The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 7
History of Nikon Part VI
By Gray Levett
I shall never forget seeing my first Nikon F2 High Speed camera. The camera body, motor drive/battery pack, quick charger and batteries were, each one, supplied in their own boxes which in turn were packaged in one large shipping box. The visual presentation alone created quite an impression. What’s more, once the F2 High Speed was assembled, I had in my hands a very impressive machine that felt more like a weapon than a camera. This was particularly so when the motor drive was set to its maximum burst of 10 frames per second, and when I squeezed the shutter release button it was like firing off a machine gun!
Nikon introduced the Nikon F2 High Speed camera in 1978. The F2H, as it was known, was supplied with a special motor drive system called the MD-100, which was capable of continuous film advance rates of up to 10 frames per second. The body was made of titanium, with a black epoxy finish to provide maximum resistance to shock and corrosion.
The F2H camera had a number of unique features, including an extra large fixed mirror for uninterrupted viewing, which also ensured that there would be no image cut-off with long lenses. This was achieved by using a design called a pellicle* mirror that reflected some light whilst letting a large proportion of the light pass through.
The film transport and shutter systems featured Nikon’s traditional extra heavy-duty construction for withstanding the stress of continual motorised action. Shutter speeds ranged from 1 to 1/1000 second, including T (time) and B (bulb) settings. The F2H camera in combination with the MD-100 motor drive and MB-100 battery pack offered a choice of firing rates from 3 to 10 frames per second. There was no self-timer available. Flash synchronization speeds ranged from 1 to 1/80 sec. with an electronic flash unit; synchronisation was only possible in motor drive operation with MD100 set at ‘S’ (single) shooting mode.