Who in the heck uses a motor winder/drive on a film camera these days?

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Do You Use an Accessory Motor Drive or Winder on a Film Camera


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Sharktooth

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Just cause I'm nosy.

I'd've thunk that motor winders and motor drives would be the last thing anyone would want on a film camera these days. .... but who am I to judge?
 

Paul Howell

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All of my modern Minolta cameras have integrated motor drives, FPS speed range from about 3 to 7 FPS, most of the time set to single shot, but as I still shoot sports and wildlife with film the higher rates comes in handy. I use a motor winder on my early MF Minolta 700, and Konica T4 set to single shot. I have not shot sports or wildlife with MF body in years.
 

benjiboy

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I have power winders for both my Canon F1ns and New F1-AEs, You need the power winder or motor drive on the New F1 to give you shutter priority AE exposure, and although I don't use either of them often I'm glad I have them and have the option of using them. I find my power winders particularly useful for photographing children running about.
 

xkaes

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Twice a year -- at least every Spring & Fall -- when the migrating birds come through. I've got two Minolta XG-9 cameras outside on tripods pre-focused on bird feeders, etc. WITH Minolta Auto-Winder G attached -- AND Minolta IR remote shutter releases. No need for a 2000mm lens and I can stay inside where it's warm!

Just one example.
 

AZD

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Definitely still use them. Specifically, MD-12 winders on my FE and FE2. Not all the time, and not when I need to be quiet, but sometimes it makes sense:

1) They make the camera easier to hold, especially with a big heavy lens. Those 8 AA batteries at the bottom really balance things out. It also stabilizes the camera at lower shutter speeds.

2) Macro or other tripod work with the shutter release cable that connects to the winder. Seems like the camera is always at a weird angle to manually wind. Problem solved.

3) Portraits. Why do people always blink when the mirror is up? Pop two quick shots and you’ll probably get a good one. Or two identical bad ones…

4) Demolition Derby. Things move too fast to manually wind. The difference between getting the shot and missing it is fractions of a second. Sometimes radiators burst and you need to capture the explosion over a quick series of frames for best composition, and you can’t predict it. Cars rolling over, jumping the wall, or blowing flames from the headers present the same challenge. This is probably the one time I abandon concerns about film prices and keep the bulk loaded HP5 moving along. Man I love derby photography.
 

xkaes

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Good point about macro work. If you use a motor drive there is one less thing to worry about -- and it stabilizes the camera.
 

Rayt

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Definitely still use them. Specifically, MD-12 winders on my FE and FE2. Not all the time, and not when I need to be quiet, but sometimes it makes sense:

1) They make the camera easier to hold, especially with a big heavy lens. Those 8 AA batteries at the bottom really balance things out. It also stabilizes the camera at lower shutter speeds.

2) Macro or other tripod work with the shutter release cable that connects to the winder. Seems like the camera is always at a weird angle to manually wind. Problem solved.

3) Portraits. Why do people always blink when the mirror is up? Pop two quick shots and you’ll probably get a good one. Or two identical bad ones…

4) Demolition Derby. Things move too fast to manually wind. The difference between getting the shot and missing it is fractions of a second. Sometimes radiators burst and you need to capture the explosion over a quick series of frames for best composition, and you can’t predict it. Cars rolling over, jumping the wall, or blowing flames from the headers present the same challenge. This is probably the one time I abandon concerns about film prices and keep the bulk loaded HP5 moving along. Man I love derby photography.

I started photography with an FM2n and then and FE2. The film advance lever would poke me in the eye when it’s extended but pushed in the shutter is locked so the MD-12 was necessary.
 
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Sharktooth

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Just to clarify, many newer film cameras have built in wind systems that can't be removed, so these don't really apply. What would apply are "add-on" grips or battery packs that allowed for increased winding speed.
 

Cholentpot

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I do and I love 'em!

Right now I have one on my Nikon F, the type that takes AA batteries. I have one for the F3 but not the F2. Anyone out there have a MD for the F2? I'll take it off your hands. I have three MDs for the F3 because for some reason people keep giving them to me. I also have one for the OM-1 but it's jankyish.

For the F it gives a nice handgrip. I also just like the feel and sound of a motor drive. I don't use it for any other reason other than the feel of it. It doesn't really help me but then again, if I wanted convenience I wouldn't be shooting film on a mechanical camera would I?
 

Roger Thoms

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The Nikon F3 with the motor drive is awesome. The Nikon F6 has the motor drive built in, but fortunately there’s a battery/vertical grip that gives me the weight and heft I'm looking for. 😁

Roger
 

Alan9940

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I don't have any cameras with add-on style winders, but my Nikon F4 allows one to configure as an F4s for increased winding speed or standard F4 (lower winding speed.) I use the latter to save weight.
 

