Nikon | Camera F3AF | User's Manual | Nikon Camera F3AF User's Manual

@ Viewfinder eyepiece
@ ASAIISO film -speed index
@ Film rewind fork
@ Film cartridge chamber
® Shutter curtains
@ Data back contacts
@ Motor drive coupling
@ Film rewind button
Motor drive electrical contacts @
@ Motor drive positioni
@ Camera back
® Memo holder
Viewfinder illuminator
ure-direct-readout (ADR) window
Meter coupling lever
Meter coupli
lever release button @
o Mirror lockup lever
® Self-timer LED
® Backup mechanical release lever
Sync terminal @
Lens mounting index @
Lens release button @
<V Anatomical
® Exposure memory lock button
® Viewfinder battery chamber
(with lid)
@I Shutter speed index
(jJ) Viewfinder illuminator button
@ Neckstrap eyelet
Accessory terminal @
A-M switch index
@ Focusing ring
A-M switch I@
Focus lock buttons
® Depth-of-field indica tors
Distance scale @
Distance index @
® Aperture index
Aperture ring @
Meter coupling shoe @
-readout sca le
@ Exposure compensation sca le
® Hot -shoe contacts
Film rewind crank
® Camera back lock lever
@ Film rewind knob
@ Exposu re compensation dial locking button
Lens AF contacts
Self-timer lever ®
Shutter speed dial @
Power switch @
Multiple exposure lever
Shutter relea se button @
Frame counter @
Shutter-speed dial locking button @
Film plane indica tor
CONTENTS--------------------~-----NOMENCLATURE .......... . ..... . . ... .. . . . .. ... . . 3-5
FOREWORD ........... . .. ....... . ..... . ........ . .... 7
BASIC OPERATION . ... . . . ..... . . .. .... ....... . .. 8-19
FOCUS . ... ... ................ .... . .... . ........ 20-28
Autofocus .... . . .... . .. . . .............. . . .. .. 22-23
Focus·Aid Operation .......... .. . .. .. . .. . .. . ..... .. 24
Manual Focus . . .. . . . .. . . . .... .. .. . . . . . ..... . .. . . . 25
Special Situations ........ . •...... ... . . . ...... 26-27
EXPOSURE ...... ... . .. .. .. . .......... . . . .. .. .. 28-41
Setting the Film Speed . . . ... . ....... . . . .. .. .... . .. . 29
Setting the Aperture .. .. . .. . .. .. . . ...... . . .... . .... 30
Setting the Shutter Speed ....... . . .. . . ...•..... 30-31
Automatic Exposure Control. ........ .. .. .. . . ...... . 32
Manual Exposure Control .... . ..... . .. . ............ 33
Relationship Between Shutter Speed
and Aperture . ... . ..... . . . ... .. . ..... . ...... . 34-35
Depth of Field ... . . .. . .. .... .. . ....... ... . . ... 36-38
Exposure Compensation . ... . . .. ...... . . . . . . . . 39-40
Stop-Down Exposure Measurement .. ... . .• . .... . ... 41
OTHER CONTROLS . .. . . . .. . . .. . . ...... .. ..... . 42-47
Shutter Release Button ..................... . . .... . 42
Backup Mechanical Release Lever .... . ............. 42
Film Advance Lever. ........... . ......... . . .. . . .... 43
Frame Counter . ... .. . .......... . .. . . . .. .... ... . . .. 43
Eyepiece Shutter Lever ....... .... . ..... . .. . ..... . .. 44
Self-Timer ............... . ... .. . .. .. ...... .. ...... 44
Mirror Lockup Lever . .... .......... • ..... . . .. . ..... 45
Viewfinder Illuminator............ . .. . . .... .. .•..... 45
Multiple Exposure Lever. ....... .. .. . . . . .. ... . .... .. 46
Memo Holder . . ... . . . . ...... . ..•.......•... . . . . ... 46
Film Plane Indicator ....... .. . . .. ...... .. . .. .. ... . . 47
Infrared Focusing Index .......... . .. . .. ... . . ... .... 47
FLASH PHOTOGRAPHy . . . . . . . . .. . . . .... .. . .. . . 48-51
Accessory Shoe ... . . . .. . . .......•.... . . ........ .. . 49
Sync Terminal ........ .... . .. . ......... . ... . .. ... . . 50
Ready-Light. . ... . .... . . .... ... .. . ... . .... . ........ 51
Nikon F3AF/Speedlight Combination Chart. ... . ...... 51
ACCESSORIES ............. ... .. . . ... . . .. . ..... 52-65
Interchangeable Viewfinders . .. . . ... . .......... 52 - 53
Focusing Screens .. . ...... . . . . .......... . .... 54-55
Electronic Flash Equipment. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . ... . . 56-57
Motor Drive MD-4 . . . . ...... .. ... ... .. . ..... ... 58-59
Data Back MF-14 .... . .............. . .............. 60
Close-Up Equ ipment. .......... . ... . . . . . . .. ... 61-62
Anti -Cold Battery Pack DB-2 .. ........... . . . . ... . . .. 63
Cable Release AR-3 ............... . .• . ............ 63
Rubber Eyecup . . ..... . ......... • ...... . .. . . . . . . .. . 63
Eyepiece Correction Lenses . . . . .. . . . ........... . . .. 63
Filters ............... .. .. . .. . . . ...... . . . . . ........ 64
Lens Hoods. . .... . ... . . .. . . .... . .............. ... . 64
Camera Cases . .. . ... . . . . .. . ... ..•.......•... . .. .. 65
Neckstraps ............. . .. .. . .. . . ...... • . ........ 65
Compartment Cases . . ...... . . . .........•...... . ... 65
EV RANGE OF THE CAMERA . .. . .. . . . .. .. . . .... 66-69
TIPS ON CAMERA CARE . . . . . ... . . ... . . . ....... 70-71
TIPS ON BATTERY USE .. . .. . .... ............... . . .. 72
SPECIFICATIONS ... . ........ . ... .......... . . .. 74-76
IMPORTANT! . ...... . . . . .. ... . .. ... . . . . .. . .. . ..... .. 77
FOREWORD--------Congratulations! You now own one of the most advanced,
easy-to-use cameras on the market today.
Thanks to a TTL image displacement detecting system utiliz·
ing two SPD's built into the AF Finder DX-1, this camera offers
you through-the-Iens autofocus control with either of two AFNikkor lenses, the BOmm f/2 .B and the 200mm f/3.5 IF-ED.
Thus, you can shoot fast-moving action while the subject
remains in sharp focus. And like the regular Nikon F3, the
shutter speed is set automatically to match the f/stop in use,
so you never have to worry about getting the correct exposure.
The F3AF also gives you focus-aid operation with the vast
majority of Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses having a maxi·
mum aperture of f/3.5 or faster, while regular manual
focusing using the matte portion of the screen is possible
with any lens.
Before actually taking pictures with the F3AF, you should
familiarize yourself with its basic operation as presented in the
first section. For more detailed explanations and special
picture-taking situations, refer to the rest of the manual. A few
minutes wisely invested now will payoff later in years of rewarding photographic experiences.
To insure proper service, make sure the Nikon Warranty Card
is enclosed in the camera box.
BASIC O P E R A T I O N - - - - - - - - - - - -
Remove the battery clip
46 from the camera body.
Use a coin to twist the clip counterclock wise to unscrew it.
Load the batteries into
• the clip.
Wipe the battery terminals clean and insert the two 1.55V silver-oxide batteries
supplied with the camera, making sure
that the + signs are up. Two 1.5Valkalinemanganese batteries or one 3V lithium
battery can also be used.
Caution: Keep batteries away from infants and
small chifdren. In case a battery is accidentally
swallowed, call a doctor immediately as the
material inside the batteries can cause serious
Reattach the battery
• clip.
Slip the battery clip back into the came ra
body and screw it tightly in to place .
Remove the battery
• chamber lid ® from the
Load the batteries Into
• the finder's battery
Apply pressure to the battery chamber lid
located at the side of the viewfinder to
slide it off.
Load two AAA-type batteries into the battery chamber, making sure the positive
and negative (+ and -) terminals match
the diagrams inside the holder.
Reattach the lid.
• While applying pressure to the batteries with the lid, slide it on until it clicks
into place.
Caution: NiCd batteries should not be used as
they might cause an explosion.
-BASIC OPERATION-continued----------
Move the power switch
@ to uncover the red dot.
Turn the switch clockwise until it clicks
into place. This makes the camera ready
for exposure metering and autofocu s
Depress the shutter
• release button @
This activates the exposure meter and
autofocus functions . Both stay on for 16
seconds after you take your finger off the
button , then turn themselves off auto matically to conserve battery power.
Check battery power.
• Look through the viewfinder. With out a lens mounted on the camera body,
the focus -impossible warning (red Xshaped LED) blinks or lights up continuously, while the liquid crystal display
(LCD) shows the shutter speed. These
displays indicate that the batteries have
been properly installed and their power is
adequate. If neither the red X nor the LCD
appears, check battery installation in the
camera body or replace the batteries in
the body and check again. If the red X
does not appear but the LCD does, check
battery installation in the finder or replace
the finder 's batteries with a fresh set.
Note: If a lens is mounted on the camera, either
the red X or one or both of the focus indicators
(two red LED arrows) will light up.
Mount the lens onto the camera.
• First , make sure that the meter coupling lever .@ is
locked in the "down" position . Grasp the lens by its lens barrel.
Then, line up the aperture index ~on the lens with the lens mount·
ing index @on the camera body and twist the lens counterclock·
wise until ft clicks into place. Confirm that the aperture index is
right on top.
To remove: Push the lens release button @ and turn the lens
clockwise until the lens comes off.
Notes :
1) Lenses usable with the Nikon F3AF. plus OX· / Finder, are listed on
2) Never touch the AF contacts ® inside the camera's lens mounting
3) When changing lenses with film loaded in the camera, be careful not to
expose the mirror box to direct sunlight.
Open the camera
• back 36 .
While pushing the camera back lock lever
® counterclockwise with your thumb, lift
the film rewind knob @ and the camera
back will pop open .
Note: If you have used a motor drive, be sure
that the motor drive coupling cover @ is reo
turned to the camera's baseplate; otherwise, the
film might be inadvertently exposed while
-BASIC OPERATION-continued----------
Install the film
• cartridge.
Drop the film ca rtridge into the film cartridge chamber @ so that th e film leader
points towards the tdkeup spool @, and
push the rewind knob back down into
pl ace.
1) Any 3Smm fifm Cartridge can be used.
2) Handle film in the shade to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
Insert the film leader in the takeup
• spool.
Pull the leader across the camera and insert it into one of the
slots in the film takeup spool. Advance the takeup spool slightly
with your fing er to engage the film 's perforations with the teeth
of the takeup spool and sprocket @.
Wind the film advance
• lever 39 to advance
film onto the takeup spool.
Wind the film advance lever and depress
the shutter release button until the film
sprockets engage the perforations on the
edges of the film .
Close the camera
• back.
Make sure that the perforations are perfectly meshed with the sprockets and
that the fi lm is set between the film guide
rails @. Then , close the camera back until
it snaps shut.
Take up the film slack.
• Fold out the film rewind crank @
and rotate it in the direction of the arrow
until it stops. Then fold the crank back in .
-BASIC OPERATION-continued----------
To dispose of the first few frames exposed during film loading ,
continue to alternately advance the film and depress the shutter
release button until the counter reaches frame one (the first dot
past 0). While making blank exposures, check that the rewind
knob is rotating , indicating the film has been loaded correctly
and is being advanced. If the knob does not rotate , reload
the film .
Lift up the ASA/ISO film speed dial @ and
rotate it in either direction until the white
dot ® is opposite the ASAIISO film speed
in use. Also make sure that the exposure
compensation index ® is set to the red O.
This programs the camera's exposure
meter so that it may provide a proper
exposure for the type of film being used.
Make blank exposures until the frame
• counter 76 reaches frame one.
1) When making blank exposures, set the shutter speed dial @ to A or to
11125 sec. or above, and the shutter will be released at 1180 sec. with
80 or M 80 displayed by the LCD in the viewfinder.
2) Do not take pictures prior to the first frame , as the meter does not
function until the counter reaches one.
Set the ASAIISO film
• speed.
Note: The film speed is printed on the film
carton and cartridge. Detaits on setting the dial
to intermediate settings can be found on
page 29.
Set the shutter speed
• dial 72 at A.
Rotate the shutter speed dial until the A is
opposite the shutter speed index @ . The
built-in locking mechanism ensures that
the dial cannot be accidentally shifted
from the A (Auto) position during shooting. To set the dial to other positions, turn
the dial while depressing the shutterspeed dial lock button @.
Slide the A·M switchrs5
on the AF·Nikkor
20 •
Slide the switch as far as it will go.
Set the '·number on
• the lens.
Turn the aperture ring @ on the lens until
the desired f-number is opposite the aperture index. The selected f-number appears
in the viewfinder for convenient reference .
Use the following suggestions as a guide
in setting the f/stop on the lens (when the
80mm f/2.8 is used):
Indoors: fl2 .8"-f/4
Outdoors (cloudy) : f/4"-f/8
Outdoors (clear) : f/8"-f/16
Outdoors (clear at the beach or in the
mountains): f/16"-f/32
Note: Depending on your preference, the depth
of field as well as the shutter speed can be
controlled by your selection of the shooting
aperture. For more information, refer to page 36.
-BASIC OPERATION-continued----------
Hold the camera steady.
• As you look through the viewfinder, use your left hand
to cradle the camera, with your fingers wrapped around the lens
and your thumb beside the focus lock button ® , while your
elbow is propped against your body for support. Use the index
finger of your right hand to depress the shutter release button
and your thumb to wind the film advance lever. Wrap the other
fingers of your right hand around the camera body. You can
adapt this basic posture to both horizontal and vertical format
shooting. To hold the camera steady, it is advisable to lean on or
against something strong and stable (e.g. , a wall).
Compose the picture.
• Look through the viewfinder,
compose your photo with the main subject (if possible, a subject 's vertical line)
in the center of the focusing frame to
assure correct focus and exposure.
CD LCD exposure information
<V ADR f-number
® Flash ready-light
® Focus-impossible warning
® Focus indicators : near-focus arrow ;
far-focus arrow
® Central focusing frame
(J) Half-mirror
® Fine matte/Fresnel field
Depress the shutter release button
• halfway and check both th~ exposure
and focus displays.
While looking through the viewfinder, depress the shutter release button halfway to turn on the exposure meter and autofocus function s. The LCD indicates the automatically selected
shutter speed to match the aperture set on the lens. As long as
neither + 2000 nor -8- appears in the shutter speed display,
the camera gives the correct exposure. If either indication appears, adjust the aperture ring on the lens until a desirable
shutter speed is indicated, referring to page 32. The f-number
you have set on the lens is also shown in the aperture-directreadout (ADR) window. When both red arrows light up, they indi cate that the image is in focu s. If the red X appears, refer to
page 26.
-BASIC OPERATION-continued----------
Take the picture.
• Depress the shutter release
button all the way down ; apply light but
steady pressure with the ball of your
index finger to avoid camera shake which
might result in a blurred image.
Advance the film.
• Stroke the film advance lever to
transport the film to the next frame.
Press the rewind
button ® .
When the film reaches the end of the roll ,
the film advance lever will stop working.
Then , turn the camera upside down and
press the film rewind button , so that the
exposed film can be rewound back into
its cartridge. You do not have to continue
depressing the button.
Rewind the film.
• Lift the film rewind crank and
turn it in the direction of the arrow. When
you feel the tension lessen , continue
winding one or two more turns until the
film leader is rewound completely back
into the cartridge.
Remove the film
• cartridge.
Push the camera back lock lever counterclockwise as you lift the film rewind crank
to open the camera back. Take out the
film cartridge. Avoid unloading film in
direct sunlight.
Turn the camera off.
• Turn the power switch off while
the camera is not in use. This prevents
inadvertent battery drain in case the
shutter release button is accidentally
The Nikon F3AF features a through-the-Iens autofocus system
which takes the guesswork out of focusing : just point the camera
at what you want to photograph , depress the shutter release
button @ halfway, and watch the subject literally 3nap into sharp
focus ... automatically.
The system consists of three parts : the special F3AF camera
body, the AF Finder DX-1, and an AF-Nikkor lens, either the
80mm 1/2.8 or the 200mm 1/3.5 IF-ED . The AF Finder DX-1 is
interchangeable and covers approx. 92 % of the image area of
the actual photograph, meaning that the final photograph will
be larger than the image seen in the viewfinder. The focusing
screen is built into the bottom of the viewfinder and cannot be
interchanged . However, when other Nikon F3 interchangeable
viewfinders are used with the F3AF, you have a choice of 20
interchangeable focusing screens (refer to page 55).
Nikon 's autofocus system is unique in that it features exceptionally quick response , allowing you to keep up with active, fastmoving subjects.
The Nikon F3AF offers you three different ways of focusing:
1) autofocus, 2) focus -aid operation (using the focus indicators
inside the finder), or 3) manual focus (using the matte portion of
the focusing screen). As shown in the following table , however,
only AF-Nikkor lenses are usable for autofocus. With other lenses
having maximum apertures of 1/3.5 and faster, you can use the
focus indicators as a guide in focusing as you manually rotate
the lens focusing ring (
Note: Because of the cropping which occurs in the case of mounted
slides or regular snapshot-size prints, the actual picture might come out
slightly smaller than the image seen in the viewfinder.
Usable Lenses
Focusing method
AF-Nikkor 80mm f/2 .8, AF-Nikkor 200mm f/ 3.5
Focus -aid operation
Nikkor (including AF-Nikkorl and Nikon Series
E lenses with a maximum aperture of f/3 .5
or faster
Manual focus
Nikkor (including AF-Nikkor) and Nikon Series
1) Even with lenses slower than fI3.5, the focus indicators willligM up
when the shutter release button is depressed halfway. This indication,
however, is not reliable.
2) Although the following Nikkor lenses have a maximum aperture of f13.5
or faster, they cannot be used for focus-aid operation: 16mm fI3.5,
20mm fI3.5, 28mm fI3.5, 135mm fI3.5, Micro 55mm fI3.5, PC 28mm
fI3.5, PC 35mm fI2.8, and PC 35mm fI3.5; the Micro-Nikkor 55mm
f12.8 cannot be used at closer than 280mm; the Zoom -Nikkor 35105mm fI3.5-fI4.5 can be used only at 35mm zoom setting.
3) When the Nikon Teleconverter TC-14, 200 or 300 is attached to the lens
and it makes the lens' effective aperture slower than fI3.5, the
camera's autofocus and focus -aid operation cannot be used.
4) The following lenses cannot be mounted on the F3AF with the OX-1
Finder: .Nikkor 13mm fI5.6, Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f18, and ReflexNikkor 1000mm fill .
5) Certain filters cannot be used for autofocusl focus-aid operation. (For
details, please refer to page 64)
in focus
far focus (the lens is focused behind the subject)
near focus (the lens is focused in front of the subject)
autofocus or focus -aid operation is impossiple. (This
warning also lights up momentarily at the start of
autofocus or focus-aid operation, if there is a big
difference between the actual camera-to-subject
distance and the lens distance selting.)
(j) LCD exposure information
® ADR f-number
@ Flash ready-light
® Focus-impossible warning
@ Focus indicators : near-focus arrow; far-focus arrow
® Central focusing frame
(j) Half-mirror
® Fine malte/Fresnel field
With the lens A-M switch ® set at A, depressing the shutter release button halfway turns on the camera 's autofocus control
(as well as the exposure meter}. At the same time, either the
focus indicator(s) or the focus-impossible warning in the viewfinder light up and the lens begins to focus automatically. Note
that the main subject (if possible, a subject 's vertica l line)
should be centered inside the centra l focusing frame in the
viewfinder. Autofocus continues for 16 sec. even after you
remove your finger from the button. When the subject is in
focus, focusing stops and both red arrows light up.
If there is a big difference between the actual camera-to-subject
distance and setting on the lens distance scale ®, the red X
lights up momentarily but disappears as soon as focusing begins.
If the subject is closer than the closest distance to which the
lens can focus , either the far-focus arrow (<III ) or the red X lights
up continuously. However, when the red X blinks or lights up
continuously, this indicates that the autofocus system does not
function well with the particular subject or shooting situation
(please refer to page 26 for further details).
1) After taking a picture during autofocus operation, the lens will continue
to focus for 16 sec. after you remove pressure from the shutter release
button. To stop the lens movement at any time to conserve battery
power, slide the A-M switch to M. Immediately lens movement stops,
but the red arrow(s) or red X remain on for 16 sec. until switched off
2) While shooting fast-moving subjects, one or both of the red arrows
may blink to show that the image is quite close to the in -focus zone;
for ordinary snapshots, taking the shot even in this situation can produce satisfactory results. However, if sharp focus is mandatory, wait
until both red arrows light up continuously.
3) When the batteries in the viewfinder are nearly exhausted, autofocus
becomes slow or may even stop, even though the red arrow(s) or red X
remain lit. In this case, replace the batteries in the finder at your earliest
convenience, or set the A-M switch to M and turn the focusing ring
manually using the red arrows as a guide.
r -------------------l
Focus lock
The AF-Nikkor lens has two focus lock buttons ® on the lens
barrel, one on the side and the other on the A-M switch . You can
use either of these button s, depending on your choice of hori zontal - or vertical-format shooting. During autofocus operation ,
depressing the focus lock button allows you to lock in the autofocus distance setting on the lens. Autofocus begins once again
as soon as you release the button .
To take pictures with the main subject off-center, first center the
main subject within the focusing frame in the viewfinder, depress
the shutter release button halfway and make sure both focus
indicators light up ; then depress the focus lock button and, while
holding it in , recompose and shoot.
Notes :
Ii With the focus lock butlon held down, the in -focus indication ( ~<III )
may change in the following two cases: 1) when you once again
depress the shutler release button halfway after the camera 's automatic 16-sec. switch has turned off the indication, or 2) just after you
have taken a picture. However, regardless of the focus indication
change, the distance set on the ler)s is still the same as when you
depressed the focus lock button.
2) When taking pictures in the automatic exposure mode with the main
subject off-center, you must also depress the memory lock button ®
to get the correct exposure. For more information, refer to page 40.
Focus-Aid Operation (Using the Focus Indicators)
With the AF-Nikkor's A-M switch @ set at M, or with other Nikkor
or Nikon Series E lenses having a maximum aperture of 1/3.5 or
faster (as listed on page 20), you can use the focus indicators
as a guide as you rotate the lens focusing ring. First , center the
main subject (if possible, a subject 's vertical line) within the
focusing frame; then depress the shutter release button halfway
to make the red arrows light up (focus information stays on for
16 sec. after removing your finger). If only the far-focus arrow
(<III ) lights up, this indicates that the lens is focused behind the
subject , whereas the near-focus arrow ( ~ ) indicates that the
lens is focused in front of the subject. These red arrows are very
convenient, because they tell you in which direction to turn the
focusing ring : just turn in the direction of the arrow. When the
image is in focus , both red arrows light up continuously.
When there is a big difference between the actual camera-tosubject distance and distance set on the lens, the focusimpossible warning appears. In this case, turn the focusing ring
until one of the red arrows lights up ; then continue to turn the
ring until both arrows are lit, indicating sharp focus. If only the
far-focus arrow (<III ) remains lit after the ring has been rotated
fully counterclockwise, this means the subject is closer than the
closest focusing distance of the lens. If the subject is much
closer than the closest focu sing distance of the lens, the red X
will light up continuously.
In case the red X blinks or lights up continuously and does not
disappear even after the focusing ring is turned , this indicates
that the focus-aid indication system does not function well with
the particular subject or shooting situation (please refer to page
26 for further details).
Note : While shooting fast-moving subjects, one or both of the red arrows
may blink to show that the image is quite close to the in-focus zone; for
ordinary snapshots, taking the shot even in this situation can produce
satisfactory results. However, if sharp focus is mandatory. continue to
rotate the focusing ring untif both red arrows light up continuously.
Manual Focus (Using the Matte Portion of the Focusing Screen)
Manual focus is required in the following cases: 1) when the
batteries in the DX-1 finder are exhausted , 2) when you are
using a lens which cannot provide autofocus or focus-aid operation, 3) when the focus-impossible warning blinks or lights up
continuously, or 4) when you simply want to focus the lens yourself. With an AF-Nikkor lens, set the A-M switch @l to M; then
turn the lens focusing ring until the image on the matte portion
of the screen inside the viewfinder looks sharp and clear. With
all other lenses, rotate the focu sing ring in the normal manner.
Note : With the A-M switch on the AF-Nikkor fens set at A, you cannot
shift the fens distance setting by turning the focusing ring.
-FOCUS-continued----------------Special Situations
The F3AF provides autofocus and focus -aid operation in the
majority or cases, including such difficult situations as fastmoving sports events, subjects seen through glass, or scenes
containing point light sources , such as the flame from a candle
or a streetlight at night. However, if the overall subject is dark in
tone (e.g. when the illumination level is less than EV 4 at ASAI
ISO 100), low in contrast, or lacks a distinct vertica l line, the
focus-impossible warning blinks or glows continuous ly to inform
you that the camera 's TTL image displacement detecting sys tem will not work. In this case , you can set the lens ' AM switch
®I to M and focus on the main subject manually using the matte
portion of the focusing screen. As an alternative, perform auto focus or focus -aid operation using another subject , if available,
which is located at the same distance as the one you want to
photograph ; then , with the focus lock button depressed on
autofocus or without changing the distance setting in focus-aid
operation, point the camera at the original subject and take
the picture.
Dark subject (llIust_ 1)
The red X blinks to show insufficient scene brightness. In this
case, focus manually, or perform autofocus/focus-aid operation
on an alternate subject at the same distance which is lighter
in tone.
Low-contrast subject (lliust. 2), small or finely
detailed subject (lliust. 3)
The red X lights up continuously. In this case, focus manually, or
perform autofocus or focus -aid operation on an alternate subject at the same distance which has more contrast ·or is larger.
Subject with no vertical lines (lliust. 4)
The red X glows continuously. In this case, turn the camera vertically and perform autofocus or focus -aid operation , or focus
manually ; alternatively, perform autofocus or focus -aid operation using an alternate subject at the same distance which has
vertical lines.
Subject with high reflectivity (lliust. 5), backlit
subject (Illust. 6), or scene with both far and near
subjects (Illust. 7)
In these cases, both red arrows or the red X light up continuously. If the red X appears, focus manually. If both red arrows
are lit , use the matte portion of the screen to check focus. If
your desired subject is out of focus, then focus manually. If it is
in focus , take the shot.
EXPOSURE-----------------------------To match the convenience of autofocus, the Nikon
F3AF features aperture -priority auto exposure. All
you do is set the camera at A (Auto) and fire away.
Light is automatically measured through the lens
at full aperture, and the correct shutter speed is
electronically determined to match the aperture in
use. The F3AF also lets you select the shutter
speed manually for complete creative control.
BecauSe the fast-reacting SPD metering cell is
located in the camera body below the reflex mirror
@, you have full metering capabilities even with
an interchangeable viewfinder attached . Metering is centerweighted ; 80 % of its sensitivity is
concentrated in the 12mm~ center spot of the
focusing screen , while the remaining 20 % is distributed over the rest of the screen. To get the correct exposure, center the main subject in the finder.
There are three factors involved in determining
exposure : film speed, aperture, and shutter speed.
All must be set correctly to get the proper exposure.
Setting the Film Speed
To program the F3AF to give the correct exposure with a particular film , you must first set the camera to the correct film
speed. The film speed, represented by an ASAIISO number, is a
numerical rating of the film 's sensitivity to a given amount of
light : the higher the number, the greater the sensitivity, and vice
versa. This number is printed on the film carton and the cartridge
itself. To handle all film types, the camera 's ASAIISO dial @ has
settings from ASAIISO 12 to 6400. Two dots between each pair
of ASAIISO numbers stand for intermediate settings, such as
64, 80, etc. The table above gives the speeds for all intermediate
Note: In certain situations, you can set the ASAIISO dial to a setting
which is different from the recommended film speed. For example, some
photographers rate their color slide film at a slightly higher ASAI ISO set·
ting to produce intentional underexposure for more color saturation. Or
when shooting in very low light, you can "push" high· speed black-and·
white film by doubling or quadrupling the ASAIISO, then overdeveloping
it to compensate for the underexposure.
Setting the Aperture
Setting the Shutter Speed
The second factor in determining exposure is the shooting aperture. Aperture, or the opening formed by the diaphragm inside
the lens, controls the amount of light allowed to pass through
the lens and strike the film ; it also controls depth of field (see
page 36 for more information). In low light, you are generally
required to use large apertures (indicated by f-numbers which
are low in numerical value, e.g. f/2.8), while in bright light, small
apertures are called for (e .g., f/16) . The aperture ring @ features
click-stops at whole f Is tops but is continuously variable throughout its entire range. With the exception of a few special lenses ,
Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses enable full-aperture light
measurement regardless of the aperture setting . These lenses
have automatic diaphragms, meaning that the diaphragm stops
down to the preset aperture only at the instant of exposure. To
keep you fully informed , the aperture in use appears in the ADR
window CD inside the camera's viewfinder.
Shutter speed, or the length of time the shutter remains open ,
also determines the amount of light allowed to strike the film.
The Nikon F3AF offers automatic stepless shutter speed control
over the range from 1/2000 sec. to 8 sec. , plus full manual con trol with a choice of 18 settings, including B, T, and X. All shutter
speeds, except T, are electromagnetically controlled.
The shutter speed dial @ has the following settings :
T (Time): At this mechanical setting, the shutter stays open until
A (Auto): Provides aperture-priority automatic exposure con-
the dial is rotated to another setting , making it ideal for really
long time exposure. To avoid unnecessary battery drain , follow
this procedure : turn the power switch @ off and make certain
the LCD is not displayed in the finder, then trip the shutter using
the backup mechanical release lever ® .
X (X-sync): Provides 1/80 sec. speed, the proper synchronization speed for any electronic flash unit.
To set the shutter speed dial, rotate it until the desired setting
click-stops opposite the index line @; the dial is locked at the
A and X settings to prevent accidental shifting of the setting . To
move the dial off a locked setting, push the locking button Q]J as
you rotate the dial. Intermediate settings should not be used.
trol in which you first select the shooting aperture, then the
camera sets the corresponding shutt~r speed for correct
1/2000"' 8 sec_: 15 discrete settings give you full manual control of the shutter speed. The numbers engraved on the dial in
white are reciproca ls, for example 2000 means 1/2000 sec. 60,
also a reciprocal , appears in red and indicates the highest
manual shutter speed for proper synchronization with electronic
flash (with the exception of X). Numbers engraved in orange
represent actual sh utter speeds, for example an orange 8
means 8 sec.
B (Bulb): The shutter remains open as long as the shutter release button @ is depressed.
-EXPOSURE-continued-------------+2000 ,
2000 , :':'00 ,
,- , =, - ,,500, 250 , :25 , c,ef
-"-' ..
f :, ,
With one of these indications displayed, correct exposure will be obtained.
+ 2000 indicates that the subject is too bright
for the working aperture you have chosen ; to
remedy this situation, use a smaller aperture.
If the correct exposure is still unobtainable
even at the smallest aperture, use an ND
(neutral density) filter.
- 8- indicates the subject is too dark and you
should use a larger aperture. If the correct
exposure is unobtainable even at maximum
aperture, use an electronic flash or other
supplementary illumination.
When making blank exposures with the shutter speed dial set at A or 1/125 sec. or above,
an 80 will appear until you reach frame one.
Automatic Exposure Control
Automatic exposure is the most convenient way to shoot with
the Nikon F3AF, because it al lows you to concentrate fully on
the subject w ithout worrying about the exposure . By presett ing
the aperture and locking the shutter speed dial @ at A, the
came ra automatically sets the proper stepless shutter speed
from 1/200010 8 sec . as soon as the shutter re lease button @
is depressed halfway. To keep you fully informed, the shutter
speed is displayed via LCD in the viewfinder. Speeds between
1/2 and 1/2000 SE>C . are shown as a reciprocal of the actual
speed , for example 125 means 1/125 sec . Speeds between 1
and 8 seconds are signified by a - symbol appearing to the
.upper right of the number, for example 8 - means 8 sec. To make
the display easy to read, intermediate speeds appear in the
display as a disc rete shutter speed which is closest to the actual
speed . (For instance , 1/287 sec . might be the automatically
selected shutter speed in use, but 250 will be displayed.) The
LCD stays on for approx . 16 sec . after you remove your finger
from the shutter bu tton .
Before shooting, check the exposu re display.
Note: The camera 's effective metering range depends on the shutter
speed and aperture in use at a particular film speed. Please refer to
pp. 66·69 for more information.
, ~S
+ Ie
M C;; _
Use a larger aperture or slower
shutter speed.
Use a smaller aperture or faster
shutter speed.
Within ±114 EV.
Manual Exposure Control
In the manual exposure mode, you can shoot at any combination
of flstop and shutter speed from 1/2000 to 8 sec ., enabling you
to select your desired shutter speed. Manual exposure is also
required when stop-down exposure measurement is necessary
or when you want to use the B, T, or X setting.
Except at the B, T. and X settings, the shutter speed you set is
shown in the viewfinder immediately after the shutter release
button ® is depressed halfway. As before, the - symbol at the
upper right of the number indicates shutter speeds from 1 to 8
sec. Also the letter M appears to the left of the number, indicating the manual exposure mode. Above the M, the following
symbols appear : -, +, and - + which indicate underexposure,
overexposure, and correct exposure, respectively. To obtain
correct exposure, simply turn the shutter speed dial @ andlor
aperture ring until the - + symbol appears. The LCD stays on
approx . 16 sec. after you remove your finger from the button .
Intermediate settings on the shutter speed dial cannot be used
while those on the lens aperture ring ~ can be. Therefore, stop
the lens aperture down or open it up to the appropriate inter mediate setting when fine adjustment of the exposure is
When making blank exposures with the shutter speed dial set
between 11125 and 1/2000 sec. , the shutter fires at 1/80 sec.
with M 80 displayed until the frame counter reaches one .
At the B or T setting, an M - appears in the viewfinder.
At X, an M+ 80 appears. However, the + does not mean overexposure, because the meter does not function at this setting ;
as soon as a dedicated Nikon Speed light is attached to the
F3AF and turned on , the + disappears from the display, leaving
just M 80.
1/2000 111000 11500 1/250 1/1 25 1/60
Relationship Between Shutter Speed and Aperture
The amount of light reaching the film plane is determined by a
combination of the shutter speed and the lens aperture. A
shutter speed of 1/125 sec. lets in twice as much light as a setting of 1/250 sec . and only half as much light as 1/60 sec. An
aperture setting of f/11 lets in twice as much light as f/16 , half
as much as fiB . Thus, if the correct exposure for a particular
picture-taking situation is 1/125 at f/11 , then 1/250 at fiB or 1/60
at f/16 will give the same exposure.
The table above illustrates the interrelationship between shutter
speed and aperture.
The best combination will depend on the results you want. Use
fast shutter speeds to freeze motion ; use slow speeds to produce a deliberate blur. Also, small apertures give greater depth
of field, while large apertures restrict the zone of sharp focus to
the main subject. (For more detailed information about depth
of field, refer to page 36.)
A good rule to follow in preventing camera shake is to select a
minimum shutter speed which is the reciprocal of the focal
length of the lens in use . For example, when using a normal
50mm lens, select a speed no slower than 1/60 sec. (the closest
number to 1/50). For a 200mm super-telephoto, use no less
than 1/250 sec. and so forth .
A fast shutter speed freezes
the rider and background.
By panning the camera, a slow one allows
the background to blur.
Depth of Field
When you shoot at a certain aperture and focusing distance ,
you will find that not only the main subject but objects in a certain distance range in front of and behind it will be sharp in the
final photograph . Objects beyond this range become increasingly out of focus . This "in-focus zone" is known as depth of
field . When this zone of sharpness is large, the depth of field is
said to be deep; when it is small, the depth of field is said to
be shallow.
The following is true of depth of field :
1) The smaller the shooting aperture (i.e. the larger the numerical f-number), the deeper the depth of field ; the larger the
aperture, the shallower the depth of field .
2) The farther away the subject is from the lens, the deeper the'
depth of field becomes ; the closer to the lens, the shallower
the depth of field .
3) The longer the focal length of a lens, the shallower the depth
of field at each f/stop ; the shorter the focal length , the deeper
the depth of field .
4) There is greater depth of field behind the main subject than
in front of it.
The depth of field at each aperture is indicated on the lens by a
set of color-coded lines ® (corresponding to the colors of the
f-numbers on the aperture ring) which are used in conjunction
with the distance scale @ . The range is indicated by the distance between the lines.
Note: Certain Zoom-Nikkor and special-purpose Nikkor lenses do not
have a depth-of-field scale.
Depth-of-field preview button ®
When a lens with an automatic diaphragm is used, the image in
the viewfinder is viewed with the lens at maxi mum aperture.
However, by depressing the depth-of-field preview button ,
the lens will be stopped down to the aperture set, enabling you
to examine depth of field before shooting. The image in the viewfinder darkens according to the selected f-number : the smaller
the aperture (i.e., the larger f-number), the darker the image .
Components of the picture that appear in focus when the button
is depressed wi ll be in the zone of sharp focus .
Note that the button should be depressed all the way.
To illustrate depth of field , the following photos were taken with
the AF -Nikkor BOmm f/2 .B lens at a focused distance of 5m ; the
only difference is that they were shot at various apertures. Control of depth of field enables you to create photos having selective focus (where the major subject stands out from the back ground and/or foreground) or overall sharpness (in which all
elements in the picture appear sharp). Depth of field imparts to
your picture a character all its own.
Note: When shooting in the automatic exposure mode with an AI lens,
do not release the shutter while depressing the preview button; improper
exposure may result.
Lens set at f/2.8
Lens set at f/16
Suggested Applications for Exposure Compensation
+ 2 White background, snow scene
White background occupying half of viewing area
-1 spotlighted subject, black background occupying
"half of viewing area
-2 black background
Exposure Compensation
In the vast majority of cases, the F3AF provides the correct
exposure on automatic. However, certain situations require a
deviation from the automatic exposure setting . For this purpose ,
the F3AF features both an exposure compensation dial @ and
a memory lock button ®.
Exposure compensation dial
This dial adjusts the exposure by increasing or decreasing the
automatically selected shutter speed. When the scene is unusually light or dark in tone (e.g., a snow scene), exposure compensa tion must be made to prevent over- or underexposure.
Or under normal conditions, you can intentionally over- or underexpose the shot to create special "high-key" or " low-key" effects.
To make exposure compensation , push the locking button ~ as
you rotate the exposure compensation dial. It is graduated in
one-third stop increments : -1 and -2 indicate one and two
stops less exposure, whereas + 1 and + 2 indicate one and two
stops additional exposure. At ASAIISO 6400, the compensation
extends to only -1 ; at ASAIISO 12, up to + 1. After use make
su re to reset the dial to " 0."
The recommended exposure compensation settings for various
subjects and picture -taking situations are shown above.
Note : Because the LCD shows only discrete shutter speeds, a slight
adjustment of the exposure compensation dial, such as + 113, may not
be reflected in a change in shutter speed.
Memory lock button
Another way of making exposure compensation with the F3AF
on automatic is to use the exposure memory lock button. When
there is a substantial difference in brightness between the main
subject and the background, such as a strongly backlit subject,
the camera 's exposure meter is likely to be fooled , resulting
in under- or overexposure (Fig. 1). To compensate for this,
center the main subject in the viewfinder or move in close to
the subject, depress the memory lock button and hold it in ; then
recompose and shoot (Fig. 2).
Note: In autofocus operation, you must also depress the focus lock
button when recomposing with the subject off-center to keep it in
sharp focus.
- @ -- -
_ _ _ _ .J
Stop-Down Exposure Measurement
When using a non-AI lens or certain close-up accessories, you
must push the meter coupling lever release button @ and lock
the meter coupling lever 4 in the "up" position before mounting
a lens or attaching an accessory. In this case, the diaphragm in
the lens does not link with the meter coupling lever on the
camera body. Therefore, you must perform stop-down metering.
The procedure is as follows :
For non·Allenses with automatic diaphragms
On auto: Push the depth-of-field preview button ® all the way in
and hold it as you trip the shutter.
Caution: If the depth· of-field preview button is not depressed all the way,
the mirror 9 may remain in the " up " position.
For non·Allenses or accessories without automatic
On auto: Stop the lens down manually until the desired shutter
speed appears in the viewfinder. Then take the picture.
On manual : Adjust the shutter speed or aperture until the - +
sign appears .
For fixed·aperture lenses, photomicrography,
or astrophotography
On auto: No control is necessary; just take the picture.
On manual : Adjust the shutter speed dial until the - + appears.
If correct exposure is unobtainable, use an NO (neutral density)
filter or change the illumination to adjust the exposure.
On manual : Select a shutter speed. Then hold in the preview
button and turn the lens aperture ring @ until the - + symbol
appears in the viewfinder. Release the preview button and take
the shot.
Shutter Release Button
Depressing the button halfway switches on the exposure meter
and autofocus function and activates the viewfinder LED and
LCD displays for focus/exposure information . Both displays stay
on for approx. 16 sec. , even after taking your finger off the button , then turn themselves off automatically to conserve battery
power. Depressing the button all the way down releases the
shutter. The shutter release button is threaded in its center to
accept a standard cable release for tripping the shutter with the
camera mounted on a tripod.
1) The shutter cannot be tripped using the shutter release button unless :
a) the camera's power switch @ is turned on, b) the film advance lever
1M! is stroked completely to cock the shutter, and c) the batteries are
in proper working order. To release the shutter when the batteries are
dead, use the backup mechanical release lever ® , referring to the
next page.
2) At the B setting, unless you hold the shutter release button down all
the way, the shutter may close prematurely.
3) 00 not screw a tripod into the camera 's tripod socket @ too tightly.
Backup Mechanical Release Lever (6
This lever is provided as an alternative method of releasing the
shutter in case the camera's batteries become weak or completely exhausted. To operate the lever, first use your fingernail
to pull it down to the ready position. Then push it down to trip
the shutter. The shutter operates at a mechanical speed of
approx. 1160 sec. at any setting on the shutter speed dial , except
T. At T, push down the backup mechanical release lever with
the power switch @ off.
Caution: If you advance the film while holding down the backup mechan·
ical release lever, the shutter will fire immediately at the completion of
the film advance stroke, thus wasting a frame. Also, if you fail to advance
the film completely and then use the lever to trip the shutter, the mirror
® will remain in the " up " position; when the additional stroke is made to
complete film winding, the shutter will fire , also wasting a frame.
Film Advance Lever @)
The film advance lever is coaxial with the shutter release button
@ and is specially contoured to fit the thumb. To advance the
film , wind the lever to the right all the way until it stops. It automatically returns to the standoff position the moment you take
your thumb off it. One complete stroke or a series of shorter
ones advances the film by a single frame and simultaneously
cocks the shutter.
At the end of the film roll , the lever stops working . Do not attempt
to wind the lever further; just rewind the film .
Note : If the lever becomes difficult to operate at the beginning of the
roll, this means that the film is not winding onto the takeup spool @properly. In this case, rewind the film immediately and load the film again.
Frame Counter Q§)
To keep track of the number of exposed frames, the frame
counter is graduated from two frames below 0 up to 40. Blue
numerals appear every 5 frames (0, 5, 10, etc.), with dots in
between. White marks at 12, 20, 24, and 36 indicate the number
of frames available on most film cartridges. When making blank
shots with the shutter speed dial @ set to "A," the shutter will
fire at 1/80 sec. until the frame counter reaches the first frame.
In addition, the LCD shows 80 in the finder. Or, if you set the dial
manually between 1/125 and 1/2000 sec., the shutter will still
fire at 1/80 sec. In the finder, an M 80 is displayed. However, if
the speed is manually set to 1/80 sec. (X) or below, the shutter
will fire at the speed set with the LCD indicating that speed.
Therefore, to speed up film loading, set the dial to A or to 1/125
sec. or above.
When the camera back @ is opened, the frame counter automatically resets to two frames below zero.
-OTHER CONTROLS-continued----------
Eyepiece Shutter Lever @
When it is impossible to keep your eye at the viewfinder (such
as when utilizing the self-timer), you should use the eyepiece
shutter. This shutter prevents stray light from entering the eyepiece and adversely affecting the automatic exposure meter
reading and autofocus function . Just push the lever to the left
to close the shutler. As a visual reminder that it is in use, the
blind is painted red .
The F3AF's blinking self -timer provides a to-sec . delay in shutter
release. To operate the self-timer, push the self-timer lever ® to
uncover the red dot (Fig. t). (When using the camera in the
autofocus and/or automatic exposure modes, don 't forget to
close the eyepiece shutter to prevent stray light from entering
the eyepiece.) Then push the shutter release button. @ (Fig. 2).
Immediately the red LED @I on the front of the camera will start
blinking and then speed up during the final two seconds before
the shutter opens to warn you to get ready (Fig . 3). Finally, return the self-timer lever to its original position after use (Fig. 4).
If you want to cancel the self-timer after pushing the shutter
release button , return the self-timer lever to its original position.
This will prevent the picture from being taken .
Note: The B setting on the shutter speed dial @ does not function as B
with the self-timer.
Mirror Lockup Lever CD
Viewfinder Illuminator (13
In the following situations, the F3AF's mirror @ must be locked
in the " up " position : when you want to operate the Motor Drive
MD -4 at 6 frames per second or when using certain fisheye
lenses whic h do not feature through-the-Iens viewi ng . Also,
when using super-telephoto lenses or doing photomic rography,
it becomes necessary to minimize camera vibration. To lock the
reflex viewing mirror in the "up" position, pu sh in the depth-offield preview button @ and rotate the lever counterclockwise
until it stops. To return the mirror to the "down " posi tion , rotate
the lever clockwise until it stops.
Do not release the shutter unless the mi rro r is completel y in the
"up" or "down " position .
A convenient built-in viewfinder illuminator lets you see the LCD
exposure information and the aperture, even in dim light. To turn
on the illuminator, push the red illuminator button @ located at
the base of the viewfinder just in front of the shutter speed dial
@. Please remember that the illuminator only lights up when
the camera 's exposure meter is switched on , but turns off as
soon as you remove your finger from the button .
Caution: With the mirror locked up, you should not operate the camera
on automatic. Even though the LCD continues to show you the shutter
speed automatically selected by the camera, this speed will not produce
the correct exposure. Autofocus operation with the mirror in the "up"
position is also impossible.
1) If you plan to use the illuminator for extended periods, take along a
spare set of fresh batteries for the camera body, because the illuminator consumes a lot of power.
2) At low temperatures or with nearly exhausted batteries, using the
illuminator might temporarily lower the voltage, causing the LCD to
disappear. If the LCD appears again when the illuminator is off, you
can release the shutter without replacing the batteries.
-OTHER CONTROLS-continued-----------
Multiple Exposure Lever
For crea tive and unusual effects, the F3AF allows you to record
more than one image on the same frame of fi lm. To make double
or multiple exposures, follow this procedure :
1) Take the first shot.
2) Then to recock the shutter without advancing the film , push
the multiple exposure lever forward (Fig . 1), and stroke the
advance lever ~ . Immediately the multiple exposure lever
wi ll spring back to its normal position (Fig . 2).
3) Now you are ready to take the second shot on the same
frame . For more than two shots on the same frame , just repeat the same procedure for each additional exposure. When
you have finished , simply advance the film normally to the
next frame. While making multiple exposures, the frame
counter does not advance. The multiple exposure setting
cannot be cance lled once the lever is set in the "out " position .
Note: If you wish to cancel the multiple exposure selling, first cover the
lens with the lens cap and close the eyepiece shuller; then make a blank
shot and advance the film to the next frame.
Memo Holder
As a reminder of the film type and the number of exposures on
the roll in use, clip off the end of the film carton and insert it into
the memo holder. While loading the film , insert the film carton
end before closing the camera back. Wh en film is already
loaded, you must remove the DX- 1 finde r.
Film Plane Indicator @
The film plane indicator ( -E>- ) is engraved in white on the top deck
just behind the shutter speed dial. It indicates the exact position
of the film plane inside the camera. Whenever it becomes
necessary to measure the exact distance between the subject
and. film plane, such as in macrophotography, use the film plane
indicator. The distance between the film plane and the lens
mounting flange is exactly 46.5mm.
Infrared Focusing Index
The red dot beside the focusing index on most lenses is the
infrared focusing index. When shooting with black -and-white
(but not color) infrared film , it is necessary to refocus the lens to
compensate for the fact that infrared light rays focus at a point
slightly in front of visible light.
In infrared photography, use of the R60 filter is required . At first ,
focus on your subject through the viewfinder by rotating the lens
focusing ring @ without the filter in place. Then look at the lens
and take note of the focused distance. Reset the focusing ring
so that the desired distance is aligned with the red dot. Finally
take pictures with the filter attached.
Note: Automatic focusing is impossible in black-and-white infrared
FLASHPHOTOGRAPHY--------------------The Nikon F3AF has been specially designed to make electronic
flash photography easier than ever. When used with an accessory Nikon dedicated flash unit, the camera offers fully automatic through-the -Iens (TTL) control of the flash exposure. This
means that while the shutter is open, the camera 's silicon
photodiode (SPD) reads the light reflected directly off the film
and tells the flash unit to cut itself off when the exposure
is correct.
To prevent mistakes, the camera also offers automatic switchover of the shutter speed for proper synchronization . With the
shutter speed dial @ set at A or 1/125 sec. or above, the shutter
speed is automatically switched to 1/80 sec . as soon as the
flash is turned on . As a reminder, the LCD shows 80 on auto or
M 80 on manual. For creative fill -in flash effects, you can set the
speed manually to 1/60 sec. or below and the shutter fires at the
speed set with the speed in use displayed in the viewfinder.
For non-dedicated flash units, an X setting is provided, giving
you the proper manual speed of 1/80 sec . At X, M+ 80 appears
in the LCD. However, if you use a Nikon dedicated flash unit at
this setting , M 80 appears as soon as the unit is turned on.
When shooting manually with any flash unit, it is necessary to
determine the flash unit's guide number for the film you are
using ; then set the aperture to match the shooting distance.
Accessory Shoe ®
Located at the base of the rewind knob @, the accessory shoe
allows direct mounting of a Nikon dedicated flash unit, such as
the 88-12, 88-16A or 88-17. To mount other direct-mounting
flash units (having either an 180- or Nikon F2-type mounting
foot) to the F3AF's accessory shoe, a Nikon Flash Unit Coupler
is required (for details, refer to page 56.) The accessory shoe
also accepts accessory cords, such as the 8C-12 and 8C-13, for
convenient flash photography with Nikon bracket-mounting
units , such as the 88-11 and 14.
Three electrical contacts @ on the accessory shoe provide for
synchronization of the flash unit, automatic TTL output control,
and ready-light indication (via an LED) in the camera 's viewfinder, plus auto switching to the proper synchronization speed
of 1/80sec.
Caution: For flash photography, it is recommended that you use a
Nikon dedicated electronic flash unit which operates with a low-voltage
current. The use of any other flash which operates at high voltages may
damage the camera's circuitry; any damage caused by such use is not
covered by the Nikon warranty.
-FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY-continued---------
Sync Terminal
A separate sync terminal with a protective screw-in cover is
provided on the Nikon F3AF. When using flashbulbs or an electronic flash unit without a hot-shoe contact, it is necessary to
use the camera 's sync terminal. It accepts all standard plug-in
PC cords, plus it is threaded for use with a Nikon screw-in
PC cord.
The F3AF featu res an X-sync contact only, allowing electronic
flash units to be synchronized at a speed of 1/80 sec. (X)
or slower.
Shuller speed (sec.)
Cannot be used
X (1/80)
Nlkon F3AFISpeedlight Combination Chart
ready -light
speed auto
Usable flash
output control
TTL, auto,
manual, MD
TTL, auto,
manual , MD
TTL, manual
(with SC-12)
TTL, manual
(with SC-13)
auto, manual
(with SC-ll)
auto, manual
SB-19** (with AS-4, 7)
auto only
A built-in LED ready-light is provided in the upper right-hand
portion of the viewfinder outside the picture area. When a Nikon
dedicated flash unit (or a TTL sensor cord) is attached to the
accessory shoe ® , the ready-light comes on as soon as the
flash is recycled, indicating that the unit is ready to fire . So, you
never have to remove your eye from the viewfinder. Moreover,
in the TTL mode, whenever the flash unit fires at its maximum
output, the ready-light starts blinking for approx. two seconds,
warning you that the light was probably insufficient for correct
exposure . As an additional warning, it blinks if the flash is not
connected properly or if the ASAIISO setting on the camera is
outside the dedicated flash unit's range of ASNISO 25"'400.
For more detailed information, refer to the flash unit's instruction manual .
SB-18** (with AS-4, 7)
manual only
SB-15 (with AS-4, 7)-
auto, manual,
SB-1O (with ASA, 7)
auto, manual
SB-7E (with AS-3)
auto, manual
manual , MD
auto, manual,
auto only
(with SC-6)
(with AS-3,
SC-9, SU-l)
SB-E** (with AS-4, 7)
*With the SB-12 or SB-15 mounted on the Nikon F3AF, the flash head
cannot be rotated so that it is over the AF Finder DX-l .
** The SB-19, SB-18 and SB-E cannot be mounted on the F3AF unless
the Eyelevel Finder DE-2 or High-Eyepoint Finder DE-3 is used.
Interchangeable Viewfinders
In addition to the AF Finder DX-1 , the F3AF camera also accepts
other interchangeable viewfinders designed for the regular
Nikon F3. With them, all Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses,
including the AF-Nikkors, are usable with the F3AF body. Regardless of which finder is attached, you still have full automatic
exposure control because the meter is built into the camera
body rather than the finder. The camera 's autofocus control ,
however, cannot be used with viewfinders other than the DX-1.
The Eyelevel Finder DE-2 offers regular eyelevel viewing and
provides an upright and unreversed image in the viewfinder. The
High-Eyepoint Finder DE-3 gives you the same eyelevel viewing ,
but allows eyeglass wearers and action photographers alike to
see the entire frame with the eye up to approx. 25mm away
from the eyepiece. The Waist -Level Finder DW-3 is ideal when
you want to use the camera at a low angle or upside down over
your head for shooting over crowds. The Action Finder DA-2
works well for those situations when you cannot bring your eye
close to the finder, such as in fast -breaking sports events, when
you are wearing a helmet or goggles, or when the camera is
enclosed in waterproof underwater housing . The 6X Magnification Finder DW-4 is for critical high -magnification close-up
work or photomicrography.
When using the DA-2 or DW-3, be careful that stray light does
not enter from the top and cause an inflated meter reading .
To remove the finder, use your thumb and forefinger to slide the
finder release levers ® toward the back of the camera ; then lift
the finder out. Before attaching another viewfinder, a focusing
screen must be installed (please refer to page 54). To attach the
new finder, position it above the camera with the nameplate
facing toward the front of the camera, and gently push the view finder down until it is fully seated in place. Make sure the finder
is attached securely.
Do not forget to remove the focusing screen from the body when
you reattach the AF Finder DX-1. If not, both the focusing screen
inside the camera body and the one built into the bottom of the
DX-1 might be damaged.
1) When handling the F3AF with the OX· ) removed, be careful not to soil
or damage the electrical contacts at the bottom of the finder or the
matching ones inside the camera body at the top of the mirror box.
Also do not short·circuit them.
2) Do not pick up the camera by the finder only The force may cause
damage to the camera.
3) To prevent dirt from getting inside the finder, always keep the eyepiece
glass attached.
4) When storing the OX-) separately from the camera body, attach the
protective cover (supplied with the camera! to prevent the built-in finder
screen from becoming scratched.
Focusing Screens
When using a viewfinder other than the standard AF Finder
DX-1, you have a choice of 21 interchangeable focusing screens,
as listed on the next page. To install a focusing screen , simply
insert the front edge (the edge with the slot in the middle) under
the pin and push the rear edge of the screen down into place.
To take out the focusing screen , first remove the finder, then
insert your fingernail under the rear edge of the screen and
lift it out.
Note: For more information on which screens are compatible with which
lenses, consult the instruction manual supplied with the lens.
Focusing Screen Selector Guide
TYPO A: Mane/Fresnel f~ld wifh 3mm~ circular split-Image rangelinder spot and
12mmcP reference circle. Rap.ld and accurate focusing . Excellent lor general
Typo K: Combination of Type A and J screens. Mane /Fresnel field w~h 3rnm~ spl~­
Image rangefinder spot surrounded by lmm-wide micnoprlsrn doughnut. Rapid and
accurate focu~ng for subjects with both straight lines and III-defined contours .
Suitable for general photography.
Type 8: Mane/Fresnel flElld with 3mm41 fine-ground matte focusing spot and
12mm41 reference circle. Good for general photography. especially with long lenses.
TYpo L: Same as Type A screen but with spln-lrnage rangeflnder line at a 45" angie.
Best lor subjects w~h horizontal lines.
Type C: Fine-ground matte field with 4mm4J clear spot and cross hair. For
photomicrography. astrophotography and other high-magnilication appllcat~ns.
using parallax focusing on aerial Images.
Type M: Fine-ground Fresnel field with S.Smmq, clear spot and double cross half for
use In parallax focusing on aerial Image, plus millimeter scales for calculation of
indMduaJ magnification of objects or tor measuring ob;ects. Brilliant Image In dim
light. Su~bIe for close-ups . photom~rography and other hlgh - magn~tlon
TYpo D: Overall fine-ground mane liBld. For specialized close-up photography and
for use with long lenses.
Type P: Same as Type K but with split-image rangefinder line at a 45° angle and
etched horizontal and vertical lines as an aid to composition . Rapid and accurate
focusing for subject with horizontal or vertlcallines or til -defined contours . Suitable
lor general photography.
Type E: Matte/Fresnel field with 3mm¢ fine-ground matte spot, 12mm~ reference
circle. and etched horizontal and ..rllcallines. Ideal for archnectural photography.
TYpo R: Same as Type A but with rangefindor prisms of sloping surfaces at a smaller
angle and horizontal and vertical tines to aid proper composition . 't\brks best with
lenses having maximum apertures from fl3 .5 to 1/5.6.
TYpo G: Clear Fresnel r~ld w~h extra-bright 12rnm~ mlcroprlsrn focusing spot for
viewing and focusing In poor light. Four models (G1-G4) are available corresponding to specific focal length lenses. Depth of field cannot be observed.
Type T: Matte/Fresnel field with split-image rangefinoor, 12mmq, reference circle ,
and horizontal and vertical lines. Used when preparing slides for TV broadcasts,
Dotted lines indicate standard TV screen format. SOlid oulline shows "sale action"
area, whereas broken nnes indicate "safe title" area.
Type H: Clear Fresnel field with microprism focusing pattern over the entire screen
area. Pennits rapid focusing on any part of the screen with optimum edge-la-edge
brightness In poor light. Available In lour models (H1-H4) corresponding to
particular localleng1h lenses.
Type U: Mane /Fresnel field with 3mm¢ fine-ground matte focusing spot and
12mm¢ reference circle. Utilizes the same matte field as Type S, but with lenses
longer than 100mm the image in the viewfinder Is easier to see. With shorter focallength lenses, this screen Is not suitable because of light fall-of! in the comer.
TYpo J : Mane/Fresnel field with central mlcroprlsrn focusing spot and t2 mm</>
circle. Good for general photography.
-ACCESSORIES-continued------------Electronic Flash Equipment
Indispensable for shooting in dim light and at night or for filling
in the shadows in daylight, Nikon Speedlights are dedicated
electronic flash units which complement your Nikon F3AF perfectly. Everything about these Speedlights is automatic-all you
have to do is set the aperture and the flash output is measured
through the lens, ensuring the correct exposure regardless of
the lens in use.
5peedlights 5B·12, 5B·16A and 5B·17
Compact and light , Nikon SB-12, SB-16A and SB-17 mount
directly on the camera to provide automatic TTL control of the
flash exposure. The SB-12 has a guide number of 25 (ASAIISO
100 and meters) or 41 (ASAIISO 25 and feet). The SB-16A
features a zoom head with four zoom settings for 28, 35, 50 and
85mm lenses with a guide number of 32 (ASAIISO 100 and
meters) or 52 (ASAIISO 25 and feet) for the 35mm setting. For
bounce flash, it has two flash heads: the main head not only tilts
back 90° but rotates 270°, while the smaller secondary head
faces straight ahead to provide a catch light for the eyes. Similar
in size and power rating to the SB-12, the SB-17 employs a tilting
flashtube module for convenient bounce flash.
F3AF with 58-12
F3AF with S8-16A
F3AF with 58-17
Speedlights S8·11 and 14
For those photographers requiring a separate bracket-mounting
unit, Nikon has the S8-11 and S8-14. The guide number of the
S8-11 is 36 (ASA/ISO 100 and meters) or 60 (ASA/ISO 25 and
feet) , while the S8-14 , which requires a separate battery pack,
has a guide number of 32 (ASA/ISO 100 and meters) or 52
(ASAIISO 25 and feet). For automatic TTL control , these units
must be used with the TTL Sensor Cord SC-12. Featuring tilting
flash heads, the S8-11 and 14 allow you to bounce the light
easily off the ceiling or walls for softer, more flattering lighting
for portraits.
Flash Unit Couplers AS·3, 4, and 7
To mount other direct mounting flash units on the F3AF's accessory shoe, a Nikon Flash Unit Coupler is required . The AS-3
coupler is necessary when mounting the Nikon S8-7, while the
AS -4 or AS-7 is for the S8-15, S8-E, or S8-1O. A special feature
of the AS-7 is that it lets you change film without removing the
flash unit.
F3AF with 58-11
-ACCESSORIES-continued-----------Motor Drive MD·4
One of the most exciting accessories for the F3AF camera is
the Motor Drive MD -4. This amazingly compact, light, and
streamlined unit attaches to the bottom of the camera in seconds and advances the film either singly or in sequence up to
6* frames per second-making it the fastest regular production
motor drive on the market today. Actual controls have been reduced to only those necessary for convenient operation. In
addition to the electromagnetic trigger button (which also turns
on the camera 's meter when depressed halfway), there are its
concentric SoC (Single/Continuous) mode selector, a battery
check button and LED indicators, two interlocking rewind slides
for automatic film rewinding , and a subtractive frame counter
which stops the motor at the desired number of frames. Eight
AA-type penlight batteries fit into a quick-release clip housed in
the base of the motor drive. An optional NiCd battery pack is
available for use in cold weather or when you want the fastest
possible firing rate. Once you attach the MD-4 to your camera,
you 'll never want to take it off.
The Firing Rate Converter MK-1 is available as a special
accessory for a motor-driven F3AF. It screws into the tripod
socket of the MD-4 and plugs into the remote terminal to provide three firing rates-1, 2, or 3 frames per second-allowing
you to operate the motor drive on continuous while the camera
focu ses automatically. It has its own handy trigger button for
use in vertical-format shooting.
The Magazine Back MF-4 for shooting up to 250 frames without changing film is also available as an option .
• Possible with NiCd baltery pack al 11125 sec. or above with Ihe mirror
locked up.
() III : :--,
Data Back MF·14
To keep track of when photos were taken, the F3AF accepts the
Data Back MF-14 which slips on in place of the regular camera
back @ with no sync cord needed. Three imprinting modes are
possible : year/month/day, day/hour/minute, or picture counting ;
information is displayed clearly on the data back via an LCD and
then is imprinted on the film at the instant of exposure. Serving
as a handy clock, a quartz timer with an alarm function is also
-ACCESSORIES-continued-----------Close-Up Equipment
For shooting subjects which are located closer than the closest
possible focusing distance of the lens, Nikon makes a wide
variety of equipment:
1) Close-Up Attachment Lenses Nos. 0, 1,2, 3T. 4T, 5T. and 6T.
These lenses screw into the front of the lens just like filters
to magnify the image . Exposure metering can still be done at
full aperture without compensation.
2) Auto Extension Rings PK-11, PK-12, PK-13.
These fit between the lens and camera body. Used singly or
in combination, exposure determination is done at full aperture with all AI-type lenses. (The PK-11 cannot be attached to
the AF-Nikkor lenses.)
3) Bellows Focusing Attachment PB-6.
The PB-6 is also attached between the lens and camera body.
Exposure is determined by the stop-down method. The
beauty of this accessory is that you can change magnifications continuously by extending the bellows.
4) Micro-Nikkor 55mm fI2 .B, 105mm f/4, and 200mm f/41F.
These specially designed lenses offer continuous focusing
from infinity down to 1/2X lifesize. To obtain 1/2X to 1X magnification with an AI Micro -Nikkor lens, the use of an auto
extension ring is required: the PK-13 for the 55mm f/2 .B, and
the PN -11 for the 105mm f/4; to obtain magnifications from
infinity up to 1X with the 200mm f/4 IF, use the Nikon Teleconverter TC-300. Even with these accessories, exposure is
determined at full aperture. Note that in close-up photography,
depth of field is generally shallow. Thus, you should stop down
as much as possible when photographing a subject with great
depth . Since Micro-Nikkor lenses are not compatible with the
F3AF's autofocus and focus-aid functions, focusing must be
done by manually rotating the focusing ring @ while using the
matte portion of the DX-1's focusing screen. For critical
focusing in close-up photography, the use of a suitable interchangeable focusing screen and accessory viewfinder is
recommended .
When using close-up equipment such as a bellows unit or extension ring(s) attilched between the F3AF camera body and
lens, focus-aid operation depends on lens extension from the
camera's mounting flange, as shown in the following table.
For lenses not appearing in this list, focus-aid operation is impossible with any close-up equipment attached . In addition,
focus-aid operation cannot be performed when a lens is mounted
in the reverse position.
1) The F3AF 's meter coupling lever ® should be pushed up before attaching a bellows unit or non-AI extension rings, such as the PK-I , 2,
3, PN-I , etc.
2) Before attaching the PB-6 to the F3AF, the OX· 1 Finder should be first
removed from the camera body.
3) Auto Extension Rings pK-1 and PK-II , Extension Ring KI and Auto
Adapter Ring BR-4 cannot be attached to AF-Nikkor lenses.
Auto Extension
-ACCESSORIES-continued,-----------Duplication work and photomicrography
The F3AF combined with the proper accessory enables you to
perform duplication work or photomicrography. In these specialized areas of photography, however, focusing should be per formed manually using the matte portion of the focusing screen
as autofocus/focus-aid operation is, in most cases, impossible.
In addition , exposure compensation is required because these
areas of photography represent unusual contrast situations.
Shown in the table is the relationship between specific photo
types and proper exposure. Since this is meant to be a guide, in
practice, you should make further compensation by experimentation until you achieve the proper results .
Method of exposure
Photographs and
pictures with continuous gradation
Documents and
drawings of high
Slide of documents and
drawings photographed
Photomicrography Prepared specimen
+ : more exposure -: less exposure
Compensation not
or stop-down
Slide with continuous
1) The exposure compensation values listed below are reference
data obtained when general-purpose film was used. With
color reversal film or microfilm for duplication work, it is
advisable to take additional shots with ± one -stop exposure
compensation as these films have very small exposure
2) To avoid vibration , you can make the exposure by turning the
illumination on and off.
3) It is advisable to use a cable release to eliminate camera
vibration .
Approx. +t to +2
stops for black letters
on white background:
approx. - 112 to - 1
stop for white letters
on black background.
Approx. + 1 to + 2
Approx. +1 ·1 12 to
+2,112 stops for black
letters on white back·
to approx. -112 stop
for white letters on
black background
+ 1 stop
Required accessories
For high'contrast subjects, use of an t8 %
reflectance gray card in determining exposure
Micro·Nikkor 55mm 112.8:
recommended . With the card, no exposure
Cable release
compensation is required regardless of whether
the background is black or white.
Micro·Nikkor 55mm 112.8 :
Nikon Slide Copying
Adapter PS·6 :
When using Nikon Slide Copying Adapter PS·6,
Nikon Bellows
set the flood lamp 30cm away from its opal plate.
Focusing Attachment
PB·6 :
Cable release
Microflex PF X
Generally, results come out better with more
exposure in photomicrography. The compen·
sation value on the left is only a guide : determine
the compensation value by test shooting.
Anti·Cold Battery Pack DB·2
In cold weather, use the Anti -Cold Battery Pack DB-2, which
accepts two AA-type batteries, as an alternative power supply
to the batteries inside the camera body. Simply connect the
DB-2 to the camera body, then slip the assembly inside your
pocket or coat to keep it warm. This assures that the camera 's
metering system will function even in ve ry cold temperatures.
Cable Release AR·3
The screw-type AR-3 makes for vibration-free shutter release .
D8 -2
Attached to the finder eyepiece ®., this eyecup excludes strong
light and helps prevent eye fatigue .
Eyepiece Correction Lenses
These are accessory lenses that screw into the viewfinder eye piece to enable near- and farsighted photographers to take
pictures without having to wear eyeglasses. Nine models are
available, offering a choice of tl1e following diopters : -5, -4, -3,
-2, 0, + 0.5, + 1, + 2 and + 3; the diopters represent the
combined dioptry of the viewfinder and lens, and not the dioptry
of the eyepiece correction lens only.
Rubber Eyecup
Eyepiece Correction Lenses
Constructed of Nikon's own optical glass, Nikon filters not only
protect the front of the lens, but provide color correction or
allow you to create special effects. As shown in the table, Nikon
filters are broadly divided into the screw-in type and the dropin type.
1) For lens protection, the L39 and L37C are recommended.
2) When shooting a backlit subject or if there 's a bright source in the
frame, a ghost image is likely to result when using a filter. In this case,
you should take the picture without a filter.
3) The F3AF 's autofocuslfocus-aid function cannot be used with the ROO.
4) In low-light situations, the use of an NO filter may cause the focusimpossible warning to blink.
F« Both CoIof and
~ r.~~h
) IncflCales Increase in I/stop.
Lens Hoods
Recommended to prevent extraneous light from striking the
lens, Nikon 's lens hoods come in four styles : screw-in , slip -on ,
snap-on, and collapsible rubber. Every lens should be fitted with
the lens hood specially designed for it. Note, however, that some
lens hoods can be used in common by several lenses.
Camera Cases
Two camera cases are available for the Nikon F3AF : The CF-24
Semi -Soft Leather Camera Case houses the camera body with
AF -Nikkor 80mm 1/2.8 attached; the CF-6 Leatherette Speed
Camera Case accepts the camera, plus AF -Nikkor 200mm
1/3 .5 IF-ED.
Available are the leather neckstrap AN-1 (black), webbed nylon
. neckstraps AN -4Y (yellow) and AN -4B (black), and wider
webbed nylon neckstraps AN-6Y (yellow) and AN-6W (brown).
Compartment Cases
A wide selection of six types to choose from, ranging lrom a
compact model to a large type which can accommodate large
or bulky camera equipment: FB-8, FB-11A, FB-14, FB-15, FB-16
and FB -17.
EVRANGEOFCAMERA--------------------The camera 's meter may be used only within the shutter speed
range covered by the exposure value (EV) range of the meter,
which varies with the aperture and ASAIISO setting .
The charts on pages 68 and 69 show the relationships between
the f/stop, shutter speed and film speed, indicating the usable
functioning shutter speed (for metering purposes) with any film
speed/aperture combination .
Careful attention to the following instructions will assure precise
exposure, automatically, over the complete exposure control
and meter range capabilities of your Nikon F3AF.
Exposure value (EV) is a number representing the available
combinations of shutter speed and aperture that give the same
exposure effect when the scene brightness and ASAIISO remain the same.
At ASAIISO 100, the combination of a one-second shutter
speed and an aperture of f/1.4 is defined as EV 1. If the aperture
is stopped down by one full f/stop or the shutter speed is one
step faster, the EV increases by one ; if the aperture is opened
up by one full f/stop or the shutter speed is one step slower, EV
decreases by one. Using ASAIISO 100 as an example, 1 sec. at
f/2 represents EV 2, 1 sec. at f/5 .6 represents EV 5, while 1/125
sec . at 1/5.6 represents EV 12. Because the exposure is the
same , 1/30 sec. at f/11 and 1/1000 sec. at f/2 both represent
EV 12.
How to Read the EV Chart
Section A of the chart shows the usable EV range depending
on the lens' maximum aperture in full -aperture metering , while
it also indicates the usable EV range for aperture settings in
stop -down metering . Section D shows the value for the ASAIISO
film speed, Section B the aperture settings for various film
speeds, and Section C the shutter speeds to match any film
speed/aperture combination .
In practice, you will find that it is generally the high end and the
low end of the metering range which require a careful check.
The EV range of the Nikon F3AF encompasses most lighting
situations, and it is only under very dim or very bright picturetaking situations that you need pay any special attention .
Full-aperture metering
Use the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens and a film speed of ASAIISO
100 as an example. By referring to the f /1.4 column in Section A
and the EV value indicated for ASAIISO 100 in Section D, you
will find that the F3AF's EV range in this case is 1 to 18.
If the lens is set at f/5.6 , refer to Section B and single out the
f/5.6 indication for ASA/ISO 100. Go diagonally down until the
protruding line intersects with Section C's vertical line for a
shutter speed of 8 sec. (the F3AF's slowest shutter speed).
From this point of intersection, follow the horizontal line that
leads to the Section D's EV value for ASAIISO 100, and you
will obtain an EV range of 2. Start again from the f/5 .6 indication
for ASAIISO 100 in Section B, and go down diagonally until the
protruding line intersects with Section C's vertical line for a
shutter speed of 1/2000 sec . (the F3AF's fastest shutter speed)
this time. Then follow the horizontal line that leads to Section
D's EV value for ASA/ISO lOa, and you will get a reading of EV
16. This means that at an flstop of 1/5.6 at ASAIISO 100 and at
shutter speeds from 8 to 1/2000 sec ., the effective metering
range is EV 2 to 16, which is well within the F3AF's metering
range of EV 1 to EV 18.
The green area in Chart 1 encompassed by the heavy lines in
Section C demonstrates the usable shutter speed range to
match any film speedlaperture combination at ASAIISO 100.
(The minimum aperture of the lens is 1/16.)
Similarly in Chart 2, the usable range (at ASAIISO 100) for the
AF -Nikkor 80mm f/2.8lens is shown in green .
Two red lines in Section C of both charts indicate the EV value
ranges of the scene brightness usable with autofocus or foc usaid operation . Therefore, the combinations of shutter speeds
and apertures indicated in the areas outside the lines are not
Stop-down metering
For stop -down metering , Section A indicates the usable EV
range for various aperture settings. For example, if the lens is
stopped down to f/8 at ASAIISO lOa, refer to the f/8 column in
Section A and the EV values indicated for ASAIISO 100 in
section D, and you will find that the EV range for f/8 is EV 6 to
23. Now single out f/8 at ASAIISO 100 in Section B. Go diag onally down until the protruding line intersects with Section C's
vertical line for the shutter speed of 8 sec . From this point of
intersection , follow the horizontal line that leads to Section D's
EV value for ASAIISO lOa, and you will obtain an EV reading of
3. This means that an flstop of f/8 at ASAIISO 100 and a shutter
speed of 8 sec. give an EV value outside the metering range . To
find out the slowest shutter speed usable, follow the f/8 indication for ASAIISO 100 in Section B diagonally down until it
intersects the horizontal line in Section C that leads to Section
D's EV value of 6 for ASA/ISO 100, and you will find that the
slowest shutter speed usable is 1 sec. In other words, at f/8 at
ASAIISO lOa, the available shutter speed range from 1 to
1/2000 sec. has an effective EV range from EV 6 to 17 (indicated
by the broken line in Section C)-well within the metering range .
-EV RANGE OF CAMERA-continued--------Chart 1
(for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4)
Section A
Working Aperture
Section 0
§ '"
~ g
32221611 8 5.6 4 2.8 2 1.4
~ 8
~ ~ ~
Section C
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 - 1- 2
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 - 1
9 8 7 6 5 43 2 1 0
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4
1413 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5
15 141 3 121110 9 8 7 6
16 15 141 3 12 1110 9 8 7
17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8
18 17 16 1514 13 1211 10 9
19 18 17 161514 131 21 1 10
20 19 18 17 16 15 141 3 12 11
2 1 201 91817 16 15 14 13 12
22 2 1 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13
2322 2 1 20 19 18 17 16 15 14
24 2322 2 1 20 19 18 17 16 15
25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16
262524 23222 120 19 18 17
27 262524 2322 2 1 20 19 18
28 27 26 2524 23 22 2 1 20 19
29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 2 1 20
30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21
1/ 15
1/ 1 25 ~~~
1/ 1000
1i : /
1/4 /
Chart 2
(tor the AF-Nikkor 80mm f/2.8)
Section A
Working Aperture
Section 0
3222 16 11 8 5 .64 2.8 2
8 § '"g 8
~ ~ ~
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 - 1- 2
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 - 1
987654 3 210
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
131211 10 9 8 7 6 5 4
14131211 10 9 8 7 6 5
15141312 11 10 9 8 7 6
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7
171615141312 11 1098
181716151413 12 11109
19 1817 16 15 14 13 1211 10
201918171615 141 31211
21201918 1716 15 141312
222120191817 16 151413
2322212019 18 17 161514
24 2322 21 20 19 18 17 16 15
252423222120 19 181716
2625242322 21 0 19 18 17
28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19
29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20
30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21
Section C
b \,4'
1 /30 ~
1/ 15
1/60 ~e~
1/ 125
1/ 1000
TIPS ON CAMERA C A R E - - - - - - - - - - Although the F3AF is a tough
and durable camera, bear in
mind that it is a precision
optical instrument and that
careless or rough handling
may damage it. Observe the
following tips, and the F3AF
will always work as perfectly
as the day you bought it.
- Before using the camera, it is a
good practice to check it
thoroughly first.
- Do not force your camera's con·
trols-they are designed to
work with a minimum of pres·
- Do not touch the AF contacts@,
reflex mirror @ or the focusing
screen to prevent them from
getting dirty or scratched. Re·
move dust with a blower brush.
- Clean metallic parts with a
blower brush or with a dry, soft
cloth .
- Generally, the camera does not
need lubrication. To keep your
F3AF in top working order, it is
recommended that you trip the
shutter and operate the film
advance lever a few times each
month with or without film load·
ed in the camera.
- If the camera body is exposed
to rain or mist, wipe moisture
gently with a soft cloth and dry
the camera. After using the
camera near salt water, take
care that you wipe it with a cloth
mOistened with pure water to
remove possible traces of salt.
-Avoid touching the camera 's
interior surfaces, especially the
shutter curtains ® and film
pressure plate @,
-Clean glass surfaces such as
the lens or the finder eyepiece
® with a blower brush; avoid
using lens tissue as much as
possible, Gently wipe dirt,
smudges or fingerprints with
soft cotton moistened with a
small amount of absolute alcohol , using a spiral motion
from center to periphery, Make
sure you leave no wiping traces,
Caution: Use of a spray-gun type
blower to clean the lens may
cause possible damage to the
glass (especially when ED glass
is used for the front lens element),
by suddenly lowering the tem perature on the lens surface, To
avoid damage, hold the blower
upright, keep its nozzle more than
30cm away from the lens surface
and move the nozzle around so
that the stream of air is not concentrated in one spot.
-If the inside of the camera body
accidentally gets wet , its internal precision parts may get
rusty, Take the camera right
away to the nearest authorized
Nikon dealer for a checkup,
Work of this sort may require
repair payment.
- When not using the camera for
a long time, take out the batteries, Without lens, always
keep the body cap on, Store the
camera away from high temperature, high humidity, naphthaline, or camphor.
- In a humid environment, it is
best to store the camera in a
vinyl bag with a desiccant to
keep away dust, moisture
and salt.
- Storing leather cases enclosed
in a vinyl bag may cause the
leather to deteriorate, so
exercise due care,
TIPS ON BATTERY U S E - - - - - - - - - 1) Battery power falls off in extremely cold temperatures and
thi s may cause the camera 's photometric circuit to cease to
operate. In this situation , use new batteries and protect the
camera body from the cold . Note that battery power will be
recovered as soon as the temperature becomes normal.
2) When not using the camera for a long period of time, take
batteries out and store them in a cool (below 25°C), dry place .
Should the batteries be left in the battery chamber for a long
period of time, insufficient contact may occur due to battery
contamination . Thus, it is good practice to periodically clean
the batteries and the contact section in the battery chamber
with a soft cloth . If the battery chamber is stained by a leaking
battery, remove the batteries at once and clean the chamber.
3) Never mix new and old batteries or batteries of different
4) Always check battery power before every shooting session .
It is a good idea to have spare batteries on hand during a
lengthy shooting assignment.
5) Keep batteries away from infants and small children . In case
a battery is accidentally swallowed, call a doctor immediately
as the material inside the batteries can cause serious
6) Never disassemble batteries or dispose of them by bourning.
ABOUT THE LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY (LCD)--1) At high temperatures (over approx. 60°C), the whole surface
turns black so that the exposure information cannot be read.
However, this situation will return to normal when the temperature drops.
2) Avoid storing the camera in excessively hot places, such as
in a car parked in direct sunlight or inside the trunk. You may
shorteri the LC~ ' s life by doing so.
3) When the temperature goes below freezing , the response
time decreases as the liquid crystal becomes more viscose.
4) Although the Nikon F3AF employs the highest quality LCD, it
deteriorates in contrast and becomes difficult to see after six
or seven years. When this happens, please contact your
dealer or the Nikon service facility nearest you for replacement of this element at a small charge.
SPECIFICATIONS------------35mm single-lens reflex
24mm x 36mm
(standard 35mm film format)
Lens mount
Nikon bayonet mount
Autofocus operation : AF-Nikkor
80mm f/2 .8 and 200mm f/3 .5
IF-ED ; focus-aid operation : more
than 30 Nikkor and Nikon Series E
lenses with maximum aperture of
f/3 .5 or faster; manual operation :
more than 60 Nikkor and Nikon
Series E lenses available
Focus detecting system TTL image displacement detecting
system by SPDs built into AF
Finder DX-1
Brightness range
Approx. EV 4"'EV 20
(at ASAIISO 100)
for autofocusl
focus -aid operation
Focus information
Visible in the viewfinder via red
LEDs ; two red arrows light up to
indicate correct focus in autofocus/
focus -aid operation, right- or lefthand arrow indicates out -of -focus
image (too near or too far) , red X
glows when autofocus/focus aid is
impossible or subject is out of
focus to great extent
Two buttons provided on AF -Nikkor
Focus lock buttons
lens barrel ; either locks lens
distance setting during autofocus
Exposure control
Aperture-priority automatic
exposure with manual override and
Type of camera
Picture format
Metering range
Shutter speeds
Exposure information
backup mechanical control ;
throug h-the-Iens, full aperture
metering via silicon photodiode
(SPD) with centerweighted metering
pattern and metering circuits
incorporated into camera body ;
meter works with all viewfinders
EV 1 to EV 18 at ASAIISO 100 with
f/1.4 lens or EV 3 to EV 20 at
ASAIISO 100 with f/2 .8 lens
Horizontal-travel, titan ium focal plane shutter
Auto : electromagnetically controlled
step less speeds from 8 to 1/2000
sec.; manual: quartz/electromagnetically controlled discrete
speeds from 8 to 1/2000 sec ., plus
B and X (1/80 sec.) ; mechanical :
T setting on shutter speed dial and
1/60 sec. when using backup
mechanical release lever
Visible in the viewfinder via LCD ;
on auto, discrete shutter speed
closest to automatically selected
speed is displayed, overexposure
indicated by + 2000 and -8indicates underexposure ; on
manual, M appears with + orindicating over- or underexposure
and - + correct exposure ; aperture in use also shown through
aperture-direct-readout (ADR)
Shutter release button
Backup mechanical
release lever
Viewfinder illuminator
Finder terminal
Focusing screen
Film speed range
compensation dial
Exposure memory lock
Electromagnetically releases
shutter ; initial pressure on shutter
release button switches on meter
and autofocus/focus-aid function
(after power switch is turned on),
meter and autofocus/focus -aid
function then remain on for 16 sec.
after finger is taken off button
Trips shutter at 1/60 sec. regardless
of shutter speed dial setting except
at T; used when batteries are dead
Interchangeable eyelevel pentaprism type AF Finder OX-l as
standard ; O.SX magnification with
50mm lens or 1.3X with SOmm lens,
both lenses set at infinity ; approx.
92 % frame coverage ; five other
types available
Illuminates both LCD and AOR
5-pin terminal provided for
Fixed matte type screen is built
into the AF Finder OX-l ; with viewfinders other than OX-l , 21 interchangeable screens are available
±2 EV compensation is possible
in one -third increments
Operates on auto to electronically
lock in shutter speed
Auto flash control
Accessory shoe
Sync terminal
Flash synchronization
Flash ready-light
TIL direct flash control governs
output of Nikon dedicated flash unit
using camera 's SPO sensor;
effective ASA/ISO range from ASAI
ISO 25 to ASAIISO 400
Special Nikon type located at base
of rewind knob; has hot-shoe
contac.t,' ready-light contact, and
TIL flash output control contact;
accepts Nikon S8-12, S8 -16A or
S8-17 shoe-mounting electronic flash
unit or TTL connecting cord from
S8 -11 or S8 -14 for TIL direct flash
output control using camera's SPO
metering cell
Threaded type provided for offcamera or multiple-flash
Speeds of 1/S0 sec. (X) or slower
with electronic flash; with Nikon
dedicated flash unit, flash sync
is automatically set to 1/S0 sec.
when shutter speed dial is set at A
or 1/125 sec. or above; at slower
speeds, shutter fires at the speed set
Visible in the viewfinder ; LED lights
up when Nikon dedicated flash unit
is completely recycled or blinks to
warn of insufficient light output,
improper flash connection, or
improper ASAIISO setting
-SPECIFICATIONS-continued----------Film advance lever
Wound in single stroke or series of
strokes with 30 0 stand-off angle
and 140 winding angle
Automatic film advance Possible with optional Motor Drive
Frame counter
Additive type, self-resetting ; for
blank exposures before frame one,
shutter speed automatically set to
1/80 sec . with shutter speed dial
set to A or 1/125 sec. or above
Via folding crank and rewind button
Film rewind
in baseplate
Quartz-timed 10 sec . delayed
exposure ; LED blinks at 2 Hz for
first 8 sec. then at 8Hz for last 2 sec.
Eyepiece shutter
Prevents stray light from entering
viewfinder from the .rear during
self -timer operation
Depth-of -field preview
Coaxial with mirror lockup lever
Reflex mirror
Automatic instant-return type with
lockup facility ; incorporates
air damper
Multiple exposure lever Disengages frame counter for
correct count
Camera back
Hinged interchangeable type;
memo holder provided
Power switch
Switches on when turned clockwise
to uncover red dot
Two 1.5V AM-type alkalinemanganese or zinc-carbon batteries
in the AF Finder DX-1 for autofocusl
focus-aid operation ; two 1.55V
silver-oxide cells (Eveready EPX76,
076 or equivalent), two 1.5V
alkaline-manganese cells, or one
3V lithium battery for camera body
90.0mm(D) with AF Finder DX-1
Approx. 950g with AF Finder DX-1
(including batteries)
IMPORTANT!-----------------------------The Nikon F3AF is an AI -type (Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing) camera
which performs full-aperture metering with AI-type lenses. The aperture ring of
these lenses has a meter coupling ridge ® and a meter coupling shoe ®l containing
two holes (see illustration). Almost all lenses now manufactured by Nikon are of the
AI type. However, please confirm whether or not your lens is AI before using it with
the F3AF. Note that the " AI " or " AI -S" mark on the cover of the instruction sheet
or book provided with AI-Nikkor lenses is your assurance that the lens offers the AI
feature. All Nikon Series E lenses have the AI feature but do not have a meter
coupl ing shoe.
To attach an AI -type lens to the camera body, follow the directions provided in the
BASIC OPERATION section of this instruction manual. If the lens in a non-AI type,
stop-down exposure measurement is required with the camera body 's meter
coupling lever @ locked up (refer to the page 41).
Note: The modification, at reasonable cost, of most non-AI Nikkor lenses having both an automatic diaphragm and meter coupling shoe, is available for the convenience of Nikkor lens
users. For further information concerning lens modification, please contact your local authorized Nikon dealer.
No reproduction In any form of this booklet.
In whole or In part (except lor bllel quotation In
Critical articles or reViews), may be made without,
written authorIZation Irom the publishers
Printed in Japan (84.3.AI & -3
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