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

Untitled

A
Untitled

  • 0
  • 0
  • 42
Black Bull (2010)

A
Black Bull (2010)

  • 0
  • 0
  • 66
Liz-Lith.jpg

A
Liz-Lith.jpg

  • 4
  • 1
  • 137
Stray (2014)

H
Stray (2014)

  • 6
  • 2
  • 171
Time #2

Time #2

  • 1
  • 0
  • 100

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,871
Messages
2,516,474
Members
95,433
Latest member
MrClutch
Recent bookmarks
0

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


  • Total voters
    94

Cholentpot

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
5,647
Shooter
35mm
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.

F3 motor drive has a little slot for the cover. Very clever.
 

Sirius Glass

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
43,783
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
I so rarely have found motor drives useful for rapid series of photographs. Advancing film and cocking the lens are useful but only if the film advance is build into a camera.
 
OP
OP

Sharktooth

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
101
Location
Canada
Shooter
Medium Format
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.

It just seems obvious to me that if you need to shoot fast, and a lot, then digital is the way to go. I like to shoot film when I'm not in a hurry, and it's nice to make use of older cameras that are perfectly capable as they are. Adding a motor drive or winder is like putting lipstick on a pig, when all you're really interested in is the bacon.

Twenty five years ago it was a different story. Film was the way to go for everything, so having a winder or motor drive gave you capabilities that were not achievable in any other way.
 

GRHazelton

Subscriber
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
2,150
Location
Jonesboro, G
Shooter
Multi Format
As a Pentaxian I of course have winders for my LX cameras. They feature power rewind, which is nice. I like the winder on my MXs, they add just enough heft, and make sequences, regardless of the speed, easier. However, the MX winder's Achilles heel, IMO, is the tiny "cap" for the 4 AA cells. Too easy to drop, and at some point the tiny screw will strip out. Not a good idea for Pentax's foray into the Pro marked. The MX system included a 5fps motor drive, a bulk film back, interchangeable VF screens, etc.
Much nicer is the battery tray for the ME Super. Why didn't Pentax use such a tray on the MX?
Nikon is becoming my secondary system. I have the F, the f2 with winder, a F3, and the F4 with winder. The F4 is a real horse, heavy enough to make a good weapon. The wineder is nicely integrated into the camera.
BTW, if any fellow LX owners can suggest a good person for a CLA please let me know. Eric Hendrickson, the Pentax "go to" man no longer works on the LX, citing the unavailability of parts.
 

BrianShaw

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
13,463
Location
Here or there.
Shooter
Multi Format
It just seems obvious to me that if you need to shoot fast, and a lot, then digital is the way to go. I like to shoot film when I'm not in a hurry, and it's nice to make use of older cameras that are perfectly capable as they are. Adding a motor drive or winder is like putting lipstick on a pig, when all you're really interested in is the bacon.

Twenty five years ago it was a different story. Film was the way to go for everything, so having a winder or motor drive gave you capabilities that were not achievable in any other way.

So you’re not just nosy but have a somewhat judgemental position… fair enough. I shoot film, shoot slow (almost glacially slow… although that seems to have sped up recently), and still use a MD most of the time. F3 with MD-4 and FE with MD-11 (which is good until you forget to use the off switch). Why? Well I find the cameras to be heavier but balance better and easier to hold with the motors, plus like the way the MD battery powers the camera and winds/rewinds the film without me having to use arthritic fingers.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Northeast Florida
Shooter
Multi Format
I have the motor drive and the winder for my Pentax LX. I use the LX winder most of the time if I'm shooting birds. I also have the MX winder but only use it on rare occasions. I find the LX winder helps me avoid shake since I'm not as steady as I was when younger.
 

AgX

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
30,010
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format
It just seems obvious to me that if you need to shoot fast, and a lot, then digital is the way to go. I like to shoot film when I'm not in a hurry, and it's nice to make use of older cameras that are perfectly capable as they are. Adding a motor drive or winder is like putting lipstick on a pig, when all you're really interested in is the bacon.

Twenty five years ago it was a different story. Film was the way to go for everything, so having a winder or motor drive gave you capabilities that were not achievable in any other way.

You have a different approach than many of us on this forum, who chose film for principle not practical reason.
 
OP
OP

Sharktooth

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
101
Location
Canada
Shooter
Medium Format
So you’re not just nosy but have a somewhat judgemental position… fair enough. I shoot film, shoot slow (almost glacially slow… although that seems to have sped up recently), and still use a MD most of the time. F3 with MD-4 and FE with MD-11 (which is good until you forget to use the off switch). Why? Well I find the cameras to be heavier but balance better and easier to hold with the motors, plus like the way the MD battery powers the camera and winds/rewinds the film without me having to use arthritic fingers.

Of course I'm being judgemental, it wouldn't be any fun otherwise 🙂

I was thinking that anyone who wanted the convenience of motor wind on a film camera would just get a newer model with a built-in drive, and probably auto-focus too. It makes no sense to me to take an older camera that didn't have an integral drive, and then add a drive to it, at least not these days.

