Modern Classic SLR Series
Nikon FM3A SLR Camera - Instruction Manual - Index Page

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Officially started marketing in year 2001, Nikon FM3A can still be considered as a very new camera. I had my first experience with it back in May 2001 and eventually when a friend of mine who runs a retail photo outlet generously loaned his own camera for me for a week to test drive it seriously; finally, I had the urge of creating a dedicated website just for it. A question did come across my mind, since it is so new and I would assume every owner should have a copy of the user's manual which came along with his new purchase - should I also prepared a section in the new site ? Well, I have spent quite a while reading through the accompanying instruction manual and asked a staff of mine who had a brief spell handled a Nikon FM2n during his collage days but admittedly still quite raw in handling a SLR to try out the new FM3A with a copy of the manual as reference, from the many questions and doubts I had gathered from him after a Q&A session, depends on objectives - I think another "home baked" modified version of an instruction manual in the new website can be quite helpful to someone like him.

There is no disrespect for all the nice folks at Nikon who have prepared the publication of the official manual, on the contrary, I was quite amazed after checking it thoroughly In comparison with many other user's manuals for older Nikon manual focus SLRs, the manual for the new Nikon camera is a vast improvement in both of its content writing and illustration. It is easier to understand, with lots of related guides on photography. It was only let down by assuming all new owners are seasoned photographers who are migrated from older MF Nikon SLR models while on the other hand, presume most of them have already had a sound knowledge on fundamentals of photography and Nikon 35mm SLR photographic system. Anyway, it is a tedious process to convert any camera manual into HTML format. At least I have to confess I didn't like all the setup process (scanned from leaflets, took new images with a P&S digital camera and editing) hundreds of images just to replicate something similar like that on the network. However, you cannot expect everything can be perfect when it relates to something raw such a new SLR camera model, there are some gray areas which I think can also be improved in the original manual, that is why I am have to use an original copy as the basis to construct this section of the FM3A site and added in other information which I think are also equally relative and helpful not just a seasoned Nikon user, but also for any potential buyer and/or someone who has just bought a camera without any accompanying reference materials on the camera itself and info on Nikon photographic system as a whole. Lastly, whatever it is, FM3A is a lovely camera to own and use, it is a very well made camera and I would assume in time to come, this camera may even good enough to last another few decades - just like the old workhorse of FM/FM2(n) camera bodies. Sooner or later, content built here will eventually benefits someone out there, whatever the reasons.

I am NOT a specialist of the Nikon 35mm SLR photographic system. The added content here are within the best capacity of my knowledge. Naturally, if there are any discrepancies arising from the content ported here in this site, Nikon's own version of the Instruction Manual should always be the correct guide whenever technical issues relates.

Camera Parts

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Click to Open a new browser window for the Main Reference Map (18k HTML) as your reference in this site.

NOTE: "CE" About CE Marking: CE stands for Conformite Europenne. This marking guarantees that the product meets all applicable EC regulations.


1) Prior to Use the Nikon FM3A camera:
Getting Started | Standard supplied accessories | Camera Parts (Body, Viewfinder indications)

2) Basic Operation for Shooting

Installing Batteries | Checking the Battery Power
Replacement of Batteries | Other related issues
Attaching/Detaching a Lens | Viewfinder | Loading Film
Setting the
Film Speed (DX-coded Film) | Confirmation
Holding the Camera (using shutter-release button)
Focusing | Shooting
Aperture-Priority Auto/Manual Mode | Rewinding the Film

3) Control in

Dial | Film-Advance Lover
Manual Film-Speed Setting | Exposure-Compensation Indicator
Counter | Depth-of-Field Preview Lever
Film-Plane Indicator | Accessory Shoe and Sync-Cord Terminal

4) Steps of Advance Photography

Flash Photography | Blinks indicator |
Exposure Compensation
TTL Flash Photography
AE-Lock Photography | Flash Exposure Equation
Self-Timer Photography | Multiple-Exposure Photography
5) Additional Information
Center Weighted Metering
Shutter Speed and Aperture
Setting | Depth of Field
Light-Metering Methods | Lens Compatibility
Information on various optional Accessories
K3/B3/E3 Focusing Screens
Care and Maintenance of camera and lenses

Usable Camera cases

Note: Most of the content appeared in this site is largely based on a copy of an original Nikon FM3A Instruction Manual to construct. Again, a warm reminder, please DON'T mail me asking if there is a PDF copy as there is none available in my site (just hate to see my previous manual created being sold at Ebay and/or CD). The best option is to bookmark this site (or print them into hard copies via a printer or just saved those pages to your hard disk. If you seriously think you cannot live without an original user's manual, you may write to Nikon US / Japan or seeking via third party used manual outlets such as or which might be retailing reprints, photocopies or original between USD6-00-20-00 a copy. Update (.1.05.2205): 4 years after this site has gone live, Nikon Singapore has eventually added an instruction manual in PDF copy for download (2.4MB). IF you prefer the factory manual, that is fine, but this site has added numerous additions of HOW-TO which are not found in the standard edition of the Manual, so, just set your own preference which is more beneficial.

Previous | NEXT | 1/8 Getting Started and how to setup the Nikon FM3A camera begin to use for your photography

| BACK | to Main Index Page of Nikon FM3A

Other Issues relate to Nikon FM3A | < Index Page >
| Instruction Manual for Nikon FM3A |
| Technical Specification | Main Reference Map |

Standard production Nikon FM Series models:- Nikon FM | Nikon FM2 | Nikon FM2n | Nikon FM10 | Nikon FM3a |
Known variants:- Nikon FM Gold | Nikon FM2/T | Nikon FM2N Tropical Set | Nikon FM2/T Limited Edition | Nikon FM2N LAPITA | Nion FM2n Millennium 2000

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon FM series models
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon Photographic equipment

| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon Rangefinder/SLR/Digital cameras

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon FM Series SLR models
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikon FM series Bodies

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | ORIGINAL dedicated Flash Units -SB-16 | SB-15 | SB-10 or other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

Others:- Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003) (updated)
Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series:
Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002) (updated)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp

Instruction Manual: Nikon FM (HTML | PDF) | Nikon FM-10 (HTML) | Nikon FM2n's User's Manual available only in HTML format (6 parts) | Nikon FM3A (HTML)
Nikon FM, FM-10, FM2, FM2n and FM3A
Main Reference Map: (HTML)
Nikon FM, FM2, FM-10, FM2n (Applicable to FM2T, FM2 "Year of the Dog"; Millennium 2000") and FM3A

weblibrary.gif   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

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

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Index Page
  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

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

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with any of these manual focus Nikon FE series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

| Message Board | for your Nikkor optics ("shared" because I do wish some of you to expose to other's perspective as well. Isn't it a sad sate to see photography has to be segmented into different camps from the use of various labels)

about this photographic web site

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Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site. Mr. MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites;LarsHolst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; TedWengelaar,Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; HiuraShinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. t is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.