Bulb exposures using the ML-L3 remote on the Nikon D80 DLSR

A lot of people are a bit confused about using the ML-L3 remote control to do bulb exposures on the Nikon D80.

It can be done, of course, but the problem is that the D80 doesn’t show ‘BULB’ in the top LCD if you have it set to use the remote control.

Instead, it shows ‘- -’, which as far as I’ve ever been able to tell, works just the same as ‘bulb’. In fact, if you switch off remote-control mode and tap the shutter, it will display ‘bulb’.

So, the quick step-by-step:

  1. Switch the camera to Manual exposure mode
  2. Switch to remote-control mode
  3. Spin the rear command dial until the display shows ‘- -’
  4. Shoot away! Press the remote’s button once to open the shutter, and again to close it.

Custom setting 31 (Exp delay) can help reduce mirror shake by flipping the mirror up half a second before the shutter is opened. Don’t forget to turn it off after you’re finished, though, or you might spend a whole morning as I did wondering why you’re missing so many shots!