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  1. #11
    T42
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim
    The F is a pretty cool camera, but [COLOR=red]it's one of the least usable of the Nikon SLRs[/COLOR].

    The F2AS, now...

    And don't get me started on the F3HP... I've fallen in love with mine. A totally indulgent purchase, and worth every nickel.
    Hello PhotoJim.

    Could you elaborate on that a bit? I'm using an F, an F2, and an M3. I'm relating pretty well with the thread consensus here to keep the F and the M2. But I cannot fathom the statement that the F is one of the least usable Nikon SLRs. To me, any Nikon with less than 100% frame accurate viewing and without interchangeable finders and screens would be, by some measure, less usable than an F. That must include more than a few Nikon made SLRs designed to meet price points by stripping away features that some seasoned old snorts still use and appreciate.

    While I do prefer my F2 to my F, on any given day I pick up either and use it about as easily as the other. I think I could share your enthusiasm for the F3HP. If I were picking out an F class camera body today, the F3HP would be it. I could put up with the battery dependence for all that it is.

    Happy day.

  2. #12
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim
    ...

    And don't get me started on the F3HP... I've fallen in love with mine. A totally indulgent purchase, and worth every nickel.
    Hi Jim,

    YES!!

    The F3HP is the uber-Nikon manual (semi-auto) SLR. I now have three!

    I would definitely agree that the OP should ditch the F if he were to replace it with a F3HP. They go for around $250 w/50mm Nikkor.

    Someday folks will speak of the F3HP in the same reverential terms they use for the M3 - espescially the "buttery smooth" film advance lever.

    Oh, oh I love it!

  3. #13

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    I'm curious as well, as other than the shutter release being on the back of the top-plate rather than the front, what's wrong with the original F? On the other hand, I may need an introspective moment with my equipment, as I seem to prefer shooting with the F2 as well, and I haven't entirely figured out what the difference is, other than the shutter-release position.

    Quite seriously, is it the rounded edges, slightly less blocky build, balance? All I know is 100% viewfinder, always works, doesn't care about cold, and comfortable enough that I take it along and get good pictures with it.

  4. #14
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    The things I don't like about the F:

    - a non-hinged back
    - an unwieldy set of metering prisms - they work but they take obsolete batteries and they're kind of ugly; the non-metering prism looks really nice but it's hard to find in good condition and has become very pricey
    - the motor drive system works but it's unwieldy and inconvenient, and older Fs need modification to work with it
    - if you do have a metering prism, it won't meter at full aperture with Series E and AF lenses... yes, I know this is being nitpicky because a lot of people who use this camera would use the manual lenses, but there are a lot of fantastic autofocus lenses that work on this camera in stop-down metering mode only (or using a handheld meter of course) ... any f/2.8 zoom for example

    Why I like the F3HP better:

    - hinged back
    - excellent 80/20 centreweighted metering
    - impeccable mechanical construction... in the ballpark of Leicas. Just wind one.
    - a convenient 5 fps motor drive that is not only cheap (low $100 US range in "user" condition), but rewinds the film and is very meager on batteries (100+ rolls of 36 per set, and that includes running the camera itself - the button cell is disabled when the motor drive is connected)
    - it works with every Nikkor lens ever made, except the G lenses - albeit that you can't meter at full aperture with non-AI Nikkors... but you can easily get those lenses modified to permit full aperture metering
    - did I say that it winds nicely?
    - HP viewfinder... a little less magnification than the F finder (although you can get a non-HP viewfinder if you miss that), but more practical for those of us who wear glasses (which most of us that can afford Leicas need )

    I'd love to own an F... but I wouldn't buy one to use (other than for occasional use). The F3HP is the best manual F body. The F2AS is good if you absolutely want to be free of batteries, but I've learned that isn't an issue 98% of the time (and it gets to -40 [C or F they're the same!] during the winter here)...
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  5. #15

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    [QUOTE=PhotoJim]The F3HP is the best manual F body. [QUOTE]

    Sorry, completely disagree. I have five 'real' Fs: started using them when they were still current and never stopped. For a decade or so, when I found another (or another standard prism) at the right price, I bought 'em. All have standard prisms; two are black; three are chrome; one is dedicated to an NPC Polaroid back.

    They're virtually indestructible, dead simple and a pleasure to use. And if you can use an M-series Leica with a removable bottom, the F's removable back is no hardship. Admittedly you can break 'em, but it's not easy: as far as I recall, Page stopped a bullet with one in Vietnam, which did break it. Next to an F, ANY other F-series is ugly; none is as reliable; and far too many are battery dependent.

