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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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I am no expert on adapters, but the Fotodiox does seem to work fine for me.  Since you will be buying an adapter without a corrective lens, you can get them pretty cheap.  So, if you buy one and don't like it, just get another brand. The 55 mm Nikkor Micro that I purcashed is 2.8. The smaller this number the more the lens will cost. But, like Strider says, it is probably a better lens. You will need a power supply for your camera if you don't have one. Batteries will run down too quickly because you will be using live view, and you will need a cable to go from the camera to the USB port of your computer.

Keith Ray said:

I am no expert on adapters, but the Fotodiox does seem to work fine for me.

In that case, just be sure to look up various adapters on Amazon and check the customer ratings. Or just google it. You'll quickly learn which ones are good and which ones to avoid.

Strider and Keith much Thanks on the great information on this . I guess the best thing is to get the Fotodiox adapter and test it out. What have you guys heard about the Novoflex adapter that was used on Corpse bride and some other productions as well ?  I am curious as to productions like Coraline, ParaNorman and Corpse Bride have used ? As far as adapters go ? 

Also from your experience what f stops do you find yourself shooting at ? and how long of an exposure ? Would a faster lens be more advantageous...say a f 1.2 instead of a f2.8 ?

Just look at the top 5 or 6 adapters on this page and read some of the customer reviews - that's a good way to find which ones are worth getting. I just briefly scanned through the latest issue of StopMotion Magazine and I didn't see any mention of which adapter they used, but they definitely used Canon cameras and Nikon lenses. On Coraline they didn't use DSLRs at all, they used some kind of machine vision cameras. 

As far as f stops - it hardly matters since you can adjust your exposure time to let in more or less light. The main concern is to not shoot wide open because that can kill the sharpness of your shot - too much light bouncing around in between your lens elements when yo do that. So don't use your widest open stop or maybe the one under that either. 

I don't usually pay any attention to which f stop number I'm on, in fact some of my lenses don't click at the f stops so often I'm in between stops. The main factor for me is how much depth of field I want - if I need a lot to try to get the entire set in clear focus then I use a wide lens and stop way down (big f stop numbers) and adjust exposure time so I'm getting a good middle-of-the-road exposure. The important thing is to not have any areas with no information - solid blacks or blown-out whites, unless that's an effect you're going for in that shot. As long as you have a good exposure then you can make all the adjustments you want later in the computer.

Here's the thought process I tend to go through - how wide do I want this shot? Is it normal, wide, extremely wide, or is it a long shot? I select the lens that fits, then next I think about depth of field. Do I want everything in focus, or do I want to throw the background out of focus or do a focus pull? If I want everything in focus then I set a small aperture (big f stop number) but not the smallest - I avoid shooting wide open and closing it down all the way because these extremes affect image quality - when you let too much light bounce around inside the lens it causes problems and trying to close it down till there's almost no light causes problems too, so I don't use lenses all the way opened up or all the way closed down. 

Ok, once I've decided on a lens and and f stop, the next factor is to make sure I'm getting a good exposure. That's where the exposure time comes in. I look at the display which tells me exactly what exposure I'm getting, and I just twist the exposure time dial on the camera until I have it pretty well centered. So for me exposure time is the final part of the equation. You can look at your histogram and it shows you whether your highlights are going to be blown or your blacks are going to be crushed. Here's some good info on that:

Like I said at the bottom of the last page, you don't need a fast lens. No need to pay out the wazoo for that. Since your camera is on a tripod you can shoot at a lower f stop and just use a longer exposure time. So again, the only reason you want to pay attention to f stops when you're looking at lenses to buy is for identification purposes. For instance if you're looking at a bunch of Nikkor 55 Micro lenses the f stop will be the identifying factor - there'll be for instance an f 1.2, an f 2, an f 3 and so on, and when you look at reviews for each of these lenses you'll see they're made very differently - one or two of them might be crap lenses made entirely of plastic that rate very low for performance, while one or two of them might be great lenses. So that's the main reason you'll chose a lens with a particular maximum f stop. 

Oh, I guess this is also a good place for me to once again post this: How To Detect Flaws in Used Camera Lenses on Ebay

Strider , Thank you for all the great info !  I went to the Amazon adapters page link and was quite overwhelmed by the various adapters for Nikon lens to Canon bodies, which one to get ? cheap vs. expensive ?  On the page it also had various comments about the types of Nikon lenses and to carefully check which type of Nikon lens to adapter ? Is there a particular model adapter that you can recommend ? Also the reviews on this adapter are so so, reviewers say that once you attach the adapter to the lens, it is very difficult to get it off .  I assume this becomes a permanent fixture to the lens ?  would I need to have an adapter for each type of lens that I plan to use...say a 55mm, 28mm, etc. ?

