Nikon F3 w/zoom MD-4.jpg (18k)

Modern Classic SLRs Series :

Nikon F3 - widely regarded as one of the most reliable electronic camera of all time and it was also the longest serving Nikon F-Series SLR camera. This evergreen model remains a hot favorite among many working pro and serious amateurs As every individual photographer has his own personal style to express himself and that includes how one handles his own photographic tools, this section allows you to share your knowledge & mutual experience using the camera. Some of the opinion presented within the site was specifically my personal experience and I do not wish to influence any decision prior to any potential purchases or disposal. You may make use of this convenience here to present your own views. Enjoy.

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1. From : Zen (
Url : http://
Date : 03:21 AM Thursday 20 December, 2001

As to the F3 problems below, I think Nikon must do something to at least salvage the trust and loyalty Nikon users everywhere have given to uplift the prestige of the Nikon system all these years.
We buy Nikon because its a Nikon, but going by the service this part of the world receives, a serious look at the competitor is truly warranted. Many have, and most have switched already.

(An F3 user since 1982)

2. From : kerry Macdermoth (
Url : http://nil
Date : 04:40 PM Wednesday 19 December, 2001

I have been using a Nikon F3 for years. Eventually, I found some excuses for myself to buy an N6006 and a N90, replacing many older optic to the newer series of AF Nikkor lenses, after soul searching for two AF years, I have finally disposed both AF cameras and come back to my old faithful Nikon F3. That sounds strange - isn't it ? The simple camera lets me feel more like a photographer rather than letting technologies dictates. I don't shoot sports often and that is why there is NO absolute AF advantage for me and thus, I would rather enjoy more with photography in a slow manual focus way with just a simple auto exposure mode. Lastly, I am fed up with remembering to bring spare bateries and re-charging the ever hungry AF bodies on each oversea trips. This kind of experience may not appeal to all, it is just a personal preference but I had my soul back in place...

3. From : Carrigan (
Url : http://not yet
Date : 10:47 PM Tuesday 18 December, 2001

dt: I would advise you to write in to the newly formed Nikon Singapore and ask for a fair explanation and perhaps even c.c. a copy to Nikon Japan. There are two things which involves quality issues here - where one is focusing on product and another is the service quality that you are expecting Nikon "should" deliver to you as a consumer. However, I think partly you are at fault because you take things for granted as in the first place, you have already paying a extraordinary premium on your purchases backed in 1997 (is that true that the Nikon F3 can sell for USD1,250-00 in 1997 ?). Second mistake you made is never tested the camera at all after the servicing. I don't quite believe the Nikon F3 is not that unreliable as I have 4 in total and they never gave me any form of physical problems over the last 15 years. So, I think you have a good case to let them find out WHY your particular unit is so much "under-powered" and giving you so much problems since your purchase. Unlike the current AF bodies where the camera shutter can be "counted" electronically number of exposure cycles it had performed, so your F3 may never be able to retrieve such data for comparison. Anyway, I would not like to speculate what causes such mishap to your camera, I think Nikon Singapore should be the better party to evaluate - provide they care about their brand name and service quality. Well, c.c. a copy of your complaint to the Managing Director where sometimes, things "may work faster and more attentive" to your complaint that way. After all, those Japanese executives like to stay longer in Singapore to play golf, right ?

4. From : Hermann Graf (
Url : http://
Date : 07:14 PM Tuesday 18 December, 2001

To Marc Forrest: With mirror lock-up (MLU), you can use the F3/F3HP only in manual mode, i.e., you have to switch to manual mode, select aperture and exposure time, and then activate the MLU and press the shutter release. With the mirror in up position, no light reaches the metering cell, and thus, in automatic mode, the shutter never closes.
There is only a small footnote in the instructions of the F3 with this warning.

5. From : Marc Forrest (
Url :
Date : 12:49 PM Tuesday 18 December, 2001

perplexing problem... using my nikon F3hp with 55mm micro nikkor mounted i have sucessfully taken time exposure shots - on Auto - at f32 ... in fact i've just finished two shots of my christmas tree top (indoors) up close and the shutter triped with a cable (camera on tripod) released after approx 30 seconds.... HOWEVER, if i take the same shot with the mirror lockup on... the camera shutter never releases... or at least if it does it is after at least 15 minutes? the longest i've ever waited... tried similar shot at night outside a couple of months ago and the shutter never released... i had to manually turn the camera on and off to get the shutter to trip and be able to advance the film...

any ideas? am i doing something wrong? should i have the camera set to B or T? hope it isn't broken... thanks for any enlightenment... marc forrest

6. From : dt (
Url : http://
Date : 11:55 AM Tuesday 18 December, 2001

F3 Horror Story: I just posted this in I may have post about this here before too. Here's the latest...

