Finally!! The Canon A1 vs. Nikon F3

Film, The Streets

Ok so I know it feels like it’s been a decade ..but I’ve finally gotten around to getting settled in to my new place and also scanning my newly developed film of the rolls I shot from each camera recently.

For those who didn’t read the previous blog entry, this is in no way a competition to see which camera is better than the other. (I think they’re both amazing)

This is a project I created to see which one I favored more and performed best to fit with my style of street photography.

I used a 50mm focal length lens for each camera and Expired ISO 200 film.

Having color film came in handy especially for when I was out with the Nikon!

Tell you more about that later…

So i guess, i’ll begin with some shots that i took with the Canon A1:







Ok, i think it needs to be said that this was the very first film camera i purchased with my own cash.

I had been dabbling with digital cameras for some time now but this, i believe, is the first time i really began to think of photography as a serious form of expression and ART..and in many ways to me, Therapy.

The Canon A1 fits me like a glove and after seeing the results, i got back exactly what i expected..and as i bear witness to them, i love them all for meeting people

Some of the best advice i’ve ever gotten throughout my years as a photographer is that “those pictures are for you, your expression, your art, and how you feel, it doesn’t matter if people like them or not, as long as you do”

I really feel that way, and i find myself captivated by cameras such as these from time to time.



Without further adieu, the results from my time with the NIKON F3!!







I’m guessing you now see why i was glad i brought out Color Film on this day!

I had gotten dropped off by my brother at train station to NYC so i could finish up this project and had totally forgotten that it was Gay Pride day.

You can’t get more of a perfect day to test out color film than a parade with multiple colors and rainbow flags!

Now I’m not Gay myself but i support anyone who wants to be themselves as long as it does not harm another person, or infringe upon another’s rights.
Honestly though from what i saw from my time out shooting at this event, it was mostly WOMEN who were out being proud to be gay.
I had always thought it was Gay Men that had the biggest issues with oppression from others and would be the most vocal, guess i was wrong.

Well in any case, back to the Nikon F3 🙂

Keep in mind once again i was using Expired 200 ISO film which sometimes gave parts of the pictures a HAZY type of feel ( i loved it when i checked the results )



The Light meter was excellent on this camera, for me a bit easier to read than with my A1. It was not as bright, but then again it could just have been my specific camera.

Well folks…i guess now is my time for the conclusion and final words.

The Nikon F3, an iconic camera known by many film photographers for it’s great feel and performance. It truly lived up to my expectations when i took it out and handled the streets as i knew it would. I know it’s capable of a lot more than just street photography, but this is my primary zone of focus (nerdy camera joke) so i can just speak on that part of it. It’s a great camera and OH BY THE WAY, it’s been functioning this way since the 1970s..hasn’t been CLA’d at all yet!

The Canon A1, my first film camera, the first to have all four exposure modes which we see with basically every camera that comes out now. I found it in a small thrift shop that closed shortly after my purchasing of it. It handled the streets of NY/NJ awesomely and quickly. I love the swiftness of how i can take a picture and keep moving with this camera. It may be due to the button placement that i prefer with this camera when compared to the Nikon F3….

I’m going with the Canon A1 folks, and the only reason is due to the button placement and the ISO/Shutter speed dials honestly. They both performed awesome on the streets, though i believe i was able to compose and shoot quicker with the Canon A1. This is just my opinion and i’m stickin to IT!! Have a differing opinion? Feel free to comment below 🙂

Now i know i know..i could’ve done some more tests such as Multiple Exposure, using a Flash and compared those as well..but i didn’t.

What i hope i did do is spark your interest in getting these two cameras and joining in on the fun of shooting them with me.

Get some film, and get your A1 or F3 (they’re pretty cheap) and hit the streets!

Express yourself, gain your style and create beauty the only way you can when viewed through the lens of one of these great pieces of photographic technology.


2 thoughts on “Finally!! The Canon A1 vs. Nikon F3

  1. Great article and fantastic photos……and errr no….i’m not either ;-). I just bought an F3 at a charity shop for $3 or was it $5. Normally shoot a Contax 139 that I have had for around 40 years…….so I guess I’ll clean up that F3!! Keep up the gret work!!!

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