In my third instalment of Nikon, Time Lapse & Flickering I want to find out if the Nikon can deal with aperture flicker by itself. By which I mean just shooting auto. Turning all the gimmicks on and switching the dial to auto.

Why? I know it generally goes against the unwritten time-lapse bible, but hey, these cameras and lenses are expensive. They have been created by some of the most advanced technicians, scientists and designers in the field of photography. Surely, the gimmicks and clever computer trickery can result in a perfect picture…..right?

I put two identical D5000 cameras next to each other shooting a time lapse out of my workplace window. I shoot this view a lot in time-lapse, we get great skies in Manchester. This day was not perfect but it’s the only day I could do it. The cameras have exactly the same lens attached, the Nikor DX AF-S 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR. The lens is set to 18mm to allow me to shoot wide open at f3.5 on the fully manual camera. The lens on the full auto camera is also set to 18mm with auto focus turned off but that’s it.

Setting for fully manual Nikon D5000

Everything turned off! That means everything!
WB set to cloudy day.
ISO: 100
18mm
f3.5
1/800 sec
Raw (NEF)

Time lapse settings were 1 picture every 4 seconds until the card filled up. This resulted in 868 photos on the 8gb Sandisk Class 6 card.

Setting for fully automatic Nikon D5000

Everything set to factory norm, with the dial set to automatic.
Only thing I set was the format, which is Raw (NEF).
Automatically the camera chose these settings for the first picture:

Automatic
ISO: 200
18mm
f10
1/400 sec
Raw (NEF)

Time lapse settings were 1 picture every 4 seconds until the card filled up. This resulted in 846 photos on the 8gb Sandisk Class 6 card. A little less then manual mode but that is probably down to more information appearing in the automatic photos.

The video shows my set up, filmed on a Nikon D90!

The time lapses from the D5000s are untouched with no colour correction at all.

Results:
Not too shabby!
It’s OK but I feel you get a better result shooting manual. It’s clear white balance needs adjusting in the auto clip and the level of detail just isn’t there.

Perhaps others have had better results?
I know of one that I found on Philip Blooms web site that was quite good. Anyone got a link, I can’t find it yet?
Like I said, I’m a beginner in time lapse photography and no two time lapses are ever the same.

Best advice is to get a better lens, plain and simple! Manual aperture ring lenses or lenses that experienced timelapsers have recommended with electronics included.
Also, practice!
It’s not as easy to shoot good time lapse as some people may make it look!

Edit: Also learn about then buy some ND filters or a vari ND! LCW, Singh Ray and Heliopan are good places to start

All the best and would love to here from others who are fighting the flicker with comments and suggestions.

Peter

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