Posts Tagged ‘Nikon DSLRs’

LBK ‘Clear-view’ Nikon DSLR camera trap

Monday, September 10, 2012 posted by Bruce 3:02 PM

Nikon N90s/Nikon SB400/Plano 1460/ Yeticam sensor board

A new DSLR homebrew camera trap in the make-up phase

When I began shooting wildlife with a camera some 16 years ago, I chose Nikon because of several reasons but rugged camera bodies and great lenses were the main factor. I’ve always been partial to this brand. However, after horrible Nikon service here in Thailand run by a local tyrant, I switched to the Minolta brand in film and then Konica-Minolta in digital. After they went belly-up, I went back to Nikon and fortunately the mother company from Japan is now running things here in Thailand including excellent service.

I picked up two D90s that is reasonable in price and very good for quality images. A couple of generic battery packs were purchased and use two Nikon EN-EL3e lithium batteries in each. I had some old ‘Yeti’ boards and ordered two “EOS” chips from Mark over at This is my first homebrew DSLR using a Nikon and I chose a 50mm lens for this rig. With a 1.5-factor, the lens is comparable to a 75mm that is OK for frame filling shots that I prefer for camera trap images.

Both units ready to be completed

While in the States recently, I found some Plano ‘Guide Series’ # 1460 cases at Dick’s Sporting Goods up in New York that looked perfect for a DSLR cam. I bought two in clear as my plan for this cam was to use a small Nikon SB-400 flash shooting straight through the case and activating some remote slaves. A flash diffuser will be used to soften the flash. By using the flash on the hot shoe, precise TTL metering can be had and the slaves are used for fill lighting.

The snorkel is made from aluminum tubing and these will be anodized and then ‘Gooped’ in. A 77mm circular UV filter with a hood is attached. Due to limited space the Yeti board is installed in the vertical position to allow for precise triggering.

Machining case for the lens snorkel

As soon as possible, ‘elephant proof ’ aluminum boxes will be built to house these two cams. Due to the size of the box, I will be incorporating angled plates on the top and sides to keep elephants from getting a grip. Four 3/8” x 3” stainless steel lag bolts will be installed from inside the box and 4 to 6 10mm ‘power torque’ machine screws will close the faceplate. A heavy-duty 10mm (3/8”) Python locking cable will also be used.

When these are finished, I will post photos of the complete builds. In the meantime, remote slaves will be acquired and aluminum boxes will be built for them too. The main reason for this build is improved image quality. Hope this helps any budding DSLR homebrew builders…!





Comments Off on LBK ‘Clear-view’ Nikon DSLR camera trap