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 : Martijn (
Url : http://
Date : 06:57 PM Friday 22 August, 2003

I Use a F3 frequently, and most of the time whitout the MD4 motordrive. I frequently travel throug warm country's, and after each travel the rubber on the handgrip is a bit loose in the middel. So I send it to the Nikon Servicecenter, but next warm country the rubber is loose again. (3th time now). Is it a "normal" problem whit the F3? Can I do anything against it (besites calling the servicecenter again....:-( )? Thanks a lot for your time! Whit friendly regards, Martijn Hessels

2. From : wayne Deaton (
Url : http://
Date : 12:28 PM Wednesday 20 August, 2003

JUst started with my first F3 non hp need to more equipment reasonable !!! just lookink to get started like i did with my AE1 Program -- suggestions where to get good quality lens / drives pretty does not neeed to alwasys be there just realy good working order

3. From : k (
Url : http://
Date : 08:27 AM Monday 18 August, 2003

I have been given a used Nikon AF N2020, and after a few years of using it I realize I am not using it up to it's potential, is there a manual out there some where I could down load? Can not seem to find this paticular model on the web site. Any help anyone can give me would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,not even sure this is a f3 Series?

4. From : Michael (
Url : http://
Date : 01:35 AM Monday 18 August, 2003

Ref: Nikon F3 AF Hello, I have 2 questions. I would like to use a flash for my AF camera. I heard that the AS-7 is a good choice to attach to the camera so I can use a flash. Do I need something else other than the AS-7? An adapter? Where can I purchase this? Also when using the AF I get the arrows and the x for focusing but do not get any other info is this normal? Thanks for your help. Mike

5. From : Mick Hall (
Url : http://
Date : 12:29 AM Saturday 16 August, 2003

I would like to purchase an Nikon MD-4 motor drive to suit a Nikon F3HP. If you have one for sale and it is in very good order please let me know. I am an Australian photographic student, Thanks MH

Url : http://
Date : 02:46 PM Wednesday 13 August, 2003

Thank you for the information, J. Woods. I am a proffessional photographer and have been using Pentax equipment, including the LX for the past few decades. I do a lot of extremely low-light or night photography and this is most often done with the LX on auto, or sometimes on 'B' setting. I find that the LX meters accurately for exposures of several minutes, although the ISO compensation dial sometimes needs to be set to give slightly more exposure time, depending on conditions. I have no problems with RF, especially when using Fuji Velvia, because I often prefer the colour cast produced by films during extremely long exposures. The main reason I've posted on this Nikon forum, is because I have a Nikon F5, and although it is able to open the shutters for extremely long periods, the metering only goes down to 30-seconds, beyond which you have no meter reading, so I was looking for another Nikon body that may be able to provide auto-exposures for dusk/dawn and night photography. Ken Rockwell on his website, see here:

- described night photography with the Nikon FE, and EM "... Both these Nikons feature analog circuitry, and although they lack the superior AMP Matrix meter of the FA, still automatically measure and time long night exposures out to at least several minutes...." The reason that I was asking for advice, was not on 'how' to make long-time exposure, but if any Nikon owners had experience using any of the Nikon cameras mentioned, for night photography in auto-exposure mode.

7. From : JWoods (
Url : http://
Date : 12:40 PM Wednesday 13 August, 2003

TWO MINUTES ? I doubt so, if you are referring t the camera's shutter will eventually close - that I might agree with such kind of positive remarks (anyway, other than the OM2/4/SP and the LX which have such superior metering capability OTF - virtually all SLRs will perform the same as any Nikon). In any case, exposure up to that sort of timing may require exposure compensation (in AUTO) use the exposure compensation dial( in manual, you are my hero if you can figure out the exposure combination without prior test expsoure with a Polaroid ...). The issue here is not just comfined to whether the shutter can eventually close based on the metering circuit - the main problem is the limitation of the film. We called that" Reciprocity Failure". Here at the great PIM's Glossary section (> stated: " ... Most films are designed to be exposed within a certain range of exposure times-usually between 1/15 second to 1/1000 second. When exposure times fall outside of this range-becoming either significantly longer or shorter-a film's characteristics may change. Loss of effective film speed, contrast changes, and (with color films) color shifts are the three common results. These changes are called reciprocity effect. Generally, as a quick reference, exposure beyond one second needs to compensate for this characteristic of film....". Hope this helps

Url : http://
Date : 10:41 PM Tuesday 12 August, 2003

The following I have posted on the Pentax LX Forum of this website, but I thought that maybe some long-time Nikon owners could help me if they have had experience in using these cameras for exposures up to and beyond two minutes in auto-exposure modes.

On the website, he mentions that the Nikon FE holds its shutters open AND meters accurately for exposures of two minutes – although I have my doubts, as the Nikon does not have such a sensitive meter as in the Pentax LX or Olympus OM4t. He also mentions that both the Nikon FA and FM3a are able to work on long-time exposures way beyond the stated 8-seconds on A or P modes. The FA also has the added advantage of Matrix metering with all Nikon lenses (except the horrible plastic ‘G’ consumer lenses!). I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has experience with using any of the Nikon bodies for long-time exposures on automatic settings.

I’m not so interested in the flash capabilities for my low-light landscape work, (For most flash work I will be using the F5). When I do need flash for landscape night photography using the Pentax LX, then I simply walk around firing off short flash bursts with a handheld flash by pressing the ‘Test-flash’ button; or I more often use a small penlight torch or LED torch to ‘paint’ the scene. The LX will automatically close the shutter when enough light has hit the film (I often also set the compensation dial to +1 or +2 to obtain slightly longer exposure so as to cope with RF colour changes during long exposures). Would any of the Nikon cameras be able to do the same thing? I somehow doubt it.

I've just been looking closely at the Nikon FA again for long-time exposures. It seems that it will open the shutter AND read the metering for the scene in light that needs 1-2 minute exposures (it does NOT state this in the brochure!).....but, there will be a problem in situations where the light changes DURING the exposure, because the Nikon FA reads the exposure just prior to tripping the shutter, and does not change, as the Pentax LX can, DURING the long exposure. It looks like the LX is my ONLY viable option at the moment....... The only problem is having to own two sets of different lenses with the same wide-angle focal lengths......!

9. From : Walt McKinney (
Url : http://
Date : 10:53 PM Sunday 10 August, 2003

I would like to agree with Gordon. The F3 in like-new condition would sell for about $550 US ( about 490 euros). With the lens, it might bring $600 US (about 540 euros). The HP model might bring another $50 US (about 45 euros) Walt

10. From : Gordon (
Url : http://
Date : 02:59 PM Tuesday 05 August, 2003

It is on the high side. I would think half the price is more appropriate figure to pay for a 7 years old F3 (if it is a normal DE-2 finder probably it is even lesser. Is it a HP model?). I know this may invite some protest over my remarks but I will stick to what I said. Sorry.

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