taking one frame at a time since 1999

I'm getting back into stop-motion again, and hoping to use my Canon 60D. Of course there is the problem of flicker with EF lens on Canon bodies, but I don't have the money to purchase a small set of Nikons. I do, however, own a set of old FD lenses that I use with my AE-1. Since these are 35mm film lenses, there won't be flicker (no lens electronics). But the adapters I've found for them have a "corrective lens" in them. I haven't done much research into it, but does this mean the FD's aren't optically compatible with modern EF mount DSLRs. Do they not cover the sensor (I would think they would since they're meant for a full 35mm frame)? Or, is there some image distortion?

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When I looked at the first pair of test shots, at first I though the Canon picture looked great, until I saw how much sharper the second one was! Wow! But now it looks like you've conquered it. Looks like you've got a winning combination there!

Too much sharpening & contrast push for my liking in the Canon shot. The contrast change has burned out the highlights pretty badly and the sharpening has made the textures very unnatural. You can see it from the lens barrel for example. 

It's not easy to judge the lens adapter, by test shooting two different cameras. Instead you should compare similar FD lens with an adapter to EF lens without one.

The first test is more revealing than the one with sharpening. It's clear that the image quality is softer than it should ideally be. 

Hi Everyone! My Nikon lenses finally arrived. And, I have put the Canon FD lenses to the test. Here is the setup: Canon 40D camera with adapters and lenses. To use a Canon FD lens for anything other than macro, you have to have an adapter with a corrective lens. The question has been whether this cheap corrective lens will make the FD lenses unfit for stop motion animation. I took a Canon 50mm FD lens + adapter with corrective lens and made some shots at F5.6. I took a Nikkor Micro 55mm lens + adapter(no glass) and made hots at F5.6. I copied a part of each jpg image and I am posting them here. I will let you all guess which is the Canon and which is the Nikon lens. This should be an interesting comparison! Good luck!


I'm guessing image 2 is the Canon, I imagine putting any third party glass (especially one to correct focus) will soften the image at least slightly. How far are you away from the picture? If it those are only a small part of the image, the soft focus of the second image could possibly be less noticeable on the full frame and render a pretty nice image.

Ethan, the original images were 3888 x 2592. Each of the images, in my previous post, are parts of these original images and are roughly 670 x 840 each.

I suppose I should have just posted the orginal images. So, below, I have attached the original images.


Ethan, you guessed wrong! :) Image 1 is with the Canon FD lens + glass adapter, and Image 2 is with Nikon lens and glassless adapter. The actual images that were taken and attached to my last post may be more telling. Hope this gives you a better perspective when choosing whether to use the Canon FD lenses or order some Nikon lenses.  There is another option. If anyone has some old M42(screw type lenses), they might want to get an adapter and try them. I did that. I think the results were pretty good. I used a lens from an old Sears SLR. The lens says Sears. The camera has Mamiya stamped on the bottom of it and I suspect the lens is a Mamiya lens. The M42 adapter does not have any glass in it. I just purchased a Sigma 28-70 zoom with a Nikon mount. I have it mounted on my canon camera using my Canon to Nikon adapter.  If anyone is interested in exploring this subject some more, then just let me know here. I do think that anyone getting started in stop motion and cannot afford to spend a lot of money might want to think about buying an adapter and some cheap lenses. Cheap does not mean poor quality! This would certainly be a better route than using a webcam.

Hi, I am new to this forum and the info that has been mentioned about the Canon 40D camera and the Fotodiox adapter . I would like to here further about this since I have a Canon 40 D camera and would like to know if I should get this adapter and since I do have Canon glass lenses, can I make this work for stop motion ???

Richie...what kind of Canon lenses? If they are EF, then they will not work. If they are the old film type SLR  Canon FD lenses, then it is possible to use them with an adapter.  You will have to have an adapter, such as the Fotodiox that I have(has a corrective lens in it), to use the old lenses. Because of the glass in the adapter, you lose a bit of quality in your pics.

Here is a pic taken with a Canon FD 50mm lens plus Fotodiox adapter:

Here is a pic taken with a Nikon 55mm Micro plus Fotodiox adapter(no glass):

Hi Keith....thanks for the follow up info I appreciate your sharing info about this . I have an old Canon T50 SLR camera with a Canon FD 85mm / 1.8 lens . Could I use the Fotodiox adapter ( with no glass ) with this lens on my Canon 40D camera body ?  Or can I only do this with a Nikon lens ? I see the differences with the images that you enclosed, with glass on the adapter it seems to make the image darker or muddier with the Canon and the Nikon has better clarity to the image...more light . I guess I am going to have to get a Nikon manual lens, if I want better quality to the images. I guess what they say about Nikon glass being the best is true !  I feel kind of stuck having to get the proper lens to make my Canon 40D camera work for me. I planned on getting Dragonframe software, hopefully I will be able to have live view with the 40D. I would love to hear feedback on what my best course of action would be ?

