Howdy all -

I'm getting to the point now where I've started looking into buying a camera and a few lenses of my own (currently borrowing from my sis). I've been told by photography hobbyists that lenses without a lowest F-stop of at least 2.8 aren't worth buying, but as I've started looking - to get anything in that F range is pretty pricey. Prices seem much more reasonable for lenses with an F-stop around 5ish (I realize these are not "professional" lenses), but I have relatively little experience with photography...

So I'm curious what you folks, with some experience under your belts, have to say about this.

What lenses do you shoot with? Is the aperture setting that crucial in Stop Motion? Any suggestions on which lenses are a necessity when starting out?

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Just a note, a Canon to Nikon adapter of this style will work with ANY Nikon lens, including the most modern ones, even if it doesn't have a physical aperture ring...  

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-G-Lens-to-Canon-EOS-EF-Mount-Adapter-...

It has a little extrusion that pushes the Nikon lens spring loaded lever that opens or closes the iris.  You simply slide the switch you see on the side of the adapter and dial up or down the iris.  The switch stays in place due to friction and your aperture is constant.  I've got that exact one and it works just fine.

Happy New Year everyone!

Jim Arthurs

I'm just getting into stop-mo too, and have recently purchased a Canon EOS 550D (Same as T3).

Correct me if I am wrong, but can't I just use the Canon lenses that it came with and set the camera to full manual exposure, Aperture and focus to prevent flicker. Why the need to adapt Nikon lenses?

It's a good question -

Ok, the way it works with a modern camera that's equipped for autofocus when you have the autofocus lens attached, even when you select manual focus - the camera will still automatically open the aperture in between each shot in order to let plenty of light in so you can see clearly in the viewfinder. Then, the moment you press the shutter release, it will instantly stop the lens down to your selected f stop, take the picture, and then open up the iris again. The problem is that since it's trying to rapidly open and close to exactly the same f stop again and again it might not open quite far enough some times, maybe slightly too far some times. Not by much, not really enough to notice if you're just looking at a series of still shots - but string those pictures together into animation and suddenly it becomes very noticeable as flicker.

So technically, what they're calling 'manual' isn't really fully manual. It's manual only because you can select the exposure level you want and the camera will get pretty close to that when it snaps a picture (as opposed to letting the camera select f stop, exposure time, etc by itself). 

Movie camera lenses don't work that way - there is no automatic brain attached that pops the iris open and closed in between each picture - the iris literally stays exactly where you put it the entire time, so there's no flicker.

The way to get that full manual control with a DSLR is to use older manual lenses (really truly manual) or to disrupt the electronic connection between your camera and lens. On a Canon you can do that by partially unscrewing the lens. To set your iris, you need to first set the exposure you want and unscrew the lens while holding the depth of field preview button down. That way the camera electronically stops down the iris and it will stay there until it's reconnected electronically to the camera. Mikey Pounds posted a video somewhere around here demonstrating this. I'll see if I can find it. 

** Ok, here it is:

The Lens Twist Method from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Just ran across the same guy's blog, where he adds some additional info for the lens twist method: http://blog.planet5d.com/2011/11/getting-rid-of-flicker-in-timelaps...

Apparently you have to twist just the right amount or you'll get an error message, and you should test by taking a few shots. Just thought that might be important to some people. 

Thanks very much for the explanation, I had not realised that's how it works. What I may do is borrow one of my dad's Old-School Fully Manual Film Lenses that he hasn't used in years and use them instead.

Strider said:

It's a good question -

Ok, the way it works with a modern camera that's equipped for autofocus when you have the autofocus lens attached, even when you select manual focus - the camera will still automatically open the aperture in between each shot in order to let plenty of light in so you can see clearly in the viewfinder. Then, the moment you press the shutter release, it will instantly stop the lens down to your selected f stop, take the picture, and then open up the iris again. The problem is that since it's trying to rapidly open and close to exactly the same f stop again and again it might not open quite far enough some times, maybe slightly too far some times. Not by much, not really enough to notice if you're just looking at a series of still shots - but string those pictures together into animation and suddenly it becomes very noticeable as flicker.

So technically, what they're calling 'manual' isn't really fully manual. It's manual only because you can select the exposure level you want and the camera will get pretty close to that when it snaps a picture (as opposed to letting the camera select f stop, exposure time, etc by itself). 

Movie camera lenses don't work that way - there is no automatic brain attached that pops the iris open and closed in between each picture - the iris literally stays exactly where you put it the entire time, so there's no flicker.

The way to get that full manual control with a DSLR is to use older manual lenses (really truly manual) or to disrupt the electronic connection between your camera and lens. On a Canon you can do that by partially unscrewing the lens. To set your iris, you need to first set the exposure you want and unscrew the lens while holding the depth of field preview button down. That way the camera electronically stops down the iris and it will stay there until it's reconnected electronically to the camera. Mikey Pounds posted a video somewhere around here demonstrating this. I'll see if I can find it. 

** Ok, here it is:

The Lens Twist Method from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

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