Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F - Motor Drives - Index Page



F36 Motor Drive for Nikon F

The F36 is a logical extension of the motor drive system pioneered by Nikon's S2 Rangefinder, whose motor was designated S36. Considering that the F shared many features with the SP, including the slip-off back, the F36 may be called an S36 in reflex guise.

| Photo Showcase on few old /new versions of the Nikon F36 Motor Drive Units |

Credit: Images(s) courtesy of Mr.Imre dePozsgay <> from
F36.jpg (24k)

Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of Jean-Louis Beek® where the EBAY STORE is also one of my favorite spot to look for great images on used photographic equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

It is less advanced than many of today's winders, requiring careful attention to the shutter speeds in use as well as modifications to the camera body before being mounted. It does not offer power rewind, but did have the frame "countdown" counter found on all of Nikon's professional motordrives through the F3.

| Photo Showcase on few old /new versions of the Nikon F36 Motor Drive Units |

The motor itself adds about 27mm (1.1 in) of height and 275g (10oz.) of weight to a standard F body. Most F36's came from the factory matched and synchronised to a specific body. If you want to motorise your F, you will need to obtain a replacement plate (also known as the "F Motor Drive Plate") which you swap with the standard plate on the bottom of your F (with the back removed). This plate has extra holes and levers to synchronise film transport operations with the motor.

Motors and Power Motor Drives F36

Battery Packs and Accessories

Standard (Cord) Pack

Cordless Pack for F36
MA-1 AC/DC Converter
ME3, ME6, ME15, ME30 Interconnects
AE-1 Tripping Button
AE-2 Alligator Clip Cord
AE-3 Twin Lug Cord
AE-4 Mini Plug Cord
AE-5 Banana Plug Cord
250-Exposure Bulk Film Loader
MZ-1 250-Exposure Cassette
36-Exposure Cassette
Pistol Grip
ST pistol Grip
Pistol Grip Model 2
Wireless Control Model 2
NC-2 Intervalometer
Relay Box
Battery tester
30 feet extension cord
You may then need a camera shop's help to ensure that the F36 is synchronised completely. The difficulty of finding shops to help you with this today makes the F a very difficult camera to motorise, and unless you require the historical accuracy, it is much easier (and cheaper, as F36's in working order are expensive!) to get a motorised F2 or F3.Removing Back.jpg

This motor completely replaces your standard Nikon F's back, and includes a pressure plate and a key on the bottom to lock/unlock the back to the camera, just as with the standard back. On the front of the motor is the coaxial power connector; the back holds three dials: from right to left, they are the "countdown" selector, S/L/C collar and firing button, and firing rate knob. Nikon recommends that you use their reloadable film cartridges with the F36 for slightly higher performance (no felt light traps, so less friction - faster, longer battery life), but the convenience of using preloaded film probably outweighs any marginal improvements you may realise.

When the motor is mounted to the body, you may still use manual film advance and release, as long as the motor's "countdown" window does not read "0". This "countdown" selector is most useful for bursts of specific numbers of frames (set the number by pressing in on the selector and turning it clockwise), or for automatically stopping the motor at the end of a roll (again, set the appropriate number of frames). Unfortunately, the F36 does not integrate the "Orange Dot" position of the MD-1/2 and MD-4, which allows an indefinite number of pictures to be taken.

F36 Front View.jpg (12k) Standard Pack.jpg


F36 front View and Standard Battery Pack Slim leather case holds 8 'C' batteries. Has triggering button and setting for single or sequence shots. Permits use of remote triggering devices, such as relay box, intervalometer and wireless control, as well as extension cords. Supplied with shoulder strap and 3 feet cord for connecting to F36 or F250 Motor Drives.

F36 Front View.jpg (12k)
The S/L/C (standing for Single, Lock, and Continuous) collar surrounds the motorised shutter release button. Turn the collar so that the dot appears next to the appropriate setting, and press the release button to take a picture and wind the camera on to the next frame. You will want to be sure to hold the button down long enough for the shutter to completely cycle, or else the mirror will remain locked up from the previous exposure. Any speed (except "T") may be used in single-shot mode, although it might be more convenient to leave the motor in continuous mode -- it is quite easy to remove your finger in time to avoid taking two shots in a row, plus you have the option of sequence photography, if you so desire.

