Modern Classic SLR Series
Nikon F2 Series Models
Nikon F2 High Speed Motor Drive camera w/MD-100

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Based on HIURA Shinsaku's summary website on some of the special production and prototype models of Nikon SLR cameras; Nikon had introduced a Nikon F High Speed Motor camera which was capable of delivering a blistering 7 fps film advance rate. It employed a stationery Pellicle Mirror design and has a fixed accessory shoe rest atop the camera pentaprism. I am not so sure when exactly was the high speed Nikon F first produced, but the competing Canon has their first Canon high speed motor camera based on the original Canon F-1 specially designed for Olympic Games at Sapporo in 1972.

Nikon F HS.jpg

The speed control setting allowed user to defined the film advance speed of 3.5 fps, 5 fps and 7 fps. Very little info is available on this camera except at Hiura's site where he obtained a special permission from Nikon to grant him to publish these pictures. NOTE: Picture at left Extracted from Hiura's summary site; by the way, HIURA Shinsaku also maintained a "Nikomat ML" in Japan. "Nikomat"is the Japanese version of the Nikon "Nikkormat" camera. This PIM website has a full scaled Nikkormat website.

ALSO CHECK: Nikon F TRIBUNE High Speed | Nikon F High Speed-Motor Drive Camera | F3-High Speed Motor Drive Camera

Credit: Picture at left courtesy of Hiura Shinsaku

However, Nikon introduced a ultra-tough Titanium version of the popular Nikon F2 in 1976. Two years later, the same F2/T standard version with a eye level finder DE-1/T has been chosen as the body for a special production High Speed Motor Drive camera to fulfill certain request for such a specialize camera. The resultant F2H was officially made available in 1978 with a titanium body and adopting a similar pellicle mirror designed used on the earlier Nikon F HS. The pellicle mirror does not flip up like a normal reflex mirror does when an exposure is made. Although its intention was to use for scientific research, sports, and specialize applications, but it may also change a photographer's normal shooting behavior because, the pellicle mirror permit viewing through the lens while a picture is being taken. In the case when flash is used, there will be no time lapse and black out during exposure due to mirror flip up and blind the eyepiece momentarily, you can even see the flash light striking on the object during an exposure process. Next, the fixed mirror also eliminating any possible movement cause by mirror bounce.

F2 HSa.jpg F2 HSb.jpg
F2 HSc.jpg
F2 HSd.jpg F2 HSd.jpg
To preserve and minimize download time, Click on each image to see an enlarged view.
Credit: Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD.

Nikon F2 High Speed Motor Drive Titan Body detail of control and features
Nikon F2 High Speed Motor Drive Camera

There is possibly another version which is with inclusion of "B" and "T" settings on the shutter speed dial. However, Nikon F2 Message Board Co-maintainer, Mr. Sover Wong <> lately wrote to me " ... There is only a rumour of an early F2H with B and T settings, but there is no evidence of this. (There was a vague mention on a NHS journal, but the author was not sure himslef when I questioned him.)...".


Part One | Part Two

The F2H camera section is different in other ways as well. For an instance, focusing screens are not interchangeable in the F2H; it uses a type B screen which is permanently installed.

More ? The camera body also removed some basic features such as the self-timer function, the "T" (Time), "B" (Bulb), and reduced its maximum 1/2000 sec shutter speed. I am not sure WHY these feayures are not retained with the camera, but it certainly narrowed down the scope of applications especially the 1/2000 sec speed setting which may comes in well supplementing the camera in extraordinary speed handling. It has only 1/1000 sec maximum speed setting on its shutter speed dial. This camera will not function like a torpedo but rather, it has to work with a special production motor drive which handles the rapid film advance sequences.

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A modified Nikon MD-2, called the MD-100 which was actually a combined unit of drive/motor into a single piece has a double MB-1 which holds a capacity of 4 x MN-1 NiCds for a staggering total of 30 volts to drive the motor.
Credit: Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD.

Well, when the US was hosting the L.A. Olympics in 1984, Nikon also "revived" the production of a very limited number of around 500 units of a special version of the Nikon F2HS for the journalists covering the gallantly staged sports event. It was known as the Nikon F2H-MD. Nothing significant have been noticed between the two models except that the batch of Olympic Nikons came with a special serial numbering of F2H-MD. That was perhaps to neutralize Canon's production of another upgrade based on their latest professional Canon New F-1 which was introduced in 1982, the camera was called "Canon New-F-1 High Speed Motor Drive Camera" which has three metering options, interchangeable screens and can operate at 14 fps (H), 10 fps (M), 5 fps (L), and 1 fps (S). However, as with any High Speed Motor Drive camera, there is no self timer and bulb ("B") mode.

A section of an image of a F2H-MD that recently surfaced for auction at EBay. Note the missing self timer lever. Owner claimed the unit came completed with complete with MD-100,MB-100 + charger batteries, Body serial number is: 7850325. This raised some question as why this unit bears number with "78XXXXX"... as some reference claimed that the F2H has a production cycle from 1976 and stretched to 1980. While the F2H-MD was supposedly introduced later in 1984. Incidentally, both cameras featured here and the one unit owned by Robert has a seriel number that marked F2H-MD "78xxxxxx" Credit: "arsenall" for using his image published at Ebay on February 2001.

NOTE:- The shutter release button knob on the MD-100 visually looked slightly different from MD-1, MD-2 and MD-3. In fact, I doubt it can be removed as with the MD-1 nor the MD-2 as a remote control device. You may mail in your finding IF you have come across a MD-100 Motor Drive unit.

I cannot really comment too much with this camera as I don't have one of it (other than the F3 High Speed which I have one in my collection). I would suggest anyone of you want to find out more with the camera to mail Robert Johnson who is also a photojournalist with one of the local daily in his county and he has some practical experience using it on the field.

However, Michael Liu in his earlier F2 site did has some good compilation of prices and a quick summary on this very specialize collectible camera. "..... As a rough range of prices, Samy's Camera has two of these at $2 000 to $2 600 depending on condition. I'd say that these prices aren't too unrealistic (although a few lines later, they list the 21f4 with finder at $1 500, when I paid about ten times less than that for one, albeit with a non-OEM (Zeiss) finder (which was cracked, too)). Keh has just the motor with battery back (but no MN-1's) for about $2 000 -- try to find just the body, though! And if you want to go whole hog, Del's has a complete body and motor for $7 000, which seems to make less and less sense, especially when the listing comes right after the one for the F3H, which is faster and a nicer camera for $6 200 or so (list price). The body itself was stripped of the mirror lockup (of course), the self-timer, and the 1/2000 shutter speed.

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Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

In memory of my friend Com. Augusto Staut, Brazil, 1971-2000.

Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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