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03-29-2016, 05:39 AM   #1
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Affordable intervalometer for K3

Getting more and more into long exposure photography with ND filters, and occasionally shooting the night sky in intervals for later stacking, I am looking to get myself an external intervalometer. The two main reasons are that the K3 will not allow me to set shutter speeds above 30 sec. unless I use Bulb, which requires me to physically keep the shutter pressed and manually time the exposure via my watch or phone, and the fact that when I shoot in interval mode it only engages the mirror lockup for the very first picture, and all subsequent ones are taken without, which is pretty detrimental to getting sharp, circular stars.

So now I am looking at an external cable intervalometer that is relatively affordable (up to 35/25). Amazon shows a range of options that often look almost identical but come at different price points, such as this 'Neewer' one and this no-name one, which are both described as working with Pentax, look virtually identical and seem to have the same feature set, but at vastly different price points (21 vs. 13).

Does anyone know what the quality of these is like? I know I cannot expect K3 level build quality from something so affordable, but I would be rather disappointed if that thing falls apart after three uses. Alternatively, are there any other good ones out there that fulfil my needs at the given budget?

03-29-2016, 06:58 AM   #2
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Im using his one Aputure Timer Remote Control Shutter Cable AP TR3C Canon RS80N3 Time Lapse 7D | eBay Apurture AP-TR3C. i paid below 20 $ for it. It works fine and solid.

In Bulb mode you can configure the camera in two modes
Mode 1 as you say press and keep until you are ready
Mode 2 Klick one open klick two close.

pentax K3 Menue c1 item 7 B.Mode options
03-29-2016, 07:36 AM   #3
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I have bought precisely two external timer units in the last 7 or so years. The first was a model you don't illustrate - it was much smaller and it worked perfectly, but after a few years the LCD digits on the screen faded and became tricky to read.

So I bought one of these Neewer/Neewer clones last year, and it's worked just fine. They're cheap, they don't fall apart, have a light so you can see it at night, have beeps so you know what's doing, and have all the functions you'll ever need. I have the no-name one and it's fine, most likely from the same factory in China as the Neewer brand one.
03-29-2016, 07:45 AM   #4
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I have this one: http://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Shutter-Release-Remote-Control/dp/B003Q9RERY/re...intervalometer
Actually mine is marked 'Vello' but it looks identical to this one, and the Vello one is no longer available. I have not used it a lot, but it worked fine.

---------- Post added 03-29-16 at 07:49 AM ----------

Just noticed your link, and I believe that is the one I have though mine has a different name and slightly different markings. I bought mine in 2012 or 13 I think. Build quality is fine, not military grade but at least as good as my other wired remotes including the Pentax 205.

03-29-2016, 08:12 AM   #5
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Get an infra red remote and use it in mode 2 as @joergens.mi mentions while timing/capturing and watching the beautiful sky at the same time without any camera shakes.

Alternatively use an Android app on your smartphone that uses its IR (If you have one on it) to do the same thing for free.

Last edited by shardulm; 03-29-2016 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Additional Info added.
03-29-2016, 08:31 AM   #6
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IR my be tricky, when you don't stand behind or in front of the camera, from the sides it sometimes fails to execute, therefore I'll like the mechnaical connection, which can easily made longer with an extension cable.
03-29-2016, 08:49 AM   #7
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I own this Bower wired unit and have found it to be both flexible and reliable. My only real complaint has been the user manual...almost worthless.

Bower LCD Timer and Remote Shutter Release (Model RCLC1R) reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

You may have noticed that it is very similar in appearance to other products on the market. I would expect those to be essentially the same. Adorama has it in stock:

http://www.adorama.com/BOWRCLC1R.html


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03-29-2016, 08:51 AM   #8
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TriggerTrap is a nice hardware (cable) and software solution that has every feature I could think of in a intervalometer and they keep updating the app and adding more. I put the app on an old phone I'm no longer using and clamp it to the tripod.
03-29-2016, 08:52 AM   #9
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I have something that looks the same sold under the "Bower" brand. They are probably all made in the same factory with different names painted after assembly. Buy whichever one is least expensive.

Mine has held up well despite being dropped a few times, and getting very wet on dew-laden nights.

My biggest complaint about the product is there's no off switch. Batteries have to be removed to turn it off. (It doesn't draw much power and batteries will survive a few months if you forget to remove them)
03-29-2016, 10:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
My biggest complaint about the product is there's no off switch.
My Bower (bought fall of 2013) shuts off automatically when inactive.


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03-29-2016, 10:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
My biggest complaint about the product is there's no off switch.
My noname copy/clone also shuts off when inactive, after 1 min or so
03-29-2016, 11:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Originally posted by DeadJohn
My biggest complaint about the product is there's no off switch.
My noname copy/clone also shuts off when inactive, after 1 min or so
By Inactive mean there is no active interval programmed I assume right?

---------- Post added 03-29-16 at 02:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by joergens.mi Quote
when you don't stand behind or in front of the camera, from the sides it sometimes fails to execute
Where would you normally stand then while taking a picture?

Also the distance is not an issue with IR (as long as there is line of site) and there is no risk of entangling with extension cables and pulling your camera/damaging the socket in case that happens.

This app sounds like should do what may be required and for free. Note the OP asks for an "affordable" intervalometer and this app will make it one less gadget item in the bag.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.dslrremote&hl=en
03-29-2016, 11:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by shardulm Quote
By Inactive mean there is no active interval programmed I assume right?
Right. If nothing is running and I touch a button, the unit wakes up. If I then don't do anything else, it just goes back to sleep after a minute, and I have to press a button again to make it wake up.

For what it's worth, I'm looking at it now and besides the brand label, I've spotted 1 other difference. So my nobrand one has a male and female jack that fit together near the camera jack. The camera jack is male, but so is the jack 10 cm down, which marries onto the female jack that's attached to the intervalometer itself. This is kind of nifty actually because I wouldn't be surprised if there was some cheap 3rd party male-male jack for other brands that would also work with this. I have not tested this though, so just theorising/hoping...
03-29-2016, 01:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass:
... So I bought one of these Neewer/Neewer clones last year ... My noname copy/clone also shuts off when inactive, after 1 min or so ...
Interesting. Yours is around 1 year old, mine is around 3. The backlight on mine turns off but the LCD display remains on. Makes me wonder if they added a battery life enhancement to the product.
03-29-2016, 06:10 PM   #15
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Out of curiosity I checked out this camera remote app on Android. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=dslr.camera.ir.remote.full

This isn't ad free but works like a charm. The bulb mode works very well as long as you program it correctly (spend some time figuring it out) and the camera is in Bulb/Mode2.
There is another ad free version of the app that is free to but does not have a bulb mode.
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