Nikon F3 was introduced in 1980 as the consummate professional 35mm SLR camera. The HP variety provided an elevated viewfinder. It remained in production until 2001, even after the F4 and F5 were introduced.
The Nikon F camera may be what started my unhealthy affection for film cameras. It was the camera that my high school used for yearbook. It was only accessible to yearbook staff and kept locked away when not in use. I had no desire to be on the yearbook staff but I did want to play with the F. It has only taken four decades but now I have a Nikon F to play with. Mine is the F3HP that was introduced after the F or F2 that my high school would have had but fills the need.
This thing is a machine. The view finder can be removed and different focusing plates can be substituted. Taking it apart is like field striping a rifle. I has a great feel and build quality. Mine is a used but not abused model for a local camera store. This one was clearly never used by the yearbook staff at my school.
This is a great camera. Easy to focus and give clear sharp images. Not an overly complicated camera but extremely capable. There is a reason this was such a popular SLR. It takes great photos. It is large and heavy but still manageable. Compatible with a boat load of lenses Nikon and others, the option are limitless. Because it was built like a tank and because it was so popular, you can find them easily today. Conditions range form mint to mashed. It is such a tough camera that I would not be too worried about a bit of cosmetic damage as long as it is functioning. Get one and scratch that itch.
Lens: Nikkor 50mm f1.8
Film: Ilford HP5 Plus 400