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Thread: Nikon FM3A

  1. #1
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Nikon FM3A

    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.

    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

  2. #2
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    I have an FM3A, but don't really know what kind of info you're looking for.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  3. #3
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Thanks Diane. What do you find you use the camera for most? How does it handle? Any quirks or problems?
    Cheers
    Nicole

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    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    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.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  5. #5
    Nicole's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    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.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  7. #7
    fred's Avatar
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    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.

    Fred

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    Nicole,

    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.
    Macy
    Just trying to be the person my dogs think I am.

    website: gallery

  9. #9

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    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

  10. #10
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    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.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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