Credit: Images(s) courtesy of Mr.Imre dePozsgay <> from
While the thought of blasting film through your camera may be impressive and certainly will make you sound like a pro, I find motor drive most useful for keeping the camera pressed firmly to my cheek, without taking it away to wind on the film (I am left-eyed, so the lever inevitably pokes me in the right eye). I also find it useful for power-rewind when it is cold out, and I have gloves on and do not wish to unfurl the tiny rewind knob that Nikon gives to us. As the S/C selector on the Cordless Pack overrides the one on the back, Nikon recommends that you leave the S/L/C collar in "L" when using the Cordless Pack. The S/L/C collar on the Cord Pack also overrides the back-selected position, so again, put the back at "L" when using the firing button on the Cord Pack.

F36 Back View.jpg (16k)
It handles standard 35mm cartridges or bulkloaded Nikon cassettes with up to 36 exposures. At the back of the F36 is a selector (1) which can be set for single shots or continuous sequences, or locked against accidental release.

Enlarged View

A separate selector (2) is used to determine the rate of fire for sequence shooting: 2, 2 1/2, 3 or 4 frames (Need to mirror Lock up) per second, at shutter speeds of 1/8 to 1/1000th second. Single shots may be made at any speed. The motor drive also has a built-in counter (3) which shows the number of exposures left on the film.

The firing rate control is fairly self-explanatory. Because the F has a mechanical shutter and does not communicate well with the motor drive, you need such a device to set the delay between firing the shutter and winding the film on (otherwise I suspect that you could probably do violent harm to the shutter-timing gears). The F3 has an infinitely more logical system -- you set the shutter speed, don't worry about when the film will wind on, as the camera and motor will chatter away happily to each other about this. On the other hand, you can't set the MD-4 to fire at a specific framing rate without purchasing the accessory MK-1. I find that the benefit afforded by knowing the framing rate is outweighed by the inconvenience of figuring out the appropriate shutter speeds to use.

The F36 probably has as many different undocumented models as the S36 does, since Nikon was constantly improving its products throughout their lifetimes. Some of the changes may have been cosmetic, but it is likely that there were some geartrain refinements sprinkled somewhere into the mix. And yes, there may be a F36/MD-1 prototype(s) floating around out there, perhaps with power rewind and various other features, including externally-mounted couplings, like on the F2. However, it's just a vicious rumour, at best, but given the presence of F2-based F3 prototypes, one can't help but think that the F must have served as a testbed for the F2.
(Cross reference: Check some
Special and Rare Nikon page in MIR)

Required Power:
12V DC, 400mA continuously and 1.8 A instantaneously
9V DC (with shutter at "B")
Framing Rates:
L => appox. 2 frames/sec.
M1 => appox. 2.5 frames/sec.
M2 => appox. 3 frames/sec.
H => appox. 4 frames/sec.
Shutter Coupling Speeds:
L => 1/1000 to 1/8
M1 => 1/1000 to 1/60 (to 1/30 with mirror locked up)
M2 => 1/1000 to 1/125 (to 1/30 with mirror locked up)
H => 1/1000 to 1/125 (with mirror locked up)
Flash Coupling:
with appropriate speeds, on L and M1 settings only

| Next | The Bulk Film capable F250 Motor Drive For Nikon F

| Back | to Nikon-F - Main Index Page

Other Nikon F Variations

The Eyes of Nikon:-
Nippon Kogaku KK Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses- Main Index Page
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
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


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

MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series|Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
Nikon FM-series
|Nikon FE-series|Nikon FA|Nikon Digital SLR series|Various Nikon Models|Nikkor Optic -shared

Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
Mac Public Community Message Board | Windows based PC & Apple/Mac Public Community Trade Exchange Centre

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

About this photographic site.
Home - Photography In Malaysia

Copyright © 1998. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

[Left Brain][Right brain][Home-MIR]
Art & Design][Clubs]
Portfolios][On assignments]
Trading room][Knowledge & Resources]
Free-trade-zone][Thoughts & opinions][Links]