Nikon MD-4 and fogging film?

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So I recently got a good condition F3HP and bought the MD-4 to go with it. Anyway, I came across info that said if you add/remove the drive with film in the camera, you will fog the film. Given that Nikon is known for their quality, this seems like a horrible engineering decision, bordering on specifically dumb if this indeed happens.

I had just loaded some HP5 and decided to take the drive off and had forgotten about the issue of fogged film. Before I scuttle a roll of Ilford, did I just fog what's across the gate (likely?) or did I ruin a whole roll? I'm going to speculate that if anything, the roll wasn't exposed to any more light than it would have been being loaded into the camera.

Thanks!
Steve
 

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The part that is at risk is under the film canister. How much damage might happen, I don’t know because I’ve never taken my MD-4 off with film in the camera.

Process the roll and let us know. I’d guess the potential for fogging on one edge but can’t even guess how far into the film it will radiate. And it might also depend on how much film is out of the can.

Don’t blame the design. Be a grownup and take responsibility. You forgot; It’s okay to make mistakes. :smile:
 
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The part that is at risk is under the film spool. How much damage might happen, I don’t know because I’ve never taken my MD-4 off with film in the camera. Process the roll and let us know. I’d guess fogging on one edge but can’t even guess how far into the film it will radiate.

Don’t blame the design. Be a grownup and take responsibility. You forgot; It’s okay to make mistakes. :smile:

Hi, yeah I thought about just shooting the film and seeing what the story is. I was going to shoot a trip I'm taking later this week. I know it's ok to screw up and I own my mistakes. I just find it almost incomprehensible that they would design something like that when a camera, by design, is supposed to keep light out. 😂
 

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If you just loaded the film, I’d advance 2 frames and press on with your plans. The film in the canister is light-tight. Your right about film in the gate being at risk, and maybe whatever is already on the take up spool.

I’ll bet that most F-3/MD-4 users are like me. I bought mine in 1980 and have only taken the motor off twice that I can recall.
 

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Don’t forget about the little storage slot by the battery cassette in the md4 , for the motordrive hole cap!
 
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If you just loaded the film, I’d advance 2 frames and press on with your plans. The film in the canister is light-tight. Your right about film in the gate being at risk, and maybe whatever is already on the take up spool.

I’ll bet that most F-3/MD-4 users are like me. I bought mine in 1980 and have only taken the motor off twice that I can recall.

Wow, seriously? That's actually all kinds of cool! I had just loaded the film so just the leader was on the spool. Your advice seems spot on. I was just curious if others could verify that it's a known problem or a photography 'urban legend'!
 

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The md4 I bought actually had a cap in that slot! Somewhere out there an F3 is missing its motordrive cap…
 

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… and they tend to be a bit expensive, relatively speaking, when needing replacement.

Going back to the design philosophy for a moment… from

In addition, one of the key features of the Nikon F3 included the motor drive, which had been designed based on the concept that it was not an accessory but rather it was considered an integral part of the camera.
 

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From


From what I've seen on eBay there's a lot of them missing that part.

I am not clear. Does the F3 you bought has that cap? Now I only have the Nikons (F2, F3, F4, F5) and of all the Nikons with removable motor drive you either can't remove the motor drive with film in it or you don't have power rewind. I wonder other brands are like that or not?
 

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… and they tend to be a bit expensive, relatively speaking, when needing replacement.

Going back to the design philosophy for a moment… from

When I have the first F3HP in 82 I never remove the MD-4. I had the F2AS and that's my non motor drive camera, the F3 is for motor drive. I bought to F3HP and MD-4 set because the set is less expensive than the MD-2 and MB-1 set for the F2AS.
Today I use the F3 often without the MD-4 but I never forget about the cap. Actually if you want to remove the MD-4 while having film in it you can go to a dark place and the film would be OK. Not really have to be completely dark like a darkroom. I do not think the design was a poor design. I love power rewinding. I guess if you're into photography before the F3 was introduced you wouldn't think that the cap was a bad design
 

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I am not clear. Does the F3 you bought has that cap? Now I only have the Nikons (F2, F3, F4, F5) and of all the Nikons with removable motor drive you either can't remove the motor drive with film in it or you don't have power rewind. I wonder other brands are like that or not?

Nikon appears to have had two design philosophies. Motor drives on the 1980’s “amateur” cameras, like FE and FM, were removable without concern for either light incursion or loss of cap. But the trade off was that the electrical terminals were constantly exposed and vulnerable.
 

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Nikon appears to have had two design philosophies. Motor drives on the 1980’s “amateur” cameras, like FE and FM, were removable without concern for either light incursion or loss of cap.

I have the FE, FM, FA as well as the EM and motor drive for them but they don't have power rewind. Is it possible to have power rewind without having a hole at the film cassette? Of course not counting those with integral motor drive like F4 or F5.
 

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LOL… you have many more Nikons than me, but our camera bags are similar. My bag has F-3/MD-4 and FE/MD-11… and 5 lenses. Never needed to “upgrade” any of them with newer models.

