Thursday, 30 April 2015

Nikon FM3A - first impressions

Well my new toy arrived - a Nikon FM3A.  I put a film through it yesterday to check all the major functions and it all seems good.  It will be interesting to compare results from it and the Leica over the next while.  A proper comparison will require the darkroom, of course, but at first look the scans look very good.  Here's a couple for your amusement.

This first shot is of the Dog-Hound-Thing.  We went for a bit of a stroll over the sand dunes.  Mind you, it's always difficult to get him to stop moving, but he's getting better in his old age - just.

This was captured using a Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 lens - supposedly one of their sharpest.  It's an old lens, manual focus of course and a bit of a beast size- and weight-wise.  But it looks like the snaps are very sharp and have a nice tone to them.  FP4+ on favourite combination.

I opened the lens up to its maximum aperture (f/2.8) to see what the out-of-focus background would look like and was pleasantly surprised - it's very nice, to my eyes anyway:

Out-of-focus rendering

The camera feels very good in the hands - a solid piece of engineering, with a 'rugged, copper-aluminium alloy' body (according to the blurb).  Viewfinder is very bright - on a par with the Leica, I would say, which is very surprising, considering the Leica is one of the very brightest around.  Of course the Leica is a rangefinder and therefore has no prism to absorb the light, so Nikon have done a great job there - it's much brighter than that of the OM-1 that Missy uses.  The OM-1 was considered the best in its day - but of course the FM3A is 30 years newer.

More shots to come tomorrow.

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