Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Canon F-1 - Motor Drives - Introduction


Credit: Image(s) courtesy of 'Shutterblade team' (e-mail)who specialises trading of new, used collectable cameras. The Company also operates a popular Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.

Canon has produced three motor drives during the life span of the Canon F-1. The first being the Motor Drive Unit, followed later by the much improved MF Motor Drive; the third was a special limited production unit, High Speed Motor Drive Camera who has its debut for the Olympic Games at Sapporo in 1972. Strange enough, the High Speed Unit was the most compact among all the three (Exclude its external power pack unit) and yet its firing rate is the highest (up to 9 fps at 1/1000 sec and above) and used a fixed Pellicle Mirror (First used on the Pellix) as the current EOS RT & EOS1-RS. The Motor Drive Unit can go to 3 fps and the MF Motor Drive's maximum firing rate is 3.5 fps.

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of 'Shutterblade team' (e-mail)who specialises trading of new, used collectable cameras. The Company also operates a popular Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.



Jointly used with Film Chamber 250, Servo EE Finder, Interval Timer, Extension Cords, Self tImer E, Tima lapse controller and Tandem Unit - offee two synchromous automatic film advance and shutter release actions. Lazy to read ?
Suggestion: just Download an Instruction Manual for Motor Drive MF Unit - courtesy of Mr. Christian Rollinger

1. Motor drive Unit



The F-1 weakest link was its Motor Drive system. This original Motor drive Unit needs a external case to house the power source (Magazine 15V or 12V) (See left and right). While the later MF can take in enclosure battery in its hand grip. The Motor Drive Unit has a vertically (Hooked at the base plate of the attachment of the main unit). It is odd, strange looking and most of all, highly inconvenient and obstructive in movement or even its set up & handling can be very confusing. But some of the features provided by the Motor drive Unit can be quite unique. Especially with its 7 Step Timer and the two Stable Motors Built in (It is a unique apparatus with two motors for film winding and shutter release for most reliable performance, and it also has a built-in intervalometer.)

Credit: Image(s) courtesy of 'Shutterblade team' (e-mail)who specialises trading of new, used collectable cameras. The Company also operates a popular Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.
Both continuous and single frame photography are possible. In continuous photography, seven different intervals, from 3 frames per second to 1 frame per minute can be used. Thus the timer is designed for a wide performance range from high-speed photography for action analysis to photography for recording experiments. It is possible to perform long-time photography for more than 4 hours at 1 frame per minute with long-roll film of 250 frames. Canon engineers has put a lot of emphasis on 'un-manned photography' with the Motor Drive Unit. Basically, because the MD can intergrate with the Servo EE Finder for certain degree of automation and quite a lot of the accessories that built around the Motor drive Unit were centered on remote un-manned photography.

2. Motor Drive MF. (*Click here for more info)

For Multiple Motor Drive Setups -
Tandem Units Realizing its mistake on their earlier attempt. The subsequent 'revamped' unit was a much improved effort. Most significant factor is being improvement on its 'mobility". Battery cells can be housed within the hand grip (removable).

The MF is a component Motor Drive System designed for much more flexibility in mind. It was designed after going all the way back to the simplest possible form of motor drive photography, and, then, from that simplest form it went on acquiring greater and greater versatility through the addition of the various accessories into the Motor Drive System. It is possible to use it with the Film Chamber 250 or with the Servo EE Finder, or with both, which basically - interchangeability with other components. The MF can be divided into two parts: The driving part and the grip inside which the battery case is enclosed. The driving part is screwed on in place of the bottom cover of the camera, and the grip is inserted into the bracket on the side of the Motor Drive and is fastened with the screw that tightens the bottom of the grip.

The grip is provided with a shutter release button, and film is fed at a speed of up to 3.5 frames per second. The inner mechanism is quite compact though it consists of the conventional Motor Drive with two synchronous motors, one for film advance and the other for shutter release in order to increase stability of performance. At the same time, may be the Nikon MD series has inspired a few and thus the grip with the battery chamber was placed in front on the right hand side to make it easier to hold the unit either vertically or horizontally. The shutter button was conceived in such a way as to adapt perfectly to the hand, and the grip is detachable, so that the Film Chamber 250 may be used.

