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Is the FM3A worth the money?
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You are currently reading a thread in /p/ - Photography

Thread replies: 75
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Is the FM3A worth the money?

Hey /p/,
New here. Been using my father's FM2 since I am 10 years old, never had to get it fixed, light seals are fucked but somehow there is no light leakage, and it always gets great shots. Hell, even the shutterblades are a little bend. It is sturdy as hell and for me the definite camera. I am thinking about getting a FM3A though. Mainly because of AE mode, I guess it will make shooting a lot easier, quicker.

Also, I am going to Hong Kong in three weeks, after that I will be in Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai...any tips on where to buy, feel free to educate me (I lived in Beijing and so far haven't found a decent place to buy photogear, but maybe you know more)...

Thanks

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Anyone?
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Please anyone? need some help on this
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>1/250 sync speed
OH BOY.
Film SLR's are kind of similar. At the end of the day it's down to ergonomics, metering (if you use it), flash sync speed and focusing screen or viewfinders.
Unless the FM3a offers something you absolutely NEED, then it's not worth it.
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It would be for aperture priority and the extremely good build quality...
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>>2753255

this person understands
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Fm3a is pretty god tier. I have the Fm2n and all I wanna do is go on super dangerous and crazy adventures with it cause I know it'll withstand it all. Are you ever in situations where taking a few seconds to get the right settings hasn't paid off?
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I have a FM3a. I don't think it's worth paying for vs. a more common model. I didn't pay for it.
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nice camera, worth it if you have the cash.

The 45p lens that is often kited with it is better than what most reviews say about it. I gets shit on a lot for being a modified tessar design (which it is). But it, and tessars, do have a nice feel to them, not the sharpest lens but sharpness is not always the point.

The build quality of both is great but in my opinion the FM3a doesn't offer much more that the FM2
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>>2753235
Place to buy in HK:
Sim City (Yes that is the actual name)
47-51 Shan Tung Street, Hong Kong
>>
The F100 is a superior camera on ALMOST every front.

It won't gain you any hipster cred, though.
>>
What I fear with the f100 is that its 1) not as tough, 2) relies heavily on batteries and 3) is way to big.

I travel a lot, and sometimes for days on busses or trains, so carrying something like an F5 would look and be insane. I know the f100 is smaller, but not by much it seems.

What about the F3?
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>>2753456
The D700 is a superior camera on ALMOST every front.

It's also hardly comparable, just like the F100 to the FM3a.

OP: Buy a FE2. Duh.
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>>2753468

I thought about that. But the FE2 is in full need of batteries. Anyone has experience with batterylife? And how about the F3?
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>>2753478
The LR44s the FE2/FM3a/F3 require last for fucking ever. Worst comes to worst, you carry an extra set in your wallet because they're tiny coin batteries. Or you git gud with the 1/60th mechanical back up. The batteries in a F100 will last many rolls. I've had the same set in mine for months now. The battery drain while off/on but inactive is negligible.

The F3 is a tank of a camera. It's to a FM2 like a F5 is to a F100. The F100 feels like any DSLR. If you can handle that, then it's not so bad. If you want the final word in Nikon SLR compactness, then it might as well be a FE2/FM2.

The F100 might not be as tough in the sense that it has more things to break. Also a plastic film door. But don't think it's some chintzy thing. In any case, you're best not dropping your camera down a flight of stairs.
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>>2753485
I'm fully confident that any drop that would break an F100 would also break an FM3a (I've owned both). I've dropped mine on to slate from about 5ft up. It was fine.

Batteries last for 30 rolls in my F100. That has been very consistent for me.

Also, you could buy 3 F100s and pay less than you would for an FM3a in good condition.
>>
you're being a gearfaggot. there's absolutely no need to get an fm3 if you already have an fm2
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>>2753487

I have never in my life acquired gear, except for the recent purchase of a 50mm 1.4 AIS. I just genuinely think the FM3a will make life easier, because it is quicker to shoot.

