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 should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flicker? 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
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Post should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flicker?
Hi All,

I've been shooting my timelapses with a Nikon D3S, mostly with a Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 lens. I've been using the manual aperture ring to reduce aperture flicker, and I'm pretty happy with that technique. When I use my G lenses, such as my Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 (no aperture ring), I of course get aperture flicker at any aperture larger than wide open (even a stop down shows flicker). This adds a deflickering step to my post processing, and that's if the software does a good job (I usually shoot holy grail TLs, which complicates things for the software).

The lens-twist trick doesn't work with Nikons (well, it hasn't for me, happy to learn I'm doing something wrong), so I am seriously considering buying a Canon body and mounting my Nikkor lenses (likely the ubiquitous 5DIII).

It's a pretty big expense for me, at this stage. I am shooting timelapses mainly for stock at this point, but it's early days and I've had no sales yet (I'm going to assume that I will, eventually ;) ), but if using a Canon body saves me much time in post, and also ensures my final movies are of a more saleable quality, it'll be worth it.

Can anybody offer any opinions on this plan? I'd very much appreciate some advice from people who have done the same. I'd especially like to hear from Nikon shooters who have a better strategy for avoiding flicker than I'm using :-)

Cheers!

Chas


Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:35 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
I hesitate to suggest this because of all the good glass you have. I don't have a lot of money, so I've adapted some old M42 screw mount lenses from the days when SLR cameras had 35mm film in them. They are great for shooting timelapse or video. The screw mount lenses didn't have the thing that kept the aperture open until you took the picture. You opened the aperture manually to focus, then stopped it down to meter or shoot. The viewfinder got real dark with the lens stopped down. I love these lenses because they put me in charge. They only do what I tell them to do. If I stop down to f 16 to get a lot of depth of field, they stay at 16 the whole time. There is never any flicker. When shooting video, they work just like a cine lens. The aperture doesn't move unless I move it. There is no autofocus hunting around or moving the lens in a distracting way.

M42 screw mount used to be called universal lens mount until camera manufacturers decided to put bayonet mounts and automatic irises on their lenses. There are a ton of good used ones on ebay. You can also find cheap adapters that fit the lenses to your camera.


Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:25 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
Hey, that's an excellent idea, thanks!

The extra bonus is that they should be really inexpensive (well, compared to the all-singing all-dancing new lenses).

Can you recommend an adaptor?


Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:30 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:24 pm
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
You can if Canon comes out with a better camera soon (finally updating it's sensors...) but it will cost a lot (brand new release, will have to wait at least 6 months for price drop).

I just switched to Nikon last month (D750). Love the files, but very annoyed at the lack of "lens twist trick".

This is the only option you have:
http://www.dangelanuss.com/Flickerfree.html

A few people have posted about this here as well.

Basically shove a plastic tab into the aperture lever section to hold it open.
If you have never done this you need to be very careful about everything and NOT dropping the lens.
Also do not try to fully mount the lens or you will break something.
I temporarily used plastic from a DVD case. It is a bit too thin but still works, easy to find, and basically free.

I am not responsible for any damages! :)

Canon method more convenient. I tried to ask someone at Nikon through email but they didn't give a *****


Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:00 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:38 pm
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Location: Exmouth, Western Australia
Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
The usual recommendation for timelapse and animation is to use a Nikon manual aperture lens on a Canon body with a cheap adapter that does not operate the iris open-wide lever (newly invented technical term). I've recently discovered that Pentax K mount lenses just as often have a manual aperture ring and can easily be fitted to Canon cameras with a cheap adapter that works in the same way. There are a lot more Pentax mount lenses available on eBay than there are Nikon mount types and they are often cheaper for the equivalent lens. I've just bought a Sigma 28-90mm macro zoom lens in very good condition for only $35AUD + delivery. I plan to look at some primes in the future.

It is possible to fit Pentax lenses to Nikon bodies but the adapters have a corrective lens of unknown quality (see the link below). Such a combination may not give you the ultimate in photographic quality but it will let you use your Nikon body without suffering aperture flicker. And let's remember the final result here is 'only' a video, not a fine-art print.

