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  1. #1

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    Farewall to the FM3a... Has the FM3a gone away forever?

    It has come to be that the Nikon FM3a has gone away.

    This little camera, in my opinion, is both the last, and, perhaps, one of the very best 35mm manual SLRs, and it has now disappeared from online stores, and soon will disappear--forever. What does that mean?

    It hasn't been very long since I first posted on this forum. My then-new FM3a is about a year and a half old today and... wonderful. I am deeply saddened to see it go. I just have to say that it does everything I want a manual 35mm camera to do, and it does these things well. I hope mine lasts a long time. I often wonder, of course, monetary considerations aside, why didn't I get a backup while they were still available?

    In any case, very sad to see that the so promising FM3a has come to an end.

  2. #2

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    Well, at least you have one. On a good note, I have a very used FM and FE that both see extensive professional usage. Other than a mirror coming loose once on the FM, there has been no service need other than regular cleaning and replacement of light seals. I bought both these used, and by the serial numbers it seems they are both over 25 years old. If that is any indication, then your FM3A should expect a long life ahead of it. If you want a nice back-up camera, consider getting a nice quality used FE2 or FM2.

    Ciao!

    Gordon

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colden
    It has come to be that the Nikon FM3a has gone away.

    This little camera, in my opinion, is both the last, and, perhaps, one of the very best 35mm manual SLRs, and it has now disappeared from online stores, and soon will disappear--forever. What does that mean?
    It probably doesn't mean much at all.

    Consider: Minolta hasn't made their SRT (all manual SLR) for a lotta years. In fact, Minolta is out of the camera business now. Yet there are still a LOT of SRT shooters who love these beasts (myself included). The fact that Minolta no longer makes cameras -- much less SRTs -- has no real meaning to me. I can still get my cameras repaired (although none has ever broken) and I can still get accessories (both from eBay and from "new old stock"). I think you'll find the situation is similar with the FM3a.

  4. #4
    Robert Kerwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colden
    It has come to be that the Nikon FM3a has gone away.

    This little camera, in my opinion, is both the last, and, perhaps, one of the very best 35mm manual SLRs, and it has now disappeared from online stores, and soon will disappear--forever.
    Indeed, I would have liked to own one, it seemed to be the perfect fusion of technology and old-fashioned reliable mechanics. But by the time I began to think seriously about it, they were discontinued and all but gone.

    I have an F100 (another fine camera), but there are times I like to use a camera where all the bells and whistles don't get between me and my pictures. My FA recently bit the dust, so eventually I'll be in the market for a manual SLR. At this point it will probably be an FM2n or F3, though I want to concentrate on rounding out my Bronica outfit first.

    I would have considered an FM3a, but even at the previous new price of $600 or so, I still might not have taken the plunge. Especially with good used cameras (FM2n, FE2, F3) selling for half that or less.

    Glad you got one and enjoy it.

    - Robert
    "Photograph more, worry less"

  5. #5

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    I don't think it means anything. Sometimes, there seems to be this feeling that a camera will stop working when a manufacturer stops production.

    Quite truthfully, when (not if) Nikon and Canon dump their film bodies for good, it won't mean anything to those who already own them.

    A good many people use cameras that have been out of production since before World War II. And so the passing of a certain model or style of camera has no bearing to them, as long as they're able to find film.

  6. #6

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    Yes, indeed... as long as they're able to find film. As long as we're able to find film. As long as I'm able to find film.

  7. #7
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Why worry because Ebay will always have FM3's, FM2n's, FM's FE's etc. Once I get re employed I am toying with an FM series body and some younger glass to compliment my old non ai fleet.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  8. #8
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    The FM3a tempts me sometimes, but my $65 FEs do a large part of the same job and I already own an FM2n too... so I think it's just NAS (a variant of GAS) that makes me want one.

  9. #9

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    Personally I think Nikon made the FM3a looking unnessasarily old fashioned!

    I know somone who bought 2 when they herd that Nikon was to end production, I wonder if this happend with any other cameras? Got me thinking that maybe Nikon said it inorder to just sell the back log.

  10. #10

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    Well, it's certainly not the last, but it's definitely one of the best. I'm not a huge fan myself (Match needle is not my thing, and I can live without TTL flash and Aperture priority, so I actually prefer the FM2n) but it is a superb camera.

    Last manual SLR will probably be the Cosina SLR (As Nikon FM10 and many others) or that Chinese K1000 knockoff that is showing up in different mounts (Including C/Y from Braun!)



 

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