I have never used the FE2 and therefore cannot comment on it.
I have used the F3 and loved it.
I still use the F2 because I love it even more.
If I had to choose between the F3 and the FE2 for an auto exposure body to work with my manual exposure F2, I would choose the F3 only because I am familiar with it. However, in actuality, I am using the F4 as my auto exposure body because I also get an auto focus feature.
Good points about the F4, however when the F4 was released I was given one to use for 6 weeks. I intended to use it alongside my F3 bodies.
Well I can tell you that with a heavy 300mm lens attached and walking around a race track, the F4 smooth edged body became very hard to hold. As my hands picked up body oil and sweat from elsewhere, the F4 kept slipping out of my hands too easily for comfort. With an F3 and a drive fitted, the square edge of the vertical part in the front of the camera makes a very good hard edge to hold onto as one walks around holding the camera with one hand at waist height alongside ones thigh.
On that basis I gave back the F4 and never used one again in that kind of situation.
I see the F4 as effectively an F3 with autofocus and a built in motor wind, with an optional pack to bring it up to the power of the MD4. It is a very good camera, but if I was thinking along that route I would be tempted by an F5 or F6.
Having both cameras the OP talked about I can honestly say that the higher shutter speed of the FE2 over the F3 is rarely ever a problem for myself, but then again that is because my subjects rarely require flash these days.
I originally bought the FE2 to use it with high shutter synchronisation, in this aspect it was brilliant. With the MD12 attached the FE2 is quite a good camera, but the F3 apart from flash synchronisation speed is better in almost all aspects from my point of view.
One interesting accessory many people don't know exists for the MD4 drive, is the MF18 data back. That data back puts either the date, or a sequential number vertically between frames, no other Nikon data back from that era to my knowledge does that.
The sequential numbering facility is very good when shooting heaps of film at an event, you know exactly the frame number sequence between rolls.
You'll get a FM3a in the End!! just a matter of time! :munch:
I've had FE's FM's FM2's, Didn't stop me wanting a FM3a!!
Sold them all!!
Now I've a lovely Back FM3a with a MD12
Plus a Super Chrome FA with a MD15
I'm a very Happy Chappy :D :D
I vote for the F3HP. But then you should know what you want.
Well, actually the whole point of my starting this thread was because I'm trying to sort out which one I should get. Y'all have helped with your advice, and I really appreciate reading about your experiences because this is the sort of info that's valuable. But I think that what I should probably do is prioritize things, and ask myself which of the features I could use the most now. I keep coming back to the F3, and I think it's mostly because I used to own one and was happy with the results it gave, whereas I've only had the chance to use an FE2 briefly. But should familiarity be reason enough for me to choose an F3 over an FE2? Arrgggghhh!
Originally Posted by Chan Tran
I suspect what will happen is I'll end up buying the one I can find the best deal on. :rolleyes:
If you've $250 to spend, head on over to KEH and choose both a BGN grade F3HP and a BGN grade FE2. The main issue I have with the F3 is not the flash synch (I have two other bodies with just as slow a synch, that being my F and my F2A), but the FA-style meter readout, where, you have either "+", "-", or "-+". I'm used to fiddling around with it a bit, so it's no big deal now, but, I do feel much happier when I grab one of the 'mats, my F, or my F2A. I can instantly see how far off I am. That said, I still shoot with my F3P. Even though it needs an overhaul, due to the higher shutter speeds being erratic. I'm just using slower film and stopping the lenses down. May swap the K64 (yes, shooting it, going to do Xpro with it) into it from the F and put the Super HQ 200 into the F, that way, I have a better match.
The F3 is a very fine camera. But, I could never get by with it's paltry 1/180'th flash sync. I love my FE-2, it's ruggedness, 1/250'th flash sync and TTL flash capabilities. I still use my FE-2 professionally to this day.
Kiron Kid (Russ)
To each their own. For me the flash sync has never been a problem, on the other hand, I could not be without mirror lock up, even though I don't always need it. When you do, you do. I have a favorite lens, that has had a high return on investment, that only works with mirror lock up. However, if I did not need this feature, and needed a higher sync speed, would switch to a different body. Having more than one Nikon is the solution. :D
Originally Posted by Kiron Kid