Modern Classic SLR Series
Nikon F2 Series Models
Nikon Professional Motor Drive MD-2 -Instruction Manual - Part III

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Attach Camera to the Motor Drive

The cordless battery pack fits onto the motor drive itself, making camera, motor drive and power supply one convenient unit. Place the motor drive on the pack and tighten the mounting screw on the bottom of the pack with a coin or similar object until the motor drive base plate and the pack fit together snugly.


Credit: Image(s) appeared herein courtesy of Mr. Vincenzo Montalto from Bestdeals$$$® <> "Bestdeals$$$", who also operates a very popular Ebay Store, selling many unique camera equipment of various brands and labels and some of the images shown here was kindly granted permission by the Company. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Operations: Loading the camera Film loading is done in the normal way. However, always be sure to mount the motor drive on the camera before you load the film. Otherwise, light will enter the camera and fog the film when the O/C key is removed. Fold out the O/C lever and turn it to the left. The hinged camera back will spring open, For details on film loading see your camera's instruction manual.

After the loading is completed, depress the locking button on the rewind slide and push the slide up until the frame counter returns to "S." Then make three "blank" exposures to dispose of the portion of the film exposed during loading, using the film-advance lever and the shutter-release button on the camera.

Be careful not to reverse the above procedure since it will result in inadvertent double exposures on the first frame of film. You can use the motor drive for either single-frame or continuous shooting at speeds of up to five frames per second. The LED indicator lights up to indicate that the film is being wound.

The SC knob on the grip has settings for either single frame or continuous firing, plus the "L" trigger lock setting to prevent accidental exposures. The firing speed selector knob controls the speed of sequence firing. Before using the motor drive, you should set the frame counter to correspond to the number of exposures of the film loaded in the camera (or to a smaller number if you want the motor drive to stop before the entire film is exposed). This adjusts the power cutoff mechanism which prevents the film from being advanced beyond the limit of its length. It also allows you to preset the motor drive to stop after any number of frames.

Frame Counter The frame counter on the back of the motor drive shows the number of unexposed frames remaining on a roll of film. When the counter reaches zero, the motor stops automatically to prevent damage to the film. This feature also allows you to preset the exact number of frames for continuous firing in bursts. To set the counter, first make sure the frame counter is at "S". Then press and turn the wheel beneath the counter window until the desired number of frames appears opposite the white arrow.

countera.jpg counterb.jpg
The numbers 20 and 36 are colored red to correspond to the number of the frames in standard rolls of film.

If you desire to reset the counter to control a known sequence duration (or for other purposes) after you have once set it at the particular number, first depress the locking button on the rewind slide and push it up until the frame counter springs back to "S." Next, cover the lens with a cap and make one "blank" exposure to prevent inadvertent double exposure on the starting frame. Then, set the frame counter to the desired number of frames. Wind the lever once again and the unit is now ready for shooting. Warning: Be careful not to over-estimate the number of frames remaining on a roll of film, since this may result in the motor pulling the film off the supply spool or damaging its perforated edges. The frame counter on top of the camera continues to operate even when the motor drive is attached. If you use the counter on the motor drive to control sequence duration, check the one on the camera to find out how many exposures you have left.

Single-Frame ("S") Operation

Lift up the milled SC knob and turn it until "S" is opposite the white dot. Then select any shutter speed from 1/2000 second to B. The firing speed selector knob has no influence on the operation of the motor drive. To make an exposure, simply press the trigger button on the grip. As soon as the button is released, the motor drive automatically winds the film and cocks the shutter for the next exposure. When using shutter speeds slower than 1/60 second, be sure to keep the trigger button depressed long enough for the shutter to complete the exposure. Otherwise, exposure time may be shortened unintentionally. Note: When you test fire an unloaded motorized camera powered by fresh NC batteries or by the AC/DC converter MA-2 or MA-4, the motor drive may fire in bursts even with the SC knob set for single-frame operation. This will stop as soon as film is loaded in the camera.
Continuous ("C") Shooting Firing speed is controlled by the firing speed selector knob on the back of the motor drive. It has five settings: "H" (high), "M3", "M2" and "M1" (medium) and "L" (low). Intermediate speeds may also be used by setting the knob between the click-stopped settings. At the H setting, the mirror of the camera must be locked up. The table below indicates the number of frames per second which the unit will expose at each setting. However, speed also varies depending on the power-source used. The table also shows the firing speeds for different power sources. At the "H" setting using NC Battery Units MN-1, for example, firing speed is five frames per second.

