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Author Topic: Tilt Shift and Panoramas  (Read 35715 times)
Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2010, 01:41:17 PM »
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I've thought about that. That's the beauty of the 5 series, it's low weight. Why would you bother with a battery grip and bracket with such a setup?
If it's for wireless file transfer, I'd rather wire to save weight.
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Eduardo


I want the battery grip because I like to use use a hand strap, and for for using the camera in portrait orientation with all the buttons in the right place. And the L-bracket for use with other lenses. But even without this I would hesitate to put the weight of a 5D on a t/s lens.

Ronny
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GrahamB3
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« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2010, 05:29:00 PM »
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I use a Sony a850, RRS L bracket and nodal slide, and a Mirex T/S adapter with Mamiya M645 lenses for my landscape work. I've been very impressed with the image IQ of the Mamiya lenses. In my opinion, they're on par with Zeiss when stopped down to f8-f11.

The allure of a T/S system to me (for stiched images) over a dedicated pano head is less weight and bulk, something I appreciate more and more as the years pass. Wink

This is a link to a thread with a few images taken with my rig.http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/mirex-tilt-shift_topic64818_post727567.html?KW=#727567

Graham
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fike
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« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2010, 07:33:27 PM »
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So the technique works pretty well, but setup and calibration is a real pain in the neck.  Here are two different images.  Both are two-row panoramic images.  Each row was composed of three images. One of these images had both rows taken with zero degrees of tilt.  The other image has 2 degrees of tilt in the bottom row and zero degrees of tilt in the top row.  The yaw rotation was done with a calibrated pano head while the second row was created with a 10mm shift upward. Sorry that these sample shots aren't anything particularly special as far as composition is concerned, but they are technically interesting.  Also, sorry about the file sizes.  You can't see the difference if the image is too small.  The difference is particularly evident in prints.  One final thing...to get the alignment between rows to optimize focus, I had to blend the two rows manually.





I think this bears-out the fact that the technique can work well.  Now I just need to use it on something more interesting.
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Ray
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« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2010, 01:02:46 AM »
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So the technique works pretty well, but setup and calibration is a real pain in the neck. 

Hi Fike,
Thanks for taking the trouble to share your test results. I see you've opted for the 24mm TSE. I'm interested in the 17mm TSE as an alternative to the Nikkor 14-24 on the D700. If I were to buy the 17mm I would get the 5D2 at the same time. A single frame with the 17mm, using shift for perspective correction, should be wider than a 14mm shot after perspective correction in Photoshop, which inevitably results in cropping.

However, the possibility of using shift to create stitched panoramas, but without using a tripod, appeals to me greatly. Since I've had some success stitching close-up, hand-held 14-24mm shots using CS5's Photomerge (but not a 100% success), I wonder if the reduction of parallax issues using the shift, even when the camera is hand-held, might be of significant benefit when using automatic stitching programs.

I know you are mainly concerned about the effects of tilt in this thread, but since you are experimenting with your new lens, I wonder if you have tried stitching hand-held shots from your 24 TSE using programs such as Autopano Pro or CS5's Photomerge.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2010, 02:07:15 AM »
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However, the possibility of using shift to create stitched panoramas, but without using a tripod, appeals to me greatly. Since I've had some success stitching close-up, hand-held 14-24mm shots using CS5's Photomerge (but not a 100% success), I wonder if the reduction of parallax issues using the shift, even when the camera is hand-held, might be of significant benefit when using automatic stitching programs.

Hi Ray,

Last time I've tried, Autopano (Giga) couldn't figure out the shift. Other pano stitchers can utilize the Panotools 'd' and 'e' parameters to complete a successful stitch of shifted images. Especially when using wide angles such as from a 24mm or 17mm the virtual horizon shifts a huge (from a mathematical point of view) distance, so the software should be able to cope with that.

