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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Film-Based Camera Equipment : 35mm Cameras : Manual Cameras

Photography Question 

Nikon FM3A

I was wondering if anyone out there has had the opportunity to use or purchase the new Nikon FM3A. I already have a AF Nikon 4004, which lacks viewfinder information. I very rarly use the AF and am looking to buy a manual focus. I was really hoping that the new camera came with shutter priority but I'm not sure just how often I would really need the feature. The Nikon FM2n is so far first on my list. Most of my photos consist of my kids, and nature. Any help would be greaty appriciated.

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10/30/2001 4:20:49 AM

Hermann  Graf   Stu, I had the opportunity to have a look at the new FM3A in a photo shop. In a nutshell, it is a replica of the FE2, the production of which was ceased in 1989, but with some additional features (e.g., mechanical backup of all exposure times, automatic setting of the film speed, etc.). As for exposure, there is either shutter priority or manual operation. As for the other features, it is quite similar to the FM2n. Exposure is indicated in the viewfinder by a needle meter, not with LEDs as in the FM2n, which may be a problem when it is dark.

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11/13/2001 11:04:26 AM

George Anderson   Actually, the FM3a is a completely new body casting and mechanism, with hereditary but also completely new engineering of mechanical and electronic components. The FM3a (and the FE-2 for that matter) do not use shutter-priority, but rather APERTURE priority as well as full-manual operation. The focusing screen is also brighter than the original FE-2 and is quite easy to view the shutter speed display for any potential handheld use of the camera, even at dusk or twilight. If you're shooting at night you'll be on a tripod and doing time exposures anyway.

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7/11/2005 12:05:55 PM

Larry T. Miller   I have the FM-2N and the FE-2. Love them both. I probably wouldn't get the FM3A unless my FE-2 went down. Then I would seriously consider it.

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3/27/2006 1:20:19 PM

Gil H. Penaflorida   The FM2n is a wonderful camera and has served me well, the red LED + 0 - is much much eaiser for me than the needle style because I shoot with my dominant left eye and you have to contort a bit to be able to see the match needle specially in low light. However I find the FM3a metering more accurate and the option to use A priority on those sitautions where you need to shoot fast and specially useful for portraiture. yes the FE is the same in principle but the newer design of FM3a IMO is better plus the bright focusing screen. Not sure whether you have the flash compensation to -1 stop for those fill flash needs with the FE (never used one. Also the collectibility of FM3a being the last MF camera produced by Nikon is higher value than the FE. Since Nikon's announcement, some FM3a in other areas used and new have gone up if you can still find a new one in the market. I saw someone mention that somebody in japan has advertised for US$ 1400 for a new FM3a. Most important the earliest FM3a is only 5 years old so buying a used gives you more security in terms of defects and abuse of use. If budget is a constraint then go for the FM2n it's a great camera - you can see in the latest issue of Shutterbug near the last pages some write-ups on the great Nikon MF cameras.

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4/26/2006 2:44:33 AM

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