Bulb setting Nikon D7000

Hi James,

After reading camera clips regarding Light Painting I thought about the difficulty of keeping the shutter open on the “B” setting when using a Nikon D7000. whilst being out on your own and trying to create an image. Even if you are using an electric remote release the task would be difficult without extra hands whilst light painting ! I know one can purchase fancy remote releases but these can be expensive.

Remembering a device I’d seen when working for Ricoh years ago came to my mind. I thought I would try to roughly duplicate it.

Using an off cut of 1/8th inch (3mm) thick, aluminium plate I had laying around in the garage I managed to fashion a bracket which could be used for the purpose of firing the shutter. Using a bench vice I then bent the aluminium to the required shape. I drilled a 1/4inch hole through the base so as to be able to use a tripod. In order to locate the bracket in the correct position, I also fitted a small screw through the base as well, this would locate in a hole in the base of the D7000 where the extra battery holder/motor drive location pins would fit. In order not to mark the base of the camera I fitted some  heat shrink tubing over the thread of the screw.

After cutting the shape that I required the next job was to fit some sort of shutter release. Amongst my odds and sods I found an old tripod screw from a broken camera carry case. This proved to be ideal, I drilled and threaded a hole in the top of the bracket. Using some adhesive backed felt I applied a piece to the surface which would mate up with the base of camera, thereby preventing any scratching of the camera base plate. The next operation was to drill a small hole into the old tripod screw and fit some sort of cushion so as not to damage the shutter release button when operating the screw. I used a piece of stiff felt to plug this hole leaving some of the felt protruding from the end of the screw.

I tested it out and it works fine. All I have to do is to set the camera on “B” screw the release screw down to release the shutter then carry out what ever needs to be done or time the exposure for more than 30 seconds, then just undo the screw a small turn and the shutter closes.

The only requirement for using this is that the tripod screw is sufficiently long enough to be able to pass through the 1/8th” plate and still secure the camera. Fortunately I have a tripod head with a screw which is adjustable.

I’ve attached some pictures to this email.

Best Regards   Eric.