Richie, I recommend you read through this entire thread on "Canon FD to EF mount adapter". The FD lenses cannot be mounted on a Canon 40D without an adapter. When you use an adapter that is just metal and has no glass in it, the FD lenses will not focus to infinity. This means that you are essentially putting a piece of metal between the lens and the cameras sensor and that piece of metal is acting like an extension tube. The only thing you can then do with the FD lens is macro photography. Of course, when you get an adapter with a corrective lens inside, you lose image quality. The reason everyone uses old Nikon lenses is because when they are used with an adapter(just a metal like ring with no glass), it will focus to infinity. It is not just because of the quality of Nikon lenses vs Canon FD lenses. It all has to do with inability of Canon FD lenses when used with an adapter to focus to infinity.

So, the answer to your question about using your 85mm Canon FD lens with an adapter without glass for stop motion is NO! (As a side note on this whole subject.... when I bought an adapter for Nikon lens to Canon camera, I also bought an adapter that would mount the old screw type lenses on the Canon 40D. I had a nice Mamiya 50mm lens and I tried it. I thought the pics were pretty good. And, with the old screw type(M42) lenses you do not need an adapter with glass inside.)

Regarding the Nikon lenses, here is what StopMoNick had to say, "I use a Canon 40d with 2 Nikon lenses most of the time - a 28mm wide angle for wide to medium shots, and a 55mm macro for medium to closeup shots. Either a 28mm or 24mm will do fine for the wider shots. 35mm is not quite wide enough when you allow for the 1.5 crop factor caused by the sensor being smaller than a 35mm still photo negative. Nikon lenses should be AI or AIS type to fit the lens adapter." You will note that he mentioned the 'crop factor'. If you use something like your 85mm lens, when you use it on the 40D with adapter and glass, you get the equivalent of about a 135mm lens. If you use a 50mm lens, then you are getting something like the equivalent of your 85mm lens. A 28mm lens will give you about the equivalent of a 50mm lens. Following StopMoNick, I bought a Nikon 28mm and a 55mm Micro. Please note what StopMoNick said about the type of Nikon lens, it "should be AI or AIS type to fit the lens adapter". The Nikon AF lenses will not work.

I downloaded the trial version of Dragonframe and it works nicely with the Canon 40D giving a live view.

Your best option is to buy some Nikon (AI or AIS) lenses and use Dragonframe.

Keith, Thank you so much for some great info here !  I guess I will go and buy some Nikon lenses, I was curious as to the specs on the lenses..... is it a Nikkor 55mm micro or is it macro , I have seen descriptions for both ?  I don't want to buy a lens to find out that Oh! it's the other lens that you want . Also what is the aperture on the lens f2.8 or f1.4 or f1.2  ?  Or should I stick to one particular f stop lens ? for both types of lenses recommended by you and StopMoNick . And the adapter of choice to get would be the Fotodiox adapter ?  What is Al or AlS , is it some kind of rating ?  Again, Thank you for awesome info !

Micro and Macro mean the same thing - for whatever reason Nikon (Nikkor) uses the term Micro - guess they want to be different and confuse everybody. But don't worry - the Nikkor 55mm micro lens also does regular photography - in order to go into Micro mode you have to twist the focus ring all the way to one side. 

The f stop number really isn't that important - the smaller numbers (1.2 etc) means it's a faster lens - it lets more light in. This is important for doing low-light photography in a handheld situation, when you can't stand there and hold the camera rock steady for 5 minutes in order to get enough light for a good exposure, but not necessary for a studio camera that will be used on a tripod or some kind of stand that does hold it rock steady and you can use a long exposure in low light situations. 

There is still one situation where people using the camera on a tripod might want a low f stop number - that's to get extreme shallow depth of field, like those pictures of flowers and insects where only a paper-thin slice of the image is in focus. You most likely don't want to do stopmotion like this (unless you're a real masochist and want to do weird psychedelic stuff that everybody will hate!). So you can feel free to use the larger f stop numbers - they're usually less expensive. 

Still one more facotr concerning f stop though - it says a lot about the quality build of particular lenses. What I mean is - if you check on two or three different lenses - all made by the same company and all the same focal length etc, the only difference being the f stop - you'll often find one stands out as a quality lens compared to the others. Sometimes you'll find the 1.2 (for instance) is a quality lens built on steel and the others might be built on plastic (I'm just making up an example here - please don't quote me on this! Do your own research on a lens before you buy it and make sure it's not a cheap plastic one - though actually plastic should be fine for a studio lens - its the visual qualities that matter more). 

AI and AIS refer to the mount. Both AI and AIS lenses have manual focus and aperture rings so they're suitable for using with an adapter, and for stopmotion. 

Fotodiox makes some very good adapters and some not-so-good ones. I don't know personally if their Nikkor to Canon EF adapter is known to be a good one - I'll defer to Kieth on that one. 

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