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Nikon F3 – Camera Review

Nikon F3 Camera Review (2 of 11)There are rare objects in this world that have the power to stop people in their tracks. Works of art so beautiful that they demand a lingering gaze; music so lovely that it pulls us into a different world. And for us photo geeks, even cameras can be so captivating!

I was on vacation, strolling through New York’s Greenwich Village and snapping away when a man stopped me on the street and enthusiastically exclaimed, “Hey, is that a Nikon F3?” We talked a bit, he lamented selling his own F3 long ago, and as we parted he mentioned his happiness (but not his surprise) to see one still in use.

A month later I was back home in Los Angeles eating at a Thai restaurant when another stranger asked me to take a photo of his family. When he noticed the camera on the table his eyes took on a distant, sentimental glow as he recognized the F3. He stared at it with something that resembled reverence, even as he distractedly handed me his comparatively gargantuan D4.

And it wasn’t much later that a stranger in a coffee shop casually remarked that the F3 slung over my shoulder was “the best camera of them all. That’ll last you forever.”

These interactions happen all the time, and they always leave me with a feeling of pride as I nod, and smile, and hold the F3 just a bit tighter. But what is it about the F3 that makes people so sentimental? What makes it so special, so beautiful, that it so often causes people to stop and appreciate it?

It’s an easy question to answer. Simply put, the Nikon F3 is one of the greatest cameras ever made.

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Exploded Views – Nikon F3

WEB OLD POLAR Nikon F3 (1 of 1)

After an extended hiatus, our Exploded Views feature is back, and I’ve brought to bear my most ambitious effort yet! I’ve chosen a truly legendary camera, Nikon’s F3, and photographed it in a way that brings unprecedented detail to this popular feature.

But what’s different about this Exploded View?

Instead of laying out every component of the camera and taking a single photo of the lot (as in our previous efforts) I’ve gone through the excruciating process of photographing every single component with a macro lens, and compiling the hundreds of massive images into one gargantuan file. The detail is just unbelievable, and it allows me to make prints that are truly impressive.

But enough yammering. This project has taken too long to keep squawking about it. If you want to see every single part of a Nikon F3 laid out in a gorgeous display, read on.

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Five Best Cameras for Photography Students

Five best student cameras (3 of 5)

There’s a certain question that I get asked virtually every single day. People need to know what camera they should buy for their upcoming high school or college photography class. It’s a great question, and one that I’m always happy to answer, as it means that someone’s about to begin a process of discovery that often grows into a lifelong passion for the medium.

After fielding this question three times today, I’ve put together a quick article showcasing what I believe are five of the very best cameras for new students of photography. These cameras provide everything that most high school teachers and college professors insist their students’ cameras offer, while being affordable, quality machines.

Take a look, pick the one that suits you best, and get shooting!

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The Best First Film Camera for Any Shooter

how to choose first film camera

It’s one of the questions we’re asked most often here at CP, across our social media accounts, and through our online shop. Every day, new shooters and experienced digital photographers ask us to help them choose their first film camera.

It’s not an easy task. Often we don’t know the shooter’s goals, experience level, or budget. What we do know, is that there’s a film camera out there for everyone. They just need to find it!

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of recommended cameras for people looking to buy their first film camera. From totally inexperienced shooters to those seeking the ultimate film camera, we’ve taken the time to curate a list that’ll help any first-time film shooter find the film camera that’s right for them. We’ve even included links to our full reviews where applicable!

We should add that there are many more cameras out there that could’ve made this list. We tried to focus on cameras we’ve reviewed.

Check out the list, and if you’re a veteran film shooter let us know in the comments which camera was your first!

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Nikon Nikkor 105mm ƒ/2.5 – Lens Review

Nikon Nikkor 105 F 2.5 Lens Review 1

We’re back with another noteworthy lens, and this one’s a real legend for Nikon photographers of a certain age. Yes, if you were shooting film during the 1960s or in any of the subsequent three decades, you’ll likely have heard of this lens, owned this lens, loved this lens, or coveted this lens. It’s Nikon’s Nikkor 105mm ƒ/2.5, and it’s one of the best mid-telephoto and portrait lenses in the world.

Sound hyperbolic? I don’t blame you for thinking so. But it’s the truth. This is a lens that found a home in nearly every professional Nikon photographer’s bag for close to fifty years. Steve McCurry used it to shoot what is arguably one of the most recognizable images of the 20th century. His shot, Afghan Girl, was famously featured as the cover image on the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine. 

That’s right. This lens is pretty much famous.

So let’s take a closer look. What is it about this lens that makes photographers gaze longingly through the mists of time? Why is it so spectacular? And how is it suited to today’s era of mirror-less cameras and DSLRs?  Continue Reading

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