The F definitely feels like it has gears operating the advance mechanism, whereas the F3 series has the ball bearings, like the EM, FG, and FG-20. Yep, same winding mechanism. With respect to the finder, is your F3 an HP model? That would explain why the F's finder seems bigger. Less magnification on the DE-3 than on the eyelevel F finder. 75% compared to 80%.
Originally Posted by stevebarry
Re: the original poster's question, I'd get an F2AS. Keep the F, find a decent eyelevel prism, and put that on in place of the Photomic finder.
APUG: F5, F3HP, F2AS, Nikomat FT2, FTn, Nikkormat EL, FT
Nikkors: 18-55/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (f/D2x), 20/3.5 UD, 24/2.8 AI, 50/2 AI, 50/2 H, 50/1.4 S, 55/2.8 Micro AIS, 85/1.8 K, 180/2.8 PC
- My flickr stream
Considering that a few days ago I pulled out my F3HP, only to find it totally dead, I am not a big fan of the F3. I never really was -- don't care for the metering pattern and the on/off switch is remarkably unergonomic.
I'd go for an F2, even with one of the meter prisms. Beautifully made camera, feels great in the hand.
If you want a refined camera the F3 is most refined. The best is the F2.
My F is refined. Like a piece of spring steel sharpened on the sidewalk. Looks bad, works well.
I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
- Garry Winogrand
ahhh IC...I think I will stick with the F/F2 for robustness and add a plain prism(I don't need a meter or auto-anything).
Quick question: the plain prism and the screens between the two are interchangeable, right? I believe so but I wanted to make sure.
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Originally Posted by Tom1956
good timing: a long-time F2 user, i had a chance to play with a motorized F3 today, while picking up a lens from a local store... i played... and played... and played... and, like, meh... so i played a bit more, just so i could say i've been there, y'know, then i put it away with other toys
nothing says "respect" like an F2
I have an F and an F2, and they're very similar in a lot of ways, obviously, but the slightly more rounded shape of the F2 for me wins out. The small improvements--the higher shutter speed, the hinged back--mean that most of the time when I want one of my Nikons, I choose the F2 over the F. Mine has the photomic head, but the meter no longer works right, so it might just as well be a plain prism. I've only shot wit an F3 once or twice. I'm sure it's fine but I like the more completely mechanical models.
Originally Posted by TheToadMen
"People get bumped off." -- Weegee
I have both the plain prism F and F2 as well as the F3HP. All three are lovely cameras but the F2 has a slight edge. Small differences like the placement of the shutter release and film door gives it the edge.
The F2 was a refinement of the original:
- Modern battery in body
- Improved film advance lever
- Shutter location
- Slow shutter speeds
- 1/2000 speed
- Hinged back
With the plain prism, you get the same unobstructed view of the original.