Nikon F3 vs. F3HP

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FilmOnly

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I am considering the original F3 vs. the HP version. I have boiled it down to a matter of eye relief (HP) vs. viewfinder magification (original F3). How much of a difference is there between the 0.75x magification of the HP vs. the 0.80x of the original F3? Also, how handy is the extra eye relief of the HP? Overall, which is better?
 

bdial

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The HP is supposed to be helpful to eyeglass users, to make it easier to see the full frame.
I have both, as I retrofitted my F3 with the HP finder not long after it came out.
I don't recall noticing much difference in terms of the magnification, but it's been a very long time since I compared them.
I'll drag the camera out later on and do a quick check. I don't remember how long they continued to sell the non-HP finder, but the HP certainly became the standard for that camera, FWIW.
 

nyoung

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If you wear glasses, you'll love the HP as it lets you see the entire screen. If you use contacts or just don't wear glasses for correction, you'll be just fine with the original version.
Given that the original F3s are cheaper than the HPs ( because most everyone wants the High Eye Point) you could try the original then pick up an HP prisim later if you decide you need it.
 

lns

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There's usually also a big difference in cost. I usually wear contacts, but when I wear glasses I have never had a problem using the non-HP viewfinder. I guess you do have to move your eye a bit to see the meter settings on top, but practically speaking I tend to set an exposure and forget it, so I don't even notice that. I expect that the HP viewfinder is worth a premium if you always wear glasses.

-Laura
 
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FilmOnly

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I do not wear glasses or contacts. The matter of cost is at least somewhat relative. In some places, I have seen the original F3 garner a higher price...I guess because of its rarity.
 

Paul Goutiere

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I do not wear glasses or contacts. The matter of cost is at least somewhat relative. In some places, I have seen the original F3 garner a higher price...I guess because of its rarity.

I wear glasses, but the eye relief on my F3HP, does not really accommodate me as well as I thought it might. I ended up buying a diopter adapter anyway. If I had know this before I bought my F3HP, I think I would have settled for the plain F3 instead, and saved some money.

I have become very fond of my F3HP, anyway. It is one really nice camera.
 

Pumal

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I have both and I can't really tell the difference; and I wear glasses
 

fotch

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I have both buying the F3HP new, before wearing glasses, and later picked up a F3 used. I always like the HP better although the non HP is very good. As the years passed, I now wear glasses and the HP is preferred although I use the non HP also. If you wear glasses and/or money in not an issue, the HP would be my first choice.
 

George Collier

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I have never used an F3, HP or original, but I use F2s all the time with glasses. I have progressive lenses, and find that I automatically, or naturally gravitate to the right place on the glasses to use the finder, which is a mid range place on the glasses lens. Never had a problem once I changed to progressive lenses.
 
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FilmOnly

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You folks are making want to buy an F3 or F3HP...is that your intent? :smile:

The MD-4 is also looking very nice...
 

bdial

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Well, of course you should want to buy it, they are great cameras.:wink:
And, yes, the MD-4 is nice as well, though the camera with the motor can get pretty heavy.
FWIW, Nikon used to say that motor driven cameras actually last longer than non-motorized ones, because the motor operates and a constant and controlled torque, as compared to the manual wind.
Now you have no choice...:D
 

glockman99

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You folks are making want to buy an F3 or F3HP...is that your intent? :smile:

The MD-4 is also looking very nice...
I have a pair of F3HP cameras, both with the MD4 on 'em, and they are a great camera/motordrive set. Unlike the FE/MD12 combo, the MD4 will power the F3 body, as well as auto-rewind the film.
 

nicefor88

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One of Nikon's selling points was its range of viewfinders, and this since the launch of the F in 1959. It quickly became a trademark. Other makes followed. So it was just logical that Nikon put on the market several finders for the F3. I have used the HP finder (DE-3) as well as the standard DE-2 and didn't find any substantial difference. Let's not forget contact lenses were very rare when the HP finder was released in the early 80s so there was a point in offering a specific finder to those photographers wearing spectacles.
 

Pumal

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The selling point for me is that they are tough. I still remember one of my F2 falling off a mountain; I went down; picked it up and kept taking pictures.
 

benjiboy

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IMHO It's best to buy the high eye point finder, because most people need glasses eventually.
 
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Yeah, that is right about the glasses, but you do save a bit of weight with the DE-2 'Lowpoint' finder. I have I think 4 or 5 of them, one of the P version with hot shoe, and many MD-4, some with MN-2 nicad (very much faster BTW) and the sports finder DA-2. Now thats a heavy version! MD-4, MN-2, DA-2, MF-6b and the elusive MK-1 firing rate converter, looks like a tank and weight like it to.
 

fschifano

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I wear glasses, but the eye relief on my F3HP, does not really accommodate me as well as I thought it might. I ended up buying a diopter adapter anyway. If I had know this before I bought my F3HP, I think I would have settled for the plain F3 instead, and saved some money.

The whole point of the high eyepoint finder was so that you can see the whole frame with your eye further away from the finder. If you wear glasses, that's what happens. The diopter is still needed for any extra correction you might need. That said, I really like the high eye relief finder on my F3.
 

sangetsu

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There really isn't enough difference between the two to justify one over the other. In some places the F3 is a little more expensive, but in other cases, as previously mentioned, the standard, non-HP models are becoming more expensive because they are actually less common.

If I came across an F3 and an F3HP in the same condition, I would simply choose whichever camera cost less. If you get the standard model and then decide later that you like/need the HP finder, you can sell your original finder and buy the HP version, they aren't hard to find.
 

Jeremy

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This is a rather weird item to have, but if one of you gents (or ladies) wants to trade from an F3 to an F3HP I actually have an EXTRA HP finder for the F3 I would let go for enough to take the wife out for a couple of beers.
 

Jeff Bradford

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F3: 1/2000 top shutter speed, interchangeable view-finders, larger, heavier, more expensive...

That extra stop in shutter speed is worth it if you like to shoot 400 speed film in bright Florida sunshine.
 

Ap507b

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LCD vs needle in the viewfinder. 80/20 CW meter vs 60/40 CW in the FE. F3 HP has a finder that is better for glasses wearers. If you don't wear glasses the DE2 finder is meant to be a better choice. Personal opinion, but I also prefer the smaller profile of the DE2 to the DE3.
 

frank

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Heavy duty build quality. The FE feels hollow, the F3 feels dense, like a Leica M.
 
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