Kit

\http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/995090-REG/fotodiox_pk_nk_g_pro_nikon_f_mount_lens.html


Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:10 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
I use the "dumb" adapters which have no contacts for autofocus, electronic aperture or anything. Its just a piece of metal with the screw mount threads on the inside and a Canon bayonet mount on the outside. Since my old Pentax mount lenses have no electronics, these work fine. Here's a link to an example of the type i use.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/For-Black-Alumi ... 462fd7ef4c

This is similar to the lens I like best. They average about $100 on ebay. The 50mm f1.4 sucks in a lot of light and makes a good image. There are two variants of this lens, the super takumar, and the SMC takumar. Although "super" sounds good, those have no anti-reflection multicoating and were produced earlier. The SMC takumar has an early form of multicoating. SMC stands for super multi coated, so get the SMC version if possible. Here is a link to one for sale right now.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-50mm-f-1 ... 3f4640f3ec


Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:00 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:24 pm
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
Well, for Nikon G > Canon EOS mount, you simply buy the adapter with the aperture control...
Works perfectly and you can manually set aperture on basically all F-mount lenses...

$15.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-G-AFS-DX- ... 4ac8284ed4


Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:19 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Victoria, Canada
Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
You might find a used Nikon 15mm or 18mm lens on ebay. I used to have the 18, it was a good lens.
It would be a lot cheaper than buying a new camera. In the same price range is the Rokinon 14 mm lens, a well appreciated manual lens.


Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:43 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:38 pm
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
Just in case any new readers are a little confused...

Chas' original post is all about whether he needs to change from Nikon to Canon cameras to avoid aperture flicker. Nikon generally have a better reputation for stills photography but the prime advantage Canon has for timelapse and animation is that their flange focal distance is about 1.5mm less than either Nikon or Pentax. This means there is 1.5mm space into which a simple adapter can fit for these lenses without preventing the lens focusing to infinity. The whole purpose of not using a lens that matches the camera body is to prevent the camera from opening up the lens iris between frames. Slight variations in the actual aperture setting the iris closes down to for each frame is the cause of small exposure variations which are irrelevant for normal photographs but very annoying for videos produced from a sequence of stills.

Since the camera no longer has control of the iris, the lens used must have a manual aperture control, still quite common on Nikon and Pentax lenses.

Many other combinations of lens/camera require an adapter with an additional lens to correct for the extra lens/sensor distance added by the need for an adapter to make the lens fit. This may affect the resulting image quality but does allow almost any lens to be fitted to almost any camera. A Pentax lens to your beloved Nikon body for example.

Another reason for using Canon camera bodies, particularly for animation, is that even some of the cheaper EOS bodies can be fully controlled from the popular Dragonframe software and provide a good quality live-view image via the same USB connection.

Kit


Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:26 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
Hi Everyone,

Thanks very much for all the useful information! (I thought I'd signed up for email notices that replies had come to this topic, sorry for not replying earlier).

I'm going to try the plastic tab trick that scotchtape mentioned, as I'd prefer to use my fast zooms as much as possible (vs. buying older Nikon primes, or Rokinon primes). Fingers are crossed :-)

Cheers, and thanks again for the considered discussion. I hope other Nikon users who might be searching on this topic find this useful thread.

Chas


Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:19 pm
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
hi i have recently come across qdslr dashboard which is working quite well for me for ramping etc it works for nikons and is based on the idea that if you shoot in live view on newer nikon cameras the camera doesn't open and close the shutter each time you take a shot so no aperture flicker even on newer lenses with no aperture ring. its working for me on a nikon d800 :D. you don't need qdslr to get this to work but it adds lots of extra features well worth a look espeshaly if you use lrtimlapse in you post production process
here is the link http://dslrdashboard.info/introduction/

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Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:41 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:44 am
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
It's a very good suggestion, thanks for pointing it out.

The control over aperture is new for qDSLRDashboard (I've been using it for months), and the liveview idea is very intriguing (and only works for Nikon, at the moment, about time Nikon users got a break :-) )

I shoot quite long timelapses (6-12 hours), having liveview on all that time would drain my battery too fast. I'm going to see if I can turn the monitor down to conserve power. Fingers are crossed.

light and time wrote:
hi i have recently come across qdslr dashboard which is working quite well for me for ramping etc it works for nikons and is based on the idea that if you shoot in live view on newer nikon cameras the camera doesn't open and close the shutter each time you take a shot so no aperture flicker even on newer lenses with no aperture ring. its working for me on a nikon d800 :D. you don't need qdslr to get this to work but it adds lots of extra features well worth a look espeshaly if you use lrtimlapse in you post production process
here is the link http://dslrdashboard.info/introduction/


Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:55 am
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
d750 is a battery eater :(


Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:39 am
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
But a kickass choice for a timelapse camera otherwise! ;-)

scotchtape wrote:
d750 is a battery eater :(


Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:44 am
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Post Re: should I switch from Nikon to Canon to better avoid flic
hope that works for you if not you can get a dummy battery that allows you to use a v-lock battery which would last a long time not a cheap option though!

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Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:54 am
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