Topic: The last 35mm SLR I'll ever buy?
I've had the itch for a Nikon F3 really bad, ever since a friend brought his into work and I had a play with it. A year or so later, one pops up at a price I can afford and justify. No-brainer!
While the pro system camera stuff like accessory viewfinders, screens, motordrives etc are probably something I'll never have a need for, the basic camera itself is just beautiful - perfectly weighted and solid, wonderfully engineered (if you haven't felt the film wind on an F3 ... it's Leica-smooth) and with my preferred aperture priority auto as well as a lot of manual control. It can basically do everything that's necessary or even just nice to have ... mirror-up, super long exposures on T, double exposures at the flip of a little switch, plus everything's double-locked off so no accidental setting changes or film back opening etc.
I know aesthetics of the gear don't really have any place in photography, but well, it is just so black, purposeful, and form-follows-function beautiful, to me a really evolved and damn near perfect camera, the sort that really makes you want to load film and just go take photos. I just finished a roll of Precisa CT100 which'll get processed in due course, and next up is some Tri-X :-)
With the g/f's Nikkormat, an equally solid lump of Nikon engineering but just not quite there in looks :-)
Anyway, does it actually take photos? Erm, yes! Here are a few from my first roll, shot on Ilford Pan F at box speed ISO 50, semi-stand developed in R09 @ 1:100, one hour, one inversion at the half hour. The wide shots are done with my old plastic fantastic Cosina 19-35mm zoom, the portrait with a Micro-Nikkor 105/2.8 AF-D, both AF lenses but of course manual focussed on this camera. I need to get some sweet AI primes!
Pics mostly taken in Birmingham city centre. I was impressed at the ability of semi-stand development to retain very bright highlight sky detail without blocking up shadows - it's almost like on-film HDR, no Photoshop done to these scans. The small amount of haloing at bright/dark edges is a sort of characteristic of the process.
And the Nikkormat girl (whose new favourite camera is a box Brownie 620 model C):
Last edited by SteveFE (2014-05-06 07:20:52)
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24