Remote shutter releases for large format lenses : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone know of a better way to fire a shutter remotely other than the air releases? I've tried a few of them and they don't always work. I do not want the hose and bulb visible in the series of self-portraits that I am working on. I was thinking of a battery opertated system that might use parts from radio controlled models- a wire with a switch at the end that would work with alot less effort. Any

-- Terence Falk (, October 18, 2000


I use a self timer for self portraits etc. for under $15 it sure sounds simpler than your wires and radio controller.

-- paul schuster (, October 18, 2000.

The Capture Group or something like that (maybe Kapture?) made or makes a kit of remote devices and parts of it seem to be able to shoot large-format lenses remotely. As I understand one of the devices can even repeat-shoot a Prontor shutter. The is FIENDISHLY expensive. Don't know if you can buy parts separate from the kit or where you can even get it. You used to be able to rent it at Jeff Hirsch's FotoCare in NYC.

-- Rob Tucher (, October 18, 2000.

I believe the Kapture Group electronic shutter release sells for about $900, and it might require AC power. For about another $800 you can tote along a nice light and quiet Honda generator to power the shutter release in the field.

-- Larry Huppert (, October 18, 2000.


In all seriousness, there aren't many reasonable alternatives for triping the shutter. The cheap little self timers do work, and an air release of high quality would also work. As you've found, the cheap plastic air releases aren't very good for LF use. However, there are some better models on the market. I use a modified version of the de Groff air release, and it works great. I believe Kaiser may also make a better quality air release, although I've never seen it. To get what you want, you might have to do a little inventing. If I take the bulb from my air release and press it with my foot, it will work, however the bulb is meant to be pressed by your hand and it will wiggle around on the floor and requires that you pretty much step fully on the bulb. That amount of foot force would probably disrupt your self portrait. For your needs I'd go to a sporting goods store and look at one of those inexpensive foot pumps for inflating boats. Using some fittings, you should be able to adapt that to an air release. Those pumps have such high volume, it shouldn't take much foot pressure to trip your shutter. Previous posts have also discussed the various air releases on the market in some detail.

-- Larry Huppert (, October 19, 2000.

I definately vote for the small mechanical clock-work self timers. I have one made in Germany from before WWII that works like a champ. It is designed to be attached to a cable release. I don't know if you can get them like that any more, but adding an extension, like what is used for wide angle lenses to any of the better quality ones aimed at the S.L.R. market should work well. They come up on Ebay all the time.

-- Sean yates (, October 20, 2000.

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