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Hi there

I'm pretty new to stopmotion. I've dabbled in the past using cheap software and a webcam, but I'm interested in stepping things up a bit. I've done some research on cameras and lenses and ended up picking up a Canon T2i/550D (good price and low shutter count). 

Where things get a little more confusing for me is the lens choices as I don't have much photography background and I'm not familiar with the finer points of lens functionality between models and brands. What I understand is that a manual aperture lens is ideal to avoid flicker, and that Nikon is the way to go. I'll need a lens adapter and a 'D' series lenses from Nikon as they have manual aperture. What I don't understand is whether auto focus has to be taken into consideration? If the lens has a M/AF switch, is it enough to just leave it on 'M'?

To the best of my understanding, Nikon uses F mounts, so I would want an F mount adapter for my Canon? Is this the right adapter?

Here is a lens I am considering to start with - Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D

Or maybe this - Nikon AF 85mm f/1.8D

*Important* Does the AF lens NEED to have an MF override switch to be able to manual focus? Does the the AF even work when you're using a canon to Nikon F adapter? 

So, I was hoping to bounce this off the knowledgeable community here before I make any purchases :)

Thanks!

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@stopmonick

Nikon Ai Micro-Nikkor-P.c Auto 55mm f3.5 

Nikon 55mm f2.8 Ai-S Ais Micro Nikkor

what's the difference here and what to go for? 

Hi Hans

Although you didn't address the question to me, I suggest you have a look at the reviews of the manual lenses, such as

https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55f35ai.htm

Looks like the f2.8 succeeded the f 3.5 in 1979. Unless you particularly want a faster lens the f3.5 is cheaper and a lovely lens for stopmo.

I would just suggest avoiding anything that has traces of fungus inside or issues with the aperture blades, or looks well-bashed!

Thanks for this solid chunk of feedback! I'm glad I came here before shopping for lenses.

I'm going to pick up a 35mm f2 AF-D for my first lens as they seem fairly reasonably priced and available.

There's also a 28mm f2 Ai lens I have my eye on.



StopmoNick said:

I don't find the telephoto lenses of much use for stop motion - or any miniature set work - for 2 reasons.

One is, the longer the lens focal length, the shallower the depth of field.  A close-up of a puppet with the background blurry is a nice way to put the focus on the character.  But having the puppet's eyes in focus, but the nose too close and going blurry, and the ears blurry from being too far back, is not such a good look.  Also, that gives away the small scale.  There are filters which make a photo of a real city landscape look like a tiny model, by blurring the top and bottom of the frame, mimicking the look of shallow focus where only the middle distance is sharp.  Even stopped down to f-16, the focus on a telephoto is not deep when used up close on a miniature set.  My sets are roughly 1:6 scale, so puppets are around 250 to 300mm tall.   (Why is it architects measure great big buildings in millimetres, but dressmakers use centimetres?  A mystery.)

The other reason, as already pointed out, is that the lens may need to go too far back to get a useful field of view.  Depends on how big your room is I guess.

I had a set of re-mounted Nikon lenses for a Mitchell 35mm movie camera when I worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corp, which has a film size similar to the APS-C sensor size, and I never used the 80mm at all.   (Put it on a couple of times, looked through the viewfinder, thought Nope, took it off.)  I did use the 50, 35, and 24, and sometimes the 18mm.  For a full frame DSLR (which your 550d, and my 40d and 7d are not), the lenses will show a wider area, so you might use a 35mm more than a 24 or 28mm.

My older Nikon lenses were made for 35mm still cameras, so they would cover a full frame sensor as well as the APC-C sensor in my cameras, so would still be worth keeping if I upgraded to a full frame camera (like the mirrorless Canon R series) in the future.

How big a closeup I can get with the 55mm Micro - and also how much I can crop it and still get a 1920 x 1080 HD frame without loss of quality if I need to go super close. (Canon 7d)  The other photos with the 28mm lens have a ruler to show how big that head is.   

Here is the 28mm, a couple of test photos with measurements, to show how blurred the background is at f-22 and f-8.    

I've found a Nikon Series E 28mm f2.8 AI-S lens for $150 CDN. I'm tempted to pick this lens up as it's more than half the price as the 35mm AF-D ($350) which would be easier on my wallet right now. 