A thing about the batteries: I am not a photographer, I take pictures of my travels, the places I visit and the people I meet. I never carry more than two lenses (50mm, 28mm) Quite a few times my batteries died, and I just continued shooting with the FM2. I am the person who forgets to pack that extra batteries, and if I would not forget about them, I would be the kind of person who would lose them.

I might sound like a huge dick to you but I assume the price of the FM3a will continue to climb up. Stop me if I am wrong here, but I do not think there will be a cheaper way to get this camera, so why not buy it now?

I know the FE2 is an amazing camera with some functions I would love to see on the FM3a (2,4 & 8 seconds exposure), but its just a fucking brick when the batteries are empty.
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>>2753494
You get the FM2 because you want total mechanical reliability (whatever that means). You get the FE2 because you want automation at the risk of having your battery die on you once a decade. You pay 2-3 times the price of either of those two for a FM3a simply to have both cameras smashed into one expensive collector's piece. Except you might as well have a FM2 or three because you expect your batteries to die on you.
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Anymore ideas? Found a decent one for 535EUR on ebay...Still waiting to go to Hong Kong
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>>2753235
>any tips on where to buy
why not ask for tips on where to shoot?
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>>2753527
Because I know where I will shoot it? I am interested in buying it where it is cheapest.
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>>2753534
Bad idea, old camera, limited/no replacement parts, if its being sold under the market rate you're buying a duff, if you're buying off ebay you're buying a duff that you can't return.

If you just want a nikon film body thats faster to shoot, get a modern film body, as soon asni picked up my f90 my fm2 and fe2 went into the storage box never to be used again. The only downside was i no longer looked like a clueless hipster twat.
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>>2753525
I don't want to sound like I know what you want, but think of how far 535 EUR would get you on a vacation. Just do that and take your FM2, you'll be much happier.
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Buy a replacement FM2 if you're worried about batteries.

Buy an F5 if you want a camera that is faster and easier to shoot with.

The FM2 is excellent because it is fully mechanical (aside from the meter) and it has all the shutter speeds of a modern consumer camera. I keep one, and a few rolls of film in my digital bag for a last resort backup. And it comes out by itself for film adventures.

My F5 was my primary "full frame" camera for months, before I could finally afford FF digital. It's a bigger camera (which doesn't feel any worse than my other cameras), and it runs on batteries (which last 30-40 rolls of 36 exp.), but it is comparably cheap when priced against the 30 year old FM3A. Hell, you could almost start looking at F6's for the price of some of these FM3A's floating around.

You're arguing for a hipster collection camera, instead of being smart with your money and buying a replacement FM2 (which you know you already like), or buying something that is modern, with much more functionality built in.

The great thing about electronic film cameras, the batteries can be found everywhere. AA and CR123A batteries are two of the most common batteries. So if you forget to pack them, or lose them, you can go buy some at any corner store.
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>>2753645

I think you might have a point, but lugging around two cameras might be too much. the FM3a is not 30 years old by the way, it was introduced in 2001 and production ended 2006, I hope you were joking mate.

The F100 seems like a good alternativ. The F5 I could have gotten for free by a friend, but seriously it is a tank...I just like to have everything as dials, too. It is more comfortable, it feels like your more in control, even if thats complete bullshit, I know...

I was so consumed by looking for this camera, now my girlfriend wants to buy it for me...

I do not think it is a hipster camera by the way, so far, from what I read, it must be an exceptional peace of engineering. Since it is an improvement of my loved FM2, this one must be just like heaven...Fuck, I will probably buy it...

Well, thank you all for the advice and opinions
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Buy an F3
/thread
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>>2753538
The f90 is the ugliest camera ever made.
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>>2753791

I might, I thought about it. But a lot of people said that the meter is shit (barely visible in certain conditions, also 80/20) and no 1/4000 second shutter
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>>2753795
>not liking fat spot
do you even zone system? or just metering for shadows? I mean, I can make do with a CW meter, but fat spot is even better.

horizontal travel shutter is a deal breaker for me though.

