James's Camera Collection: Canon T60

Canon T60 Japan Other Canon Cameras 35mm cameras
Canon T60
Camera type: Single Lens Reflex (SLR)
Lens Mount: FD bayonet/breech
Film type: 35mm
Approx. date of manufacture: 1990
Battery: two LR44
Approx. original price: not for sale in the USA
Approx. street value: very low

If you don't remember the T60, you're not expected to. The following is from a short piece by the late, great Herb Keppler:

Mysterious SLRs that you can't buy

Let's say you're a Chinese or Brazilian photographer or one from some third-world country where even a simple SLR costs a zillion dollars or the equivalent. But you want a Nikon camera and Nikon-mount lenses. What do you do?

Answer: buy a Nikon FM10. A what?? Yes, yes, dear reader there are camera models from many manufacturers specifically made for economically distressed countries—SLR models you've never heard of and can't buy here. These SLRs are almost always simple non-autofocus, manual-exposure cameras, but with all the basics that a snapshooter or even a more advanced photographer needs—and a lensmount wedding the ower to that brand of camera.

The Nikon FM10 is a cosmetically handsome F-mount Nikon camera with TTL center-weighted metering, shutter speeds from 1 to 1/2000 sec, split-image rangefinder, and three LEDs in the finder indicating under-, over-, and correct exposure. There's no auto DX film coding, autowind or rewind, Matrix metering, or the like. But surprise, the camera does offer depth-of-field preview and provision for multiple exposures. In other words, it's sort of a poor man's Nikon FM2.

If the specs sound familiar, don't be shocked. At one time or another the same model has been manufactured by Cosina as the Ricoh KR-5 II, Canon T60, and Vivitar V2000. Examining a sample of the camera many a year ago, I was not impressed by the quality. But Nikon assures me the FM10 in production is up to its standards, if not equal in its ability and specs to the Nikon SLRs available in the US—all of which are made in Nikon factories.

As we find other major-branded SLR models we've never seen in the US, we'll be showing them to you. But be happy that the camera makers are trying to get all those new photographers interested in affordable SLRs and be grateful that here in the US you're getting the cream of the crop.

Still, if someone should offer me a Nikon FM10 to use as a second body, I wouldn't kick it out the door.

—from Popular Photography, March 1996, p. 18

According to Wikipedia and other sources, it's based on Cosina's CT-1 chassis. I don't have a CT-1 so I can't make a direct comparison.

For more information: Photography in Malaysia

Camera manual: Orphan Cameras.com

©opyright by James Ollinger. All Rights Reserved.