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nikon 35Ti        titanium picture-taking swiss chronometer

Wolfgang Bleier
Austria, May 2010

This small, luxury item is a real Nikon. The 35Ti isn't just another compact film camera with titanium body extremely resistant to impact and corrosion. It is a compact Nikon with a high end 35mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens for superior optical performance, which at the time of its introduction in 1993 was packed with highly innovative advanced features. This and Nikon's six-segment 3D matrix metering system plus a unique, analog information display, something like a chronometer-type of display to control the camera, makes the 35Ti unique.

Haptic and perception
This camera is rare, I have never seen one in the hands of others. Its look and finish is exclusive, and specifications are impressive. The 35Ti is built with uncompromising performance and quality hardly found in other compact cameras. It is a "she" ..., an eye-catching prima donna. Put it on the table and you can be sure you will either be asked a question, or looks will be filled with envy. Nikon has designed a true Nikkor lens and a number of professional features for this compact camera. She's also got a brother, the Nikon 28Ti, which is more or less identical to the 35Ti, except that Nikon gave it a 28mm lens and a masculine black finish. The 35Ti as well as the 28Ti were made to deliver simple, automatic operation, but also to enable creative techniques. Almost everything is possible, from fully automated, programmed picture taking to slow and careful manual photography in aperture priority exposure mode. Its unique analog information display isn't only useful but has also a very aesthetic look and the body has a superb quality and finish. It is a camera you will always like to bring with you to events where larger photographic equipment would be out of place.

Features & Specifications
Besides of its rugged titanium body and the classy, easy-to-understand analog information display which provides relevant information at a glance, one of the highlights of the 35Ti is the lens. It is a real Nikkor-class optical system with six elements, with a centre-to-edge sharpness and contrast that competes with the finest lenses. Employing ED (Extra low Dispersion) glass and very sophisticated NIC coating technology on all lens elements results in crisp images with superior contrast and clarity, rendering finest details. A minimum aperture of f/22 and a maximum aperture of f/2.8 makes it very useful for creative depth of field control in landscape and close-up photography. Nikon 35Ti The autofocus works in 833 steps, which is practically stepless, but the lens can also be focused by manual preset, which is useful in situations when autofocus systems get to their limits. Off-center composition in autofocus mode is easy with AF-lock activated when the shutter release is pressed halfway down.
The exposure meter is a precise Nikon 6-segment 3D Matrix metering system, one of the first of its kind for dynamic exposure control and most advanced at the time when the 35Ti went on sale. This proven metering system can easily control nuances of brightness and strong contrasts, glare and shade or backlighting and other extreme light condtions. But should you prefer the classic way to meter the light, the 35Ti lets you opt also for creative techniques by switching to a classic center-weighted meter. Both metering systems are combined with exposure compensation for fine-tuning from -2 to +2EV in 1/3 increments in difficult light. Exposure control modes are either Program AE with flexible shift function, Aperture Priority AE with exposure compensation control for exposure fine-tuning, or manual long-time exposures (T). Switching the program selector to "T" sets the camera to long time exposure mode, which can last up to ten minutes. Pressing the shutter release button starts the exposure, pressing it a second time stops exposure. During this time the film counter counts the exposure time in seconds starting from 0 up to 50 seconds. After 50 seconds it remains in the "LT" position in order to preserve battery power. The shutter speeds are electronically quartz time controlled.

