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F3 SLR Camera


Nikon

Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Cameras : 35mm Film Cameras : Auto Focus SLRs

Michael Jackson
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23 Reviews  

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
 
Chris Edling
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/26/2006
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Very very reliable. In any conditions.
1/26/2006 3:20:30 AM
 
Peter Blakeman

member since: 1/15/2006
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
This one also dosen't get much use but is a great backup and has a few advantages the others do't have..... for example long exposure shots as you don't need batteries to open shuter.
1/15/2006 5:22:26 AM
 
James Jenkins

member since: 1/2/2006
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
This is the best camera Iíve ever had. My wife dislikes the weight and size but itís perfect for me. Iíve used it to take lots of family pictures and now I use it for my photography class. Iíve received top grades taking black and white photos with this camera set in manual. I even manually rewind the film. The light meter is superb, Iíve compared it to some of the top light meters and this camera gives me excellent exposures all the time. My contact prints are near perfect. I also have the MF-28 data back which makes it looks like a digital camera some people are fooled but when I tell them and show them the photos it just blows them away. The focusing is also superb, just so fast, Iíve stopped the motion of jets in mid air near National Airport in Nornthern VA, just the best machine Iíve ever owned.
1/2/2006 4:16:18 PM
 
Paul F. Gero
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/6/2005
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
built like a tank...incredibly fast with their md-4 motor drive...
12/30/2005 11:53:36 PM
 
Maghin Tamilarasan
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
Tough, reliable, bullet proof, the Nikon F3 is a legend, and deservedly so. It has never let me down.
12/27/2005 12:37:02 PM
 
Annelie Indilla

member since: 5/13/2002
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
A very good SLR. Like a mack truck.
10/7/2005 4:42:36 AM
 
Mel Hughey
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/30/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
For me, I think my camera is the best..Had it for year's.It fit's and feel's good in my hand's. It's the one reason that I've been refusing to transfer to auto and digi camera's. It will come soon enough because my eye's and focus isn't what it use to be. I wanted the camers so bad after being able to demo it for a weekend, I traded a chevy Silerado truck for it.
7/30/2005 9:49:05 AM
 
Mike D. Tabolsky

member since: 5/15/2005
3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Just a fantastic camera. This camera has been in the family since the 1980's. I've never had a single issue. It takes amazing pictures.
5/15/2005 5:06:11 PM
 
Rick Jack

member since: 3/1/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
My F3 never let me down. It's built like a rock and has all the features I'd ever need. I like the fact that it has interchangable prisms and screens. It is a great body for astrophotography when used with the DW-4 finder and "C" screen.
3/2/2005 10:00:42 AM
 
Krisna Satmoko

member since: 10/22/2004
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
People here said to me that this camera are a legend. Easy to handle,strong and I already use for more than 10 years and still working.
10/22/2004 9:23:05 AM
 
Christopher Munton

member since: 10/11/2004
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
Tough easy to handle flash sync could be higher, still my favourite.
10/12/2004 5:02:42 AM
 
William M. Steinbuch

member since: 9/25/2004
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Old Faithful
9/25/2004 11:48:33 PM
 
William M. Steinbuch

member since: 9/25/2004
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Old Faithful
9/25/2004 11:43:34 PM
 
Debbie Avery

member since: 7/13/2004
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This camera was recommended to me by a professional photographer who is now using medium format, Mason Paul. It is a wondeful instrument that is easy to operate. It has really forced me to take my time with each shot. A great beginner camera. I bought it used on Ebay for less than $250.00
7/13/2004 7:35:55 PM
 
Abdul Nasser

member since: 3/24/2004
3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I like it because it is completely manual.
3/24/2004 6:35:33 AM
 
Jackie Fritz

member since: 1/22/2004
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A good soldier, never failed me.
1/23/2004 4:32:09 AM
 
Hazrul Abdul Halim

member since: 12/29/2003
2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Very Robust Camera
12/29/2003 6:21:20 PM
 
Bob Fowler

member since: 4/24/2003
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
There was a lot of speculation when the F3 came out back in 1980 whether or not pros would adopt the camera or stick with their beloved F and F2 bodies. The reason was that the previous professional bodies from Nikon all had mechanical shutters and the meter circuits were in the interchangeable viewfinders. Nikon broke from that model with the F3's electronically controlled shutter and meter circuits in the body. The F3 has had the longest production run of any Nikon professional camera, almost 23 years! The F4 model came and went while the F3's were still in production - a major tribute to the design.

