Am I alone in having such strong tactile preferences that they guide purchase decisions for me? In the world of threaded cable releases, one—the Nikon AR-3 Threaded Cable Release—stands alone, not for its diverse functionality or plethora of technological capabilities—they all do the exact same thing—but simply because of the way it feels.
Nikon AR-3 Threaded Cable Release
Growing up, before I was a photographer, Dad was the family shooter and he had a cable release for his Leica. It worked well enough, and, knowing Dad, it was, if not a made-in-Germany piece of precision engineering, an actual Leica-branded cable release that cost a lot more than the competitions’. However, I never remember the actuation of the mechanism feeling good to my fingers.
Gepe Metal Weave Covered Cable Release with Disc-Lock – 20″
For years, with my Nikon N6006, I used a generic release. Those years were OK, but, you know, the generic cable release didn’t make my annual summary of “things that felt good.”
Somehow, somewhere, I got my hands on the Nikon AR-3 threaded release and experienced tactile bliss. How good is this release? Well, is the fact that I owned one while I was shooting digital cameras that did not accept a cable release an indication of its tactile amazingness? Or does it just prove that I am crazy?
Seventy-two five-star reviews at press time. I wonder if any of those photographers own one, even though they don’t have a compatible camera? For years, Nikon digital cameras never accepted the threaded AR-3. Even most modern Pentax, Sony, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Sigma, and Olympus cameras, among others, could not accept an AR-3, or any other threaded release.
Fast-forward a few years and look who, besides Leica, figured out how to make a threaded shutter release weatherproof? Fujifilm did. The X-T2 has a threaded release following in the steps of the X100 series, X-Pro1 and X-Pro2; all of which took threaded releases.
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Now my Nikon AR-3 has graduated from its position as a photographic fidget spinner to an actual tool that gets to ride around in my camera bag and release some shutters—along with a lot of just-for-fun actuations!