type flashbulbs at all speeds from B to 1/l000th second. To set the camera for the type of flash used, simply lift and rotate the synch selector ring surrounding the shutter speed dial until the correct symbol ( ~ for electronic flash, o. for bulbs) appears in the window on the dial.

icon.gif A single synch terminal accommodates all flash units. It is threaded for Nikon screw-in synch cords and also accepts standard PC cords. In addition, the accessory "hot" shoe on top of the camera permits cordless connection with flash units that have matching cordless contacts. The shoe is active only when such a flash unit is inserted.

Power ststus check onNikkormat EL
Through the Lens (TTL) The Nikkormat EL meter system was adopting the proprietary unique design in his own way, developed by Nikon and considered by experts to be one of the most all round in reliablity for thru-the-lens exposure control. Most of the Nikon users are very familiar with the 60/40 center weighted average metering now - perhaps current new users may not even putting too much attention to it, because since 1983, the Nikon metering method which started from Nikon FA's multi segments metering, which has slowly developed into a very sophisticated metering system (Best represented by the current F90 x and Nikon F5). But center weighted average metering has been Nikon's primary metering system for the first few decades since its inception into the SLR business. Naturally, the EL was using it as well.

Credit: Battery status check of Nikkor EL. Image coutesy of: Russell Gough® <rpg@daytonadvd.com>". Russell also has a EBAY STORE on his own. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer

Compared with external meter, placing the meter behind the lens is only the system's first step towards true, automatic exposure accuracy. With center weighted average meteringsystem, it can observe the brightness of the entire scene recorded on the film but concentrates its sensitivity on the 12mm diameter area outlined in the center of the finder screen where the main subject is usually located. Because of this concept, it is not misled by markedly brighter or darker areas elsewhere in the picture which may cause faulty exposure with other normal metering systems. Instead, it also assures more accurate exposure even for such difficult high contrast situations as beach or backlit subjects. What's more, the system works with those early Nikkor optics (Auto-Nikkor) lenses at full aperture, so there's no dimming of the bright, clear finder image. Further, when working with accessories like extension, bellows etc, it also permits stop-down metering. Compared with the mechanical Nikkormats (But quite similar with the Nikon FE), a further advantage of the EL is the wider sensitivity range, from EV 1 to EV 18 (e.g., 1 second at f/1.4 to 1/l000th at f/16 with ASA 100 film and 50mm f/1.4 lens). The meter may be preset for films from ASA 25 to 1600 and couples with lens apertures from f/1.2 to f/32. A complete scale of shutter speeds is visible in the viewfinder, including B and A (automatic); also a green needle, indicating the programmed shutter setting, and a black needle showing the actual speed used. The meter is switched on and off automatically by the normal action of the film advance lever.

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AUTOMATIC Exposure Control with the EL With the shutter speed dial set to "A", the Nikkormat EL is a fully automatic precision camera. You simply preset the lens to the desired aperture, focus, compose your picture, and shoot. The camera will deliver a theoretically perfectly exposed photograph, automatically, every time.

There's no need to take your eye off the finder. You see the green needle pointing to "A" on the scale at the left. When you swing the film advance lever to the 30° stand-off position, switching the meter on, the black needle moves to indicate the shutter speed at which the exposure will be made. This speed is not limited to the marked settings but may be anywhere between 4 seconds and 1/l000th second because the automatic selection is continuous and stepless.

MANUAL Exposure Control
with the EL There will be times when you'll want it, like the Nikon FM2 slogan says:"You take everything in your hands..." because the EL does has a manual control - working exactly like a manual camera. The Nikkormat EL makes it easy, any time you wish. Simply disengage the shutter dial from its locked "A" position and turn it to the desired setting. No need to look at the dial; you see the green indicator in the finder moving to the speed you selected. Next, turn the lens aperture ring until the black needle coincides with the green, and your Nikkormat EL is set for correct exposure at your shutter speed, automatically. And with manual control, too, the electronic system assures the accuracy of whatever shutter speed you are using. By offering this exposure versatility, the Nikkormat EL gives you complete freedom to explore many photographic posibilities as what you think the manual camera can offer you.

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Exposure "Memory Lock" (AE Lock) Under certain, special conditions, you may want to base your exposure on a part of the subject much smaller than the "weighted" metering area, or on one outside that area. With the Nikkormat EL, you can do it easily and still enjoy automatic exposure accuracy. Well, this lever serves also as a self timer, where appro 10 sec delay after activated (Opposite direction).


Shutter curtain of Nikkormat EL
You simply shift the camera to center the desired area in the finder, or approach your subject until that portion fills the "weighted" area of the finder. Now, when you press the exposure lock lever towards the lens, the meter system automatically "memorizes" or "Lock" the exposure required for that area as long as the lever is held (In modern terms, we called that AE Lock, where every modern auto SLR offers). You can re-compose your picture and press the shutter release. But of cause, most people doesn't favor so much with AE lock or exposure compensation. (ALL auto camera carries this feature as well, another way is to adjust the ASA/ISO setting to "fool" the camera's electronic brain to think you are using a faster/slower film in the camera). The current trend is to use flash to fill in - more natural results may yield if use creatively (First seen in Nikon F801, if I can still recall..). Now, with the AF, they have even much more sophisticated Fill Flash technique, like 3D Matrix etc..

Credit: Battery status check of Nikkor EL. Image coutesy of: Russell Gough® <rpg@daytonadvd.com>". Russell also has a EBAY STORE on his own. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer

FE Dial.jpg (11k)
The EL doesn't provide the commonly found exposure compensation ring (As the picture shown at left of the Nikon FE), instead it was for the Film Speed just under the rewind crank. After all, this was the first Nikon that went "electronic".

Anyway, any moderately seasoned users understand and know how to "play" around with ASA/ISO setting to achieve exposure compensation even in manual bodies. Thus, if you are investing or bought a used model of EL, this works the same.

I am sorry, because I don't own a EL, and thus it has very few illustrations to help you to browse through this site in graphics and illustration.

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

| Back | to Main Index Page of Nikkormats
| Back | to Main Index Page of Nikkormats EL Series

History & Background of Nikkormat Cameras
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Outline the major key features and differences of various models

The Camera Bodies | FT | FS | FTn | EL | FT2 | ELW | FT3 | EL2

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The Eyes of Nikon:-

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Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
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Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Standard
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Super-Telephoto
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm |
35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

About this photographic site.
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Copyright © 1998. HIURA Shinsaku ® ; Nikomat ML, Japan,
in collaboration with
leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

* Credit: A Great thanks to Mr Denis Pleic for his volunteering effort to reedit content and and patching some grammatical mistakes found in this section of the PIM site. Miss Rissa (Marketing) & Edward (Techical) of Shriro Malaysia, distributor of Nikon cameras in Malaysia, in providing so many useful inputs to make this site possible. Mr Hong, Ipoh for lending me his FT2 to take some of the images used in this site. This site is created for his eldest son, Yuen who has picked up his father's hobby and the FT-2. My friend, John Walls from Florida, US for his images of the FTn body and the Zoom Nikkor 43-86mm.

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