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DIY: Wired camera release for D40,D50,D60 etc


Bangalore, IN
51 posts

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anurag Basic Member
Thu 29-Jan-09 04:34 AM


I am writing this post to help you out how to make a wired remote control for low end DSLRs. For Nikon D70, D80, D90, D200 etc higher end bodies Nikon has MC-DC1,MC-DC2, MC 36 etc. But for lower end DSLRs like D40, D50 and D60 there is no wired remote control, Nikon has provided only wireless remote ML-3. Moreover the infrared receiver of the camera body is placed in front of the camera so that you can take your own picture when you are seated in front of the camera with the help of the remote. But this creates two major problems - (1) sometimes it's very difficult to press the shutter with the help of the remote while you are looking through the viewfinder. If your hand holding the remote does not point to the receiver preciously you will lose the shot - I did it sometimes. Hence sometimes you have to move your eye away from the viewfinder to verify whether the remote is indeed pointing towards the IR receiver - you may loose the quick action shot again! (2) You can not place the camera in a hidden place, far away from you and trip the shutter with the wireless remote as you can do it with the wired remote. Hence I wanted a wired remote for my D50.

I researched a bit and read in one post in this forum where one person has suggested to open the remote and solder a micro switch parallel to the electrical contacts which is tripping the trigger. I didn't want to spoil the original Nikon ML-3, also the casings are molded, they can't be detached and hence I needed to purchase another remote for the experiment. At first I purchased the following remote for $5 - http://cgi.ebay.com/JY-Remote-Control-for-NIKON-D80-D70S-D60-D50-D40-ML-L3_W0QQitemZ250330703999QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Camcorder_Remotes?hash=item250330703999&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14. In the picture there was a screw and hence I thought I could open the casings, but couldn't - the casings are actually molded.

Then I found out the "OMG! SR-1 Universal Infrared Remote for Canon and Nikon SLR / D-SLR". This remote comes with a small mirror that can be easily mounted on the lens and hence you can trip the shutter from behind the camera as well, the IR ray will be reflected from the small mirror and then hit the IR receiver. This remote also comes with a tiny LED light that can also become handy at sometimes. I purchased it in ebay for $10 including shipping. Unfortunately today I couldn't find it in ebay, may be they will post it after Chinese New Year which is ending on 31st Jan. But I found the details with pictures in this following link - http://www.velocity-media.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=22195

Luckily this remote can be opened! I put a screw driver in between the top and bottom casings, gave some force and the joint between them got broken, I got the PCB - half work is done. I took it to an electronics shop, we tested the contacts and found out the proper contacts which should be connected with the micro switch. Now my wired remote is ready with a two meter long very fine wire used for electronics purpose !!! The micro switch is soldered on a small PCB panel so that it can be held easily.


I attached the wires with the PCB and again with the casings at two places with super glue– so that when the wire is pulled it won’t damage the soldering. Then you can close the casing easily, just press them against each other, they will fit perfectly. Here is the final look –


Now how can I mount it on the camera body - another big question. I searched for any reusable, non-residual adhesive and found out the following one in a good book shop. This is quite amazing, don't leave any trace at all! You can find equivalent stuff in USA.


Then I attached the remote in the following way -

Total cost – $10 + $2 (wire+micro switch+soldering cost+adhesive) = $12.

So my experiment is successful, and I can trigger my shutter with much less effort and without removing my eye from the viewfinder. I can keep looking through the viewfinder, focus the subject with the lens focusing ring by the left hand and trigger the shutter with the right hand whenever required. I just don't have to care whether the remote is pointing towards the IR receiver or not. I just needed it for my macro photography.

Hope this post will help you to find out your own remote in whatever way you want.


A hardcore Nikonian from India