I am not so sure about your tem investment. If you mean that the camera will gain in value then it's definitely not. If you mean if it's worth having and using then it is although about $200 is a high price. Unlike other posts recommend you to get other cameras I would recommend you to get an F3 but wait to see if you can get a better one. I like the F3 very much but I doubt that too many people like it also.
well, I read all the advise and (with it all in mind) walked into the store. I decided to maybe hold off on the F3 for now and wait for a better one - ideally an HP.
I'm also going to try to get a better focusing screen for my FM2.
I walked out with a Nikon F801s!! Took the advice about the electronic rangefinder. Definitely useful. In brighter light, the viewfinder is pretty clear! :)
More on this later!
Awesome! I had that camera and loved it. Sold it because it was heavy, especially with an SB-24 attached (infact with an MF-21 databack I had 10 batteries around my neck...) Got some good shots with it though, as no doubt you will too :)
A word of advice about the rangefinder: I found it didn't work all the time, mainly in low light. Thats one advantage of a split prism.
There are a ton of F3-HPs out there. On the 'Bay the winning prices for same are all over the place; if you buy one and can sleep at night knowing what you've paid, that is all that matters. Someone will certainly have paid less than what you did and someone will certainly have paid more. Take a lot of pictures and move on. Nothing is a "good investment" except in hindsight, but on Ebay F3s with the DE2 usually fetch less than F3s with the DE3. You might consider that a hint from the Market.
Having said that, if the box you're looking at has the motor drive connector cover and some brassing on the bottom I would say it's likely that it rarely if ever had a motor on it. That's good news for the shutter. If you have large hands you might like it with an MD4 motor; there are lots on that auction site, cheap. (They might even have an extra cover in the little storage pocket. You'd be surprised how often people forget that's there.) If you have large hands you might like the feel of an F4 better. I don't so I cannot speak to that. I have an MD4 but never use it except in winter when it makes the camera easier to hold with gloves (and the drive's batteries run the camera, rather than the camera's).
Finally, Nikons are very Hemingway. A mint Nikon is pretty. A brassed up Nikon is lovely.
The best way to get a working vertical shutter release is with the MK-1 Firing Rate Converter, as seen on one of my F-3's HERE, fitted with a DA-2 Action Finder as well.
Using a DE-2 does shave a bit of weight off, and sometimes I do prefer the lower profile, lighter weight while only slightly altering the finder's image. I do use glasses, and the DE-3 is nice, the P body DE-5 is the same view.
As well, brassed F-3's are quite pretty, the paint gets a nice gloss before it brasses.
MK-1s aren't exactly an affordable option. People rave about DE-3 finders, though I suspect few have ever compared them with a DE-2.
Originally Posted by RidingWaves
Brassing just means the camera's been beat to death. Holds no romance for me.
yeah, I know, MK-1 are hard to find, I was lucky to grab 2 back in the 90's and rarely see any around. I did say the best, not the cheapest :)
I've owned just about every nikon film body made, and the f3 is my least favorite of thier pro or prosumer line--mostly due to their horrible LCD metering readout. I woud recommend an f100 or f2as instead.
I've owned FE2, FM2 and F80 Nikons. Sold them all when I went Contax SLR years ago. Bought in again when I saw a great FM2 for $150 and then got me some older Q, M and P Nikkor glass which I love for B&W. The F3 was my fantasy camera back when I was 20 yrs old and the camera new was like $2k. So when I found a brassy but perfectly functioning one offered on APUG a few months ago I grabbed it. Gorgeous camera, a real tank, I love it. $200 is not bad.