THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

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The Big Buddha is a work in progress

Before moving to the focusing bit, lets start by a few shots from Phuket. My eyesight for short distances is becoming quite bad so I cannot read the markings on the camera, so when I loaded this roll of Kodak Pro image 100 I put the speed selector to 1600 instead of 100. 2020-11-F3-2-4

So the pictures from Phuket are underexposed by 4 stops, but end up being quite exploitable , the colors are still pleasant. Nice job Kodak.

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Inside the shrine

 

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Karon football stadium
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Karon football stadium
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A resort in Karon
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Karon beach scene
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Phuket airport

I realized my mistake at Phuket airport and changes the speed. Above the colorful planes at the airport terminal; I quite like the colors of this film.

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Apples in Chinatown

Back in Singapore, I had my black and white film processed and as the results were OK (See last post), so I decided to finish this roll with the F3. I changed the screen to the Split screen model K as its easier to focus, so it will give a better indication of the accuracy of the camera focusing.

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Lost in Chinatown

Of course the shot above is a hip shot where distance has been guesstimated, so it does not prove much.

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Taoist ceremony in Chinatown

The two following shots are related to a Taoist ceremony in the center of town, the afternoon weather was quite bright so the shots were done with a small aperture, balancing potential focusing problems.

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Flags in Chinatown

I think this ceremony is held by one of temples situated in the nearby habitation block. The place were the tent is set, often hosts funeral wakes, and even a medium ceremony after Chinese new year.

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Inside TWG tea shop

In TWG tea shop at raffles hotel, the lens was nearly wide open and the focusing on the letters quite easy, it looks the picture is in focus.

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Yellow throat lizard

The lizard also is is focus, though small.

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Tiong Bahru Monkey God temple

The shot above  was done probably at F4 and quite close, looks reasonably in focus as well, I really love the warn tones or the film.

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Next table

So far so good until the last shot, wide open (F1.4) , the light was a bit dim, I focused on the glass at the front where it seems the actual focus is on the middle of the table (or the Asahi beer logo), so 10 to 15 cm back. So this is not very conclusive then.

  • Nikon F3
  • Nikkor AI-S 50mm F1.4
  • Kodak Pro Image 100ISO
  • Epson v800

 

THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

The Nikon F3 gets out the closet

It seems to be a tradition to write about the F3 magically getting out for a spin (You can read the 2012 post ANOTHER OLD FELLOW BACK FROM THE MAGIC CUPBOAD – NIKON F3 ) the last picture I put on Flickr with this old fellow dates back from 2015 so it had time to gather dust inside the magic box. When I took it out the mirror foam was all gone but I have some spare foam, maybe a bit thick, so I replaced it in a 5 minutes. The 5 years old batteries were dead (not stored inside the camera), but I found some for 4$ at the convenience store of my condo. I fiddled a bit to find the correct direction for the batteries and of we go! The meter is metering and shutter is shutting. Attach the 50mm F1.4 AI-S, load a roll of H5 and lets roll.

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I will start with my favorite images, above two tourists wondering the streets of Chinatown, a rare hip-shot, I have not used a SLR for years i am not sure about using it for street shots.

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A friendly man in Karon (Phuket Thailand) building a new extension to the local temple (Wat Karon), he is molding cement Buddhist wheels to decorate the wall outside the building.

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Russian lady with a tambourine humming to Buddha while fiddling with her instrument I say : she a Shaman.

Okay so appart from these 3 shots that I really like, the rest of the roll is pretty good as you can see there after  (I spared you those of my family by the pool)

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First stop was in Singapore Chinatown, a few days before flying to Phuket, one of the reasons why I stopped using the F3 was because I keep on thinking it is not focusing properly. Indeed the distance on the lens always looks off compared to the actual distance. But the shots of this roll seems to prove otherwise.

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I used the original B screen (micro-prism) which is more difficult to focus than the split screen (model K  on top of my head).2020-11-F3-1-8

I have loaded a second roll now and will try to split screen on the second half of it just t try to assert where the issue is.

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Also I used the A mode for aperture, so the speed adjust automatically to the aperture you select. I never use it on the Leica, as I always found the speed to be too low and result in camera shake, but again it proved to work nicely here.

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Then we flew to Thailand for the week-end, which was the reason to resurrect the F3 ; I did not want to bring the M6 or the M262 to the beach. Oh but I did in Australia last year. Well OK, that’s just how it is.

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A rickshaw in front of our hotel, close focusing seems to work, I am not sure I actually focused on the horn, but that sounds (ha ha) realistic.

And off to the beach .

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Back light as the sunset if approaching the metering works great.