Hi all, Any advice for me? I am stuck with a faulty Nikon F3. Will I ever be able to sell it for a decent amount? Or get it repaired without being ripped off too badly? I bought the F3 new around 1997, in Singapore. (from C?t??y Photo, I believe I was swindled, I paid S$2000 (about US$1250), non-HP, body only, I still have the receipt.. pissed off...)

Anyway, it worked normally mostly, a bulge mysteriously appeared on the inside wall, and this was repaired under warranty. After 1 year, the warranty expired. After some more time, the self-timer LED just stopped working. self-timer still works normally, just that there was no light to see... I put fresh batts, no change. Ok, I did not bother with this since warranty had expired anyway. This camera was never ever abused. It saw very light usage, and was always kept in a drying camera cabinet. After some more time, a new problem was noticed. this was in April 2001. This was intermittent and unpredictable but it sometimes just refused to fire the shutter properly.. (it opens and closes too fast, even when it was set to open for say 1/4 sec or a few seconds, so I can hear it when the glitch happens, and a frame is wasted) This happened about once every 3-10 frames. And seemed to happen more frequently in cold temperatures, say 10C to 20C. I changed fresh batts, no use. When I came back from the Australia trip, I tested it again, by cooling the camera in the fridge and testing the shutter, and I could reproduce the glitch. (yes I was care full to put it in a sealed baggie with silica dryer.)

I brought it to the newly formed Nikon Singapore. I appealed to them to try to repair it under at their own costs as much as possible, since it was clearly a case of manufacturer's defect. This camera was never been dropped, wetted etc, and was very very lightly used! They refused to subsidize in any way. They advised me to leave the LED unrepaired as it would be costly to replace the circuit.. according to them. I was charged about S$200-300, can't remember.. just to have them clean/tune-up/relube.. they said something about replacing the electromagnets.. This was then warranted against faults for 3 months.. Within which I never fully tested the camera. (MY MISTAKE) Some time after the 3 months, in Sep 2001, I was using the F3, and the SAME GLITCH was happening again. Nikon Singapore absolutely did not help solve the problem at all.

Very pissed. Very ripped off. I feel it is unfair because, I paid so much for an F3 because it is supposed to be the reliability king, and OK, I get a lemon. But I was expecting Nikon to be able to help me out as a show of goodwill, and to stand behind its products, esp. such a "pro-level" one.

This is not a troll. I swear this is 100% true. I think we can expect some flames about me whining... But, I'll whine as I like when it involves so much money! Any advice? Thanks for reading. I have posted about this many months ago, some might remember, that was before the repair. dt

7. From : Janet (
Url : http://
Date : 04:56 AM Tuesday 18 December, 2001

I just spoke with Nikon and they have discontinued the manual for the F3HP.
They referred me to and he wants $18 to $25 not including shipping.
Can anyone forward me a pdf version??

Thank you in advance.


8. From : Gen Holst (
Url : http://not yet
Date : 03:03 PM Friday 14 December, 2001

Don Asa Allen: The BEST price versus performance dedicated flash for Nikon F3 is the SB-17. TTL, three Auto settings, Bounce, tilt, manual mode, Motor drive mode and a very useful TTL extension connection for off camera/macro flash photography. The SB-12 is a very basic TTL flash for F3, it is flat and simple in its feature while the SB-16 is powerful but just too bulky and pricey. Herman: I have always been using a circular polaizer for years with no problems and I am not sure what the linear one would do.

9. From : Hermann Graf (
Url : http://
Date : 12:35 AM Friday 14 December, 2001

I would like to know whether it is necessary to use a circular polarizer filter instead of a linear one with the Nikon F3HP. Some filter manufacturers claim this. On the one hand, the F3 is not an AF camera, on the other hand, it has a semi-transparent mirror which is incorporated in the metering system. Is there somebody who has experience in this field?

10. From : Paul M (
Url : http://
Date : 04:42 PM Wednesday 12 December, 2001

Dear All,

I have just bought my first Nikon F4 and I'm trying to get hold of the full instruction guide that was available on this web site (the html version preferably, though the pdf would be good as well). Since this is no longer available, not even by email request, could someone with a copy forward this on to me?

thanks in advance.

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