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 : Roz (rozkl@hotmail.com)
Url : http://
Date : 04:52 PM Monday 07 July, 2003

For difficult focussing conditions, I'd prefer the DE-2 as it makes the image slightly larger. Such situations include telephoto lens plus teleconverter or using lenses in reverse order with the BR-2a reversing ring. The DE-2 takes less space in a case such as LowePro's Top Load Zoom 1. Cosmetics-wise, I think both the DE-2 and DE-3 (HP) finders are elegant in their own right on the F3 body.


2. From : victor (victors1@netvigator.com)
Url : http://
Date : 10:34 AM Monday 07 July, 2003

A while ago, I bought a F3hp. Just out of curiousity, I recently purchased the older DE-2 prism since these days they're quite inexpensive. Well, I must say that while HP prism looks much better on the camera, I greatly preferred the larger image offered by the DE-2 (I don't wear glasses). Are there other people out there who also prefer the DE-2 over the DE-3? This is likely an old debate; but I am curious since from what I've read here the HP seems to be the prism of choice.


3. From : Johnny (johnny318is@aol.com)
Url : http://
Date : 05:04 PM Saturday 05 July, 2003

Marc, When you open the back on your F3 the first shots you fire off are set at 1/80 second. This continues until your frame counter hits 0. Then you can alter the shutter speed. Forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know but it caught me out when I bought my F3.


4. From : Marc (mtnik@hotmail)
Url : http://
Date : 01:18 AM Thursday 03 July, 2003

I recently purchased an F3HP on Ebay knowing that it had shutter selection problems. When I received the camera, the shutter select knob would spin and it was impossible to select a shutter speed. I removed the knob and tightened the retention screws in the correct location. Now when I turn the knob, the shutter speed indicated by the LCD display in the finder corresponds to the actuall shutter speed selected. However, the shutter doesn't appear to be changing speeds. The mirror lock up works as well as the back-up shutter release. Wheter I select 1/2000 sec or 2 sec, the main shutter seems to release at the same speed as the manual back-up. Please help. ANY suggestions will be welcomed.


5. From : Chris (chris_bell@tesco.net)
Url : http://
Date : 10:23 AM Wednesday 02 July, 2003

Hi Rob, I need something clarified on the F3 Exposure memory lock button. Must one hold the button down and CONTINUE TO HOLD IT DOWN after composing the shot? It just seems strange to have my right hand fingers holding the camera, one finger on the memory lock and then using another finger to work the shutter release button.

Yes, you do need to hold down the memory lock button until you have taken the exposure. You can tell that by looking at the exposure details in the viewfinder if you let go of the button before taking the exposure. It's fiddly, particularly if like me you are left handed. You could always switch to manual for the particular exposure if you really can't get your right hand to do the work ;-)


6. From : Joseph Gaestel (jgaestel@sbcglobal.net)
Url :
Date : 05:56 AM Monday 30 June, 2003

I have an F3 that has been dropped in the case. The camera now shoots a picture every time the film is advanced. The manual shutter doesn't seem to be working either. Any suggestion? Where to get it repaired? Joe Gaestel Merced, CA


7. From : Ingi (fonso@binet.is)
Url : http://
Date : 02:38 PM Thursday 26 June, 2003

I have an old 135mm 1:2.8 nikkor lens, that does not have the cutting needed for the Meter coupling lever to sit in and make the lens and the lightmeter of a NikonF3 camera body work together. Does any one know a solution to this problem?


8. From : Harald H. Dahlmann (hartmannkontor@web.de)
Url : http://
Date : 03:30 PM Sunday 15 June, 2003

Hi Friends ! Moving from Germany to Singapore, my box with all Nikon instruction manuals (and more !) never arrived. I got the F-5 manual here in SIN, but the F-3 manual was nowhere to find, UP TO NOW !!! My utmost thanks and appreciation for your webside, its an admirable work you do !! I am at home, finally !!!


9. From : JWoods (centurywoods@yahoo.com)
Url : http://
Date : 02:03 PM Saturday 14 June, 2003

Exposure out by +2 f/stops is very unusual. The main issue here is: please remember the F3's metering system is tuned to perform 80:20 ratio and should not exhibit sny problems as long as you point the camera's 12 mm reference metered circle (K screen) which concentrate a heavy 80% center-weighted metering emphasis to meter what you intend to shoot (something like a mix between partial and center-weighted meters). It takes a little adjustment in your photography of how you operate the camera normally when you have used other normal center-weighted metered SLR such as one of thoser popular mid-range SLRs of the 70 and 80 examples like A-1, FE, FM etc. Lastly, if you are still convinced the meter behaves strangely as you thought - the meter can alo be calibrated easily via Nikon service center. That simply solves the issues and is not entirely end of the day for your F3 ... hope it helps. Cheers.


10. From : Paul Atwell (paula5432@charter.net)
Url : http://
Date : 11:38 AM Saturday 14 June, 2003

Hi, I recently purchased an F3hp off eBay. I waited 10 years to get this camera that I had heard so much about. When I got it I shot a couple of rolls of film and all were a disaster. After hours of comparison of the Auto mode shutter settings vs. my Canon A1 and Nikon EM I have determined that I need to compensate the exposure by +2 to get the correct exposure. Looking at the comments on this site I see that several others have similar problems of varying degrees. I understand that buying off of eBay is at your own risk but it seems that lots of people are complaining of exposure problems with their F3. I can't tell you how disappointed I am in this supposedly bullet proof camera. I used my Canon A1 for 18 years and other than the squeeky shutter I have never had a problem. I'm sticking with Canon. If anyone wants a descent F3 with a light meter problem let me know......


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Maintainers for Nikon F3 Series SLR cameras Message Board:
Walt McKinney (Waltavion@AOL.com); Allan M Purtle (ampurtle(AT)sympatico.ca); Hermann Graf (hermann.graf@basf-ag.de), JWoods,
Gen. Holst, MCLau (mclau@pc.jaring.my) ROZ (rozkl@hotmail.com)


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