Nikomat/Nikkormat EL/ELW

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The Nikon Nikomat EL (in Japan) or Nikkormat EL (elsewhere) was introduced in 1972. It was one of Nikon's first attempts at producing a camera with electronic control. It features an electronically-timed shutter ranging from 4 seconds to 1/1000. Its center-weighted CdS meter enables aperture-priority automatic exposure, but it is a pre-AI body requiring the "twist-twist" used on early Nikons to index the maximum aperture of each mounted lens. Electronic flash sync is at speeds up to 1/125th second. Power is provided by a PX28 6.2 volt silver-oxide battery, inserted into a chamber at the bottom of the mirror box. The shutter and metering are disabled to conserve battery power until the film-advance lever is pulled outwards, uncovering a red dot.

The camera is decidedly weighty compared to its peers of the era, and is considered a tech's nightmare, due to the point-to-point wiring of the electronics.[1]

The Nikomat ELW (in Japan) or Nikkormat ELW (elsewhere) was introduced in 1975. This is a black version of the EL, adding connections for the AW-1 autowinder. "W" is not added to the "EL" pentaprism badge, it is only present as a prefix to the serial number. As the winder takes over from the manual film-advance lever, a collar around the shutter release offers a duplicate "on" switch for the electronics. The shutter release is only mechanically locked when both switches are off, i.e. neither red dot shows.


  1. "Dismantling the EL involves the tedious process of de-soldering no fewer than 19 wires." notes a Popular Photography teardown. (Later cameras would substitute "flat flex" multiconductor ribbon cables.) Norman Goldberg & Michele Frank, "Lab Report: Nikkormat EL," March 1974 Popular Photography (Vol. 74, No. 3), pg. 94.


Nikon 35mm SLR Cameras
Nikkorex F | Nikon EL2 | Nikon EM | Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikon F50 | Nikon F55 | Nikon F60 | Nikon F65 | Nikon F70 | Nikon F75 | Nikon F80 | Nikon F90 | Nikon F90X | Nikon F100 | Nikon F-301 | Nikon F-401 | Nikon F-401S | Nikon F-401X | Nikon F-501 | Nikon F-601 | Nikon F-601M | Nikon F-801 | Nikon F-801s | Nikon FA | Nikon FE | Nikon FE2 | Nikon FE10 | Nikon FG | Nikon FG-20 | Nikon FM | Nikon FM2 | Nikon FM2n | Nikon FM3A | Nikon FM10
Nikomat / Nikkormat
EL | EL2 | ELW | FS | FT | FT2 | FT3 | FTN