Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon Battery Selection Guide for SLR cameras and Accessories


Most cameras depend on battery(ies) to function. Mechanical cameras such as Nikon F, F2 and FMs need them to power metering functions. Except for the manual focus F301, all Nikon non-AF electronic camera bodies are equipped with a backup mechanical speed (Usually with "M90" or "M250") and will enable the camera to operate if battery(ies) inside the camera fails to function or deplete.

Don't let this scare you off. The Nikon F3, as with any of the automatic manual focus Nikon bodies like the FEs or FA has accessories to assure your camera can perform under extreme temperature changes. The Anti-Cold Battery Pack DB-2 is one of such device. In cold weather, you can use the Anti-Cold Battery Pack DB-2, which accepts two AA-type batteries, as an alternative power supply to the batteries inside the camera body. Simply connect the DB-2 to the camera body, then slip the assembly inside your pocket or coat to keep it warm. This assures that the camera's metering system will function even in very cold temperatures.

The only two manual focus Nikon SLR cameras that were designed with Motor Drive to power the camera's electronic functions once attached to the respective camera bodies are Nikon F3 / MD-4 and Nikon FA with its companion motor drive MD-15.

Some issues related to batteries

. When the batteries are drained, or there are none installed in the camera, or if it fails to function normally due to extreme change in temperature, the only few settings which can be used are 1/60 mechanical backup lever, "B" and "T". If you trip the shutter with the camera set to any other speed, the shutter won't open or the reflex mirror may remain in the "up" position. If the mirror locks up, simply trip again with the mechanical lever and the mirror should return to its normal viewing position. Then you can install new batteries (In case cold weather is the cause, use an anti-cold battery holder pack DB-2 to replace the cells). To avoid wasting a frame, stroke the winding lever while holding in the multiple-exposure lever.
2. Should the battery be left in the battery chamber for a long period, insufficient contact may occur due to battery leakage. Thus, it is good practise to periodically clean the battery and the contact section in the battery chamber with a soft cloth. If the battery chamber is contaminated with a leaking battery, remove the battery at once and clean the chamber. Before doing so, try to clean and removed any deposits remaining inside, especially the clips housed inside the compartment, and do a few test shots, but I would strongly suggest you to send for examination of the damage done.
3. For safety reasons at home. After removal of the cells, remember to keep them away from children. Never attempt to throw them to a fire place, they may explode.
4. Battery power falls off in extremely cold temperatures and this may cause the camera's photometric circuit to cease operating. In this situation, use new batteries and protect the camera body from the cold. Note that battery power will be recovered as soon as the temperature becomes normal. Nikon has an anti-cold battery holder pack DB-2 for this purpose or consider getting a Motor Drive MD-4 with cold resistance NiCd battery pack which will power the camera's electronic circuit once it is attached with the camera.
Regardless of whether the camera is switched off or not, the Nikon F3 always discharges a small amount of electricity because it incorporates a quartz oscillator circuit.

Nikon Manual or Auto Focus SLR Cameras
(Note: other equivalents may be used)
Nikon F photomic, FT, FTn 1 1.3 V Mercury
Nikkormat FT, FTn 1 1.35V Mercury
Nikkormat FT-2, FT-3 2 SR44
Nikkormat EL, ELW, EL-2 1 6V Silver Oxide
Nikon F3, F3HP, F3T, F3P, F3 LE, F2, F2S, F2SB, F2T, F2A, F2AS Photomics, FM-2, FM2n, FE-2, FM, FE, FG, FG-20, EM, FM-10, FE-10 2 SR44
Nikon F4s:


AA Alkaline

AA Alkaline
or NiCd Batteries
AA Alkaline or
NiCd Battery Pack MN-20
Nikon F5, F5A

AA Alkaline or
AA Lithium
NiMH Battery MN-30
Nikon F High Speed Motor Camera N/A
Nikon F2 High Speed Motor Camera Battery Pack
Nikon F3 High Speed Motor Camera 8
AA-type Alkaline Manganese
NiCd Battery Unit MN-2
Nikonos-IV A 2 SR44
Nikonos-V 2 SR44
Nikonos RS 1 DL-223A
F-301 (N2020, N2000) 4 AA Alkaline
F-401 (N4004s, N4004) 4 AA Alkaline
F-501 (N5005) 4 AA Alkaline
F-601 (N6006, N6000) 1 DL-223A
F-801s, F801 (N8808s, N8808) 4 AA Alkaline
F-50 (N50) 1 DL-245
F-60 (N60) 2
CR-123A or  DL123A Lithium
F-70 (N70) 1 CR-123A
F-80 (N80) 1 N/A
F-90x, F-90 (N90s, N90) 4 AA Alkaline
Optional Multi Power High Speed Battery Pack MB-15


AA Alkaline
or Lithium batteries
CR123A or DL123A 3V Lithium batteries
AA Alkaline or Lithium batteries
Ni-MH battery MN-15
Pronea 6i 1 CR-123A
Pronea S
Optional Power Pack MB-11
CR2 Lithium
1.5V "M"-size
Alkaline (LR6) or Lithium (FR6)

System Accessories
DB-2 Anti-Cold Battery Pack 2 AA Alkaline
DB-3 External Battery Pack MF-12, 3 AAA Alkaline
DL-1 Photomic Illuminator, 1 1.3V Mercury
R-8 Super Zoom



