I refuse to ever use automatic exposure. Ever. I base my exposures on a series of meterings, even when using only the cameras 80% weighed metering in the center, i never make an average exposure of the scene.
Mighty strong sentiment there. I have been using my F3 on automatic for a few years now. My other Nikons are used in conjunction with either a hand-held spot meter or with my best guess exposure system. I've found that the F3 does a really good job of calculating an exposure in the automatic mode based on the comparisons of negatives from the F3 against negatives from my other cameras. Bottom line, if you are forced to go automatic with your F3, your exposure will be acceptable.