For long exposures I bought a remote trigger with timer and interval function from Rollei. Does the affordable device deliver what it promises? Can it compete with the original Nikon remote release? I will answer these questions in this article.
For which purpose do I need an external remote release?
If you want to take long exposures with an exposure time of more than 30 seconds, you will soon notice that the camera has reached its limits. Most cameras limit the long-term exposure up to a maximum exposure time of 30 seconds. If you want to expose longer, you can use the so-called bulb mode of the camera. This bulb mode exposes the image as long as the shutter-release button is pressed. Now nobody really wants to keep the shutter button pressed for a minute while taking a picture, and the image would probably shake with the shaky hand. This is where the remote shutter release comes in. The above-mentioned long exposure times are used, for example, if you want to take long shots with ND filters in actually sufficient or even very bright lighting conditions. This allows you to achieve effects such as very soft waterfalls or clouds in the image. In addition, long-term recordings can also eliminate people running through the image in photos.
Longexposure shot of the Woudagemaal in Lemmer (NL). 1 minute 30 seconds exposure time. Clouds and water are extremely soft. Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art
Original Nikon remote release vs. Rollei remote release – 150€ vs. 20€
Since I exclusively use Nikon cameras, I refer in my review to the comparison to the Nikon remote release MC-36A. The Rollei remote control is also available for Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic. The functions should also be the same for the cameras of these manufacturers and my review should therefore also apply to camera owners of the aforementioned manufacturers.
Fact is, the functional range of both devices is approximately the same. Both devices allow the programming of start time, exposure time and intervals. In addition, both devices offer an acoustic signal function that can be switched off, a control light, multifunction selector, as well as a lock switch for completely manual triggering (recording as long as the trigger remains pressed). During purely manual release by pressing and holding the shutter release button, a timer automatically counts the past exposure time. If you compare the pure arrangement of the buttons and the layout of the display, you will see that both devices have approximately the same structure. For this reason alone, the functions cannot differ much. The digital timer and interval functions as well as the display illumination require the insertion of two AAA batteries in both devices. I use the rechargeable AAA batteries from Eneloop in almost all areas of application and have not yet had them emptied in the remote trigger after six months.
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Differences can only be found in the details
When using it, it is noticeable that the Rollei remote release (Amazon Affiliate Link) is not as ergonomic in the hand as the partially rubberized original from Nikon. The Nikon case feels more stable and valuable. Especially the cover of the battery compartment of the Rollei is a bit looser, but by no means so loose that the lid falls off, as some Amazon reviews describe it. For me, it’s bearable at this competitive price.
The biggest difference to the Nikon MC36A is the connection cable of the Rollei remote release. If the original Nikon remote release can only be connected to cameras with a 10-pin socket, the Rollei remote release can also be connected to cameras with a connection for the Nikon MC-DC2 remote release.
The higher compatibility with the alternative connection is both a blessing and a curse. Although the Rollei remote release can be used more flexibly with more cameras, it does not have a continuous connection cable, but a 3.5mm jack socket as an adapter in the cable, into which either the 10-pin plug or the MC-DC2 connector can then be plugged. Although this additional plug connection is very tight, there is of course the danger that the cable connection will be disconnected due to carelessness if the cable is pulled too tightly. In practice, this has not happened to me yet, but I check this connector for errors before every recording. On the other hand, nobody should pull the remote release strongly, as the movement would ruin the recording.
There is also a common minus point, because none of the devices has a tripod holder for the remote control in the scope of delivery. Please Rollei, if you can hear me, simply enclose a plastic holder for the tripod leg. This would be an advantage over the original and other third market products.
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I’m glad I saved almost 140€. On my Nikon D500 (Amazon Affiliate Link) and Nikon D7500 (Amazon Affiliate Link) the Rollei remote release (Amazon Affiliate Link) works without any problems, the functions and the operation are as intuitive as on the original. I can accept the differences in texture and workmanship for this price. The low price also has one plus point: I like to be clumsy and should I accidentally drop a 20€ device into the water or tread on it with my foot, it doesn’t annoy me as if I had destroyed the 150€ expensive original device.
About this test
This test was not sponsored or purchased. I bought the product myself and honestly report about my experiences. The links in the article are Amazon affiliate links as compensation for my work on this article.
Development of long-term exposures with Luminar 3
I develop the Langezit recordings later on the Mac/PC with Luminar 3, which in my opinion is the best Lightroom alternative.
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All the links in this text are Amazon Affiliate Links, and by clicking on an affiliate link I will earn a percentage of your subsequent Amazon purchases. However, this circumstance does not influence the background of my product recommendation. This product recommendation is independent, honest and sincere.
Bei allen genannten Links handelt es sich um Amazon-Affiliate-Links. Durch einen Klick auf einen Affiliate-Link werde ich prozentual an Euren darauf folgenden Amazon-Einkäufen beteiligt. Dieser Umstand beeinflusst aber nicht die Hintergründe meiner Produktempfehlung. Diese Produktempfehlung erfolgt unabhängig, ehrlich und aufrichtig.