Identifying Nikon F3: is it HP?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by guitstik, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I have found a gent not to distant from me that has two Nikons for sale. One is an FE w/MD12 and the other is an F3 w/MD4. No lenses are being offered and I feel his prices are a might high but when asked he was unable answer if the F3 is the HP version. I am considering picking up either one of these cameras regardless if I buy from this individual or not but I would still like to be able to identify the HP vs. the standard view prism. If I were to pick up an F3 I would prefer the standard because as I understand, the HP is somewhat of a dimmer VF and with my aging eyes I need as much light as I can get. I may just end up getting both cameras if we can come to an equitable agreement but that is yet to be seen due to the holidays.

    So to the question, how does one determine which is which?
     
  2. OldBodyOldSoul

    OldBodyOldSoul Member

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    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonf3ver2/

    You see the "HP" in the bottom right corner of the finder? It tells you that this F3 has the "High-eye Point" finder (also known as DE-3; standard is DE-2). It's a bit bigger than the DE-2.
    You don't have to get two cameras, just two finders because they are interchangeable.
     
  3. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Looking at the front of the finder, the letters HP appear below and just to the right of the Nikon name.

    EDIT, add'l info:
    I don't think the image is dimmer on the HP finder, but it is smaller, so it and the exposure info can be seen with the eye up to 25mm (1 inch) from the eyepiece. I like it because I wear glasses, but otherwise I'd rather use the standard finder for the extra magnification. The HP has 75% magnification; the standard finder has 80% magnification, which is a noticeable difference. Even with glasses the standard (DE-2) finder is pretty good. The standard finder is a little more compact, and in my opinion, looks better.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2011
  4. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Whew, quick respons time, like blazing fast :laugh:

    I have yet to lay hands on the cameras and all attempts to have him email me photos have apparently fallen on deaf ears. So that gives me more info than I had before, I have never handled either of these cameras before and so I am a total noob especially when it comes to Nikon. Thanks.
     
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The F3 has a very smooth and light film wind. LCD in the finder is small, so a little hard to read, especially when metering manually. A nice feel, good balance, good ergos. A tough machine, electronics are very reliable. Many very old ones are still going fine.

    Make sure it has the cover on the bottom under the film cartridge compartment, which is removed to fit a motor drive. I priced a replacement for mine, and it was $25-30. If it's missing it might be stored in the end of the motor drive, if that's around.
    I taped a dime over the opening and didn't sweat it. My (ahem) out of pocket expense: 10 cents.

    One thing: the meter illumination switch, with a tiny red button on the right side of the finder, had to have been designed after a lunch where too much sake was consumed. It often doesn't work or works intermittently; even when it does, it has no feel. I would not reject an otherwise good F3 if it doesn't function properly, another is likely no better.
     
  6. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    There are very few cameras with a build quality like the F3 that is obvious the moment you exercise it. Although it doesn't differ much in size to Nikon's smallest (FG/EM/FG20) and medium (FM/FE/FA) size SLRs, there is a substantial difference in weight that will be obvious if you have them hanging on your neck.

    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind that the F3 system uses a special flash shoe. Although there are adapters for standard shoe flashes, only the hard to find and quite expensive AS-17 enables TTL capable flash to work on the F3.

    [​IMG]

    These adapters make it convenient to use one flash across F3 and standard shoe bodies but Nikon offered flashes for both.
     
  7. fstop

    fstop Member

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    If you have Minolta background you will like both the FE and the F3. The FE has aperture priority and plenty of features,the F3 has always been a favorite of mine because it does everything the Minolta XK does and is cheaper,smaller and lighter. plus the standard body can take a motor drive.
     
  8. TriXfan

    TriXfan Member

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    And while you're considering -- check out the Nikon F2, whose shutter will work on all speeds without ever needing a battery.
     
  9. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I just recently received a Nikon S2 and F in a deal and soon after I bought an F2 from a member here and have been enjoying all of them. An F3/FE is not a need but a want. From what I understand, both cameras will work with my non-AI lenses and if I want to in the future I can step up to AI lenses.
     
  10. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Yes that is correct.
     
  11. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Just got off the phone with the guy, he sent me some pis and they look good. Now I just have to set up a time to see them. The F3 is the non-HP version and from what I saw it looks well cared for.
     
  12. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Which finder for the F2?

    With the F3, you've completed a trifecta . . . ;-)

    [​IMG]

    Also, you can have none AI lenses converted to AI for very reasonable price too.
     
  13. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I bought a 35-135 finder off eBay, it's not the Nikon but it works for my needs. If I were to convert my non-AI lenses to AI would I still be able to use them on my F/F2?
     
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  15. EthanFrank

    EthanFrank Member

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    If you don't wear glasses, I suspect you'll much prefer the non-HP finder. I briefly owned both, and the non-Hp was always my favorite. I'm not quite sure why the F3HP commands a premium...

    In any case, one of the great things about the F3 is that if you don't like your finder, you can just swap it out!
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I wear glasses and have an F3hp with a 55mm micro Nikkor lens. I bought it new for some scientific photography and it's a beautiful camera.
     
  17. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    35-135 finder must be for your S2?

    Since I can use AI lenses on my F and FT3, I am going to assume that a AI converted lens will be just as useful. My F2 has the DP-11 finder which makes it an F2A and AI lenses are more useful for it.

    Here is a link to the conversion that I have seen but not tried myself -> AI Conversions for Nikon Lenses
     
  18. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Sorry about that, that finder is for the S2. I have the finder that makes it an F2A2, not sure which one it is right now.
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  20. fstop

    fstop Member

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    probably a typo I think he meant F2AS
     
  21. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Either that or a super rare NASA only prism although a DP12 would still be a great prism to have . . . ;-)
     
  22. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Crap. To many damn models, variations and flavors to keep track of. It's an F2 with a big honkin view finder on top, why does Nikon have to be so complicated. I think it might be the F2AS, there is a square piece on top that has a +> <- and two lights over those showing over/under exposure. There is a little window in the front face just over the lower case "n" in Nikon that I still haven't figured out because it doesn't change when the aperture is changed and it looks like "18*" inside of it. If you couldn't tell, I'm a novice with these Nikons.
     
  23. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2011
  24. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I looked under the finder and there is a tag saying it is a DP-2.
     
  25. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Which means you have an -> F2S
     
  26. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Aha, eureka. Now all I have to do is remember that.