After a three years hiatus I have resolved to pull the Nikon F3 out of the box. The F3 is amazing, a couple of fresh batteries (LR44 I am not fussy), turn the switch ON … et voila! its working.
You can find a few posts on this blog my F3 :
- Another old fellow back from the magic cupboad – Nikon F3
- The Nikon F3 gets out the closet
- THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT
- Time travel with the Nikon F3
But for a quick summary, when my SRT101 broke in 1992 I bought a second hand beaten Nikon F3. Yes that was 30 years ago! I have carried it in a lot of places other this time, it gathered dust in the 2000’s when digital was the rage and did not get much more use when I went back to film and discovered the rangefinders.
But I love the F3. It is a camera I was really longing for, and since I bought the 50mm1.4 AIS for a travel in Nepal, I really have a nice combo there.
So, as I now belong a Nikon F facebook group I decided to ditch the L—- for a while and pick up the F3. That was week end before King Charles coronation so a bit of action was to be expected, or at least a few people wondering around.
What is the experience of shooting with the F3? Well last time I used it was in 2020 so I cannot say I am an expert, it is pretty simple. But alas I always compare to the M6, I think the rings turn i opposite direction, so focusing and adjusting aperture takes time.
I have a problem of focusing it seems. It may be me or the camera (I never had it serviced) ? Some shots are in focus, some slightly off, some were way off. I really got accustomed to the rangefinder patch.
It is not so critical, but I would have no confidence taking the portrait of someone and propose to print it for him. I would rate my chances at 30%, I think it would go up to 70 with the M6.
All in all a nice and pleasant experience ( nobody go hurt), it is a good camera to handle. A pleasant roll of my favourite film, the TMAX 100.
So ? Back to the box? For the moment yes. But as I have paid for a full package of batteries, I will have to shoot more rolls to recover my investment. And yes I saw some mint F3s and they are still a pure object of lust, even if I am not 100% satisfied.
A final note, the Leica III is back from ApertureUK, and is loaded with a test roll of FP4. To be continued