Nikon EL2

A brief outline of the Nikon EL2 manual focus SLR film camera

This page is dedicated to the Nikon EL2 camera produced by Nikon in 1977 and 1988 as a replacement for the  Nikkormat ELW, all the features  of it's predecessor but had three significant changes. The change first was renaming the camera from Nikkormat to Nikon. The second was the adoption of Nikon's new AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing) system which replaced the ELW's prong (bunny ears) coupling system and also reduced the cameras weight by 10g. The third significant change was the replacement of the Nikkormat ELW's CdS photo sensor with a more responsive SPD (Silicon Photo diode) sensor, this allowed the minimum film speed to be reduced from ISO 25 to ISO 12.

The Nikon EL2 was only intended to be a stop gap camera until the Nikon FE was released, as the Nikon EL2 was just a design update it was in production a year before the Nikon FE, in order to allow the EL2 to go into production rapidly the SPD sensor and control IC already developed for the FE was used in the camera, it only required the 6 volts used in the Nikon EL2 to be reduced to the FE's 3 volts.


It would have been nice if Nikon had replaced the awkwardly positioned 6 volt mirror housing battery with two 3 volt batteries in the base of the camera, unfortunately the EL camera series electronically controlled shutter had been designed for six volts to match it's CdS metering system, the time required for a shutter redesign would have meant the Nikon FE would have been in production before the Nikon EL2 produced making it a waste of time, the six volt shutter had to stay if the Nikon EL2 was to go into production within the time frame required.

Nikon EL2 with AW-1 motor drive

Basic specifications of the Nikon EL2 MF SLR Camera

Production period (later availability via stock)

1977 to 1978
Lens meter coupling type AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing)
Maximum aperture coupling range N/A
ASA film speed range ISO 12 to 3200
EV range at ASA 100 EV 1 to 18
Meter sensor type if applicable TTL centre weighed SPD (Silicon Photo diode)
Shutter type and curtain material Vertical metal focal-plane electronic
Shutter speed range 8 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 Manual folding crank
Motor drive or Auto winder availability AW-1 auto-winder
Film rewind method Single stroke lever
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

VFM Flash Memory Cards


Nikon EL2 back view

Nikon EL2 top view



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June 2014 Siteseen Ltd.

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