Motor drives, then and now -- any quieter?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Markster, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Markster

    Markster Member

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    I may have asked a question or two about my A1 Power Winder (Canon) before about the noise, but a thought made me wonder...

    Are power winders any quieter now (or, recently before digi killed them off? :whistling: ) than they were in the 80s?

    My power winder a1 has a definite noise about it. I asked once upon a time if it would be possible to muffle this, and the answer was "not really" -- but now I wonder in a totally "what-if" hypothetical scenario, what if you can pull out the servo motor and put one of the exact same power in its place?

    Would it be any quieter with modern technology, or is this hypothetical setup just as noisy because it's the gears and all the other stuff making the noise?
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Relative to the racket produced by my Nikon MD-4/MD-12 drives, my 801s and N90s bodies and F100 are quiet. Different motors, gear trains, shutters? No clue.

    The winder on my Mamiya 645 Super beats them all for dB level.
     
  3. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Ahhh... So theoretically it's possible, but practically may be another matter.

    Good to know. If I ever become the Tony Stark of cameras I'll be sure to gut one and rebuild it!
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Member

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    If you're as soaked as Downey, you'll probably never hear the difference.

    Funny how Foley artists in film still use the sound of something like a Nikon MD-4 for DSLRs. The only noise they do make comes from a flapping mirror without the whining of film transport.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I never had a problem with noise with my motor drive/ power winder, my ear levels were never that great.

    Jeff
     
  6. Markster

    Markster Member

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    The canon A1 power winder is almost as loud as the "Chir-ROOP" of a canon shutter squeak, for example. I got my camera SLAed and now if I use the drive it's loud again. If I go without it's much quieter.
     
  7. Edtog

    Edtog Member

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    Winner must be the rewind on the EOS-1, used to dread it going off during press conferences. Used to get a few nasty looks from TV and radio..
     
  8. Markster

    Markster Member

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    LOL! I hated cameras with auto rewind! Truth be told I never owned one but I know I handled one a few times. Really annoyed!

    Then there was some funky type (Kodak brand, maybe?) that would wind it all in ahead of time, and then REWIND as you took shots, thus preventing accidental exposure if you opened the back somehow (any shots would be in the canister at that time)... Some really odd setups we've had to deal with, no?
     
  9. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't think it's really quieter! Compare the F3+MD-4 and F5 they are about the same peak level of noise. The slower motor drive (like my motor drive for the Minolta XD-11) has the whirring noise. It seems more noisy but I am not sure.
    New camera with built in motor drive has separate motors for shutter charging (cocking) and film advance so there are fewer gears.
    I never care for a quiet motor driven camera any way. If I need to be silent a motor driven camera isn't what I choose to use. For a film camera a rangefinder with leaf shutter would be quiet.
     
  10. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    The motor drive on my Bronica ETRS is louder than the shutter/mirror and if the shutter/mirror does not get your attention, the drive will. There are 2 later versions, much smaller and lighter but, I've never tried either so do not know if quieter. My first version loaded with the batteries adds enough heft that it definitely will make holding the camera very steady as it takes a bit of inertia to get it to move.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    That would be some of the Canon AF SLRs - the Rebel 2000 for instance.

    I actually prefer it that way - except of course in relation to manual rewind.
     
  12. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    The eos 1n & 1V (maybe the 3) has an option to auto rewind immediately after the last shot or for you to initiate it after you have stuck it under your coat or after the gig.
     
  13. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    All the inbuilt ones on the newer cameras like the F4,5 etc. seem much quieter. I had an MD11 for my FM2, god, what an awful noise that made! The "Blad ELM also makes a bit of a racket, kind of like an SX70 on steroids.
    Come to think of it, the motor drive in my camera phone makes a fair bit of noise too :smile:
     
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  15. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    ^ The one for the RZ sounds like a coffee grinder.
     
  16. Markster

    Markster Member

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    lol! Good for those morning shoots, no?

    Reminds me of the coffee grinder winchester/sharps/whatever!
     
  17. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    My Mamiya 645 AFD is like a blender when it winds. I know the Nikon F6 has the option to manually wind if you want, but it has a slower, and much quieter rewind (Cs). It really ain't that bad.
     
  18. BobD

    BobD Member

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    At one time a motor drive was something of a status symbol -- "Look, Ma, I'm a pro. I got a motor drive and everything!"

    So I don't think many cared about the noise much. In fact, they liked to show off the sound.

    Things are a bit different now. :smile:

    But, anyway -- Canon A-series motors always seemed pretty loud and squeaky to me (in addition to shutter squeak).
     
  19. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    I have the MA winder on my A1 and it is quiet. Also purchased a winder for my AE1 P and it was still in the original packaging and it is VERY quiet. Not bad for $10 I thought
     
  20. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    Getting bad looks from TV/Radio guys at a press conference/new event: A good friend of mine had a steel trap for ppl. He saw a TV/Radio guy he didnt like he got close to their audio pick-up mic and pulled out a 500cm and took about 2 well timed shots with the nice loud mirror slap coming right at precisely the right...or wrong moment. He wasn't one to care much what kind of looks ppl shot him....

    My F5s have that "quiet" mode on the dial and you get a slight delay between the mirror slap and the film advance. It makes a difference! I love it during weddings!
     
  21. Markster

    Markster Member

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    That's some feat! Mine is decidedly the opposite. I wonder if there was a certain batch that is quiet, or if it's just the age of the motor/electronics that makes it loud (and some age worse while others age better?)...
     
  22. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    I can't live without the sound of my beloved MD4 in F3, i don't care if its loud, i use in street photography and without auto wind i lost pictures.
     
  23. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    What I have noticed is the more use they get the louder they are. Probably something with the wear on the gears. I never knew they were quiet at all until I picked up the last winder.
     
  24. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Hrm... maybe they need a CLA? <insert puzzled scheming smiley face here>
     
  25. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Well I took it apart... The motor itself doesn't seem to be the loud part... There's a large metal wheel (the last of many gears) that connects to the camera crank shaft. It has a bearing at one end with ball bearings in it. It also has some more inside, but I cannot remove or open it up, but with a careful aim I think I could get some oil under the inside of it.

    Then there are 3 more plastic gears held on by C clips (not again! my old nemesis!) that may or may not be contributing to the noise. I think if I can get some penetrating oil or something I can lube this up to the point of working quietly. If I remove half the frame attached to the servo motor and trigger the camera, it's much quieter than if it's attached to that last gear. It's also somewhat of a mess. Some old dried gue/gunk in areas and so forth.

    So overall, it takes a bit of effort, and you'll need to re-glue the faux-leather exterior, but you just might be able to give your winder a homegrown CLA.

    Cool, no?
     
  26. AgX

    AgX Member

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    So, by vibration isolation (damping) between static parts you might achieve some noise reduction.