>>2753794
Side note: You'll want a F90X, not a F90.
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Listen guy, if you don't want to get an F3, which is the best film slr ever made, because it is too bulky/heavy, which it is I guess, then get an FE.
I have an FE, and it is so simple and so light and so delightful, that my F3 stays in the drawer.
Pic related, its both cameras mentioned, in my drawer.
I have put hundreds of rolls through both of them and I love them both equally. You can't beat the feel of the F3 though, just putting it to youor eye is unlike the feeling from any other camera.
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>>2753776

> FM3A isn't 30 years old!

Don't kid yourself, senpai. It's production year doesn't mean shit if it's using technology from 30 years ago.

Granted, your remark on its engineering is probably true, compared to modern cameras, because everything was built like a rock back then. Today, only the professional lines are.

Either way, you seem dead set on it, so go buy it. Look around KEH, B&H, Roberts Camera on Ebay, or maybe through Amazon. Cheapest options? No. But you will be more protected than buying elsewhere...
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>>2753804
>F3 low-eyepoint finder with a 28mm f/2.8 AI-s.
You are truly mah nigga, anon. My cheaper second camera is a chrome FA though, that was my first film camera and it's a criminally underrated camera.
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>>2753815

I am set on it and that really pisses me off as well. Trying to make the best informed decision. Honestly, I do not unterstand why everyone does not tout the F3 as a hipster camera, it is much better looking and has more of a style-factor to it (Italian designer). It is beautiful. I got this weird feeling that if I would collect cameras, the F3 would be on a shelf, together with the F, FE2 and my FM2 (hopefully an S3 down the road) and take the FM3a anywhere I go...
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>>2753823
I read a lot about the FA. Is the meter really that exceptional? How the the programs work out for you?
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>>2753832

If you're going to gearfag that hard, why not f2as?
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>>2753836
The matrix meter really works way better than it should for being the very first one, it nails every exposure pretty much just as well as a modern DSLR would. Having all the auto modes is nice too but I really only use A anyway, but still A is pretty convenient and I actually use it unlike on the F3. With the F3 I usually use full manual because I think having to fuck around with the exposure lock and stuff when you meter with the F3 in A mode is a pain, the FA you can just put in A and get perfect exposures.
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>>2753836
It's pretty good. The F100, while not really related, also nails exposures with its 10 segment meter. And by nails, I mean it knows to meter for shadows.
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FM3A is well and truly in collector price territory these days, but I don't ever see it getting cheaper, unless Nikon does it again, and makes an FM4 that can work the aperture on G lenses.

The way the camera feels to use is going to be no different to your FM2. You'll still have to half cock that fucking wind lever to take a photo. You won't suddenly feel like you're using a camera that's 10 times more expensive. Mirror/shutter's not particulary well damped.

As the other anon mentioned though, it's also physically a much newer camera than most of your other options, which presumaby gets you a machine with more life in it.
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>>2753872
Can you elaborate on the difference between the two cameras in A? A on the FA stands also for Aperture priority mode right?
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>>2753887
>not liking the half cocked lever, ready to rewind as soon as you hit the shutter
it feels so nice, like a pistol's safety, letting you know this babe is ready to fire. and when you do, a small twist of your arm, the feeling of the ratchet mechanism through your thumb, the frame counter advancing because YOU made it advance, the feeling of the lever against a stop once you've finished the wind, ready to fire again.

#justFM2things (or maybe just manual film camera things)

>that sounded pretty hipster didnt it
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>>2753967
No, I'm talking about the shutter interlock, that literally no camera has except the Nikon MF SLRs.
Everytime I pick one of these up and go to take a photo I have to doubletake and pull the fucking wind lever out, because it locks the shutter button when it's flush against the body.
I hate it.
One more reason I prefer to shoot my EMs.
Also,
>EM has the nicest wind of ANY camera
Fight me cunts, I dare you.

