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Impressions FM3A

G

Guest

Hi,

Guess I'm the first person on this scene


I have had my black FM3a for about 2 months now. This camera is one of my favorite gear at the moment. I tend to take it with me almost everywhere I ago. Usually with the 50/1.8 Nikkor attached.

One month after the purchase of the FM3a and the 50/1.8 I got the following MF Nikkors:

28mm/2,8
45mm/2.8
105/2.5

In addition to this I also own the Nikon D100 with some AF and AFS zooms. I plan to get the new 70-200 VR zoom as soon as possible.

It would be nice to hear your comments on the FM3a and other manual focus Nikon cameras.

Best of regards,
Karl
 
G

Guest

Hi, I have owned my FM3A for about a year now, and I think it is great. Great size and handling with just enough automation for those times that you need it. I have only a 50 mm f1.8 and 70 - 210 Series e zoom, biut when the finances improve, a nice 28 f2.8 and 105 f 2.5 will follow.

Michael
 
G

Guest

Hi both of you! (don't know if Johm P. wanted to post!!)

I have had my black Fm3A since last October. I really love it.

My pet peeves about this camera:
1. The viewfinder is dark in low light.
2. If the film winder crank is pulled to the "stand-off" position and left for some time (16 seconds I think), the meter (and the needle) goes back to sleep. If I press the shutter release button, it looks like the shutter gets triggered but the mirror doesn't go back (or the shutter stays open...I am not sure)
I fiigured, if the camera is ON and if I haven't pressed the shutter release button in a while, I should just tap it and activate the meter before attempting to take a picture.
I thought this was a serious problem before, but now I am so used to it


What I like about the camera?....
1. Battery less operation.
2. Match needle metering.
3. The flash compensation button.
4. 1/4000 shutter speed.
5. 1/250 sync. speed.
6. The way it feels in my hand.
7. The bright viewfinder.
8. .....too many more
 
G

Guest

Its one of the best mechanical cameras available today with just enough automation (aperture priority mode).

I think the shutter is too loud. I use leica rangefinders...maybe i am used to the low noise shutter. but nikon has 1/4000.

Size is just perfect for everyday use. Couple fm3a with a 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 and you are all set.
My friend uses it with a 35/f2 though.

50/1.8 lens is my favourite. I use it on my f100 and its superfast in focusing.
 
G

Guest

About the shutter noise:

I was shocked the first time i fired of the FM3a's shutter! I've never heard such a loud camera before ...

I use my FM3a mostly when making "street photos" and ther's many times I wished for a more silent shutter. Still, the cameras small size and build quality wins my heart over


Best of regards,
Karl
 
G

Guest

FM3a shutter is loud but the action is so smooth. I primarily use Leica M for the quite shutter but I was drawn to the FM3a because of the build quality and the hybrid shutter - something i would have like to see in the newest Leica but was not part of the design.

ernie
 
G

Guest

Yeah...I agree the shutter noise is loud. But strangely the vibrations don't seem to correspond with the noise!!!

Perhaps Nikon found it better to dissipate the energy through noise rather than vibrations eh?

By the way...does any one else experiance the small quirk I mentioned? If the meter is activated and the camera is not operated for sometime, the meter is turned off. That is ofcourse expected. But what happens if you just press the shutter release all the way down at this point when the meter is deactivated?
Does your camera shoot at the initial shutter speed that was determined before the meter was deactivated? Or does your shutter stay open and the mirror up?

Thanks
-Sachin
 
G

Guest

Sachin wrote:
"By the way...does any one else experiance the small quirk I mentioned? If the meter is activated and the camera is not operated for sometime, the meter is turned off. That is ofcourse expected. But what happens if you just press the shutter release all the way down at this point when the meter is deactivated?
Does your camera shoot at the initial shutter speed that was determined before the meter was deactivated? Or does your shutter stay open and the mirror up?"