Thoughts? 

arghhh interesting Dr's...   

Someone told me today that the Depth of Field is 'lesser or lower' on full frame mirrorless cameras .. like these Canon EOS R or RP - is that true?  ..and is that why these have such an seemingly absurd amount of available focal points to compensate, to give us the ability to make sure all the parts of the frame are in focus, I hope I've explained that right... please forgive my ignorance of the correct camera terminology.. I'm still learning..  

Ok so the Canon EOS RP or R seems to be the right choice.. if I want the magnified live view on DF and the focus tweaking.. again is that why they giving all this increased focus tweaking feature, because all full frame mirrorless cameras like I said above have lower DOF.. ??

and does this even apply to manual focus or only apply to auto-focus ?

I still don't full understand / appreciate the relevance of the key differences between the RP and the R - can anyone condense all this... more into the context of needing to do stopmotion animation??

http:/https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-r-system/#Comparison

so Nick what would you consider "A low end to mid range model might still be a good way to go though."?? ..I'd appreciate some specifics.. 

Can someone please look more into this Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 camera as a potential runner: 

http:/https://www.t-dimension.com/uk/panasonic-lumix-dc-s1-mirrorle...

or would you not even consider this... 

although on this one I still have to research the Lens Mount: Leica L.. but like you said Nick this shouldn't be a real problem.. and this camera isn't a mirrorless camera is it.. it has a shutter count of 500,000.. so not future proof...  

I was just trying to find a camera that can be used for animation as well as anything else outdoors..   the - S1H - camera is even better for the video side...  

I probably said too much lol.. sorry.. 

Thanks,

Hi Michael.. I just done an eBay search on: Nikon Series E 28mm f2.8 AI-S lens

and I found loads. from 115.12 (CDN) 342.00 (CDN) 

I can't advise on what's best lens or quality of lens  .. just giving you the information here incase you hadn't considered eBay or online.. .. I think there is a tendency for many of us starting out to overthink the process, like I tend to do.. any of the sizes the guys mentioned will be fine.. I use 24mm I guess a 28mm should be fine, I guess maybe this can become more about trying to get the most value for your money.. 


Michael said:

I've found a Nikon Series E 28mm f2.8 AI-S lens for $150 CDN. I'm tempted to pick this lens up as it's more than half the price as the 35mm AF-D ($350) which would be easier on my wallet right now. 

Thoughts? 

A 28mm lens, for example, has the same depth of field with any size sensor, but the bigger the sensor, the wider the field of view.  With a smaller sensor, you might use a 24mm or 18mm lens to cover the same area, and that would have a greater depth of field.  When I used to shoot on a 16mm Bolex, I used a 10mm Switar lens for wide angle shots, and it had an absolutely amazing depth of field.  It also made a miniature set look huge.

When I moved up to a 35mm Mitchell (frame size similar to DSLR APS-C size sensor) I was using an 18 or 24mm lens for wide shots, and was caught out when I processed my first roll of film -  the depth of field was far less, and I had puppets coming towards camera going out of focus.  I bought a Depth of Field calculator which showed how deep the acceptable focus would be, with any given lens, at a particular f-stop, focussed at a certain distance.  The figures were a little less for zoom lenses, set to the same focal length, than with the prime lenses.  The calculator was a white plexiglass thing with bits that slide and a wheel that turns, kind of like a slide rule.  But it showed me what I was doing wrong and I learned to stop down the lens more to compensate, and design the shot so I wasn't relying on that 10mm lens.  It didn't ask what camera format you were using, because the same lens performs the same - it's just that you wouldn't be using the same lens. If I had been able to use a 10mm it would have given me the DoF, but would have looked like a fish-eye, and shot way off the edges of my set.

.  A full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera has a bigger sensor, same as 35mm still photo negatives, which go through the camera sideways instead of vertically and are twice as big as a movie frame.  So you might be using a 28mm or 35mm and the DoF is less.   Of course, you could use the 18mm lens, and crop it afterwards, but that means the puppet is smaller in your live view and it is harder to judge small moves.

