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  1. #1

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    FE and F3 "Future"?

    After years of using different Nikon bodies, I have settled on the FE and F3. For a number of reasons, these are the bodies I prefer to use. I have been reading about the FRE resistor issue, and am disappointed that both of these bodies use this resistor. Since the FRE is very, very difficult to find, is it foolish to use (and like) these bodies when, at some point in time, I will have to adapt to another body? Also, is there any way I could help prevent an FRE failure? I welcome comments and opinions, especially from FE and F3 users.

  2. #2

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    Don't worry, just use your cameras and have fun.

    If you really may have this problem in the future, there will be a repairman who can fix it.
    I see it here at my home town: We have a Nikon repairman with lot of experience here. He has colllected broken bodies and is using them for spare parts. And he has lots of original spare parts, too.
    Due to Nikon, almost 800,000 Nikon F3 were sold. So probably there is enough gear around to keep lots of used cameras running for decades to come.

    Best regards,
    Henning

  3. #3
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    People still race and drive Bugati's (the old kind) and they haven't made a repair part in 80 years.

    I know a guy who drives a Cord 812, another with an L-29. Parts have been scarce for those for 80 years, they have fun with them and deal with the problems when they arrise.

    Turns out Cord 812 half-shafts can be replaced with ones from a 1979 Eldorado.

    I like this 1937 Zenith radio here in my office along with the Marantz 2225.... they both have been fixed and keep going.

    This resistor you speak of is likely on a "board", so replacement of a board or just using an unaffected body will likely be your work-around.

  4. #4

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    I heard a story that made my blood boil the other day. My company used Nikon F3 bodies as film capture devices for industrial applications. We had LOTS of Nikon spares in stock, including complete F3 bodies, Many of these were brand new, still boxed and with the packing inserts inside them.

    A colleague told me the other day that they decided these parts were now 'obsolete' and so scrapped the lot. Brand new F3 bodies were literally thrown in the skip. The guy in charge of scrapping then seals the skip with tape and keeps a watch on it via CCTV because, of course, if writing off old stock the law is that it MUST be scrapped...

    I hope, I really hope that the skip lorry driver or someone unloading at the other end managed to salvage the bodies before they were chucked in an incinerator or landfill (and if they put them on eBay - good luck to them, I say...)

    The good news is that it does mean there are new Nikon F3 bodies around - I'm sure we weren't the only company with brand new stock in storage, the camera was extremely popular for various image recording functions in none pictorial type photography. Hopefully the other companies have a slightly less stupid stock disposal system.
    Steve

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Don't sweat it. Fact is, Nikon film camera production is all but done and spare parts are either exhausted or running very low for nearly all models except the very latest. There are, though, tens of thousands of used bodies floating around, especially strong selling/long-running models like the FM/FE variants and F3s. I have 3 FEs and have never had a nano-second of trouble aside from a decayed light seal or two. One of my F3s, the oldest, has a slightly faded LCD display that's no longer available but it's still very functional. Shoot 'em till they break and don't get bugged out by what might fail. I'd consider later AF models like the N90s/F90x and F100 worth a look as back-ups and future-proofing.

    Here's the story on the FRE:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...s/fe/tech1.htm
    Last edited by CGW; 11-11-2011 at 11:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    Don't worry! Cameras like anything else would eventually break but I am in the mid 50's and fully expect my F3 would outlive me. Even if you're younger, you would run out of film before running out of F3 or FE to use.

  7. #7

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    FEs and F3s are selling fairly cheap these days. Have you considered picking up a couple of extra bodies in case your regular shooters break? I would keep an eye out for the ones that are being sold for peanuts. Sometimes on the auction site you can catch one in which nobody seems to be paying attention or the listing ends at a weird time. That is what I did with the FE-2/FM2n that I have shot for years. Shoot em till they break!

    Rick

  8. #8
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmont2 View Post
    FEs and F3s are selling fairly cheap these days. Have you considered picking up a couple of extra bodies in case your regular shooters break? I would keep an eye out for the ones that are being sold for peanuts. Sometimes on the auction site you can catch one in which nobody seems to be paying attention or the listing ends at a weird time. That is what I did with the FE-2/FM2n that I have shot for years. Shoot em till they break!

    Rick
    That's been my strategy for the past 4-5 years--back-ups in the best shape possible for bodies I like for different types of shooting. We're all prone to survivalism. It's hard to avoid. That said, it's somewhat ironic to hear people here blithely discuss repairs and CLAs when competent technicians are second on the endangered list behind pro labs. They're dying off or retiring with few--if any--replacements. Rick's scheme is sensible and probably the cheapest way to keep shooting film while it lasts.

  9. #9
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    Spare parts is why I bought some of the cameras I got.I'm not worried,if the demand for the elusive FRE gets high enough and if people are willing to pay for parts, the FRE will go back into production whether Nikon or an independent does it.

  10. #10
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstop View Post
    Spare parts is why I bought some of the cameras I got.I'm not worried,if the demand for the elusive FRE gets high enough and if people are willing to pay for parts, the FRE will go back into production whether Nikon or an independent does it.
    Coincident with pigs showing up on NORAD radar.

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