Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F2SB Photomic Finder DP-3 - Index Page


File Size: HTML Page (41k) Loading ...


The F2SB Photomic Finder DP-3 is a compact, precision pentaprism finder assembly featuring the latest in metering technology for the finest photographic results over a wide range of lighting conditions, including low-light levels. Designed to fit any F2 Nikon camera body, the DP-3 incorporates the Nikon "Photomic" thru-the-lens metering method that concentrates 60% of the reading within the 12 mm-diameter central portion of the view-field; thus, metering is quick and precise for varied lighting situations, and covers virtually 100% of the picture image frame as visible on the focssing screen.

Exposure settings with the DP-3 are easy to see, easy to set via the use of lighting-emitting diodes (LEDs) for visual display. The combination of the three LEDs within the finder enables five-step display of the exposure for fine adjustments to the precise setting desired. An additional LED is provided atop the finder for exposure settings when using the built-in eyepiece shutter for special shooting situations such as remote control photography with aperture control unit and motor drive.

Nikon DP3 metered prism / finder as Nikon F2SB Nikon DP3 metered prism / finder as Nikon F2SB

Credit: Image of this early non-Ai Nikon F2SB / DP3 metered prism coutesy of: Russell Gough® <>". Russell also has a EBAY STORE on his own. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Other merits of the DP-3 include the display of shutter speed and aperture settings with in the finder, the built-in finder illuminator, and the ready-light for use with flash units. Silicon Photo diodes (SPD) are used in the metering circuitry for rapid response to changing light levels, and they are especially advantageous for accurate and quick readings under low-light conditions to EV-2. Additional sophistication employed in the metering system include a monolithic IC for exposure detection and indication, and a metallic thin-film resistor (the Functional Resistance Element of FRE); both of these devices help to ensure the most dependable operation under demanding picture-talking situations.

In addition, this finder couples with the EE Aperture Control Attachments DS-1/DS-2 for shutter-speed priority automatic exposure control. To ensure you get the best results from your F2SB Photomic Finder DP-3, read this instruction manual carefully. Keep the manual handy until you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with the unit and its operation. A few minutes of preparation will help you avoid costly mistakes.

Note: Off-topic discussion for Nikon Meter and non-Metered Prisms are also available at: the Index Page (10 Parts)


Foreword...... Preparation for use: Attaching the finder ...... Removing the finder ...... Shutter speed coupling ......Lens/finder coupling ..........Installing the batteries ......Checking the batteries ......Setting the film speed ...... Exposure measurement: Maximum Aperture Indicator.... Determining exposure ...... Metering range...... High- contrast lighting situations ...... Extreme low-light metering ...... Eyepiece shutter operation ...... Finder illuminator ...... Stop-down exposure measurement ...... Exposure compensation adjustments: Adjustments for focusing screens ...... Adjustments for film compensation ...... Eyepiece ready-light ...... Care, maintenance and handling..........
Specifications...... Accessories ......


BEFOFE you proceed with the rest of the content baked for you in this site, it will be easier for you to click open a new window with a copy of the Main Reference Map and see if it is useful for your reference.

Preparation for Use:

Attaching the Finder

The F2SB Photomic Finder DP-3 attaches to any F2 Nikon camera body without the need for modification or adjustment. to attach the DP-3 to the camera body, perform the following:

Set the aperture ring of the lens (if mounted) to the maximum aperture setting, gently place the finder in the mounting position, and then firmly press it down until it clicks and locks into place. Note that the DP-3's finder mounting clamps (depicted in red in the figure) will engage the pins on the camera body when properly seated.

To couple the lens and finder for proper indexing, turn the lens' aperture ring to the minimum aperture setting, then all the way to the maximum aperture setting; with this action, the finder is properly indexed to the lens.

Removing the Finder (A)

To remove the DP-3 from the camera, press the finder release lever inward and rotate toward the front (this action releases the mounting clamps); then, depress the finder release button at the rear of the Camera body and lift the finder out of the camera.

Shutter Speed Coupling ( B) The shutter-speed selector of the DP-3 finder is part of an extender assembly that couples with the camera's shutter-speed dial. After mounting the DP-3 on the camera, turn the selector left or right until it engages with the camera's shutter-speed dial and the two can be turned in tandem.

Lens/Finder Coupling The F2SB Photomic Finder DP-3 takes advantage of the automatic diaphragm feature of most Nikkor lenses to measure light with the lens wide open. Full-aperture metering gives a bright, clear finder image for viewing and focusing, and minimizes the effect of light entering the viewfinder from the eyepiece.

In order to measure exposure at full aperture with lenses having different maximum apertures, the meter must be coupled with the maximum aperture of the lens in use. This is done each time the lens is attached or changed as follows: Position the lens in the camera's bayonet amount so that the mounting index dots on the lens and the camera body are aligned.

