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  1. #1
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Identifying Nikon F3: is it HP?

    I have found a gent not to distant from me that has two Nikons for sale. One is an FE w/MD12 and the other is an F3 w/MD4. No lenses are being offered and I feel his prices are a might high but when asked he was unable answer if the F3 is the HP version. I am considering picking up either one of these cameras regardless if I buy from this individual or not but I would still like to be able to identify the HP vs. the standard view prism. If I were to pick up an F3 I would prefer the standard because as I understand, the HP is somewhat of a dimmer VF and with my aging eyes I need as much light as I can get. I may just end up getting both cameras if we can come to an equitable agreement but that is yet to be seen due to the holidays.

    So to the question, how does one determine which is which?
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  2. #2
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
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    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...s/nikonf3ver2/

    You see the "HP" in the bottom right corner of the finder? It tells you that this F3 has the "High-eye Point" finder (also known as DE-3; standard is DE-2). It's a bit bigger than the DE-2.
    You don't have to get two cameras, just two finders because they are interchangeable.

  3. #3
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Looking at the front of the finder, the letters HP appear below and just to the right of the Nikon name.

    EDIT, add'l info:
    I don't think the image is dimmer on the HP finder, but it is smaller, so it and the exposure info can be seen with the eye up to 25mm (1 inch) from the eyepiece. I like it because I wear glasses, but otherwise I'd rather use the standard finder for the extra magnification. The HP has 75% magnification; the standard finder has 80% magnification, which is a noticeable difference. Even with glasses the standard (DE-2) finder is pretty good. The standard finder is a little more compact, and in my opinion, looks better.
    Last edited by lxdude; 12-26-2011 at 05:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  4. #4
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Whew, quick respons time, like blazing fast

    I have yet to lay hands on the cameras and all attempts to have him email me photos have apparently fallen on deaf ears. So that gives me more info than I had before, I have never handled either of these cameras before and so I am a total noob especially when it comes to Nikon. Thanks.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  5. #5
    lxdude's Avatar
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    The F3 has a very smooth and light film wind. LCD in the finder is small, so a little hard to read, especially when metering manually. A nice feel, good balance, good ergos. A tough machine, electronics are very reliable. Many very old ones are still going fine.

    Make sure it has the cover on the bottom under the film cartridge compartment, which is removed to fit a motor drive. I priced a replacement for mine, and it was $25-30. If it's missing it might be stored in the end of the motor drive, if that's around.
    I taped a dime over the opening and didn't sweat it. My (ahem) out of pocket expense: 10 cents.

    One thing: the meter illumination switch, with a tiny red button on the right side of the finder, had to have been designed after a lunch where too much sake was consumed. It often doesn't work or works intermittently; even when it does, it has no feel. I would not reject an otherwise good F3 if it doesn't function properly, another is likely no better.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #6

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    There are very few cameras with a build quality like the F3 that is obvious the moment you exercise it. Although it doesn't differ much in size to Nikon's smallest (FG/EM/FG20) and medium (FM/FE/FA) size SLRs, there is a substantial difference in weight that will be obvious if you have them hanging on your neck.



    Keep in mind that the F3 system uses a special flash shoe. Although there are adapters for standard shoe flashes, only the hard to find and quite expensive AS-17 enables TTL capable flash to work on the F3.



    These adapters make it convenient to use one flash across F3 and standard shoe bodies but Nikon offered flashes for both.

  7. #7
    fstop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitstik View Post
    Whew, quick respons time, like blazing fast

    I have yet to lay hands on the cameras and all attempts to have him email me photos have apparently fallen on deaf ears. So that gives me more info than I had before, I have never handled either of these cameras before and so I am a total noob especially when it comes to Nikon. Thanks.
    If you have Minolta background you will like both the FE and the F3. The FE has aperture priority and plenty of features,the F3 has always been a favorite of mine because it does everything the Minolta XK does and is cheaper,smaller and lighter. plus the standard body can take a motor drive.

  8. #8

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    And while you're considering -- check out the Nikon F2, whose shutter will work on all speeds without ever needing a battery.

  9. #9
    guitstik's Avatar
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    I just recently received a Nikon S2 and F in a deal and soon after I bought an F2 from a member here and have been enjoying all of them. An F3/FE is not a need but a want. From what I understand, both cameras will work with my non-AI lenses and if I want to in the future I can step up to AI lenses.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  10. #10
    fstop's Avatar
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    Yes that is correct.

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