Average review score based on 22 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I bought this Nikon F3 because everyone sings the praise of this camera. It's reputation and history tell a story of a great camera. So I took a chance. It feels comfortable in the hand and has a nice,fairly bright viewfinder (Leica SL,canon A-1 & Nikon fm2 are brighter). After getting used to it, about 5 minutes, shooting with it is a cinch. Film loading is EZ,; unlike the NikonF you don't have to take the back off. The shutter release is smooth and thankfully, you can use a regular cable release & not spend extra for a "specialty Leica/Nikon unit. A small point but appreciated. Camera also allows you to see both F stop and shutter speed in the viewfinder as well as an under/over exposure indicator. And you can shoot in aperture priority automatic mode. a plus.
Apparantly, it's reliability made it the professional's choice. That, along with a million lenses made it a much desired camera. But too many older Nikon lenses are loose focusing and do not inspire confidence. Optically, my Leica's 50mm Summicron R beats the F1.4 Nikkor by quite a bit. But it does that to all other lenses of similar ilk as well, except maybe, the Super Takumar f 1.4.( I profess ignorance of Alpa and Zeiss 50's) Getting back to the F3, it's not too heavy, and feels balanced, not awkward or overly heavy or bulky. Using it is easy and natural.
I am torn between collecting and using older film cameras. I prefer the conventience of digital SLRs but the prices are absurd. And the zoom lenses are ridiculously slow. Even the innovations like high ISO and vibration reduction can't compensate for lovely, out of focus backgrounds (bokah) you get with an inexpensive, older film lens/camera combo, like a Nikon F3 with a 105mm f 2.5 Nikkor shot wide open. The problem is that not too many quality labs exist, able to print directly from negatives. Most develop the film and digitize it. So probably you lose something. When I did my own B/W I often got chills, seeing the image come up before my eyes, controlling the contrast and sharpness, being able to crop exactly how I wanted the print. It was my creation, from start to finish. Of course, digitally. you don't have to worry about dust spots and you don't have to be a chemist (I used to mix my own fix as well as the fabled D-76 film developer) So It's difficult to decide. If you would have told someone that you one day would be able to get 500 or more pictures on a disc as big as a thumbnail you'd have been laughed at or locked up.
So the Nikon f3 offers a mixed bag: high quality but manual focus. A visit to the lab and the expense of developing and burning a DVD versus instant images that cost only the price of the Card, and is reusabe many, many times. But too many novices get a decent shot and think it elevates them to the ranks of the professional. You can be great with Photoshop or some other photo adjusting system but that does not make one a photographer. You have to think before you click. Will it make you a better photographer? It will. And because you have to know what you're doing to make a picture I prefer film. You can't simply delete what you don't like; you see what you did wrong and strive to correct it.
My advice: try out some old film cameras. Got to ebay and buy half a dozen manual focus beauties. Sort them out by using them, discovering for yourself what's reliable, easy to use, feels comfortable. And see how much you can acheive and really how good you can be.
I have a Nikon F2 since '73 which is the last all mechanical F series Nikons. So, I didn't think much of the newer electronically controlled F3. How wrong I was! F3 is easy to work with and the metering is more accurate over wider ASA ranges. The best feature of F3 as well as previous F series is the clear 100% view finder. I replaced K focusing screen that came with the camera with Red Dot B screen and love it. I like the simple matte screen over micro prism of K screen. I don't think any today's digital cameras nor range finder cameras can match this beautiful finder view. It's so enjoyable to take pictures. The only issue for me is that I needed to upgrade all my Non AI lenses to either AI or AI-s lenses to be 100% compatible with F3. (You can still use older lenses with stop down method.)
AI or AI-s lenses are generally accepted as superior to the older Nikkor lenses. But it is a double edged sword to me since I love the older lenses that are capable of capturing classic images. To me that's the main reason that I still use film cameras. The perfectly designed latest digital lenses are too impersonal to me.
As for the size/weight goes, F3 is a big and heavy camera. But I don't mind it since F3 is very reliable. For a trip, I'd take a smaller camera like Olympus 35RC. From my experience, smaller and lighter cameras breaks down easily (2 Olympus XAs and a Canon Dial 35....)
With regard to Value, I paid a little over $200 for an almost mint condition specimen. I think it's a steal for the best film camera you can buy. There won't be any better film camera made in the future. This is it!!
LIKE THE LITERATURE CLAIMS. IT WAS DESIGNED TO FIT YOUR HAND. EVERYTHING IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE FOR EASE OF USE. THESE CAMERA'S DESPITE THERE AGE ARE STILL GOING STRONG. THERE IS A FULL LINE OF ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE FOR THIS CAMERA. MAKING IT A TRUE NIKON SYSTEM CAMERA. STRONG AND DEPENDABLE. I NEVER EXPECTED IT TO MAKE ME WANT TO SET DOWN MY NIKON F's AND F2's BUT I GRAB MY F3HP BEFORE MY OLDER MODELS. I OWN 2; NIKON F3HP's 5; ASSORTED NIKON F3 MODELS ALL TOGETHER. IF YOU WANT A MANUAL FOCUS FILM CAMERA WITH FULL MANUAL OR APITURE PRIORTY AUTO EXPOSER. THIS IS A GREAT CAMERA FOR YOU.
I love the Nikon F3HP. It's my choice for an excellent a manual focus 35mm film camera. The HP viewfinder is easy to use, even if you wear glasses. The controls are comfortable and straightforward. It's a durable camera. The metering system is very good, and doesn't need to be overridden all than much.
The main drawback is that the maximum flash sync is 1/80, so it's not the camera for outdoor fill flash.
I like the build quality, controls and viewfinder better than the Nikon FM2 and FE2, but those cameras sync to 1/250.
The F3HP is a beautiful camera, especially in black. When matched with a 50mm black nikor lens, the appearance is striking. At the time this model was released it was considered one if the best. It still is. Newer digital cameras have many more options, but for a film camera the F3HP is still tops.
A straight forward professional camera without the extra bells and whistles. I really liked the concept of modular built into its designed, like interchangeable viewfinders, screens, motor-drive etc. Built quality is very high and the smoothness in operation is really awesome.
I've tested it with several old (pre-AI and AI) and new (AI-S and AF D-series), all works exceptionally well. I've even tried it with extension tubes, reversing ring, bellows etc and it really works; even where my D4 and D800 failed to coupled with.
Simply awesome camera and great value for money.
An excellent camera for those who use film.
The longevity of film, especially black and white silver prints is proven.
Operation of the camera is straight forward and an instruction manual or cheat-sheet is unnecessary.
Plenty of lenses are available and batteries for me are east to obtain.
The build durability is of professional standard, the camera is and will serve me well.
I've returned to film after trying to crop and enlarge some digital images I accumulated with an inexpensive digital camera. The results were awful and I came to realize that that's all I have from the past few years. Why not film when we can finally afford the pro equipment we drooled over 15+ years ago? The F3 is a piece of mechanical beauty that will prove timeless. Digital point and shoot is not photographic artistry, manual consideration and application will reveal your true vision. I've become so adamant in this regard that I've purchased a spare F3 and I'm considering which manual focus lenses I shall acquire to expand my creative arsenal. Let's continue to support film photography and it will continue to support us.
This is the cadillac of film cameras an I like it.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Still my favorite camera body Digital is fun ,but film still rules. Try Kodak 100 Ektar film and scan it. Shooting with a F-3 is like using a fine tool with wonderful viewing and feel