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Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Dec 11, 2008.
I just love my F3hp and was wondering which full manual Nikon to look into next.Suggestions?
Whilst I also run F3HP bodies plus an FE2, I have often thought if a late model FM2 happened along, I would snap it up.
FM2 is a nice camera, and I particularly like the light meter, but I am even more fond of the F2…
I sold my FM2n because I didn't like the meter system.Love my FE & FE2.
Shall check into the F2.
How to choose?
Get more lenses first.
If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?
Seriously speaking, if you are happy with the camera, I'd just get a duplicate camera. Makes things very easy. I love my pair of F-1s and my pair of FTb-QLs. Using either pair is always a bit easier than using one of each; nothing to remember to do differently when going from one to the other.
Good morning, Mike;
You did say "fully manual." I agree with Uhner; the Nikon F2.
The variations you will find are mainly in the metering on top of the body. You can change the metering, or just use a waist level, magnifier, or pentaprism finder with the body. It is the last hand assembled Nikon 35 mm camera. It does not require a battery (you did say "fully manual"). They can be repaired. I like mine, although I do use my Minoltas more often. Something about the Nikkor lenses focusing "backwards" for me.
The Nikon F2 is a great choice.... I think I have 6..... some have bad shutters but I really like the camera.... what makes them all different is the meter you put on them..... I have mostly non-AI lenses so I really like my F2S.
Mike, it depends on what you might be shooting and under what conditions. for myself, my F3 wasn't cutting it in the cold. I need knobs (shutter dial) so I could it with cold weather gloves on. I also needed something that was weather resistant. To my point, it depends on you usage. I found the f4s did meet my needs, and is a great manual camera. Batteries last fairly well in the cold as well. I really liked the F3 and HP version is even better. The film advance lever is silky smooth. - Sean
The F2 it's an awesome piece of equipment, I like mine with a regular prism finder from the F.
Did I mention the F's and F2's are fully compatible in screens and finders?
Mike, I might add that if you don’t like the meter on the FM2 – you will probably not like the meter read out on the F2 A2 or the SB.
I just love my F3hp and was wondering which full manual Nikon to look into next.
It depends on why you want another body.
If you just need another body to use, I would simply get another F3.
If you want to add it to a collection of full manual Nikons, here is what I would choose in order of priority:
1. Nikon SP rangefinder
2. Nikon F2 titanium
3. Nikon F2
4. Any other Nikon rangefinder
5. Nikon FM3a
6. Any other Nikon FM except FM-10
7. Nikon F
8. Nikon FM-10
What do you want your next body to do that the F3 doesn't? That's the question that needs to be answered.
If you like the F3 and want another like it, get another F3.
The FA and F4 will matrix meter your manual Nikkors. That's an advantage.
The TTL on the F4 is far more advanced than the F3's first-generation flash technology.
The FM family are less expensive / just-as-durable backup bodies for the F3, if that's all you're wanting.
Some prefer the FE2 to the FM family. That's always an option. Stay away from the original FE - their SS viewfinder indicators are connected to the shutter speed dial with a single thread that is prone to break - mine has multiple times).
The F2 (or even an F) will give you similar pro options to the F3 without the need for batteries - and have a completely mechanical shutter.
The list goes on and on.
FM/FM2 for full manual or older F2, F or FE/FE2 when you want to concentrate on focusing and composition then using the aperture priority. I've used all of these with great satisfaction.
I'm a F3 buff anyway so I advise this wonderful camera everytime I can...
The only "full manual" Nikons that I can think of are the F2 series and FM series. (My 2 F3HP cameras are not "full manual".).
If you can get by with a Nikon that requires batteries, you might want to take a look at the FA.
i agree with the FA.. it has matrix metering.. goes up to 1/4000th of second shutterspeed.. i myself is look for one.. next to my FM2n.. but if you want all mechanical tank.. i would go with the F2.. one of my dream cameras..
I really like my FA, I shoot it more than any other Nikon film camera (and I have a few...:rolleyes. But, if I wasn't shooting it, my choice for manuals is almost always my F2A. Like that camera a lot.
I've had a F2a for almost 31 years. I could take it out tonight and run a roll through it and still get acceptable images. It is very tired, and in need of a complete overhaul.
In 1983 I flew to Panama for military training. During the flight some how the meter switch was left on and on arrival I found the batteries had died. Fellow soldiers laughed that I was "not going to get picture" because of "without batteries how" type of thinking.
I shot film for two weeks before getting to town to buy some batteries... every image that I shot came out. I think I shot some HP4 - Pan F or something that was a 72 exposure roll....
SO.. for complete manual control I stick with the F2 series and just remember the "Sunny 16 rule"....
So, the question becomes, if you want similar/identical performance, get another F3.
If you want a lighter-weight camera, then look at the FM series. If you want something larger and all-manual, then perhaps the Nikkormat FT3.
Here are your Nikon choices from 1959 -1979 and 1980 - 1990
If you pick up an FM3a then that is like getting the best of both the FM2 and FE2 + additional features and it would be newer by almost 20 years so you can expect it to last that much longer.
Since you say that you don't like the FM series style of metering, but like the FE2 metering, then you'll want either a Photomic or an F2A. The F2SB and F2AS have the same meter readout as the FM2/FM2n. The F2S is just like an F3, but visible in the dark, readout-wise. Although, the shutter speed is indicated by a mechanical disk that rotates with the shutter speed dial, like on other F2 bodies.
Personally, I found that I prefer the F2AS/FM2 readout over the F3's, but don't like how some FM2n's tend to develop a twitchy meter as they age. I know that F2AS's can sometimes develop the same issue as their resistance elements go bad. That said, I also really like the F4's meter readout. The bar-graph display is quite nice compared to the "+-" of the F3/F2S or the "+0-" of the FM series and the F2AS/SB. A lot like a meter needle, but visible in darkness.
BTW, you can't fully share TTL flashes between an F3 and any other Nikon due to the proprietary mount unless you get the usually very expensive Nikon AS-17. So getting another F3 is not a bad option.
Getting the FM2/FE2/FA/FM3a gets you a smaller lighter body with higher flash sync speed and higher shutter speeds - and other features as already mentioned.
Nikon's smallest slr - the FG (EM/FG/FG20 lineup) is worth a look see.
I use a FE and wow is that thing a beauty, so effortless to use. It does have a new shutter, which was put in 20 years ago. But I would recommend just getting another of the same body.
Your brain is a better meter than anything mechanical. Get an F and think.