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Self Timer for 503CW


New Member
Does anyone have any recommendations for this? I've seen some older references to something Hama supposedly made, along with an L adapter, but I can't find this anywhere.

I have only found this "no-name" device for sale by both B&H and Adorama for $19.95...

Does anyone have any experience with this particular device? Does it require an L adapter, and if so, where do a get one? I think the one B&H used to offer is no longer available.

Is there anything else out there?

I have a similar device, called the "Autoknips II" made by Klapprott & L&e Autoknipsfabrik of Hamburg. It needs a cable release. I got it in the early 1970s and it's very useful at times. Perhaps a search for Autoknips might yield what you want.
At least here in the Netherlands you find Autoknips devices very very regularly on camera fairs.

There are a few things to consider when selecting one of these devices, most important of which is that they do not only have to have a (controlable) delay before they 'plunge' and trip the shutter, but they also need a quite considerable delay (at least as long as the shutter speed) before they release the shutter again. Not a problem with the shorter shutterspeeds, but perhaps so when using longer shutterspeeds?
And the length of the pin protruding could cause problems. Using a cable release, you feel when you have pushed far enough, and you react to that by not pushing harder. A simple device like this does not do that. It would be good if you can adjust the length.
An L-adapter may not be enough, since these things have a swinging lever, and the lens or camera may be in the way even when using such an adaptyer. An release cable extender (a cable release with a cable release socket instead of the usual plunger) may be needed.
Very interesting. A little further research seems to indicate the Haka Autoknips, while originally designed as a camera accessory, was used by the Germans in early WWII as a timing device for boobytraps and sabotage. Cool.

Anyway, I can't seem to find any viable ones for sale on the internet. Besides, Q.G. raises an interesting point that's a little concerning. I hadn't thought about needing to automate the release of the shutter.

Actually, a guy in the UK is auctioning a vintage Autoknips II online for a little less than $50US. It does appear to attach to a standard cable release for actuating the button. Hmmm. I'm still a little curious about Q.G's comment, though.


You do not need to automate or regulate the release of the shutter, and i don't think any of these gizmos would allow doing so anyway.
Just make sure that the selftimer you pick keeps the release pressed long enough.

But i'm not familiar with these devices, and who knows, maybe they keep the release pressed until you manually release it again?
Q.G., I guess I misunderstood you then; and, I now realize I'm overcomplicating the matter.

Can you help me to better understand the exact sequence of events inside the camera and lens when depressing and releasing the shutter release button? I think I'm missing the significance of releasing the button (e.g., the consequence of releasing it before the shutter has closed). It's your remark, "...but they also need a quite considerable delay (at least as long as the shutter speed) before they release the shutter again," that I'm trying to absorb. It just makes me think I'm missing something.

Sorry for badgering you with such a rudimentary line of questioning, but I'd greatly appreciate the response from someone of your expertise.


The sequence is:

1) you press the button

2) the diaphragm and lens shutter close and the mirror flips up

3) the rear shutter opens

4) the lens shutter opens and closes to expose the film for the time set

5) nothing else happens


6) you release the shutter release

7) when you do, the rear shutter closes again (this is the important bit)

8) you wind the film, reset the mirror to the viewing position, and open the diaphragm and lens shutter by turning the wind crank/knob

The thing that is important, the thing that can go wrong, is that the rear shutter opening, and (more importantly) closing again is timed, not by any mechanism, but by whatever it is that is pressing the shutter release.

Should you, or a device like the Autoknips, let go of the release before the shutter in the lens has completed the exposure, the rear shutter will slam shut too early, causing underexposure.
This can easily happen at shutterspeeds of 1/15th or longer.

So a self timer device should keep the release button actuated for at least as long as the longest shutter speed you would like to use, or at least as long as 1 second.

This is of course also true when pressing the shutter release by hand: always keep the thing pressed for at least as long as the shutter speed set.

To get a 'feel' for how these things operate, take the back of your camera, and start playing. Watch through he back, see how when pressing the shutter the rear doors flip open, and how when you let go of the release they slam shut again.
See, and hear, how the shutter in the lens set to 1 second keeps going even though the rear doors slam shut when you take your finger off the release long before the 1 second interval has ended.