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10-12-2020, 03:43 AM   #1
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Shutter release probs with Vello CB 800 pistol grip

I have used this pistol grip for many months (in conjunction with the proper shutter release cable) with my KP. Mainly for macro shots with camera on tripod, sometimes for bird shots (again, camera on tripod) when using the 55-300 PLM lens. A soft press on the pistol grip's trigger has always activated the autofocus, and the shutter has been released with a full press. Had the odd moments when I have accidentally pressed on the Lock button, but have always been able to fix this either by pressing on the Lock button again, or turning the camera off and on.

The probs below are all with modern auto-focus lenses - the 55-300 PLM, the 100mm 2.8 Macro, or the 16-85mm zoom.

Now the pistol grip with shutter release cable has virtually become unusable. Problerms have been:

  1. a soft press does not activate autofocus
  2. a hard press does not activate the shutter
  3. the shutter goes rampant, shooting continuously, even when I am not pressing any camera or pistol grip button.
  4. A soft press immediately activates the shutter release.
  5. accidentally touching the Lock button releases the shutter

Sometimes a combination, where a soft press immediately activates the shutter.

I have ensured in the camera menu that the setting for external accessories (mic, or shutter cable) is set to shutter release and not auto or mic.

I mostly suspect that the trigger mechanism inside the pistol grip has become faulty, (maybe the lock mechanism is stuck on Lock) and am about to order a new pistol grip, but does anyone have experience with this problem, or suggestions on whether there may be some obscure menu setting in the camera I may have activated that could provoke these issues? (I do not see any kinks or stress points on the cable).

I hope the electronics in the camera plug haven't gone awry.

Debating if I should fork out the extra cash on the Pentax cable release (4-5 times the price). I have relied heavily on this accessory for most of my macro shots, and occassionally for bird shots.

Comments, suggestions??

10-12-2020, 06:20 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
I hope the electronics in the camera plug haven't gone awry.
There really aren't any "electronics" in there - the plugs (at both ends) and cable just conduct the result of switch closure. Make sure the plugs seat squarely and securely.

Do you have an ohm meter? If so, try checking whether or not the circuit is properly closed when the trigger is pulled. Measure between the tip and ground ring (the farthest back metal ring on the plug that goes into the camera and the middle ring (between the tip and ground ring) when the trigger is supposed to be closed. You should get a clean indication of circuit closure if all is well.

The Pentax remote plug has the exact same functionality as the Canon circuit shown here: :: camera remote release pinout list

Actually, I think the KP uses a different remote control - and that it's the only such one in the K line-up, so my suggestion for testing continuity may not be applicable.

Check these two threads for more info on connections: (this one shows the diagram part way down on the first page)

Last edited by AstroDave; 10-12-2020 at 08:34 AM. Reason: KP plug is different
10-12-2020, 06:22 AM   #3
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I have had a variety of problems with electronic cable releases on Pentax. One to look out for: almost all the camera-end plugs have a right-angle bend (= the plug inserted into the camera is at right angle to the wire). If this right angle is rotated slightly in the camera socket, it hits against the camer body and is pulled out slightly, either breaking all three electrical contacts on the plug, or changing where they make contact inside the camera. Also FYI: I think I know have four after-market cable releases (sold under the "Bower" brand) that do not work at all on either of my Pentax camera bodies (K3 and K1). I have complained many times that DSLRs do not have a traditional threaded shutter button for a mechanical cable release.SFAIK Nikon's retro model DF is the only current DSLR with this simple, reliable feature.

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