The camera has a built-in databack for imprinting date and time, which works in both standard and panorama film format, and it has a self-timer. For maximum versatility the 35Ti has also programmable custom functions, a feature normally found in expensive SLR models.
Most of the camera's functions are controlled via a multifunctional command dial, one of the first of its kind, ergonomically placed at the right corner of the body. It selects aperture in aperture priority mode (A), shifts the aperture and exposure time combination in program automation (P), sets the distance in the manual focus preset mode as well as exposure compensation values and some other settings. Nikon was able to combine functions for spontaneous, automatic operation, as well as for careful, creative photography in a single command dial.
When light conditions are low or with extreme contrast the 35Ti's built-in speedlight will flash automatically, if you want it to do so. Two (in fact too tiny) override buttons let you suppress or enforce flashlight, which is important for balanced fill flash during day light or to preserve the atmosphere of low ambient light. One is a flash anytime button, the other one a flash cancel button. Nikon 35Ti Unless these two tiny buttons of the 35Ti were made bigger, the flashlight override slide switch on the 28Ti is definitely the better solution. Both, the 35Ti and the 28 Ti incorporate red-eye reduction lamps which can be activated or deactivated by a slide switch. A flash symbol will go on in the viewfinder when ambient light is not sufficient for correct exposure or if the camera prepared for fill flash. If the flash is on in aperture priority AE, the shutter speed can be reduced by holding the flash anytime button pressed to as low as 1/4s, or to 1/30s in programmed AE mode, which is very useful for balanced fill flash or slow sync flash photography in order to get a good balance between the subject and the background.
The optical viewfinder indicates all relevant information. The illuminated information display enables eye-level operation without distraction, and the bright-line frames are always good to see since illuminated in low light. The clear and bright image in the viewfinder is the result of an aspheric lens. Inside the finder bright-lines indicate the viewing frame, so you will clearly see the entire picture area, including automatically appearing additional bright-lines that help to overcome parallax during composition of the photograph.
To switch on the self-timer press the self-timer button on the top cover and turn the command dial at the same time, and the film counter in the information display will turn to the self-timer position. Pressing the shutter release button will start the count down until release of the shutter. The self-timer mode can be cancelled before and after the countdown has started.
Custom camera settings can be programmed by two push buttons located at the rear of the body. Such custom settings include options for flash operation, selection of 6-segment 3D matrix metering or center weighted metering, display of exposure time or aperture information inside the viewfinder, and options for imprinting data on the film. Should one or more hands of the analog information display ever be in a muddle, this may have happened due to a hard shock of the camera body. With custom settings (02 . ..) you can bring back each of the hands into correct position. The 35Ti rewinds the exposed film automatically, but small cameras have also small secrets. A tiny push button at the bottom plate will initiate rewind of the film from any position when pushed with a sharp pin. A tribute to serious work.

Nikon 35Ti Quartz Date
Camera type
35mm rangefinder AF lens-shutter camera
with a 35mm f/2.8 built-in wide angle Nikkor lens.
Focus control
Autofocus with AF lock, and pre-set manual focus
AF area modes
Centered single area mode.
Illuminated, bright viewfinder with automatic parallax
compensation indicators, magnification 0,5x, frame coverage 85%
Exposure metering
6-segment 3D Matrix metering system,
Center weighted (custom setting).
Exposure modes
P (programmed auto with shift function),
A (aperture priority)
T (manual time exposure).
Exposure compensation ±2EV in 1/3 steps
Auto exposure memory lock
Between-the-lens 2 blade shutter, electronically controlled,
Shutter speeds
Automatic mode: 2s to 1/500s infinitely variable (A) and (P),
Manual mode: up to 10 min. long time exposure (T).
Film speed range
DX-coded films ISO 25 to ISO 5000, non DX-coded films
automatically set to ISO 100 regardless of actual ISO rating.
Film speed setting
DX coding
Film loading
Film advance modes
Film rewind
Motorized auto rewind after last frame (or mid-roll rewind).
Viewfinder display
Symbol for flash status
Exposure compensation warning
Shutter speed (or aperture according to custom setting)
Standard and panorama format indication
Autofocus frame mark
Bright-lines to indicate picture frames (standard and panorama)
Flash unit connection
No (built-in flash ISO 100).
Flash synchronization
Auto flash, with flash anytime and flash cancel function,
slow sync flash as low as 1/4s in aperture priority exposure (A),
or 1/30s in program auto exposure (P).
Flash exposure metering 6 segment 3D matrix metering (or center weighted).
Flash sync modes
Mirror lock-up
Depth of field preview
Multiple exposure
1 x 3V lithium battery (DL123A or CR123A type)
Other features
Optional panorama format, integrated data back.

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