There’s a big storm to the south of us in Houston, but we’re starting to feel the effects up here in Austin. Rain’s in the forecast! I’m thinking of Bay, though, since he’s at school in Houston. He said classes might be cancelled tomorrow if the rain is to heavy. I hope it doesn’t flood down there!
Anyways, we had a beautiful sunset tonight and I set up my little time-lapse rig to capture it. I left the camera in aperture priority for this video, shot at f/8 and let the camera choose the shutter speed to adjust to the dimming sky. I think it did a pretty good job, with just a little bit of flicker. It’s fascinating to me to see how the clouds change color both gradually, and in sudden bursts of color. Time-lapse is like a glimpse into another world that is beyond our perception normally. Isn’t it incredible? I think so!
Today I spent a bit of time refining the time-lapse process on the Fujifilm X100T. With each one I create, I notice some tweaks that would make it better. I think I’m close to finalizing on my settings! 😊
For this video, I noticed there is a lot of flickering which I’ve determined is caused by the X100T’s built-in ND filter. It’s similar to the flickering that is caused by the variance in exposure when the aperture rings step down. In that case, even though the aperture might be set to the same f/5.6 for all the photos, the blades will not go to the exact same position each exposure. This causes the flickering in the final video. The solution to this on the X100T is to shoot wide open at f/2, so that the aperture blades don’t move. If you have a camera where you can force the blades to not move for each exposure, that is perfect! Or perhaps switch to a manual-lens with an aperture ring.
Anyways, the X100T’s ND filter will move into place for every exposure, so there is a slight variance in the amount of light that it blocks, and that causes the flickering effect. If you do need to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor, I’d use a regular old ND filter screwed onto the lens, or take advantage of the extreme high shutter-speeds that the electronic shutter enables.
Speaking of the electronic shutter I suggest making sure you are using it for another reason: eliminating any moving parts during the image sequence capture. This means less wear and tear on the camera. Even at f/2, the X100T will activate the aperture blades. 🤷♂️
So, if you hear any noise whatsoever (assuming you have camera beeps turned off), then check your aperture, focus-type, ND filter, and shutter-type. It should be dead silent!
There’s is a lot to remember when making these time-lapse sequences, so I made a checklist of settings. These are specific for shooting JPG on the Fujifilm X100T, but might be helpful for other cameras as well:
Set ISO manually
Set white-balance manually
Set shutter speed manually
Turn off built-in ND filter
Set aperture to f/2
Make sure of external power source
Make sure the DR is not Auto
Set the shutter type to Electronic
The Fujifilm X100T is a nice little camera to create the time-lapse sequences. The only things that would make it better would be the ability to manually stop down the lens, and to remove the 999 exposure limit on interval shooting.
I’ve been fortunate to have been treated with some nice looking clouds these days! I am going a little nuts making the time-lapse videos too. Please check it out, and also visit my YouTube channel if you’d like to see more!
Recently I bought a new tripod to replace my compact Velbon tripod, and that inspired me to use it to take time-lapses of the fun clouds that are appearing in the skies lately. Over the past couple of days, I have figured out how to use my Fujifilm X100T as a cloud time-lapse rig to nice effect.
In the photo above, you can see the modest setup I have positioned by the window. It doesn’t look impressive, but it gets the job done for what I want to do. Take a look at the video below (a compilation of a few day’s worth of videos) and let me know what you think!
I’ve found the Fujifilm X100T to be a great little camera for making time-lapse videos because it has a built-in intervalometer (timer), a built-in ND filter, and available electronic shutter. It seems like the externally-connected power bank doesn’t go down hardly at all (still at 4 lights) even after several thousand photos. It’s amazing.
There are a few limitations of the Fujifilm X100T, though. First, the intervalometer has a maximum number of 999 shots that it can take. However, it’s quick to start the sequence again – it’s literally just 5 presses of the OK button to cycle thru the options and start the timer again.
Another limitation is that you cannot keep the aperture stopped down in a fixed position. After each shot, the blades will reset to f2.0 before stopping down for the next shot. This can cause slight variances in exposure which will appear as flickering in the final video. Consequently, I have to shoot wide-open at f/2.0, which could be a problem of overexposing in bright situations.
But happily, that can be mitigated setting ISO to the lowest setting, turning on the built-in ND filter, switching to the electronic shutter which will allow you to shoot at up to 1/32,000 second exposure. And you can also just use a traditional ND filter as well if you have one.
Lastly, the 35mm equivalent focal length might be a little too tight for these kinds of time-lapses, but I suppose you could spend the money to buy the wide-angle lens attachment.
And I feel the need to add that you should be in Manual Focus mode. In the second sequence in the video, I left it set to Auto-focus, and several times the camera focused on the dirt that was on the window. Doh!
Anyways, I’m having a lot of fun creating these videos. As you can see in the movie above, I’ve learned how to put several clips together and also add music. Look out Hollywood, here I come! 😄