Speed Magny: “The Instant Nikon F camera”

In addition to the Kodak DCS100 digital back, here is another way you can get "instant results" from an old Nikon film camera: the Speed Magny 100 Back can turn your Nikon F into a instant Polaroid machine. KEHblog has a detailed description and they even have two pieces in stock (price: $225-$235):

"The Speed Magny back attaches like, and in place of, the regular back. The accessory comes down from under the camera and takes instant pack films like Polaroid 107 and 108. The device takes the light and image coming through the lens and basically bounces it around a series of lenses and mirrors inside the unit and then magnifies and projects it, creating a full-frame pull-apart image (3.25 x 4.25") instead of a "small format" 35mm image on the film."

Nikon Speed Magny related links:

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  • AlohaEd

    Thanks for the info. 1st?

  • Are those really shoulder strap loops?

    • Steve

      Hmmm……must admit to being torn between this and a D5100. Any advice ?

      • Sam

        I’d go this one, no need to buy a computer and printer then.

    • yrsued

      Nope, hand Strap!!

    • enero

      those are grip strap loops, speed mangy’s usually come with a thick heavy duty leather grip strap. Without it, its almost impossible to hold it steady.

  • CamaJan

    Do you get a double shoulder loop strap that mounts the camera in front of you for free?
    A modified camera spring like that kid from Goonies used…
    Hopefully yes, and a T-shirt that says on its back: “I am not a geek, I can take instant photos of you”

  • Lorin Edmonds

    The downside of this Polaroid adaption was the enlarging lens in side dropped the effective ISO to about 8 for the 2000 speed film.

  • Jabs

    There were later versions of this Speed-Magny back available for other Nikon’s like the F3 and F4 series. I remember people using them to check critical exposure back in the day, especially with complex lighting or for a shoot where you could not do again later. However for me, the best Polaroid innovation was the Instant B&W plus COLOR Polaroid SLIDES and the Instant BLUE and WHITE Instant slides which I used all the time to make Instant Presentations. I still have a few Instant slides in my collection and it was a unique product.
    You shoot the slides like normal film in any 35mm SLR or camera (used the MF-6 back on my F3’s that left the leader out instead of winding it back into the film cassette on rewind) and then put them in a little Polaroid developer unit and out comes ‘Instant slides’ which you mounted in Polaroid plastic ‘pop open and close’ slide mounts. I had to use a small slide cutter, but this sure was quicker than any lab for ‘instant results’.
    Those were the days and now Digital replaces all that – LOL!

  • Jabs

    Hey Administrator,
    Here is a set of unique tools to teach people the proper use of SLR’s. Too many photographers nowadays (especially digital shooters) do not know how to use proper depth of field nor it’s relation to shutter speed and ISO, as many cameras no longer have depth of field Previews and lenses often don’t have depth of field scales.
    Camera Simulators.

    • I think you’re the one who doesn’t understand DOF. For example DOF has no relation to shutter speed or ISO. DOF previews and DOF scales don’t tell you the DOF at print magnifications and do you know why? Because DOF varies, even after shooting! Did you know that?

      • Jabs

        This has got to be the most ignorant response indeed.
        Please explain to me HOW the depth of field in ANY image changes after it is already taken EXCEPT by software manipulation???

        • Eric


          First, as others have already pointed out, your messages could do with some more politeness and LESS random UPPERCASE words.

          Then, Genotypewriter might not have posted “the most ignorant response”.

          Mathematically speaking, “Depth of Field” is not a depth. It is not a volume, it is just a union of points from space that are projected as points on the image plane by the optical device. The DOF can be a single point, a curve, a plane, but *not* a volume.
          DOF only has a depth when you define an “acceptable sharpness”.

          A portrait taken with a 85mm f/1.4 at f/1.4 might appear reasonably sharp when shown as a thumbnail : pictures DOF would appear to be a few inches.

          When printed as 8×10, it would be easy to see that only the eyes are tack sharp : the DOF is now only a few millimeters.

