Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikkormat EL2 - Preface


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"In many ways, the Nikkormat EL2 and the FT3 were the best featured Nikkormats. Both have mirror lock up, Automatic Indexing (AI), work with Bulb or electronic flash. The EL2 has an additional advantage of motor winding. Apart from the size, weight, dimension and a higher speed good Motor Drive in the MD12, it was better than a FE, launched a year later in 1978, its compact follow up model. It was scarce in number and fetches a higher premium in Japan..."

HIURA Shinsaku ® ; Nikomat ML, Japan

"Nikomat" Picture Library of Japanese local version
DOWNLOAD a copy of the PDF Manual for Nikkormat EL2 (External Link @

Quality and reliability are just two of the many characteristics that set a Nikon apart from any other camera make, and both are inherent in the EL2 - the automatic Nikon that followed the EL of 1972. The EL2 with its companion AW-1 Auto Winder provides not only the working professional and advanced amateur but also the absolute beginner with a straightforward aperture-priority, automatic camera capable of automatic film advance.

While automation is undeniably advantageous in responsiveness, there are times when adjustments need to be made - and the EL2 makes this possible. Either in automatic exposure control, a fingertip actuated exposure memory lock facilitates momentary exposure override, while an exposure compensation ring (not found yet during the EL's debut) permits precise tuning of the camera's metering system to precisely match the individual needs and preferences; or best of all, full manual control of the 8 to 1/1000 second shutter speed range - with just a simple twist of the shutter speed dial.

Being a AI featured Nikon camera, the EL2 accepts all past, present and possible future AF Nikkor lenses, plus the vast majority of accessories that together form the Nikon System. Except of course without the luxury of enjoying the latest metering capabilities current Nikon system provides. Hope Nikon realises the backward compatibility issues, but if your prime objective is to tab on the million of Nikkor manual focus optics, the EL may be a very attractive entry, since it has many of the useful features missing from today's cameras.

To help you to understand the EL2 better, here is a summary of the key features, followed by more detailed operational sections:


Automatic Exposure Control. The exposure metering system of the EL2 provides a higher successful rate of picture-taking for-anyone, from the rankest amateur to the most advanced professional or even help to promote serious SLR photography, as you really can't expect a novice to understand principles behind of how to operate a mechanical camera. The use of solid-state electronics, including a monolithic IC and a Functional Resistance Element (FRE) ensures reliable operation and fewer incorrectly exposed pictures returning from the lab. The EL2's automation works with most of the lenses and accessories of the Nikon System.

Black Nikkormat / Nikomat EL2 with Power Winder Aw-1

Auto Winding. Ergonomically designed, the AW-1 Auto Winder-equipped EL2 offers a fairly compact, fully integrated design for well balanced, steady hand-held shooting, even when shooting with super-telephoto lenses; the automatic winding function eliminates the necessity to change grips to advance the film. Human engineering factors have gone into details like the slip-free tip of the film-advance lever to the ideal placement of the shutter release button; the camera's controls are naturally positioned. Size, weight and balance have been optimized to provide the photographer with a camera that fits comfortably in the hand. Although it lacks a hand grip as with the MD-12 for the FM & FE, nevertheless, it was the second Nikkormat that enjoys the free ride of the automatic film advance (Similarly featured as the original EL, but added motor winding capability in the ELW was the first).

The EL2's film advance mechanism has been specially designed to withstand the rigors of powered film advance. The winder provides automatic film advance at the rate of only half a second per frame at any shutter speed. The EL2, with the AW-1 Auto Winder attached, thus gives the photographer almost all the advantages of a motor-drive-equipped camera at a much lower cost.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Exposure Compensation. The EL2 is upgraded with two different exposure compensation systems compared with the earlier models. A convenient, fingertip-actuated memory lock lever facilitates momentary exposure compensation when shooting backlit or high-contrast subjects; an exposure compensation ring, on the other hand, permits a compensation factor of between EV-1 and +2 to be retained for longer periods.

