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07-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
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Remote Shutter Release

I ordered a remote shutter release (F model) from Pentax a few weeks ago. When I used it for the first time over the weekend, in bright sunlight, I found that it was very unreliable. It would only work if I fired the remote right in front of the camera, literally a range of inches.

I took it home and tested it again, this time indoors. I wondered if there was a battery problem. It worked fine, and had a range as far as I could go in line of sight, about 15 feet.

Do these gadgets only work in dim light? Is the broad spectrum (including some IR) of sunlight affecting the IR sensor so that the s/n of the device is too low? Looking in the reviews, I don't see any mention of this problem.

07-06-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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I do not own the official Pentax remote so can not comment on its range. My $5-8 Chinese remotes have worked like champs outside with each of my K cameras.

LLC RM-E7 Remote Control reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
07-06-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I do not own the official Pentax remote so can not comment on its range. My $5-8 Chinese remotes have worked like champs outside with each of my K cameras.

LLC RM-E7 Remote Control reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
Thanks Docrwm. I'll certainly buy this if no one has a quick and obvious solution for my current gadget.
07-07-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeoJerry Quote
Thanks Docrwm. I'll certainly buy this if no one has a quick and obvious solution for my current gadget.
They're so inexpensive thst I have one in each of my bags as well as one in the tripd case.

07-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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Bright sunlight creates a lot of IR interference. As the interference rises the IR remote's usable distance falls.
This is one reason I added the ability to attach a wired switch to an IR remote. You can see how I did it in the DIY section of this site.
07-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Bright sunlight creates a lot of IR interference. As the interference rises the IR remote's usable distance falls.
This is one reason I added the ability to attach a wired switch to an IR remote. You can see how I did it in the DIY section of this site.
Thanks... do you have a link to that site? I looked around but couldn't easily find it.
07-09-2012, 06:09 AM   #7
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/186110-make-wired-release-any...ir-camera.html

I recently used my wired remote with nearly direct sunshine on my K-r's IR receiver port. Although I was about 25 feet/8M from the camera, the camera fired just fine because the IR remote transmitter was right next to the IR receiver port.

Have you ever noticed that aside from our cameras, nearly every IR based device is either designed for indoor or nighttime use?
07-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/186110-make-wired-release-any...ir-camera.html

I recently used my wired remote with nearly direct sunshine on my K-r's IR receiver port. Although I was about 25 feet/8M from the camera, the camera fired just fine because the IR remote transmitter was right next to the IR receiver port.

Have you ever noticed that aside from our cameras, nearly every IR based device is either designed for indoor or nighttime use?
Sounds like a good weekend project, thanks!

I never bought a remote before.... is there one on the market now designed for broad daylight?

07-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeoJerry Quote
I never bought a remote before.... is there one on the market now designed for broad daylight?
Got a small nuclear power supply and an IR spotlight that can be modulated? The sun is a BIG source of white noise in the IR range, even at our distance from the sun. Little IR LEDs with button cells just don't put out much in comparison.

I'm not saying available crop of IR remotes isn't useful, but you have to understand what the limits are. The same inverse square rule applies here as does any light source. The further apart the transmitter and the receiver, the less the received of the remote's IR signal and the more the sun is going to interfere with that signal.

The other two reasons I like my wired remote-
  • the transmitted IR signal is directional and the IR receiver is on the front of the camera (you can bounce the signal, but that often means adding some kind of reflector and a drop in signal strength). Wired means I can be located anywhere in relation to the camera
  • I am not restricted to a push-button switch. I can use any kind of switch, including trip strings, lightning detectors, motion detectors, RF triggers and so on.
07-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Can anyone recommend a good off brand cable release for use on a K20D that is more like 10ft. long? I thought about getting the actual Pentax one until I found out it was only 19in. long. That is way to short for many applications. My Minolta one is something like 10ft, which is more useful.
07-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by zekewhipper Quote
Can anyone recommend a good off brand cable release for use on a K20D that is more like 10ft. long? I thought about getting the actual Pentax one until I found out it was only 19in. long. That is way to short for many applications. My Minolta one is something like 10ft, which is more useful.
Look at wireless flash triggers. The "Cactus" brand triggers include little cables specifically to do this. You mount one trigger (or receiver) on the hotshoe and run the cable to the cable release port. Then, whenever you press the button on the transmitter, the shutter fires (not the flash, unless you have a flash mounted onto that same receiver). They use radio frequency, so sunlight makes no difference, but lots of metal or machinery may degrade the distance they will fire (mine fire at 300ft over open ground).

Here I'm triggering my K-5 on a pano rig (Cactus V5's include the half-press for focus as well):

Last edited by panoguy; 07-09-2012 at 08:09 PM.
07-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zekewhipper Quote
Can anyone recommend a good off brand cable release for use on a K20D that is more like 10ft. long? I thought about getting the actual Pentax one until I found out it was only 19in. long. That is way to short for many applications. My Minolta one is something like 10ft, which is more useful.
I got the official Pentax cable release for my K5 a few months ago when someone was dumping them for $8 or so as I recall. Yes, its very short. But, it has a standard audio cable connector and an extension from WalMart was <$10. So, I now have a ~12 foot cable release for <$20. That might work for you.
07-11-2012, 04:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info. guys.

Docrwm: What would I be looking for if I went to Walmart for an extension? Is it a tv or radio related wire or what?
07-11-2012, 05:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by zekewhipper Quote
Thanks for the info. guys.

Docrwm: What would I be looking for if I went to Walmart for an extension? Is it a tv or radio related wire or what?
Headphone extension cord iscwhat I got.
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