Nikon Announces New Nikon F3 with Interchangeable Viewfinder

Since the company’s last SLR camera, Nikon is choosing to go a different route with things in their brand new Nikon F3 SLR camera. The company is trying to change things up just a bit now with one of the most controversial features being the ability to completely change out the viewfinder type. What that also means is that the user will be able to change the focusing screen to something a bit more matte in order to aid with focusing when using the company’s older lineup of lenses.

Highlights from the press release and Nikon’s website are after the jump.

Tech Specs

Specifications of Nikon F3
Type Electronically controlled 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) focal-plane shutter camera
Exposure control A (aperture-priority automatic), Manual
Viewfinder Eye-level finder DE-2 as standard, interchangeable with 3 other types
Split micro design (Type K) of focusing screen provided as standard, interchangeable with 19 other types
Metering system TTL center-weighted full-aperture metering
Metering range: EV 1 to 18 with ASA/ISO 100 film
Film speed setting: ASA/ISO 12 to 6,400
Shutter Automatic: From 8 to 1/2,000 sec. (step-less),
Manual: 8 to 1/2,000 sec. (18 steps) including T, B and X (1/80 sec.)
Mechanical shutter at T, Mechanical setting (1/60 sec. or T) available with the backup mechanical release lever when batteries become weak or exhausted
Flash sync X setting only, Speedlight unit synchronized at X (1/80 sec.) or less
TTL automatic flash exposure control available with the dedicated Speedlight SB-12 or SB-11 (with use of TTL flash exposure control cord SC-12)
Dimensions & Weight (Approx.) 148.5 x 96.5 x 65.5 mm; 700 g (body alone)

Some of the most important tidbits include:

  • We commissioned Giorgetto Giugiaro (1938- ), a famous Italian car and industrial designer, to take charge of the final design of the exterior of EM similarly as in the case of the exterior design of the flagship model Nikon F3.
  • …one of the key features of the Nikon F3 included the motor drive, which had been designed based on the concept that it was not an accessory but rather it was considered an integral part of the camera. The motor drive speed increased to 6 frames/sec. from 4 frames/sec. in the Nikon F2, to satisfy the requests by professional photographers. This enhancement was implemented free from any voltage increase with the adoption of a coreless motor, and thanks to the increased efficiency of the gear train for the film winding system and the resultant reduced load on the motor. An additional provision was also made for noise reduction.

    The development of electronic Nikon F3 was started , using only analog circuits. However, the information volume to be processed was too large for handling by the analog ICs (integrated circuits) of the existing level. Then, the direction was reversed and the display circuit was to be digitized. We planned to adopt the liquid crystal (display element) for reduced power consumption than the LED (light emission diode) which was commonly used for cameras in those days. The liquid crystal (LC) had been put into practical application only for a few years for watches and other some articles, though we decided to adopt the LC after due consideration to durability.

Lead image and second photo by Gábor Dobrocsi. For more information you can check out Nikon’s F3 page. Also, in case you didn’t realize it, this is an April Fool’s Day Joke.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.