There are online depth of field calculators - this one actually had the camera included as one of the parameters:   http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html   However, it is looking at a full size landscape shot as an example, and you get far more in focus in the real world compared to a small scale set.  You can type in your own distances.  

Mine is similar to this:    


I have a CANON EOS Rebel T3i, bought long ago with some savings.

James Krysa, why would you want to buy a new camera? You have a camera similar to mine, it seems. And 1920 x 1080 is a decent resolution for a short film.

I will try to use my CANON for the first time at SMJ III.

Hoping this is my lucky year for it. Who would think turning so old would become as useful in the future? I am so glad I have it. I could never be able to buy this camera nowadays. It took me one whole year saving up for the ocassion.

And even so it was so expensive, back then. I remember I bought it in US, not in my country, for the price was even higher considering taxes, and shipping costs - of course. 


Funny thing I could never used this camera in all these years. I mean, I used it but not as properly with all its full potential. The lens that came with this camera were 45-55mm. I think they are decent. Anyway, I could never use them properly. I was not knowledgeable about adjusting ISO settings and all that it takes to learn to use the camera at its fullest.

It was good reading this thread, for I was convinced NIKON lenses and CANON were not compatibles, and that there was no other way to use a NIKON Lens, unless you had a Nikon.

 
StopmoNick said:

I believe Canon make adapters to fit the regular Canon EOS lenses onto the R series mirrorless cameras.  So you could fit the Canon R to EOS adapter, then fit your EOS-to-Nikon adapter and Nikon lens on that, like you do now.  I think there will also be direct Canon R to Nikon or other lenses adapters from various 3rd party vendors.  They will be kind of long looking, as the Canon DSLRs already mount their lenses closer to the sensor than other brands, and it looks like the R cameras mount them closer still.  

My 7d is still working fine, so I won't be buying an RP any time soon.  But I really would like that 1920 x 1280 live view!  That is the only reason I see for getting one for animation, but it is quite a good reason.

I would check the live view on those Nikon models, as they are usually lower res than Canon.  And be sure they work with Dragonframe. Same with Panasonic.  DF probably have the live view res of every compatible camera on their site. 

I don't think I would invest in a new pro quality DSLR at this point, I feel like they were a comfortable transition for photographers used to SLR film cameras, but will be on their way out in a couple of years as more mirrorless models ar released.  A low end to mid range model might still be a good way to go though.

Maybe Anthony can say if he has shot any test frames with his RP and Nikon lens - possibly not yet as I think he is busy with paid work at the moment?

 

StopmoNick - My god! You're the best !! This is genuinely the approach of a professional, hope that I'll be able to grasp it. Thanks a lot, this kind of information is hard to come by, unless you're having a really good teacher/cameraman on your side. Feel like sitting in the front row in class, and just placed a polished apple on your desk.. Waiting eagerly for you to spill some more essential knowledge. 

Yeah thanks Nick for trying to help there. To be honest most of this went right over my head.. I'm still struggling to understand alot of things.. I still don't get it all.. 

I meant to reply to your post.. at the time, then I was going to try and do some research and follow your links but I got sidetracked by other stuff going on in my daily life.. sorry about that.. I wasn't trying to be rude or whatever.. just felt over whelmed with everything and I took a break from online.. 

StopmoNick said:

A 28mm lens, for example, has the same depth of field with any size sensor, but the bigger the sensor, the wider the field of view.  With a smaller sensor, you might use a 24mm or 18mm lens to cover the same area, and that would have a greater depth of field.  When I used to shoot on a 16mm Bolex, I used a 10mm Switar lens for wide angle shots, and it had an absolutely amazing depth of field.  It also made a miniature set look huge.

When I moved up to a 35mm Mitchell (frame size similar to DSLR APS-C size sensor) I was using an 18 or 24mm lens for wide shots, and was caught out when I processed my first roll of film -  the depth of field was far less, and I had puppets coming towards camera going out of focus.  I bought a Depth of Field calculator which showed how deep the acceptable focus would be, with any given lens, at a particular f-stop, focussed at a certain distance.  The figures were a little less for zoom lenses, set to the same focal length, than with the prime lenses.  The calculator was a white plexiglass thing with bits that slide and a wheel that turns, kind of like a slide rule.  But it showed me what I was doing wrong and I learned to stop down the lens more to compensate, and design the shot so I wasn't relying on that 10mm lens.  It didn't ask what camera format you were using, because the same lens performs the same - it's just that you wouldn't be using the same lens. If I had been able to use a 10mm it would have given me the DoF, but would have looked like a fish-eye, and shot way off the edges of my set.

