Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 - Film backs

Data Back MF-14

This is by far the most popular Databack for the F3 camera. Used with all Nikon F3-series cameras, this interchangeable camera back comes with quartz-controlled clock and LCD to display time, date or sequential numbers from -2 to 2000, and lets you imprint this data in the lower right-hand corner of your photos if desired. Imprinting data function include Year/month/day Day/Hour/Minute or reference numbers to 2000 (only one option is selectable at a time). A built-in alarm makes it very handy for travel. For snap shooters, scientists or anyone with the desire to create lasting memories. Operations of the MF-14 can't be easier, just select the mode (Three in sequence) and press select to go to the respective number you wish to change, after completion, just press the mode button. You can cancel the print mode just by pressing the 'Print' button once (Activate by pressing it one more time and the flashing icon for 'print' will keep flash on the LCD panel). Oh.. it is powered by 2 X LR44 button cells at the palm rest which can be easily removed by a coin.


MF-14.jpg (8k) Loading.. MF-14 data.gif MF-14 data1.gif
Note: An Internal view of the MF-14. The MF-16 Databack designed specifically for the mid-compact Nikon bodies such as Nikon FM2(n), FE-2 and Nikon FA are identical in features and exterior appearance

Specifications for MF-14 Databack:

Usable cameras: Nikon F3 series (Except Nikon F3 High Speed Motor Drive camera when used in combination with the MD-4H as imprinted data becomes blurred, standalone F3H camera is alright)

MF-14 DataPenel.jpg

Usable Film Speeds: ISO25-400 for colour film, 100-400 for B/W.
Data Imprinting Type: 7 segment, 6 digit LEDs;
Data Display
: 7 segment, 6 digit LCD

Imprinting Data: Year/Month/Day; Day, Hour/Minute; Frame Counter or any number from -2 to 2000
Imprint Signal: Via direct contact through camera body
Clock: Quartz Controlled, 24 hour type; date and time can be automatically programmed and adjust for leap years

Alarm: Audible alarm continues 20 sec at preset time
Motor Drive Compatibility: MD-4 (
Except MD-4H)
Power Source: Two 1.55 Silver Oxide Cells
Dimensions & Weight: W x H x D 148.5mm x 53.5mm x 26mm; 85g (Without batteries)


Data Back MF-18

MF-14 data1.gif
MF-18 is essentially a standard MF-14 Databack combined with auto-film-stop feature available in the MF-6B.

For Nikon F3-series cameras equipped with a Nikon Motor Drive MD-4, the MF-18 displays time, date or any sequential number from -2 to 2000 and lets you imprint this data in the space between frames if so desired. The MF-18 also automatically stops film from being rewound completely back into the cartridge during auto rewind, and like the MF-14, it also comes with a convenient built-in alarm (The few official literature from Nikon and many external reviews said so, but for any MF-18 owner - please help to confirm this: as The MF-18 lacks an "Alarm" button on the panel as with MF-14 Databack). Just press the Mode/Adjust button or refer to the actual Instruction Manual and see if the Alarm setting is available as I have only the MF-14 and MF-6B).

MF-18 Databack.jpg (9k) Loading..
The MF-18 allows you to imprint options include year/month/day Hour/minutes/seconds or reference numbers to 2000 (However, similar to the MF-14, only one option is selectable at a time). But the best feature is its ability to enable auto rewind film stop operation with optional Motor Drive MD-4.

Specifications for MF-18 Databack:

Usable cameras: Nikon F3 series with MD-4 Motor Drive (
Except Nikon F3 High Speed Motor Drive camera when used in combination with the MD-4H as imprinted data becomes blurred, standalone F3H camera is alright) Also note: The F3H comes with a MF-6B Film back as standard accessory
Usable Film Speeds: ISO25-400 for colour film, 100-400 for B/W.
Data Imprinting Type: 7 segment, 6 digit LEDs; Data Display: 7 segment, 6 digit LCD
Imprinting Data: Year/Month/Day; Day, Hour/Minute; Frame Counter or any number from -2 to 2000
Imprint Signal: Via direct contact through camera body
Clock: Quartz Controlled, 24 hour type; date and time can be automatically programmed and adjust for leap years
Alarm: Audible alarm continues 20 sec at preset time
Motor Drive Compatibility: MD-4 (Except MD-4H)
Power Source: Two 1.55 Silver Oxide Cells
Dimensions & Weight: (W x H x D) 148.5mm x 68.5mm x 30.2mm; 100g (Without batteries)



MF-4 250-Exposure Magazine Back and MF-17 250-Exposure Data Back

During the '80, Nikon F3 with MD-4 combination arguably has the fastest (regular production) automatic film advance rate with its 6 fps* speed rate. Such fast speed may make the regular film of 36 exposures too inconvenient for a regular change of film roll. Since the days of the Nikon F, Nikon has always provided a bulk film back for their flagship models for certain scientific, sports, news or research applications. (Note: Please refer to Michael Liu's Nikon F with its F250 section). The Nikon F2 era has one of the most unusual bulk film back design. That was a gigantically, one and only 750 exposure bulk film back that you can find on the market ! * Ni-Cd power source, 1/125 sec and above with mirror lock-up.