Wide Coupling Range of Shutter Speed Automatic film advance and shutter release makes continuous photography possible at up to 3.5 frames per second with shutter speeds of 1/60 of a second or faster. When used together with the Interval Timer L, automation is extended to photography as slow as 1 frame every 3 minutes.

A Complete System of Remote Control One of the main features of the Canon F-1 System is its ability to perform fully automatic, unmanned photography when a Motor Drive is used together with the Servo EE Finder. The Motor Drive MF has a mechanism that includes of a small relay whose circuit controls the motor. The application range of remote control has been considerably widened because it is based on the operation of this relay. Therefore, not only can we meet requests for accessories destined to standard service conditions but also for a method of control based on special application of the specifications. External control is undertaken by connecting the various accessories to the remote control jack on the side of the body.

Detailing HOW to USE the Motor Drive MF.(Skipping the Motor drive Unit - As I don't think anyone would buy that in the used market because of its bulky battery supply unit).

Concept | Reliability Issue | Motor Drive Units | Macro | EE Servo / Booster Finder | Bulk Film Back | CAT (Flash System | F1 High Speed | ODF-1 | Placid | Assembling Diaphragm | Canon FD & FDn lenses

| Back | to Main Index Page of Canon F-1(n)

Specifications of the Canon Motor Drive MF

Type: Power drive systems interchangeable with the bottom cover of the F1
Construction: built-in two molors system for film drive and Shutter release respectively. Adopt relay circuit control system.
Film advance rate: - 3.6 frames par second at maximurn speed.
Operating Modes; S (single frame), C (continuous). Changes by means of a swilch.
Coupling range of the shutter: S: all shutter speeds except B (bulb). C; 1/2000- 1 /60 sec.
Frame Counter. Manually set, Indicates remianing number of frames. Automatically stops at 0. When setting at F.C., the frame counter mechanism is rell eased. It is used when Film Chamber 250 is attached. Grip. Contains battery chamber. Detachable. Removed from the Motor Drive and connected again to the Motor Drive with a special cord, when the Film Chamber 250 Is attached.
Power source: 10 penlight (SIze AA) batteries
Shooting capacity. More than 80 rolls of 36 exposures with alkaline or manganese batteries.
Battery Check: Built into the grip with lamp indicator.
Shutter Release Button: At the upper part at the grip. With a cable release socket.
Film Loading: Ordinary loading is possible when the Motor Drive MF Is attached to the camera body.
Remote control: Exterior control devices are available which as connected by means of remote convol socket.
Dimension. Body. 153 x 51 x Grip, 179 x 120 x 63mm
Weight: Body. 650g, Grip, 1.070g including ten penlight batteries.

Specifications of the Motor Drive Unit

Circuit constructions: 5 transistors. 2 diodes, 5 condensers, 1 SCH.
Shooting Interval:- 1/3 sec. to 60 sec.frame.
Timer Scale: 7-stages "T.OFF" 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10. 60 secs
Time allowance: + - 2%.
Powe source: DC15V. 10 Penlight batteries Loaded in Battery Case and connected with Battery
connector MD.
Battery check: By Battery Checker MD.
Photographing capacity: Penlight batteries: Alkaline, 36 frame x 80 rolls or more. Manganese: 36 frames x 50 rolls or more.
Frame counter: Counts the number of the unexposed frames. Automatically stops at "0".
Remote control: connects the Remote Switch MD to the terminal on the Battery Connector. Length of cord is 5 meters. An extension cord (10 meters) is available.
Unmanned photography. By coupling with the Servo EE Finder.
Shutter Release Button:- With cable release socket.
Size: 150 x 170 x 34mm
Weight: 720 grams
Accessories: Battery Case, Battery Connector MD. Remote Switch MD. Film Chamber 250. Film Leader 250. Film Magazine 250. Extension Cord MD, Case, Battery Magazine 15V. Battery Checker MD.

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An external source Prepared by Christian Rollinger for Canon F1's Camera Operational Manual in PDF (2.58MB)


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