Purchasing F-3

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jay_briggs, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. I had an F1 now looking at F3 hp pro press with de5 md, 4 mf-6b what do you think? I found it on ebay, seller asking around $500.usd
    Thank you, Jay
  2. I wouldn't pay that much for it. KEH has the same outfit in BGN condition for $449 and it's probably in better shape than the one on eBay.
  3. mtk


    x2 what Jon said.......I bought my bargain grade F3 from KEH and had a full blown CLA done on it for less than 175 bucks with the MD4
  4. Mark--where did you have the CLA done?
  5. Just to be clear the OP is asking about the F3P (F3HP Press w/hot shoe on DE-5 finder and other mods). KEH does indeed have the exact same outfit in BGN condition for $449. They also have it listed in EX grade for $695.
    So $500 may not be a totally unreasonable price, but it all depends on condition. If the outfit you are looking at shows a lot of brassing or other wear, then the KEH BGN outfit might be in same or better condition, plus it will have a warranty. If the outfit you are looking at is in exceptionally nice condition, then it might not be a bad deal provided it is from a reputable eBay seller that is willing to accept returns if something goes wrong with the deal. It's your call.
    • EX - "Excellent" 80-89% of original condition. Shows moderate wear. May have small dents and/or dings and slight finish wear.
    • BGN - "Bargain" 70-79% of original condition. Shows more than average wear. May have dents, dings and/or brassing and finish loss.
  6. What exactly are the standards for describing the condition of gear sold on the famous auction site? The ones I've seen seem to fall between "mint" and "in the original box." KEH standards are very tough and reasonably consistent. Furthermore, KEH has an excellent guarantee and return policy. I doubt anything in my kit would quality for better than "BGN", and I'm pretty careful with it.
  7. Keh has a standard, they accept returns and they have a 6-month warranty. With eBay... there are no real standards. In theory, only new items should be listed as new, but I see that violated regularly. They once booted one of my items because I wrote "like new" - even though it was like new. All you've really got is the Paypal refund system, which will get you a refund if the seller refuses, if the item is broken or substantially not as described. Also if your money to Paypal goes through your credit card, you can potentially use your credit card company to get a refund. I had a buyer do that once, even though my item was exactly as described and he said he hadn't read the listing.
  8. mtk


    @Paul Beavin.....John Hawley Camera. He's in California. He turned it in less than two weeks. Repaired shutter release not working, replaced light seals, cleaned, lubed. Electronically tested each shutter speed gave me a written report. Tested metering. Camera works flawlessly. Cost me $107.00 obviously depends on what is done. I was very happy! Google him up!
  9. Michael, Jay is referencing a specific camera on eBay that looks like its had years of hard work. I'm pretty sure KEH would rate the same outfit in UG condition, which they're selling for $310.
  10. Jon - just took a look. As I noted above it all depends on condition, and this one has definitely been ridden hard and put away wet. Definitely UG by KEH standards, and IMO *not* a deal at $498. Having said that, I have dealt with this particular seller on numerous occasions and he is honest and reputable. But I would go for the BGN F3P/MD-4 at KEH over this one in a heartbeat if I was looking for a cheap F3P kit.
  11. Hi Guys, Thank you for all your advise. I put in a bid of 425usd and was just hit. I wish I had checked with you all before biding. "rode hard and put up wet" Oh, that sends chill down my spine.
    I guess I should take it somewhere and have it overhauled?
    I guess I am stuck with a cluncker.
    Thanks all, Jay
  12. Not necessarily. Test it out, and if it's not functional in some way, you'll be entitled to a refund.
  13. mtk


    Jay, I wouldn't get too revved up over it, F3's are tough cameras....
  14. I have purchased more F3s over the years than I like to admit. With F3s, appearance is almost irrelevant. But, expect some service, ranging from light seals (cheap) to full CLA (~$200, New York prices). The only dog I ever got was sold as "new in box". It looked totally new, but must have been stored in a damp basement... smelled moldy inside and had some electronic issues (probably the mold!) I took it back for a refund.
    Lots of use by a pro is one thing, abuse is another. I have a "P" style one in nicely-brassed condition. Clearly used hard, but no serious indentations. All it needed was a minor mirror adjustment for focus, and it works like a charm.
    I am not sure the premium commanded by the "P" model is really worth it. Having the flash synch on top is not that important. Besides, it is not TTL. Also, the placement of the shutter button is not as convenient, I find. But then that P-model was always meant to be on an MD4 (as is any F3, in my view). The regular F3 is plenty tough enough. In the end, I tend to grab first my F3P (just because of its nice brassy appearance, not because its a P) with MD4, but I replace the prism with a regular DE-2. It is smaller/lower and better magnification (I don't wear glasses).
    KEH is good. I have never bought BNG from them, but from my experience their EX is anyone else's EX+ and their EX+ could be called Mint-.

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