Opinions on the Nikon MD-3 Motor Drive...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by FilmOnly, May 13, 2010.

  1. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I am thinking of adding another non-AI-capable body (I have two F3s), and am considering an F2 with a drive. The MD-1 is expensive and hard to find in better condition. The MD-2 can be found in EX or better grade, but I understand it has a plastic gear that tends to wear. The MD-3 is more readily available than either, but Stephen Gandy, in his comments on F2 gear, seems to think it to be too plasticky. In the pictures I have seen of it, it does not seem to be that plasticky, especially in comparison to contemporary gear. However, I have never held or used an MD-3. I welcome any comments.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2010
  2. unclemack

    unclemack Member

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    Had an MD3 many years ago and it was OK with the MB1 (12AA) battery box I used with it. No rewind of course. And almost no plastic.
    Pretty sure it also had a nylon gear on the motor shaft but then most do.
    The MD2/MB1 was my favourite drive and the F2SB my favourite body, probably of all time. Preferred it to the AS. I was dumb enough to sell it all in the 80's.
     
  3. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Check Sover Wong's website, they all have plastic gears, if I remember correctly, just where they are in the geartrain varies. I do know that he sells a replacement brass gear for the MD3, around $15 each and he sells instructions for teardown and replacement as well. I've used both the MD2/MB1 combo (with both MS1 AA holders and MN1 Nicads) as well as the MD3/MB1 combo, the MD3 is less bulky looking, my MD3 has a 14.4v pack I made using permanently installed NiCd batteries (along with an 1/8" jack) that allows me to use my NiCD charger for my MD4 batteries. The MD3's and MD2's are available cheap enough and quite plentiful. You could likely find an F2SB from KEH for a lot less than ebay, I'd think. I know they regularly have MD2's and 3 inexpensively as well.

    erie
     
  4. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I thank you very much...

    I checked KEH's price on the F2SB, and it is a good deal more than I wish to spend (several hundred dollars). What is wrong with an F2 Photomic? The price is a fraction of the later F2 versions. I use a hand-held meter, and so I even thought of opting for a standard F...but then I could not use it with the MD-3.
     
  5. John Snyder

    John Snyder Member

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    The weakness of the F2 Photomic meter is that the needle tends to stick and gets "balky." I have an F2 with the photomic meter that I bought in 1974--my father bought one a few years later that has the same problem--I think Sover Wong can correct it though. If I remember right the F2S had a simple LED display. It might be worth paying for.

    John


     
  6. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Well, if you want a pristine collectible, or you can buy a BGN grade (more like mint from your average ebayer) for around $250 or so.


    erie
     
  7. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    In my experience, the sticky post problem that ails some of the Nikons with center-needle meters, doesn't really seem to affect the Nikon DP-1 or DP-11 finders. Those usually seem to just suffer from dirty ring resistors, causing the needle to become jumpy. Easiest way to tell if a meter suffers from it is to turn on the meter, then hold your hand over the lens while pointing the camera at bright light. Slowly move your hand away. The needle should respond as soon as you begin moving your hand. If it doesn't, then deflects to full overexposure once your hand is fully removed from the lens, the meter has the sticky post problem. My old Nikomat FTn suffered from that. Whereas, my Nikomat FT2 and both my F FTn and my F2A don't suffer from it.

    -J
     
  8. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I do not purchase BGN grade camera bodies. I would not go below EX and prefer EX+. An EX grade body is not a pristine collectible. The EX grade F2SB is a whopping $819.
     
  9. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    To me, I would be better served by a BGN grade body that was sent to Sover Wong and gone through than an EX grade (KEH only grades based on appearance) that may have sat on a shelf. To each his own, I guess.
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    For those who may reference this thread later looking for information on ring resistors, here's what one from inside a DP-1 Photomic meter/finder actually looks like.

    This one was removed from and replaced by a brand new one in my early 70s Nikon F2. The symptoms were exactly as 'John_Nikon_F' describes above. The meter now functions flawlessly.

    A second F2 I picked up from KEH also had a "jumpy" DP-1. The same repairman was able to simply clean the contacts (visible below as tiny contacts on the inside edge of the ring) and it too now functions flawlessly.

    [​IMG]

    Ken