Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Canon New F-1 - Its Motor Drive and the Power Winder

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Credit: Two superbly taken Images of the Canon Motor Drive FN displayed in this site courtesy of Mr. Bill Green® <> copyright © 2003.

Instruction Manual for Motor Drive FN

One of the weakest link in the original Canon F-1 system was the lack of a high performance Motor Drive to take on the might of the Nikon during the seventies, the original Motor Drive Unit for the F-1 was a 3 fps and the MF Motor Drive introduced in later stages improved the speed slightly to 3.5 fps, while it also managed to resolve the power source issue and providing more optional choices. The second upgrade had the power source designed as an integral unit. Obviously, Canon realized where the problems and weaknesses in their original system were - after all, that was the first serious effort to challenge the Nikon and the F-1 did it gallantly and gain the respect it deservingly got. And thus, this particular segment has taken Canon putting in a lot of effort into research and development aimed to produced a world class power film advance device for the next generation professional system.

One of the early effort and intense development works which resulted in a eye-catching product was the dedicated Motor Drive MA which was specially tailored made for the Canon multimode AE SLR camera , Canon A-1 which was debuted in 1978 (Compatible and workable with AE-1 Program in 1981). And finally, Canon has a high performance motor drive unit which can attained a maximum shooting speed of 5 fps !

As for the motor drive for the flagship model, New F-1, Canon research team never disappoint and they have even prepared for a combination of drives with multiple options in power sources for users to choose from, the system has a 5 fps high speed motor drive system as well as a moderate (2 fps) power winder. The beauty of the whole concept of the Motor Drive/Winder doesn't just provide automatic film advance function, but it can also alter the exposure control method of the New F-1 camera. The New F-1 can also be easily converted to provide automatic exposure. By just mounting a AE Motor Drive FN or AE Power Winder FN gives the added option of shutter-priority AE to the New F-1, which widely acclaimed as the best mode for action photography. Likewise, replacing the standard Eye Level Finder FN with the AE Finder FN provides aperture-priority AE and stopped-down AE. To remind you of the current shooting mode, the viewfinder exposure read-out shifts position.

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AE Motor Drive FN The AE Motor Drive FN's capacity to shoot up to five consecutive frames a second makes it perfect for sports and news coverage. But if that's too fast for your purpose, it can be set to operate at 3.5 fps. Single frame shooting is yet another option. Film rewind is automatic, too, taking just 8 seconds to wind back a 36-exposure roll.

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At film end, it stops automatically and a red LED lights up. The counter counts down the number of frames remaining. Two shutter buttons are installed in addition to the one on the camera body for convenient and comfortable operation in both horizontal and vertical positions.

The AE Motor Drive FN forms a compact, lightweight whole with the camera, reducing fatigue in long shooting sessions. And the AE Motor Drive FN is ruggedly built. Special measures have been taken to prevent entry of moisture and dust. This means that you can take pictures in as harsh an environment as a windswept mountain top or a humid jungle. Power sources for the AE Motor Drive FN are outlined below.

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Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. who is a collector for Canon photo gear, he also has an Ebay Section as well as maintaining a website on his own where occasionally trading some photo equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Choice of Shooting Modes

Instruction Manual for Motor Drive FN is available now (New) Relative: New F-1 High Speed Motor Drive Camera's instruction Manual (New)

The New F-1 with its top shutter speed of 1/2000 sec. and the 5 frames per-second AE Motor Drive FN give the action-oriented photographer the firepower needed to capture the speediest subject. And in the most suitable exposure mode: shutter-priority AE. Both the AE Motor Drive FN and AE Power Winder FN (2 fps) give the New F-1 this potential. The AE Motor Drive FN can also be set for 3.5 fps film advance. Single-frame shooting is possible with both units.

Credit: Images courtesy of Adorama® Inc. "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> Webisite URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. P

Film rewind is automatic with the AE Motor Drive FN, which can be driven by any one of four optional power sources, including the High Power Ni-Cd Pack FN for extreme cold conditions. During the initial launch, the New F-1 hasn't got any external cord to connect the power source to the camera for the metering and AE functions, later stage, Canon released an note, saying it support the power via a cord. This has much to do with the Nikon F3 capability with its MD-4, which will automatically take over the power supply when mounted as a set. The Battery Cord FN thus, allows power pack to power the camera's internal metering and shutter release functions. The AE Motor Drive FN, at its fastest speed, it takes just 0.2 sec. to advance the film to the next frame - a speed that is humanly impossible to match manually. Shooting at 5 frames per second, you can take a whole series of action shots like these and never need to remove your eye from the viewfinder. One other ingredient is important in action photography.

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Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.
That is the ability to select a fast shutter speed yourself. The AE Motor Drive FN and the AE Power Winder FN provide this by linking up with the camera's internal circuitry to give shutter-priority AE. Dedicated compatibility with other New F-1 system accessories, including the Film Chamber FN-100, Data Back FN, Speedlites, remote control and interval timer units, opens up new horizons and other possibilities in your photography. Several different power packs are available for the AE Motor Drive FN depending on the type of photography and environmental conditions.
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Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Claudio®. Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

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The High Power Ni-Cd Pack FN ( Click here to see ALL power Packs available for the New F-1)
Along with other available power packs for specific conditions. Due to larger file size, I have to separate the image files and the respective description for the various power packs into another page for faster download time in this page. The High Power Ni-Cd Pack FN Battery Pack FN Ni-Cd Pack FN AC/DC Converter AD-10 Connecting Pack FN

AE Power Winder FN

Along with the Motor Drive FN, Canon has another option in the AE Power Winder FN for those who doesn't demand high speed motor photography but still would like to enjoy the automation in shutter priority that embedded in the New F-1 multi AE capabilities.

AE Power Winder FN is a compact, lightweight unit which shares much of the sophistication of the motor drive. It gives shutter-priority AE and is compatible with many system accessories, including remote control equipment. For general photography, its prime advantage is in capturing candid shots and fleeting changes of expression in portraits.

Credit: - Canon New F1 Power Winder FN Instruction Manual - prepared by Christian Rollinger

It operates at a maximum speed of 2 frames per second in continuous mode and provides instant readiness for follow-up shots. The provision of two shutter release buttons, one on the top of the grip and the other on the base, facilitates vertical and horizontal format shooting. The subtractive counter can be set for the desired number of exposures. To summarize what the AE Power Winder FN can offered to the photographer, it permits shutter priority AE to the manual New F-1, it also lends itself to scientific applications. Record the various growth stages of plants and insects with an interval timer.

Or trigger the camera by remote control and photograph wildlife or specific applications. Enjoy the automatic film advance for more responsive photography and yet the AE Power Winder FN takes only four penlight batteries, that is convenience enough; further, not to mention it is more compact in size and very economical to own as compared to the Motor Drive FN. Its popularity is strongly reflected by it strong demand in used market.

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. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Instruction Manual: Canon New F-1 Camera | Motor Drive FN | Canon High Speed Motor Drive Camera |
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Its Concept, Its System
Metering Options, Viewfinders, Exposures Control, Reliability Issues,
Mechanism; Motor Drives/Winder, Data Film backs,
Flash photography, Focusing Screens, Macro/Close-up,
Remote photography.

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