taking one frame at a time since 1999

I have a Canon EOS Rebel T1i and I made my first stop motion by gently releasing the lens while hitting the preview button and that removed the flicker from my stop motion shots. It did play havoc with my screen capture software Video Studio. Sometimes the preview would be too dark and other times it would be too bright. I was also always concerned that the lens would fall off. The lens was a Canon 18-55 that came with the kit so there was also concern of accidentally changing the focal length. I said I would not shoot my next project this way.

I decided I would order an older manual Canon lens and an adapter. The lens I got is a Canon 50mm f1.8 FD lens from ebay for $29. The lens looks brand new. The adapter I got is a Fotodiox for $35 from Amazon

Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter - Canon FD & FL 35mm SLR lens to Canon EOS (EF, EF-S) Mount SLR Camera Body, with Built-In Aperture Control Dial

First testing was would the two items fit and the answer is yes! Next tests were to try and get similar shots from an automatic lens. I came close but the manual shots do not have a very rich color palette. I think that is just the learning curve that I need to overcome by more tests. The adapter has an aperture control dial on it and then the lens has a dial also. I am still learning how to make these work in sync.

Next test will be a time lapse set up to check for flicker.

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The aperture we use makes much more difference than most people notice. Keep testing and eventually you will find your sweet spot :)

Keep us posted, I'm curious to see how it goes.

Why not spend more on the lens and less on the adapter? If you get an old Nikon AI or Olympus manual lens, the adapter costs only around five bucks. And you get a better, metal-bodied lens.

There's a good video on best vintage lenses for stopmotion on YouTube.

Because you will need some more primes. A 28mm is really useful.

HI all, ive just started to get my feet wet in the world of stop motion, and im new to this site also. ive read a little about why the use of a manual lens works better than an electronic one. im hoping someone can set me in the right direction. I just ordered a Canon REbel EOS T5i and it comes with a standard 18-55mm lens. I plan on buying Stop Motion Pro Eclipse for the software, and im trying to learn Gimp for the editing. What do i need to buy as far as the correct manual lens, including the mm, and lens attachments if any. any, and all sugestions would be greatly appreciated. i wanted to get Dragonframe, but i think it may be a bit to complicated for me. What do you guys think? Thanks.

I have used Stop Motion Pro - not Eclipse, but several earlier versions, and Dragonframe as well.  I like them both, and they mostly do the same things, only in a slightly different way.  The only reason I am using Dragonframe now is that my PC died, and I only have a Mac now.  SMP had some people working on a Mac OSX version, but I don't think they made much progress.

I like to have one wide angle - 28mm or 24mm - and one lens that is good for closeups.  I use a Nikon 55mm macro, because it can focus closer.  But 50mm can be ok, some of those can focus reasonably close at around 18 inches, and every old 35mm camera used to come with a 50mm on it so they are plentiful and not too pricey.  If your Canon 50mm is working for you, stick with it.

I don't use the 18-55mm lens that comes with the camera for animation, because it doesn't have a ring on the lens to set the aperture.  So it has to be controlled by the camera, and it will open up the iris between shots to give you a brighter view, then stop down when you take the shot.  That's ok for stills, but for animation it can cause flicker, when it doesn't stop down to the exact same setting each time.  A manual lens will just stay put, at wherever you set it to by turning the ring with your hand.  

The basic simple adapters are cheap, so I have one for each lens.  Simple is best - you don't want any automatic control of the lens, no autofocus or aperture changing, so go for the kind with no electronic connectors.  Here's one similar to mine:

Thanks Stopmonick, thats the info. i needed. The other reason im going with SMP, is that when i called the Dragonframe support team i was told that it doesnt have rig removal app., and i dont want to spend a monthly fee to use a software for editing. Speaking of which., Do know of any good editing softwares that i can just buy outright, or use for free?

But either way, thanks for you help, ill have to check out those lens's, and adapters. 

Here's the link to that video on manual lenses:

Thanks Simon

The lens I got is similar to the one mentioned in the video above that the actor dismisses because it has a long minimal focus of 18" which is poor in his opinion for mini fig films. It seems to me that it would be a great distance for 12" figures and even larger. The lens I got is normally on ebay for about $70usd but I happen to get a seller with a buy it now and was able to get it for only $30.

The adapter I got was the same one Dragonframe used to recommend, and provide an Amaazon link to, with the exception that I got Canon EF-S (camera body) to Canon FD (Old Lens). Why did I go against the norm and not get a Nikon lens? No answer for that.

I do know that I wanted infinity focus with my adapter and I thought you had to have glass on your adapter for that but in reviewing StopMoNicks link his cheap adapter says infinity focus.

I hope to set up my time lapse this week. I rebuilt the table I used for the Stop Mo Jam #1 and I just need to rearrange my basement to make room.

I totally agree with you Simon, I will need more and more kit as I get going. When do you ever really say I don't need anything else?

I'm sure it will be just fine. Lenses are very subjective anyway. The real point about his video is to let people know that the old manual lenses are really good quality, metal bodied, and available for not too much money. I have some nice Olympus and Vivitar primes, and I think the cheapest lens I got was a similar price to yours.

And, no there is no time when one can say you wouldn't like to have more gear! But don't be tempted to turn that phrase around as an excuse for not making something.... use what you have, improvise and make a Christmas wish list!

Hey Steve if i understand you correctly, you went with a Canon FD lens which i was thinking of doing also. there seems to be a lot of them at a good price on Ebay. Which lens are you going with for an all around good lens.Mike.

Yes Mike my adapter fits an old manual Canon Lens to my Eos Rebel. HOWEVER I am 100% a newbie and usually the guy they point at as the example of how not to do something. So I can't say if this is the way to go. But yes the availability and cost is what partially what pushed me to go with the FD series.

Michael Hulas said:

Hey Steve if i understand you correctly, you went with a Canon FD lens which i was thinking of doing also. there seems to be a lot of them at a good price on Ebay. Which lens are you going with for an all around good lens.Mike.

Well Steve you and I are in the same boat. No one can be newer to this than me, I'm supossed to get my Canon Rebel T-5i tomorrow by UPS so i havn't even shot my first frame yet. But i think i'm going with the older FD lens's unless someone thinks i shouldnt. So i'm taking in all the advise i can by others who have done this for a while. it will probobly be a while before i can get any lens's so let me know how you make out. Mike.

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