Obviously, there are many that think otherwise. I guess I should consider myself edumacated now.
 

BrianShaw

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
13,463
Location
Here or there.
Shooter
Multi Format
It makes no sense to me to take an older camera that didn't have an integral drive, and then add a drive to it, at least not these days.
I’m glad that you feel edumucated! It makes as much sense to add a MD today as it did in 1982. If you like, or already have, a “vintage” body and want the MD functionality for whatever reason… why not? :smile:
 
OP
OP

Sharktooth

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
101
Location
Canada
Shooter
Medium Format
Do these add-on drives have any monetary value? I just assumed they'd be throw-in items for any sale, but never thought that anyone would pay money for one. Shock me.
 

BrianShaw

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
13,463
Location
Here or there.
Shooter
Multi Format
Nothing shocking. In general, eBay completed sales indicate that they sell and are relatively low value these days but not quite “throw away”. Good bang for the buck… if one wants MD functionality on a vintage body.
 

Mick Fagan

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
3,990
Location
Melbourne Au
Shooter
Multi Format
There are many varied reasons for adding either a motor winder or a motor drive to a body.

I don't have a vintage body as I bought mine brand spanking new; some time ago. 😀

Since then I have added the drive very shortly after getting my first F3, then once one became available I added the MF-18 data back, which is able to print either the date between frames, or a rolling numbering system. If you are exposing a lot of film, which I was back then, then the addition of the drive makes things a lot easier, the addition of a date between the frames was the icing on the cake.

A drive and in this case also an MF back, are very handy tools in helping to make life photographically easier.
 

Attachments

  • MD4_MF18_Back_F3.jpg
    MD4_MF18_Back_F3.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 24

xkaes

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
1,095
Location
Colorado
Shooter
Multi Format
O.K., I'm sensing that the "new shiny toy" factor plays a major role here. I get it, and can respect that. 🙂

I read it completely differently. The new shiny toy thing seems to apply to some people, but most people like me use it as a very helpful convenience. For some, not a necessity, sure but helpful. And for me, there is no way I can get my bird pictures without a remote control camera and a auto film winder.

And on my cameras the winder is not built-in, but I don't understand why that makes a difference in your mind. Some people choose a camera with a built-in winder and some choose one that is removable. But they choose a camera with some sort of winder because they find it helpful -- or in my case necessary -- not a NEW SHINY TOY.
 

Cholentpot

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
5,647
Shooter
35mm
It just seems obvious to me that if you need to shoot fast, and a lot, then digital is the way to go. I like to shoot film when I'm not in a hurry, and it's nice to make use of older cameras that are perfectly capable as they are. Adding a motor drive or winder is like putting lipstick on a pig, when all you're really interested in is the bacon.

Twenty five years ago it was a different story. Film was the way to go for everything, so having a winder or motor drive gave you capabilities that were not achievable in any other way.

Oh, I agree with you 100%. There is absolutely no sane reason for me to be attaching a MD to my cameras. Blowing a roll of film in 4 seconds these days is financially irresponsible. My motors are always set to single. I use it for the same reason I use film, just because its fun. To me it's almost like doing one of the civil war dress up thing. Get out the 'ol PJ camera and pretend I'm stalking the mean streets for a photo op.

Even shooting digital I rarely if ever use burst.

Did I mention I really like the sound?
 

BrianShaw

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
13,463
Location
Here or there.
Shooter
Multi Format
Did I mention I really like the sound?
... and I find it interesting that a lot of times on TV and movies even a cell phone taking pictures will make that sound! It's a classic that is almost expected.
 

rulnacco

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
146
Location
Orlando, FL
Shooter
Medium Format
I actually find them useful on my old Nikons. I keep an MD-12 on one of my FEs, and I've found, alternating between using the motor drive and leaving it off, that I prefer shooting the F3 with the MD-4 attached, even if I'm not shooting fast. It just seems to balance better--the hand grip on the drive helps with that--and more comfortable overall to shoot that way. (And when I'm shooting film, really, I'm all about having fun.) I do take the motor drive off, of course, if I want to be stealthier/quieter/carrying more compact gear.

Practically, I've found that when I'm shooting some kinds of action--skateboarding and BMX in particular--that having the motor drive helps me sometimes get in a second or even third frame in an action sequence. I'm not shooting on continuous, but being able to keep the camera to my eye and carrying on with the focus--all of which is more difficult to do when advancing the film manually, you kind of have to break concentration to wind on (and avoid jabbing yourself in the eye with your thumb)--the drive enables me to grab another shot or two as things develop.

So, yeah--they had practical reasons when they were introduced with the cameras, and some of those are still valid today. But it *is* also cool sometimes to just slap the motor drive on your camera and get your old-school photojournalist vibe on! It's all about having fun.
 
  • rulnacco
  • Deleted
  • Reason: accidental repost

Cholentpot

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
5,647
Shooter
35mm
... and I find it interesting that a lot of times on TV and movies even a cell phone taking pictures will make that sound! It's a classic that is almost expected.

