Aristotelis (Arigram) posted a thread on Gendered Cameras which sort of relates to my current situation I guess where I'm finding my Nikon F90X too big, can't get my fingers around all the buttons easily and quick enough and when I shot a wedding the other day the shutter release and rewind were so distracting that the brides mother actually commented on the noise my cameras made after the ceremony!!! She's lucky I didn't pull out the Hasselblad for the ceremony. :D
That seals my decision for looking for a much quieter and smaller camera/system. I have mentioned the Leica M7 but budget is just not there for it, so considering I already have some nice Nikon lenses, I'm trying to gather some info on the Nikon FM3A.
Whew... what a rant... :)
If anyone has any info on the Nikon FM3A or similar cameras, I'd love to hear it.
Kind regards, Nicole
I have an FM3A, but don't really know what kind of info you're looking for.
Thanks Diane. What do you find you use the camera for most? How does it handle? Any quirks or problems?
I have an FM3A and it's a great no-nonsense camera. It has centre-weighted metering, manual (mechanical shutter) or aperature priority (electronic shutter) setting, and has only one small battery that never seems to wear out. The disadvantage as a wedding camera might be the lack of autofocus, but never having done a wedding........(when I say "done" I mean photograph of course - I have been a participant in a couple).
One big advantage as far as I'm concerned is that it takes a lot of good (AI and AIS) lenses that can be found at a reasonable price on ebay etc. I have a 28, 50, 105, 75-150 and 43-86 zooms. The 75-150 was a fashion photographer's favourite apparently.
It also supports TTL flash. You can buy a motor drive for it, but presumably that is rather noisy. Hand cranking and focussing might take a little while to get used to at a wedding though.
Let me know if you have any other questions I can help you with.
Great to hear from you and thanks for the info. I mostly use spot metering though, didn't realise it was centre-weighted. Still sounds like a nice little camera.
Well, I guess if you have time to spot meter you have time to manually focus and wind!!
I see on another thread you were concerned about being left-eyed. I am as well, and just don't notice it as a problem. Nikon came out with a special 2.8 lens for it, a 45mm "P" I think, which makes the camera very inobtrusive. I just went for a used 50 1.8 (also available in 1.4) instead.
It's a hybrid camera.
So you don't need, if necessary, batteries.
It will be a camera that wil not give any problem in the next 30 years. Very solid!
The advantage of the Leica M7 is the silent shutter.
When you take an image with a FM3A in an museum for exemple, you have the impression that every one is regarding the photographer.
But don't hesitate to buy a FM3A, and afterwards, when budget is not a problem anymore, give it to your daughter and offer you yourself the Leica.
That's what I did here.
I, too, have the FM3A, and it is one of my favorite cameras. Very durable, has never failed me even in extreme weather conditions, and is basically a pleasure to use.
I have FM2n and FE version of this camera... I say that cause they all are pretty similar, mine just happen to be old! :) I've never heard a FM3a 'go off' but I'd check that out because ever other model in that design makes lots of noise. You attach a MD12 motordrive if you want movie style noises :)
Nearly all of the noise generated by an SLR shutter is due to the reflex mirror moving during the shutter sequence. A rangefinder camera, ala Leica, does not have this mechenism, hence, no noise.
I still have a FM2. Its compact, totally functional, all manual. I just tried it on my left eye and it feels totally comfortable.