I just spoke with a Nikon customer service rep to find out more about the ML-L3 remote. He tells me the remote works only if you're IN FRONT OF the camera - kind of defeats the purpose of a remote if you're doing macro work, huh? Anyone out there know anything different? Is there any other means of firing the D70 without touching it?
I purchased the remote about a week ago. I haven't used it much. But, I did use it to take a photo standing behind the camera. I believe the specified range in about 16 feet. I was able to take a photo from about 25 feet in front of the camera. When standing behind the camera, I was able to take a photo by pointing the remote directly at the back of the camera. I tried to avoid any reflection off a wall in front of the camera. I also tested the remote, trying to purposely bounce the IR signal off a wall and a glass picture frame. In both cases, I was successful. However, I was standing only about 3 feet behind the camera, and the wall was about 10 feet away from me. It appears you can bounce the signal off of a wall in front of the camera.
In an earlier post I said that I had purchase an RCA remote extender system. This will relay any IR signal for 150 feet. It is made to control an RCA DSS satelite dish but will relay any IR signal. The system is comprised of a small 4 inch cone that is the IR reciever that then sends a radio signal to the IR repeater, another 4 inch cone. The repeater is supposed to be placed in front of what you are trying to control. There is also a remote IR repeater, a very small LED on a wire, that you can plug into the normal repeater. This is supposed to be used where you can't place the normal cone in front of the system. I have used this system to fire the D70 with no problems. I can use the cone if there is somewhere to set it in front of the camera or I can use the extension and tape it to the side of the lens. This allows me to sit in the air conditioned comfort of my family room and take pictures of a hummingbird feeder on the patio.
Okay, I went and conducted some tests under more controlled conditions.
The remote will not fire the camera when directly behind the camera, pointed at the back of the camera, up to about 3 feet away. If I point to a wall (about 7 feet away) the camera will fire. I can be about 15 feet behind the camera, and point to a spot on a wall about 7 feet in front of the camera, and the camera will fire. I can point the remote up to about a 45 degree angle and it will still cause the camera to take a picture.
If in doubt, buy the remote and check it out. It costs me around $20, and the camera store said they would take it back (within a 14 day window) if I was not happy with it.
According to Nikon, the ML-L1 is no longer being produced. The ML-L3 replaces it.
I then checked with every dealer I can find, in town and online. No one has the ML-L1. Also, I contacted Nikon to find out when the ML-L3 will be available. I was told that I should ask my local Nikon dealer. I told the customer rep that every Nikon dealer I have spoken with has in fact placed orders, and that Nikon has given them absolutely no indication of when the ML-L3 will be shipped.
If and when I find an ML-L3, I will try the suggestion of bouncing the signal off a white piece of paper or white cardboard taped to the camera.
You can get ML_L1 in ebay for $15. I like it better than L3 becase it has a hole for you to tight a string to it so you can hang it on you neck to avoid mis-placing it. It work fine with me triggering from the back of my D70
I also got it from d70dan, but he was very fast with my shipping. He also provided a .doc file (available at http://www.pd.infn.it/~dorigo/battery.doc ) to give detailed instructions should you need to replace the battery.
I bought my ML-L1 from Singapore during a holiday there three weeks ago for 24 singapore dollars. It works well from behind, 2 metres away easily. The only problem opening it to change the battery is quite a challenge. Mine did not require a battery change, but I just wanted to try to open it, it is easier to open an oister than this unit.
I have an old All_For_One Remote. I looked up the Sanyo TV codes for it and tried several. No Luck. Finally used code 011 and FLASH, it work. Woo! HOO! No need to buy the ML-L3 (if I could find one). This works great. I had to look up the codes for the Sanyo TVs on the All_For_One website. Works for me!
I've found a very reliable and easy way to trigger the camera from behind with the ML-L3 remote.
I purchased a "TAKE A LOOK" cyclist's mirror from a local bicycle shop and hooked it to the attachment point for the camera strap. This very small and lightweight mirror can be easily angled to reflect an IR signal from behind the camera directly on the IR sensor in front. It looks like it was designed for the camera! Just point the IR remote at the mirror and press the button...
