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Need Shutter/Cable Release/Remote for Nikon D3400


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29 replies to this topic

#1
Bruyere

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Hi,

 

I tried to post this before I was approved, and don't see the topic anymore, hoping this time works!

 

I bought a Nikon D3400, was so excited....until I learned there is no wired cable release for it! The wired Nikon remote does not work with this camera since it only has HDMI slots. The Nikon infrared remote does not have ability to lock in place, making it necessary to hold down the remote manually.

 

Problem is, I am going to Iceland to photograph the Northern Lights, I expect to need the shutter open for 20 - 30 seconds, so having to stand in front of the camera, holding down the button for that long does not seem to be a good option. I really wanted a non-battery operated shutter release, I'd even take a threaded one, but that does not seem to be an option with this camera, which really surprises me.

 

Does anyone know of a 3rd party solution? Either a cable release with an HDMI connection, or an infrared remote that lets you slide and lock instead of holding down the button manually? Smartphone App will NOT work because the cold will drain the battery of my phone too quickly.

 

Appreciate any suggestions.  

 

Thank you.



#2
nbanjogal

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I  just bought a really cheap one last week, but I guess it's the wrong connection for your D3400. Too bad because it works really well.

 

So I'm just curious about why you would have to hold the button down for 20 or 30 seconds rather than just using a 20 or 30 second exposure time on your shutter speed? It seems that this would be easier? Most of the current Nikons have up a 30-second exposure before making you go to bulb, (in which case you would hit the shutter once to open and then again to close it rather than holding it open...)

 

I may be confused about what you are expecting to do?



#3
Ron

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From what I can find, Bruyere, the IR remote is you only option for remote triggering the D3400. However, as Nicole pointed out, the D3400 does allow setting a long exposure time of up to 30 seconds in camera. And, I would expect that 30 seconds should be more than enough for what you're planning. In fact, your actual exposure times will probably be considerably less than 30 seconds because anything longer than about 15 seconds results in star trails and other artifacts.

 

The IR remote should be able to trigger the camera to begin the exposure and then you would let the camera close the shutter after your set exposure time is reached.

 

--Ron



#4
Bruyere

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Hi Nicole and Ron - the truth is, I have no idea how long I will need to set the exposure. So, I want to easily and quickly be able to change length of time the shutter is open. I know I can do self timer, and choose a shutter open time, but, picture me in the freezing cold, and not wanting to have to take my gloves off and hit lots of buttons and dials to keep changing the exposure - partly because the camera battery will die faster in the cold, too, so the less manipulating, the better!

 

I would really love a remote that makes it easy for me to choose an amount of time, and if that doesn't work, then just count to 19, instead of 30....if you follow me? Having to continuously change the settings on the camera in the cold is what I'm trying to avoid, as well as, I had hoped, having a battery operated remote. I want to use the Bulb Setting, and then be able to manually "count to 10/20/22...."

 

Nicole, wish I could use the remote you're talking about! I got the mC-DC2 I think it was, looked awesome, but wrong connector for my camera. :(



#5
nbanjogal

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Nicole, wish I could use the remote you're talking about! I got the mC-DC2 I think it was, looked awesome, but wrong connector for my camera. :(

 

That's exactly the one I bought. Worked like a charm on my D600 but haven't tried it on my D810.

 

So, I think Ron is right about the IR remote being your only option because of your camera's fancy bluetooth settings (yay technology). Too bad they did away with the cable connector! Kind of like Apple doing away with the headphone jack on the iPhone--not yet, folks!!

 

Another thought--with the Bulb setting, you are not holding the button down--once to open and once again to close it (right Ron? I use it so rarely). You could probably do that with an IR remote pretty easily. 

 

I actually do a lot of nighttime photography--I have found that I can depend on certain settings to capture the night sky and rarely have to venture away from them. I'm guessing that if you do some brief experimentation while shooting the Northern Lights, you will likely find some settings that you can stick with and not have to fiddle too much. It's just that initial experimentation that might be painful. (Granted, I shoot the Milky Way, not the Northern Lights, so I could be way off on this.)

 

From an article I just googled:

 

 

What kind of settings should one use to capture the Northern Lights?

There is no perfect recipe for capturing the northern lights because, as in any situation, your exposure will largely depend on the light. However, that being said, try setting you camera on full manual mode. Use the Live View setting on your camera’s display to ensure you get a sharp focus at infinity (or slightly less, depending on the lens). Set your ISO between 800 and 3200, your aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and your shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds. Note that shutter speeds of above 15 seconds will result in slight star movement. You’re ready. Lock you mirror up, compose, and shoot. If you end up with a slightly overexposed or underexposed image, play with a combinations of these settings until you get the exposure to where you want it.

Found it here:   A Beginning Photographer’s Guide to Photographing The Northern Lights

 

 

This seems logical to me, though I completely disagree with the statement that stars will streak after 15 seconds--that depends entirely on the length of your lens. With my 14mm I can expose for 30 seconds without streaking.

 

Just a few more thoughts...

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6
Bruyere

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Nicole, that's awesome, thanks! I assumed I had to hold the shutter down - I was in a darn specialty camera store, explaining my concern, and none of the reps told me I pressed once to open, once to close, if that's the case, problem solved!

