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01-25-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
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Remote the more than 5 brackets?

I use bracketing fairly often for HDR panos which includes up to 45 frames minimum. I sometimes find that 7 brackets are necessary in not so extreme conditions causing me a headache as I have to add 2 more brackets to each 5, which make 63 frames...!!! Does anyone out there know of a remote that takes care of that, for use on our Pentax DSLRs - mine is a K5IIs. I know that this is available for the CANIKONS which use 2 cables and I don't think they are compatible...
Thanks for any info on this.

Richard Novossiltzeff, panoramic photographer - 360Cities

01-25-2015, 09:02 PM   #2
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I have been investigating this over the past while for astrophotography purposes. I have found a couple of options that work for me:

The Pclix XT - Pclix XT | Intervalometer | Time-Lapse Triggering | Canon 5D Recording | Video Camera Triggering - Old school in the sense that it uses rotary dials to setup intervals, etc. but well designed. Would easily do
thousands of frames. I couldn't get the IR remote function to work but works fine with the proper cable
available from Pclix.

DSLR Remote - A free Android app that works flawlessly with the K5IIs. All options easy to setup. Does high frame counts. My Android phone
does not have an IR blaster function so again I had to use the cable (cable from Pclix works fine). Cable is better for a long
sequence anyway, IMO, since you don't need to worry about keeping the IR connection intact.

TriggerTrap Mobile - I have ordered this one but have not received it yet. Comes highly recommended. Will report back. Needs a special
camera-mated dongle and cable. The controlling app is free and available for iOS and Android.

One thing to note is that none of the above remote devices support MLU. If that is important to you, I have found a workaround: if you set an interval of at least ten seconds between frames, then you can just lock the mirror up by pressing the shutter release while counting down to the next frame.

There are other cheap options available out there. I looked at a few Chinese ones. There is another mobile app called ShutterBot that may be fine for your needs but it is IR only. Again, you need a phone with an IR blaster function.

Jack
01-25-2015, 09:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
I use bracketing fairly often for HDR panos which includes up to 45 frames minimum. I sometimes find that 7 brackets are necessary in not so extreme conditions causing me a headache as I have to add 2 more brackets to each 5, which make 63 frames...!!! Does anyone out there know of a remote that takes care of that, for use on our Pentax DSLRs - mine is a K5IIs. I know that this is available for the CANIKONS which use 2 cables and I don't think they are compatible...
Thanks for any info on this.

Richard Novossiltzeff, panoramic photographer - 360Cities
I am not aware of any remote that will do exposure bracket which is what I take you to mean. Any number of smart remotes or intervalometers that will do whatever number of shots you want but they (AFAIK) do not change any camera settings while doing so.

Do you have a link to the Canon one, I'm curious to see how it works.
01-25-2015, 11:43 PM   #4
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Actually, there are some remotes out there that will do HDR type exposures by adjusting the shutter speed. Camera is in Bulb so the remote can adjust speed based on the center speed, EV jumps and number of frames that you set. DSLR Remote and TriggerTrap are two such apps.

Jack

01-26-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Actually, there are some remotes out there that will do HDR type exposures by adjusting the shutter speed. Camera is in Bulb so the remote can adjust speed based on the center speed, EV jumps and number of frames that you set. DSLR Remote and TriggerTrap are two such apps.
Interesting, these are both apps though, not hardware intervalometers? I have heard of triggerTrap before but never looked at it.
01-26-2015, 03:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I am not aware of any remote that will do exposure bracket which is what I take you to mean. Any number of smart remotes or intervalometers that will do whatever number of shots you want but they (AFAIK) do not change any camera settings while doing so.

Do you have a link to the Canon one, I'm curious to see how it works.
This is the one that I was referring to but at $400 it would be a luxury and it can't be compatible...! Another thing for Pentax to consider, in-camera upgrade for hardware+software...?
...I don't have a fancy, modern android/iPhone type of phone...

Promote Systems Promote Control P-CTRL-1 B&H Photo Video
01-26-2015, 05:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
This is the one that I was referring to but at $400 it would be a luxury and it can't be compatible...! Another thing for Pentax to consider, in-camera upgrade for hardware+software...?
...I don't have a fancy, modern android/iPhone type of phone...

