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  1. #1
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    The Nikon F3 is the best 35mm ever!

    I just thought I'd get everyone's attention by making a preposterous statement. What are people's thoughts on the F3? Who has one? Any website that you know of that are dedicated to the F3? State you case.

  2. #2
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    I just thought I'd get everyone's attention by making a preposterous statement. What are people's thoughts on the F3? Who has one? Any website that you know of that are dedicated to the F3? State you case.
    I bought a Nikon F3 when they first came out (~1979) and had nothing but problems with it ever since. I replaced the circuit board in it three times, within the first 10 years or so. The camera hasn't worked now for the last 6 or 7 years. I keep it as a paperweight, since I see no reason to put more money into it. I would never buy another F3. My current 35mm (which I don't use much) is a Nikon N80.
    Robert M. Teague
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    jim kirk jr.'s Avatar
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    personally,I like the Nikon cameras that begin with the letter C and end with N.
    "An object never performs the same function as its name or its image"-Rene Magritte

    "An image of a dog does not bite"-William James applied to photography

  4. #4
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    I think it depends on whether or not you are talking about an SLR or a rangefinder. And then it depends on what you are using the camera for. I personally prefer a simplistic camera, such as the F3... but I have a Canon F1. I've always been a Canon user and never had any problems with it. In the rangefinder department I think you would have a tough time saying that there is a better rangefinder than a Leica. I think your claim is a little too broad to really be taken literally, just my opinion. -Grant

  5. #5

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    Never used an F3 but...... If my head speaks, the brialliance of Canon EOS cameras is hard to deny. They were leagues ahead when they came out and arguably still are in terms of performance. They lose out to Nikon in terms of perceived solidity and build. I have heard pros comment that they are stronger as the placky exterior helps them to bounce and reduce shock to the insides and so are in fact harder to break (stop working) than metal bodied cameras. I didn't want to like them, plastic, plastic,plastic, but the embodiment of SLR flexibilty and raw performance. I own them and respect them but am not fond of them. I do think that they really shifted the goalposts and pushed SLR cameras to another level. To me, Leicas are lovely things, but I cannot vote for anything so unjustifiably expensive. They must cost peanuts to make (so much retooling required over the last 50 years, so much R&D.....yeah right). I would love to own one, but would never buy one as I would feel like I had been robbed. I take a rather cynical view of how Leica does business with the M series. One minute the M6 is the ultimate reportage camera, with no uneccessary frills. Owners scoff at those who need such faddish rubbish as TTL flash....then embrace the M6TTL whilst scoffing at the idea of any auto exposure....and embrace the M7, claiming that the camera keeps getting better and better but claim that progress is now not neccessary; it has all it needs right now. Leicas are a bit like religion and society. The values of a faith should never change or be compromised to fit in with modern living. People should adhere to the values if tehy have any well, value. When progress is innevitable and is accepted, it completely reduces to cobblers the arguments previously used to deny it and the validity of the values themselves! The original values deemed intrinsic, definitive and ultimately of divine origin are now regarded as archaic, barbaric, reducing the current values to mere reflections of our culture, today. When the M4s and M6s were new, microchippery flaunted by other cameras was unneccessary. Now that the M7 has come along, it is OK....cos its a Leica, see! Now we do need TTL/ auto exposure. Before, when those other cameras had it, it wasn't needed. The point is that Leica could have produce the M7 20 years ago, but did not. I doubt it was because they could not, but more likely because they have customers wrapped around their fingers and tehy simply did not need to. They now have the MP and the M7, covering both bases, but put the daft knurled round rewind knob on the MP (like this is as efficient as that on the M6/7) whilst claiming that it is now raw, purified, distilled photojournalistic perfection...(by going backwards in the opposite direction to those improvemts made by introducing a proper rewind lever)......oh wait, its the M7 that is the perfect tool...err, or was it the MP. They must really have had to invest cash to build the MP at £2000, MORE than the M7. They are taking the P***! Nonetheless, I still want one. With 50mm lens, £1000 would be about right.
    If only another manufacturer vould hit Leica head on with seriously good build, stunning lenses etc with a similarly basic level of automation. Something less automated than the G2, but better built than the Voigtlanders, without the prblems of the Hexar RF. Basically a complete rip off of the M series, without the daft film loading (silent shutter mandatory). I am convinced if it was done, Leica would be reduced to the Cartier Bresson surfing fraud that it is. I still want one, because of what it is, not the name. I would gladly buy a competitor's rip off at 1/3 price that does the same job and is built as well and lose the name. I feel that Leica now run a shrewd business, serve their own interests well, but the photographic community (a member of which made them so famous) so very badly. Like Canon and Nikon, they could have moved things forward and produce serious tools to be used (those who use them because they are perfect for the job probably do so for that reason, namely because they have no alternative choice. The rest polish them.

    Damn, I missed out the politics....

    Come on bite, come on!

    Tom

  6. #6
    clogz's Avatar
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    Bite? Sorry, no time. I shot a few rolls of film this afternoon with my Leica and I can't wait to develop them.
    Greetings
    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  7. #7
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
    Damn, I missed out the politics....

    Come on bite, come on!

    Tom
    Well, if we are talking best cameras, I'll take my Toyo 45AII with my sweet 135mm Schneider Symmar-S lens anyday.
    Robert M. Teague
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  8. #8

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    Yo! Tom! WTF, mate? I think you need to get back on your medication.

    Like it or not there is only one Leica. The M camera of whatever vintage you choose fills its niche like none other. Nothing else works like a Leica.

    Actually, I think you make a great case for why it costs so much. Limited manufacturing output, high priced labor (elves, actually) and pretty much hand assembled with a cost no object approach to materials and assembly. Leica has long been on the brink of extinction. Nobody's getting rich and nobody's going to.

    I'm glad I got mine back when I had the money and you should be glad they don't cost more.

    The Leica is the ideal combination of functionality, aesthetics and mechanical engineering. There isn't a single camera in the world that's more fun to actually use.
    Only the Leica has a soul!

    (I'm going to take my medication, now...)

  9. #9
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    I've been using Canon EOS bodies for a few years, but if I had it all to do over again, I'd get a Canon F1 body. I trained on the F1 and used them all throughout my time as a Navy photographer. I can't say that my life has been improved at all by autofocus, multiple AE modes, etc. There's still lots of FD lenses on the market, both new and used, and batteries would last a heck of a lot longer. Also, I miss cranking the film advance with my thumb between exposures.

  10. #10

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    OK, so it was a rant! I am happy with that, but still beleive that Leica Ms are only used as tools because they are the only tool of the kind available and because there is effectively no brand choice! Just like if the only 4x4s available were Porsche Cayennes! Yup, people would say how great they are...one of a kind....great build and worth the money....without any real comparisons existing..... I think a lot has to do with what you were weaned on, often resulting in years of brand loyalty. As for hand built being a reason for cost. Leicas Ms are very simple and must take a very short period of time to screw together and adjust. Even if one camera took a whole day to assemble... The components are still produced on machines than knock them out etc? Lets face it, if a man can make 10x8 cameras from scratch for the same money, I dont swallow that argument. I have also had small camera/enlarger components made by hand by small precision engineering outfits and the charges again do not support Leica retail prices. I would be interested to know Leica's costs on the M, unchanged by time. I have had a good look over and used and M3 and there is nothing to explain the cost (maybe the very expensive boxes they come in?). To me Hasselblad have done the same with the Fuji lenses for the H1. About 3x what they would cost if the whole deal had been Fuji. Hasselblad used to be able to 'justify' the lens cost as they were fairy made Zeiss, but now? Name, name , name. It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    Oh, another example is the finest air rifles in the UK ( I used to do a lot of airgunning competatively). Incredible precision engineering (often including small high pressure components hand milled), constant innovation, hand finished, expensive woodwork. The most expensive would come in at about £1000 (Air Arms/Daystate/Theoben/Rileyetc). The build and performance on these is amazing and just make Leica look silly. Perhaps there would be more volume for Leica if the prices were not daft -£2K for a body ! I'll stop sitting on the fence now.

    Tom

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