Motor drive for Nikon FE2 / FM2

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I have the opportunity of picking up an MD-12 motor drive for $35.00. It's a tool that I would use sparingly.Maybe for a photo shoot of our local Rugby teams in action.
    My concern is that both of my Nikon's were purchased 2nd hand and have never been C.L.Aed. Would the extra mechanical stress of shooting with an MD-12 pose any potential harm?

    Thanks in Advance,
    Mike
     
  2. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I have the FM2/MD12 combo. The MD12 is not a very fast drive, so if your camera is operating correctly now, the addition of the MD12 should not be a problem.
     
  3. DBP

    DBP Member

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    My FE2 is very old and used, but the MD-12 works great. The combination fits well in the hand, and I leave mine on unless I am really trying to reduce weight.
     
  4. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    You should be fine using it, even for continuous bursts. Two advantages of having it on besides the motor driven frame rate: the extra weight can sometimes make the camera steadier, which helps with longer lenses; and it is easier to do Orton imaging using the multi-exposure switch.

    Supposedly, an FE-2 or FM2 should be good out to 150000 shutter actuations. Obviously some will not last that long, and some would go longer than that, but that represents over 4000 rolls of 36 exposure film. Adding on an MD-12 drive should not change the likelyhood of shutter failure.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  5. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Mike,

    Another advantage of having the motor drive attached to the camera, and something that I used to mention in my workshops, is that for hand holding a bracketed exposure the composition from shot to shot is more consistent. What normally happens when you hand hold a 35mm camera without a winder or motor and bracket an image, is the camera tends to rock forward as you advance the film with your thumb and the film advance. As a result of this movement the camera needs to be realigned to take the next shot.

    Rich
     
  6. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Thanks all!!
    Think I shall go for it.

    Mike
     
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The FE2 and FM2/FM2n are rated to 50,000 exposures (only the F, F2, F3, F4, F5, and F6 and their ilk are rated to 150,000) but otherwise I agree with all the advice you've gotten. The MD-12 is a great addition to these cameras. It is a little battery hungry, but this is a small price to pay for the convenience. Even when shooting static subjects I find that the drive makes handheld, spontaneous shooting a lot more convenient.
     
  8. sillyconguru

    sillyconguru Member

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    I always thought the FE/FM/FA models were rated for 100k shutter actuations, with the F models rated at 150k and FG/EM at 50k?
     
  9. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonfeseries/fefmshared/honeycomb/index.htm

    http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonfmseries/fm/part5.htm (for older FM and FE models)

    This well known Nikon site lists 100k. I saw another that had 150k, though I probably got it confused with the F3 shutter. The older Copal shutter on the original FM or FE probably is only good for 50k. Regardless, that is many many rolls of film. I personally have not seen anyone do 50k images with any of these older manual wind Nikons, though I have seen a few F4 and F5 bodies that needed shutter replacement . . . implying they might have gone that far.

    More likely problems are the mirror mechanism or film winder gear train having issues, though those thankfully seem to be rare. Something much more common is the foam wearing out, though often only from age deterioration.

    I still use both an FM and FE for work, though without any motor drive attached. Other than cleaning maintenance, I had the mirror in the FM come loose after a rough ride in an offroad race truck, though the repair was fairly simple and relatively low cost. Same FM also got drowned by a rouge wave, easily solved with a good cleaning. I would not hesitate to buy another of either series, in the event I actually might need a replacement.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  10. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Grab it!

    Kiron Kid
     
  11. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    Another advantage of a 'drive : I have found when shooting handheld at marginal shutter speeds that using the motor set for " continuous" results in the second frame being noticeably sharper than the first.
    Why this is I have no idea. The extra weight seems to help too.
     
  12. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I agree that the drive does make the camera sit better in your hand but it is heavy, takes a lot of batteries and is very noisy.

    I used one on my FM2 but eventually took it off because of the noise thing ( I was using at weddings) but that may not trouble you.
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I have the MD-12 for my old FM and I wouldn't worry about using it. I don't use the motor very often only because when I use the FM I want a small camera and with the MD-12 the FM weighs almost the same as the F3HP with motor or the F5.
     
  14. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I just put my FE2 body and MD12 with batteries, on the scales, total weight 1,189gms.

    My F3HP body with MD4 drive and batteries weighs, 1462gms, which makes it heavier by 273gms.

    Before my FE2 became my second, not used too much camera, I managed to put about 1,500 rolls of film through it.

    I work on the basis that each roll of film is 40 shutter firings, this equates to around 60,000 shutter operations. This FE2 is one of the first available so it's obviously the older shutter arrangement as it has the honeycomb looking shutter. My film records show that since 1985, when I bought my F3, I have put close to 300 rolls through, which is another 12,000 shutter operations.

    This brings the total to around 72,000 shutter firings.

    Currently that camera is being used by a young woman learning photography and I think she has put through around 25 rolls.

    The camera shutter seems to be working quite well, it may of course drop it's lunch at any tick of the shutter.

    My oldest F3 has done around 180,000 shutter cycles and is still going quite strong. It has only done 1,125 shutter cycles this year which equates to 45 rolls of film.

    At the time that I bought my FE2 camera, a profesional photographer also bought one. His camera shutter failed about about 3½ months later, after doing about 60,000 clicks.

    Generally speaking, if a manufacturer declares that a camera is good for a certain amount of shutter operations, then it should be able to do at least that, and then some.

    I would suggest a motor drive will enhance the camera, for a lot of things. I use a drive when photographing people, as it allows me to keep the eye on the viewfinder.

    I take drives off for all other times, to save weight and space.

    Mick.