Tutorial – Preventing Timelapse Flicker with the Lens Twist

3 May

So you’ve set your timelapse up, locked the tripod off and set the camera to full manual control. You leave the camera to shoot away for a few hours, and can’t wait to see the fruits of your labor when you get home.

But after loading those pictures up on your computer you soon realise that there is a problem. The timelapse is flickering across frames, like there the exposure is constantly changing. What’s going on?!


Well the likely cause here is changes in the aperture. Between photos most DSLR’s open the aperture up, then close them again before taking the picture. Unfortunately the blades don’t always fall back into the same position, which can cause minute variances in exposure. This is what causes your video to flicker between frames.

If you’re a canon shooter like me, there’s an easy way to fix this problem, and it’s called the ‘lens twist’ method. It’s very easy to do and works for a variety of DSLR’s (canon is confirmed to work, and I’ve heard reports of some nikon’s working too).

Turn your camera on and set it to the required aperture.

Whilst holding the depth of field preview button (green square), press the lens release button (red square), and unscrew the lens slightly from the camera.

apertureflicker1 300x218 Tutorial   Preventing Timelapse Flicker with the Lens TwistThe aperture will now display “f00″. Voila, you have fixed the problem!

apertureflicker2 300x194 Tutorial   Preventing Timelapse Flicker with the Lens TwistAs the electronic contacts are disabled, the camera can no longer tell the lens to open and close it’s aperture. So it will now stay locked throughout your shooting!

If your camera gives an error such as “communication between the lens and camera is faulty”, try turning your camera off, and repeating the process. Differnet lenses and bodies require different amounts of twisting to fix.


If you enjoyed this post, or have any questions, please let me know in the comments below!

  • http://www.silvan.me/ Matt Silvan

    I tested the fix as explained and am baffled by the result. No flicker whatsoever even with a small aperture of f/8 (where flickering used to be unavoidable)! Priceless tutorial. Now I can head out and happily shoot some sharp photos.

    • http://www.observingtime.com/ agour

      Cheers Matt, I’m glad it helped you out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/paulgnewton Paul G Newton

    Have you heard of anyone doing this on the sony a77?

    • http://www.observingtime.com/ agour

      I’m not sure if it works on sony cameras. Give it a go though and let me know what happens :)

  • Pingback: Basic Camera Settings for Timelapse • ObservingTimeObservingTime