Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 Macro Photography - Index Page
Tropical Flower.jpg (18k) Loading...
Macro photography has quite a huge following and it presents some very good reasons of why you should invest in the Nikon photographic system.

© -free
leofoo '99 Malaysian Internet Resources More sample images are available which were taken with an AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f4.0 D ED-IF.

The history of the famed Micro-Nikkor lenses by Nikon can be traced back to 1956 when they introduced their first close focusing lens - a 50mm f3.5 lens which was designed specifically for Nikon rangefinder cameras. These specialized lenses, improved and refined over the years and form the nucleus of the Nikon close-up photographic system. These micro Nikkor lenses generally exhibit remarkable optical performance. Most of them can focus from infinity down to reproduction ratio of 1:1 (with or without an extension tube, depending on lens type, models and year produced). The latest member of the Micro-Nikkor family is a highly unusual autofocus Nikkor Zoom Micro-Nikkor 70-180 f4.5-5.6D ED.

There are generally three groups of close up accessories made available in the Nikkor lens system. In the field of medical application, Nikon has a specialized lens, Medical-Nikkor as they call it. First introduced in 1965 with a 200mm f5.6 designed for medical and dental close up photography. It features a built-in ring light electronic flash for shadow less illumination and even offers automatic exposure. The close up lens was improved over the years and the current model is Medical-Nikkor 120mm f4.0 IF, which comes with a convenient IF (Internal Focus) feature. Well, nothing stops you from using such specialized optics for close-up or macro photography. In fact, I have seen some remarkable fashion photography that was taken with a modified ring flash ! Next is Micro Nikkor lenses which you can select from three focal lengths of 50-60mm, 105mm and 180-200mm - all the three groups have either manual focus or autofocus and varying lens speed (Brightest f/2.8 to f4.0) to cater to any needs. The last is using accessories such as close-up lenses which provides the cheapest means to achieve high magnification ratios or by using Bellows Units, copying stands, adaptors etc.. with any Nikkor lenses.

Update: -When this Nikon F3 site was introduced (even the revised 2nd version), I had not featured any Nikkor lenses seriously, but in 2003, I now have compiled quite a bit of information on the various Manual Focus Nikkors - with the exception of Micro-Nikkor lenses, the AF-Micro-Nikkor was quite complete and even the latest PC-Micro has been featured). You can CLICK HERE FIRST and go to the bottom to click on the Micro-Nikkor section and all the available MF-AF Micro-Nikkor are there for you to browse around OR just click on the bottom links on respective focal length with this lens type:

Micro-Nikkor Lens Family: | 50mm | 55mm (AF) | 60mm (AF) | 85mm PC | MF-105mm (AF) | MF-200mm (AF) | 70-180mm (AF) |

Bellow-Nikkor lenses: Index Page

If you can notice, the macro photography group in the Nikon photographic system has, over the years developed into a stand alone system. i.e. all system accessories designed for close up photography are meant to be shared among all Nikon camera bodies. Differences here are just how each camera model can provide a photographer with absolute advantages with their respective features incorporated to make macro photography an easier experience. Thus, we are here to discuss what are the advantages Nikon F3 can offer rather than macro photography itself. There are a few elements here: First, the F-mount was perhaps the most important among all. The Nikon F3, was one of the few modern Nikon bodies available that can take either non-AI or AI lenses, which includes, of course the current AF Nikkor optics. The clear advantage is permitting the camera to use virtually all Nikkor lenses and system accessories that Nikon has ever produced dating back to the days of the Nikon F.

