The built-in film advance feature of the Nikon F4 may sound very simple primarily because built-in motor drive system in a Nikon SLR was not entirely a new affair because as early as in September, 1985, the manual focus Nikon F-301 (N2000 in US) was already incorporating a 2.5 fps (frame per second) built-in winder. Nikon F-501 (N2020 in US) was the first body integrated Nikon AF SLR offers a same performance with its built-in winder at 2.5 fps) while the entry level F-401 (N4004) offers a single frame film advance mode only (however, the poorly-spec F401 did held a distinctive honor of being the first Nikon SLR body that offers balance fill flash feature !). The pre-F4 Nikon F-801 that introduced in June, 1988, has eventually elevated the film advance speed to a faster 3.3 fps - almost comparable to a motor drive rather than a power winder's performance.
With the Nikon F4, at the time of its introduction, what it has to offer was really a eye-opener to the photo community as, finally there was a truly high performance AF SLR that was able to deliver a professional grade, high-speed 5.7 fps film advance rate ! Although it can only be achieved via the use of an attachment power pack MB-21 instead of the standard built-in MB-20 configuration and for the first time an AF SLR model was able to provide comparable performance with the famed Nikon F3/MD-4 combination.
However, an AF SLR camera has many other functions than just driving the film to next frame and in the case of Nikon F4, for the first time, we saw a sophisticated and comprehensive composition of various motors with specific purpose being used: Four coreless motors are used: one each for film advance, shutter charging control, film rewind and autofocus operation.
This design has resulted with the camera carries with an astonishing reliability because multiple motors system is less stressful and more efficient in their respective performance. It has also enabled the F4 to deliver multiple options in variable film advance rates: Four film advance modes are selectable - CH (Continuous high speed), CL (Continuous low speed), Cs (Continuous silent) and S (Single film advance) and with a peak performance of a high-speed 5.7 fps film advance rate achievable at CH mode. The slowest film advance rate is actually call "silent"* mode where a very quiet film advance operation which is rated quieter than conventional lever-type film advance of professional cameras at Cs mode is also provided. * "Silent" is not truly silent as it was being quoted but merely refers to the environmental conditions, and it is not referring to the camera sound level during operation while a spool drive system applied to make film advance operation efficient.
The four-motors partnership utilize in the camera are of the coreless type. Unlike conventional cored motor in which the coiled axis with large inertia rotates,, only the cylindrical coil with smaller inertia rotates with the coreless motor - this has resulting in a quick response for efficient drive. Despite the autofocus motor's compact size, it is powerful enough to drive all the camera functions and even large super-telephoto autofocus lenses.
Naturally, the camera driven Nikon AF SLR system excels in terms of compatibility but the embedding weakness was actually on the AF-Nikkor lenses (especially the super-teles lense group) and that was why AF-i Series of Nikkor lenses were introduced at later stage to compensate for such operational drawbacks during autofocusing.
Other than the AF motor mentioned above, the remaining three motors serve respective functions in the F4 as followed:
Shutter Charging Motor: Placed beside the sprocket, the shutter charging motor takes care of- mirror down operation. Approx. 20% of one motor rotation is dedicated to mirror control, aperture.) shutter magnet resetting and release magnet resetting; the rest takes care of charging the shutter curtains.
Spool Motor: Located inside the film spool, the spool motor is in charge of advancing film. The sprockets function as a film perforation counter and not as the film advancer of conventional cameras. However, when the 250-Exp. Multi-Control Back is in use, the sprockets do help drive the film.
Rewind Motor: Located at the lower side of the film cartridge chamber, the motor rewinds the film. The motor also changes the filter of the Advanced AM-200 autofocus module.
| Click to view | F4's MOTOR DRIVE SEQUENCE BLOCK DIAPHRAGM (111k) Gif File
The shutter charging motor and film advance motor work simultaneously to achieve high-speed film advance (Parallel Control); when such high speed is not required, the sequence motor and the film advance motor are driven sequentially (Series Control), this two motors partnership ensures smooth and efficient operations inside the camera.
Focusing mode / Film advance
Continuous Servo AF
Single Servo AF
NOTE: Motor movement at Cs mode: When the film advance mode is set to Cs, the motor is driven with pulse electricity. The power repeats ON-OFF operation; this makes the motor repeat the sequence of fast and slow movement.
| Previous | 4/4 Back to Index Page of Nikon F4 Series
| Index Page | Body Construction | Electronic inside | The Shutter Unit | an efficient multi-Motors system |
The Camera Body - Features | Reliability | Focusing | Metering | Exposure Control | Lense Compatibility | Interchangeable Prisms | Data Film Backs | Various Power Sources | Focusing Screens | Flash Photography | Other system accessories | Cases for Nikon F4 Series | Remote Control |
| Specification | Main Reference Map | Nikon F4 Variants
Instruction Manual: PDF (4.5M) - External Link
| BACK | to Main Index Page Nikon F4 Series Models
| Message Board | for Nikon F4 Series SLR model(s)
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment
Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm
Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E
Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lense, they cannot adjust aperture(s) when operating in manual exposure control even with certain earlier AF Nikon SLR camera models. Similarly, not ALL features provide in a modern AF-S series AF-Nikkor lenses can be utilized fully with a Nikon F4. Please refer to your local distributor for compatibility issue(s).
PLEASE NOTE: Complimentary links are appreciative but it is not necessary, I have limited bandwidth here in this server... So, PLEASE don't distribute this URL to any bulk mailing list or unrelated user-groups, just be a little considerate, thank you. (The more you distribute, the slower this server will response to your requests...). I am NOT a Nikon nor Nikkor expert, so don't send me any mails, use the Message Board Instead. While the content prepared herein should be adequate for anyone to understand and evaluate whether you should invest into a used Nikon F4 pro-camera system for your kind of photography. Well, IF you like what you have seen so far, please help to perfect this site by reporting any broken links or any errors made.
About this photographic site.
HOME - Photography in Malaysia
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; Paul Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org) for his explantion of the FF2 Slidemagic and Nikon F2 Pin Camera Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; hawkeye.photographic.com 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; Genesis-Camera for granting permission to use an image of the SS-F2 camera; Mr Sover Wong, Australia for those great images of his rare F2 Gold;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; Hong-sien Kwee of Singapore for all the Nikon F2 Pin camera images appeared in this site; Luigi Crescenzi for many of his images on the Nikon F2 Titan; John for two of his images of the Nikon F2/T used in this site; Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell Corner.com.), Mr "Arsenall", Yang Zi Xiong and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with an Apple IMac.