The (not a) Nikon FM10: Does it deserve more respect? Not for being a Nikon but for being part of one of one of the most enduring SLR cameras ever made. The last of many variations of the 1979 Cosina CT-1. Cosina made many versions of this camera all based on the CT-1 for many different companies including Ricoh, Vivitar, Exakta, Petri, Chinon, Miranda. Even Canon, Olympus, Voigtländer and of course Nikon. Often maligned by Nikon & other camera enthusiasts as a cheap or budget camera. While it may have been cheap and basic it certainly was not poor quality and it could use any Nikon F mount lens made since 1979. Cosina’s goal was to make affordable cameras but not crappy ones!

The FM10 hit the shelves in 1995, it was originally only offered in developing Asian markets as a low cost entry level Nikon but shortly after release Nikon made it available world wide. The no frills all mechanical camera soon took the place of the powerhouse camera in that category, the Pentax K1000. Though similar in specs the FM10 was lighter and more “modern” looking Pentax finally stopped production of the K1000 in 1997 after 21 years in production.

In 2006 Nikon announced that it was stopping production of all but 2 film cameras to concentrate on their digital cameras. Only the flagship F6 and the FM10 would remain in production. These two cameras would soldier on for over a decade into the digital age. Production of new FM10’s finally ceased sometime in 2017 though Nikon was still selling them on their website as late as November 2020! It’s not surprising that it took 3 years to sell off the remaining stock, in 2020 they listed it for $569.95! By that time there would have been no shortage of good condition used FM10 cameras on the second hand market for a fraction of that price as the majority of people had already switched to digital. From CT-1 to FM10 an amazing 41 year run for essentially the same camera, under many names, slightly modified in many different ways. That deserves some respect!