Foot Pedal Camera Remote

There are many times when doing any kind of weird photography experiments when I can’t trigger the cameras shutter because but I don’t have any hands free…
Solution? A Foot Pedal Camera Remote!

Apparently there is no company producing such an item, and even if there were it would cost $200. Almost any photography do-dad will cost $200.

While searching eBay for such an item I happened upon this:

foot-switch

This looked like it would do the trick, or at least could be modded to do it. Plus it was only $4.

remote

Of course I needed a remote cable for triggering the camera, these usually have a 2.5mm male end.
The foot pedal is 3.5mm male.

2-5-to-3-5mm-2To make the 2.5mm end into a 3.5mm end I used an adapter.

 

coupler

To connect the two male 3.5mm ends together I picked up a coupler.

 

Trial And Error

After adding these all together and connecting it to my camera, there was no joy.

Only the auto focus engaged, meaning that the wires were not right for my Nikon D810.

 

I opened up the foot switch to find that it was just a relay with a red and black wire soldered on.

I figured Nikon cameras must use one wire for focus and one to engage the shutter and a ground.

headphone-extension

The cord for the foot switch only had 2 wires, so I replaced it with a 3 wire headphone extension cord. This way I could also change the gender and make the cord longer.

2016-11-29-19-14-18

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which cable wire started the shutter. I gave up and took apart one of my remote controls, and it turns out that the auto focus has to be on for the shutter to work. You could call that “Nikon logic.”

2016-11-29-19-16-35

So to get the switch to work with my camera I soldered the focus wire and the shutter wire together and left the ground alone on the other terminal.

 

2016-11-29-19-16-17

To keep this secure I tied a knot in the extension cable and added some hot glue to keep it in place. I also hot glued the base of the spring as it kept falling off with all this messing around.

 

2016-07-15-22-50-09

Conclusion

This is a great tool I can’t wait to use. When I am shooting a glass, dropping something into water, or smashing something with something, I am usually in the dark and use the flashes to stop motion.

Now I can use my foot to start the shot instead of locking a remote, shooting something then unlocking the remote. A lot of times a flash would fire again, or the extended time the shutter was opened would ruin the shot.

Maybe I should make a second pedal for firing strobes, that would come in handy if I want to do complicated photography while playing tennis or something.