Author Topic: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release  (Read 2666 times)

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Offline wfaridTopic starter

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Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« on: October 29, 2011, 06:20:09 AM »
I am an artist and one of my projects involves setting up a manual camera on tripod and taking pictures of objects/people. One of the restrictions that I have for this project is that I have to be near the camera constantly in order to take the picture. I have wanted to create a wireless manual camera shutter release for some time now. Basically a tool that allows me to take pictures remotely with a manual film camera. The only problem is that no one makes them! So I wanted to create a small robot to do just that. There are shutter releases, that can 'extend' the shutter button (the button that snaps the picture). One is pictured below courtesy of glaringnotebook.com



As you can when you press the button a small rod appears out of the tip. I want a linear actuator (or something equivalent) to press the shutter release (so my hand doesnt have to) and then quickly depress it. It also has to be controlled through a wireless remote. It has to have enough torq and speed to simulate a quick thumb press.  Its really important that as soon as I want to take a picture I can, and there is no lag in the mechanics.

I was looking at the "Firgelli Technologies PQ12 Actuator 20mm, 30:1, 12V" but I wasn't sure if that actuator would fit my specifications.  Any thoughts and suggestions? Also what other components would I need to make this possible?


For those of you who aren't too familiar with manual film cameras, the shutter release  gets screwed into the shutter button of a manual camera (all manual cameras have them). Below is an diagram of the setup

« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 06:25:07 AM by wfarid »

Offline waltr

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 07:29:46 AM »
A Hobby servo could be used to push the shutter release. Then any small micro-controller can be programmed to move the servo. Depending on the distance from the camera, you could use either an IR link (even use a TV type remote) or an RF link between a hand help sender and a receiver on the micro-controller. It could even be done without a micro-controller.

The Firgelli Actuator should work but a Hobby servo can be much cheaper. The Firgelli Actuator may be simpler to control but requires some method to apply and reverse the polarity of 12V.

For an experienced person in micro-controllers and electronics this is a rather simple project and is not a bad first project for a beginner.

Offline wfaridTopic starter

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 12:19:31 PM »
the problem i see is that servos move in a circular motion and I'm not sure how I would turn that into a press.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 12:22:47 PM »
Hi,

For those of you who aren't too familiar with manual film cameras,
While I am, I don't understand why you don't use a digital cam, which would be so much easier to make an interface for, but I'm sure you have a reason anyway.

Back in the seventies, there was a project in an electronics mag (probably P.E. if my mind isn't too shorted) making an electronic (electromechanic) shutter release and I considered for a long time, but then went with hacking my cameras motor drive instead and installed a 2.5mm jack socket there - a thousand times neater and much less to carry around, since I wouldn't need it for other cams.

But the project was simple enough.
No actuators, no servos (they'd both introduce a very noticeable lag), but a suitable size and power solenoid, mounted on a metal angle piece, in which where drilled a hole for the outer cable, with the piece that you usually hold against the index and middle finger resting against the metal and the thumb button towards the relay plunger, made up to press the button when the solenoid was activated.
The metal angle should have some slits to adjust the solenoid back and forth and the solenoid has to have its mounting screws on one side.
The electronics driver needed is just a transistor and a protection diode, driven from whatever type of wireless you want to use.

However, one (other) thing I don't understand is, how you will cock the cam for the next shot, if you haven't got a motor drive?
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline wfaridTopic starter

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 01:08:34 PM »
I shoot both in film and digital. Medium format film cameras (6cm * 6cm negative sizes) are hard to match in terms of quality when compared to DSLRS, equivalent medium format cameras are north of $14,000. Also I really love the look and feel of film. For my projects having a physical impression of the instance is important.  

I have a motor drive attached to the specific camera as far as the next shot is concerned.

Would you mind elaborating on the solenoid setup? And how powerful would the solenoid have to be to depress a mechanical shutter?

A little googling showed me that most photographers used solenoids to depress the shutter back in the day, so thank you for the suggestion!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 01:12:13 PM by wfarid »

Offline Soeren

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 03:38:05 PM »
Hi,

I have a motor drive attached to the specific camera as far as the next shot is concerned.
If the motor drive has got a trigger switch, you could do what I did.


Would you mind elaborating on the solenoid setup? And how powerful would the solenoid have to be to depress a mechanical shutter?
I have no idea of the trigger force on your camera, so you'll have to measure it.
You could press the cable release (less film) with a (compression) spring and eye-ball the amount of compression of the spring, then press the spring down on a scale to see how much force is needed.

The solenoid have to be somewhat stronger than that, to cater for when the cable is more bended in place.


A little googling showed me that most photographers used solenoids to depress the shutter back in the day, so thank you for the suggestion!
You're welcome :D

When you find an approximate number for the pressure needed, it should be easy to find a suitable solenoid and making the angle "iron" is best done when the exact measures are known, but waltr's question of how you want the wireless (IR or radio and range) remains.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline wfaridTopic starter

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 12:45:24 AM »
The spring idea is brilliant, I will do just that. As far as ir or rf, I prefer RF because I can't always guarantee that I will be in line of sight with the camera.

Offline Soeren

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Re: Creating a wireless manual camera shutter release
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 10:53:39 AM »
Hi,

I prefer RF because I can't always guarantee that I will be in line of sight with the camera.
OK. I prefer RF for such tasks myself, however I wouldn't dare not having my eyes on the cam, unless it was boxed up in metal and polycarbonate and bolted to something unremoveable ;D

Post back when you have an idea of the pressure needed.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

 


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