          As stated there (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm) : “DOF varies depending on camera type, aperture and focusing distance, although print size and viewing distance can also influence our perception of depth of field”.

          Finally, if you modify the aperture after changing the ISO, I guess you could say that “ISO has an influence on DOF”. I could also state that “a brewery has an influence on the sharpness of my pictures”.

          • ShaoLynx


            Very well said, indeed.
            Cropping and image magnification do influence the perceived DOF. Therefore Genotypewriter was right!
            Well, Jabs, appologies are in order…

            Btw, Eric, of course a brewery has a distinct influence on he sharpness of your pictures: just imagine taking a picture after you’ve had a few too many of their product… ;-).

    • ShaoLynx

      DOF depends on: aperture, focal length of the lens and focus distance.
      The latter is a little difficult to measure, unless you carry around a laser ranger.
      If you have these variables you can calculate the DOF using a DOF-calculator.
      They come for every kind of mobile device as little apps.

      • Jabs

        Answer this one series of questions.
        CAN a 300mm F2.8 have lower depth of field as compared to the same subject being photographed by the SAME camera while using an 85 F1.4 and then an 85 F2.0 or even an 85 F3.5 Micro?
        Do you increase or decrease depth of field by MOVING away or moving towards your subject and WHY?
        Let us see if you even understand the questions BY your replies – LOL!

        • ShaoLynx

          Your EQ is not the best that I’ve encountered so far. Maybe you could work on your communication skills!
          But since I’m an electromechanical engineer, I take pride in my mathematics and I humor myself and solve your questions — just this once.

          Assume: focus distance is constant (assume: 3m).
          Assume: CoC = 0.03mm
          Assume: camera = D700
          a. 300mm f2.8: DOF= 0.02m
          b. 85mm f1.4 : DOF= 0.10m
          c. 85mm f2.0 : DOF= 0.15m (DOF increases with f-number)
          d. 85mm f3.5 : DOF= 0.25m
          The answer to your first question is: yes.
          The answer to your second question is: DOF increases with focus distance and remains finite until you reach the hyperfocal distance. Focussing at that distance or farther will yield an infinite DOF.
          See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

          Goodbye and good luck to you.

          • Jabs

            You fell for it – I was laughing at this response, so please forgive me.
            It was a nonsensical question designed to see if your reading comprehension was up to snuff.
            The simple answer is I DID not give you enough data to solve anything and what I gave you had nothing to do with the stated goals.
            Mechanical Engineer here and thus you thought too much and failed to grasp BALONEY from me.
            The only ‘sane’ answer to me would be that a 300 F2.8 @ F2.8 will generally have a lower or actually shallower depth of field than the shorter 85mm lens and I even threw in the 35mm DX Micro lens to fool you. One can approximate the depth of field of different focal length lenses by moving backwards or towards a subject, hence Nikon always had different depth of field scales for EACH or most of their F-stops on their lenses. Since F-stops and available shutter speeds and ISO are inter-related to get a certain exposure VALUE, then this would display your understanding of the concept of depth of field from USING cameras and shooting many subjects and not from Wikipedia or such.
            Depth of field is dependent on the subject to camera distance, the F-stop chosen PLUS the focal length of the lens WHEN the subject is coming at you, stationary in front of you or gong away from you. Depth of field can EASILY be observed by merely stopping down a lens and simply LOOKING through the viewfinder on most Pro bodies.
            The mistake that most of you made here is that you failed to realize that depth of field is different when you shoot with an object moving ACROSS the frame or side to side and thus shutter speed and F-stop then determines the depth of field then as the object is moving. Ask anyone who shoots auto racing or such!

            • ShaoLynx

              Well, well, someone doesn’t know the difference between DOF and Motion Blur. And it’s not me.
              Now I understand why you think shutter speed is a variable in DOF!…

            • ShaoLynx

              Your questions made perfect sense, I just needed to make a few assumptions, so I did. I documented those.
              Btw: there was no 35mm lens in your initial post, and yes, that would have an even greater DOF.
              I suggest you use the term ‘Blur’ instead of DOF. That won’t confuse people. There are several causes of blur, and DOF and motion blur are some of them.

