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 : Mike Kovacs (
Url : http://
Date : 05:32 AM Monday 28 January, 2002

George: The same thing happened with my second hand F3 shortly after I bought it. The film advance also seemed to have some play, although admittedly I had no way to determine whether this was normal or not (I still haven't handled a new F3 in a store). I got the light seals changed and the shutter jammed the first roll of film I loaded right after the first "real" shot on the frame. I assumed that the "guck" from the light seals and mirror cushion must have worked their way into the mechanism.

Nikon is currently repairing this and overhauling the entire camera to "like new" spec (including LCD). In Canada they have a cap of $180US on the labour and parts are cheap, so I gave them the go ahead to fix it all (labour would have been that much for film advance alone). Given the exterior shape of the body and the price I paid for it, I'll still do better price wise than most with this camera. (although I'm a little ticked-off that it broke!)

2. From : george (
Url : http://
Date : 02:42 AM Monday 28 January, 2002

New Nikon F3 problems, I have just purchased a brand new Nikon F3 HP from a reputable dealer here in The Middle East. Soon after I started using it, I had the impression that the meter was not working properly due to incorrectly exposed slides.I also noticed that the film advance lever appeared to be a bit too loose when flipped off its stowed position. After some time, I kept getting the eight symbol in the viewfinder when opening the lens aperture from f4 to f2.8. Batteries were checked and found OK. I sent the camera to the dealer who sent it to the authorized repair agent. They told me that the FRE circuit (?)had to be replaced.

Getting the camera back I checked the lightmeter against my Canon EOS 1n spotmeter and found it to be accurate. However, I was still worried about the apparently excessive looseness in the film advance lever. I discussed the same with the technician who told me not to worry because it is normal with the F3. Nevertheless I investigated this problem further by wiggling the advance lever in the off stowed position where the looseness was most apparent, (without using excessive force) and cocking the shutter at the same time(no film inside). Doing this action once or twice, the shutter then locked up and the film advance lever could not be stroked at all. I then sent the camera back to the technician and it was confirmed that the shutter was jammed and (couldn't be released manually).

The technician claims that such an event is very rare with the F3 and he hasn't heard of a similar case. This is an ongoing warranty claim. I had a hunch that there was something wrong with this camera from the beginning and I have owned Nikon F3's before without experiencing any of these problems. There is absolutely no question of my using excessive force or incorrect useage of the camera to cause any of these symptoms to appear. Any advice would be appreciated. George

3. From : Albert (
Url : http://
Date : 02:40 AM Monday 28 January, 2002

Hi, the F3 has no 'beam splitters' which are in most (if not all) AF cameras which need the circular polarizer. These beam splitters can go haywire when a linear polarizer is used as it affects the evaluation of subject contrast for auto focus....meaning that the AF sensor will not be able to lock on the subject properly. It also has the other effect of hindering the light meter's proper reading. The tiny holes in the F3's main reflex mirror which allows light to reach the secondary 'mirror' behind it is not a beam splitting mechanism as found in modern AF cameras.

4. From : Marc Forrest (
Url : http://
Date : 02:03 AM Monday 28 January, 2002

Ye Gads! does this sound right? i just finished calibrating my F3hp utilizing john shaws suggestion for middletone calibration - sunny 16... essentially, i set the camera on manual, and f16 and shutter 1/60th for fuji velvia - iso 50. i set the lens, a 55mm micro nikkor, on infinity and then went to my dead and decaying garden with the midmorning winter sun full-on behind my back i metered on a patch of soft brown to golden leaves, being sure not to cast a shadow on scene...

i had to crank the iso dial all the way to *400* !!! before i got a minus and plus sign beside the 60 in the view screen... does this mean to have a correctly calibrated camera for middletones i will now set my iso dial on 400 while shooting velvia 50 ? does this sound right?... further afield about a mile up the park beside which i live are a grove of sycamore trees i'll try again around noon to calibrate on the bark of those trees... thanks for any illumination... sincerely, marc forrest

5. From : Mike Kovacs (
Url : http://
Date : 02:01 AM Monday 28 January, 2002

I thought that circular vs. linear polarizer has do with metering? In particular, a camera that meters thru holes in the SLR mirror should require a circular polarizer (F3 meters this way). True, some AF lenses have trouble with polarizers, but only those in which the front element rotates while focusing (mostly either old or cheap lenses).

6. From : Roz (
Url : http://
Date : 02:05 AM Sunday 27 January, 2002

Fred, the Nikon F3, being a manual-focus camera, doesn't require the more expensive circular polarizer. Circular polarizers are needed for autofocus cameras because linear ones are claimed to interfere with the autofocus system. However circular polarizers can also be used with manual focus cameras.

7. From : Fred Clepper (
Url : http://
Date : 01:19 AM Sunday 27 January, 2002

I use an F3hp with a new Tamron 28-300mm zoom. I would like to buy a polarizing filter but am not sure about linear or circular polarization with this camera. Can someone set me straight on the requirements of the F3? Thanks, Fred

8. From : MB Maintainer (
Url :
Date : 12:51 PM Saturday 26 January, 2002

From a lead provided by Mr ROZKL, Co-Maintainer of the Nkon F3 Message Board, there was a very rare Nikon F3 camera model currently opened for auction at Ebay which has never been seen before. Does anyone of you (and/or friends) fluent in Japanese ? I have tried to ask for permission to use images of the rarely seen Japanese lAPITA F3 SLR camera but apparently the owner doesn't understand what I am trying to ask: Please help to explain and also mention credit will be given for his effort, Although we hope to beef up the content of the F3 website here further and permission from the original owner before using those images is highly appropriate.

"... From: "take" ( )
Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #1327040618 ( )

Thank you for mail. However, since I am a Japanese, I cannot understand the contents of your question well. However, this camera is very precious. And it hardly sees also in Japan. Please bid for this new camera. You will surely be satisfied . ..... ..."
The explanary at Ebay sale of that item is still very scratchy but we will try to acquire more info later if he agrees to grant us permission to use the images.

9. From : Anthony (
Url : http://
Date : 03:53 PM Thursday 24 January, 2002

As stated by many others in this message board, I too am very impressed with this website. I've found it to be incredibly informative and helpful... I have an F3/T myself and absolutely love it! It's quite a marvel of photographic engineering, really. As far as I'm concerned the F3HP is the "holy grail" of manuals; it's quite the workhorse and incredibly reliable - the other competitor's manuals out there aren't even in the parking lot of the same ballpark as the F3. Yeah, okay, the LCD illumination button and the hotshoe could probably have been designed to be a little more convenient, but honestly folks, it doesn't really interfere with the operation of the camera...I have read quite a few comments complaining about these features, but there's adaptors available for the hotshoe that work just fine and the illumination button isn't a necessity, just kind of handy. It's still an amazing camera, and it's reputation is well-earned. What else can be said?

10. From : R. Glenn Ordoveza (
Url :
Date : 07:14 AM Wednesday 23 January, 2002

I have been a fan of theis site for about 3 years now. For me it ranks at the top of the list of sites dedicated to educating users about their cameras. I started with the Canons, then the OM's and now I'm into Nikons. Can anyone out there send me the F3-HP manual in PDF format? I'd also appreciate one for the F4s as I also own that Camera. I don't want to start a thread berating any Nikon policies, as I'm sure that it's been discussed before, but it's really disappointing that Nikon will not supply manuals for discontinued cameras and instead will shift you off to a 3rd party where you have to pay $20 for one. Count me in as one of those disappointed by Nikon on that account.

More power to you ! I hope you decide to continue with the F4 site! Thanks! Glenn

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Maintainers for Nikon F3 Series SLR cameras Message Board:
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Gen. Holst, MCLau ( ROZ (

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