Nikon D90 MC-DC2 Remote Shutter Hack





Introduction: Nikon D90 MC-DC2 Remote Shutter Hack

ever need to control your shutter on your nikon but cant find that strange "accessory" plug?
need more distance on your remote
want to make a highspeed photography rig or have one that does not work for your nikon?

well me to so i have made this simple hack for you :)

Step 1: Gather the Parts

go to radioshack or your parts bin and get
ONE In-Line 1/8" Phone Jack (3 PIN Stereo type)
ONE (or 2 if your making ur own shutter cable) 1/8" stereo Phone Plug
(these come in packs of 2)

one nikon MC-DC2 (works with MC-DC1 if your camera only supports that and probably other shutter releases)

Step 2: Cut and Splice

cut your cord wherever you see fit and strip away the coating

peel back the metal shield and twist it off to the side

green- Focus  (Ring)
white- Shutter (Tip)
red- NOT USED (X)
black / metal shield Ground (Sleeve)

we will use the canon standard pinout because its easy and you can use your canon gear on it

Step 3: Solder and Test

put the wires on solder and test

solder like this

Sleeve - Black wire + metal ground housing
Ring - Green wire
Tip - White wire
solder both the jack and the plug ... the jack should be on the MC-DC2 plug side and the plug should be on the remote side to make it easy

plug them together plug it in your camera cut it on hit the button half way it should focus hit it all the way it should capture the shot

Step 4: Taking It to the Next Level (OPTIONAL AND NOT REQUIRED)

so you want to take it to the next level? adding a micro-controller or logic or analog circuit?

here is a simple way to do so

it uses 2 2n2222 NPN transistors and 4 10k resistors

you can use 5-12vDC to switch the transistors and if you use a 1k resistor at resistor 4 and resistor 3 to power it off 1.5-3.3v




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    December 1015 -- a new MC-DC2 has three wires, red, white, black. Black = GND, Wht = Focus, Red = shutter. I drove it from a PLC through a relay output module as follows: focus on, delay .25 second, shutter on, delay .25 second (i.e. .5 total), focus and shutter off. Seems to work fine.

    Hi, I just saw your comment, what is the relay you used for the controller? I'm having trouble using transistors...

    Thanks for the great I'ble! I'm fairly new to electronics and I would like to use the remote with an Arduino.

    I'm not sure I understand your sketch correctly (Step 4). Where it states "Shutter 5-12V" or "Focus 5-12V": this is the digital pin of Arduino ("HIGH"). Then in addition to this I would need the transistors and the 10K resistances?

    This worked great on my D3100. Now I can switch between the regular button and an Arduino controlled trigger. Thanks!

    Thanks very much for this last (but actually not least) step! Just tried it for doing a Nikon D5100 remote with Arduino, and it works great!
    In case other people would like to do the same (with arduino), remember to:
    - trigger the focus first (as said above) (and leave it HIGH)
    - let some time (half sec) for focusing
    - trigger the shutter and leave it HIGH for the duration your photo needs
    - nb: if you use the BULB mode (what i think is better to controle the speed..), remember that a shutter speed lower than (approx) half second won't work ('cause bulb is made for long exposures...)
    Have fun!

    my camera doesnt have bulb mode (d3100) just shutter priority (up to 30 sec). If I want to use the shutter speed set on the camera, do i still have to leave the shutter pin high for the duration?


    Hi Dan, i can't be sure about it but i guess you can't tune the shutter speed from the arduino if you don't have bulb mode. I think it will use the shutter speed from the camera no matter how long you keep the shutter pin high (meaning you can use a rather short duration for HIGHing this pin)

    Ok, thanks. Guess i'm just going to have to try it and see lol

    Hey, I want to make a shutter release controller with the transistor circuit but I am wondering if it isn't dangerous for the camera. Like the voltage are 3.3v on mine, and don't we need to put opto isolator for security of our camera ??



    You say that the focus must be active for the shutter release to work. I am trying to connect a Celestron 4SE telescope to the Nikon (the telescope has camera control functions). Here is the schematic.

    However, it only has ground and shutter release, not focus. How could I get this to work with the D3200 Nikon?