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>>2753987
yeah, that's what i'm talking about. I like it. also gives your thumb something to do. shrug.
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>>2753961
Yeah they're both just aperture priority, but the F3 has a center weighted meter which means that if you want to use aperture priority you have to either point the camera at a middle value to get the exposure you want and then hold down exposure lock and recompose to get the framing you want, or you have to point the camera where you want and then use exposure compensation to get the exposure you want. I find that tedious so I just use manual mode instead with the meter as a reference.

The FA has a matrix meter which does a very job guessing the proper exposure when you just point the camera at a scene so in my opinion A is much more useful since you can pretty much just frame how you want and the camera will pick the right shutter speed without your help.

>>2753987
The F3 has a smoother film advance, it's nicer than any camera I've handled. The film advance mechanism has a bunch of ball bearings and stuff to make it especially smooth and low friction because it was designed to be used with that crazy 6 frames per second motor drive which would tear the film in half if the film didn't advance smoothly. Also I'm actually a fan of the winding lever safety/power switch thing, I always leave it pulled out when I'm holding the camera anyway. And the F3 actually doesn't work that way, you can shoot even with the level pushed in and it has a tiny little uncomfortable power switch concentric with the shutter release instead.
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>>2753494
>I have never in my life acquired gear, except for the recent purchase of a 50mm 1.4 AIS. I just genuinely think the FM3a will make life easier, because it is quicker to shoot.
If you want the easiest, fastest Nikon film camera, get an N80. It came out a little bit after the F100 and had slightly more advanced electronics, but it's substantially lighter and smaller. It's also quite cheap (maybe around $20 if you're lucky). I have both FM3a and N80 (among many others) and although FM3a is more enjoyable to use, N80 and other modern designs are overwhelmingly superior if your priority is actually taking pictures expediently vs muh solid metal build quality feels.
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FM master race

You're a dolt if you buy anything else and don't need automated exposure. If you need automated exposure F3s are cheap and if you're a poorfag get an FG mine survived a swim and impact in South Beach two weeks ago and it's fine just spent a couple days in the rice.

Paying 500 dollars for any 35mm camera body is stupid I don't give two shits who you are.
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>>2753804 has it figured out.

The F3 is simply a joy to use. The film advance lever is smooth as butter. The shutter button is ridiculously comfortable. The only other camera that comes close is the Nikon EM, which was released right before the F3, and uses the same new film advance mechanism and shutter button position (but is, unfortunately, an aperture priority camera).

Consider that it has 100% viewfinder coverage too, and you can take the pentaprism finder off for some sweet waist-level finder goodness.

The shutter button doesn't lock if the advance lever is "closed", so it's not poking your face if you're left-eye dominant.

All in all, it's the perfect camera. There's a reason it remained in production for 21 years, and Nikon still serviced it and sold parts until very recently. The F3 saw the F4 born and die and continued to be relevant.

If you don't want an F3 for any stupid reason, the FE or the FE2 is the way to go. Don't get the FMs. The batteries on the FEs _never_ go bad, and you can just keep a spare pair in your wallet wherever you go. And they have electronic-timed shutters, so as long as there's nothing mechanically obstructing the shutter, you'll always get accurate speeds without a CLA. FE2 for TTL flash and faster flash sync, and the FE for pre-AI lens compatibility and build quality (have I mentioned the shutter speeds in the dial are fucking engraved?)

>>2753987
How do you deal with aperture priority without an exposure lock button? I'm thinking of getting one as a carry-around camera for street (mainly because they're cute and non-intimidating, and compact enough while still being a full-fledged SLR), will it fit me well?
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>>2753832
Buy a bargain F3 for shooting and a excellent+ F3 for the shelf.
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>>2754206
>Act XIII
>In which Sugar breaks more of his gear like a fucking retard, doesn't post photos, and continues to draw the ire of /p/

>>2754228
>How do you deal
It's got an ISO dial or a +2 quick button on the front if you ever need to compensate exposure.
Contrary to what you hear from the sooks who 'review' cameras on the internet, the shutter speed warning beep isn't that loud or annoying. I actually quite like it; if it's not beeping your shot will be sharp, simple.
It also makes perfect long exposures, and flips the mirror up when you start the self timer.