Nikon DP3 metered prism / finder as Nikon F2SB
Grasp the lens by the white milled ring and twist it counterclockwise until it clicks into place. Turn the aperture ring all the way to the minimum aperture setting (largest/f/number), then all way in the opposite direction. this automatically fits the coupling pin of the Photomic finder into the coupling prong on the lens and sets the finder for the maximum aperture of the lens.

Credit: Image of this early non-Ai Nikon F2SB / DP3 metered prism coutesy of: Russell Gough® <>". Russell also has a EBAY STORE on his own. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

** Warning: You should not attempt to use any AI-spec Nikkor lenses that come without the meter scoupling shoe with this camera model. e.g. Series E and AF-Nikkor lenes

Maximum Aperture Indicator

As the lens' aperture ring is turned to the maximum aperture position at the completion of lens/finder coupling and indexing, the finder displays the lens' maximum aperture via the indicator provided (see figure above).

fnumbers.gif coupler1.jpg coupler2.jpg
For example, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 will cause "2.8" to appear in the finder's maximum aperture indicator when properly coupled. The scale is provided with numbers (and dots for intermediate settings) of from "1.2" to "5.6" as depicted.

Installing the Batteries

The F2SB Photomic Finder DP-3 is powered by two high-performance silver-oxide batteries mounted in the battery chamber in the base plate of the camera. To install the batteries, first remove the battery chamber cover (turn it 90° counterclockwise using a coin or similar object): then, place two 1.5V silver-oxide (button-cell type) batteries in the chamber, making sure that the plus (+) side of each unit faces out. After inserting and properly seating the batteries, replace the cover and lock it to secure the assembly.

Caution: Remove the batteries when the camera is not to be used for long period. At below-freezing temperatures, the batteries may malfunction or cease to operate until the temperature rises again. Becareful not to expose them to severe cold for long periods.

Checking the Batteries

The camera's film-advance lever serves as the ON/OFF switch for the DP-3 finder. Thus, to check battery power, perform the following: Pull out the lever just far enough to uncover the red meter ON index on the top of the camera; then, look within the finder to see if any of the LED exposure indicators are illuminated. If any of the indicators are lit, battery power is sufficient for proper operation. If none of the LED's light, battery positioning should be checked; then, if none of the LEDs light, replace batteries.

Setting the Film Speed

The exposure meter of the DP-3 must be adjusted to the speed of the film in use to ensure correct measurement; thus, a film-speed scale (ASA graduations) and an index ring are provided on the finder. To adjust, lift up the milled ASA film-speed index ring and turn it until the red index triangle is aligned with the ASA value for the film in use. The meter is sensitive across the full range of from ASA12 to ASA6400. The film-speed dial has two dots between each pair of numbers for intermediate settings such as 64, 80, 125, etc.

adjustASA.jpg ASA Filmspeed.gif
The exposure meter of the DP-3 features a centerweighted TTL metering system coupled to the shutter speed and aperture controls. The meter reads the light over the entire focusing screen but favors the central 12mm diameter area. This allows you to make precise readings of the selected subject area, resulting in balanced overall exposures.
The amount of light reaching the film is determined by a combination of the lens aperture and the shutter speed. Of course, since the two are interrelated, different combinations will give the same amount of exposure when carefully chosen. The best combination for your needs will depend on the results desired. Use fast shutter speeds to freeze motion, or use slow speeds to create deliberate blur. Small apertures give greater depth of field, while large apertures restrict sharp focus to the main subject. The table below shows how control settings are interrelated; all combinations shown give the same exposure.

(More info is available at a | separate section | on teh topic "Exposure" and its relation to Shutter Speed and Aperture).

Shutter speed (sec.)






Aperture (f/number)






| Previous | Next | 1/2 More info, features

Back | Main Index Page - Interchangeable Viewfinders

System Accessories: Motor Drives / Prisms / Screens / Macro / Film Backs / Flash Other Accessories: DS-1 / DS-2 / DS-12 / eyepiece / DH-1 / cases / Cable releases / Miscellaneous
| History & Background | Semi-FAQ | Various Features and Functions - 6 Parts |

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon F2 Series SLR model(s)
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment

| Back | to Main Index Page of Nikon F2 Series SLR models
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

Nikkor Link.jpg
The Eyes of Nikon:-
Nippon Kogaku KK Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses- Main Index Page

Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm |
35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E


Nikon F
| Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat |
Nikon FM
| Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series|Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
Nikon FM-series
|Nikon FE-series|Nikon FA|Nikon Digital SLR series|Various Nikon Models|Nikkor Optic -shared

Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
Mac Public Community Message Board | Windows based PC & Apple/Mac Public Community Trade Exchange Centre

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

About this photographic site.

MIR Logo
HOME - Photography in Malaysia

Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

In memory of my friend Com. Augusto Staut, Brazil, 1971-2000.

Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

headerbar_Nikon Ylw.gifheaderbar_Nikon blue.gif