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User comments btil June 2003



I love the F3. It's simply the easiest, sturdiest and best (for me) SLR I've ever handled. I never have to worry about it while hiking in a wet/muddy rainforest or windy ocean beach. It's controls are 2nd nature and so easy to use (not counting the dumb light), you don't need a "cheat sheet" to operate it. I'm sure it will be operating when I will it to my heirs - LOL - if they still make film then ~ ; - )



On your F3, what shutter speed is marked as the flash sync speed?
I have read time and again that the FSS for F3 is 1/80. On mine 1/60 is in red indicating the sync. speed (of course I can imagine that they didn't want to paint an additional shutter speed just to proclaim the FSS.)



The red "60" is actually the "T" speed that is the mechanical shutter speed if the battery goes dead. The sync speed set by the camera when it senses a Nikon dedicated flash is !/80 sec. At least that's what the F3's manual says.
That's one of the only times I prefer my N80/SB28 is when flash is needed; faster and automatic.


Got it! Thanks.

By the way...I decided to do some snooping around and found out that F3 has 2 battery-independent speeds.
T (indefinite...) pretty much like "B". except that the battery is not used for keeping the shutter open.

I guess you knew that. So I have a question I hope you can answer for me.
When in the "T" mode, I open the shutter using the small black lever in the front of the camera vertically below the DOF preview button.
As I understand it, once the shutter is opened using this lever in the "T" mode, it can be closed by turning the shutter speed dial.

But if I were using the "T" shutter release as an alternative for the "B" mode, I would be concerned about the camera vibrations. Then how can I use the "t" mode and finish taking the shot and close the shutter without shaking the camera? What am I missing here?

Thanks in advance


In a really long exposure, such a short vibration period as turning the dial doesn't matter much. All the same, most people put a black cap or dark cloth over the lens just before dial turning to eliminate any chance of vibration showing on film. Have fun!


Using "B" with a locking cable release will get around the "T" vibration issue. I use a AN-2 that I got 20 years ago. I think it will last forever.

Gene Crumpler
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Hi colleagues

It has one of the longest production period in the history of Nikon camera about 17 years and different models. During 1983 purchased with MD4 normal 1.2 SB 17. It was first elecronic (Auto) professional body. Its ruggedness is evident from its longest period, performance and was recently stopped production by Nikon.Many Professional admired its performance and still using it. Main draw back of this body was erratic flash mounting and introducing ISO adapter AS 17 by Nikon after lapse of more than 15 years. MD-4 required an accessory to control its speed but Canon New F1 motor was far superior. Due to flash speed of 1/80 and only CW metering and motor problem I disposed off this body.


New Member
Does anyone know of a website that has details of serial numbers of bodies, relating to year of manufacture