Cheers,
Bart
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Ray
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« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2010, 02:47:06 AM »
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Hi Bart,
I've also found that Autopano can sometimes get surprisingly confused. The reason I raise this issue is because my recent experience suggests that CS5 photomerge will respond to perspective corrected shots,  taken from a close distance, which are also hand-held.

It's time-consuming to correct with 'free transform' every image before stitching. Sometimes the correction is not good enough and one has to repeat the exercise and do a better job. With perseverance one can eventually get a seamless stitch.

I'm just wondering, if the perspective correction were done through the use of a TSE lens, then turning the camera right or left for the next shot, as one would with a non-TSE lens, might make the automatic stitching process in CS5 easier. Or, as an alternative, one might use the shift mechanism to avoid turning the camera. Would this method produce a better stitch, albeit one that needed later perspective correction in PS?

I'm trying to find out what's possible without a tripod. I'd rather not use a tripod if I can get away without one.
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fike
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« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2010, 12:32:49 PM »
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...

I'm trying to find out what's possible without a tripod. I'd rather not use a tripod if I can get away without one.

I don't think that handholding a TS-E will be effective for panoramic work.  I can't imagine how you would shift the lens and handhold with enough precision to get the benefits of the TS lens. Controlling the knobs and maintaining a stationary position would be next to impossible.  If you are planning to handhold and pan the camera, I would recommend a normal wide angle lens instead.  TS-E can be fun as a handheld lens, but only for single-frame work using the tilt for focus effects and the shift for angled shots (like mirrors and stuff).  Precision work with a TS-E demands a tripod. 

One problem I have noticed is that a shift of the lens seems to move the entrance pupil (sometimes called the nodal point) of the lens or to distort the image in ways that make stitching nearly impossible.  So if you shoot a bottom row at -5mm and a top row at +10 mm you may have parallax problems or simple misalignment problems in one row or the other.  This isn't a problem if you are only shifting to make your pano.  It is only a problem if you are mixing shifting with panning to make a pano. 

Let me try to explain:
If you shoot two shots, one above the other, and you use the shift to offset the frames and make a small pano, you will generally have no troubles.  You will have two rows of one image (2x1).  Where the problem comes is when you try to do two rows of two or more images. For reasons I haven't fully explored yet, shifted pairs of images will flat stitch perfectly, but adjacent vertical pairs may not stitch well because the upper row (+10mm shift, for example) will have too much error between frames. 

I am not positive that the problem is actually parallax.  My hypothesis is that the lens projection distorts the +10mm image so much that the upper row corners are warped in ways that exceed the abilities of the stitcher.  The reason for this hypothesis is the observation that adjacent shifted image pairs may have a have a tree repeated in both frames but that bend in dramatically different directions (say 30 degrees different).

What does this mean in practice?  I found that I could generally shift no more than 12mm from the bottom row to the top row while combining a flat stitch shift pano and a panning ptstitcher pano.  Adding a tilt into this equation made the process even harder and meant that I couldn't shift more than total of 10mm. 

But as for handheld panos using the TS-E shift mechanism:  I wouldn't expect it to work well.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2010, 01:49:43 PM »
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I don't think that handholding a TS-E will be effective for panoramic work.  I can't imagine how you would shift the lens and handhold with enough precision to get the benefits of the TS lens. Controlling the knobs and maintaining a stationary position would be next to impossible.

I hand hold a 24 T/S for panoramas all the time-I prefer a tripod, but sometimes that is impractical. For example I am working on a city arts commission of people working out in our amazing public landscapes. I want to emphasize the landscape-hence the panorama-but I want to shoot the people candidly. So I have learned to shoot hand held. Suppose the person working is on the right shifted frame. I line up the shot shifting back and forth paying attention to "landmarks" in the frame. I shoot the left side shifted and then carefully monitoring my overlap and horizon line etc. I shoot a series of the right side where the people are working. I then use the left side and pick out the best "action" from the right side shifted series of exposures for a merge. It takes practice but works.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #68 on: August 18, 2010, 05:42:18 PM »
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Hi Bart,
I've also found that Autopano can sometimes get surprisingly confused. The reason I raise this issue is because my recent experience suggests that CS5 photomerge will respond to perspective corrected shots,  taken from a close distance, which are also hand-held.

Yes, I understand, that can be useful for a simple workflow. Unfortunately Photoshop doesn't offer a choice of resampling algorithms for the Photomerge function like the dedicated stitchers do. Image quality could therefore suffer needlessly, unless one has enough resolution for the intended output size. It's also a bit unclear to me which images in a stack are resized. One would expect at least one image to remain at native resolution (to avoid unnecessary resampling), but the user has no control over that.

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I'm just wondering, if the perspective correction were done through the use of a TSE lens, then turning the camera right or left for the next shot, as one would with a non-TSE lens, might make the automatic stitching process in CS5 easier. Or, as an alternative, one might use the shift mechanism to avoid turning the camera. Would this method produce a better stitch, albeit one that needed later perspective correction in PS?


Up to a point it might, although the image quality suffers a bit as one gets closer to the edge of the image circle. A full left/right shift in landscape orientation will however produce such a wide angle of view that other issues become manifest (notably anamorphic distortion). Itf the stitcher can handle shifted images, then it should be beneficial to use shifted tiles to composite the panorama, because less extreme resampling is needed, and thus less cropping takes place.

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I'm trying to find out what's possible without a tripod. I'd rather not use a tripod if I can get away without one.

Yes, it's always good to have the different scenarios covered beforehand rather than having to deal with them at the spur of the moment.

Cheers,
Bart
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fike
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« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2010, 08:18:36 PM »
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I hand hold a 24 T/S for panoramas all the time-I prefer a tripod, but sometimes that is impractical. For example I am working on a city arts commission of people working out in our amazing public landscapes. I want to emphasize the landscape-hence the panorama-but I want to shoot the people candidly. So I have learned to shoot hand held. Suppose the person working is on the right shifted frame. I line up the shot shifting back and forth paying attention to "landmarks" in the frame. I shoot the left side shifted and then carefully monitoring my overlap and horizon line etc. I shoot a series of the right side where the people are working. I then use the left side and pick out the best "action" from the right side shifted series of exposures for a merge. It takes practice but works.

That's cool!  You also have the advantage that your subjects don't realize the camera is pointed at them.  Are you able to do it for more than a couple frames, or is this something that you typically do with only two or three images?
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« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2010, 10:59:02 PM »
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I hand hold a 24 T/S for panoramas all the time-I prefer a tripod, but sometimes that is impractical. For example I am working on a city arts commission of people working out in our amazing public landscapes. I want to emphasize the landscape-hence the panorama-but I want to shoot the people candidly. So I have learned to shoot hand held. Suppose the person working is on the right shifted frame. I line up the shot shifting back and forth paying attention to "landmarks" in the frame. I shoot the left side shifted and then carefully monitoring my overlap and horizon line etc. I shoot a series of the right side where the people are working. I then use the left side and pick out the best "action" from the right side shifted series of exposures for a merge. It takes practice but works.

I can see where the T/S lens would be beneficial if you were using tilt handheld, but I don't see any advantage to using shift handheld.  Have you tried just rotating around the entrance pupil?  It would certainly speed up the process and allow you to grab a lot more action frames and also give you a lot more FOV to play with.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2010, 09:55:12 AM »
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You actually think rotating around the entrance pupil hand held is easier than what I do? Have you tried either method? I've tried both. While looking through the viewfinder, I can actually see my reference points in the landscape for stitching, whereas I would be guessing where I am with respect to the entrance pupil.

Also, since I have already shot the side where the action isn't, I can shoot the side where the action is to my hearts content (unless the light changes and then I have to shift back to shoot the other side).

The bottom line is that this works and has become a regular tool in income stream. I did a similar trick two weeks ago while shooting the baseball fields at Freedom Park in Las Vegas for the architects, standing on top of a ladder shooting handhold panoramas of adjacent baseball fields.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 04:29:55 PM by kirk@swcp.com » Logged

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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #72 on: August 19, 2010, 12:55:40 PM »
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This topic is about use of T/S lenses and adapters... but if you can use a view camera and tilt the lens and then shift the sensor, life gets so much easier... and the longer Apo-Digitars give you enough image circle for about six shots. (Yes, the kit is more expensive, but it is becoming more affordable).
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« Reply #73 on: August 19, 2010, 11:54:29 PM »
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You actually think rotating around the entrance pupil hand held is easier than what I do? Have you tried either method? I've tried both. While looking through the viewfinder, I can actually see my reference points in the landscape for stitching, whereas I would be guessing where I am with respect to the entrance pupil.

Also, since I have already shot the side where the action isn't, I can shoot the side where the action is to my hearts content (unless the light changes and then I have to shift back to shoot the other side).

The bottom line is that this works and has become a regular tool in income stream. I did a similar trick two weeks ago while shooting the baseball fields at Freedom Park in Las Vegas for the architects, standing on top of a ladder shooting handhold panoramas of adjacent baseball fields.

 Well, I've shot quite a few handheld panoramas and I built a spherical pano head for my camera that has front and back movements (swing, tilt, shift, rise, and fall) so I guess I have a little experience Smiley  The entrance pupil is actually quite easy to find, just look at the front of the lens after you've set the focus somewhat close to what you'll be using.  It does take some practice to perfect, but certainly no harder than the technique you're using. Rotating around the entrance pupil doesn't limit you to a single focal length or FOV.  There isn't anything wrong with your technique, it just a bit more limiting than rotating around the entrance pupil.
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fike
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« Reply #74 on: August 20, 2010, 07:27:06 AM »
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Well, I've shot quite a few handheld panoramas and I built a spherical pano head for my camera that has front and back movements (swing, tilt, shift, rise, and fall) so I guess I have a little experience Smiley  The entrance pupil is actually quite easy to find, just look at the front of the lens after you've set the focus somewhat close to what you'll be using.  It does take some practice to perfect, but certainly no harder than the technique you're using. Rotating around the entrance pupil doesn't limit you to a single focal length or FOV.  There isn't anything wrong with your technique, it just a bit more limiting than rotating around the entrance pupil.

There are a couple of nice things about his approach, and the biggest is that parallax error doesn't matter.  because it is a flat stitch (with very little overlap) there is no need to worry about foreground elements having parallax error.  No matter how good you are, rotating around the entrance pupil is imprecise when you are handholding.  The other nice thing about his approach is the ability to photograph scenes of people without them being aware that you are pointing at them.
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« Reply #75 on: August 20, 2010, 10:27:28 AM »
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The other nice thing about his approach is the ability to photograph scenes of people without them being aware that you are pointing at them.

Interesting, I never thought of that.
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« Reply #76 on: August 20, 2010, 02:53:58 PM »
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FWIW here is an example-shot over a tall fence form the top step of an 8 foot ladder leaned against a fence post. That puts me up at about 13.5 feet. A simple hand held flat shift stitch ISO 400, f/11 at 1/800 sec. Canon 24 II T/S, giving me a nice 29.5 x 11.5 300 DPI image after some slight cropping. It was commossioned by the architects. I also sometimes do a more diagonal shift when I need some rise or fall.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 03:00:46 PM by kirk@swcp.com » Logged

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leuallen
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« Reply #77 on: September 10, 2010, 04:35:21 PM »
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This is a shift done with a Pana G1 and 90mm Tokina macro. The lens is attached via a Fotodiox EOS shift adapter to body then a Nikon adapter to the EOS, then lens. Allows shift and the adapter rotates for verticals. No tilt.

The image size is 2955 x 8861.

The nice thing with this setup is it is small, I always have it with me, it is relatively inexpensive, very fast to operate, and shift stitches are very easy with CS5. Having no parallax problem is almost a requirement for macro panos.

Larry
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