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09-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Shutter release cable

Sorry for opening such a silly thread, but I'd like to know what is the consensus on these items, long vs short
I've seen cheap ones on ebay, the longest are about 1 meter, so not many hopes at getting myself in the frame, I guess I can get further by using the self timer and running
The question is: are the long cables reliable? Being mechanical, I can imagine making them longer also makes them harder to press and more vulnerable to wear. But aren't the short ones too short? As in, shaking the camera by mistake?
What are you using?

09-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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This is just my personal opinion, based on a couple of instances. I had a wired shutter release (a simple one) for about 3 years for my K20 and K5. Never abused, but it just stopped working. About 6 months ago I picked up an ebay replacement, again. It just died a couple of weeks ago. I have been using the one with a built in timer for an interim replacement.

All of them have has a 1 meter cable. The two that have failed, had no indication as to why, they just stopped working. Each were pretty simple, just a connector, cable and a switch. The two failed ones were from China - looked well made. Bottom line - you pay your money and take your chances; and you get what you pay for.

As far as a replacement - well I am looking around. The $2 to $5 evilbay specials, I will bypass, since even just a simple switch fails - well at least for me.

09-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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Are we talking about a wired or a legacy mechanical release in this thread? I am guessing mechanical as this thread is in the film forum, and it is usually fairly easy to make an extension cord for a wired release...

The longer the sliding sleeve cable release, the more friction exists inside that sleeve. At some point that friction makes it difficult to smoothly release the shutter at the desired moment. That's why you frequently can't find a release longer than 1 meter. But there is an alternative .The release is still mechanical, but uses pneumatic (air) pressure rather than a solid link. There is a rubber bulb that the photographer squeezes and the pressure moves down a small rubber tube to the head. The head has a piston, soft spring and the expected solid pin to fire the shutter. A small squeeze is force-multiplied by the size of the piston.

While my roughly 7 meter pneumatic release has been sitting unused on the closet shelf for about 10 years, it still works fine. I could easily do long exposures by just holding the bulb - - probably where that term comes from. I'm pretty sure a 14-15 meter release would also work without a problem if you replaced the hose. Mind you, the hose reel and pressure bulb take up a goodly amount of space in the typical gear bag.
09-21-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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Yes, we're talking about mechanical shutter releases like this one. Sorry about the confusion. (also thanks to the interesting observer for his answer, it may be useful for somebody)

I don't want a pneumatic cable. Do they have any kind of lock? I have bad experience with cheap rubber bulbs, the rubber tends to tear apart and becomes useless.
So the question now is: should I get a full meter cable, or a shorter one?

09-21-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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I have ~15cm, ~50cm and 1m releases. I rarely had any trouble with any of those lengths. To be honest I probably got the most use with the 15cm release. I used it mainly with the camera mounted on a tripod for slow shutter speeds (and a couple really slow - bulb - exposures). With only a little caution, it avoided any camera shake.

I am not trying to pressure you to go pneumatic. I just responded to your joke about having to use a self-timer. Pneumatic does solve that problem. My pneumatic release was used mostly for family shots that included the photographer rather than using the camera's self-timer. It didn't have heavy use, but it did have regular use - and as I noted, there are still no signs of rubber rot after sitting for another ten years. As for a lock - mine has no lock. However I suspect it wouldn't be hard to install a check valve that would function as a lock.
09-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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Yes, I'm only 19, so I guess that gives me about 50 years left of running in the frame, give or take. I'll be using the cable mainly for long exposures. I'd get the short cable, but my main concern is where will it sit while I'm away from the camera? (planning to do star trails) Will it just hang in the air? I imagine the wind being able to shake such a cable easier than one that sits on the ground.
09-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
I'd get the short cable, but my main concern is where will it sit while I'm away from the camera? (planning to do star trails) Will it just hang in the air? I imagine the wind being able to shake such a cable easier than one that sits on the ground.
If the wind is strong enough to shake the short release enough to disturb the exposure, it is also strong enough to vibrate your tripod. And a long release has more surface area for the wind to grab.
09-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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I have a foot long with the little lock screw on it that is always in the camera bag (in a side pocket folded up) though I do have a meter one in case I need it. With the long one you can wrap it loosely around the tripod leg and tuck the end somewhere so that when you engage the lock screw on it for super long exposures you can let go and not have it flail around. The short one would become a spring loaded dancing doll in a wind long before the camera would move, I suppose it could jerk the camera around enough to blur things if it really got to moving, but its still necessary since its easy to always have it along and normally you don't let go of the cable or move in B mode.

