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  1. #41
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mawz View Post
    Try night shooting with it and reading exposure off that horrid LCD. I owned the F3HP and F2A side by side for months, and the F3 never got used. The better finder in the F2 (I don't wear glasses, and the HP finder in the F3 is only better for glasses wearers) and the better metering readout made a huge difference for me.

    The F3 certainly has its flaws. The meter LCD and its (almost never working) backlight are by far the worst of them.


    Interesting similarity in my case; I have an F2A and a couple of F3HP's, all in working condition. I hardly ever use the F2A because it doesn't feel well balnced (rather top-heavy in my opinion). Also, I find that my F2A is a bit too rounded or smooth on the edges making it slip from my hand much easier than an F3. I actually use my older F much more than my F2A (my F with Ftn metered prism is even more top-heavy than my F2A, but due to its sharper edges it sits better in my hands). I think I have used my F2A twice in the past year, whereas I always carry my F3HP and Nikon F with me all the time.

    As far as reading the meter in the F3HP, it's a matter of getting used to it. I'll take an LCD over an LED any day (bad experiences with an FM2). It becomes second nature after a while. I do agree though that the tiny backlight is useless. Another slight drawback (or weak spot) that the Nikon F3 has is in the shutter release button being located on the film advance lever. I believe that this design is not as reliable as other Nikons (such as the F, F2, FM2, etc.) that have the shutter release button not attatched to the film advance lever.

    This past weekend I took one of my F3HP's to Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. For the sake of traveling lite I removed the MD4 motor drive and just took a couple of prime lenses. The F3HP with a 35mm AIS 2.0 is a very light weight combo. After walking around under the sun for about 7 hours, standing in long lines, getting into and out of rides, the F3 did not feel as heavy as other cameras I have used under the same circumstances. My only regret was that my shoulder strap was too wide (great when used with the F3, MD4, and large lens), so it kept slipping from my shoulder.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    Actually, I'm pretty sure that the F3 used some of the first generation LCD's. At the time, there probably wasn't anything better.
    Exactly. Remember, the camera was introduced in 1980.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehparis View Post
    I love my F3HP. What's an MP?

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  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    Interesting similarity in my case; I have an F2A and a couple of F3HP's, all in working condition. I hardly ever use the F2A because it doesn't feel well balnced (rather top-heavy in my opinion). Also, I find that my F2A is a bit too rounded or smooth on the edges making it slip from my hand much easier than an F3. I actually use my older F much more than my F2A (my F with Ftn metered prism is even more top-heavy than my F2A, but due to its sharper edges it sits better in my hands). I think I have used my F2A twice in the past year, whereas I always carry my F3HP and Nikon F with me all the time.
    I never noticed a huge difference in balance between the two, although the F2 is a bit more top-heavy. As to the F, I find it uncomfortable due to the bad shutter release placement.

    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    As far as reading the meter in the F3HP, it's a matter of getting used to it. I'll take an LCD over an LED any day (bad experiences with an FM2). It becomes second nature after a while. I do agree though that the tiny backlight is useless. Another slight drawback (or weak spot) that the Nikon F3 has is in the shutter release button being located on the film advance lever. I believe that this design is not as reliable as other Nikons (such as the F, F2, FM2, etc.) that have the shutter release button not attatched to the film advance lever.
    My first real MF Nikon was an FA and I had the F3 for 18 months before getting the F2A. I truly came to loathe that awful LCD in that time. While the newer LCD and LCD-style LED displays on the AF Nikons are quite usable (and well backlit) the simple LCD on these two bodies is the worst display I've had the mispleasure to use, especially in low light where they become unreadable long before a needle or LED readout. I greatly prefer LED's, especially a 5 LED setup, or match needle, or plain needle (a la DP-11 on an F2). The best meter readout I've seen for older SLR's is the Pentax LX's Match LED readout. The best metering readout I've ever seen is the EOS 3/1v dual simulated match needle (2 side by side readouts so you could see exposure compensation, multi-spot metering and other compared readings. Sounds complicated, works extremely well)

    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    This past weekend I took one of my F3HP's to Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. For the sake of traveling lite I removed the MD4 motor drive and just took a couple of prime lenses. The F3HP with a 35mm AIS 2.0 is a very light weight combo. After walking around under the sun for about 7 hours, standing in long lines, getting into and out of rides, the F3 did not feel as heavy as other cameras I have used under the same circumstances. My only regret was that my shoulder strap was too wide (great when used with the F3, MD4, and large lens), so it kept slipping from my shoulder.

  5. #45
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mawz View Post
    I truly came to loathe that awful LCD in that time. While the newer LCD and LCD-style LED displays on the AF Nikons are quite usable (and well backlit)
    That's funny, I never noticed the LCD in all the years I used my F3 - probably more than a dozen - oh, I knew it was there, I didn't see any problems with it.
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  6. #46
    fotch's Avatar
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    I like the 100% viewfinders the best (F3, F2). Use in low light, not a problem for me. I have a F3 & F3HP, FA,EL, F2, FE, and others. Funny, never notice having any problems with the viewfinders. Like the F3's the best. To each their own.
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  7. #47
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    I just came across this thread and it prompted me to pull out my F3HP. I always knew you had full view so i guess i didnt pay much attention to the change from my FE2 or other Nikons to the F3HP. I see what your saying but it dosent come acrross as unusual to me.

  8. #48
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiralcity View Post
    I just came across this thread and it prompted me to pull out my F3HP. I always knew you had full view so i guess i didnt pay much attention to the change from my FE2 or other Nikons to the F3HP. I see what your saying but it dosent come acrross as unusual to me.
    I think that where it gets a bit tricky is when you use a wide angle or fisheye lens. Things will appear farther than they actually are even more so. By appearing even farther, will lines appear even more distorted through the viewfinder of an F3HP than they would through the viewfinder of another Nikon mounted with the same wide angle or fisheye lens? It doesn't make much of a difference on film, but I find the effect quite curious.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    I think that where it gets a bit tricky is when you use a wide angle or fisheye lens. Things will appear farther than they actually are even more so. By appearing even farther, will lines appear even more distorted through the viewfinder of an F3HP than they would through the viewfinder of another Nikon mounted with the same wide angle or fisheye lens? It doesn't make much of a difference on film, but I find the effect quite curious.
    Emmm, I have two Nikon Fisheyes, The older one (7.5mm) is used only on't n cameras that you can lock up the mirror (F3, F2, EL) and you use a aux. finder. So, no disagreement here.

    The other is a newer Nikon 16mm. I use this with both the F3, F3HP, FE, and didn't notice any difference other than the FE only shows 90% view. I will check all again and see if there is a difference.
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  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    I think that where it gets a bit tricky is when you use a wide angle or fisheye lens. Things will appear farther than they actually are even more so. By appearing even farther, will lines appear even more distorted through the viewfinder of an F3HP than they would through the viewfinder of another Nikon mounted with the same wide angle or fisheye lens? It doesn't make much of a difference on film, but I find the effect quite curious.
    Well the truth is that it doesn't make ANY difference on film. The viewfinder looks different because it is different. Of all the Nikon SLR's in my collection, the F3HP has the best finder for my far sighted eyes. With the proper correction eyepiece, I can see all the way out to the corners with my glasses. So yes, when a wide angle lens is mounted, I do notice more distortion near the edges of the frame simply because it's readily visible and there's more of it to see.

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