5 Frames with a Nikkormat EL – By Stephen Curzon

A few yr in the past I used to be contacted, through my spouse, by a pal of hers whose pal (hope you’re maintaining right here!) had an previous digital camera she was trying to promote. In some way, I’ve the fame of somebody who will purchase such issues. It turned out to be a Nikkormat EL, in fairly good condition. It additionally got here with a Nikkor 50mm F1.4 lens, and a Sigma zoom. I supplied what I assumed was a good worth, and after a little bit haggling, a deal was executed. In fact, I in all probability paid a little bit greater than the package was value, nevertheless it’s a pleasant chunky SLR from the 70s, and I do prefer it. The zoom, not a lot, nevertheless it’s there if I would like it.

In fact, the battery had lengthy expired, so there was a certain quantity of belief that every thing labored because it ought to. Now, the place to place the battery? Finally after scouring the web, I discover that it’s tucked contained in the lens opening down beneath – very unusual! In went a brand new battery, and every thing labored completely. I loaded up some Kodak Ultramax 400 and away I went fortunately snapping. Or, a minimum of for round 15 frames. Then, I’m sorry to say the digital camera sat in a show cupboard for the subsequent 12 months.

The EL was one of many first from the Nikon secure to have aperture precedence, I consider. I didn’t use this to start with, trusting absolutely guide in desire. It truly is a beautiful digital camera to deal with. It’s fairly heavy, actually considerably put collectively, and it has a reassuring heft to it. One other barely idiosyncratic characteristic is the body advance lever additionally acts because the on/off swap. That’s, you pull the lever out a tad to change the digital camera on. I consider this precipitated some consternation to left-eyed photographers, in that after they raised the digital camera to their left eye, the lever stabbed them in the fitting eye! As fortunately I’m right-eyed, this didn’t have an effect on me.

A few weeks in the past the EL managed to catch my eye (not with the body advance lever!) while sitting forlornly within the show cupboard. I dusted it off, and resolved to complete and develop the movie, this time utilising the aperture precedence mode. So, I took some extra photographs round the home and backyard and ordered some Bellini C41 chemical substances. On final Thursday night I developed the movie.

I used to be very happy with the outcomes. First a phrase in regards to the Bellini chemistry. It’s a breeze, and as fast to make use of as a B&W developer. The temperature must be larger after all, and to keep up 38 levels C you want to have a system (I exploit the Cinestill TCS-1000 and a “sous vide” tank), however the outcomes are glorious. The Kodak Ultramax 400 movie was additionally a revelation. It had the marginally muted colors I so admire within the “basic chrome” movie sim on my Fuji digitals. The 50mm F1.4 Nikkor can also be an absolute delight. Sharp, however with pretty creamy bokeh when large open.

Sunlight through misty trees

A path through an autumnal scene

A gnarled tree with misty background

A ditch with two trees in the mist as background

As mentioned above, the digital camera is a pleasure to make use of. I wouldn’t be postpone by the burden – in actual fact I believe it helps to maintain the digital camera regular for slow-ish, say, 1/thirtieth photographs. It appeared to supply very nicely uncovered pictures with each the guide and the aperture precedence modes. I might totally suggest the EL should you get the prospect of selecting one up… Except you might be left-eyed after all!

Steve Curzon Photography
Steve Curzon – Flickr
Steve Curzon – Instagram

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