The Nikkormat EL-W SLR Camera
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Nikkormat ELW

The Nikkormat EL series, first introduced in I972 with the model EL, a 1976's ELW and eventually the last model of the series, a AI (Automatic Maxiumum Aperture Indexing) *Nikon EL2 in 1977 - All these three models are fully automatic exposure reflex cameras with a sole machanical backup speed of 1/90 sec in casse of battery failure.

ELW.jpg (13k)
The shutter used is an electronically timed, six-blade, all-metal Copal Square ES electronic focal plane with speeds from 4 to 1/1000 sec. It may be set automatically by the built-in, through-the-lens exposure meter, or set manually (plus B). The Nikon EL2 has an improved metering system and several additional features but is basically the same camera.A built-in self-timer lever operates at 10 sec which also acts as a AE (Automatic Exposure) Lock when you are in AUTO mode. There is a single 3 mm (PC) socket, threaded for a Nikon synchronizing cord and a hot accessory shoe contact with built-in safety switch. FP and X synchronization are available; M and MF class bulbs can also be used. But when you are using electronic flash, it has a moderately fast sync speed of 1/125 sec.

The EL2 is the only camera among all Nikkormat models
that uses "Nikon" instead of Nikkormat (Or "Nikomat" in Japan).

All Nikkormats are extremely well made camera. Robust in construction and reliable in performance, the ELW, just like any other Nikon oldies is made of a die-cast aluminium alloy and only available in black finished. The non-interchangeable eye-level prism finder showing 92% of the picture field. A standadrd Nikon K screen with matte-fresnel field and central split-image rangefinder surrounded by a microprism grid. The shutter speed set is visible in the viewfinder as is a green follow pointer for match needle metering. IF you have operated a Nikon FE, There is a great deal of similarities in controls, layout and viewfinder information between the two. You can say the FE is a compact, imptoved version of the bulkier ELW. Both series depth-of-field preview button and other than the professional level F series cameras, the Nikkormat EL/FT series remain as the only Nikon bodies that still provide a mirror lock-up control.

The meter provides centre-weighted through-the-lens exposure measurement with automatic or manual shutter speed control at full aperture or at shooting aperture. The circuit is powered by a 6V silver-oxide or manganese battery located in a compartment within the mirror chamber, below the main reflex mirror. The meter has a greater sensitivity range than the mechanical counterpart, the
Nikkormat FT-2 which ranges from EV1 to EV18 with a film having an ASA of 100 equivalent to f1.4 at 1 sec. to f16 at 1/1000 sec. However, the electronic body of the ELW has a slightly film speed range of 25 to 1600 than the FT-2's ASA 16-1600.

If you are wondering why am I always using the mechanical FT-2 to compare, because these two ameras are the pre-AI Nikon era bodies. A year later in 1977 after the debut of the power winder capable ELW, Nikon has made a significant change/upgrade to their F-mount with the commonly known
Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing (AI) metering method. It is just like the FT-3/EL2, FM/FE, FM2n/FE2 partnership, where a mechanical model is always supplemented by an electronic counterpart. Comparison is inevitable, even with earlier, later models or even the competitions.

Anyway, not to confuse you. You can refer the ELW as the original Nikkormat EL that can accept a dedicated Power Winder AW-1 for automatic film advance of which a year earlier in 1975, the highly successful automatic Canon AE-1 has, for the first time offered a economical and compact dedicated winder and ELW was obviously a Nikon's answer.

Instruction Manual* for Nikkormat EL-W

Basic Camera Operations and other related info - (8 Parts)
* Applicable to Nikkormat EL except the Motor drive/Power Winder section

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

History & Background of Nikkormat Cameras
Nikomat" Picture Library of Japanese local version
Outline the major key features and differences of various models

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

| Main Reference Map |
HTML Format: FT | FS | FTn | EL | FT2 | ELW | FT3 | EL2 | AW-1 Motor Winder
PDF Format:
FT | FS | FTn | EL | FT2 | ELW | FT3 | EL2 | AW-1 Motor Winder
| Specifications |
FT | FS | FTn | EL | FT2 | ELW | FT3 | EL2

| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon SLR / rangefinders / Nikonos / digital 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

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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