Modern Classic SLR Series
Nikon F2 Series Models
Nikon Professional Motor Drive MD-2 -Instruction Manual - Part I

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F2AS MD-2 w/DS12.jpg
The motor drive MD-2 is designed for use with the Nikon F2-series cameras. It winds the film and cocks the shutter automatically each time you press the shutter release. You can also set it for completely automatic sequence shooting at speeds of up to five frames per second. And you can also operate it by remote control with the use of cables, timers or radio. The MD-2 rewinds a 36 exposures roll of film in about seven seconds. In combination with Nikon's camera back MF-3, it provides for automatic film rewind stop- with a LED indicator lighting up to indicate completion of rewind.

Easily regarded as one of the more important accessory behind the lenses and flash unit in any 35mm professional SLR system and an indispensable tool for those who often cover sports, action and news coverage. The Nikon motor drive system is built around the professional grade motor drive MD-2 which can, in fact, be considered as the basic building block for the photographer with flexibility and versatility in mind.

While most photographers well acknowledged the benefits of an automatic film advance device provides, especially for improving responsiveness on location shooting; the MD-2 alone is really a class above its rivaling brands as it has the capability to accept all the many system accessories, in addition to providing many unique features of its own. That makes working professionals think the MD-2 is indispensable.

<<< ----- The back view of a MF-3 and MD-2 equipped Nikon F2.

Naturally, the MD-2 was one of the fastest motor drive available off-the-shelf during the seventies, with a maximum firing speed of 5 fps. Other than the fast firing speed factor, many enhanced features incorporated within the battle tank-liked construction made it a clear favorite among many working professionals during its era.

The MD-2 was an upgrade of the original MD-1.

A built in firing speed selector even permits the accurate selection of firing speeds down to 1 fps. The firing speed control panel is clearly marked with the slowest shutter speeds that can be used for continuous firing at each speed setting. And, in the case of the "H" (high speed) setting, even the need for mirror-up operation is clearly indicated. A recent MD-1 that surfaced has shown 'some' later verson of Nikon MD-1 do have MD-2 shutter release knob design.
See here for more.

Credit: Image(s) appeared herein courtesy of Mr. Vincenzo Montalto from Bestdeals$$$® <> "Bestdeals$$$", who also operates a very popular Ebay Store, selling many unique camera equipment of various brands and labels and some of the images shown here was kindly granted permission by the Company. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

To ensure maximum flexibility in operation, the MD-2 can be operated in either the single-frame or continuous shooting modes; switch over between the modes is by means of the large, knurled knob on the top of the motor drive hand grip. A simple lift and turn operation provides drift-free, positive selection of the desired shooting mode - even when wearing heavy gloves. A lock position is also provided to prevent you from making inadvertent exposures. Just below the S/C knob, where the right index finger rests naturally, is the motor drive trigger button.

<<< --- The Shutter release button has been modified from original design on the MD-1. The S-C knob is a remote control device by itself if use with a MC cord.

Triggering "feel" is smooth and precise, with the moment of release entirely predictable. The complete grip head forms a self-contained module that can readily be unplugged and, in conjunction with the MC-1 cord, provides simple remote control functions at distances of up to 3 meters.

f2dp1md2.jpg f2sbmd2.jpg
<<< ---- Virtually all Nikon F2 models (except F2H) can be used with MD-2 without any factory adjustment or modifications. Shown at far left is a MD-2's F2 Photomic (w/DP-1 Photomic finder); the left pix is a F2SB (w/DP-3 Finder) . The Power pack for both are a MB-1 battery pack.

The MD-2 itself comes equipped with a subtractive frame counter that can be used in two ways. The simplest is to countdown the number of exposures made and then, at the end of the film, to shut the motor drive off automatically. This prevents the film end from being pulled out of the cassette. The other way to use the counter is for presetting bursts, with the motor drive automatically shutting off after the preset number of frames has been fired. As the camera's frame counter continues to function with the motor drive attached, it is easy to keep track of the number of exposures remaining even when shooting in bursts. Film loading and unloading are simple and straightforward with the MD-2 attached. The motor drive simplifies advancing the first few "blank" frames at the start of a new film and its power rewind facility makes very short work of rewinding the film when it is completely exposed, taking a mere 7 seconds for a full 36-exposure cassette.

A plus feature, seldom found on other motor drives, is the MD-2's ability to take multiple exposures while the motor drive is running. This is easily achieved deliberately with the MD-2 by merely pushing up the rewind slide and depressing the trigger button. This can give rise to some very interesting effects and offers considerable scope for experimentation.

Enlarged view of Nikon MD-2 Back panel.jpg
".... What do all of the dials and levers on the back of the MD-1 or MD-2 do? " " ..... Going from right to left, you have the two contacts for the MF-3 stop back, the rewind button lever, the countdown timer knob, the firing rate
control, the rewind engagement lever and locking button, and the back-opening lever...

... you can set the countdown timer knob to count down the appropriate number of frames before it stops shooting pictures, or you can put it in "S" to allow an indefinite amount of pictures to be taken. To rewind the film, first push up on the rewind button lever (push the silver button in the middle of this lever first), then hold the small button to the left of the rewind engagement lever down and push the engagement lever to the right. To stop the rewind, just push the engagement lever back to the left. To open the back, flip the opening lever out and push it to the left. The firing rate control dictates the speed of the motor, as well as the minimum shutter speed required to sustain the speed. Falling below the speed is not catastrophic, as long as you don't do it regularly; however, be advised that the motor will mindlessly advance the film whether or not the exposure has been completed. If you're going to take pictures at about 1/8th or slower, the motor drive doesn't really need to be turned on.

Recently, Mr. Bob Hammond <> sent me an interesting image of the two versions of Nikon MB-1 which made me have a second thought of concluding there is only one version.. . Click on the thumbnail to see an enlarge view of the two MB-1.

Note that the MD-1 lacks the rewind contacts on the back of the drive and has a large, square firing button, rather than the small, round button of the MD-2. ..." - Michael Liu -

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Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

In memory of my friend Com. Augusto Staut, Brazil, 1971-2000.

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. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; 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; 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. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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