Modern Classic SLRs Series :
MD-4 Motor Drive for Nikon F3 Series models - Part V

So much for the positive sides of the MD-4, nothing is perfect from a user point of view. Yes, it also has some slight drawbacks. First, the original MD-4 design doesn't provide a secondary shutter release button for vertical format shooting. It also doesn't provide variable firing rate in the C mode to control various firing speeds. But Nikon does have a tiny device called MR-3 that can hook onto the electrical terminal of the hand grip as a secondary shutter release button. With this attached, you can use it for more convenient shooting in vertical format without bending your body and arm to take pictures.



(Earlier version is MR-2 which is also usable but it is not threaded in the middle to accept other accessories or cable releases).

The MR-3 connects to the remote control socket to provide an additional trigger button for firing motor drive and camera in vertical position. It also enables you to trigger the MD-12 with Nikon Cable Release AR-3 or Double Cable Release AR-7, or the MD-4 with the AR-3. The MK-1, in particular was designed as an easy and economical accessory that performs quite a number of special tasks to address some apparent slight weaknesses present in the F3/MD-4 combination.

MK-1 Firing Rate.jpg (7k)The MK-1 is handy and easy to use. It attaches to the base of the MD-4, contains a trigger button for use in vertical format shooting. It has additional function to provide three firing rates of either, 1, 2 or 3 frames per second or unrestricted speed as determine by the motor operation (subject to strength of the battery and type of battery used). Lastly, it moves the MD-4's off-centre tripod socket back to the central location to provide a more firmer and secure lock when used with a tripod for critical focus or vibration free photography. If you have used the MD-4 on a tripod or with attachments, you would certainly appreciate this feature. Note: Not usable with the Nikon F3H with MD-4H combination.

Credit: This lovely image of the Nikon F3/MD-4 with MK-1 combination courtesy of Dr. Chuon-Szen Ong® <>. Image copyright © 2004. All rights reserved. Also see Nikon F3-P section.

Update: John Laughlin <> Subject: Nikon MK-1 Firing Rate Converter... I thought I'd let you know, that firstly, I really enjoy your site and have discovered many interesting tidbits about my F2 and my F3, as well as my Nikkormats over the years... The main reason why I emailed you was to say that with the MK-1 attached to the MD-4, you can balance a F3 with a 200f4 Nikkor AI or AIS. It will stay upright, instead of taking a nosedive as it would if the MK-1 was not attached. Discovered this after I purchased a MK-1 for myself today. Paid $10.00 U.S. for it. Still rather amazed at how little I got it for... -John Duvall, WA, USA

AH-2.jpg (9k)


Well, honestly, the MK-1 was not the first accessory designed to address the tripod socket issue. I have bought a device called AH-2 prior to the introduction of the MK-1. It is much cheaper but it has only one function and not as sophisticated as the MK-1. But a newer accessory AH-3 comes with several different holes and sockets for the ideal match of camera/motor drive and tripod.

AH-3.jpg (6k)AH-3

There are three separate electrical terminals available in front of the camera. Two pin remote accessories can be plugged into these terminals. The MR-2/MR-3 mentioned earlier connects to the remote-control terminal to provide an additional trigger button for firing the F3 in vertical position.

1) Magazine back terminal: Located at the bottom of the motor drive's grip, the magazine back terminal allows a magazine back to be connected to the MD-4's electrical system.

3) Remote terminal The larger of the two, the remote terminal allows a variety of remote control devices to be attached. There are two groups of remote accessories available, cable and wireless. Of course a cheaper alternative is to use remote cords.
2) External power terminal: The smaller of the two terminals on the front of the motor drive's base, the external power terminal allows the MA-4 AC/DC Converter to be connected to the MD-4 for extended studio shooting. Supplied with a stable 1.5V DC current. Used with MC-11 Connecting Cord.

MA-4.jpg (8k)

I have noticed the latest Nikon product catalogue has omitted this accessory. It provides interference-free remote control for three separate channels (Three cameras can be controlled simultaneously) to enable automatic operation of three motor-driven cameras at distances up to 0.7km.

ML-2 Set.jpg
Modulite Remote Control Set ML-2

Provides infrared light remote control for three separate channels to enable auto operation of motor driven cameras at a distance up to 100 meters. Wireless slave flash operation is also possible.
Radio Control Set MW-2  

Intervalometer MT-2 For unmanned time-lapse photography or work sampling. Quartz-controlled MT-2 provides either 2 sec. or 16 sec. delay shutter release, allowing time for flash recycling. Can also be used with other remote-control devices such as the MW-2.

Pistol Grip.jpg
Pistol Grip Model 2 Nikon's special pistol grip screws into either the camera's tripod socket or the tripod mounting collar of a super-telephoto lens to provide more stable handheld shooting. A seldom seen accessory now but was quite popular during the '60 and '70. This is an improved version over earlier models.

Connecting Cord MC-3A Necessary for electrical connection between Pistol Grip Model 2 and the remote-control socket on motor drive MD-4.

MC-17 and MC-17S Connecting Cords MC17.jpg Either MC-17 or MC-17S can be used to fire two motor-driven cameras (an F3-series camera w/MD-4 plus another MD-4 or MD-12 equipped camera) almost simultaneously. The MC-17 is approx. 3m long, MC-17S is approx. 0.4m long.


At each end of the MC-17 (MC-17s), the respective terminals are different.


Remote Cord MC-10 Comes with a convenient hand grip and trigger button for remote firing of the MD-4 or MD-12 at distances up to 3m.

MC-12A.jpgRemote Cord MC-12A

Enables you to perform remote firing up to 3m. Used with MD-4 attached to the Nikon F3-series camera. Direct use also possible with F4s, F-801 or F-301
MC-12B enables you to perform remote firing up to shorter 0.8m.

Remote Cord MC-4A The plug on one end of the MC-4A connects to the camera's remote-control socket, the other end has both plus and minus banana-type plugs. These banana plugs enable you to simultaneously fire several motor-driven F3-series, F4s , F-801, F-301 or FM2 cameras.

MC-6 Adaptor Cord It enables the use of ten pin remote cords MC-20, MC-30 and MC-22 designed for the F90X and Nikon F5 to be used on the MD-4. (0.2m in length). Nikon has another cord MC-25 which enables the use of two-pin remote accessories designed for the MD-4 and MD-11/MD-12/MD-15: MC-4a, MC-10, MC-12B, ML-2 and AR-10 to be used on the F90X and Nikon F5 cameras.

* The MD-4H (A high speed 13.8 fps capable Motor Drive, although rare in numbers but still deserve a warning note). It CANNOT be used on any Classic Nikon F3 body. It is designed as a dedicated high Speed motor drive for the Nikon F3 High Speed Camera (It is NOT an accessory but rather a component for that setup). However, the F3H with a fixed pellicle mirror body can be used with any of the MD-4, except the high speed operation feature. But still, owner of this site strongly advise you to use Nikon published guideline as a sole reference.
  |  |  |
  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
| Previous | 4/4 Go to the Instruction Manual section to print a copy...OR A little technical information compiled in this site relative to the MD-4

Back to MD-4 Main Index Page |
Back to Nikon F3 Main Index Page |

About this photographic site Contributions and Credits

  Home - Photography in Malaysia

Modern Classic SLRs Series :
MD-4 Motor Drive for Nikon F3 Series models - Part V

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