And, I agree, power rewind is great but definitely not essential.
 
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When I have the first F3HP in 82 I never remove the MD-4. I had the F2AS and that's my non motor drive camera, the F3 is for motor drive. I bought to F3HP and MD-4 set because the set is less expensive than the MD-2 and MB-1 set for the F2AS.
Today I use the F3 often without the MD-4 but I never forget about the cap. Actually if you want to remove the MD-4 while having film in it you can go to a dark place and the film would be OK. Not really have to be completely dark like a darkroom. I do not think the design was a poor design. I love power rewinding. I guess if you're into photography before the F3 was introduced you wouldn't think that the cap was a bad design

Thank you for your response! I don't think it was a bad design now that it's been said that the F3 and MD-4 were expected to be together. It makes sense. When I removed the MD-4, I was in a very dimly lit room. I'm going to pretend that nothing happened and see how it turns out.
 
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I am not clear. Does the F3 you bought has that cap? Now I only have the Nikons (F2, F3, F4, F5) and of all the Nikons with removable motor drive you either can't remove the motor drive with film in it or you don't have power rewind. I wonder other brands are like that or not?

Luckily the one I bought had all caps and terminal covers...it was one thing I made sure of as I considered it a small indicator of how the equipment was treated by it's previous owner. That said, it's the only Nikon I know of that has that hole. I have an FA, FE and F4S. Obviously the F4 doesn't have the issue, and the only ones I've ever seen on other brands didn't have a hole either. A mystery! 😂
 

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Thank you for your response! I don't think it was a bad design now that it's been said that the F3 and MD-4 were expected to be together. It makes sense. When I removed the MD-4, I was in a very dimly lit room. I'm going to pretend that nothing happened and see how it turns out.

A couple of frames might or might not be anything from slighty fogged to ruined. No biggie. Live and learn.

The light comes in through the hole in the bottom where you removed the little round cover (and stored it in the special slot in the battery tray) before mounting the MD-4. On the F3, that hole goes into the film chamber allowing the MD-4 rewind shaft to engage the film spool inside the 35mm film canister....which allows the MD-4 to rewind the film. Adding the Nikon MF-6B back allows the motor drive to leave the film leader out of the canister when rewinding - something I really appreciate when processing the film at home.

I have an F3HP with the MD-4 and MF-6B. I just leave them married all the time. In addition to the obvious (motor driven film advance), I prefer the ergonomics of the two together, and bonus! the battery in the MD-4 will power the F3 meter - even when the MD-4 is in the 'locked' mode. There is no need for a separate CR1/3N battery in the body (doing this also make the combined F3/MD-4 perform better in low temperature environments).
 

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Luckily the one I bought had all caps and terminal covers...it was one thing I made sure of as I considered it a small indicator of how the equipment was treated by it's previous owner. That said, it's the only Nikon I know of that has that hole. I have an FA, FE and F4S. Obviously the F4 doesn't have the issue, and the only ones I've ever seen on other brands didn't have a hole either. A mystery! 😂

The Nikon F2 also has the hole. Again, it's there to allow the motor drive to rewind the film. These cameras (the F2 and F3) were designed for professional photographers. Pros wouldn't be adding/removing the motor drive mid-roll.
 
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A couple of frames might or might not be anything from slighty fogged to ruined. No biggie. Live and learn.

The light comes in through the hole in the bottom where you removed the little round cover (and stored it in the special slot in the battery tray) before mounting the MD-4. On the F3, that hole goes into the film chamber allowing the MD-4 rewind shaft to engage the film spool inside the 35mm film canister....which allows the MD-4 to rewind the film. Adding the Nikon MF-6B back allows the motor drive to leave the film leader out of the canister when rewinding - something I really appreciate when processing the film at home.

I have an F3HP with the MD-4 and MF-6B. I just leave them married all the time. In addition to the obvious (motor driven film advance), I prefer the ergonomics of the two together, and bonus! the battery in the MD-4 will power the F3 meter - even when the MD-4 is in the 'locked' mode. There is no need for a separate CR1/3N battery in the body (doing this also make the combined F3/MD-4 perform better in low temperature environments).

I'm not sure I'll ever use the MD-4 as intended. I bought it mostly as a nice addition to the F3 as part of my (growing) collection of film cameras and accessories. Just to make sure I understand it's functionality, I'll use it with a few rolls of film for sure.
 

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After this chat you’ll never forget the MD-4 remove/replace protocol!
 
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The Nikon F2 also has the hole. Again, it's there to allow the motor drive to rewind the film. These cameras (the F2 and F3) were designed for professional photographers. Pros wouldn't be adding/removing the motor drive mid-roll.

Oh yeah I totally understand it's reason for being there. I wasn't sure about the F2. Any others have the rewind capability? My MD11/12/15 I think at least one of them has rewind as part of its feature set. I can't check as I'm not home lol
 
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