February with the F3

Nikon F3 Body

At the start of the year I decided that I would try to concentrate use on one of my cameras each month. I decided that my “new to me” Nikon F3 would be first. The plan got off to a bad start as I had a bad back for pretty much the whole of January, and didn’t really do much photography at all! So January with the F3 became February instead! I loaded up a roll of Kodak Colour Plus dated 2006 that I had been given, but was also told it had been fridge stored. I put on the 50mm lens and set off for a short photo walk!

Into the light

One of the things that I wanted to try out was the meter to see how accurate it was, I compared with my hand held meter and it seemed good, so I just used the TTL reading and the negs seem good to me. No light leaks either, another positive!

Box 35

My sight these days is very good for anything over a meter away, but closer things get softer. Reading tiny numbers on a camera top these days is impossible without glasses, and I don’t often take them out on a walk. Despite that, I found that with the split focussing screen type S in I could focus OK. I might treat myself to a correction dioptre and rubber eyepiece at some point, to make life easier.

Yellow Seat

I also enjoyed the balance of the camera, it’s not light, for that my trusty ME Super would win hands down, but the F3 feels solid and balanced to me. Attaching the lens, and the flow of the focus seems “backwards” to me, but after a couple of photo’s I forgot that completely. I also like that fact that with this Nikon, the film winder doesn’t need to be out to fire the shutter. I know that’s only a small point but I really don’t like those that do!

Skate Park

The last thing I noted, which is an even smaller geeky point, is the quality and size of the rewind lever – it feels strong and comfortable to use. The best of any of my cameras.


So my conclusion after a first roll of film through the F3, is that yes the hype is true, I also find it a lovely camera to use, and I think we’re going to get along fine! The film performed well too, so it looks like it was indeed fridge stored and I shall proceed to use up the remaining 5 rolls that were donated to me.

Into the light again
Keep to the not so straight and narrow!

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