Canon T50. Now that's a motor drive only a geek can love.

I actually find them useful on my old Nikons. I keep an MD-12 on one of my FEs, and I've found, alternating between using the motor drive and leaving it off, that I prefer shooting the F3 with the MD-4 attached, even if I'm not shooting fast. It just seems to balance better--the hand grip on the drive helps with that--and more comfortable overall to shoot that way. (And when I'm shooting film, really, I'm all about having fun.) I do take the motor drive off, of course, if I want to be stealthier/quieter/carrying more compact gear.

Practically, I've found that when I'm shooting some kinds of action--skateboarding and BMX in particular--that having the motor drive helps me sometimes get in a second or even third frame in an action sequence. I'm not shooting on continuous, but being able to keep the camera to my eye and carrying on with the focus--all of which is more difficult to do when advancing the film manually, you kind of have to break concentration to wind on (and avoid jabbing yourself in the eye with your thumb)--the drive enables me to grab another shot or two as things develop.

So, yeah--they had practical reasons when they were introduced with the cameras, and some of those are still valid today. But it *is* also cool sometimes to just slap the motor drive on your camera and get your old-school photojournalist vibe on! It's all about having fun.

Ignore the meter, hit the street with 36 shots of unknown expired film. If you're feeling really risky ditch the strap.

Oh! I forgot one of the main advantages of an MD. Many of them allow you to hook a strap up to the SIDE of the camera rather than on the regular lugs. I find that position far better for the strap.
 

markjwyatt

Subscriber
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
2,130
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
... and I find it interesting that a lot of times on TV and movies even a cell phone taking pictures will make that sound! It's a classic that is almost expected.

I turn the sound off on cell phones. Unnecessary all around, and I I like to stay candid at times.
 

xkaes

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
1,095
Location
Colorado
Shooter
Multi Format
Of course I'm being judgemental, it wouldn't be any fun otherwise

That tells us all we need to know except why would you ask a question if you have already made up your mind about the answer.

Not everyone uses motor drives on film cameras -- whether add-on or built-in -- because they want to take pictures quickly, or need a new toy. There are lots of other legitimate reasons as well, but that won't make any difference to you because you've made up your mind already.
 

xkaes

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
1,095
Location
Colorado
Shooter
Multi Format
Oh! I forgot one of the main advantages of an MD. Many of them allow you to hook a strap up to the SIDE of the camera rather than on the regular lugs. I find that position far better for the strap.

And some motor drives have a shutter release which makes portrait/vertical shots REALLY easy.
 

xkaes

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
1,095
Location
Colorado
Shooter
Multi Format
And lots of motor drives -- like the Minolta XK Motor -- have nice hand grips that make camera handling so much better.

Adding up all these comments, there are lots of reasons to use auto-winders & motor drives on film cameras. And now is probably a good time to buy them!!!!
 

Nokton48

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
2,378
Shooter
Multi Format
2016-01-23 13.04.41 by Nokton48, on Flickr

250 Exposure Back on Minolta SR-M. The grand prize in an Ilford print competition in the UK. Purchased new in the box never used. Needs a CLA but I do intend to use it

005 by Nokton48, on Flickr

Yes it works!
 

GRHazelton

Subscriber
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
2,150
Location
Jonesboro, G
Shooter
Multi Format
Do know that motor drives aren't limited to 35mm SLRs. My Pentax 645n exposes 16 4.5cm x 6cm frames per 12 exposure roll of 120 film. It's winder exposes perhaps 1 frame per second, and imprints exposure data between the frames. It is a sizeable camera, but very convenient to use. For example, it has 2 tripod sockets, one on the bottom of the camera and one on the side opposite the grip, so with a quick release tripod head switching from horizontal to vertical composing is very convenient.
 

Larryc001

Subscriber
Joined
Jul 15, 2022
Messages
114
Location
Western
Shooter
Multi Format
You mean to tell me that you can get cameras without these motor things? Gee I wish I had been told that years ago. Oh well I’m used to them by now.
5D9A5667-F1F1-4BFD-BB1A-DB8D60AA4972.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Helge

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
3,290
Location
Denmark
Shooter
Medium Format
It just seems obvious to me that if you need to shoot fast, and a lot, then digital is the way to go. I like to shoot film when I'm not in a hurry, and it's nice to make use of older cameras that are perfectly capable as they are. Adding a motor drive or winder is like putting lipstick on a pig, when all you're really interested in is the bacon.

Twenty five years ago it was a different story. Film was the way to go for everything, so having a winder or motor drive gave you capabilities that were not achievable in any other way.

That’s a strange analogy there.
So film or the camera is a pig‽
You can be into animal husbandry and a good breakfast at the same time.

Film retains its superior characteristics regardless of shooting style.
Why wouldn’t you want that even if you shoot moving beings or cars?
Sure you use more film. But that is manageable too.

If you want that perfect frame that you can see coming up in a fast moving subject, or you want a mini four or six frame movie there is really no way around a winder or drive.
 
Last edited:
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom