Saturday, 12 April 2008

DIY Cable release bracket for Nikon Coolpix 950

Having setup my Nikon Coolpix 950 with my "ASDA scope", I now diverted my energy towards another vital setup - that of a cable release adapter. I had noted from my previous experience, that manual clicking of the shutter button resulted in a lot of shake, leading to image blurring.
Unfortunately the CP 950 does not have a provision for electronic shutter release cables or support for remote controlled shutters. I therefore invested in a mechanical Shutter release cable. This is basically similar to a bicycle brake cable. When one pushes the knob at one end, a tip comes out at the other end, which when placed in position can depress the shutter button of a camera. However, it is spring-loaded and returns to its original position after the knob is released.
I had the inspiration for making the bracket from this site, but I made modifications depending on whatever was available at hand. Furthermore since I do not own all the tools required, I resorted to my own means to accomplish tasks.
1) First of all, I started out with a 2mm strip of aluminium which I purchased at B&Q.
2) I now proceeded to make a hole at one end, which would serve as the hole where the bracket would attach to the tripod. I first hammered a hole with a big sharp needle and proceeded to make the hole bigger using a pair of scissors (for want of a better tool!) by grating off . Aluminium, being relatively soft will grate off easily. ( a drill is a better idea - if you have one)

3) once the hole was made, I measured out the distances where I was to make the bends and marked it. I dont have a vice to make the bends, so I ended up placing the strip between a half closed door (hinge side) and then bending it. It works well.

4) Once I made two bends, to make it into an open square, I placed the camera inside, aligned the tripod hole with that of the camera and marked the position at the opposite end which overlay the shutter release button. I then sawed off the excess strip.

5) I then made a smaller hole here, one that will take the end of the shutter release cable. This end of the shutter release cable has a thread for screwing which sharpens towards the end. Hence, when placed into the hole, a portion of the thread emerges at the other side.
6) To fasten it in place, I screwed on a metal washer at this end. I suppose any sort of washer that is thin enough and holds the cable in place will do. The one i used was not really a washer, but just a thin metal sheet with hole that sat at the bottom of a candle!
7) Because the tip that emerges to push the shutter button is narrow and can scratch the camera, I had to add a non scratchable end to the tip. The site I mentioned earlier, used a cut off pencil eraser, but since I didnt have an pencil lying around, I rummaged through my draw and came up with a rubber plug that comes with ink refil kits, used to plug the hole in the ink cartridge.

And, thats it, the bracket was ready, all that remained was to hook it up with the camera and test it.
...and so I did, and I can say it works super fine.

One thing I could have done better though was to make the upper bend a little higher, so that there would be more gap between the bracket and camera. With my current setting, I find it difficult to access the power dial of the camera as the space is barely enough to sqeeze in a finger. Otherwise everything seems perfect.

Disclaimer: If you do it, do so at your own risk, I accept no responibility for any mess up you do!

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Please leave a comment on what you liked or disliked about this post. Any thoughts on technique or improvements are welcome.