Viewfinder. A considerably bright and contrasty viewing is provided over the entire picture area for precise, accurate focusing even under many unfavourable conditions. The focusing screen consists of three types of focusing aids - split-image for absolute precision, microprism for rapid action and fine-ground outfield for use with super-telephoto lenses or closeup accessories. Essential exposure information is clearly displayed for precise automatic or manual shooting.

Through-the-lens Metering. It also incorporates a through-the-lens metering system providing full aperture exposure metering with most Nikkor lenses. The meter operates on the popular center-weighted principle. Two silicon photodiodes measure the entire viewfinder area, but concentrate 60 percent of their sensitivity on the 12mm-diameter central area, clearly outlined on the focusing screen. This provides an acceptable exposures under normal picture-taking conditions, yet offers the flexibility necessary for special lighting situations or photographic applications. It works even held vertically or horizontally.

Shutter. The metal focal-plane Copal Square shutter of the EL2 travels vertically and is electronically timed to provide precise exposure durations throughout its 8 to 1/1000 second speed range steplessly. Full manual control, there are 14-stepped shutter speeds, plus 'B,' setting. Full flash synchronization is provided, with bulb sync at virtually all shutter speeds and electronic flash sync at speeds up to 1/125 second. The MX switchover is automatic.

Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing (Al)
. You don't need to manually index the maximum aperture of the lens for full-aperture exposure metering as with other Nikkormats (except the AI featured mechanical FT3), when using lenses fitted with a meter coupling ridge; this makes for fumble-free lens mounting, as well as fail-safe meter coupling.

Black paint Nikkormat / Nikomat EL2

Ergonomically Designed Controls. The camera's controls have been well placed, designed for comfortable handling even when shooting long sessions. The plastic-tipped film-advance lever ensures slip-free manual winding, and the shaped memory lock lever is positioned in front for easy, coordinated actuation. Even the texture of the body covering has been carefully determined for positive, slip-free grip and rugged hard wear. The provision of safety locks on the shutter speed dial, the film back release catch, the ASA film speed selector and the shutter release button ensure that settings will not drift or controls function inadvertently during a shooting session.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Nikon Bayonet Lens Mount. The famed F-mount. It features a big, rugged bayonet mount which is safe and sure - yet permits twist-of-the-wrist changing. There are no threads to wear, no add-on adapters to go out of line or loosen when you most need precision and dependability. Mounting lugs are made of stainless steel and phosphor bronze - so your Nikkor lenses always fit like new, even after attaching and removing them thousands of times. You can shoot at maximum aperture, with depth-of-field virtually non-existent, knowing that you'll get all the available sharpness. Noted for its rapid lens change capability, the mount provides precise seating and positive alignment with virtually every Nikkor. Further, fitted with the Nikon-standard (44mm-diameter) bayonet-type lens mounting flange for attachment of any Nikkor interchangeable lens (Virtually all AF lenses as well). The flange is made of specially-treated, hard-wearing, steel that ensures precise seating and alignment for exact 46.5mm flange-to-film distance. The bayonet design of the mount enables a short 60° twist-to-lock action for quick and secure connection.

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with AI-spec manual focus Nikon EL2; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it is applicable.

Nikon EL-2 Body, chrome: 100-35-001; Nikon EL2 Body, black: 100-35-041; Auto Winder AW-1: 1 00-28-700; Hard Case CM-3: 100-28-800; Hard Case CM-9: 100-28-803; Pouch CS-11: 100-28-01

Basic Operation | Shutter Mechanism | Lens Mount | Exposure Control | Viewfinder info | Metering | Flash | Film Advance (Auto) / Transport

DOWNLOAD a copy of the PDF Manual for Nikkormat EL2 (External Link @

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About this photographic site.

History & Backgroundof Nikkormat Cameras
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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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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