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 : michael prischman (
Url : http://
Date : 09:49 PM Saturday 29 June, 2002

looking for a parts diagram for the f3 hp prism to download. thank you for your assistance, michael

2. From : marc forrest (
Url : http://
Date : 08:38 AM Saturday 29 June, 2002

Steve, try this link for nikon F3 serial nos.

3. From : Steve S. (
Url : http://
Date : 05:13 AM Saturday 29 June, 2002

Does anyone know of a list relating F3 serial numbers to year of manufacture ? I know this may not be exact, but when looking at buying a used one, I would like to know approximately how old the body is. I have seen cameras from 132xxxx to 196xxxx. Perhaps if someone who bought an F3 new very early, say in 1980 could let me know what the serial number is and if anyone just bought one now, what that serial number is. Thanks.

4. From : rav (
Url : http://
Date : 08:01 PM Monday 24 June, 2002

kindly inform whether anybody is manufacturing a digital back that could be used with the f3 series of nikon cameras.if yes, where can one get it and what would be the price. thanks.

5. From : Marc Forrest (
Url : http://
Date : 10:08 PM Saturday 22 June, 2002

Nikon F3 mystery... Folks, i just got a Very Clean nikon F3 via ebay auction. The camera has been mounted to a PCR film recorder and has not seen the light of day. this camera has, i believe been modified thusly, see: 'Oxberry' link below.

i put a back on the F3 and began checking it out. all functions seem to work perfectly. but there are mysteries...

a.) first minor detail, the post in the back of the F3 body that goes into the lower camera back hole is missing. no big deal if it can be replaced. b.) i noticed that unlike my other F3 the light meter functions immediately when turned on, before the film number indicator advanced to 1. c.) i discovered tt when i loaded film the film advance lever would not advance the film. bummer. i wonder if this is a modification that can be easily fixed or worse. if you are able to view the above link you will see that this F3 has been modified to mechanically shoot bulk motor driven film. i wonder if any more functions have been disabled/modified?

thanks for any insight into this preplexing problem. ps: if anyone knows the email address or nikon svc. tech. number i would appreciate it. sincerely, marc forrest

6. From : Jan Widome (
Url : http://
Date : 07:34 PM Friday 21 June, 2002

I just recently jumped onboard the F3AF 'bandwagon'. An awesome experience, to say the least. My problem ( this will come as no surprise to F3AF-ers ) is that I broke the little tabs on the battery compartment door on the DX-1. It's the second one I broke - I should have learned my lesson after the first. Regardless, I would like to get this fixed or replaced. Can anyone suggest a good solution for my problem? By the way, this site is absolutely outstanding! Whoever is putting in the effort to run it - please know you have my great appreciation for the work you are doing.

7. From : charles (
Url : http://
Date : 12:32 AM Thursday 20 June, 2002


Thanks for the comments. I don't think I'd be using a motor-winder, but macro is a consideration (I've been looking at the OM2n for this reason). I wouldn't know if the limited 'mirror-lock' capabilities of the FM3a (during prefire) would suffice for macro or astro, but I see your point.

It's kind of odd that Nikon never updated the F3 (as they did with the FMs). If indeed there is no successor to the F3, as Nikon's top manual focus body, they should have pulled out all the stops and included true mirror lock-up and an option for a high-eyepoint finder with the FM3a. So perhaps Nikon's waiting to unveil a new camera, but is just waiting for the dealer channels to drain their stock of F3s (?).

I do live near B&H and Adorama, so I can check the cameras before I buy, if I went the used route. I wonder if I could take it in to a Nikon repair shop for a thorough look-over during the warranty period.

Thanks Again.

8. From : Mike Kovacs (
Url : http://
Date : 04:22 AM Tuesday 18 June, 2002

Charles: You seem to have done your homework and you really can't go wrong with either camera. FYI: The F3HP iss selling at B&H for $1430 and the cheaper import versions are gone. If you get interested in motor drives, the MD-4 for the F3 blows away the MD-12 for the FM3A. If you intend on doing lots of flash photography, the FM3A is a better choice. I think the build quality and HP viewfinder of the F3 are much better. I shoot a lot of nature macro so the true mirror lock pays for itself many times over.

If you do buy used, is there anybody experienced that you can take with you? If not, is a good online vendor and true to their ratings. They are pricier than ebay, but you get a guarantee and a camera that matches or exceeds its described condition. Otherwise, go to a reputable store and buy one in the best condition you can and make sure it has return and/or repair coverage. A beat F3 is *probably* going to work fine, but a camera that has been well-cared for is likely to work better. Recently I took a chance with an F3 in great cosmetic condition on ebay and lost (bad luck, no blame to the seller). After Nikon Canada fixed the camera, I ended up paying as much as, but I did end up with a Nikon refurbished camera including a new LCD screen and a 6 month warranty.

9. From : charles (
Url : http://
Date : 12:19 AM Tuesday 18 June, 2002

Hi All, I've been struggling a little with choosing a camera for the purpose of learning photography. I've been looking at Minolta, Olympus, Nikon, and Canon. Given that there are few manual focus cameras still in production, most of my research has been into used cameras. I did want to stay clear of AF (got a point and shoot for that). The one quality manual body that is still in production, and somewhat affordable, is the Nikon FM3a. However, I've noticed that the F3HP has a general used price of $500 - $700. If I decided to go with Nikon (rather than say an OM2n, for instance), my dilemma is this: Since I'm a novice with no experience handling SLRs, would it be wiser to go with the FM3a, new and warrantied; or would it be a reasonable risk to buy a used F3HP for about $500 (roughly same price as a new FM3a), which is dinged up a bit, but supposedly functional? Even though the F3HP did retail for about $1200, it may not be very much better than the FM series to warrant the risk (I don't know). I am an eyeglass wearer, so the high-eyepoint finder is beneficial to me (even though the image is a little shrunken). The FM3a's finder is pretty good, but I have to move my head a little to see the right extent of the finder. Thanks. Charles

10. From : Dennis (
Url : http://
Date : 12:05 PM Sunday 16 June, 2002

Thanks Chris. Dennis Ho.

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