 

Anyone know for sure on the Infrared remotes?



#7
etphoto

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I shoot with different cameras and it drives me nuts I need different type of shutter releases for each. lol Therefore, I refuse to buy them for my backup cameras. You do not need a shutter release for shooting the Northern Lights. Just use the self timer function on your camera (I assume the D 3400 has one), set it to 2 seconds, set your camera up on a tripod, get all your settings you are going to use and press shutter and release. The camera will wait 2 seconds and then fire away. I use this function all the time since I am a big fan of dragging the shutter. Obviously, you can't use this function while taking images of moving objects (duh).

Twitter: @PhotographyET

#8
Merco_61

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You press once to open and again to close with the IR remote. Remember that bulb mode will be presented as -- instead of bulb when you use the remote and is only selectable when everything is on manual. 

 

Nicole, I am afraid you will need a new remote release for the D810 as it uses the 10-pin accessory socket. 



#9
nbanjogal

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Nicole, I am afraid you will need a new remote release for the D810 as it uses the 10-pin accessory socket. 

 

Thanks, Peter. I suspected this might be the case but hadn't checked that out thoroughly yet--good to know!



#10
Ron

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I'm late to this but yeah, what Peter said. Once to open the shutter and once more to close it. etphoto's idea about using the self timer also works... assuming you have one. I know that Nikon dropped some stuff off the D3400 to get the price down. And, of course, Bluetooth and wireless is all the rage. I'll stick with my wired remote. I have two ML-L3's and in my experience they're hit or miss at best. There's nothing like a direct connection. 

 

Oh and yeah, Nicole. With the D810 you've officially graduated to the big leagues and get to buy all new specialized stuff for your new camera. Round eyepieces and screw in remote cables, etc. Woohoo! I'll never understand why any company does stuff like that. Seems to me that it would be much easier (not to mention cheaper) to just make all eyepieces round and use screw in remotes (or whatever) for every camera. That said, I'm still jealous! LOL 

 

On the star trails. What you're seeing Nicole, is an artifact of using an ultra wide angle lens. If you magnify the image to say, the field of view of a 50mm lens, you should see star trails.

 

--Ron



#11
Malice

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You're probably already aware of this, so just to be on the safe side: whatever equipment combination you end up with, be sure to practise with it before you're out there in the freezing cold.

If battery endurance is a major concern, maybe battery grips are something worth looking into.

#12
Ron

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Malice makes a good point. Back in my film days, I used to keep spare batteries in an inside pocket of my coat so that they would stay warm in cold conditions. It might be a good idea to at least buy a spare camera battery and do the same thing, just in case.

 

--Ron



#13
Bruyere

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Thank you everyone!  Well, I HAVE to practice since last time I went to Iceland I took my iPhone, and this time I want some real photos. Watching YouTube videos and yes, plan to practice with the remote, and a tripod. Got 2 spare batteries for the camera, a spare charger, and plan to get a couple spares for the remote which I just ordered. I have a wide angle lens, too, so practice is the name of the game! Oh, and I also heard I should get some ziploc bags or turkey roasting bags and store the camera in it as I go from indoors to outdoors to let it adjust to the temperatures without condensation?



#14
Malice

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Maybe I'm not fully awake, yet, but shouldn't condensation only be a problem, when moving from cold to warm areas and not the other way around?

#15
Bruyere

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Hi Malice - I will be in Iceland, going from, for example, a warm car into the outdoors for hours, and then back into the heated car - I understood I could have a condensation problem?



#16
Merco_61

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Condensation is seldom a problem when going out in the cold, when you return a cold ziploc bag is a good idea. If you put the camera inside a bag that has been out in the cold so it is as cold as the camera, make sure you have as little air inside the bag as possible and close it most of the condensation will form on the outside of the bag instead of on the camera and lens. 

 

If the conditions are normal, the humidity is low when it has been cold for a while, and the condensation problem will be much smaller if not non-existent. The need for precautions rises when it has been warmish and suddenly drops to -20°C or so.

 

When it comes to batteries, don't let the one you have in the camera deplete too much. Keep switching the one in the camera and the one in your pocket quite often and you will find that your charge will last much longer than if you put a battery in the body and shoot until the low battery warning activates before changing.



#17
Bruyere

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Wow, Nikonian, thank you! Great tips, I would never have known or thought to rotate batteries, would have let them de-charge first, awesome, thanks so much!



#18
Malice

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By the way, please don't foget to come back here after you've returned from your trip to Iceland and let us see your results. I can only speak for myself, but now I'm really curious to see your northern lights images.

#19
Bruyere

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LOL Malice, I will try to remember! It's not until end of February - I wanted plenty of time to practice before I leave, so I will let you know then! PS- you can do a "northern lights dance" for me, I need all the mojo I can get to get them to come out while I'm there with my camera!



#20
Bruyere

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Just an update here to let anyone that reads this post know - the battery operated remote for the D3400 worked great! It does indeed work by clicking once to open the shutter which remains open until you click the remote again. Very easy to use, and used it for 4 hours in the freezing cold, no batter issues. :)


Hi Malice, if this worked, you should see a few of my photos attached, per your earlier request!

Attached Thumbnails

  • lights_00160.jpg
  • lights_00164.jpg
  • lights_00183.jpg