Don’t buy Nikon third party accessories
You get what you pay for. This is the one English idiom that I always repeat when I buy camera gear as it is usually true. As I slowly move over to mirrorless cameras, there are lots of accessories that I need to buy again. One of those accessories is a shutter release cable. I have tons of cables for my different cameras but none of them will work with the Nikon Z6, so I went online and ordered the Nikon MC-DC2 shutter release cable from Nikon. There are a lot of cheap alternative cables but I have always avoided them as shutter release cables have the tendency to break at night while you are trying to use them and you can’t see anything, so I prefer to spend a little more upfront as to save myself from future headaches in the field.
The following day I opened my delivery box to find out that the online store had sent me a cheap cable instead of the Nikon cable that I ordered. The store claimed it was a mistake but I think that the store took a chance to send me a cheap cable, think that I am a foreigner and I can’t complain. Unfortunately for the store, I am more than capable of basic communication in Chinese so I contacted the store and they very quickly sent me the correct cable, and since the first cable was so cheap and nasty, the shipping cost to send it back was more than the cable was worth so the store let me keep the third party shutter release cable.
Taking the third party Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable out of the box, I could immediately tell why this cable was so cheap. This cable costs around $2 in China and it is made out of some cheap-feeling brittle plastic and I am pretty sure that if I give the cable a good solid squeeze, then it would immediately fall apart in my hands. Luckily the shutter cable is a fairly basic component tho, so all it needs to be able to do is trigger the shutter and keep the shutter open in bulb mode. Fairly simple so even a cheap shutter release cable should be able to do this. The real question with cheap shutter release cables is “How long will they work for?” because they will fail you sometime in the future.
I had some filters arrive the same day as the Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable so I took the cheap shutter release cable with me that afternoon to test. The cable did the job of triggering the shutter on the Nikon Z6 and holding the shutter open for a bulb shot, but the cable really doesn’t give you a lot of confidence that it will last very long. I used that one day and I have put it away now as the following day the Nikon Mc-DC2 shutter release cable arrived.
The Nikon Mc-DC2 shutter release cable is roughly 7 times more expensive than the Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable and I would say that you can really tell the difference in the construction of the two shutter release cables. The Nikon cable feels way more solid in the hand and weighs more than the Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable even though the Nikon shutter release cable uses a slimmer cable. The Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable feels stiff and kind of brittle to be honest. If you had to bend the Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable too much, I am sure you will break it. I took the Nikon MC-DC2 cable out to test one evening and it works exactly the same as the Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable.
Both cables do exactly the same job and both function exactly the same way. But I would take a very safe bet that the Nikon Mc-DC2 shutter release cable would still be working after a few months while the Cuely Mc-DC2 shutter release cable would have fallen apart a long time ago. You get what you pay for in this world. When it comes to the photography world, third-party is not always bad, but you do get what you pay for. I am not against using third-party lenses such as Tamron or Sigma but when it comes to the really cheap nasty stuff, stay away from it.
Buy the right product the first time and then you don’t have to spend money buying the right thing later. This is the advice I got when buying my first tripod and I didn’t listen to it, since then I have bought three more tripods. I have learned my lesson and my last two tripods were good solid investments. The same should be told to photographers who buy accessories like filters and shutter release cables. But the right stuff the first time and safe money in the end.
Be wise and shop when you have the cash to buy the right thing.