To be honest, I also had my doubts about the F3 when it first appeared, but my doubts were quickly put to rest. The F3 has proven to be a very robust system camera with excellent ergonomics.

As someone with large hands, I find that the F3 with the MD-4 motor drive fits like a glove, though it does make for a rather heavy combination - especially with my favorite Nikon zoom, the 25-50mm f/4 AIS. A big plus in using the MD-4 is that the motor also powers the camera metering circuits. This is especially important if you don't have spare 76 size batteries handy (the F3 uses 2) as the MD-4's AA cells are available everywhere. I put more than 400 rolls of film through my F3/MD-4 combo on 1 set of AA Lithium batteries, so battery life really isn't much of an issue with the motor. I usually don't even keep the 76 batteries in the body, I just power the whole rig from the motor.

In the event that the cameras electronics fail, the F3 provides 1 mechanical shutter speed of 1/60th sec via a special shutter release located next to the lens mount. The mechanical release lever also is the location of the exposure lock button when using the camera in aperture priority mode - another "first" in a Nikon professional body.

The F3 was also the first Nikon professional body to incorporate dedicated flash. The SB-11 (a handle mount) and SB-12 (on camera mount) flash units were introduced at the same time as the F3, with the SB-16 following later. The F3 doesn't have a traditional flash shoe, rather it uses a special mount that surrounds the rewind crank (there is a standard PC connection on the body for non-dedicated type flashes). Nikon has a wide array of special mount adapters for the F, F2, and F3 cameras that provide standard shoes as well as allowing purpose-built flashes to be interchanged between those bodies. The SB-12 flash unit (as well as the later F3-specific on camera flashes) can be used off camera and still retain TTL flash exposure control by using the SC-14 extension cable. The SB-11 handle mount flash is quite versatile, using the standard SU-2 sensor, it operates like a normal, non-dedicated handle mount flash with connection to the camera via a PC type cable. Use the SC-12 cable, and the SB-11 connects to the F3 and provides full TTL flash control. The SB-11 can be used with newer Nikon models with an ISO hot shoe in dedicated TTL modes by using the SC-23 cable. There is also the SC-13 sensor cord which moves the SU-s to a standard ISO type hot shoe connection!

My main reason for using Nikon cameras is not the bodies, it's the lenses. The F3 can use every lens in the Nikon arsenal with the exception of the new "G" series lenses (they don't have aperture rings). Considering that Nikon has been making 35mm SLR's and lenses since 1959, that makes for a lot of choices. Early, non-AI (auto-indexing) lenses which are not converted to AI spec can be used on the F3 by folding the AI coupling lever on the lens mount out of the way. The lens can then be used via stop-down metering. This 44 year span of backwards compatible lens mounting is one nice tid-bit that we Nikon users like to throw in the faces of Canon and Minolta shooters whose lens mounts changed when auto-focus became available.

I could go on forever about the F3, but I'll cut this short. Suffice it to say that with a choice of 6 viewfinders, several different data-backs, a 6fps motor drive, over 20 focus screens, and a huge variety of accessories, the F3 is a formidable film-based 35mm system. The only negative comment I can offer is that the flash sync speed is a bit low by today's standards, 1/80 sec. Still, that is hardly a problem in my opinion.
9/5/2003 8:40:27 AM
 
Hiram & Terri-Ann Betancourt

member since: 8/7/2003
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
One of the best Nikon ever.
8/13/2003 10:32:21 PM
 
John De Prosperis

member since: 2/9/2003
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
totally manual; do not like the fact that it does not automatically rewind the film.
8/8/2003 8:03:26 PM
 
Curtis Forrester

member since: 11/15/2002
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
Great film camera!
7/24/2003 3:30:54 PM
 
Sid Hecker

member since: 1/3/2003
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Excellent for almost all conditions
7/4/2003 6:30:00 AM
 
Peter 

member since: 3/14/2001
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
Many people were very angry when this camera first came out as Nikon had left the totally manual area of cameras that they had started with F and then F2. These cameras could work without batteries and people at first would not take to this new battery-dependent camera. The F3 came out in 1980 and has just stopped being made by Nikon in 2001. It is manual with AV control. It has interchangable heads, backs and base plates like the other F's. Made out of mostly brass and such. It mantains the Nikon reputation of a solid, dependable camera.

If you want to hammer in a nail and have no hammer, try an F3.

You can fit autofocus and manual lenses to it and it has TTL flash.

Many are still being used to back up to digital auto focus SLRs.

8/19/2002 8:11:54 PM
 

23 Reviews  

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