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09-01-2016, 02:20 PM   #1
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Anything needed to enable IR remote control on a K-30?

So, I recently upgraded from my trusty-but-unused-for-a-decade SuperProgram film SLR to a brand-new K-30. Now, I'm often doing work shooting rocket launches - both big ones at Cape Canaveral just a few miles away, or little model rockets - and in any case, I'm very fond of using a remote trigger. For the SuperProgram that meant a nice long wired unit that plugged into the motor drive.

Anyway, that old SuperProgram wired remote had some weird connector unique to the motor drive, meaning it's just not usable on my new K-30. So, I picked up a third-party remote, one from KiwiFotos on Amazon that appealed to me because it can operate both wired and via infrared wireless, and supports a half-press of the shutter button.

The KiwiFotos remote works flawlessly in wired mode, didn't have to do anything but install the coin battery in it. Half-press works great.

But for the life of me I can't get the K-30 to trigger using the remote in IR mode. I can actually see the IR LED flicker in the K-30's LiveView, so I know it's sending out pulses. But the camera just ignores it. The only relevant setting in the camera menus seems to enable or disable AF when using a remote - I've tried that both ways to no effect, and trying both an AF and one of my old MF lenses from the SuperProgram. I've tried setting the camera itself to full auto, and P mode, as well as some of the others, no effect.

Is there something basic I'm missing to enable IR triggering? Of course it's possible the cheap KiwiFotos remote is broken, or isn't programmed properly for Pentax (they make the same unit for other cameras like Canon; now, this one says Pentax on the box, but of course could be packaging mix-up; certainly the other reviewers on Amazon claim it works fine with their Pentaxes, so...). But I'm also concerned that the IR receiver in my brand-new K-30 might be busted. How could I tell?

09-01-2016, 02:51 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by FritzCat66 Quote
But for the life of me I can't get the K-30 to trigger using the remote in IR mode. I can actually see the IR LED flicker in the K-30's LiveView, so I know it's sending out pulses. But the camera just ignores it.
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

I don't have a K-30 in front of me, but I do have a copy of the camera user guide. Enabling the IR remote means selecting "Remote Control" as a drive mode using the 4-way controller. When enabled, the red LED on the front of the camera will blink. (User guide p119)

If, by some chance your remote is not compatible and you own an Android smart phone, I can heartily recommend the Bitshift's free dSLR Remote app.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.dslrremote&hl=en


Steve
09-01-2016, 03:23 PM   #3
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Yup, that did the trick! Guess maybe I should read the manual and not just presume that I know this 21st century Pentax as well as my 1980's Pentax, eh?

But - interesting, because the wired mode did not require any change to drive setting, just plug it in and it works. So the wired remote basically works exactly like the onboard trigger button, while the wireless is treated completely differently, as a special drive mode.

I also notice, in wireless mode, half-press does not work. Now makes sense why there's a config option to enable or disable AF for remote trigger, because you can't half-press wireless.

The Pentax SuperProgram only has wired, of course, so none of this was ever a concern.
09-01-2016, 03:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FritzCat66 Quote
But - interesting, because the wired mode did not require any change to drive setting, just plug it in and it works. So the wired remote basically works exactly like the onboard trigger button, while the wireless is treated completely differently, as a special drive mode.
Yes, that is true. The wired remote supports both half-press and sustained full-press in B mode. The IR remote does not support half press and use of B mode requires a configuration change so that the shutter opens on one press and closes on a second (p89 in the manual).

QuoteOriginally posted by FritzCat66 Quote
The Pentax SuperProgram only has wired, of course, so none of this was ever a concern.
It is the winder and motor drive that support a wired (electrical) remote. The camera itself supports a traditional mechanical cable release. (I have both camera and winder on the counter behind me after having finished a roll of film a few days ago.)


Steve

09-02-2016, 08:01 AM   #5
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Ah yes, the cable release! Interesting that the 21st century Pentax doesn't support such a simple thing as mechanical cable release. Pentax actually made a cable release adapter for my little Optio 5Si that I've used on occasion, then again that adapter is bigger than the whole camera.

I suppose a long pointed stick might also qualify as a "universal remote trigger" as well.
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