Using fibre optic cable with the Nikon D70 infrared trigger to make a wired remote control


The Nikon D70 and D50 have no cable release connection, so the only way to remotely trigger the shutter is through the infrared remote control, the sensor for which sits on the front of the camera, above the D70 logo. This means that it can sometimes be difficult to hit with the remote IR beam, especially from behind the camera. One simple, cheap solution is to use a fibre optic cable between the transmitter and the camera, but it's a bit tricky to connect them together. Here is one way, not so elegant, but it works.

Construction :

I took a piece of hard foam slightly larger than the remote in all dimensions, and cut a little trough in which the remote can sit. This builds a little wall in front of the transmitter lamp, and the fibreoptic cable can be poked through this to hold it in place. If you make a hole with a needle first, the foam will slowly squeeze back on to the cable with time.

Then I took two paperclips, bent one through 90 degrees and taped them together so that when one end was poked down into the carrying strap lug on the side of the camera, the other end sat over the sensor. The springiness of the paperclip means that it fits rather snugly in the lug if you choose the right size. Then I thickened the tape on the sensor-covering part with a piece of rubber (which in my case was one of those sticky thingies that stop chair legs scratching the floor). This makes sure that the fibre is held perpendicular to the sensor, and doesn't wobble around.

I used 0.2m single fibre optical cable because my local electronics shop happened to have 6 metres lying on the bench, which they sold me for almost nothing. But this is uncomfortably thin, being almost invisible. If you can get thicker, that would be better.
I put blue tags on the cable for the pictures just to help you see it.

Well, I'm sure you can make a neater job than I did, but I just wanted to show how easy it can be.

An alternative way to convert the D70 remote control by wiring it to a switch on a cable can be found at : Wiring the D70 remote for external triggering

© Mark Harris 2005, but feel free to distribute without changes.

(Photo page)

(MRH homepage)