I use the remote for all my macro work and most of the other pictures I take. From behind the camera I simply reach over with my left hand, point the remote at the camera and press. At first I thought this might be a bit cumbersome but I find it works just as well as a cable release. I don't know if the fact I'm left handed helps.
The IR sensor for the D70 is just above the D70 logo on the front left (when you're holding the camera to take pictures) of the camera. the only way to take pictures from the back is to bounce the IR off of something. Having said that, the sensor seems strong enough that unless you're really far away, the "bouncing" is fairly easily done.
I purchased the ML-L3 recently (in Japan) and it is very light. It comes with a little pouch that attaches to the camera strap, so although it doesn't have a hole to attach string to it, you can store it in the pouch on your shoulder strap and it's virtually unnoticeable (size and weight-wise). Also, the way the battery insert is configured, if you really wanted to, you could probably tie some string (thin) around the battery holder and then insert the holder into the remote and have a self-constructed strap (if you really wanted).
For the ~$15 or so it costs...it's an excellent accessory to have.
I bought the ML-L1 remote control for the D70 and am not sure how to make it work. No manual came with it. Is it complicated? I read the part in the manual about the ML-L3 but it didn't make sense to me. There seems to be a light on the end but it doesn't light up when I depress the buttone and the camera is on. . . . and also the camera doesn't respond. Is there a special setting to make it go?
I would really appreciate any help to get this to respond in the simplest way. . . because if it doesn't work I will send it back.
Once you get that icon on your display you are good to go. Point the remote at the front of the camera and press the button.
== >I bought the ML-L1 remote control for the D70 and am not >sure how to make it work. No manual came with it. Is it >complicated? I read the part in the manual about the ML-L3 >but it didn't make sense to me. There seems to be a light on >the end but it doesn't light up when I depress the buttone >and the camera is on. . . . and also the camera doesn't >respond. Is there a special setting to make it go? > >I would really appreciate any help to get this to respond in >the simplest way. . . because if it doesn't work I will send >it back. > >Thanks. . . from a beginner. > >Jerri-Jo
Hmm, how come ML-L3, the cheapest Nikon gadget in my inventory, fires my D70 up from behind when there are no walls around? Well, may be not directly-directly behind but at a slight angle. Never had a problem. I found it to be a wonderful toy for night shots. To deal with the regular anti-shaking paranoia - one can trigger a 2 sec self-timer, works as well. Just my 2c.
>I purchased a "TAKE A LOOK" cyclist's mirror from a local >bicycle shop......
Thanks for the suggestion. I went to my local bicycle shop and bought a Third Eye helmet mirror. It has a screw clamp that fastens securely and easily to the camera strap placing the mirror right in front of the D70 IR window. Works great!
Heres what I did this summer...I went to the annual PGI fireworks convention in Fargo ND, with my brand new D-70 hoping to get some nice fireworks shots....I got some twisty ties from the grocery store and cut some 3" squares of aluminum foil.....tied the twisty tie to the left side strap loop and wrapped the tin foil around one edge.....made a nice little reflector pointed toward the back...it workd fine outdoors from 5 feet back with my ml3.......... mr4july
which tells how to use a Palm pilot to trigger the D70. The author of the page uses a piece of Palm software called OmniRemote. He wrote a database for this application that sends the appropriate IR command for the D70. I followed the directions on the page and now have a working remote.
OmniRemote will cost you about $25US but allows you to replace all your remotes with your Palm PDA. There is also a 15 day full function trial version available.
If you already have a Palm PDA and a learning remote, you could set up your Palm with the 15 day trial version, install the D70 commands, and then use your Palm to train your learning remote. It may sound confusing but you do end up with a remote for you D70 for free.
I really do not understand why people are searching for so complicated and expensive ways (Palm + soft + $$$$) to get a working remote control replacing the "everywhere-back-ordered" ML-L3.
For all those guys, here is the way to program a generic RC:
1. put your D70 ON and set the shutter release on remote controlled without temporisation (see your D70 manual for details)
2a. If you are lucky, you've got a RC with auto-search ability. In this case put the RC toward the front of your D70 and select the auto-seach mode (see your RC manual): the RC will send different kind of IR signals every 2 or 3 sec. The correct signal will be found when you will hear your D70 shooting. Then stop the auto-seach and you've got your generic ML-L3.
