ETHICS STATEMENT: I have no affiliation with lenskirt, other than being friends with Aaron who designed and sells them, and of course loving and using the product. I get no financial benefit from the sale of these…

 

EDIT: Aaron is running a 10% off offer for December exclusive to my readers. Just enter BLOOM10 at checkout!

 

Back in February, I wrote a post explaining all the problems you can have trying to shoot timelapses and photos through windows, especially at night. I have used loads of black cloth gaffer taped onto the glass, curtains closed and all sorts of other tricks. Mostly they work, but it’s a right pain! Especially in hotel rooms when you have to stick a “do not disturb” on the door and leave your room unmade, simply because you are scared the maid will open the curtains!

My good friend Aaron Pinto from Letus Direct has come up with a genius solution and guess what? It bloody works doesn’t it! It’s called Lenskirt. Yes you can buy an item of ladies clothing for your camera!

So this is how it works. I did a test timelapse in the Hilton Amsterdam two weeks ago. I put my Gitzo tripod up against the window with a Nikon D7000 on it so the lens was more or less touching the glass. If I had started the timelapse I would have been more or less fine during the day, but at night time I would have seen every reflection from the room. So I moved the camera and put the lens skirt around it. The lens skirt is black stiff fabric with four suction cups in a pyramid style shape, with an elasticated hole in the top for the camera/ lens to go through. I then repositioned the camera back to the spot, took a couple of test shots with lights on in the room and low and behold…NO REFLECTIONS. Simple and it works so well. The suctions cupped are recessed so no light leaks through.

It costs just $49 with free shipping (probably not international) and you can order it from here.

You can check out the little test timelapse I did using it below. I had the curtains open and lights on in my room whilst shooting it! Also check out my short “Toronto Falls” which was all shot through hotel windows with much stress and blocking out reflections!

Oh and before you ask, until Nikon update the firmware of the D7000 to give me an exposure meter on the LCD, I won’t be doing a review of the camera as it’s too much of a pain to shoot video with!

For timelapse shooting tips check out the EDUCATION section of my site and the timelapse section!

Amsterdam test time-lapse using “Lenskirt” from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

Toronto Falls from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Comments

  1. One question. What exposure mode do you use to make timelapses? With a big variation of the light (i.e. night and day) a fixed manual exposure I think it wouldn work. Do you fix aperture or perhaps shutter speed?

    Thank you very much!!!

    Jose Ignacio Simon

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i tend to use AV for those ones, but there will be flicker. CHeck out my other timelapse blogs on the education page.

  2. very cool.
    looks like the great product

  3. Thanks for sharing! Great idea. I just ordered mine. Thanks also for the update on the D7000 review… I am waiting with anticipation! Thanks, John

    1. This lenskirt should pair very well with the ‘nuns
      knickers’!

  4. earlstudios says:

    So excited to see a D7000 here, but I agree on the meter display issue. Shooting a short ski film in the snow ( http://vimeo.com/18201365 ) it really become unbearable trying to manage and maintain exposure without consistent metering. The other issue I ran into is that with a variable f stop lens, the f stop would fluctuate when I would zoom, even if i was set beyond the max aperture ( f5.6) and it would mess up my exposure as well. I’m not sure if this is because you cannot set/control aperture in manual mode. But the reduced rolling shutter when doing quick pans really made up for the temporary faults of the camera. Hopefully you can add your rather prominent voice to the calls for a firmware upgrade to address some issues? I would think Nikon would love to have a PB promoting their cam.

  5. Aaron says:

    Philip,

    As far as I know, none of the Nikons have an exposure meter for live view/video. They don’t have histograms either. I think they all have the issue with the locked-in aperture as well.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond7000/page18.asp

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3s/page22.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond300s/page19.asp

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5000/page21.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3100/page15.asp

    Either Nikon doesn’t see this as a problem, or they aren’t able to come up with a solution.

    Either way, I guess that means we won’t be seeing your much-anticipated D7000 review soon. =(

  6. Neat little solution. I’ve used towels in the past and it’s definitely not ideal.

  7. this is great going to have to get one

  8. Dan McComb says:

    Is this small enough to fit over airline windows?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i think so…you might get into trouble though!!

  9. Aargh. This would have really saved me this summer when making a 11-day timelapse from a room with windows on three sides.

  10. Marc Paris says:

    Hi Philip,
    I did order a LENSKIRT the 23rd of January, I did pay 58 US$ for it, my order ID #11637, but I still have nothing, after 15 days… is it nrmal?…
    The company sent me a “follow up” with a tracking number from USPS, but when I do the tracking, there is no result, at least USPS doe not recognize this number.

    I am surprised that Lenskirt does not follow further the order, and that they did not answer to my request of information.

    I do not to think negatively, but at this stage I would like to know if they did sent the Lenskirt or nor, and why the USPS number they indicate is wrng…

    Any advice?…
    Cordially
    marconizza

    1. Tam Klassen says:

      I’m from Canada and know that anything shipped through the United States Postal Service to here can take quite awhile to arrive, and that they rarely update the tracking number.

  11. Taylor says:

    Time Lapse with TS lens = brilliant! So wish I could justify spending $ on a quality Canon TS lens :(

    PS. i think I’d purchase this if it were 1/3 the size and maybe $35. I’d love to see a travel/compact model.

  12. Taylor says:

    I did my first time lapses in NYC a few weeks ago doing sunrise and sunsets. 3-5hrs, shooting every 5-15 seconds. I knew I’d have to do AV mode and the flicker is a killer. We also did full manual, pulling down the aperture occasionally. I did some manual editing to save a bit of the time lapse, but it wasn’t great.

    1. Try CHV Time Collection – Long Exposure or LR Timelapse to clean it up.

      1. Taylor says:

        I see the long exposure plug-in, I guess it’s basically just going to blend the frames and hopefully even out the exposure jumps. I don’t see the ‘LR Timelapse’. What is that?

        1. It’s a stand alone program and one of the features is its ability to deflicker your TL’s. (and its free)

  13. Andi Pattke says:

    Will this thing work with a 2/3 inch lens (like the one you use for a XDCAM for instance) ?

      1. Andi Pattke says:

        Thank You…By the Way…Your site is one of the few i bookmarked over the years..it is that good…i am very picky when it comes to FILMMAKERS WEBSITE.
        You are the MAN and i couldnt agree with you more when it comes to the RED discussion.
        So keep your pecker up.

        Cheers

        Andi