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Street / beach scene, another nice action by the F3 meter.

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Speeding in speedos.

 

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Back to USSR

On the next day we walk from our hotel to Katong center town, very bright light. All shots were done at F11 with 1/1000th. The shutter of the F3 is limited to 1/2000th so I could not use wider apertures with a 400 ISO film.

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Asoline ?

And we reach Wat Karon the local temple.

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Inside the temple we just missed the lunch of the monks , normally no later than 11am. Pity.2020-11-F3-1-262020-11-F3-1-32

From the seaside at Karon we took a taxi to visit Phuket Big Buddha,  a seated Maravija Buddha.

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It is big indeed, like 40 meters high.

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Here as well the light was very powerful, so maximum shutter speed and min apperture.

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Family praying the Big Buddha
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Another quite big statue at he back of the main one

I  spent 30 minutes at the shot yesterday discussing with other photogs of the potential focusing issue of my body. This roll seems to prove me wrong, but on the other hand most shots were done at very small apertures, so the focusing may not matter much.

A quick comparison with the M6 ? The F3 is slightly bigger, but just a sexy, the weight is probably very close, actually the M6 is 200 grams heavier. Both cameras have an integrated meter, but with slightly different methods, teh F3 is 80% center weighted the M6 is roughly spot metering, I actually quite like the exposure of the shots above.

The Nikon F3 gets out the closet

Time travel with the Nikon F3

The last post on the Nikon F3, makes me go through my Flickr stream and look for some nice travel pics done with the old fellow. I probably have more, but I don’t want to be too boring. You will notice a big empty space between 2000 and 2009; well these were the days of the digital point and shoot… duh.

Nepal 2011

Cambodia 2010

Laos 2009

Bali 2000

Senegal 1997

Kassel 1997

Bruxelles 1996

New York 1996

Egypt 1996

Bora Bora 1995

Easter Island 1995

Time travel with the Nikon F3

Another old fellow back from the magic cupboad – Nikon F3

In my tradition of using my toys once in a while I picked up the Nikon F3 a couple of weeks before the summer holidays. I had a roll of Kodak Profoto XL 100 ASA left from the trip to Rajahstan but no batteries left from last time I used it, off to the shop then before I can hit the streets (on Singapore) and shoot.

Nikon F3
Nikon F3

So this is my dusty, battered Nikon F3; I bought it back in 1992, in what I recon now was a pretty bad condition for about 600 EUR including the 35-70 f3.5 AI Pro (whatever the “pro” mean). Over these 20 years the fellow traveled through Europe, New York, Egypt, Senegal, Laos, Cambodia, Tahiti and Bora Bora, Reunion Island, Mauritius and last year to Nepal. What I enjoyed the must is its reliability, my best souvenir is when the batteries went out is Assouan and I could make some of my best Egypt shots using the manual trigger. The 50mm 1.4 is a recent addition that I bough last year for the trip to Nepal.

So here are some shots of this most recent roll.


There is always something going on on Orchard Road, this is a street photographer’s paradise; even if sometime you don’t really get what people are up to.

This mysterious vending machine was selling all kind of stuff, I could not guess if this was art or just advertisement. Inside were fake (no way !) gold bars containing various goods, we got a magnet for our 2 bucks, some got T-shirts.


Back to Tiong Baru for breakfast…


Chinese Tombs on Outram Hill; you can find some detailed information here tiongbahruestate.blogspot.sg/2007/08/tan-tock-seng-ad-179….


Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple Race course road ; in Little India.

Another old fellow back from the magic cupboad – Nikon F3

Home for elderly people in Pashupatinath – Kathmandu – Nepal

This shelter is on the side of the main temple of Pashupatinath on the way to the Ghats where the cremations are held. Not the best picture ever but I like the atmosphere, I regret not to have spent more time there.

Look on the Flickr stream for the picture of the blind man, same place but on the top of the central platform.

Camera: Nikon F3
Lens: Nikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400
Scanner: Epson V500, Epson Software

Home for elderly people in Pashupatinath – Kathmandu – Nepal

Newar Man – Thimi Nepal

Newar Man

Bright morning at the small temple as the junction of the motorway to Tibet and the road to Thimi. This guy came to us and start talking to our guide. I asked if I could take her portrait and here it is.
At first sight the best picture of my two rolls of film.

Camera: Nikon F3
Lens: Nikkor 50mmF1.4 AIS
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400
Scanner: Epson V500, Epson Software
Given my recollection of the weather and the DOF the picture must have been taken at medium apperture, probably F8 1/250s.

Newar Man – Thimi Nepal