2b. You're unlucky, you bought a RC without autosearch. Apply exactly the same procedure, but you will have to push one of the RC button a lot of times (varies between 1 and 100) to make your RC incrementally search for the right IR signal which trigger the shutter release.
ALL generic RC which are working for several TV brands do have this signal seach (either automatic or manual).
Please see my separate post of August 27. I purchased mine through Grays of Westminster on-line. It cost about $35, but since I couldn't find it elsewehere I was willing to pay the extra. It also works on my N/F65.
Graham From St. Augustine, FL. "I like photographers, you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan to White House Press Photogs
Wow, this is a really bad management. Nikon USA has serious distribution problems. Pathetic... I see prices of $35 for a trinket that costs about 5cents to manufacture. When did this insanity actually start? It reminds me of some Soviet style planned economy. Deficit. Once you deal with a monopoly, that's what happens, again and again. And price structure forms that's designed to screw up the customers who aren't going away. Everybody's doing it, my landscaper, for example.
I got my ML-L3 yesterday evening from Photoco, here in Montreal (west island). They had it in stock, and the price was CAD 19.95, which I found quite decent.
About firing the D70, of course it won't work when held 2 cm behind the camera. It's infrared, it's normal it behaves like this. Nevertheless, vary the angle a little bit, to the left or right, and it will fire the camera without any problem. I didn't try bouncing the IR signal simply because I didn't need to.
Now what really puzzles me, is why Nikon did not include a $15 accessory (probably a lot less to manufacture it) in a $1400 camera ???
Actually, it's not such bad management. It is called "focus on the critical few." If you were Nikon management, and you were not able to keep the D70 in stock in some of your sales channels, would you focus resources on distributing a $19 accessory that only a few users want, or would you focus on getting the pipeline full of $1000+ mainstream prooducts that are in high demand? Folks will wait for a ML-L3 but if they can't get a D70 they might just buy a Canon. How many ML-L3s would they have to sell to make up the profit from one lost D70 sale?
I'm not saying it's "right," I'm just saying it is real-world business.
I added myself to the waiting list at B&H Photo. After a couple of weeks, I received an email from them notifying about the availability of the remote. I called them, ordered it and just received it yesterday. (BTW, that guy I talked to on the phone... he may know his stuff but boy did he came across as just plain rude! And I'm in Upstate NY, only about 400 miles from those folks... what a difference from the way most of us conduct ourselves up here! Anyway, apart from this, he handled my order like a pro and I'm impressed with how quickly everything went and I got my unit with no problems whatsoever. I will certainly order from them again in the future, perhaps through their web site...
I didn't know what the true size of it (the remote) was and was more or less expecting a "small TV-sized" unit. This fairly big box came via UPS and after unpacking everything I was left with a tiny little piece of black plastic and storing sleeve!!! The thing is like, less than two inches! Something that can be lost easily... OTOH, I can see the advantages of its tiny size.
Now that I finally have mine, as I see things, instead of fiddling with Palm software (btw, I do have a IIIx and it is HUGE compared to the ML-L3) or TV remote controls just put yourself in the waiting list at B&H Photo or the web vendor of your choice. It's only USD $16 and you already paid USD $1300 for your Nikon kit... You can't lose.
>>virtually useless for bird photography (fixed tripod mount with camera aimed at a perch) and not much better for macro work<<
>>it does not fire the camera from behind unless there is something for the beam to reflect of<<
All I care about when using the remote is avoid camera shake (unless I want to include myself in the photo, in that case there are no issues using the remote). I frame the subject, set the exposure, etc, then, using my left hand I fire the remote from the left side of the camera (facing the control panel), just a bit ahead of the camera forward plane. For me it works all of the time. I'm still behind the camera, it's only my left hand that's coming around a little bit so that the remote signal hits the infrared sensor.
Just because it is a "remote" does not mean that I have to use it "remotely"... again, all I care is avoiding camera shake while at the same time firing the shutter without having to wait by using the timer.
I can understand that it would be much much better if the remote could be operated "remotely" from behind the camera, but as it is it does the job perfectly for me. Unless you set the camera, framing the area where your bird is going to be and then move away and wait until your bird gets there, I don't see how you cannot use the remote the way I am suggesting. I don't do bird photography so I may be missing something here. I hope you can find a solution that works for you.