09-22-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
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I've been looking for this - or something like it . . .

09-22-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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What I would like to find is a source for the nut that legacy mechanical remote releases screw into.

I already have this electronic release for my K-r, and with one of these nuts, I can easily make a switch activated by a mechanical release.

There are lots of old legacy shutter release devices out there to trip a camera shutter, the sonic device above, trip wire releases, interval timers, self-timers, ... Just because we are predominently in a digial age doesn't make these devices useless.
09-22-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I've been looking for this - or something like it . . .
Try eBay? I got my mechanical timer there. I didn't even know they existed till I came across one by accident in a listing for a mixed lot of accessories. It was the only thing I really missed having.

QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
I'll be using the cable mainly for long exposures. I'd get the short cable, but my main concern is where will it sit while I'm away from the camera? (planning to do star trails) Will it just hang in the air? I imagine the wind being able to shake such a cable easier than one that sits on the ground.
Mine is about a foot long. It looks pretty much like the pic you posted, & yes, it does lock. If you're concerned about it swinging around in the breeze, just tape it to the tripod or camera back or something. So you set up your shot, tape the cable down, leave the lens cap on, open the shutter & then very carefully remove the cap. (Or, hold your hand or a piece of card or something over the lens till you've tripped the shutter.)
I piggybacked my camera on my telescope so I could use the finder scope to track for a long exposure, & I think I taped the cable to the telescope tube, cos the scope tripod isn't the steadiest.
Personally I wouldn't really bother with a longer cable unless I was trying to shoot some kind of wildlife where I couldn't be in a blind with the camera, or something. And a short cable fits in the camera bag better.
Good luck with the star trails. There is something quite marvellous about sitting all by yourself in an unpopulated location with a brilliant dome of stars above you while your camera is making cool pictures. My last outing featured fireflies too!
As noted above -- don't do them on really windy nights!
09-22-2012, 04:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alliecat Quote
Try eBay? I got my mechanical timer there. I didn't even know they existed till I came across one by accident in a listing for a mixed lot of accessories. It was the only thing I really missed having.
Like you I didn't know these mechanical timers existed but it came with a K1000 SE so I keep an eye on every source I know for this and other Spiratone accessories.

09-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #13
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And they make such a great BUZZZZZing noise
09-23-2012, 02:01 AM   #14
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This is the best place to get a very decent cable release, actually these are the best money can buy, Linhof, Leica, Hasselblad and a lot of others are getting theirs at the brothers Schreck: Gebr. Schreck - your specialist for cable releases

I have several in different colours of the Model series Plastics with the butterfly handle with spherical brake of 50 cm long and use them on my PRONTOR shutters which are rather delicate little beasts and they need two cable releases...
The Cloth Professional Release (50 cm) is the best one can get for Hasselblad.
Don't forget that a bad cable release can hurt the stutter's release system!
A cable release, when used professionally, lasts about 5 to 6 years at it's best, always take some spear...
09-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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I have several 14" releases that look very much like the one in your illustration except that mine are braided metal with a clear vinyl cover. Hakuba is the brand name and they are top quality.

Avoid the kind that lock with a screw from the side.

As for length...the longer releases are good if you need to be some distance from the camera when you make an exposure. Beyond that, there is little advantage when you get beyond about 50cm.


Steve
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