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12-15-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
amoringello's Avatar

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advice on reliable use of IR remote?

OK, every year I try to take some Christmas photos. We get all set up and the camera is on a tripod. We have two dogs, so 12 second timer is not going to get close to catching all of us looking towards the camera...

So I pull out the IR remote. The slightest brush of my finger on the remote button, and a picture is taken. (of course, no one is looking at the camera).

I make 30 more attempts and *nothing*. As I stand up, my finger accidentally hits the button and POP, another *great* picture is taken.

I've sat with my hand carefully steadied aiming at the camera, and get results with only 1 out of 10-30 attempts.

Anyone have similar issues and any suggestions on how to get the IR remote to work well?

We're sitting centered about 8-10 feet from the camera.
Camera has clear view of remote pointed directly at it.
Indoors. No significant light. Normally fluorescent, but tried turing those off in case of interference, the only light was a single 75watt lightbulb.
Remote is not that old and not used often enough to deplete batteries... at least I would hope they are not DOA.

12-15-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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Location: New Hampshire
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I know you just covered it, but I would assume they were DOA. Try another battery and see if you have better success, as you shouldn't have that much trouble getting your remote to work.

12-15-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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Location: Central NJ
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Well, I don't have the pentax IR remote, but a cheap universal ir camera remote.

For self-portrait type situations, the operator needs to be posed so that he is on the same side as the IR pickup on the front of the camera. This is because the lens gets in the way. If for some reason you have to be on the other side, you might get better success bouncing it off a wall or ceiling. the reflected light is weaker, but covers a much larger area. Pointing it at the camera, you effectively have a pretty pinpoint signal you are aiming.

From the back of the camera, this is less of an issue because it is a flat surface, and the lens doesn't get in the way.

Also, the bigger and brighter your surroundings, the worse the remotes seem to work.

The real answer is a wired or RF remote. I mostly only use my IR remote when using flash triggers for product type shots so as to induce as little camera movement as possible.
12-15-2010, 04:57 PM   #4
amoringello's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
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Original Poster
I was wondering about where the pickup was. Almost thought it was internal from something I had read somewhere...
I did have the camera in portrait mode, and as such, the tripod positions the camera so the blinking light is downward, hiding underneath the lens.

I tried holding the remote low, just in case but that didn't seem to help much.
Guess I'll play with it when I've got some free time as well as try opening the thing to see what batteries might fit.

RF remote is on my to-get list... of course its been there for several years. :-)
The K5 trumped it, as does a lot of other accessories.

Thanks for the responses.


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