Promote Systems Promote Control P-CTRL-1 B&H Photo Video
Hi Richard,

The Promote, and many of the other Canikon-compatible (but not Pentax) external HDR bracketing solutions rely on USB control for the camera functions. The 645Z has added this, but alas, the only remote solution for smaller Pentaxes is the O-FC1 FluCard, which only works with the newer models (not your K-5IIs) and would need someone to mix up a custom HTML page to control it.

I've done a proof-of-concept script that will shoot off 9 brackets for me, but it isn't adjustable or anything. It just proves that an HTML page on the host device can, in fact, control the K-3 (including regular shutter speeds, not Bulb mode) but would need a lot more development to be more useful. I based it off this guy's great calculator.

Something that I did on my K-5 was set up two user modes (easier on the K-3, since it has dial positions for them), one which was exp. comp. +2EV, and the other -2EV, both with 5-shot bracketing. The result is 10 files, where I throw away 3 (identical) files. Still not up to 9 shots (16EV), but that's life, eh?


Last edited by panoguy; 01-26-2015 at 05:22 PM.
01-26-2015, 05:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
This is the one that I was referring to but at $400 it would be a luxury and it can't be compatible...! Another thing for Pentax to consider, in-camera upgrade for hardware+software...?
Agree, I do not see how it would be compatible.

Here is the Trigger Trap site: Triggertrap | The most powerful creative camera remotes for iPhone, Android, and Arduino | Triggertrap | Creative ways of triggering your camera Looks very interesting.
QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
.I don't have a fancy, modern android/iPhone type of phone...
You might consider getting a used (older) android phone. Maybe Galaxy 4? Or even older. They can be found quite cheap now. No need to actually get a phone plan with it all you need is the android phone. The triggerTrap plugs into the headphone jack so no cell signal or WiFi needed. You would still need to connect via WiFi to install the app I think but that should not be hard. If you don't have WiFi at home many coffee shops have it available in the US, likely there too.

Check the manual section called LE HDR it seems to imply you can take up to 19 'bracket' shots with this.

Looks like maybe $35usd for the hardware plus maybe $100 for the phone. Or nothing for the phone if you ask around someone might have an old android they are no longer using.
01-26-2015, 08:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Hi Richard,

The Promote, and many of the other Canikon-compatible (but not Pentax) external HDR bracketing solutions rely on USB control for the camera functions. The 645Z has added this, but alas, the only remote solution for smaller Pentaxes is the O-FC1 FluCard, which only works with the newer models (not your K-5IIs) and would need someone to mix up a custom HTML page to control it.

I've done a proof-of-concept script that will shoot off 9 brackets for me, but it isn't adjustable or anything. It just proves that an HTML page on the host device can, in fact, control the K-3 (including regular shutter speeds, not Bulb mode) but would need a lot more development to be more useful. I based it off this guy's great calculator.

Something that I did on my K-5 was set up two user modes (easier on the K-3, since it has dial positions for them), one which was exp. comp. +2EV, and the other -2EV, both with 5-shot bracketing. The result is 10 files, where I throw away 3 (identical) files. Still not up to 9 shots (16EV), but that's life, eh?
Marc, nice to hear from you - I should maybe have asked you to start with...!? Thanks for the pointer, I'll get on to it for the 2 user modes and let you know how I make out. The HTML stuff is away over my head but I'll keep it tucked away, just in case, for the future?

---------- Post added 01-26-15 at 23:19 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Agree, I do not see how it would be compatible.

Here is the Trigger Trap site: Triggertrap | The most powerful creative camera remotes for iPhone, Android, and Arduino | Triggertrap | Creative ways of triggering your camera Looks very interesting.

You might consider getting a used (older) android phone. Maybe Galaxy 4? Or even older. They can be found quite cheap now. No need to actually get a phone plan with it all you need is the android phone. The triggerTrap plugs into the headphone jack so no cell signal or WiFi needed. You would still need to connect via WiFi to install the app I think but that should not be hard. If you don't have WiFi at home many coffee shops have it available in the US, likely there too.

Check the manual section called LE HDR it seems to imply you can take up to 19 'bracket' shots with this.

