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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Maybe Nick had a Nikon D40? I looked that one up and it's from 2006 and says it's an "affordable, compact DSLR" - which sounds like the one he used to talk about. Geez - wish they'd come up with some better names!! I always think of Nick as a Canon guy who uses Nikon lenses, but maybe back then he was using a Nikon - in fact after looking both cameras up I'm pretty sure that's the case. 

Looks like the Strider-sense was a false alarm. I think you're gonna be fine with both of those purchases. 

I've got a Canon 40D and it works perfectly with Dragonframe.

EDIT 8/2/12:  Also, this seems odd but I've got an automatic Canon 17-85mm lens  and as far as I can tell, I haven't had any flicker issues.  I do have a Nikon lens adapter just in case but have never used it other than for testing purposes.  Haven't had to purchase any manual Nikon lenses just yet, but I'd like to eventually get a few just for variation.

You know what, I've done that before, and Im going to make myself a little cheatsheet saying that Nick used to use the Nikon D40, not the Canon 40D! I do remember him saying he used to use a Nikon. It just sucks that the names are so freakishly similar. 

Never used a D40, do use a 40d...

My first DSLR was a Nikon D70, the first of their affordable dslr cameras that came out in 2004.  Then, when I was getting flicker in the middle of shooting a film I ran out and bought a D50 to finish the shoot, a cheaper model  - not quite as nice a camera but perfectly adequate.  (Turned out the flicker was due to varying mains power supply, nothing wrong with the D70 - Aaargh!) The D40 came out after the D50 and was similar.  They were good for stopmo, except for the lack of Live View - that's what made me get a Canon 40d - it had Live View and didn't seem to shut down to prevent overheating like the Nikon model available did.  I actually prefer Nikons, and still use the d70 for most of my stills.

Starting from there, already having some Nikon lenses, it was an easy choice to get a Nikon-EOS adapter and use them on the Canon.  I've since discovered there is an adapter for Olympus OM lenses, so I got one and can also use a couple of my old OM mount lenses from when I used an OM1.  I think Isabel used Pentax lenses on her Canon 7d to shoot Butterflies   (  )- and that worked fine with Dragon.

Strider, are there any lens adapters for a Panasonic Lumix FZ50? I have looked but been unable to find anything. Is the  35-420 zoom lens the only lens that will fit this camera?

Wow, sorry for my epic thread fail!!! I was completely wrong about everything I said, but in this case I'm glad to be wrong!  

Keith, the FZ50 doesn't take interchangeable lenses - it has a fixed zoom lens, meaning the lens is permanently atached. You can get special accessory lenses that slip on over the lens to extend the range though - I think there are wide-angle and probably Macro ones.

Strider, hey...don't worry about getting a few things wrong on the thread. No big deal! Thanks for the info about the FZ50.

I can now answer a few questions regarding using FD lenses with an adapter on Canon EOS cameras. The following tests were done using a Canon 40D and Fotodiox Pro lens adapter WITHOUT THE CORRECTIVE LENS!.

Canon FD lens      Focusing distance to subject      Area of coverage

35mm lens           3 1/2" to 2"                                         1 1/2" x 2 1/4" 

50mm lens           6" to 8"                                               battery died

100mm Macro      8 1/2" to 32"                                       5 1/2" x 7 1/2"

135mm                 27" to 60"                                            6" x 9"

As you can see, the only lens that seems feasible is 135mm lens. At 5' from the subject, the coverage area is 6" x 9".  This is a very small coverage area and probably too small for any of us to use for stop motion. You could only photograph 6" of a 9" puppet.

Now, the final question is whether the FD lens with adapter and corrective lens will give good results. I am having to charge the battery. As soon as I can, I will take some shots with the Canon 40D with FD lenses and adapter and some with a Panasomic Lumix Fz50 using a Leica 35-420 zoom and we can compare them.


It is amazing to see this discussion go on so long.  What I have concluded is that the use of lens adapters is very subjective, but if you already have a pile of FD lenses, and an EOS camera it is worth trying them out to see if they work for you.  We now know that an adapter with an optic is necessary unless you are doing macro photography.  I have attached one photo of a workbench taken with a 60D camera and an FD 28mm f/3.5 lens with (I think) a Hama adapter.  The film plane of the camera was located 26 inches from the target, and as can be seen the width of the image is a little over 12 inches at the plane of focus.  The lens was set to f/8 for the exposure.  There was plenty of focusing range to get nearer to or further from the target.  I also tried a FD 50mm f/1.8 lens and got similar results.  I then tried the two lenses out side, shooting across the ward, at ranges around 30 feet.  The 28mm lens work very well when stopped down, but was a bit soft wide open.


Rob, thanks for the test results. I think I can see the same thing in the your pic that I see in mine. I took a Canon 40D and attached a Fotodiox Pro adapter and a FD 50mm lens with camera set to ISO 100 and color balance to 7000K(I have 7000k lamps). I took a Panasonic Lumix FZ50 with a Leica Zoom 35-420 lens set ISO to 100 and color balance to 7000K. The FD lens was set to 5.6 and the Leica lens to F5.0. The pixel size produced by each camera is not exact but close. The image size of the Canon 40D was 3888x2592. I cut out a portion of each pic from each camera and attached the results to this blog. I can see a color difference between the pics. The pics using the FD lens and Canon camera are not as vibrant as those with the Panasonic and Leica lens. If you look at the words in the pic, the FD lens pic's words look a little soft. I cannot compare cameras because I don't have any Canon EOS lenses to try on the 40D.

Personally, I would not go the FD lens and adapter route. However, it is far preferable to a webcam. And, it is going to depend on just how good a person wants their images.  Ethan, the best route for you would be to buy a Nikon lens and get a mount adapter.  A good Canon FD to EOS adapter will cost $35 or more. You can buy a Nikon to Canon EOS adapter for $15.

I hope this helps everyone interesting in this subject. If anyone would like the actual pics I took, then let me know.


Ethan, I am revising my last post. I made some changes to the FD lens photos: increasing color saturation, increasing contrast, and using a sharpening filter. The results looks pretty good! You can see the result and comparison by clicking below:

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