Also I want to make sure that the type of Nikon lens to buy as well !  So it is a Nikkor 55 Micro lens, it can be f2.8, a f mount manual lens with aperture ring, I wanted to make sure that I had all the specs and info on the lenses to get . Sorry to sound so repetitive about this .

I have attached a pic of the listing of the 55mm Micro that I purchased off Ebay. Note the listing as "AI". Your lens should be "AI", "AIS", or "AI-S". Avoid the "NON-AI"  and "NIKKOR P" mounts. You will notice that the seller put "EX" at the end of the listing, meaning he rates the lens as "excellent". Next, is a couple of pics of the lens. Below the pics is the specs and below that is the sellers comments about the lens: "Very clean glass" "aperture snaps in properly" "smooth focus" Last, but certainly not least is the seller. Look at the number of items he has sold on Ebay. Never buy from someone that is a first time seller or someone that has only sold a few items. Then, note his customer feedback. On this seller, the customer satisfaction is 100%!

On Ebay, here is a good entry for searching for this lens "Micro-Nikkor 55mm AI". Type that in the search field. You will get a of some lenses that are P mount or non-AI, so be careful.

I read reviews of adapters and bought a Cinevate adapter. It is a bit pricey at $40.95. Works nicely and is not difficult to get the lens off the mount. I bought it off Ebay and it ships from Adorama.

Hope this helps!


Only the top 4 or 5 adapters on that Amazon page are for using Nikon lenses on Canon bodies - after that it starts to show a bunch of 'similar' stuff, but you hve to read the heading carefully and make sure it's for Nikon (or Nikkor) to Canon bodies. 

I can't recommend a particular adpter because I don't use a Canon camera, so you'll just have to do what I did when researching to outfit my Panasonic G1 camera with some manual lenses - research research research!

Actually you don't have to do much, as we've provided all the essential information you need. Just look at a couple of the Nikon to Canon adapters and get one that has good ratings. You don't need the absolute best one, just a good one. If an adapter gets a lot of comments that the lens jiggles loosely or falls out or something like that then avoid that model. 

For lenses, search on eBay for Nikon or Nikkor manual lenses. You'll need to tailor your search criteria until you get it narrowed down. For instance, if you try "Nikon manual lens" you might find a lot of user manuals for all kinds of nikon lenses. But they have criteria along the left side of the page that you can check off to narrow your search - for instance only lenses (that gets rid of the pamphlets and manuals etc). Try a few different variations of search terms - Nikon AI lens, Nikon AIS lens, Nikon manual AI lens etc. 

Carefully read the information on the lenses that come up - make sure a lens is either AI or AIS (make sure it's not G, as the G series do not have manual iris control). Look at a few wide lenses (25 to 28 mm or so), a few 'normal' lenses (50 or 55 mm) - possibly a bit longer, like maybe up to 75 mm or so? Though you probably won't need anything that long. 

When you find some lenses that sound like they meet the requirements and seem to be in good shape and are in your price range, copy/paste or type in the specs of each one into google and find info on that particular lens. 

For instance, if you find a Nikkor AIS 55mm Micro f1.5 and a Nikkor AIS 55mm Micro f2.0, look them both up. There are all kinds of sites where people talk about the quality of various lenses - especially now that the use of adapters has made these old manual lenses so attractive. 

You'll often find that one of the lenses you're looking at is great quality and the rest are junk (usually the more expensive one will be the best one - sorta goes without saying). I said earlier that plastic construction is ok since we're using these lenses indoors on a tripod and they don't need to be super tough, but then I realized a plastic lens might have already been subject to a lot of wear and tear and might not be quite the lens it once was - so you'll need to decide what's acceptable to you. A good eBay seller who wants to remain in business will carefully list all defects, and if you contact them and ask questions they'll answer them honestly. The ones who don't do this get bad ratings and eventually are no longer allowed on eBay anymore. So be sure to check the seller's ratings. 

It's comon practice to get an adaptor for each lens and just leave them in place on the lenses. That shouldn't be a problem if you're only getting a couple of lenses. I have quite a collection now, and I have an adaptor on each one, as well as always buying front and rear lens caps for each if they don't come with. I find it's a bit frustrating having to take a lens off the camera, fiddle around the get the adapter off the lens, then put it on another lens and finally onto the camera. Much simpler just to keep one on each lens. 

When you've got it narrowed down to a couple of lenses then feel free to post the links here and we can take a look before you decide to buy just to make sure everything is hunky dory wth them. 

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