Looks like maybe $35usd for the hardware plus maybe $100 for the phone. Or nothing for the phone if you ask around someone might have an old android they are no longer using.
A cheap android, why not, I never thought about that angle? I'll certainly give a shot. Thanks
01-29-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Agree, I do not see how it would be compatible.

Here is the Trigger Trap site: Triggertrap | The most powerful creative camera remotes for iPhone, Android, and Arduino | Triggertrap | Creative ways of triggering your camera Looks very interesting.

You might consider getting a used (older) android phone. Maybe Galaxy 4? Or even older. They can be found quite cheap now. No need to actually get a phone plan with it all you need is the android phone. The triggerTrap plugs into the headphone jack so no cell signal or WiFi needed. You would still need to connect via WiFi to install the app I think but that should not be hard. If you don't have WiFi at home many coffee shops have it available in the US, likely there too.

Check the manual section called LE HDR it seems to imply you can take up to 19 'bracket' shots with this.

Looks like maybe $35usd for the hardware plus maybe $100 for the phone. Or nothing for the phone if you ask around someone might have an old android they are no longer using.
Just had trouble finding some useful info on that Triggertrap LE HDR...! It so happens that it is "long exposure" HDR, whatever that is and will not work for what I'm doing, or rather, in doubt, not willing to buy the required hook up which exists for most Pentax DSLRs and get a compatible upgrade to android 4.1 or above, or even a second hand iPod Touch, just for that. I went to the site and had to go to the forum page to find that out from others who have had some problems. Maybe later...
So in the mean time, back to the old fashion manual way, like the one panoguy uses and thanks to all for all the help.
01-29-2015, 10:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
Just had trouble finding some useful info on that Triggertrap LE HDR...! It so happens that it is "long exposure" HDR, whatever that is and will not work for what I'm doing, or rather, in doubt, not willing to buy the required hook up which exists for most Pentax DSLRs and get a compatible upgrade to android 4.1 or above, or even a second hand iPod Touch, just for that. I went to the site and had to go to the forum page to find that out from others who have had some problems. Maybe later...
You got me interested enough to take another look and I ordered one. Came in the post today and I hope to get time to test it out this weekend. I'll report back when I've had a look.
01-30-2015, 06:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
You got me interested enough to take another look and I ordered one. Came in the post today and I hope to get time to test it out this weekend. I'll report back when I've had a look.
Looking forward to it.
01-30-2015, 10:38 PM   #13
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Had a bit of time with the Triggertrap this evening, hopefully a more extensive report later.

However, I did want to report that it does indeed allow multiple brackets, up to 19 on the software I tested. There are a few quirks (which might be the software or my inexperience with it) that might prevent it from working for all applications.

  • First, the hardware uses the earphone jack on the phone and requires the volume to be turned all the way up. Apparently it uses a sound from the phone to close a contact in the dongle to trigger the camera. I found at first that response was somewhat erratic and it did not always fire. However adjusting the volume to max seemed to fix that and it worked reliably after that. Still it seemed a bit touchy as to when it fired, something to test further.
  • Second, the fastest shutter speed it will operate at is 1/16 (or 1/15) so you need to be in an environment where that will work. Bright sunny days are not going to work unless you can use an ND filter. I suspect this is due to the software only being able to respond so fast. I intend to email them and ask for confirmation.
  • Third since you are in bulb the actual exposure times are not the same as what the default on the camera is. One sequence for example generated 4sec, 1.9sec, .9sec, .4sec, 1/5sec, and 1/11sec. Which the camera recorded in the EXIF but of course you cannot actually set those on the camera.Note this sequence is only 6 exposures when I had selected 7. Which takes us to point four.
  • Fourth, if any of the brackets result in a shutter speed faster than 1/16sec they are repeated at 1/16. And it seems when that happens the last bracket is just skipped leaving an even number, one less than you selected.
  • Fifth, you need to do the math to calculate how many brackets and make sure you do not bump into the 1/16th limitation. The software asks for "middle exposure" and allows a range from 1/15 to 113 minutes. I took this to mean the middle exposure with brackets going both ways. Which it is unless you set the "middle" too fast. Remember there is a 1/16th limit. So if you set the "middle" to 1/16th then you get: .5, 1/4, 1/11, 1/16, 1/16, 1/16 and the last exposure is skipped. However, if you set "middle" to .8sec you get: 6, 3, 1.5, .7, .3, 1/7, 1/16 a correct 7 bracket sequence. This was difficult for me, but those who do HDR a lot may be more comfortable with figuring this correctly.
There are many other options on this, it is quite extensive and I feel well worth the cost, which though more than a simple remote is not all that great if you already own a smartphone. I've not had a chance to test any of the others as I wanted to answer the original question in this post.


