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Remote Controls

Most cameras can be fired with the self timer, maybe by menu settings, and remotely either using a Remote cable   or a remote control, and these can operate by radio or by infrared similar to a TV remote control. In this article we are looking just at remote controls.

Nikon D300 and ML3 remote control receiver fitted, it rotates on the accessory
 shoe but can also work off of it.

Each camera manufacturer produces a remote control or several, often with different remotes for different camera ranges, with the Nikon range there are two.

Nikon ML-L3

The amateur Nikon models, such as the D40, D40X, D50, D60, D70, D80 and D90 use a low cost very small remote control, all being the same and on the same channel, so if any remote is pushed then all that are set to receive would go off. In order to avoid a problem, due to this, you have to set a maximum watching time for the remote, so that when remote mode is activated, it is on for only a limited time before turning itself off again.  It works with infra red and is picked up by a receiver at the front of the camera, so it only works outside when fired at the camera from in front and relatively close by, this makes it of limited value for wildlife and such applications and really only practical to use for applications where you could have used a remote cable plus taking your own photo instead of using the self timer. The ML-L3 is priced around 15, an unbranded substitute is available on eBay from Hong Kong at under 3 including postage, and Nikon originals from around 11 including postage (03/2009).

Nikon ML-L3

 

Nikon ML3

The professional Nikon models including the D100, D200, D300, D2H, D2X, D3, D3X, D700 all have a 10 pin socket and one of the accessories that can be connected to this, is the ML3 remote receiver, the other part of the ML3 is the transmitter.  It is said that this can be used with other Nikon cameras without a 10 pin socket using a Nikon MC25 cable. Transmitters and receiver can be switched between two channels, and if you use two receivers you can, by switching the remote transmitter, control them both, but only one at a time. This is the arrangement that I have allowing two cameras to be set up, for wildlife or other uses, and then to be able to choose which one to remotely fire. The transmitter also allows you to switch between single shot and continuous firing, a motor drive burst. As an alternative means of operation you can set up the transmitter and receiver as a beam and when something goes through the beam the photograph is taken. The range is around 8 metres. The ML3 RRP is 246, the second receiver is not listed but can be obtained as a spare part. The receiver can sit on top of the camera or just hang down as it is on a cable, it can be pointed to receive a signal from any direction. Both receiver and transmitter also have threads for mounting on to a tripod. The receiver can be put on to an extension cable, so that the beam can be set up away from the camera. Price around 168 in the UK, from 110 from Hong Kong on eBay including postage.

ML3, case, receiver and transmitter

 also shown at the top of the page on a D300

Substitutes by other manufactures include:

Seculine Twin-1 R3

There are a number of versions, for different cameras and depending on what connections the cameras have, with models covering Nikon and Canon, Sony and Minolta cameras and a universal version. The range is 1000 metres on those with dedicated sockets, such as the Nikon 10 pin connections and 50metres for others. The receiver on the 10 pin version is l shaped, so that the receiver is probably, on most models, sticking up above the camera probably giving all around reception. Price around 60 for the 10 pin and similar versions, 25 for the version without a receiver.

Seculine  R4N

This is a later special version for those with Nikon cameras having a 10 pin socket, with a range of 100metres. The receiver is very small and connects directly on to the 10 pin socket, probably making it only able to receive signals from in front of the camera. This version has two channels. Priced around 40

Hahnel RF Pro Remote

This uses radio with a range of around 80 metres, and line of sight is not required to operate it. It has 16 channels. There are a number of models for different makes of camera, and the sales information says that it has connector cables for every model by manufacturer in the kit. I can see from illustrations that with the Nikon kit this includes the 10 pin socket, but if you want to use it with a camera without a 10 pin socket you would need to check that it can connect to your specific camera.  It is priced at around 50. Hahnel also produce a new remote control, again with kits by manufacturer and priced at around 20, I am not sure what this is, I think its a form of cable release.

There are  others, when I searched for Nikon remote control on eBay I got 531 items, many were substitutes for the ML-L3 but there were also a small range off substitutes for the ML3 as well.

Canon make a RC-1 infra-red controller for the EOS 300S, 350D, 400D, 10/100/30/5-+e this fires the shutter from a range of 5 metres. Priced around 20.

Prices quoted on this page were taken 03/2009.


See Also:

Photix  - Hector  

Zigview

 


By: Keith Park Section: Key:
Page Ref: remote_controls Topic: Accessories Last Updated: 03/2009
 

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