The legendary Nikon F3 is 40 years old!

The legendary Nikon F3 is 40 years old!
A classic Nikon F3 advertisement featuring war photographer Eddie Adams (Image credit: Nikon)

The Nikon F3, one of the most iconic and groundbreaking SLR cameras ever made, celebrates its 40th birthday this year – and the Big N is marking the occasion with an exhibition at the Nikon Museum in Japan. 

An SLR built for professional photographers, the flagship Nikon F3 is not only one of the best film cameras but also one of the most legendary. Launched in March 1980 for ¥175,000 yen (about $787) with a 50 mm f/1.4 lens, it was in production for 21 years and many F3s are still in use today. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.