Not in mine. I got mine about 6 months(the black one)along with the black version of the 45 mm f 2.8 p lens which I sold since I wasn't happy with its performance. I have to say that I love this camera, the shutter noise doesn't bother me, i guess I'm used to manual cameras. I did a minor adjustment to mine.I don't know if you have noticed that between the rewind knob and the ISO/DX dial there is a small gap of about 1 or 1.5 mm(someone says that it could be that the chasis used or model used for this camera could be the one of the FA or another old one that used to have a safety catch lever in that place-the FM3A doesn't have it, in that place it have a rather thick washer that I found accomplish no function at all- after carefully removing the small screw on top of the rewinding knob and unscrewing both(while holding the film holder fork(gently)(and not by the fork, please)I removed the washer and replaced everything else in back place. Now the camera looks and works like a charm. After several rolls I have inspected and there is not a sign of metal friction or wear(as I expected).
My lenses(all AI),all in excellent shape and working as new,purchased at Keh at a fraction of what a new AIS will cost:
24mm f 2.8, 50 mm f 1.8, 55 mm f 3.5 Micro, 85 mm f 2,135mm f 2.8 and 200mm f 4. I guess I'm all set up on lenses. Now I have to save for accessories as flashes, cable releases, extension tubes for the Micro, a flash for the macro ,a converter, an slave,filters, hoods,you name it. you know how we are

Robert
P.D.
Anyone had any luck with a Domke F2 bag(sand color)? ;)
 
G

Guest

When you removed the washer, did the small gap disapear?

When I first looked at my camera and noticed the gap, I thought it was a "problem" with my camera. I can't get this gap out of my head, it's very anoying.

Was it difficult to do the adjustment?

Your lenses (the 85mm, 135mm and the 200mm), are you satisfied with them. I happen to be in consideration about the exact same set up. I've heard that the 85mm f/2 lens is not as good as the faster 85mm. What's your reaction to this?

Best of regards,
Karl
 
G

Guest

Karl wrote:
"When I first looked at my camera and noticed the gap, I thought it was a "problem" with my camera. I can't get this gap out of my head, it's very anoying."
That was my impression too
!!..It was not difficult to remove it, Just follow the step, use a phillips head (+) screwdriver for the tiny srew that is on the rewind knob and make sure is the right size, if you destroy the cross on the screw you knows what happens..then it's is almost impossible to remove the screw. A tip-use a bit of some kind of thick grease on the tip of the screwdriver or a magnetic screwdriver if you don't want to lose this tiny screw while removing it or replacing it.Also use a long nose plier,if possible round-tipped and cover the tip with masking tape-you don't want to marr the finish of your camera-. And yes, the gap dissapears completelly!!!! It is annoying how in ALL the pictures that you see in ads of Nikon the camera is photographed at an inclined angle so you don't notice the gap. In all ads the camera looks as is the dial is flushed with the body of the camera, funny,huh?
Regarding the lenses, yes, I'm satisfied with them.Quality in picture:Contrast,sharpness in all appertures(I have not noticed any flaw at any apperture, neither vignetting or flare).Not to mention that they are built like tanks, metal barrels, metal focusing and aperture rings, coated lenses, not even a spec of dust. They are beauties. My babies!!!!!
You mention the 85 mm f/2 and another 85 mm but do not provide aperture. I assume you're talking about the f/1.8( remember that all my lenses are AI)
I have hear that mine performance declines at wide stops near minimum focus (both conditions together), otherwise this lens is excellent even wide open, but so far I had no problem with it.
About the f/1.8 I hear that is very good wide open, excellent stopped down slightly; flares easily with backlight in non-multicoated s&les,so beware, is more expensive and there're some that are not multicoated.
Just my 2 cents.
 
G

Guest

About the 85mm f/1.8... Look for the one with the rubber ficus ring - they are the multi-coated models and are often found already converted to AI.
 
G

Guest

I guess I'll be going to the hardware store tomorrow to pick up some tools


Best of regards,
Karl
 
G

Guest

Some of the tools might be hard to find or to small to be carried by a hardware store.
Check this place,you can ask for their catalog but it will take a while to arrive so if you need any tool or anything that you find there you better order online or by phone:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

By the way, if any of you is a bit picky as me with the finish of the camera or lenses, check the Birchman(sp)formulas for alluminum and brass finish.
 
