View Full Version : Do you remove your cable release?
I only have one lens for my 8x10 and I usually just leave the cable release screwed into the shutter when putting away the camera. Is this running a risk of damage to the threads or the shutter itself? I was wondering what is customarily done by other shooters. Thanks!
I usually leave the cable release attached... one for each lens I own.
A lot of photographers leave a cable release on each shutter. I don't, partly because I worry about damage to the release (or, worse, the shutter) but mainly because I'm too tight to shell out $40 for a release for every shutter...
Do I remove the cable release? No, it seems to remove itself when I am carrying the camera between shots.
25-years ago, I went to an auto parts store and bought a little bottle of Loctite, a glue specially made to secure screw threads. I used it to attach my cable release to my Copal 1 shutter. It's still there, working fine, no problems.
There are two kinds of Loctite - one for a permanent attachment, and another that allows the parts to be removed. I used the removable, so that if I ever need to remove the cable release, I can do so.
I carry one spare release rather than four attached to lenses. An attached release doesn't lie well in a tightly wrapped lens.
Good light --
Well, I guess I must be a weirdo. I screw in my cable for about one minute, to use it, then remove it. Between shots I tie it around my neck, where it interferes with my loupe, also hanging there. The cable-shutter link seems really weak to me, so I don't like handling or storing lenses with the cable attached.
David R Munson
I just attach the release to the shutter for the shot and then take it off when I'm putting everything back in the bag again. I've never felt comfortable leaving it on the lens. I only shoot with one lens on either 4x5 or 8x10, though, so it's not like I have to switch it around between lenses. I guess I'm just paranoid about killing either the cable release or the threads on the shutter.
I leave inexpensive, short Gepe cloth releases permanently attached, as I think the on-off cycle exposes them to potential cross threading and loss. This way I always have a spare and it is faster to set up. I wrap the cable around the lens, always using a lens cap, and wrap in a padded lens warp or close up inside my folding camera. Never have had any damage from the release itself. I also like light, short releases so that they don't transmit too much force to the front of the camera.
Ed, What a coincidence! I was just told last night in my large format photography course that it is always best to remove the cable release. The reason is the end of the cable release, where it is screwed into the camera, is very vulnerable to inadvertant pressure which will tend to strip the threads. It is costly to replace the lens' cable release socket, as well as ruining your day. Walt
I leave it on the lenses. It seems to last only a couple of years before it needs replacement, but that's better than missing a shot trying to screw one in freezing temperatures.
John D Gerndt
The joint between the shutter and cable is a weak one and the plunger is apt to do damage if it gets to swinging around.
How much work is there in just taking it off and being safe?
I carry a back up cable in case I loose one which is the biggest drawback I see to handling the cable so much. Cheap cables increase the possibility of cross-threading but that tapered fitting has a great feel and I have never had difficulty with high quality equipment.
I also leave all my shutter cables attached, and use the "Blue Locktite" to secure them. I worry about cross threading if taking it on and off, or not securely having it on and then falling off in a timed exposure. I use the cheap Gepe releases, but have picked up a few nice used ones as well. It is the time to attach the cable when the light is changing, the wear and tear on the cable, and not having to fumble in the cold or in low light. I have never had one break in 6 years, and I have 8 lenses. I even leave one attached to my 135 mm folded up into my Linhof!
I leave them on, and use the least expensive 20" fabric covered ones I can find (usually less than $10 each).
Wouldn't the lens board or outer lens parts suffer damage if dropped or hit before the cable release or shutter would? Just wondering.
$40 for a cable release? That must be a Sinar, Hasselblad or Linhof pure gold cable release, you can get perfectly adequate cable releases for far less than that. I think I paid about $8 for each of mine. Some I bought at a local camera store, others were bought from Adorama. Since cable releases tend to break or get lost I buy the cheapest ones I can and keep a supply on hand. It's not like they have to do a whole lot. This is the first time I've read that leaving them on the shutter is bad for the shutter. I thought everyone left them on all the time, that's what I've been doing for years without any apparent damage.
David R Munson
Just an observation here - I find it interesting that so many people find it ridiculous to spend more than $10 on a cable release. I mean, nothing wrong with that, really - it's just a matter of whatever works for you. I bought one of those expensive Horseman cable releases (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=91739&is=REG) about three and a half years ago and I don't think I'll ever buy another cheap one (except as backup) again. The build quality and reliability of this thing just blows cheap ones out of the water. And the funny thing is, while this cable release is as smooth and strong as the day I got it, I've gone through six or seven other cable releases on other cameras, as backups, etc. Meaning I've spent more on backup and second releases than on the nice one originally. Even the nicer Kaiser ones have self-destructed on me multple times. I have yet to lose a release, too (though I've found several), so I guess that isn't really a worry for me.
I have been shooting large format for a long time. I own 11 LF lenses. I shoot well over 200 days a year. I buy the cheap cloth covered releases. I leave them on the lenses all the time. I go through maybe one cable release a year and have never had to replace any shutter release except on an old Caltar years ago. Leave your releases on, as someone said in a previous post, you will be glad you did when the shooting gets fast.
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