FM3as don't have mirror lockup per se, but they do have mirror prefire on the self timer. There are situations where one is more useful than the other, but on the whole I don't consider it to be enough of an issue to worth bothering.
Upgraded my Leica M4 to the FM3a. Did a test with M6, Bessa R2 and the Fm3a what do I say, simply magnificent camera, good handling fast shutter speed (1/4000, pretty important for me shooting 200 asa all the time), the noise ??? so what I personally am not nothered by that, and those who are ... who cares. It's not that the noise of a camera makes one conspicuous or not....
Shoot with a so calles silent leica and peole will go "ahhh a leica" etc. etc. I have the FM3 alongside my Hassleblad 503 and I must say they are an excellent couple. I use the 50 1.4 which stopped down to 2 is a most remarkable lens. I only shoot TRI-x 400 at 200 with it which I always develop in D-76, the images we bring to life are simply great. The FM3 is a camera for life I guess, and I would never think of getting rid of it ... I would say go for it.
And since you do weddings get a nikon flash with it... works like a dream.
You can also buy old FA - it has matrix metering (with manual lenses...and you can switch it back to CW), all four PASM exposure modes and some other cool features (for it's time)...and you can have this little beauty for something like 100$ on ebay
There are some disadvantages too of course:
it needs batteries to operate
hard to find parts in case of failure
no AE-lock - this was first camera with matrix metering and it was supposed to be so good that AE-lock wasn't needed anymore...good joke - it's early matrix has tendecy to overexpose A LOT when confronted with backlit scenes, otherwise it's spot on...
I own the FM3A and I love it. Sometimes its a bit too small (without the MD-12). It seems a bit too small and I can only relate it to my F2-AS.
Personally, for me, the F2-AS (or the plain F2 with DP-1 if you use an external meter) is the way to go. Find a really nice one built in 1979 that was not used by a professional photographer.
it has the right weight and feel and will last for ever if well maintained. Plus its all mechanical if you don't use the meter. The FM3A is only mechanical at two speeds.
Go to a good used camera store that also sells new and hold an FM3A and an F2 (or F3 as the previous poster mentioned).
If you were in NYC, you could use my cameras but you are in Australia.
I hope this helps and doesn't confuse you. Lastly, if you can't find an F2, you will be more than happy with an FM3A. The images I get with a brand new 24/2.8 Nikor lens are amazing with Tri-X.
So how many of those non-repeatable moments do you miss while you're goofing around staring at the preview screen?
Originally Posted by AzRaeL
If you shoot film you don't have the tempation to doubt yourself and look back at the shots you've already taken. Trust yourself, shoot the moment, and don't be tempted to start reviewing your work while in the moment.
(Note: I'm not a wedding photographer, nor do I play one on TV, I'm just the assigned APUG official stone thrower on duty! )
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I have a larger issue with Digital:
With film, I am lucky if I get 2 shots out of 20 (220) or 36 (35mm). I file the negatives. Then, I come back to them sometimes 10+ years later. The context of the photos have changed, some people have died, fashion is different, cars look differently, etc. and the pictures take on a whole new meaning.
Wtih digital (I have a p&s for product shots I want to sell on-line), I find I edit and delete each picture and don't keep the same amount of digital negatives. So, I have only the 2 photos I talked about. What do I have 10 years from now? The same 2. This is not good.
--religious argument over. Back to shooting film.
Mmhhh... I find the AE lock difficult to use without motordrive, and unusable with it. The lcd illumination system is not very useful, either. It's loud without the motordrive; once I did shoot a funeral with it, and ended composing the shot, metering manually, flipping the mirror up, and taking the shot blind in order to evade the slap-thunk of the mirror. Eerie feeling... 500-800 persons at a time, and absolute silence.
Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
With the motordrive, it's like opening fire with a FN-FAL. People duck and cover. Nice for the deer in the headlights look.
I find it quite largish; it's good as an unofficial press pass.
Fully agree. The metering pattern (fat spot) is very nice.
Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian