I have an annoying problem when I am taking a light meter reading on my FM3a. When I align the exposure meter needle with the shutter indicator that the needle is not on the money - that is the needle is slightly off the center of the shutter speed indicator. Having no idea whether this is how the camera is suppose to operate, I thought this would be a good problem to post and bring to the attention of other Nikonians. Presently, I cannot report that I have either underexposed or overexposed my photographs because I have not yet developed my films. Do any other FM3a owners have similar experiences?
#1. "RE: Nikon's FM3a" | In response to Reply # 0f8bthere Basic MemberThu 14-Feb-02 01:28 AM
I am reading your question with some assumptions based on terminology. Lets make sure we are speaking in like terms.
When you say "needle", you mean the tiny thin needle that freely floats up and down the shutter speed range... correct?
When you say "shutter speed indicator", you mean the colored transparent marker that sets over the shutter speed that is dialed on the top dial, (or the "A" if on auto)...correct?
If this is what you are saying, then it is very possible that the needle would be a bit off from the "perfect" whole shutter speed. Exposures are not always exactly f/8 @1/250th. If you set f/8, the FM3a may indicate 1/187th or 1/312th... a slight deflection from the perfect 1/250th. If the camera is on auto, the camera will pick the correct shutter speed in any in-between speed to give the right exposure... no problems! If you decide to shoot on full manual, and want to use for example, 1/250th, then you might have to tweak the aperture ring to some intermediate stop... half way between two clicked stops until the needle moves right into the 1/250th setting indicated by the colored marker. It is OK to use the aperture in this way, as the lens will close to those in-between settings during the actual exposure.
If you are using print film, you may not see any problems even if you don't adjust in those small increments, because of the exposure latitude of the film. With slide film, there can be noticeable deviations if you are not careful with the exposure.
#2. "RE: Nikon's FM3a" | In response to Reply # 0abe Charter MemberThu 14-Feb-02 06:33 AM
KP, Al is absolutely right!
In fact, that´s exactly what I like best about the match needle system. It shows you exactly how much you are off the "perfect exposure". With this immediately visible idea you can easily choose to overexpose or underexpose in tiny increments. To me, it´s a more intuitve representation than the "light balances" in most of the AF bodies.
Enjoy your FM3A and...
#3. "RE: Nikon's FM3a" | In response to Reply # 2incamera Basic MemberFri 15-Feb-02 02:57 AM
Al and Andre,
It is a relief to know my FM3a is funtioning well. Thanks for the information and helping me to understand there is no problem. You are indeed correct concerning my meaning of the shutter speed indicator (blue) and the exposure meter needle (black)
. Take care.