Nikon F3hp

A brief outline of the Nikon F3hp manual focus SLR film camera

This page is dedicated to the superb Nikon F3hp professional camera produced by Nikon with an exterior designed by the famous Italian industrial designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. In 1982 most professional photo-journalists were using the superb Nikon F2 camera, it had evolved as far as 35mm SLR mechanical camera could be once combined with the DP-12 photomic viewfinder, it really was the "last word".

Nikon knew the next step in evolution would have to be electronic, professional photographers however did not like the idea of battery dependence and many clung on to their "bullet proof" Nikon F2's for several years before trusting the Nikon F3.

The Nikon F3 was the first professional Nikon to have built in an automatic exposure capability as standard (aperture priority) and was still a full system camera with interchangeable viewfinders, focusing screen, backs and of course lenses. Only one motor drive was available for the F3, the MD-4, but it was capable of an impassive 6 fps. Although the Nikon F3 was heavily dependant on batteries

VFM Flash Memory Cards

there was a "back up" shutter release on the front of the camera which, even without batteries, would give a fixed mechanical shutter release at 1/60 sec although there was no longer any exposure help displayed. The Nikon F3 remained in production until 2001, an unprecedented thirteen years after the introduction of Nikon's next flagship model the Nikon F4, why? the Nikon F3 was a superb camera well liked by many professional photographers and while the F3 was still in demand Nikon kept it in production until the AF revolution was totally established.


Nikon F3hp control dial

Basic specifications of the Nikon F3hp MF SLR Camera

Production period (later availability via stock)

1982 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 maximum sync speed TTL electronic flash + PC socket - 1/80 second
Interchangeable focusing screens Yes - 22 + others by third parties
Interchangeable viewfinder heads Yes - (DE-3 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 760g with DE-3 High-Eyepoint viewfinder

Nikon F3hp and MD-4 motor drive


Nikon F3hp top view

Nikon F3hp Camera


Nikon F3hp back view




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