I

ian_palmer

Hi

I have an FM2n and have been using it for many years now. My old F601 has been used as a second body and I am thinking of adding a FM3a as well.

Would anyone care to comment on whether the FE2 type meter is difficult to use in low light conditions like in a church? The advantage of the FM2 is that the little LED's are always clear and so low light is not a problem.

Thanks

Ian
 
E

Enitka

> Ian - The FM3a suffers from not having LED- it is the moving needle > display which is fine if the left hand view is not in the dark - I > would NOT recommend the FM3a for available light even though I have > one for sale. Then again i don't use any MF SLR for available light.

ernie
 
B

bobar57

The FE2 type meter is not difficult at all to use in low light conditions.The FE2 and the FM3A share the same type of meter, in fact they're almost identical cameras , even in external design. I think that the only differnce between them is the hybrid shutter that the FM3A have, otherwise all others features are identicals, with the exception of the focusing screen. The FM3A have a more brighter focusing screen that allows you to use it with more ease in manual mode in low light conditions. In both cameras if you set them to AE mode you don't have to worry about the metering and the screen allow you enough light to focus.
Anyhow if you own a FE2 I recommend you to change the focusing screen to one of the three screens that the FM3A use(K3-the standard,B3 or E3). No exposure compensation is requiredif you exchange the screen. The same applies for the FM2 (new type)(FM2n);you can use on them the focusing screens of the FM3A-which are more brighter-without needing exposure compensation. This is explained in page 47 of the Instruction Manual of the FM3A(at the botton,fine print), and several owners of FE2 and FM2n had corrobored it.
For a bit more of information read this:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

There are 8 pages of information about the FM3A, this site also contains information about ALL manal Nikon cameras produced since the the start up to date. A very well done and informative site.
NOTE: IN a previous post I gave a link to Micro-Tools that did not work, here is the correct one;
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Good Luck, Ian
 

jblazevic

New Member
Can anyone in the forum tell me if I'm making the wrong decision? I want to purchase an FM3a as my first slr. The only things I plan on taking photos of are trains in good weather and trains in bad weather. My wife has a digital p & s so I know we'll always have plenty of kids' birthday party pictures. I'm a complete beginner but I truly want to take the time to study photography. My only real concern is the viewfinder-I wear glasses so I'm hoping that they won't be a liability. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
 
T

Teabow

John,
I think you're making an excellant decision!I have been shooting Trains for about 23 years now,and for the last 19 years most of my shots where done with my trusty ole Nikon FM-2 and a Nikkor 50mm f1.8.A couple of years ago I bought a used Nikkor 200mm f4 and a Nikkor 28mm f3.5.I liked to shoot Kodachrome 64 and Kodachrome 200,
until Kodak started returning my slides with complimentary SCRATCHES. Then I shot neg. film and had the pictures put on Picture CDs.SO unless you are made of money you can't go wrong with nikon.If you are made of money consider German glass.German glass is usually better than
Japanese.I'd rate them like this,Leica 1,Contax/Zeiss 2, Nikon 3.Nikon definately beats the other japanese brands,(in my humble opinion)altough Canon makes great stuff also.My 2 cents worth.
 

westman

New Member
John,

I also belive that it's an excellent choice if you descide to buy the FM3a as your first SLR. As this is a manuall camera, you'll learn from the ground and up. It's recomended to learn how to walk before you start running


Welcome to the Nikon team!

Regards,
Karl
 

narsuitus

Active Member
Posted by Wolfgang Högerle (Rasdan) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 10:20 am: > >hi, > >has someone from you experience with the objective MF 3,3-4,5/35-70 >and the SB-27?

I have never had the pleasure of using the SB-27 or any other Nikon flash unit. The Nikon flash units are high-quality units but they are too expensive for my budget. I found that the Vivitar 283 flash unit, which is about the same physical size as the SB-27) met my needs for a reasonable price.

I am not quite sure what the "objective MF 3,3-4,5/35-70" is. If you are referring to the Nikon 35mm to 70mm f2.8 zoom lens, then my response is no, I have never used one. I would, however, love to own one.
 
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