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Nikon F3 Tribute
Old 10-06-2010   #1
Calzone
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Nikon F3 Tribute

Been looking through 15 pages here and see little mention of the durable F3. Who here shoots a Nikon F3?

I own only three. Currently my favorite every-day-carry is a Non HP with a Md-4 motordrive, AH-4 handstrap, with a 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor mounted.

I live in NYC and perhaps carrying this rig is kinda loud, but I love the fast focus for street and the bright-bright viewfinder. Been shooting Pan F at 50 almost always wide open.

Generally I take the subway one stop to Madhattan and walk from 53rd and Third to 72d and York on my way to work. Today I emptied a new roll by the time I got to the 59th Street Bridge. Oh what fun. Very easy to shoot because its always ready.

BTW this rig is as aggressive as it is big. Kinda like carrying a lethal weapon in plain sight.

Cal
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Old 10-06-2010   #2
Brian Sweeney
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I have an F3AF, still operational- but I do not use it with the DX-1.

And two F3HP's, among the last made.

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Old 10-06-2010   #3
BSchall
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I had a F3, wonderful camera and so smooth. But I sold it and bought a F4. Still use my manual focus lenses but now have matrix metering. And the meter read out in the F3 just bothered the heck out of me.
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Old 10-06-2010   #4
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F3 user here too. I have 3 of them. I gave a 4th to my daughter. They seem to be selling at or just under $200 these days on eBay. What a deal for what you get. The only other camera that I have 3 of is the OM1.
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Old 10-06-2010   #5
MRohlfing
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I have a F3 with a lot of accessories. It is still my favorite camera and I use it regularly.
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Old 10-06-2010   #6
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Ball bearings for the film advance add a certain smoothness. The non Hp viewfinder has a higher magnification so it helps with critical focus over my HP versions.

I bought my Non HP with MD-4 for $185.00 in excelent condtion at Adorama about a year ago. Because they are so durable they seem to have flooded the market. Unbelievable how cheaply a Nikon Pro camera can sell for.

I replaced all the foam seals myself.

My F3P was a real press camera for the newspaper "Newsday." I bought it after it recieved a total overhaul, after it came back from Operation Desert Storm. The brassing is awesome. It was my first F3. Came with an E screen. A 105/1.8 AIS is permanently mounted.

Cal
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Old 10-06-2010   #7
Nikon Bob
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I have a couple kicking around and have used them. The only thing that bugs me is having to turn it on/off. That was coming from the FM/FE family where you simply pulled the wind lever to the stand off position for the same result. Nice finder too.

Bob
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Old 10-06-2010   #8
Steve Bellayr
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1 F3hp. With careful selection of lenses is comparable to Leica.
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Old 10-06-2010   #9
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The F3 on/off switch is a weak point and sometimes breaks. I leave mine on all the time. The meter times off so there is no battery drain.
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Old 10-06-2010   #10
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Greetings, I have two F3hp's and one MD-4 and a waist level view finder!
I bought my 1st F3 in 2004. I love this camera with the waist level viewfinder, it is small stealth like, and keeps going! It is just great fun shooting this camera!

Cheers

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Old 10-06-2010   #11
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I love my F3 (Non HP) but have been told I should try the HP viewfinder as I wear glasses, what does RFF think.
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I LOVE my F3's
Old 10-06-2010   #12
mllanos1111
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I LOVE my F3's

I use my F3/T with a Zeiss 50/1.4 ZF.2 and love it! Sure you can hear it a block away but who cares.
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Old 10-06-2010   #13
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I started my photo B&W hobby with a F3, still have 6 (5 that I don't touch including 2 F3HP black in mint condition, 1 F3HP/T black mint and 1 F3HP/T champagne mint). The 6th is a user HP that is still going strong with its motor drive. Captured alot of good shots of my son playing hockey (he was around 10)
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Old 10-06-2010   #14
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I love the f3 - particularly the f3hp. Lovely looks, smooth as hell, simple and so tough. I like it so much more than the often highly rated fm2n.
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Old 10-06-2010   #15
Nikon Bob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
The F3 on/off switch is a weak point and sometimes breaks. I leave mine on all the time. The meter times off so there is no battery drain.
True, but if you dump it into a camera bag and something holds the shutter button down you could be in for a surprise. Anyway it is a small niggle that takes some getting used to.

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Old 10-06-2010   #16
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Just sold mine. Also sold an FE2. It will be either RF(VC R4A) or auto focus from here on out.
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Old 10-06-2010   #17
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I have an F3HP with MD4 and a tripod centering plate just to add the needed "heft". I usually have a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 AIS lens mounted. Overall it is inelegant, brutish, loud, and borderline anti-social; all reasons why I love it. It is perhaps the anti-barnack camera and, as such, has it's place. It also happens to take wonderful photos.
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Old 10-06-2010   #18
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I never liked the F3. The FE2 bests it in every way that matters to me.
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Old 10-06-2010   #19
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Everyone has different tastebuds. That's okay.
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Old 10-06-2010   #20
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I hate you guys.

I have an FE2 that i THOUGHT i was happy with, but now, who knows?
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Old 10-07-2010   #21
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If I were to buy a film SLR today, it would be an F3hp.
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Old 10-07-2010   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastor Chris View Post
I have an F3HP with MD4 and a tripod centering plate just to add the needed "heft". I usually have a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 AIS lens mounted. Overall it is inelegant, brutish, loud, and borderline anti-social; all reasons why I love it. It is perhaps the anti-barnack camera and, as such, has it's place. It also happens to take wonderful photos.
You need to 'add heft' to an F3 with that gigantic motor drive? Seriously?
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Old 10-07-2010   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
Thirty years ago I only used F3's with motor drives. Only in the last couple of weeks have I realized how well the camera handles without the MD-4.
I agree, the F3 by itself is a wonderful camera. Its actually pretty compact. Bigger than the really little ones like the Olympus OM cameras but smaller than the plasticky motorized computerized monstrosities that dominated the 35mm SLR world in the late 80s till now (where that ethos still prevails in the digital SLRs made now).

I gave my digital SLR to my son since I rarely touched it, and he never uses most of the lenses I have for Nikon since he mostly uses the 50mm Sigma macro lens I had for it. So, I got an F3 to shoot with my Nikon lenses. I like it a lot, though I agree with those who hate the metering display in the finder. It sucks. I have an F4 I got new in high school, and it has a nice finder but I can't stand carrying that heavy thing.
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Old 10-07-2010   #24
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Bought one for my daughter for her 16th birthday. F3HP with AIS 50 1.4. Serial number 1997....so very late, mint condition. I've been allowed to hold it but I've never been allowed to use it.
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Old 10-07-2010   #25
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I bought a mint second hand 2002 F3HP, never used and boxed. First thing I did was replace the prisim with the DE-2 (non-HP), a P-focus screen and added a small anodised grip. The extra magnification of the DE-2 I find is much better, and that smaller prism allows the body to fit into bags much better.

For lenses I have the VC 40mm f/2 version 1 & 75mm f/2.5, Nikkor 15mm f/3.5, 20mm f/2.8 & 85 f/1.4 - all are AIS. I tend to always use the rangefinders so it doesnt get a lot of work. If it did I might even consider one of the Zeiss 35mm lenses
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