SHOP.- The Elusive Nikon MF-17

During the ’80, Nikons with a motor drive attached started running film at a rate of 6 fps. That meant that it took about 6 seconds for a reel of 36 pictures to be gone if you forgot to lift your finger … and changing a roll of film every 6 seconds, doesn’t seem very convenient, especially in certain types of photographic work.

Probably, for this reason, from the F to the F4, Nikon always provided a bulk film back to allow its flagship models to perform certain scientific, sports, news, surveillance or research applications —or space missions, as the NASA’s Nikon F3 Big Camera which also featured a removable 250 exposure bulk film back.


While most of these versions are already heavy, bulky additions, nothing to compare with the Nikon MF-2 for the F2 which has one of the most unusual bulk film back designs: a gigantically 750 exposure bulk back, the only one that you can find on the market —if you are willing to spend more than 20K euros— with this film capacity.

Back to MF-17 data back for the F3:

As well as the MF-24 (for the F4) was manufactured on a special-order-only bases, is thought the same is probably true of the MF-17. It should also be noted that the MF-11 Data back (for the F2 Data) and the MF-17 are almost identical —the only external differences being the ASA sticker and the device denomination itself.

This back allows you to imprint data on film up to 250 sequential shots, operating along a MF-4 250 Magazine Back and the Motor Drive MD-4. Three simultaneous selections are possible: year/month/day, hour/minutes/seconds, and handwritten display data. Original accessories included are the MC-15 cord and a memo plate set, a replacement item that enables to display the above mentioned handwritten data.

The F3 is like no other camera before it, and nothing like it, commercially speaking, has been built since. This camera, with a minimum of care, will last more than a lifetime of use. The MF-17 was built the same way.

The model we have for sale (April 2022) is an almost unused object —if it has been ever used at all. We have checked all its functions and it is working properly. As you can see in the pictures, it comes in its original box (matching serial numbers), with instructions and all the accessories that were included in the package by the manufacturer.

If we do a search on the Internet, we will find that there is no MF-17 for sale at any time —and if one appears from time to time, it will not be in the state in which our masterpiece is in.

If you want to own something unique and in a practically new condition, this is your best chance!

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