Nikon MC-36 Multi-Function Remote Review

After reviewing the Nikon ML-3 Compact Modulite Remote and the Vello FreeWave Plus remotes with more basic features, we now turn our attention to the Nikon MC-36 Multi-Function Remote which has been kindly provided to us by B&H Photo – the world’s largest photo and video equipment reseller where we buy most of our equipment.

Nikon MC-36 Multi Function Remote

1) Features

The Nikon MC-36 can be used as a remote release, a delayed shutter release, programmed as an intervalometer or to activate the bulb function on certain Nikon cameras. For those who may not be familiar with an intervalometer, it can be programmed to take a series of photos, with a preset length of exposure as well as time interval between exposures.

2) Handling

The unit works as one would expect and is straight forward to program using the multifunction button to set a delay if desired, the length of each exposure as well as the interval between the exposure and finally, the number of exposures. It can be set to a predetermined number of exposures (1-399) or it can repeat indefinitely.

The transmitter has an LCD screen which is backlit for operation in low light situations. It fits nicely in your hand and I found the controls to be responsive. The biggest drawbacks are related to the fact that is it a corded (approx.. 33.5 in./850mm in length) remote and unless you set it on a timer, you will have to remain next to the camera to operate it. Furthermore, the cord can move in wind creating unwanted vibrations in the camera. In order to achieve the least amount of vibration possible, a wireless remote used in conjunction with mirror lock-up is best.

Nikon MC-36

NIKON D700 @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/60, f/8.0

3) Build Quality

Build quality is again similar to the ML-3 and other Nikon products with nice fit. I did find the buttons and controls on this device to have the nicest feel of the remotes in this series of reviews.

4) Packaging and Manual

The MC-36 comes with no carrying or storage case, just a simple basic manual describing care and programming.

5) Value

The programability of the MC-36 gives you more control than the previously reviewed Nikon ML-3 or Vello FreeWave remotes. However, it is still expensive for what you get considering it is a corded device, so I rate this as a relatively low value. In an upcoming review we will review the Wireless Vello ShutterBoss controller which has similar features in a wireless design for less money. If you do not mind a cord, then you could consider the non wireless version of the Vello ShutterBoss for less than half the cost of the Nikon MC-36.

6) Conclusion

With good third party wireless remotes such as the Vello Freewave Plus and Vello Shutterboss at a lower price ($59.95 and $99.50, respectively), it is hard to justify purchasing this particular remote at this price.

7) Where to Buy

B&H currently sells the Nikon MC-36 Multi-Function Remote for $124.95 (as of 05/08/2012)

Nikon MC-36 Multi-Function Remote
  • Features
  • Build Quality
  • Handling
  • Value
  • Size and Weight
  • Packaging and Manual

Photography Life Overall Rating


  • George

    I’ve bought exactly the same device (same case, same functions), only OEM from ebay, for ~50$. Nikon accessories are way overpriced.

  • Siddharth Kumar

    Thanks for the review Tom. Ive been waiting for quite a while for a review from for this product :)

    • Tom Redd

      Thank you.

  • Siddharth Kumar

    You left out a very important flaw about this product – is only compatible with the Nikon full frame cameras :( correct me if im wrong.

    • Tom Redd

      Siddharth, the only requirement is a Nikon camera with a 10-pin connector. For instance, the D200 and D300 series cameras will work.

  • Tom Darling

    Thanks for the great review. I have the MC-36 and find it very useful. I do find the 10-pin connector hard to attach on my D3s. The biggest flaw is that there is no on-off switch, the only way to turn it off is to remove the batteries.

    • Tom Redd

      Tom, thanks for pointing that out. You are correct and the manual states, “The MC-36 is not equipped with an off switch. To reduce the drain on the batteries when the MC-36 is not in use, end shooting and check that the “TIMER ACTIVE” (

  • Mark

    Hi Tom.
    Thanks for these reviews. The cost of accessories does add up and it’s good to get an idea of where 3rd party options exist and where they are not worth it.
    Have you seen the remote option from trigger trap? It’s either USD 20 or USD 400 depending on if you have to buy the iPhone to control it as well but it seems to have a lot of very good functions at a very low price – assuming you have the iPhone to start with.

    Kind regards

    • Tom Redd

      Mark, thanks for the tip on the TriggerTrap. It appears that it is $9.99 for the app and $20 for the dongle and cable for the camera. It looks promising but the reviews I read on iTunes were limited. I will have to keep an eye out for more info.

  • Billy Fletcher

    Nikon accessories are way overpriced. I bought a JYC for $15 which seems identical to the OE version. Works on D90 among others.

  • Chandra

    Intervalometer – does this help me to program and shoot HDR shots upto 7 or 9 shots continuously with diff exposures ranging ( +4 to -4) or (+3 to -3) .. cause currently i have a D5000 camera, which allows me to take only max 3 shots with only (+2 to -2)

    • Tom Redd

      Chandra, your D5000 has a built in intervalometer. Look under the Shooting Menu and it is called, “Interval Timer Shooting”. The intervalometer allows you to take a series of shots at timed intervals for a preset number of exposures with a preset exposure duration. The MC-36 will not let you set it to change the exposure between shots, that is a function of your auto bracketing built into the camera, in your case the D5000.

      • Chandra

        Thank you.. will try that.

        • Tom Redd

          To be clear, neither the built in intervalometer nor the MC-36 will allow you to program changes to the exposure duration from one exposure to the next. The exposure duration will remain constant. The auto bracket function of the camera will allow you to adjust exposures but it is limited as you say in your original post.

  • Adnan Khan

    Hi Tom,
    Nice short info on MC-36 :) ,I have this MC-36 and only used it once on the F100.
    Most DSLRs have built in intervalometer ,and wireless remotes are more easy and as the name says are wireless :) so, basically what purpose this corded one can do as for the D800 ?
    I’m already using the tiny ML-L3 with the D5000 and D7000 and it works pretty fine,mostly I use it in mirror lock up mode.
    I think it’s a nice product but the cord is very short.(for someone trying to control the camera from their tent) :)


  • Nandha

    Hi Tom,

    I am planning to buy this one but there was news that this model is withdrawn and will be shortly replaced by a different one. Am i right?

    • Tom Redd

      Nandha, the MC-36 has been replaced by the MC-36A which has updated materials and construction but the same functionality as I understand it.

  • Barry Kidd

    Mine just now came in the mail, within the last hour or so. I’m currently looking all over the web for info on how to set it up. The manual is lacking to say the least.

    Any words of advice?


    • Barry Kidd

      OK, I got it. The little bar at the top! WOW!

  • alok

    Hi Nasim,

    I have phottix TC 90 N8 cable release which is very similar to MC-36 . It has been working fine till now but the socket with the 10 pins that attaches to the camera came off recently. The only thing left behind is the cable with two wires coming out of it. The remote itself seem to be working but it can’t trigger the camera as the cable is damaged. Is there a way to replace the cable since the remote is fine? I searched a lot but could not get any MC 36 replacement cable .


  • madan gopal vyas

    can we use MC – 36 remote with Nikon D90 camera????????

    madan vyas

  • Paramvir

    Hi Guys! Thanks for the review. I have been planning to buy one, but what I need to know is, does it allow for almost unlimited time exposures?

    The camera allows for 30 seconds. If I want, lets say, 45 minutes, or 2 hours? Can I program that? Or do I have to press a button and wait for 45 minutes before releasing? Or is there a shutter press + lock kind of button?

    • Tom Redd

      Paramvir, it has a bulb function which allows you to control the length of exposure. However, Nikon has discontinued this product. You may wish to look into the Vello Shutterboss or something similar.