I need more time for testing, but I can report it does work, within the limits noted.
01-31-2015, 08:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Had a bit of time with the Triggertrap this evening, hopefully a more extensive report later.

However, I did want to report that it does indeed allow multiple brackets, up to 19 on the software I tested. There are a few quirks (which might be the software or my inexperience with it) that might prevent it from working for all applications.

  • First, the hardware uses the earphone jack on the phone and requires the volume to be turned all the way up. Apparently it uses a sound from the phone to close a contact in the dongle to trigger the camera. I found at first that response was somewhat erratic and it did not always fire. However adjusting the volume to max seemed to fix that and it worked reliably after that. Still it seemed a bit touchy as to when it fired, something to test further.
  • Second, the fastest shutter speed it will operate at is 1/16 (or 1/15) so you need to be in an environment where that will work. Bright sunny days are not going to work unless you can use an ND filter. I suspect this is due to the software only being able to respond so fast. I intend to email them and ask for confirmation.
  • Third since you are in bulb the actual exposure times are not the same as what the default on the camera is. One sequence for example generated 4sec, 1.9sec, .9sec, .4sec, 1/5sec, and 1/11sec. Which the camera recorded in the EXIF but of course you cannot actually set those on the camera.Note this sequence is only 6 exposures when I had selected 7. Which takes us to point four.
  • Fourth, if any of the brackets result in a shutter speed faster than 1/16sec they are repeated at 1/16. And it seems when that happens the last bracket is just skipped leaving an even number, one less than you selected.
  • Fifth, you need to do the math to calculate how many brackets and make sure you do not bump into the 1/16th limitation. The software asks for "middle exposure" and allows a range from 1/15 to 113 minutes. I took this to mean the middle exposure with brackets going both ways. Which it is unless you set the "middle" too fast. Remember there is a 1/16th limit. So if you set the "middle" to 1/16th then you get: .5, 1/4, 1/11, 1/16, 1/16, 1/16 and the last exposure is skipped. However, if you set "middle" to .8sec you get: 6, 3, 1.5, .7, .3, 1/7, 1/16 a correct 7 bracket sequence. This was difficult for me, but those who do HDR a lot may be more comfortable with figuring this correctly.
There are many other options on this, it is quite extensive and I feel well worth the cost, which though more than a simple remote is not all that great if you already own a smartphone. I've not had a chance to test any of the others as I wanted to answer the original question in this post.


I need more time for testing, but I can report it does work, within the limits noted.
Great report jatrax. I see that it won't work for what I'm doing because of the 1/16 limitation - hence the LE HDR for "low exposure" - and the erratic exposures you get. One thing they told me is that the software is more stable using an iPod touch and an android version 4.1 minimum..?
For HDR panos I need stable EV values all around with a fixed f stop so I'll just have to wait and use what panoguy does with the USER mode: save one setting with AEB and exp, comp. corrections to get 7 brackets out of 10.
01-31-2015, 09:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rnovo Quote
I see that it won't work for what I'm doing because of the 1/16 limitation - hence the LE HDR for "low exposure" - and the erratic exposures you get. One thing they told me is that the software is more stable using an iPod touch and an android version 4.1 minimum..?
Yeah I was thinking that myself. I think the LE is "long exposure" because of the slow shutter speeds.

Actually I think the EV values would be stable over multiple shots, I only saw differences when I tried different settings. Since you are in bulb with a fixed aperture and ISO the only thing changing is the shutter speed which is controlled by the software, not the camera. So once a 'correct' setting is chosen that was repeatable and I think would be workable for HDR except for the 1/16 restriction.

I used it on Android 4 something but I noticed that the ios app has more features. Not sure if that is because ios is the lead development platform or if android has some limitation that prevents some options from working.

At any rate, it is useful enough that I'm keeping mine and after I get some experience I might write up a full review. Not something I usually do but maybe I should give it a go.
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