The season of love is afoot, so our latest vintage camera ad find, featuring the Nikkormat FTN from the late 1960s, is fitting of the occasion — well, not quite. It may have been made with either good intentions or a bright idea back then, but we can’t help but feel a little cringy about it. We’ll let you check it out and decide for yourself!
“The camera for great lovers. We didn’t plan it that way,” says this Nikon ad we spotted from r/vintage on Reddit, which seems innocent enough. Until we get to the point that talks about the Nikkormat FTN being used as a “ploy” and “bait.”
“Urbane young gentlemen, aware that etchings are passé, are inviting innocent young ladies up to see their photographs,” goes the innuendo, followed by their objection to this purported practice. “We didn’t design the Nikkormat for such nefarious purposes. We intended it as a fine 35mm single-lens reflex for dedicated photographers.”
However, they also acknowledged that it’s this quality of the camera itself that gives these “urbane young gentlemen” the nerve to use the Nikkormat FTN to get the girls. “But these fellows, as long on savvy as they are short on conscience, are well aware of the air of savoire faire a fine camera confers upon them (especially one made by the people who make the famous Nikon).”
Kind of a backhanded comment, so we don’t know which is more cringe-worthy here!
As for the Nikkormat FTN, we learn from Wikipedia that it was manufactured from 1967 to 1975. The Nikkormat brand was intended as a consumer version of the professional Nikon brand, and therefore were simpler and more affordable cameras that were compatible with the Nikon F mount lenses and accessories, including many of the AI and AIS lenses. Mir.com.my described the Nikkormat FTN as a “sister” of the Nikon F and F2 cameras and as such was often widely used both by professional and amateur photographers as a backup body for the professional Nikon F body. Some also used the FTN as an entry model to the Nikon SLR system. The only difference is that it’s not compatible with the motor drive backs, and it comes with a non-removable pentaprism viewfinder and a non-interchangeable focusing screen.
Cover image from the eBay listing by hseeker64