Nikon F3 meter problems

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Nikanon, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I recently purchased a Nikon F3 from KEH EX rating, the meter at first worked perfectly fine. After the first exposure to the cold the meter went haywire (around 32 degrees) and the numbers came up all choppy and the plus and minus sign for over and under exposure appeared at random intervals, ever since the camera has totally warmed up and the batteries even replaced to be sure, the error has no subsided and remains fully in effect, whats wrong with my camera?
     
  2. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

    Messages:
    743
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It could be that the meter is OK and that the display is the problem. Is the exposure OK or not?
    If I remember correctly it was recommended that the F3's LCD display should be changed every seven years.
     
  3. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    i now use my pentax digital spotmeter, but this is a burden when i want to shoot on the street to carry two items, actually i think i forgot to mention that its the display, im sure the meter works fine but i sure cant read it! what am i to do about it? where and how do i change it?
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

    Messages:
    743
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I may be wrong, but I think that you need a new LCD display, and even if you got one it is not easy to change without the right tools.
    I suggest that you use it in AE-mode. Aim and lock the time i necessary.
    Making a guess of the settings is not that hard, and let the camera set the exact time. You set the aperture based on your estimate and the camera does the rest.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Location:
    Bremen, Germ
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My experiences with that camera are as follows:

    In the cold, the display turns into dark appearance. That seems in your eye like blinking symbols. If it is getting colder, the display will get totally dark, but it recreates in the warm.

    The change of the display after seven years is imho being safe for Nikon and getting money from the customer. I use my F3, since i bought her new in the early 80's, without servicing it or changing the display with excellent results, also in rough conditions.
     
  6. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

    Messages:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Prague, Czec
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I had similar problem with display - the numbers simply dissapeared or became +-2888 or something like that.... I had carefully opened the display "block" and then closed and tighten it all back together and it just started to work as it should work, so I think it is very sensitive to misalignment of contacts due to temperature changes & so on.
    But maybe this isn't your case.
     
  7. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I refuse to ever use automatic exposure. Ever. I base my exposures on a series of meterings, even when using only the cameras 80% weighed metering in the center, i never make an average exposure of the scene.
     
  8. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Cold weather is also a bitch on batteries.
     
  9. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    haha yea i knew that one to be true, just seems it got my LCD this time too
     
  10. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Mighty strong sentiment there. I have been using my F3 on automatic for a few years now. My other Nikons are used in conjunction with either a hand-held spot meter or with my best guess exposure system. I've found that the F3 does a really good job of calculating an exposure in the automatic mode based on the comparisons of negatives from the F3 against negatives from my other cameras. Bottom line, if you are forced to go automatic with your F3, your exposure will be acceptable.
     
  11. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Location:
    North-ish-western US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe that the F3's metering system was highly regarded as one of the best for its time before the advent of matrix metering systems. IMHO, I am still not convinced the matrix systems are all that much better.

    Just my $.02

    -F.
     
  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,660
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mine too.
     
  13. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1
     
  14. moco

    moco Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Years later, same issue with Nikon F3 display

    Hello, I came across this forum after having the same issue with an F3 I just bought. I am new to Nikon 35mm and can't figure out what's wrong. Like you I took a few good shots then suddenly the display is all nonsense¬ówith the "-+" signs and giving either 1050, 1060 or 0 as the shutterspeed no mater if it's in auto or manual. Did you ever resolve the issue?
     
  15. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,373
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Late reply! After reviewing the way the F3 metering, autoexposure control and shutter speed setting I think what is wrong with your camera is purely with the display alone. If you would like to test it out I would suspect that it would give correct exposure in auto mode as well as correct exposure in manual mode as well. Just that the display is wrong.
     
  16. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

    Messages:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Prague, Czec
    Shooter:
    35mm
    just get some PH0 screwdriwer, open the top, clean the contacts with isopropylalcohol and assmble carefully back.
     
  17. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think this is most likely the problem.
     
  18. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And this is most likely the solution. It worked for me.
     
  19. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If it helps before you try unscrewing things I have a .pdf of the Nikon F3 repair manual. It is over 40MB in size but if you want a copy PM me your email address & I will upload it to one of the file transfer sites for you to grab.

    Good luck with getting it fixed.