Nikon MD12 question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by brianentz, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. brianentz

    brianentz Member

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    I'm looking at picking up a MD12 motor drive for my Nikon FE2 and FA. The seller says that he doesn't have a camera to mate it with but with batteries in and you turn it on it does nothing. Is that normal for an MD12? Will it only do something if it's attached to a camera body or should a properly functioning one actuate even without being attached to a body.
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    That's correct. Unless it is attached to a body, there will be no indication of functionality.
     
  3. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    If your in the states i will sell you one that i know works. Pm if interested.
     
  4. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    if the batteries are in the MD-12, put the switch to "ON" and short-circuit the golden contact pins to the camera body by a coin. Then the motor will work and you can see if it is o.k.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    This is a good trick to remember... because it is often needed to properly synchronize the MD with the camera.
     
  6. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The motor drive adds a significant amount of weight (and noise) to the camera. I felt that it really eliminated one of the camera's advantages of being smaller and lighter in weight.
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Maybe so, but for me (at least) the convenience is well worth it.
     
  8. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    With its round grip, I think the MD-12 is one of the more comfortable motors. It's very easy on the hands, unlike the square grips of other motors. MD-12s are indeed very loud; they make a typewriter-like clacking noise.

    As for the OP's question, my MD-12 does react when I press the trigger without the camera attached. Doing this makes the gears jam though--the motor won't react again until you reset the gears by twisting the coupling prongs by hand. The coin trick works too.
     
  9. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    It does indeed add weight and noise but after many years of never using one I finally get one at a great price and attached it to my FM2. Kaachee-Kaachee-Kaachee-snap! Love it. Sounds so solid and professional. And feels so good in the hand.
     
  10. rwreich

    rwreich Subscriber

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    I love using the MD-12 with my FM2n because of the extra grip... My MD can cause problems at the end of the roll, though. Sometimes, it is difficult to rewind the film because the MD won't properly release the tension.

    The other issue I have with the MD is that it is difficult to operate the shutter speed dial while the manual film advance is in the off position (which is the only position in which the MD works).
     
  11. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    It makes the FE-2 much more ergonomic and steadier with heavier lenses. And, you can drastically reduce the weight by using lithium batteries in it. I rarely shoot without mine. Even though I rarely turn it on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Kiron Kid, please keep on posting such beautiful pictures of your FE.....that's some good camera porn.

    Bob E.
     
  13. John E Earley

    John E Earley Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    I very like using the MD-12 for the worst reasons, especially the fabulous noise... It is only unfortunate that this motor-drive requires 8 AA batteries, which is unreal for only automatically advancing film.

    Concerning the weight, I made up my mind as to using it only with the FE2 when I feel lazy, so I set the camera on "A" mode.

    When I feel like shooting purely mechanical, I use the FM2n without the MD-12.
     
  15. trojancast

    trojancast Member

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    Any time a seller says he does not have a camera to try it with, but that he knows it works, I will save you the suspense. When you receive it, it will not work. 'nuff said.

    PS - Personal experience speaking.
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I hear you, but I've had many experience quite to the contrary.

    With MD-11/12, especially, one needs to know the foibles of setting them up to work or one will, with almost no excpetion, think erroneously that their "new" MD is broken.
     
  17. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    I've been using these for over 30 years, first on an Fm2n and now also with an FM3a, I have three.
    They are great when they work, fast and all that's available for this camera system.
    As already mentioned, the application of a copper penny across the terminal should cause actuation, if not, its broken or your batteries are not fresh. Batteries must be fresh, I had one fail to actuate and the new batteries from a local camera shop also failed to actuate, swapped out for new batteries from another source and it worked.
    Periodically, they get hung up and the only solution is to decouple, actuate and reinstall. Has happened multiple times over the years to me with all of my units and I can't figure out a reason or commonality.
    Recently during a wedding I was shooting, hung up on my FM3a, removed from camera and finished the shoot without it. Reinstalled. no problem.
    Frustrating motor but that's all there is for this Nikon system.
    Frankly the Fm3a is the best Nikon film SLR I have owned, the Nikon F's I've had are indestructible but are old now, the FM series are not designed for the duty of an F but they get the job done very nicely.-Dick
     
  18. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    They will "hangup" when their power is turned on, and you inadvertently turn the camera power on. When this happens, just remove and short with a coin, key, etc. When using the MD-12, just be sure to not use the manual film advance lever.
     
  19. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    What I like about MD11 & MD12 is they act as additional layer to avoid me scratching the camera base :smile:
    And most of all I can turn on the meter without pulling film winding lever which always pokes to my eyebrow. But just today my motordrive failed to function. I was hiking in the snowy area and it soon refused to crank the camera. I pulled the battery tray and put in my pocket. After I finished hiking I reinsert the tray and it's working again. Apparently it can't stand cold weather.
     
  20. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Use the Lithium batteries in them as they can stand a much wider range of temperatures. Plus they are much lighter too.
     
  21. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Motor Drive needs a lot of battery power in the old days before they get the efficiency of integral motor drive camera. New camera would have separate shutter charging motor, film advance motor and even separate rewind motor. The oldies has only 1 motor with a lot of gear train to accomplish the job thus needs lots of power.
     
  22. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    I was thinking to try lithium too, how about sanyo eneloop? Are they good in cold ?
     
  23. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Sanyo Eneloops are very good. But, in extremely cold weather, Lithium batteries are the best. They will perform flawlessly in extreme conditions.

    QLP