Nikon FE/FM/FA Series Model(s) - Shared Resources
The Nikon MD-12 Motor Drive
Introduction

 

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The MD-12 Motor Drive Unit is probably one of the longest serving accessories in the Nikon photographic system. It is still in service today because of its necessity to supplement the current FM2n. It is an important accessory because other than the earlier Nikkormat, the bigger, bulkier professional camera models in the F series before the Nikon F4 and the super compact models in the EM & FG series Nikon SLR cameras, it can fit and shared among virtually all the mid compact models in FM, FE, FE2, FM2, FM2(n), the multimode Nikon FA and the Nikon FM3a.

MD-12 is essentially an upgrade of the MD-11, launched together with the Nikon FM and FE in 1977 and 1978. In fact, with the introduction of the MD-12, the Nikon FM also has an upgrade with the removal of the shutter release lock for manual and motor driven film advance selector (FM's serial number below No.3,000,000 - I guess the owners of second hand retail shop will kill me for this). Since then, there is much major changes other than at one stage, Nikon has rearranged the circuitry for the pilot lamp to function in the MD-12.

MD12 Mix dimension.jpg (15k)
This Motor Drive from Nikon is impressive enough, performs almost flawlessly in operations. If you can still live with the moderately slow 3.5 fps and the lack of an auto film rewind feature part is its dependability and ruggedness. I don't think any MD-12 users have doubt this fact. But most of all, you shouldn't think the motor drive is an special accessory. Just think of it as a normal supplement to your camera for a more enjoyable photography. Other than the slight drawback of additional weight added on to your compact body, it presents some very strong reasons to consider such added on.

Key element for attaching a motor drive on your camera is responsiveness. Where it always place you ready for the next shot without even have to handle another task of manual film advance. In situation where lighting is tricky, bracketing exposures with variable apertures can't be swifter. Good balance and comfortable hold is another, especially when working with long telephoto or zoom lenses. You can even mix with some basic camera features in the camera to experiment different photographic effects, like rapid multiple exposures etc. The terminal in front of the hand grip opens up plenty of photographic opportunities Apart from let you go into remote-control photography in many wireless, unmanned operations with the Nikon dedicated accessories (From 3 meters (MC-10 Remote Cord), 60 meters (ML-1), 700 meters (MW-1) or interval time lapse (MT-1 Intervalometer), you can even convert your motor drive cheaply for vertical shooting with device like MR-2. Not convince ? Its power efficiency is a top rated 100 rolls of films with just per set of eight alkaline cells, thus, the breakdown cost per frame is minimal. The hybrid IC has took many years to develop and perfect, hence, proved its reliability test over the years, it also act as a variable firing rate device, monitoring the firing speed at any time, peak at 3.5 fps at higher speeds while automatically adjusts itself to specific speed selected at the lower speed range in auto mode. The trigger button behaves exactly like the camera, light depress to activate the meter and turn off after 60 seconds of inactivity to conserve power, besides, it has a single mode or continuous mode for rapid sequential power advance.

A slight variant of the Nikon  MD-12
" ... I been browsing your site for about 4 years now. Its a great site a really good reference for collectors. Anyway, I was wordering if you can help me. I found 2 different MD-12 motor drives. The first I will called it the drive in the normal position. and the second one the one where the top right is "pointing" towards the camera ( if fitted ) and not to the left as I always saw them advertised. Can you explain this ? I guess something is not right on the second one, and I consider it as a broken unit. Notice that the little rubber square is poiting outside.... please see pictures. Thanks and once again rellay great site. Lots of info. Thanks..." . - Rui Delgado -

The MD-12 is indeed a very reliable motor winding device, structurally it has a robust aluminum alloy metal and beneath its leather cover, it is treated with another layer of hard anoylised black paint. Hardly needs any maintenance and seldom casts any problem in operation. Well, this drive can fit into any of the cameras mentioned earlier, it is always in hot demand, selling it off after 10 years of heavy duty usage may not even hurt your pocket too much either. Lastly, if you are a owner of Nikon FM2n, there is a third party alternative slower Power Winder manufactured by Soligor for you to consider (NOT useable with FM and Nikon FM3a). Update: Another Alternate by N.I.C. Power Winder for your Nikon FM2, FE2 and Nikon FA

Instruction Manual and other related info (6 Parts in HTML) for MD-12

| Back | to Index Page of MD-12 | * MD-11 | * Alternate 3rd party products: Soligor Power Winder | Y.I.C Power Winder
| Back | to Main Index Page Shared Resources

Instruction Manual for MD-12 : PDF (224k) | MD-11 (Operation manual (PDF Format: 202k);
3rd Party labels:
Soligor Power Winder Only for FM2(n)/FE2/FA/ Y.I.C. Power Winder
Specification: PDF(121k) | HTML | Operation manual (PDF Format: 202k)

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Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | 3rd Party Power Winder Only for FM2(n)/FE2/FA | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | Flash Units - | SB-15 | SB-10 | SB-16B & Other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

Others:- Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003) Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series: Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
SB-11
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp


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Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

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Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm


MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with any of these manual focus Nikon FE series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

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A contributing effort to Michael C Liu's Classic Nikon Site.

Credit: Chuck Hester for some of his beautiful images used in this site; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input; Lars Holst Hansen, Danish 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion; Mr Poon from Poon photo for their input; Ms Miss Rissa (Sales Manager) & members of the Technical Service dept. of Shriro Malaysia, local distributor of Nikon cameras in Malaysia & Singapore, in providing so many useful input to make this site possible. Special thanks to Mr MC Lau, who has helped with his images of the MF-12 databack. Michael Tan, Pertama Photo (603-2926505) for lending his original Titanium Shutter Display Unit. Dave Hoyt who has prepared the introductory page and offer some images of his FE2 in this site.. Hiura Shinsaku, Nikomat ML, Japan for his contribution on all the various images; A contributing site to a long lost friend on the Net. Note: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Made witha PowerMac.