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Remote cable release

Bill Horn , Apr 12, 1998; 10:03 p.m.

I am interested in shooting birds in the area where I live and need a long, remote cable release. I am always careful with nesting birds to avoid disturbing them. Remote capability would facilitate this and be useful around feeders and bird houses. Are these available commercially for N90S and F5 nikon bodies? I read somewhere a while back these could be made fairly easilly. I'd like to keep cost as low as possible, but as bird photography has become a consuming passion, I'll spend whatever it takes. Help anyone?

Bill Horn Oklahoma

Responses


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Y. Dobon , Apr 12, 1998; 11:32 p.m.

Hmmm, I'm not sure what the exact question here is, but here goes. Most of the Internet remote cable release hacks are for people who are too cheap to buy the genuine Nikon cables (they figure, I'll spend some time on the Internet, get a diagram, spend some time finding the right parts, do the work, and look, I've saved $30 - I suppose time is not very valuable for these folks).

There are genuine Nikon remote cable releases. For a pro-grade system, there are often infrared/radio devices that can do the job as well.

If you have an F5/N90s, an Arca-Swiss B1 monoball, and a Nikkor 300/2.8, one would imagine that the genuine remote release would be chump change, but maybe that is not the case. I suggest calling B&H or going to your local pro shop (Nikon retailer) and just buy one.

Zack Lau , Apr 13, 1998; 09:37 a.m.

Is mirror pre-fire or MLU possible with the N90S if you control the camera with a computer? If so, then one could substitute a cheap PIC or microprocessor circuit and IR remote for use in the field.

Sergio Ortega , Apr 13, 1998; 09:45 a.m.

Bill, I use the Nikon MC-30 remote release with my N90s. It sells for about $60. It's not very long, only about 30", so this would not solve your problem.

They also make a wireless remote shutter release. It's pretty expensive. For remote location, wildlife work, when you want to fire your camera/flash from a distance and not frighten wildlife, this seems like your best option.

Making your own cables, or extending the length of cables like the MC-30, with either the N90s or F5 seems almost impossible. These two cameras use a ten pin connection cable. I remember reading that this stuff is quite a challenge to work with, even if you can find the cable/connectors/hardware.

Good luck, Sergio.

Sergio Ortega , Apr 13, 1998; 09:49 a.m.

In response to Zack: Unfortunately the Nikon PC software, like Photo Secretary, does not provide MLU with the N90s.

Frank Kolwicz , Apr 13, 1998; 04:45 p.m.

I'm not familiar with Nikon equipment, so this may not be applicable, however, if you can screw in a standard cable release (not an electronic switch of some kind) you could simply use an air release. This is a hollow tube with a bulb (as in the "bulb" setting on your shutter) on one end and a piston on the other that screws into a standard cable release thread. It comes in long lengths (10 feet is typical) and is easily made longer with simple tube connectors.

Unlike the infrared and other electronic gizmos, there are no batteries to run down, works even with heavy brush between you and the camera, is light weight and is fully weatherproof, not to mention a lot cheaper.

Frank

Bill Smith , Apr 13, 1998; 07:35 p.m.

Hi Bill,

I like the way Frank thinks! Unfortunately, as you know, there are no threads on the F5 or N90s.

I shoot the news. I bought a used Nikon infrared remote trigger, and not the newest kind. It was about $ 150 from KEH. It's got a 3 pin plug, but you can get an adapter that plugs into the 10 pin plugs on your cameras.

I've fired it from 400 feet away outdoors, which is well over its stated range. But that was line of sight. I'm not sure how well it would work outdoors, but in a forest.

I've also got a Pocket Wizard radio transmitter and receiver to fire my strobes, but you can get a cable to hook the receiver up to your Nikon, and fire it with the button on the transmitter.

Quantum Instruments makes a Radio Slave with less range that's cheaper, and I'm sure it'll fire a camera, too.

I admire your patience. Reading this site has really made me appreciate the great Nature and Wildlife images I've seen.

Cheers and God bless,

Bill Smith

Zack Lau , Apr 14, 1998; 09:04 a.m.

Adorama lists the MC-21 10ft/3m extension cord at $57.

Joe Boyd , Apr 16, 1998; 02:59 p.m.

Beyond 10' you'll probably need some sort of infrared ($4-500) or radio ($x000s) transmitter/receiver setup.

As was mentioned earlier, Nikon has a 10' extension (MC-21) for 10-pin remote accessories for the F5 and N90. They also have an adapter cord MC-25 (about $60 at B&H) that allows you to use the MC12* (about $60 at B&H) releases on the F5 and N90.

If you want to get real creative, you could put a momentary switch at one end of a long lead with banana plugs at the other. Attach the plugs to an MC4A (about $35 at B&H) and an MC-25 to connect to the F5 or N90. You'd need to do some research on voltage levels to insure you've got enough at your momentary switch to trigger the body, without frying it. I was going to mention something about being well-grounded in circuits, but felt it was pushing it a bit far;)

Gordon Tozer , May 10, 1998; 10:19 a.m.

Hi Bill, I might have the answer to your problem . With a friend of mine we have developed a radio remote release which has a range of 25m. It is a very simple device and is fairly cheap at about $300 Australian, which I think is about $200 US . However the cost of the cable to link the receiver to the camera is expensive here in Australia, as Nikon , Canon etc charge plenty for their cables .So to keep the cost down it would be cheaper for you buy the cable in the US and then send the cable to us . We would then adapt it to the receiver and send you the complete unit . If you or anyone else is interested then please let me know on the e-mail address . Also if anyone knows of a company where we could purchase the camera cables at a decent price we would be very interested .

Gordon Tozer Perth, Australia .


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