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04-10-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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K-x remote control

At some point in the near future I will be utilizing the remote control function on my new K-x. However, after just reading about the feature in the owner's manual, I have a concern. It states the "operating distance of the remote control is about 4m from the front of the camera." Which begs the question, does the remote only work if the user is standing directly in front of the camera? The scenes I plan on shooting (such as outdoors macro and small wildlife) will not permit me the luxury of standing in front of the camera, thereby disturbing the subject matter. Is this the only way the remote can be activated? If so it will certainly hinder the types of scenes I want to set up for shooting.

04-10-2010, 11:52 AM   #2
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Yes the remote for the Kx is line of sight only. It is infrared remote. What you could possibly do is put a mirror in front of the sensor and bounce the beam off it. I'm not sure how effective that will be but that maybe the only option you have unless you upgrade or downgrade. The K200D and the K10D have a wired connection. The K2000(KM) and Kx do not have that ability.
04-10-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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Gary,

That is one of the very few faults I have against the K-x. With the sensor in front, and very short range, it seems Pentax wanted to limit its use to only taking family snapshots and self portraits.

you can try rigging up some white paper, mirror or aluminum foil to catch the IR signal from behind the camera and bounce it around front. I don't have the patience for such things. I have some ideas on converting the IR remote to an RF remote, using cheap rf slaves for flash strobes, if you're electrically inclined.
04-10-2010, 03:50 PM   #4
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There was this rig I saw off ebay before but can never find it again wherein you can attach some sort of a bouncer onto the lens. Its like a reflective card with a hole for the lens, so the lens actually holds the card where you could bounce the IR to.
Since the card is rather elongated, you can bounce from the back or the side of the camera.
There is even, a DIY that I saw somewhere in the net, wherein a guy bought a cheap IR remote, took it apart and attached a long wire to the IR LED itself so that it can be taped right in front of the IR receptor on the camera.
It looked kinda like a wired remote but at the end is the IR LED transmitter taped to the front of the camera.

04-10-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
There is even, a DIY that I saw somewhere in the net, wherein a guy bought a cheap IR remote, took it apart and attached a long wire to the IR LED itself so that it can be taped right in front of the IR receptor on the camera.
It looked kinda like a wired remote but at the end is the IR LED transmitter taped to the front of the camera.
Hrmm ... I guess it maybe would work maybe for a few feet, but certainly not meters ... the infrared led requires a rather precise bias voltage to work, even a few millivolts lost (voltage drop) over a long wire could mess that up.

Better than extending the led, extend the button instead. The button (switch) doesn't care about voltage at all, other than perhaps incurring a misfire or two from stray charges / noise.
04-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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Extending the button would be a good idea, but taping the remote to the front of the camera would be rather large compared to just taping the small LED.
You don't need to be very far form the camera anyway, you just need to be away from the front if you are capturing a landscape with a wide lens.
04-11-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses

Unfortunately, when researching dslrs prior to deciding on the K-x, I overlooked checking further into the remote capabilities. I never thought it would just be line of sight in front of the camera. On e-bay I found a mirror set up that rests on the top of the lens body and may give it a try as an inexpensive alternative. For my shots I just need to stand a few feet behind the camera so it may end up working. If it ends up working I'll write back. Lesson learned: no matter how much prior research you do, always do a little more.
04-11-2010, 04:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gary G Quote
Unfortunately, when researching dslrs prior to deciding on the K-x, I overlooked checking further into the remote capabilities. I never thought it would just be line of sight in front of the camera. On e-bay I found a mirror set up that rests on the top of the lens body and may give it a try as an inexpensive alternative. For my shots I just need to stand a few feet behind the camera so it may end up working. If it ends up working I'll write back. Lesson learned: no matter how much prior research you do, always do a little more.
This was why the IR remote design of the K10D was remarkable since it had a receptor too in the back, just in case you don't like the tethered remote.
That was actually a brilliant idea from Pentax.

04-11-2010, 04:40 PM   #9
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You can probably jerry-rig or DIY a mirror that can be angled that mounts on the camera's hot shoe.
If you are not using an external flash, then the hot shoe would be an ideal mount for one of these (mirror or reflective material) that you can bounce the IR off.
It can be easily slid on and off the hot shoe mount.
04-11-2010, 05:09 PM   #10
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There is also a remote designed for time lapse called the Pclix.

It's a bit pricey ($140 + $22 for the cable)

C-100 - Single Infrared Cable
$22.00
This cable is highly recomended for any camera being triggered using infrared light. It allows you to put the Pclix behind or below your camera and not directly in front as would be the case if the cable is not used. One end of cable plugs into the Pclix LT the other sits overtop of the infrared receive on your camera. The length of this cable is 39" (1m). Need a longer one? Custom lengths are possible.

More about the Pclix LT
04-11-2010, 07:02 PM   #11
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Looks like a long fiber optic cable as it ends with something like a cut wire end.
Fiber optics would actually work to extend the reach of the IR but looking like a "wired" remote.
12-31-2010, 04:04 AM   #12
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Hi! I'm new to this forum having just bought a K-x. I also wanted a remote so that I could do relatively long exposures of models (cars mainly) in Av mode and on a tripod. I found an old Remote Control C Set in my general junk box and after ensuring the battery was working had a go. Once the autofocus function is activated, as explained in an earlier response (Thanks. Very helpful) I've found you can activate the shutter from directly behind the camera, above and below, though only on the right hand side. I suspect that this is because I am working indoors. It seems unlikely to operate as helpfully outside. The IR beam presumably bounces off the ceiling and/or walls. Anyway, it works for me.
12-31-2010, 04:15 AM   #13
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+1 for the ir remote working by bounce from behind the camera (I've the Ebay 1-button variety)
12-31-2010, 10:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rik Rabbit Quote
... I've found you can activate the shutter from directly behind the camera, above and below, though only on the right hand side. I suspect that this is because I am working indoors. It seems unlikely to operate as helpfully outside. The IR beam presumably bounces off the ceiling and/or walls. Anyway, it works for me.
This works for me too, the IR remote is not too picky and just needs something to reflect it into the IR sensor on the front of the grip.

Indoors I just aim the remote at something in front of the camera. Outdoors, I usually point the remote at the right side of the camera, remote has to be just forward of the grip.

If I can't hold the remote there, I put a small Post-it note or small piece of tape attached to the left side of the grip, extending over the IR sensor (red light), not quite touching it and past the right side of the camera. With this setup, I can use the remote from behind the camera, as long as the remote is slightly to the right. If I can see the red light blinking on the post-it, the remote should work.

I've never needed any other aids, but you can use almost anything as a reflector. I just tried setting my camera bag a few feet in front of the Kx, and it worked fine. You don't need a mirror, but a white piece of paper would probably extend your range. Range usually isn't an issue from behind the camera.
12-31-2010, 10:39 AM   #15
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Good suggestions all. For the budget inclined, I read somewhere recently that a universal remote set to a Sony TV will work. Haven't tried this but on my old GX10 (samsung version for k10d), a samsung video recorder remote worked fine - I had to try all the buttons before I found the one that worked. The Samsung remote does not work on my K-X though so I bought a compact aftermarket remote that also does Nikon and Canon.
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