    They don't see much use any more (I also have two M2, one M4-P, one MP) but they're now worth so little that it's not worth selling 'em.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  6. #16
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim
    The things I don't like about the F:

    - a non-hinged back
    - an unwieldy set of metering prisms - they work but they take obsolete batteries and they're kind of ugly; the non-metering prism looks really nice but it's hard to find in good condition and has become very pricey
    - the motor drive system works but it's unwieldy and inconvenient, and older Fs need modification to work with it
    - if you do have a metering prism, it won't meter at full aperture with Series E and AF lenses... yes, I know this is being nitpicky because a lot of people who use this camera would use the manual lenses, but there are a lot of fantastic autofocus lenses that work on this camera in stop-down metering mode only (or using a handheld meter of course) ... any f/2.8 zoom for example. . . .
    I llike and use the F often, but agree with PhotoJim. The removable back may have been a convenience in using a Speed Magny Polaroid back and the 250 exposure back. After all, the F body was only a small part of a very extensive system, and had to accomodate a wide variety of accessories. There was no other readily available system like the Nikon. Another peculiarity of the F was the mirror lock-up. The F's baby brother, the Nikkormat, had its own pecularities, but is a durable and useful part of the Nikon system. The quality of both cameras is fine. When using them alongside a Leica M, the smoothness of the German engineering and construction is obvious, but it's the image that counts, and both deliver.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim

    Why I like the F3HP better:

    - hinged back
    - excellent 80/20 centreweighted metering
    - impeccable mechanical construction... in the ballpark of Leicas. Just wind one.
    - a convenient 5 fps motor drive that is not only cheap (low $100 US range in "user" condition), but rewinds the film and is very meager on batteries (100+ rolls of 36 per set, and that includes running the camera itself - the button cell is disabled when the motor drive is connected)
    - it works with every Nikkor lens ever made, except the G lenses - albeit that you can't meter at full aperture with non-AI Nikkors... but you can easily get those lenses modified to permit full aperture metering
    - did I say that it winds nicely?
    - HP viewfinder... a little less magnification than the F finder (although you can get a non-HP viewfinder if you miss that), but more practical for those of us who wear glasses (which most of us that can afford Leicas need )

    I'd love to own an F... but I wouldn't buy one to use (other than for occasional use). The F3HP is the best manual F body. The F2AS is good if you absolutely want to be free of batteries, but I've learned that isn't an issue 98% of the time (and it gets to -40 [C or F they're the same!] during the winter here)...
    Jim,

    You pretty much summed it all up - the F3HP is built to last but with an "elegance" of a fine machine - that advance lever is just so smooth.

    As to owning an F - I did pick one up on eBay a while back for precisely the reason you noted - it's nice to have it - but I use it only occassionally. I also have both a S2 and SP and get a kick out of how the F really is just an SP "hybrid" with the SLR viewfinder attached.

    I don't know much about the F2 - but by the time you get to the F3 you have a "true" SLR.

    BTW: Jim Jones comments about the Nikkormat are "on point". The Nikkormat FT2 was my first SLR. It is a bare bones camera, built to last forever, and was a moderately-priced way for "newbies" back then to get into the Nikon/Nikkor system.

    I guess you can tell I'm a Nikonian!

  8. #18
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    I still have a Nikkormat FT3 - the Nikkormats are great cameras. They definitely have some operational quirks, but they are one of the best mechanical SLRs for handheld photography. (I find that the quirky lens-mount-encircling shutter speed ring is pretty convenient to use with the camera to the eye, although with the camera on a tripod, it's another matter.)

    Let it be known though that I don't always need perfect ergonomics. My favourite camera of late has been my Zorki 4. It's been serviced by Oleg Khalyavin and is it ever smooth. (Roger, stay away from me... I don't want you tempting me with your Leicas... plllleeeeeeeaaaaasssseeee doooooooooooon't...)
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  9. #19

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    Speaking of selling Nikons to buy a Leica...

    I have a question.
    I have an F100 set up, with four lenes, the SB-80dx and MB-15 and am thinking of selling it to buy an M6 TTL and 35mm lens.
    My photography is kind of changing and I haven't used my F100 for more than a year.
    So I am wondering if I could sell my F100 and accessories and have enough for an M6 and 35mm lens.
    Thanks!
    Brian
    My "Personal" Photography Website...

    "Photography is an act of Life" - Maine 2006

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    Speaking of selling Nikons to buy a Leica...

    I have a question.
    I have an F100 set up, with four lenes, the SB-80dx and MB-15 and am thinking of selling it to buy an M6 TTL and 35mm lens.
    My photography is kind of changing and I haven't used my F100 for more than a year.
    So I am wondering if I could sell my F100 and accessories and have enough for an M6 and 35mm lens.
    Thanks!
    Brian
    Depends on the lenses.

    A used M6 with 35mm will cost you around $1500 (I was considering such a purchase a couple months ago).

    A used F100 on eBay will go for $300 to $500 (price is dropping).

    BTW: I think that there is a demand right now for the M6 w/lens as a "reasonable priced" strategy as people are figuring it's a good way to position themselves for the digital M8.

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