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Canon AE-1 remote shutter firing- electrically

Steven D. Johnson , May 20, 2009; 05:11 p.m.

I tried to search this forum under various headings, but I cannot seem to find the topic. I need to fire the shutter on a Canon AE-1 remotely, by electrical means. I cannot use a cable release by itself or other independant mechanical means, due to the tie-in with the rest of the controls on the field equipment. I considered installing a cable release, set the shutter speed, then interrupting the battery control circuit. After locking down the cable release in the firing position, I presume that I can initiate a firing by allowing the battery circuit to re-enegrize through the field control circuit. Film advance would be handled by Powerwinder A-2.
If this is feasible, was there an attachment made for this situation that I could use?

Responses

Dave S , May 20, 2009; 06:14 p.m.

Steven, hi. You can control the camera through the winder. Go to this page and read about remote control operation of the Winder A2. You will need to research this a bit, but I believe you need the remote cable with a simple straight plug-- not the later one (60T3) that was used on the T series cameras.

Mark Wahlster , May 20, 2009; 06:29 p.m.

No least not by Canon.
One of the guys who knows more about the inner workings will have to chime in but I don't think your idea of switching at the battery will work in fact just now checking with my AE-1 it does not appear to work that way if you wind it remove the battery (same as putting in a switch in the power circuit) then depress the Shutter button tow things don't happen The Camera has no idea what to set the Aperture to since the meter is not working and the shutter doesn't fire until much later then when you replace the battery (no idea why)
If you set the camera for complete manual control in stop down mode then your idea to get the shutter to fire appears to work. Abet with no auto aperture control. And a Power winder A2 will not work on an AE-1 in continous mode only as a single advance after the shutter button is released. In fact due to the extra connecting pins on the A2 winder I'm not sure if you should even use it on an AE-1 .
So to get this to work you will need to
1. Set the shutter and aperture operating the camera in Stop down mode.
2. Wind the camera manually
3. break the battery power circuit
4. Depress the shutter button
5. Reapply battery power
6. Release the shutter button
7. Reapply battery power
8. Trip the shutter button
9. Release the shutter button so the winder will advance the film
10 NO it won't work like you think.

I suggest you get an AE-1 Program and Winder A2 and use the Canon remote release 3 or 60 if you can find one. Which will do what you want.
But an AE-1 does not have the ability using any accessory Canon offered to be remotely triggered electrically.

Dave S , May 20, 2009; 09:35 p.m.

Yep, my mistake. I failed to distinguish AE-1 from AE-1P. (Remote control with the Winder A2 only works with an A-1 or an AE-1P.)

Steven D. Johnson , May 20, 2009; 11:05 p.m.

Thanks, fellas. I knew someone out there would know! I am a little troubled by the A-2 comment when using it on the AE-1. I've used them for a few years on various bodies, never minding the two outer extra pins, as it didn't seem to bother it. Now I'm wondering if I'm slowly ruining them! And thanks for the link regarding the winder equipment. I'm starting to think it might be easier and far more versitile to make up a standard cable release that is coupled to a solenoid plunger. I could then use it on other cameras.

Mike Santos , May 25, 2009; 02:12 a.m.

You can use the AE-1 Remotely with Power Winder A2 and a long remote switch 3 and the extension cord E1000. You could also use the Wireless Remote Controller LC-1. You have to have a light touch on the remote switch or you will get multiple shots, since the AE-1 does handle single shot capability like the A-1 or AE-1Program. I've tested this with an AE-1 and the Wireless Controller LC-1.

Mike Santos , May 30, 2009; 09:55 a.m.

The extra two contacts on the Power Winder A2 (and the Motor Drive MA) are for single shot mode on the A-1 and AE-1P. you can only acheive single shot mode with a Power Winder A -on any A-series - or with any motor/ winder on an AE-1 (and the others with only two contacts) is by having a light touch on the shutter button!
However, the Wireless Controller LC-1 has a single shot capability that actually tells the motor or winder to stop after one frame, and this will work on ANY camera that can take the Winder A2, Motor Drive MA, and any F-1, new or old, with any Motor Drive / Power Winder (except for the original Motor Drive unit - AKA Motor Drive MD). The LC-1 is a quite useful accessory, and you can control up to 3 with one remote. I've tested this with F-1s with their motors set to "C" and the LC-1 cuts it off after one frame.
Mike's temporarily closed ametuer camera shop has a few LC-1s that he might be willing to part with - when he get's back home!!!

Jody S , Jun 01, 2009; 11:34 p.m.

I've done just this with the A2 winder and my old A1, all it took was a mini headphone jack, a length of cable, a pushbutton switch (or some fancy control wiring), and a bit of time and solder. I don't know about the AE-1, I do have one I'm pretty sure (yeah, I have too many cameras, but who here doesn't?) but I think it's dead so I can't test it.

Strictly from a control point of view, if you're building some apparatus, I suggest going pneumatic. Get one of those old air bulb shutter release thingies, cut off a length of hose that you need, with the attached plunger that screws into the camera shutter. Connect that to a pneumatic control such as is used with HVAC equipment, and fire it with whatever circuitry you have. Too much pressure (depending on your pneumatics, length of hose, whatever) can easily be compensated with some sort of bleeder valve. Too little could result from too small a hose, that is also an easy fix. On the plus side, this would be a very reliable, easy to trouble-shoot system; however, you could have to pay $100 or so for the pneumatic control. Also, if noise or timing is a factor (you might have a slightly audible sound a split second before the camera fires), you might be better off with a 100% electrical system, in which case just go for the A1 or some other camera.

Mike Santos , Jun 02, 2009; 12:42 p.m.

Jody, It's called a Canon Remote Switch 3 or 60, and can be extended with multiple Canon Extension Cord E1000s. They're inexpensive when you can find one. Don't try a Remote Switch 60-MF; that only works on an F-1 with the Motor Drive MF, even though the newer cords will also work on an MF!?!?! Don't ask me why - I have no idea. something to wo the the old MF's circuitry.

Steven D. Johnson , Jun 12, 2009; 03:58 a.m.

Thanks for furthering this- great new info since I last looked! By the way, a remote aspirator/bulb style cable release isn't feasible unless there is electrical control, due to the required interface with the field control circuit. Barring that, air pressure may not build quickly enough (although it might!) to have the shutter fire on time.
]
Mike and Jody- I'm a little confused by some of the information. Keep in mind that I need to fire the shutter remotely, in time with a seperate, custom control circuit, and film advance is not very important, but helpful. Jody: could you elaborate a little more as to your set-up regarding the shutter release? Mike: I thought the wireless controller was used to initate flash units. Is there a way for the LC-1 to release the shutter on the camera remotely? I've never used the LC-1, so any info would help. From what I can dig up, the LC-1 is not meant for the AE-1, rather the T series...?

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