MeterCoupling.jpg (8k)
In many ways, macro photography can also be more economical to fit your budget because you can go to the used market to buy an old lens, bellows or even a bellow lens like the one and only 105mm bellow lens Nikon has ever produced - the 104mm f4 Bellow Nikkor for close up photography. Also see: (Bellow-Nikkor 135mm f4.0 preset)

The F-mount advantage naturally includes the current fine Micro-Nikkor lenses and you can really enjoy macro photography at its very best when combined with these lenses with a host of dedicated close up accessories designed specifically for this purpose. Secondly, since the Nikon F3 has its sensitive SPD metering cell housed underneath the main reflex mirror and continuously metered and updated information to the slightest change of light, the metering automatically compensates exposure for any change of the viewfinder accessories such as prisms, close up optical attachment(s), focusing screens or any other viewing aid and yet retaining the automatic exposure. Do you know what it means to you ? If you find it too difficult to shoot a minute object at ground level, change to a waist level finder or a 6X magnification finder; if you want more comfort viewing and still complain about the High-Eyepoint finder because you like wearing sunglasses, fine, there is a speed finder for the best of comfort in viewing. If you think viewfinder image is too dark when attachment is made with a slow lens, change it to a H2 or G2 screen (there are a total of 22 types of Nikon F3's screens available to suit your needs).

F3 H2 Screen.jpg
The Nikon F3 site also has another section , just features, issues and availability of various focusing screens designed specifically for the camera. It is advisable to download a PDF file (128k) for compatibility issues with some of the manual focus Nikkor lenses. I don't own many focusing screens - other than a simple K2 and a brighter Type H2, in fact I have been using the H2 for the last ten years. Although it can be a very personal preference in terms of selection, but for best effect, please refer to the compatibility chart published by Nikon as a good reference.

Thirdly, with the absolute advantage of 100% viewfinder image and Nikon F3's interchangeable viewfinder capability, what is in the picture frame is exactly what you will be getting in the eventual photograph. This proves to be very important in reproduction or copy work photography. In fact, for some photographers, the F3 100% viewfinder coverage is so precise that you have to step back a little to provide some allowance for slide mount or cropping in the retail lab. But since it presents more advantages than negative application, to me indeed it is a welcoming feature. Strange, I have a feedback that complains about the F3's 100% viewfinder picture coverage, as such I told the guy to buy a Nikon FE or Nikon FA instead. That is exactly why I suggest not to distribute my URLs to bulk mailing list, I can't be wasting time answering emails or reading comments from an individual viewpoint for a 1999 perspective, to review a 19 year old camera with modern technology, which sounds like he wants to change a camera that was designed two decades ago. Hey, it may suit you but how about my photographic needs, right ? Anyway, all these apply to flash photography as the Nikon F3's TTL flash exposure feature can ensure flash can be a good supplement to your close up photography. You can use either a TTL SB-21A Macro Ringlight, a dedicated SB-16A with a secondary fill-in flash, the MD setting feature for repeating flash or any of the automatic flash features that can be found in other dedicated flash units for F3 like the powerful handle flash of SB-11, SB-14 or even the compact but simple SB-12 or may be a better featured SB-17 which can tilt and turn and even adjust for close up flash.

During the '80, Nikon introduced a 105mm f4.0 UV-Nikkor lens to provide invisible spectrum photography. A standard SB-14 handle flash was upgraded to a special SB-140 UV-IR flash for general or macro UV-photography when used with the 105mm UV-Nikkor lens!

The system configurations of the F3 makes macro/close-up photography extremely easy and even enjoyable.

Nion F3 Bellow Setup.jpg (12k) Loading..
The interchangeable viewfinder system with a choice of six prisms with respective functions, 100% viewfinder coverage, TTL metering that extends to flash exposure control, many possible combinations for extension sets, bellow units, adaptors, duplicating plus copying outfits and finally supported by a fine series of top class Micro-Nikkor lenses - which together, form one of the most respectable and extensive 35mm close up photographic systems in the world.

  | Previous | Next | 1/3
  Back to Index of Nikon F3 Models
  Back to Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs
About this photographic site
Contributions and Credits
  Home - Photography in Malaysia

Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 Macro Photography - Index Page
Copyright © 1999. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.