Nikkormat EL

A brief outline of the Nikkormat EL manual focus SLR film camera

This page is dedicated to Nikon's 1972 groundbreaking Nikkormat EL camera. although still bearing the Nikkormat name and firmly aimed at the semi-professional market the camera's layout was in line with Nikon's professional 35mm SLR cameras dropping the earlier Nikkormats coaxial controls which had been located relatively awkwardly around the lens mount.

The Nikkormat EL camera introduced an electronically timed shutter  as well as having a conventional hot shoe for the flash. The flash sync speed was a relatively high 1/125 second, this was a result of Nikon introducing vertical moving shutter curtains. The use of an electronic shutter allowed the Nikkormat EL to have aperture priority auto-exposure, another first for Nikon.

The Nikkormat EL was only available for four years as the original design evolved into the Nikkormat ELW and the Nikon EL2 at which point the Nikkormat brand name was dropped in favour of Nikon in line with Nikon's professional cameras.

VFM Flash Memory Cards

The Nikkormat EL was quite a landmark in Nikon camera design and although it lacked the commercial success of later similar specified cameras like the Nikon FE and Nikon F3 it helped alter their acceptance levels, the general opinion was initially firmly set against battery dependency even though it allowed auto exposure to be incorporated in to the cameras body. It could be said that the EL empowered the later FE's success which in turn caused the F3 to be tried and eventually overcome the initial mistrust of most professional photographers.


Nikkormat EL shutter dial

Basic specifications of the Nikkormat EL MF SLR Camera

Production period (later availability via stock)

1972 to 1976
Lens meter coupling type Nikon prong ("bunny ears")
Aperture coupling range f/1.2 to f/5.6
ASA film speed range ISO 25 to 1600
EV range at ASA 100 EV 1 to 18
Meter sensor type if applicable TTL centre weighed CdS photo sensor
Shutter type and curtain material Vertical metal foil focal-plane electronic
Shutter speed range 4 to 1/1000 second + Bulb
Exposure modes available Aperture priority + manual
Flash exposure type and maximum sync speed Electronic flash hot-shoe 1/125 sec
Interchangeable focusing screens Fixed K2 type split-image microprism
Interchangeable viewfinder heads No
Interchangeable backs No
Film advance method Single stroke lever
Motor drive or Auto winder availability None
Film rewind method Manual folding crank
Self Timer Yes - 10 seconds
Battery type and number required One PX-28 or 4SR44 6v silver oxide battery
Body weight without lens attached 780g

Nikomat name used in Germany as a result of trademark issues


Nikon EL top view

Nikkormat EL Camera


Nikkormat EL back view




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