.  A full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera has a bigger sensor, same as 35mm still photo negatives, which go through the camera sideways instead of vertically and are twice as big as a movie frame.  So you might be using a 28mm or 35mm and the DoF is less.   Of course, you could use the 18mm lens, and crop it afterwards, but that means the puppet is smaller in your live view and it is harder to judge small moves.

There are online depth of field calculators - this one actually had the camera included as one of the parameters:   http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html   However, it is looking at a full size landscape shot as an example, and you get far more in focus in the real world compared to a small scale set.  You can type in your own distances.  

Mine is similar to this:    

  1. Hey Dan, I'm sorry I took so long to reply to this.. again I just felt overwhelmed lately.. had too much going on..   yeah I'm probably stupid trying to buy a full frame mirrorless camera.. I should just buy a cheap replacement camera off eBay.. I went to the apple repair centre on Saturday I think it was, and whilst I was there for them to look at my MacBook and iPhone, I asked then to have a look at the DSLR, and they put that electric microscope thing on the usb joint and showed me the damaged socket, advised me to take it to this camera shop and the guy had a look and told me it would cost £129 to repair for the part and labor.. I paid £250 new about 4x years back I think.. he said you can pick them up quite cheap.. alot cheaper than repairing this one off eBay.. so maybe I should just buy another one online.. I don't know what to do at the moment.. but I can see clearly now why the camera is loosing the live view connection with DF.. the usb is so badly damaged that two of the gold connectors inside won't make contact easily with the lead.. so it defo needs replacing.. 


Metalmadcat said:


I have a CANON EOS Rebel T3i, bought long ago with some savings.

James Krysa, why would you want to buy a new camera? You have a camera similar to mine, it seems. And 1920 x 1080 is a decent resolution for a short film.

I will try to use my CANON for the first time at SMJ III.

Hoping this is my lucky year for it. Who would think turning so old would become as useful in the future? I am so glad I have it. I could never be able to buy this camera nowadays. It took me one whole year saving up for the ocassion.

And even so it was so expensive, back then. I remember I bought it in US, not in my country, for the price was even higher considering taxes, and shipping costs - of course. 


Funny thing I could never used this camera in all these years. I mean, I used it but not as properly with all its full potential. The lens that came with this camera were 45-55mm. I think they are decent. Anyway, I could never use them properly. I was not knowledgeable about adjusting ISO settings and all that it takes to learn to use the camera at its fullest.

It was good reading this thread, for I was convinced NIKON lenses and CANON were not compatibles, and that there was no other way to use a NIKON Lens, unless you had a Nikon.

 
StopmoNick said:

I believe Canon make adapters to fit the regular Canon EOS lenses onto the R series mirrorless cameras.  So you could fit the Canon R to EOS adapter, then fit your EOS-to-Nikon adapter and Nikon lens on that, like you do now.  I think there will also be direct Canon R to Nikon or other lenses adapters from various 3rd party vendors.  They will be kind of long looking, as the Canon DSLRs already mount their lenses closer to the sensor than other brands, and it looks like the R cameras mount them closer still.  

My 7d is still working fine, so I won't be buying an RP any time soon.  But I really would like that 1920 x 1280 live view!  That is the only reason I see for getting one for animation, but it is quite a good reason.

I would check the live view on those Nikon models, as they are usually lower res than Canon.  And be sure they work with Dragonframe. Same with Panasonic.  DF probably have the live view res of every compatible camera on their site. 

I don't think I would invest in a new pro quality DSLR at this point, I feel like they were a comfortable transition for photographers used to SLR film cameras, but will be on their way out in a couple of years as more mirrorless models ar released.  A low end to mid range model might still be a good way to go though.

Maybe Anthony can say if he has shot any test frames with his RP and Nikon lens - possibly not yet as I think he is busy with paid work at the moment?

 

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