BulkFim Back 750.jpg (23k) Loading...
Specifications
for MF-10 (250) ; Specifications for MF-2 (750)
You must be wondering what the hell are these - The smaller setup is actually the 250 bulk film back designed for the Nikon F2 - the BIG and GIGANTIC setup is a rare view of the one and only in its class - 750 exposures bulk film back !

Maybe Nikon has learnt from the low demand for such specialized film backs, the F3 has only two very realistic and practical options available. The first is a 'regular' design - 250 exposure Bulk Film Back MF-4 while another was actually a Databack version or to be more precise, it is a Databack attachment to the Bulk film back MF-4. The Bulk film back MF-4 allows uninterrupted shooting of 250 exposures without changing film. You can used with two 250-Exposure MZ-1 Magazines for loading up to 10m of bulk film. Used in conjunction with MF-4, the MF-17 allows you to imprint data on the film (Year/ Month/Day, Hour/Minute/Second or even handwritten memo - very similar to the rare F2 DATA camera ). It requires a Type S focusing screen. Both MF-4 and MF-17 are compatible with all the F3-series cameras. Especially recommended for sports, scientific research or industrial applications.


MF-4.jpg (11k)

MF-17 databack.jpg (12k)

250 Exposures Bulk Film Back MF-4

250 Exposures Data Back MF-17 Set

The MF-17 allows you to imprint data on film with up to 250 sequential shots via operation with Magazine Back MF-4 (included) and optional Motor Drive MD-4. Three simultaneous selections are possible: year/month/day hour/minutes/seconds and handwritten display data. MC-15 cord included. Accessories like: MEMO PLATE SET, a replacement item for MF-17. Enables handwritten display data. Also works with previous MF-10, MF-11; SYNC CORD FOR MF-17, a replacement cord for MF-17. Also works with previous MF-10, MF-11.

Nikon MF 17 Databack by Foto Arsenal Worldwide Nikon MF 17 Databack by Foto Arsenal Worldwide
Credit: Image courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany. The Company also maintains an active EBAY Store, trading many used and new photo equipment of various labels. Photo Aersenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik, Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: ebayshop@arsenal-photo.com. Arsenal has a office in Hong Kong, headed by Evan Wong. Address is: Ting Shan East Selling-Office Unit 210, 2/f., Mirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong Phone: + 852/23126690 , fax. +852/23126691.Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

* Specifications for MF-4 (New) Instruction Manual for 250 Bulk Film Back MF-4

How does the Nikon F3 measures against its competition(s) ? Virtually hands down if you use options available and features offered as a yardstick to compared. Out of the few top contenders during the '80, the Pentax LX's Watch Data was the most innovative among all, of which you can imprint a clock surface onto the film ! (But application is highly selective though). Nikon was the only manufacturer that was using LCD panels to display their data imprinting on Databack. This has proved to be far superior technology and user maintenance free. And it uses very little power. In fact personally, since I detached the MD-4 recently from my F3, I am using the Databack batteries compartment as a backup storage for the power cells, ha!

MF-4 250-Exposure Magazine Back and MF-17 250-Exposure Data Back MF-4 allows uninterrupted shooting of 250 exposures without changing film. Used with two 250-Exposure MZ- I Magazines for loading up to 10m of bulk film. Used in conjunction with MF-4, the MF-17 allows you to imprint data (Year/Month/Day, Hour/Minute/Second or even handwritten memo) on the film Requires Type S focusing screen. Both MF-4 and MF-17 are compatible with F3-series cameras. Especially recommended for sports or scientific/ industrial applications. MF-6B Camera Back Attaches to any F3-series camera in place of standard camera back for automatic film rewind-stop with film leader left outside the cartridge to perm easier darkroom handling.

FN-100.jpg (6k) Loading..
When the Canon New-F-1 was introduced, it had a 100 exposure film chamber available called Film Chamber FN 100  which come to think about it, can be quite convenient and more practical than the bulkier 250 film Back. However, Nikon has never followed suit and offered such an alternative. Well, on business sense, bulk film users are not too many and it is not very logical to do that either.

Do you really need to invest into a Databack ? Well, no one can decide on your type of photography. The answer, yes or no,  very much depends on your type of photography. Other than the Bulk film backs, if you are using an MD-4, maybe you should consider options such as the MF-18 which also provides precise timing to seconds. If auto film stopping feature is not desirable, then the standard MF-14 presents a more logical choice for day to day use (Compromise is the timing in 'second' because only either Year/Month/Day or Day/Hour/Minute are provided).

Nikon F3 250bk.jpg (11k) Loading..
What about getting a 250 Bulk film back ? Generally, I would say no. But if let's say, if you have been assigned with an important mission like recording an first satellite launch.. for a third world country (Like a few years back, our country did launched two units of communication satellites up there, but I have seen it only from video and not in a sequential shots) and you have only a F3 and don't really want to spend additional on another camera like F4 or F5 with new AF lenses just for one assignment, well...What choice do you have then ?

Specifications and
third party Film Back option & a RARELY seen Kodak/Nikon Digital Film Back system

NavBar

  |  |  |
  Back to Index of Nikon F3 Models
  Back to Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

About this photographic site

Contributions and Credits

  Home - Photography in Malaysia
| Back | NEXT | 2/3 

| Back to Nikon F3 Site |

About this photographic site

Contributions and Credits

  Home - Photography in Malaysia

Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 - Film backs


Copyright © 1999. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.