Power Source / Firing Speed Setting






MB-1 (15v)


4 fps

3.5 fps

3 fps

2 fps

1 fps


NC Battery Unit MN-1

5 fps

4.3 fps

3.8 fps

2.5 fps

1.3 fps

MB-2 (12v)



2.5 fps

2.1 fps

1.7 fps

0.9 fps


AC/DC Converter MA-4

5 fps

4.3 fps

3.8 fps

2.5 fps

1.3 fps

Note: "fps" = Frames per second

The range of usable shutter speeds depends on which firing speed you select. The numbers in green next to the firing speed settings indicate the lowest speed which can be used at each setting. For example, with the firing speed selector knob turned to M2, you can select any shutter speed from 1/60 to 1/2000 second. Speeds slower than those indicated should not be used.

Usable Shutter Speeds Range

Firing Speed Setting






Usable shutter speeds

1/125 - 1/2000

1/125 - 1/2000

1/60 - 1/2000

1/8 - 1/2000

1/4 - 1/2000

When the selector knob is set for an intermediate speed between the marked settings, consult the range of usable shutter speeds for the next highest setting to find the correct shutter speed.

Set the SC knob at "C" and lift up the milled firing speed selector knob and turn it until the black line is opposite the desired framing speed. If you wish to fire at "H", remember also to lock up the mirror. As long as the trigger button is held down, the motor drive will continue to fire automatically. Releasing the button stops the motor drive after it has advanced the film one frame and cocked the shutter for the next exposure. During operation, the firing speed selector knob can be changed to any setting. You can also fire single shots at the "C" setting if the finger is removed quickly from the trigger button after each exposure. The usable shutter speed ranges are the same as those for continuous shooting.

Note: The camera's manual film-advance lever and shutter release button continue to function even with the motor drive mounted on the camera.

Rewinding / Unloading Before unloading, rewind the film either manually or with the motor drive as follows: Press the rewind slide locking button and push the slide upward as far as it will go to release the film advance. The frame counter should return to "S", otherwise the motor will not start to rewind. Press the release button located to the left of the rewind lever. Hold the button down and turn the lever to the right until it stops with a click. The motor will rewind the film in about seven seconds (for a 36-exposure roll). Check the rewind knob on the camera to make sure that the film is actually being rewound. When the film leaves the take-up spool, the motor speeds up and makes a high-pitched sound. To return the rewind lever to its original position, simply turn it to the left. To rewind the film manually, press the rewind slide locking button, push the slide up as far as it will go. Rotate the rewind crank in the direction of the arrow just as you would to rewind the film with no motor drive attached.

rewindstep1.jpg rewindstep2.jpg Lastly, Open the camera back, pull the rewind knob up and the film cartridge will drop out.

Note 1: Motorized rewinding is not possible with some cassettes, since they have no key to engage the rewind shaft of the motor drive. The Nikon reloadable film cassette A M-7, available as an optional accessory, is keyed to connect with the rewind shaft.

Note 2: Always reset the motor drive frame counter to the "S " position (see above) before attempting to disconnect the motor drive from the camera body. This action will turn off the motor, thus, preventing accidental motor operation during disconnection. If batteries are weak, however, resetting to "S" may not occur. In this case, remove the cordless battery pack prior to removing the motor drive. Then, disconnect the motor drive from the camera and reset manually using the same procedure as for powered resetting.

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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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