AA Alkaline

1.3V Mercury
R-10 Super Zoom


AA Alkaline
Super 6X, 8X


AA Alkaline

1.3V Mercury

Motor Drives
F36 Motor (Cordless) 8 AA Alkaline
F250, F36 Motors with Standard Pack 8 C Alkaline
MD-1, MD-2 and MD-3 Motor Drive for Nikon F2

F2 Battery Pack MB-1
F2 Battery Pack MB-2
AA Alkaline or
MN-1 Ni-Cd Battery Pack
AA Alkaline
F3 MD-4 8
AA Alkaline or
MN-2 Ni-Cd
MB-10 4 AA Alkaline
MD-11& MD-12 Motor Drive 8 AA Alkaline
MD-14 & MD-15 Motor 8 AA Alkaline
MD-E 6 AAA Alkaline

Remote Controls
Intervalometer MT-1 4 AA Alkaline
Intervalometer MT-2 4 AA Alkaline
Modulite Receiver 4 AA Alkaline
Modulite Transmitter 1 9V Standard Battery
Modulite Remote Control Set ML-2



AA Alkaline
AA Alkaline
Modulite Remote Control Set ML-3


Wireless Remote Control Receiver 8 AA Alkaline
Wireless Remote Control Transmitter 8 AA Alkaline

Data Film Backs
MF-4 N/A
MF-10 N/A
MF-12 N/A
MF-14 2 SR44
MF-16 2 SR44
MF-17 4 AA Alkaline
MF-18 2 SR44
MF-19 2 SR44
MF-20 1 CR2050 Lithium
MF-21 1 CR2050
MF-22 1 CR2050
MF-23 1 CR2050
MF-26 2 CR2025

EE Aperture Controls
DB-1 Battery Pack for EE 4 C Cells
EE Aperture Control 1 Ni-Cd Battery DN-1

 (More... Batteries and alternate Power sources for Older Nikon Speedlights: Check out Don Walsh's articles in the Nikon F's site in PIM.)

Speedlight Units
120 Medical Nikkor Battery Pack (LD-2), SB-21 Macro Speedlight External Power Pack

AA Alkaline
200mm Medical Nikkor (Version 1)
Battery Pack



Alkaline or
240V Battery
200mm Medical Nikkor (Version II)
Battery Pack


BC-7 Flash 1 15V Battery
Battery Pack for SB-1 6 D Alkaline
High Voltage Pack for SB-1 1 510v Battery
SB-2 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-3 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-4 Speedlight 2 AA Alkaline
SB-5 Speedlight
Battery Pack SD4

NiCd Battery SN-2
Battery or
40v Batteries
Repeating Flash Battery Pack for SB-6 8 NiCd Battery SN-3
SB-7E Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-8E Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-9 Speedlight 2 AA Alkaline
SB-10 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-E Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-11 Speedlight 8 AA Alkaline
SB-12 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-14, l 40 UV IR Battery Pack, SD-7 6 C Cells
SB-15, 17 4 AA Alkaline
SB-16A, 16B 4 AA Alkaline
SB-l8, SB-19 4 AA Alkaline
SB-20, 22 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-23 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium
SB-21A, SB-21B Macro Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline
SB-24 AF TTL Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium
SB-25 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium
SB-26 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium
SB-27 Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium
SB-29, SB-29a Macro Speedlight 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium

SD-8 High Performance AA Battery Pack 6 AA Alkaline/Lithium
SK-6 Power Bracket 4 AA Alkaline/Lithium
DC Power Supply for Ring Lights SR-2, SM-2 1 D Alkaline

Autofocus Compact Cameras
28Ti 1 DL-123A Lithium
35Ti 1 DL-123A Lithium
Action-Touch, L35AF & L135 AF, Tele-Touch 2 AA Alkaline
Fun Touch, Fun Touch 2, Fun-Touch 3 2 AA Alkaline
Lite-Touch, Lite-Touch Zoom 1 DL-123A Lithium
Nice-Touch 2 2 AA Alkaline
Nuvis 75i 1 CR-123A or L-123A Lithium
Nuvis 125 1 CR-123A or DL-123A Lithium
Nuvis 125i 1 CR-123A or DL-123A Lithium
Nuvis Mini 1 CR-2 or DL-CR2 Lithium
Nuvis Mini i 1 CR-2 or DL-CR2 Lithium
One-Touch 100 1 DL-123A
One-Touch, One-Touch 200, One-Touch 300 2 AA Alkaline
Smiletaker 2 AA Alkaline
Sport-Touch 2 AA Alkaline
Tele-Touch Deluxe 1 DL-223A
VR 105 QD 2 DL-123A
Zoom Touch 105VR QD 2 DL-123A
Zoom-Touch 400, Zoom-Touch 500, Zoom-Touch 600, Zoom-Touch 880, Tele-Touch 300 1 DL-223A
Zoom-Touch 470 1 DL-123A

M Zinc Carbon Batteries (1.6V each) may be used instead of M Alkaline in the above listing. Also, in many applications Ni-Cd rechargables can be used. While both Silver Oxide and Lithium cells will operate some camera models, there is some difference in the performance characteristics of these two battery types. It is always advisable to check with your battery supplier to get specific information about the battery you intend to use.

  1. Use of ML-3 is not recommended with AA Lithium as a power supply in the F90x and may damage the unit. The ML-3 takes power from the F90x and cannot accept the transient voltage of AA Lithiums.
  2. When shooting at fast framing rates, AA lithium may get hot and shut off. Wait until they are cool and proceed with taking flash pictures.

* All Information was extracted from Nikon Product Guide 99 or actual instruction manuals.

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Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon Battery Selection Guide for SLR cameras and Accessories

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