Paul Howell

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I traded in a Konica T2 and a 57mm 1.2 for a Nikon that had been factory mod for the motor drive, then as a working PJ traded up to F2 and F3P with motor drives Motor drives were not all that common, until the 80s, during the Vietnam war motor drives were somewhat rare. I have a Minolta A9000 the only pro level AF body that did not have an integrated motor drive, I use it with either the drive or the winder. Down side to the drive for the A9000 it takes 12 AA. Although listed as 5.5 FPS with fresh batteries I think it a bit faster, closer to 7. Most of the time I use the winder which takes 4 AA, shoots about 3FPS, and does not have auto rewind.
 

mshchem

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I bought a Leica Motor for my M6ttl, 😅 Just to have one to play with. It's a nice grip, but I wouldn't be caught out in public with it. 😆.
 
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Sharktooth

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O.K., I'm sensing that the "new shiny toy" factor plays a major role here. I get it, and can respect that. 🙂
 

neeksgeek

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My Nikon F3 came with the motor, and I find the camera handles better with it than without. My hands fit better, it definitely helps balance with larger lenses, and I can keep the camera at my eye while it winds the film for me. I also have the motor’s remote release, and this works well on a tripod. I leave it on S (single frame advance), because I’ve got no need to move a lot of film rapidly.
 

Anon Ymous

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O.K., I'm sensing that the "new shiny toy" factor plays a major role here. I get it, and can respect that. 🙂

I once got an OM2S with a winder. I tested it once or twice (without film) and then removed the batteries and put it in a drawer. It still sits there unused after 5+ years. I've got digital cameras for burst mode shooting...
 

momus

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I had one on a Canon A-1, or an AE-1, can't remember. What I do remember was that it was slow and noisy. I think Canon made 2 types of winders, and that one was apparently the bargain one.
 

Ian Grant

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If I were to shoot 35mm seriously again I would use my auto-winders, the handle makes working fast much easier, also the balance of the camera with a 70-210mm zoom made it far easier to use with the auto-winder.. I'd add that I mainly only used the auto-winders at rock concerts, or on model shoots, which were commercial, I would regularly shoot 20 rolls of B&W, and maybe 5-10 rolls of E6, in a session.

But hey, I upgraded by favourite 35mm SLR last year to lever wind, fits the base plate, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . where the motor drive would engage.

Ian
 

Cholentpot

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O.K., I'm sensing that the "new shiny toy" factor plays a major role here. I get it, and can respect that. 🙂

Well, new and shiny are not what I would use as a description. Toy? Oh yes.

I had one on a Canon A-1, or an AE-1, can't remember. What I do remember was that it was slow and noisy. I think Canon made 2 types of winders, and that one was apparently the bargain one.

I love the noise. It's the best part.
 

Paul Howell

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I had one on a Canon A-1, or an AE-1, can't remember. What I do remember was that it was slow and noisy. I think Canon made 2 types of winders, and that one was apparently the bargain one.

Topcon, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Minolta made winders which shot at around 2 FPS, no auto rewind, and motor drivers that shot from 5 to up to 11 (not a true drive the high speed battery grip for the Canon EOS1V). Nikon made a winder and motor drive for the FG and FG20, the winder 2FPS while the drive was 3.5.
 

DNH

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I have several of the attached to Nikon bodies. I can’t remember the last time that I shot on C & the main reason I have them is improving the handling of the camera.

The cameras are a lot easier to hold, especially when some of my heavier lenses such as the 180mm, 300mm & 400mm ones are mounted.

I did try a Winder 2 with an OM, but took it off. Seemed strange to add the.bulk to a system famed for the lack of it.
 

ic-racer

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Just cause I'm nosy.

I'd've thunk that motor winders and motor drives would be the last thing anyone would want on a film camera these days. .... but who am I to judge?

These days? What has changed? Human hands evolved to only use mouse and touch-screen; can't hold a motor drive anymore?

Or is that a reference to the fragility of some cameras; not wanting to stress them with the motor drive?
 

AgX

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I'd've thunk that motor winders and motor drives would be the last thing anyone would want on a film camera these days. .... but who am I to judge?

I wonder what makes you think that these are of no interest today.

Seemingly I am slow on the uptake again. I thus would appreciate if you woud tell me/us.
 

Helge

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It’s much the same as it was back then.
You are ready to fire again in a split second.
You’ll never be held back by having forgotten to wind.
And you’ll be able to fire off three or four frames in a second, when something happens fast.
It’s a wonderful powerful feeling.

Try it.

The Minoltas X series drives and winders are my favorites. Though the Nikon F3 drive is probably the most advanced separate drive I own.

It’s perfect with cheap, but great bulk loaded B&W film, like Foma or HR-50.
 

Rob Skeoch

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I have a motor on my F3. It's not on the camera today but was recently. You can only add or remove it when changing film or you'll fog some frames.
 
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