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  1. #1

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    Do Motor Drives damage cameras?

    Someone told me that Motor Drives are really hard on film cameras. Is that true?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    If you're using the correct drive as designed and supplied by the camera manufacturer, I can't see that you should have any problems particularly with careful amateur use.

    A lot of these drives would have been used by professionals, so, in that case, the whole set-up would have been expected to be reliable under quite hard daily use.
    Last edited by railwayman3; 08-08-2011 at 05:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    The motor drive attached to my first Nikon F2 has done no harm. Camera purchased in 1976 is still working just as well as the day I bought it.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Like has been said already if you need to use a motor drive your normally shooting a lot of images. The camera's were designed to take it.

    Some films might damage a camera if used with a motor drive or power winder steer away from Rollei/Maco's PET based films they could cause burn't out motors or damaged film transport in the camera body. The film is too strong and doesn't rip/strip sprockets if there's a problem.

    Ian

  5. #5
    daleeman's Avatar
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    A moter drive applies a set foot pound of pressure when winding, compared to my thumb that can wind easy hard or slap the lever back to stowed position. I would think a camera would last longer with even pressure, except for massive volumes of rolls. That could break anythin down over time.

  6. #6

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    A moter drive applies a set foot pound of pressure when winding, compared to my thumb that can wind easy hard or slap the lever back to stowed position. I would think a camera would last longer with even pressure, except for massive volumes of rolls. That could break anythin down over time.
    In the "Nikon School" sessions I attended many years ago, they said this exact thing, that the motor's constant torque and speed made the camera last longer compared to cameras only wound manually.

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    Motor drives may not directly cause harm to the camera but, cameras, especially those targeted to the consumer end of the market tend to wear out sooner when used with a motor drive. This is simply due to the fact that shutters and film transport mechanisms have a finite life expectancy. When one shoots a 35mm SLR with a motor drive, one tends to shoot more frames faster than without. So, it may seem like the motor drive is hard on the camera but, in reality it is only accelerating the normal wear out.

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vsanzbajo View Post
    Someone told me that Motor Drives are really hard on film cameras. Is that true?
    Thanks in advance.
    Only in the same way guns kill people.

    In both cases it is how many times the owner pulls the trigger that will be the determining factor.

  9. #9

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    If someone had a motor drive and used it as it was intended, the owner may have gone though a huge number of rolls. It is possible that it was heavily used and usage alone might have caused wear. If it was owned by a journalist and he/she went though 100 rolls every week for few years, sure.... it's likely worn out.

    But if the equipment was used by an average enthusiasts, the camera body was designed to take it, so it'll be well within its design parameters. It'll be fine.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    I worked as a service tech in a Nikon repair shop for a couple of years.

    I never saw a camera that was damaged by a motor drive.

    Most of our customers were pros who used drives all the time.

    I did see cameras damaged by the operator, but that's a different story.

    - Leigh

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