Nikon F3HP - best SLR of all time?

Messages
1,789
Edit My Images
No
#41
In the early 1970s I had a conversation with the owner of a school photography operation. At the time he had more than a dozen operators working for him and he was processing something like 250 cassettes of 35mm a day. I was doing press stuff at the time and we got onto the question of reliability. This was a big deal for him since he supplied all his operators with cameras and a broken camera cost a lot in lost sales. He told me that, since the 1960s, he'd gone through the usual suspects and he'd finally settled on the Canon FT-QL.

"The Leica M3 is tough but the shutter often needs adjusting after 500 films or so", was his opinion, "The Nkon F is impossible to break but after 1,000 cassettes the wind mechanism becomes a bit fragile. So far we've put an average of 2,000 rolls through each FT and not one of them is showing any signs of stress." I suspect the Canon costing nearly half the price of the Leica or Nikon didn't harm his bottom line either. :naughty:

Canon cameras Tamron lenses _1050343.JPG
 

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot'13/14 <span class=poty>FPOTY'17</span>
Messages
10,816
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
#42
I'm with you on the FM2. I always carried 2 bodies. An F2 or F3 and an FM2. Got one in college and kept a copy my whole career. The F4 came out before I left the business, but I never shot with one.

And what are you, a paparazzi or something? What the hell you need a hot shoe for? PC socket is right there in front. Yeah, your flash ends up at arm's length a lot of times. Just like it needs to. (They made an adapter. I just left mine on the flash. :) )

View attachment 268426

Here's mine. Beat to s***, but we went everywhere together.

It doesn't work. I didn't know that until just a minute ago when I took its picture. Worked the last time I used it, but many moons have passed since then.

Doesn't matter. It's really just a tchotchke now. I try to keep it dusted out of respect, but even that task gets neglected too often.

I inherited a pristine F2 from my father. Can't imagine he put more than a few dozen rolls of film through it. It works nicely. I don't use that one either.
Try and use them, they deserve at least an occasional roll through them. Your F3 probably on needs a CLA, not too expensive and it will keep another iconic camera working.
 
Messages
52
Edit My Images
No
#43
What the hell you need a hot shoe for? PC socket is right there in front. Yeah, your flash ends up at arm's length a lot of times. Just like it needs to.
PC sockets and cables were notoriously unreliable! Plus the F3 did TTL flash. Which is much easier to implement through a proper ISO hotshoe. The way everybody else did it, pretty much. Yes you could get an adapter, but why add even more weight and bulk? No, for me, the lack of hotshoe is one of the reasons the F3 is not my favourite camera. The flash implementation is very poor with the F3 imo. And sod holding a flash at arm's length; made very little difference to the quality of light, and you end up with a sore arm. Use a diffuser.

It's really just a tchotchke now.
Tchotchke! Lol! My wife doesn't think that old SLRs qualify as tchotchkes. I had hoped to make a cabinet for my planned collection. 'No that will not be going up in the house. I'm not having all that junk all over the place'. Oy vey.
 
Last edited:
Messages
110
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
#44
My film camera history was all Canon apart from a nice Nikon F5 I own due to it being compatible with all my current Nikon glass.
I started with the lovely classic A1 and then moved over to the T90's which I thought were the best "amateur" cameras ever. I owned the pro F1N but that was the only unreliable Canon I owned would you believe. My last film Canon camera was the 1vHS which I still own and is stored away as I bought it for a nlot of money and they fetch bugger all now doh.
 
Messages
192
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
#45
In the early 1970s I had a conversation with the owner of a school photography operation. At the time he had more than a dozen operators working for him and he was processing something like 250 cassettes of 35mm a day. I was doing press stuff at the time and we got onto the question of reliability. This was a big deal for him since he supplied all his operators with cameras and a broken camera cost a lot in lost sales. He told me that, since the 1960s, he'd gone through the usual suspects and he'd finally settled on the Canon FT-QL.

"The Leica M3 is tough but the shutter often needs adjusting after 500 films or so", was his opinion, "The Nkon F is impossible to break but after 1,000 cassettes the wind mechanism becomes a bit fragile. So far we've put an average of 2,000 rolls through each FT and not one of them is showing any signs of stress." I suspect the Canon costing nearly half the price of the Leica or Nikon didn't harm his bottom line either. :naughty:

View attachment 268441
I've got two of these bodies, they are very substantially built, beasts in fact, and, if I remember correctly, I paid very little for them. I used them with Canon FL lenses for quite a while and then I managed to get hold of an F1 body, which I had serviced and use now. I keep them as 'backup' camera bodies for the F1, whatever that means, well sort of just in case the F1 fails me, like that's going to happen.
 
Messages
1,789
Edit My Images
No
#46
then I managed to get hold of an F1 body, which I had serviced and use now.
I’ve owned both the F1 and the F1n. I thought the original model was a much nicer camera to use.
 
Messages
2,402
Name
Toby
Edit My Images
No
#47


My old one, which has seen plenty of action, used regularly again. The photo on the wall was taken with it about 25 years ago....




...and my new one, bought at auction a couple of years ago as part of a lot with an F4S, still boxed, I don't think a film had ever been through it. OK, not an HP, but I could make it into one in about 15 seconds.
 
Messages
52
Edit My Images
No
#49
I think it’s quite hard to find a bad SLR, preference is going to come down to nostalgia and how the camera feels in the hand.

At the moment it’s the Contax 139 for me. I love that the meter preview button is separate from the shutter, how the electromagnetic shutter button feels, and how compact it is with the 45mm 2.8 Tessar
I agree; I think a lot of people go for the 'pro' cameras, because that's what the 'pros' used. Thing is, the 'pros' did use them, because such bodies were very tough and reliable, and had extensive systems for a whole range of uses, but 'pros' also used many other cameras; my photography teacher (a highly accomplished press photographer before he became a teacher) used an Olympus XA because there were times he could get a shot with an unobtrusive little 'amateur' camera, when 'professional' type cameras weren't appropriate/allowed. He also swore by the Nikon FA over the F3, because he felt it had greater flexibility and a better light meter. Then there was the Olympus OM4Ti, not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet on this thread, but that was another pro legend. I think narrowing it down to one camera is daft really. The F3, as I've already stated, had a number of drawbacks, which, were we still living in the 80s, would make me choose a different camera. The F4 was, imo, a much, much better camera in so many ways. Granted it came out 8 years after the F3, and technology had improved loads, but still. The F5 is 'better' in many ways, than the F4, but I prefer the F4; for me, it's the ultimate 35mm 'professional' film camera.

As for Contax; I've always coveted an RTS3. Beautifully made, really lovely, not so massive and heavy like the F4 for example. Fantastic Carl Zeiss lenses, proper German made quality. Limited lens selection, very expensive and not as readily available as other brands.
 
Top