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 : Barry (
Url :
Date : 12:36 AM Sunday 19 August, 2001

Wonderful site and message board. Glad I found it. Question for anyone who might help: Is there a guide available that outlines how to modify older Non-AI lenses for use on AI bodies? I have lenses I got for my Nikkormat and now want to use them on my F3. My finger is getting sore holding the stop-down button in. I know you can notch them to work but can't find any shop that will do it so...can I do it myself?

2. From : J Lindsay (
Url : http://
Date : 12:32 PM Thursday 16 August, 2001

Robert: The "T" (Time exposure) setting is mechanically controlled and it does not drain power from the camera. The only thing that you may have to take note is, when closing the shutter (by means of shifting the shutter speed dial to "X" or "B", please ensure there is no sudden incoming bright light project onto your subject as the movement caused by carelessly shifting the shutter speed dial may blur your image. But if you are combining a small aperture with slow speed film, chances are less to create that undesirable effect.

3. From : Pam (
Url : http://
Date : 10:55 AM Thursday 16 August, 2001

I would like ot find a manual for my F3. Does any one know where I might find one?

4. From : Robert Lai (
Url : http://
Date : 02:37 PM Wednesday 15 August, 2001

Regarding Low light photography and the F3, the Nikon manual, and even this highly informative series of articles have not really touched on the amazing capabilities of this camera. Yes, you can use the T setting. How are you going to know what the exposure is? You can use a meter such as the Gossen Luna Pro, which can meter into the hours. The alternative is - LET THE CAMERA DO IT!

When set to AUTO, the F3 has incredible low light capability. Back when I was a Kodachrome 25 fanatic, I used to go around with a tripod in the middle of the night and take streetlamp / moonlit photographs around town. Just ignore the underexposure reading in the LCD panel (which you can't see because you can't find the little red button in the dark anyway), place it on a sturdy tripod, and let the camera set the exposure time on AUTO. Although the manual claims only 8 seconds as the maximum exposure, the true maximum is in the order of HOURS! My typical exposure was in the order or 1-2 minutes on Auto. With one particular moonlit scene with the lens set to f/22 for maximum depth of field (using K-25), and with the camera looking out of a window in my apartment, I fell asleep. 3 hours later when I woke up and checked, the mirror was still up, so the camera was still exposing. When I woke up in the morning, the camera shutter had finally closed sometime in the night. My slides came out great! Of course, forcing the camera to do the timing really drains the little silver oxide batteries, but if you have an MD4, this shouldn't be a problem. My point is, there is tremendous capability in this camera which is yours to use if you just try it!

5. From : sean (
Url : http://
Date : 12:38 AM Wednesday 15 August, 2001

p.s. Other lenses that I tried out and were fine were in combination of 50mm f/1.4, 105mm f2.5, AF Nikkor 16mm fisheyes, AF-D 200mm micro-Nikkor, 300mm f4 AIS-EDIF and a short 20mm f/2.8 AI-s and two problematic lenses are only confined to the AI-S 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor ! So, although I do not complaint their optical quality, but seems like some really strange things happened to this particular 50mm lens, huh ?

6. From : sean (
Url : http://not yet
Date : 12:31 AM Wednesday 15 August, 2001

I know it sounds a little crazy but it might save you some hard earned dollars. My F3 does not release the shutter with my 50mm AIS Nikkor, the lens sometimes just jammed halfway and I have to double-use the mechanical lever plus pressing the DOF button to release the shutter if it occurs. I thought that was something wrong with the F3, I sent it to Nikon and they returned the camera, saying it has been fixed. It happened again and I returned the second time, Nikon claimed it was okay now but the problems still persisted - UNTIL one day, I finally get hold of my other lenses back from my friends - NOTHING IS WRONG except when it uses with the 50mm f/1.8 AIS Nikkor (The pancake-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 which resembles the Series-E standard lens). I borrowed from a friend's similar 50mm f/1.8 AIS and it happened once a while again but it has no problems wit other AI-S or AI lenses of 50mm focal length. So, my question is - does anyone of you faced similar problems like mine ? Or is it just happened with the late 50mm f/1.8 AIS ? Or can anyone of you try it out and post your findings >???

7. From : Walt (
Url : http://
Date : 04:23 AM Sunday 12 August, 2001


I got interrupted during my previous post and forgot something.
KEH Camera Brokers has several "K" screens for the F3 available on their website ( Just go to "Shop Used Equipment", then "Nikon Manual Focus", then "screens". Down toward the bottom of the list are two listings for the "K" screen for the F3.
They are also widely available new from places like B&H Photo.
I hope you enjoy your F3. I certainly have mine.


8. From : Walt (
Url : http://
Date : 04:16 AM Sunday 12 August, 2001


Just inside the end of the battery holder for the MD-4 is a small slot designed to hold the drive coupling cover from the F3.
You might check there to see if the person who attached the MD-4 to the F3 might have put the cover there and perhaps forgotten about it.


9. From : Jimmy (
Url : http://
Date : 12:28 AM Sunday 12 August, 2001

Does anyone know whether the name plates (the one with Nikon logo in front of the prism) of any champagne F3/Ts are made of plastic or metal? It's because I found that the name plate on a noraml F3 feels like metal but the one on a F3/T feels like plastic. Very strange. Many thanks.

10. From : Marc (
Url : http://
Date : 07:30 AM Saturday 11 August, 2001

first i want to thank Roz for the Nikon AI mount information... i think i found the proper bridge for my vivitar 24mm lens to the Nikon F3hp i just got... which brings me to my questions... The F3hp came mounted to an MD-4 motordrive... a couple of things are missing... 1.) The Motordrive Coupling Cover is missing...
(bottom of the f3 body) 2.) The Remote Terminal Screw Cover... (On the MD4 - larger receptacle lower right hand corner as you face the camera/md4drive front)

if you know where i can get these items i would be very grateful... also the focus screen is an E type... would like to get a K screen... THANKS! for any help, Marc Forrest

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