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 : Jon (
Url : http://
Date : 05:47 PM Sunday 06 October, 2002

I have just tried to fit a focusing screen that I have had for some time (but never used) to my F3 and it seems to be too big!!! It came in the usual F3 box and has the red writing (Nikon, Japan, etc) on the side.
It appears to be a tad longer (front to back) than my other screens.
Have I got a F2 screen perhaps???
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

2. From : Mike-Kovac s (
Url : http://
Date : 11:35 AM Sunday 06 October, 2002

Titanium alkalines are a gimmick. Don't waste your hard earned cash.

Lithium ion batteries are rechargable and shouldn't be confused with lithium AA batteries (not rechargable!!! don't even think about it). Lithium AA's are probably a bad idea because they can deliver ALOT of current and can get very hot on an old motor drive like the MD-4. Cold performance isn't that great. Their main advantage over alkalines is a much higher capacity.

If you recell a Nikon battery pack, you should get about double the capacity with NiMH than NiCd cells. NiCd still perform better in the cold but NiMH are still better than most. I'll also add that NiMH work outstanding in electronic flashes. My Metz 40AF-4 recycles in half the time compared to alkalines.

3. From : Gen Holst (
Url : http://
Date : 02:17 PM Saturday 05 October, 2002

Lately, I am more inclined help answering questions raised at the Nikkormat/Nikomat Message Board which I preferred attending to. Sorry, although I have been using the F3 for over 10 years now but strangely, I seldom have any problems with the camera/accessories I had and thus I don't think I can handle some of the technical issues that well. Further, here at this board you do have a few great folks handling various issues appeared the board every now and then, I would rather spend some time attending other much ignored sections in the PIM site. Thousand apologizzzzzes.

4. From : Walt McKinney (
Url : http://
Date : 05:11 AM Saturday 05 October, 2002

As an alternative to the Metz unit, I have used a Sunpak 555 with my F3HP now for about 4 years and it works great. You will need the Sunpak NE-3D dedicated module and the EXT-11 connecting cord. The 555 uses 6 AA alkaline batteries and has a guide number of 150 (feet with ISO 100 film). It has fractional power settings from full down to 1/64th.

There are a whole range of accessories available from AC power supplies to filter holders to telephoto kits. This has been a very reliable unit and I would heartily recommend it to anyone wanting a powerful handle-mounted flash to use TTL with the F3 series. I paid less than $200 for the whole set-up, used, from KEH. The flash was rated bargain, but only because the previous owner has put labels on it and the adhesive residue was still there. It was easily removed. The module was Excellent and the cord was Excellent plus, but both appeared virtually new.



5. From : job (
Url : http://huh?
Date : 05:37 AM Friday 04 October, 2002

Saw a few items on TTL flashes for the F3 (even posted one myself). Anyone who has been loking for one for the F3 will be shocked about the pricing. Most of the TTL flashes don't vcome cheap, even the old SB12's are hard to find below 75 bucks. Next to an SB12, I have just bought myself a Metz 45CL4. Available in the US and Europe, not sure about Asia. Together with a SCA adapter that fits the F3 shoe (don't have it handy but I think it is the SCA 343 or 344)you will have a great TTL flash. Guidenumber is 45 in meters - 148 in feet! It boasts 6 automatic telecomputer apertures, a versatile tilt-and-swivel reflector, winder operation, a second reflector for fill in flash, full-1/2-1/4 powersetting. If you want quality light and need to depend on it's accuracy and reliability this is the flash you want. Comes with either a 6AA battery holder OR rechargable batterypack and charger, PC-cord, wide-angle diffuser, grey filter for fill-in reflector and camerabracket so you're ready to go!! It looks...well, just about perfect and works equally perfect as I have found out. should give you a few of these if you're looking for one. the 45 CT4, is similar yet somewhat older, the 45CT1 does not have the fill-in flash. Just go to, it does have english pages.
I you need even more light, go for the metz 60's or 70's series but you'll have to do some extra push-ups because these 2 are MoNsTeRs!

6. From : Roz (
Url : http://
Date : 04:11 PM Tuesday 01 October, 2002

Hi Jon,
Thanks for the information. What I meant earlier was using regular 'AA' NiMH cells in place of alkalines.Your experience in using smaller-sized NiMH rechargeable cells to fit into the MN-2 is valuable information to share with everyone here. I think the MD-4 shold be able to handle the extra voltage when fully charged considering the same voltage as per the NiCd cells in the MN-2.

These days there are all sorts of exotic-sounding batteries such as 'Titanium' Alkalines and Lithium Ions etc. I think Nikon and other manufacturers should update us on useability of these modern batteries for older equipment so that we could use them with confidence. Many users can't afford to experiment, like in my unfortunate case with the F-801 mentioned earlier.


7. From : Jon (
Url : http://
Date : 05:23 AM Tuesday 01 October, 2002

Me again Roz
Typo in last posting........
Meant to read:
I have "not" used the battery enough to discharge it so can make no comment on capacity, rolls per recharge, etc

8. From : Jon (
Url : http://
Date : 05:19 AM Tuesday 01 October, 2002

Hi Roz
Im a little confused as to whether you are talking about using AA NiMh rechargeable cells or repacking the MN-2 with NiMh rechargeables.
The former option will give you 8 X 1.2V which is 9.6V so performance does suffer and is indeed noticeably worse than when using 8 X 1.5 alkalines or zinc carbons cells (12V).
I have recently repacked a MN-2 with 14 NiMh rechargeable cells (16.8V) but in fact closer to 18V newly charged. The cells are still 1.2V each (same as the original NiCd cells) and it is common for a good set of NiCd cells to be close to 18V newly charged.
It works a treat, hasn't cooked anything and makes the same MN-2 sound so would assune the firing rate is the same 5.5fps as a "regular" MN-2.
I have used it enough to drain the cells so cannot make any comment on capacity, rolls per recharge,etc.
Hope this is of some help.

9. From : Peter Phillips (
Url : http://
Date : 09:40 PM Monday 30 September, 2002

I have inherited a Nikon F3 + MD4 and I haven't got a clue how to use it!!! So is the anyone who can let me have a copy of the instruction booklet on the camera and the motor drive.

Pete Phillips

10. From : Roz (
Url : http://
Date : 01:18 PM Monday 30 September, 2002

Hi Mike,
Thank you very much for your input. At least I have confidence in trying out the rechargeable Ni-MH cells in the MD-4 as opposed to stocking up on fresh alkalines for the motordrive and speedlights.

From my past experience, I would not recommend the fancy non-rechargeable lithium 'AA' cells for older Nikon equipment. I tried once on my 1989 vintage F-801 (N8008) and not so long after the LCD readings started to behave strangely and shutter won't fire. Cost me the equivalent of US$200 for new circuit board plus repair charges....had to repair for sentimental reasons. I was fortunate as I sent it to Nikon just 2 weeks before they officially declared it 'beyond repair'. They refused my L35AF compact sent together as it was 'too old' and no spare pars available!


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