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>>2754228
How is battery life on the F3 vs. FE2?
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>>2754286
Both are rated at about a year. Realistically, the FE2 uses a little more because of the faster shutter. I've yet to run out of batteries on either.

The FE uses more power because the meter is always on whenever the advance lever isn't flush with the body, whereas the FE2 and the F3 only turn the meter on when you half-press the shutter button (and it stays on for a few seconds).
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>>2754241
Nice. I think I'll get one. That 50mm f/1.8 pancake is worth the price of the camera alone :)
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>>2754319

Since it must depend on usage, probably less than a year.

I once lost battery power on my FM2 in fucking France of all places. It is ridiculous some of them can not properly speak english. Anyway, I was to lazy and did not have enough time to search for more. Just kept shooting and nailed almost every exposure. I bought new batteries in a camera store in Amsterdam for an INSANE amount of money.

I guess I would have been better off in rural China for available, cheap batteries.
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>>2754370

Isn't the only 50mm f/1.8 the Series E? Does anyone have experience with the quality of the lense and the pictures? Do not want to rely on Mr. Rockwell too much...
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>>2754380
Yeah, the pancake 50mm f/1.8 is the Series E. But it's pretty sharp. Search Flickr for examples.
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>>2754380
Oh, I just forgot. There are two versions of this lens. The first was completely black plastic, and the build quality sucks. The second and most popular one has better build quality, and is identified by a metal ring with the focusing index. Be sure to get the second version unless you're just getting it for display.
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>>2754378
Are you sure you had SR44s and not LR44s? I read people get 5000+ shutter actuations before needing new batteries. LR44s die much quicker and give inaccurate meter results after starts losing charge. Just keep some in your wallet. They sell packs of 12 on Amazon.
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>>2753456
What the FM, FE, FM2, FM3a bodies give you that the F100 doesn't is size. the manual SLRs are not much bigger than a rangefinder and perfect for throwing in a backpack for a day hike or whatever
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>>2753804
God tier F bodies!
I don't use either much anymore, mostly toting around the 4x5, but I bought 500 rolls of agfa APX a few years ago and killed it all with these two cameras.

>>2753887
>and makes an FM4 that can work the aperture on G lenses.
that would be nice but I can't see it happening after the abortion they made of the df
The company is being run by accountants and engineers not by anyone with a love for photography.

>>2754206
Sugar just stop, you sully every decent conversation.

>>2754286
don't know about the FE2 but the battery in my F3 is always dead, I don't think I even have one in there right now. which is the main reason I use the MD-4, AAs are always around.

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>>2754496
Is that right? I thought SR44, silver oxide batteries, had massive self discharge, and LR44, alkalines, were more stable.

>>2754489
tru dat. The later version looks like an AIs lens, but with no meter prong and a plastic aperture ring. The early version looks like a piece of shit.
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>>2754489
>>2754546
however the first version of the 50mm series E was optically identical to the 50 1.8 AI while the second version is a slightly different design, rumored to have been built by Cosina
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>>2754546
The voltage in alkalines drops as they're drained, which makes them a crappy choice. SR's don't suffer from that, but what I noticed is that you won't know they're dying either - once had to grab a pair from another camera in a hurry. So having spares is a good idea.
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>>2754241
my bark picture is better than your bark picture

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>>2754560
voltage drop doesn't affect the majority of Nikon meters, they are electronically regulated and have enough power to work or they don't.
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>>2754557
I heard both of them are optically inferior to the other fifty, like the 1.4 and of course the 1.2
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>>2754569
the 1.2 is very soft, pretty much why it never made it to AF.
my personal tests between my 1.8 AI and 1.4 AI-s showed no difference at and above 2.8 where the 1.4 was slightly softer at 2 compared to the 1.8 wide open.
Now that could just be my copys of the lenses and the results may be different with another pair.
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>>2754546
It's the other way around. SR44 has a more stable voltage over its discharge curve, whereas the LR44 outputs lower and lower voltages as you use them. The LR44 may last more in laser pointers and toys, but for cameras, the SR44 works better.