            • Jabs

              So as to seem LESS combative, here goes:
              Depth of Field has absolutely nothing to do with Motion Blur.
              Motion Blur usually results from camera movement, subject movement, wrong or inadequate ISO – shutter speed or F-stop settings needed to record a proper EXPOSURE. Motion Blur is what VR attempts to prevent at lower shutter speeds.
              Depth of field is the depth or width of the plane of focus or what is critically or most in focus in an image. What the lens theoretically has as its’ ‘depth of field’ and what YOU focus on and obtain might be similar but often not the reality of your result.
              I mentioned the 85mm F3.5 as it is a Micro-Nikkor and they are all made for close focusing and high magnification, so their characteristics are totally different from a ‘normal’ lens – hence people missed the hint.
              Depth of Field simply refers to the PLANE of focus or the area that should be in focus and varies by many things including focal length, F-stop SHOT at and when you shoot side to side, THEN the depth of field in YOUR IMAGE now refers to or COVERS what is now in focus side to side as well as front to back especially when you shoot with longer lenses.
              It is simply the area of WHAT is in focus and not much more. Therefore Depth of field and the plane of focus are intertwined and has nothing to do with motion blur which can be intentional (such as a zoom blur or slow speed blur) or a fault of you the photographer using the wrong technique such as too slow a shutter speed or too high an F-stop or too LOW an ISO for shooting conditions or the focal length of the lens. It is recommended that you maintain a minimum shutter speed of the reciprocal of the focal length your lens being used in order to negate both subject movement and shutter speed induced blur. That is – if you are using a 500mm lens, then 1/500th sec should be your minimum shutter speed used at any F-stop so as to get sharp results. WHAT does this have to do with depth of field now?

            • Jabs

              Sorry, but I meant 85mm F3.5 Micro

    • Ronan

      DOF has nothing to do with shutter speed or iso.

      Please do some research.

      • Jabs

        If you are trying to maintain the same exposure value, THEN you need to learn that ISO and shutter speed are intertwined. The posters above are a prime examples of what I am speaking about. BECAUSE most cameras make the adjustments for you, then this is why you do NOT understand what I am speaking about. Sorry, but have been shooting since the 80’s with all Nikon pro equipment.
        Shutter speed, focal length and ISO plus F-stop are ALL inter-related and that is a photographic fact.
        Depth of field gets narrower as the focal length increases in most lenses except many of the Micro-Nikkors like the 200 F4.0 which are more optimized for close up shooting at high magnification.
        If you want to maintain a specific depth of field to capture several elements in a composition, THEN you need to learn what the relationship between the ISO, shutter speed and F-stop that YOU have chosen is plus if you bracket or even try multi-image HDR, then they are related.
        Depth of field thus changes according to focal length, ISO and also the RESULTING shutter speed that you get from a certain exposure value COMBINATION.
        Sorry to be so blunt, but the responses show what I am talking about and not singling you out!
        Selective focus, shallow depth of field, focal length, the F-stop chosen and the ISO used all play a role in the depth of field of the PHOTOGRAPH captured and not what any of you have responded with – FACTS!
        Ever try to use a zoom lens at different focal lengths with the same subject and then NOT change the ISO while trying to maintain the same shutter speed and/or exposure value? Most people do not like to be told that they do not understand certain things as lots is taken for granted in today’s world, but perhaps you learn a few more things as the Internet is filled with a lot of mediocre photographs taken with excellent equipment by lousy photographers.
        Again, sorry to be rude or blunt, but I call them as I see them or shut up!

        • Rob


          Thanks for putting up those links. I’m impressed with the technical replies furnished, though not with the tone. I believe he was trying to share info not blow his own trumpet.

          • Rob

            If you open up the aperture (low f-stop) of the iris, depth field decreases. If you close the aperture (high f-stop), depth field increases.
            From what I know and have just read short of changing lenses , zooming in or out or moving the camera this is the generally accepted means by which we can control DOF.
            Simple I thought and a good thing to teach any nub to photography without scaring them shitless.
            (as I now am after reading the above discourse which went pretty much over my head) can someone design an emoticon with a small airplane flying over it?

