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 : yui-s (
Url : http://
Date : 12:28 PM Tuesday 22 January, 2002

I bought a used F3, which I wanted to have some day. So I am basically happy but have some worries.

My F3 has two problems. One is that the illuminator lamp does not work.
The other one is, I wish this is not so lethal, that a shutter curtain is scratched and warped. The shutter curtain is the one you can see when you wind up. The warping is such that it bends back and makes sound when you finish binding. But still the camera can take pictures. I guess that I need to repair them sooner or later. But I do not know where can I bring them. And if somebody could guess the severity and how much it might cost, I would be very happy to hear. Any suggestion will be very helpful ! yui-s

2. From : Johnny Jebel (
Url : http://
Date : 12:59 PM Monday 21 January, 2002

Hi, all, Thanks for your help and responses - I'll check them out. I have 3 lenses, and the symptoms are the same. I live in Saudi Arabia. Quality of work here is often suspect, despite certifications, so if it's a simple and well documented problem, I'd rather have some idea before approaching the agent. As an example, someone I know had a problem with a Mercedes here, and took it to an approved centre. Following repair and observing new problems, he took it back. It was discovered that two pipes had been re-connected incorrectly (freon and oil, or some such ridiculous combination). He was charged for fixing this problem, in addition to charges for the original work. Thanks again for your assistance, Johnny

3. From : Roz (
Url : http://
Date : 11:50 PM Sunday 20 January, 2002

RR, sorry to say the Nikon F3 has been officially discontinued about a year ago.

4. From : RR (
Url : http://
Date : 04:40 PM Sunday 20 January, 2002

I have owned my F3 for nearly twelve years. I love this camera and have recently heard new rumours that Nikon may discontinue it soon - the Nikonos V is about to go as did thr RS a few years ago - I know that Japan is having an economic crisis and the world market has slumped - does anybody know anything more about the possibility of the discontinuation of this camera.

It would be fantastic if Nikon updated the F3 with a new metering
system from the F5's or better and perhaps a full choice of exposure modes and a standard TTl hotshoe but retain a separate motordrive but make it smaller and easier to handel.Other than that the current camera is fantastic and much more desirable than most AF cameras on the market including the F5 which is as ugly as hell and over-engineered. - Long live the F3 !!

5. From : Gen Holst (
Url : http://nil
Date : 10:47 AM Saturday 19 January, 2002

Hey guys, relating to the "80" issue, leonard has a very detailed section outlined its usages and situations how it appears on the LCD panel inside the finder, check this page:

6. From : Pete (
Url : http://
Date : 02:03 AM Saturday 19 January, 2002

RE: the 1/80th speed. What type of lens are you shooting with? /p

7. From : Roz (
Url : http://
Date : 12:37 AM Saturday 19 January, 2002

Johnny, only a few situations will the shutter speed show 1/80. They are the first few frames of a new roll of film before frame 1 (or with no film but with the back closed, until frame 1), when the shutter speed is set at "X", when the camera back is fully opened or when there is a dedicated flash such as SB-12, SB-17, SB-16A and other modern Nikon Speedlights attached and turned on (in this case assuming the camera is set at "A" or in manual mode above 1/125).

In other cases the shutter speed should read normally. Try eliminating those situations (if any), failing which you may want to have it checked at an authorised Nikon service center.

8. From : Mike Kovacs (
Url : http://
Date : 12:27 AM Saturday 19 January, 2002

In reference to the LCD replacement: I am having this done by Nikon Canada as we speak. I can't really comment on how much the labour costs. I'm getting a new film advance mechanism in my F3 and Nikon's labour is flat rate after $275 CDN ($170 US). Since the film advance is a big enough job that I hit the max labour, I'm preemptively replacing the LCD and getting a complete general cleaning and overhaul. (parts are cheap, labour isn't) I was a little disappointed that the film advance jammed (legendary reliability of the F3?), but at least the camera is getting a new lease on life.

9. From : Johnny Jebel (
Url : http://
Date : 05:43 PM Friday 18 January, 2002

Hi, I have a F3HP which has developed a problem, and I hope someone will be able to help. I bought it used, and it was fine for several months. The camera goes into manual shutter release mode (1/80s) after a few frames (and 80 is displayed in the LCD). I've tried several sets of batteries, with no luck. When I release the back, normal operation is almost always restored, and usually remains until I load a film. Then after a few frames, the camera then goes back into backup mode. On most occasions, there is no problem if no film is loaded - I can keep winding and releasing the shutter in automatic mode. This behaviour is not entirely consistent, but follows this pattern most of the time.

Strange, but true. Any ideas? Finally, I agree with a recent contributor - this is a great site. Thanks, Johnny

10. From : Nicholas (
Url : http://no
Date : 09:33 PM Tuesday 15 January, 2002

Wow.. this is a very nice website. One day, if I can save enough of money I would like to have a Nikon F3 camera but right now, I can only afford a Nikon FE. The few websites here are indeed very educational to read which I assume they must have been taken a long time to compile. More strangely to me is, I didn't see any irritating commercials or pop out advertising panels. I have spread some words around among some of my schoolmates who are also actively involved in photography (I am the only one that actually using a manual focus camera), hopefully everyone will benefit from the enormous amount of information relating to all those beautiful classic SLR cameras being featured here. Thank you. Niko CA

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