When you chase down something for over forty years the payoff should be special – it was! It’s not like these beasts are rare, if I had had a few more bucks in my pocket back in 1978 I could have purchased it for around $400 at the Navy Exchange in Yokosuka along with my F-1. But being an underpaid and over-deployed Sailor there’s only so much money to throw at cameras when there were hi-end stereos still to buy. ^.^
No one I knew at the time (including myself) needed one of these – they were meant for professional photographers and I was certainly not that. But how could a 25-year-old “camera bug” not want it? Just look at it! Crazy big but powerful and that sound it made when burning through film at 3.5 fps – wow! The F-1 was already a monster to lug around and this bit of motorized mayhem would add over 2 pounds to an already strained neck.
So after 40 years I broke down and bought my Canon Motor Drive MF on eBay from a large camera retailer on the West Coast. I believe I got it at a great price – $60 plus shipping for a fully working and in nearly mint condition. I’m very happy with it and yes, it’s still a ridiculous piece of camera hardware but it harkens back to another time and place in photography and that makes it worth it.
It looks great on my original F-1 from 1978 and it’s a fun reminder of those heady days back in Japan when I wanted anything that could be attached to the F-1. After 40 years it just feels right! Merry Christmas to me.
Thanks for stopping by! – Chris
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