No problem in using LR44s, but if your camera doesn't regulate the input voltage, you'll get underexposed shots when the batteries are nearly dead, but since they're easier to find you can just change them more often.

Note that some cameras like the Olympus OM-10 specifically mention that they're interchangeable, so you can absolutely trust that the camera will stop working once the batteries are dead, rather than work poorly. The first Olympus XA's are notorious for jamming if you use the alkaline batteries.
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>>2754566
It doesn't affect the electronically controlled shutter, but it does affect the meter readings, at least on my F3 and the FE. I shot a roll with my F3 with dying alkaline batteries and saw the indicated shutter speeds dropping slowly as I used it.

>>2754557
I think both versions of the Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8 shares the same optical design as the current AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, which is a pretty sharp lens.

Maybe there's a third batch that was made by Cosina? IIRC the first and the second versions have the same length (between the front and last elements), so they likely have the same optical design.
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>>2754671
I meant the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8d.
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the 50mm 1.8 ai-s and the 50 1.8 E II

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>>2754563
>bark is less than 10% of the image area
What you have there is wood, son.
1/10, try again.
>>
File: EMOrtho032.jpg (361 KB, 1148x800) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
EMOrtho032.jpg
361 KB, 1148x800
>>2754569
>>2754611
The 1.2 is absurdly soft/low contrast wide open.
The Canon FD 50L is much better in that regard.
But it is almost like having 2 lenses in one, because once you stop it down it becomes quite sharp.
So you can choose to use it for ethereal, pictorial type stuff wide open, which other lenses won't give you.
This is a shitty shot, but sort of shows the glowiness and weirdness of it wide open.

[EXIF data available. Click here to show/hide.]
Camera-Specific Properties:
Equipment MakeCanon
Camera ModelCanon EOS 550D
Camera SoftwareGIMP 2.8.14
Firmware VersionFirmware Version 1.0.8
Serial Number1132529712
Lens NameEF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Image-Specific Properties:
Image OrientationTop, Left-Hand
Horizontal Resolution350 dpi
Vertical Resolution350 dpi
Image Created2016:01:18 09:35:54
Exposure Time1/125 sec
F-Numberf/8.0
Exposure ProgramManual
ISO Speed Rating100
Lens Aperturef/8.0
Exposure Bias0 EV
FlashNo Flash, Compulsory
Focal Length100.00 mm
Color Space InformationsRGB
Image Width1148
Image Height800
RenderingNormal
Exposure ModeManual
Scene Capture TypeStandard
Exposure ModeManual
Focus TypeAuto
Metering ModePartial
SharpnessUnknown
SaturationNormal
ContrastNormal
Shooting ModeManual
Image SizeUnknown
Focus ModeOne-Shot
Drive ModeTimed
Flash ModeOff
Compression SettingFine
Self-Timer Length10 sec
Macro ModeNormal
White BalanceDaylight
Exposure Compensation3
Sensor ISO Speed160
Color Matrix129
>>
>>2754703
Yeah, all these fifities 1.8 are the same optical formula, even the recent AF one.
>>
File: bark.jpg (43 KB, 416x289) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
bark.jpg
43 KB, 416x289
>>2754563
>>2754709
>my bark picture is better than your bark picture

[EXIF data available. Click here to show/hide.]
Camera-Specific Properties:
Image-Specific Properties:
Horizontal Resolution72 dpi
Vertical Resolution72 dpi
Image Width416
Image Height289
>>
>>2754380

50/1.8E is pretty legit. Got one with my FM2 and use it on my Fuji when I want a light lens. Images look almost identical to my 50/1.4D at 1.8. Past 2.8, it's practically perfect.
Thread replies: 75
Thread images: 9
Thread DB ID: 482709



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