Nikon F3

A brief outline of the Nikon F3 manual focus SLR film camera

This page is dedicated to the superb Nikon F3 camera produced between 1980 and 2001. The F3 was decidedly different from Nikon's earlier professional cameras. Nikon had the camera exterior designed by the famous Italian automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, previous professional Nikon cameras had been designed in house.

The Nikon F3, unlike the previous ranges, was heavily battery dependant with only a single mechanical back up speed (1/80 of a second), a fact not missed by potential buyers, Nikon F and Nikon F2 cameras had no such "Achilles heel", and s was considered by many to be why they were so reliable and therefore desirable.

Nikon was aware the professional 35mm cameras needed to go electronic even though professional photographers did not. One little talked of advantage the F3 did have apart from the obvious aperture priority automatic exposure was that as the metering electronics was contained in the body all six available viewfinder


heads worked in aperture priority mode, even with the real basic waist level finder which had no electrical connections at all. The standard supplied viewfinder, the DE-2, had electrical connections but they were just for viewfinder data display, the same was true for the the later DE-3 High-Eyepoint viewfinder.

Once the inertia of mistrust against electronically controlled cameras was overcome the Nikon F3 rightly became one of Nikon's greatest success stories ever.


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Basic specifications of the Nikon F3 MF SLR Camera

Production period (later availability via stock)

1980 to 2001
Lens meter coupling type AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing)
Aperture coupling range N/A
ASA film speed range ISO 12 to 6400
EV range at ASA 100 EV 1 to 18
Meter sensor type if applicable TTL 80/20 centre weighed SPD
Shutter type and curtain material Horizontal Titanium foil focal-plane electronic
Shutter speed range 8 to 1/2000 second + Bulb and X at 1/80
Exposure modes available Aperture Priority and manual
Flash exposure type and sync speed TTL electronic flash + PC socket - 1/80 second
Interchangeable focusing screens Yes - 22 + others by third parties
Interchangeable viewfinder heads Yes - (DE2 as standard + five others)
Interchangeable backs MF-6    MF-14   MF-18 and Polaroid
Film advance method Single stroke lever
Motor drive or Auto winder availability MD-4 (6 fps) motor drive
Film rewind method Manual folding crank
Self Timer Yes - Quartz-timed 10 seconds
Battery type and number required Two S76 1.5v silver oxide batteries
Body weight without lens attached 715g with standard DE2 finder

VFM Flash Memory Cards


VFM Flash Memory Cards


VFM Flash Memory Cards




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