Laser triggors

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Overread, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Has anyone any recomendations for a laser trip system for a DSLR which is not too expensive? I'm just after a simple laser trip which will also triggor the camera shutter whilst also being generally suitable for outdoor use (waterproof). I thought this would be something easy to find on ebay but I haven't had any luck so they might be lurking under a different name or somesuch.

    I'd also be interested in hearing of the experiences of people if they have done a laser trip system before. I have thought that its the sort of assembly that might require (in an ideal world) more than one actual laser trip so that a variation in approach and height of subject will still triggor the laser - a single beam could be avoided by a change in approach (or an uncertain approach) for example.

    I know there are the trail camera setups (which I have found on ebay) and these would be a more worthy longer term investment since they are fully sealed and far easier to setup and leave than a DSLR (which won't be abandoned far from base camp/home) and whilst their image quality would be lacking they would be better for simple observation. In there line I have seen a range (hong kong) which are nightvision equiped which has the advantages of not scaring the subject but the downside that if one does setup a DSLR (either by trip or hide) the use of a flash then would disturb the animal.

    Any advice on these apporaches and the experiences of others would be most welcome - thank you

    I have had the following device suggested:
    Zigview S2A Kit ('7340) - Warehouse Express
    Which whilst not IR based does have a motion sensor setup - however having not used one before I have no idea how sensative this motion detection is. It would be greatly limiting if I was set off by every gust of wind out there - both in positioning and also in factors such as flash battery life (a night setup will need flash to get an exposure - unless I setup with an IR DSLR and IR bulb of which I have neither )
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The setup should depend on knowing the subject. Variations in hight are usually a non issue if you're going after something specific as most animals including humans will drag their feet very close to the ground unless specifically stepping over something.
    In situation where you want to catch a mouse setup the trip a few cm off the ground. With that you'll also catch every cat since they rarely lift their feet higher than that when walking.

    For the opposite effect though putting the sensor 15cm in the air will catch the cat but not the mouse. Interestingly this didn't work for a Time Life photographer with exactly that setup since a small field mouse suddenly got startled and jumped up and amazing broke the beam. Man I'm sure that mouse would have had a heart attack trigger all those flashes. LOL
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ahh but chances for a cracker of a shot with the mouse in the air at least ;)

    Thanks for the advice on positioning, the other thing that came to my mind (at around 1am) was the point of focusing the setup. My thoughts are that a wide angle lens with a small aperture would be the ideal - though of course that puts more pressure on the lighting aspects and the battery life of the flash(es). That combined with trying to setup in a zone where the animal has a restricted movement (like on a trail or pass) so that there is only a limited range inwhich it is likley to move.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's still about knowing your target. If you can find a game trail and setup equipment there for several days you're very likely to get a shot of something. If you find a den or nest of some creature you'd be likely to get a shot within a day.

    The cracker of a shot is here:
    [​IMG]

    Photo by Manabu Miyazaki: Field mouse on the move, central alps, japan, 1977
    Scanned from the "Life Library of Photography: Photographing Nature" by the editors of Time-Life, c1981
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Talking of Time Life you reminded me that we have a series of their wildlife VHS somewhere in the house - as I recall the snake one was always one that I liked. I should dig them out at somepoint (and a VHS player!)
    Interesting shot too - I expected the mouses feet to be at a very different angle; almost looks like he's been cropped into the pose

    However all this still comes down to having the right gear, and more searching is not giving hopefull results. It seems that many infra red and laser based triggors tend to run on the rather expensive side of things (whilst often incorperating a slew of other addons like sound triggors as well as other features). Of course the bonus of the more complete setups is that they have addon options - but with one of the cheaper being around the £350 mark and some way up at £700+ its starting to look like a bigger investment than I initially expected.

    I'll keep searching around because there still might be some cheaper triggor options out there - failing all that it will most likley be a trail camera that I go for initially (and which honestly speaking might see more use at first)
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How are you for making your own? Industries thrive on beam reflectors and they are available for under $100 everywhere. They usually have contact outputs either normally open, or normally closed. If you can get a small unit and a reflector that is normally open, then when the beam is broken the contacts close. These need to be wired to your camera, and a quick google can show you the pinout of your camera's connector.

    Better yet those $5 ebay remotes typically come with a 3.5mm stereo jack input and all you'd need to do is short those inputs (by connect it to this simple beam trigger). The only thing else you'd need is a powersupply for it, and that's just a case of picking the right battery.

    At least that is how I envison it.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Under skilled and under equipped. Sadly whilst I probably could work out how to build my own and I have done a little electrical stuff before - I don't have the tools to hand to put one together. So that would end up scuppering the initial saving on the product version.
    Saying that though I do have a link to asite where someone built a very complex laser setup for capturing butterflies/insects inflight - but the link is on the other computer
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have any nerdy friends? Because in what is an amazing co-incidence, this here: Arduino security with frickin’ laser - Hack a Day was posted on hack-a-day a few days ago. The theory in the instructions should give a first year electrical student way more than enough to go on to build a trip device like this.
     

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