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 was researching adapers a while back, I ran across those kinds with the lenses built in. I don't remember the details now, but the verdict in general was they do cause distortion. Ok, it's coming back to me a little bit now - the glass is needed because the lens-to-sensor distance is too short, and the image wouldn't be focused without a corrective lens. You might be able to find some test pics taken with them if you google creatively - it might be within tolerable limits. 

I looked around Google and the images I could looked quite good. There were a couple, however, that had oddly blurred bokeh, nothing too unbearable though. I think I will pick one up and give it a try. 

When an FD lens is used with an adapter for a Canon DSLR, there is a 1.26 crop factor. For the lens to focus to infinity, the adapter must have glass(corrective lens) in it. Some folks say this reduces the sharpness quite a bit, and some folks say the FD lens creates a nice effect. You can buy an adapter without glass. It will not focus to infinity.  However, it can be used for macro work. What I am wondering is if it could be used for stop motion because we are rarely going to focus to infinity anyway? Another thing to consider is that you will likely want to be using something like 28mm or 35mm lenses because of the crop factor. I have been unable to find anyone using these lenses for stop motion. I am currently using a Panasonic FZ50, but I have been thinking about buying a Canon. If I do, then I would like to try the FD lens which I already have. You can buy a glassless adapter on Ebay for $9.99. Since it is so inexpensive, you might want to order one and give it a try. It is recommended to not use the lens wide open but to stop it down one or two f stops.

I have a collection of FD lenses from the old days and looked forward to playing with them on the new 60D I purchased last winter.  But as you know they do not directly attach to the newer Canon bodies.  Canon increased the flange focal distance of 42mm on the FD lenses to 44mm on the EF lens.  So an old lens would need to sit inside the camera in order to focus correctly.  Otherwise the FD lens will behave as though it were attached to an extention tube, where the whole focusing range is moved toward the camera and focusing to infinity is not possible.  To correct for this problem adapters have an optic in them, essentially they are telle converters.  I purchased one from B&H to see how this would work in practice.  I was not too impressed with the initial results, though I intend to do some more testing.  You lose some light, maybe a stop or two and on one Tamron zoom the focus is quite soft.  I have a good 50mm prime that I have not tried yet, but a 28mm prime works OK.  I wanted to use one of these on a close up video I was working on last winter, and while the IQ was acceptable with the 28mm lense the magnification ratio was not right so I ended up using a Nikon lens instead.  I will experiment some more.

Rob, I don't like the idea of the adapters with corrective optics. What you are doing is taking a good lens and putting a 'cheap' lens between it and the camera.  I am wondering if a more expensive adapter would be better? I have seen some pretty good results by people that have used the FD lens and an adapter.  But, whether it would be good enough for stop motion is another question. What I am wondering is whether you can take an adapter, with no glass, and use it for stop motion. For stop motion, you are not going be needing to focus to infinity.


You raise an interisting question, using the lens without the adapter optics, as though it were on an extention tube.  I took a close look at my adapter this morning and it appears fairly easy to remove the lenses from their mount.  However it is what I think is a good adapter, since it was expensive, so I am reluctent to take it apart, at least for now, till curiosity overtakes reasion.  I took several test shots compairing an FD 50mm f1.8 lens to the 18-135 kit lens that came with the 60D.  They are very similar.  I can send you the RAW files if you are interested in seeing them. 

Thank you all for the responses. I think my current plan is to pick up an adapter without the glass and try it with stop motion, and perhaps later invest in a higher quality adapter with the lens if I do more video work with the FDs. Rob, I'd like to see the shots you took, especially since I have both the FD 50mm f/1.8 and the 18-135 kit.

Rob, I would also like to see the test pics.

Ok guys...I just ordered a used Canon 40D and a Fotodiox PRO Lens Mount Adapter. I have several Canon FD lenses. I have a great 100mm Macro FD lens. So, when all the stuff arrives, I will do some testing and let you guys know how well it works. The Fotodiox adapter has corrective glass in it, but the glass can be removed. There is a very good discussion about all of this on


I took a look at that thread and it sounds like if you remove the glass the FD lenses become macro lenses - the adapter basically becomes an extension tube. I don't think you'd be able to do stopmotion in Macro, would you? You'd only be able to fit a puppet's head into the shot. In fact that whole thread sounds pretty discouraging, the general consensus seems to be stay away from the FD lenses or get a Micro 4/3 camera to put them on. 

Also, I'm afraid to bring this up, but isn't the Canon 40D the camera Nick used to use 5 or 6 years ago, that doesn't supply a live feed and he had to rig up a spycam looking into the viewfinder in order to use it with a framegrabber? I see it was made in 2007, so I guess the timeframe is about right. 

I don't mean to just come in and rain bad news all over this thread, but the Strider-sense started tingling! Unless you know something I don't - if there are more than one page onthat FD lens adapter thread then I didn't read the whole thing - maybe there's a good solution provided later. And I might not be right about the 40D being the one Nick used to have to aim a spycam through. I hope I am wrong, but I'm afraid...  

Ok, today I read a bit more on that thread, and it sounds like you can use the adapter with the glass in it and get good sharp results if you stop down. Apparently the blurring only occurs wide open, keep it below f/4 or so and it should work well. That was from a guy using a Hoya adapter, I don't know how well it would work with other brands. Apparently Hoya is known for good lens quality. 

** edit **

Oh, well a little more reading and I see the Fotodiox adapter is even better, and has virtually no blurring almost wide open! Heh - sorry for the shock and awe panic! 

Still a bit concerned about the camera though... I hope it does have live feed that's compatible with framegrabbers. 

Stider, Dragonframe has the Canon 40D listed in the live view section. That is all I know. If it does not work, then I will just turn around and sell it back on problem. I have read some pretty good things also about the Fotodiox adapter. You can remove the glass from it, and as you say, it becomes like an extension tube. The real question is whether it will focus far enough out to be used for stop motion. Suppose I will have to wait until my camera and adapter arrives to answer that question. Again, no problem about the Canon 40D. If it does not work, I have my eye on a Canon T4i.

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