Extending a wired shutter release

This is primarily so that I can use my Sony α350 for pole aerial photography. I will also find it useful in other situations where the alternative option of a wireless trigger may not work.

What you will need

1. A wired shutter release (available on Amazon and Ebay at a modest cost)
2. One 3.5mm stereo plug and one 3.5mm stereo line socket
3. A stereo extension cable.
4. Wire stripper, or sharp knife, Soldering iron and solder.

Note that if you choose to follow these instructions you do so at your own risk.

Step one: understand how the shutter release works
inside there are three wires that are connected to three blades. Pressing the button causes the blades to touch and makes a circuit. A half press causes the top two blades to contact and this activates the auto focus. A full press causes all the blades to contact and activates the autofocus and shutter.

  

Step two: cut and prepare the cable
Make sure that when you cut the cable you leave each end long enough to add the connectors. Strip the cable carefully as it will probably be fairly thin cheap cable.

  

Step 3: have a cup of tea
No going back now so this is the best preparation for the next stage, which with my poor soldering skills is the most technical.

Step 4: solder on the plug and line socket

Remember to put the covers on the cable before soldering. Make sure that the wires are connected to the same tags on each connector. When finished screw down the covers.

Step 5: test
Join the connectors (You do not have to add the extension cable at this stage). Attach to the camera and test. This will prove that it will still work at its original length, now with a joint between the two ends. Now repeat with your extension connected.

Now for a live test using the three lower sections of my pole.

DSLR Pole

Thomas thinks its great for taking is own photograph.

Thomas on the trigger

It worked well at the park. Although it did scare off the ducks that Thomas was trying to feed.

Thomas & Anna

This type of shot really shows up the difference in image quality between a DSLR and a compact camera.

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