Nikon FM3a

A brief outline of the Nikon FM3a manual focus SLR film camera

This page is dedicated to the superb Nikon FM3a camera produced by Nikon in 2001. The Nikon FM3a is one of the most desirable 35mm SLR film cameras ever produced, this is because of three different reasons, firstly the camera was the last Nikon manual focus camera designed and made, secondly although made over a five year period auto focus and digital cameras resulted in relatively low numbers being produced, thirdly the camera is technologically speaking the last word in manual focus 35mm SLR design whilst retaining unparallel backward compatibility.

If the Nikon FM3a had been released at the same time as the F3 it would almost certainly have resulted in the F3 having a shorter lifespan. Nikon effectively managed to hybridise the FE and FM range of cameras into one by making the shutter timing work either mechanically or electronically, all the automation of the Nikon FE2 was included in the design as well as the non battery dependence of the Nikon FM2n. Nikon also added electronic DX film speed recognition whilst still retaining the manual setting system as used on the earlier cameras.


The FM3a focusing screens were brighter than any of the previous cameras and a new motor drive used less power than ever whilst still being able to use the older MD-11 and MD-12 motor drives as well .

Due to the cameras high level of backward compatibility it will also would accept all the data backs produced for the FM/FA/FE range of cameras and offered TTL OTF flash capability when fitted with a suitable Nikon Speedlight.


VFM Flash Memory Cards

Basic specifications of the Nikon FM3a MF SLR Camera

Production period (later availability via stock)

2001 to 2006
Lens meter coupling type AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing)
Aperture coupling range N/A
ASA film speed range ISO 25 to 5000 manual - 12 to 6400 DX
EV range at ASA 100 EV 1 to 18
Meter sensor type if applicable TTL centre weighed SPD (Silicon Photo diode)
Shutter type and curtain material hybrid electro-mechanical metal curtained
Shutter speed range 8 (1) to 1/4000 second + Bulb
Exposure modes available Aperture priority and Manual
Flash exposure type and maximum sync speed TTL OTF Electronic flash shoe 1/250 second
Interchangeable focusing screens K3 split-image microprism - B3 matte - E3 grid
Interchangeable viewfinder heads No
Interchangeable backs MF-16 data-back (time & date)
Film advance method Single stroke lever
Motor drive or Auto winder availability MD-12 (3.5 fps) motor drive
Film rewind method Manual folding crank
Self Timer Yes - 10 seconds
Battery type and number required Two S76 1.5v silver oxide batteries
Body weight without lens attached 570g

Nikon FM3a back view


VFM Flash Memory Cards

Nikon FM3a Camera





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June 2014 Siteseen Ltd.

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