  • Phil

    Hey, I can put that on my FTN! Now if only I could buy the original Polaroid film that went in that sucker…

    • Jabs

      This company is remaking lots of Polaroid film and I believe Fuji still makes some Polaroid compatible film, but have to look up the link – lol.


      • Ronan

        Jabs those ‘polaroids’ suck… really bad.

        Please do some research.

        • Jabs

          Sorry but I have never used them (that brand), but was just pointing to a web site and not assessing its’ quality as for me ALL Polaroids are lousy, but were invaluable pre-digital to visualize a shot and save expensive film and time – what we now look at our LCD screens to verify, so that was their sole purpose then.

          • Mock Kenwell

            “That brand” is doing amazing things that most people thought would be “impossible.” They are essentially re-inventing Polaroid film. Artistically, it’s one of the freshest, most exciting things happening in photography today. The fact that Impossible’s quality is not yet up to Polaroid’s heyday standards is a true testament to the brilliance of Polaroid as a medium and an innovative force more than it is a slam on Impossible. They will get there because they are deeply committed.

            • Jabs

              @Mock Kenwell.
              I did not mean to imply that everything Polaroid made was bad (if you saw that), but I was comparing them to the best of the slide for even print films of that era. I actually preferred Polaroids B&W cameras and films with the bigger negatives to the SX-70 and 600 Series sized color films, but convenience and confirmation of your time consuming set-up correctness was what they were made for.
              Same now as looking at a great LCD screen with perhaps a screen magnifier or such on a digital camera.
              Remember in the film days, there was no PREVIEW, so Polaroid was brilliant at that before committing to a shot.
              Anyhow, enjoy your day or night – LOL!

  • Jabs

    There were NFC Polaroid backs for various SLR cameras which were popular then.
    Other Polaroid backs.

  • NoVideoPlse

    Viola ! The new D800.

    Darn I got to get a life rather than coming to rrrrrrumour sites!

  • Jabs

    Look here but not sure if these work in Polaroid backs.

  • enero

    I bought a speed mangy 2 for my nikon f2 a few months back from KEH. Unfortunately they neglected to tell me that the door was slightly bent, rendering it useless (the prism is part of the door). Thankfully they gave me a hassel free refund.

    Ive always liked the idea of the speed mangy, but because of the way it’s built you lose 5 stops, which can be hard to manage, especially when you also have to factor in that with a camera and lens, this thing is a monster weighing in at about 7lbs.!

  • I just took control over a Nikon F a couple weeks ago and I love it. So simple, so well built, so damn durable.

    By the serial number, she’ll be 50 years old between April and August of this year.

  • amazing what people come up with and a classic nikon

  • Why can’t they do this and build in a 6×6/6×7, etc., back into it? Even if you lose stops, instantly turning a 35mm slr into a 6×7 (even if oddly bulky) would be kinda neat…

    • ZoetMB

      Except then why bother with a 35mm SLR. Just get a medium format camera.

      Back in the day, my father shot with a Graflex XL, which had interchangeable backs. He had backs for 4×5 sheet film (the native format), 220 film, 35mm film and Polaroid film. He would use the Polaroid film to test lighting so as not to waste 4×5 sheet film.

      But interestingly enough, it was his experimenting with the 35mm back that led to him finally buying a Nikon F in 1966 and later, an F3HP, which I still have.

  • cirtap

    Someone please wake me up when this lull is over…..

  • FBY

    How about a digital version? I’ll bet it would be a lot smaller (but a lot more expensive) than that!

  • d90000

    is speed magny planning on updating this? Or should I stick with waiting for the d800?

  • I can’t remember what I paid for mine, in the day, but it was ungawdly.

    I think I used it one time, and said to myself, “this is the most useless thing I’ve ever bought.”

    • Dweeb

      That reminds me, my Hasselblad one is in my filing cabinet.

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