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Author Topic: Stitching with a tilt-shift lens  (Read 8516 times)
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 12:05:56 PM »
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Of course, but this is the same thing as using a nodal point head for "conventional" stitch panoramas. Sometimes it is mandatory, sometimes nice to have, sometimes unnecessary, depending on the near-far relationship of objects in the picture.

I am glad you agree that it is not always necessary that the lens must be stationary and the body shifted to  create a "perfect" stitch with a shift lens the lens must be stationary and the body shifted."

I have thirty-plus years of experience using view cameras. I agree that ideally the PoV (the entrance pupil of the lens)  does not move and the imaging area (whether film or digital capture array) move instead. I'd much rather have tilts and swings and shifts in the imaging plane than in the lens plane.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 12:20:02 PM »
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The sample I posted before was actually part of a "daisy" panoramic where I shot with the lens centered and then shifted out and shot additional frames at each rotation click stop. you can see that there are parallax errors but only  at the bottom of the stitched iamge where there is a large near/far relationship  between the railing and the floor.

This gave my client multiple cropping options, The full uncropped image area is  6,826 x 8,730 pixels. A 7,091 x 6,391 pixel (45.24MP) rectangular crop gives me the most satisfying composition.

  I also shot it with a full set of RRS panoramic gear  - the Ultimate-Pro Omni-Pivot Package -- and the lens centered.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:29:23 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
NancyP
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 01:05:42 PM »
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Architecture? (shift)
Product shots? (tilt)
Creative focus / blurring? (tilt)
Squeeze a bit more near-field sharpness in for a landscape? (tilt)

I have never used a T/S lens, and I am a little surprised to see it used for standard panoramas. A nodal point rail is a lot cheaper than a T/S lens. I have thought that the "creative focus/ blur" could be useful. Does anyone consider the T/S feature a big plus for nature landscapes?
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 01:10:56 PM »
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Nancy, If I didn't shoot architecture primarily I might not own all the Canon T/Ss. But since I do they make simple stitches extremely quick and easy-even hand held. Though I also own a rail and have it available on shoots, I haven't found I have needed one for the simple flat shift pans I do for clients.
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Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 02:59:42 PM »
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Architecture? (shift)
Sometimes tilt too , but very rarely - at least not for straightforward photography of buildings and structures. It can be useful for some interiors work.

Product shots? (tilt)
Creative focus / blurring? (tilt)


Almost never. I use shift more. For greater depth focus I'll focus stack instead. As a special effect - to isolate  points of focus for example - I use the tools in Photoshop CS6. Same for portraits

Squeeze a bit more near-field sharpness in for a landscape? (tilt)

If necessary, but again focus stacking may give you better resolution of fine details. Of course if it is windy and things are moving or I have to hand hold - tilt!

I have never used a T/S lens, and I am a little surprised to see it used for standard panoramas. A nodal point rail is a lot cheaper than a T/S lens. I have thought that the "creative focus/ blur" could be useful. Does anyone consider the T/S feature a big plus for nature landscapes?

Shift yes, tilt no.
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Ellis Vener
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fike
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2013, 03:43:57 PM »
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At one time flat stitches (composites, panoramas whatever) could only be done well with shifting lenses. But with software these days, rotating your camera around the nodal point with a calibrated spherical head can produce results indistinguishable from those made with a flat stitch.  With focus stacking software you can increase depth of field.  With CS6 you can simulate miniaturization effects from aggressive tilt adjustments. 

There is no feature of a tilt shift lens that cannot be replicated with current high quality bodies, lenses, software, and tripod heads.  If you want a TS lens as a way to inspire creativity, go for it. If you think you will create more perfectly sharp images with less fuss, think again. 
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Scott O.
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2013, 11:14:57 PM »
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Don't know if this helps, but the only portrait pano I have taken with the Nikkor 45mm t/s on a D700 gave me:

3-25mb NEF files, converted to DNG, 3 images of 14mb each.
After stitching and several layers of processing in Photoshop, the final PSD image was 335mb.
And it was really sharp.

Jack Dykinga wrote an article about this technique in Outdoor Photographer several years ago, don't know if it is still available.
Interested if this is along the lines of what others have experienced.
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Petrus
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 12:32:13 AM »
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There is no feature of a tilt shift lens that cannot be replicated with current high quality bodies, lenses, software, and tripod heads.  If you want a TS lens as a way to inspire creativity, go for it. If you think you will create more perfectly sharp images with less fuss, think again. 

Except tilt.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2013, 03:28:15 AM »
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Except tilt.

Hi,

Tilt can be simulated with software. One starts with an image with enough DOF, create a depth map, and let the software do it's defocusing thing along the gradient of the depth map. The challenge is of course to create a convincing depth map, but it is possible to simulate tilt.

TopazLabs Lenseffects
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Comparing-photoshops-lens-blur-filter-to-a-real-tilt-shift-lens

Cheers,
Bart
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Petrus
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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2013, 03:34:44 AM »
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I know it is possible to SIMULATE tilt, but it is not the same thing.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2013, 05:02:56 AM »
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I do a lot of letterbox pano's with the canon tilt shifts and use one of these
http://www.adorama.com/Reviews/pwr/product-reviews/Tripods/Quick-Release-Systems-Plates/Giottos/p/GTMH658-Giottos-MH-658-Quick-Release-Arca-Style-Clamp-Camera-Mounting-System-with-MH-648-Plate.html

So if there is any foreground detail or furniture in an interior close to the camera I just shift the opposite way the same amount of mm as the lens shift for parallax free stitching. I don't do any portrait stitching, if I did an L-bracket would be handy.
Thought about getting a nodal slide but like the speed of the shift lenses and have an aversion to the distorted look of rotated pano's (not sure of the projection method but I like straight lines not bendy ones)
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fike
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« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2013, 07:32:48 AM »
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...have an aversion to the distorted look of rotated pano's (not sure of the projection method but I like straight lines not bendy ones)

You are picking the wrong projections.  If you are using photoshop's built-in pano stitching tools, you don't have enough control to make things look perfect.  If you have a wide enough field of view, it is impossible (regardless of the lens) to keep all the lines straight.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2013, 07:34:53 AM »
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I know it is possible to SIMULATE tilt, but it is not the same thing.

Perhaps, but software simulations of tilt blur is VERY similar and when done well it is exceedingly difficult to detect. This is similar to saying that stitching panos is not the same thing as a wide angle.  When it is done poorly, you are right.  When it is done well, it is perfect. 
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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Petrus
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« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2013, 07:48:41 AM »
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Perhaps, but software simulations of tilt blur is VERY similar and when done well it is exceedingly difficult to detect. This is similar to saying that stitching panos is not the same thing as a wide angle.  When it is done poorly, you are right.  When it is done well, it is perfect. 

The difference is that a stitch panorama is perfectly the same as taken with a single shot with the right camera/lens (which might not exist, though), be it rectilinear or cylinder projection, but tilt simulation can not be perfectly done afterwards. Good enough for effect, yes, and good enough to fool a casual viewer who does not know what to expect and look for.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2013, 08:39:16 AM »
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... tilt simulation can not be perfectly done afterwards. Good enough for effect, yes, and good enough to fool a casual viewer who does not know what to expect and look for.

It seems obvious but how effectively even the best software simulates an optical effect also depends on the reproduction size of the image and the viewing distance, as well as the skills of the person using the software. If you know or suspect computational photography is at work you become much more critical in your viewing. Too much smoothness or the wrong kind of smoothness for example, with not enough irregularities, is a dead give away. It just makes the image not feel right and you feel cheated.   
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Ellis Vener
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Ronny Nilsen
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« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2013, 08:49:32 AM »
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I've almost all but decided to purchase a 45mm TS-E lens to do landscape work with. I haven't found the answer to a couple of questions and I'm hoping someone might be able to help?

How much resolution gain can be expected from a full shift stitch with the camera in a vertical position on a 5D MKII?

Can a stitch be made without needing the camera to be level to the horizon?

I ask that last question because when I had a RRS Pano stitching kit it always had to be level to the horizon.

I wrote an essay a few year back, and it have table you can use to calculate it.
You can find it here: Build a View Camera with your Canon 5D

You can make a stitch without needing the camera to be level to the horizon.

Ronny
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bwana
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« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2013, 08:56:21 AM »
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Except tilt.

That's what I was thinking. And in addition, shifting causes light falloff at the edges. Also consider that the flat images from a series with a shift lens when assembled form a polygon. For example, if you shift the lens twice (once in each direction for a single 'flat image) and then you rotate the camera to take three such shifted 'triplets', you end up with 3 flat images and two vertices. Whereas a non shifted lens results in a polygon with more vertices for the same panorama- in the example i just described, there would be 8 vertices. More vertices would seem to make a smoother image when stitched-no?

The tilting effect though is something you cannot really achieve easily in photoshop- focus stacking and then stitching those?!- I am getting a headache.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2013, 08:57:45 AM »
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Thanks Ronny . It reminds me of one of the reasons I like the classic Arca-Swiss clamping system: modularity and the ability to use different pieces for multiple uses.
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Ellis Vener
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NancyP
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« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2013, 09:41:44 AM »
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I have no experience with T/S lenses and no significant experience with focus stacking (hey, I am learning one software package at a time, and I am still working my way around Lightroom 4 best practices). I have wondered about the utility of T/S, and with the upcoming Samyang 24mm T/S release, there is a less expensive T/S for the amateur masses, including myself. So I am trying to see what T/S can do that can't be done well by software.
I would think that tilt would be handy for close-ups, and that the effect might be somewhat tedious to achieve by focus stacking then selective blurring of the stacked composite. Any subject that is static enough for tilt adjustment and manual focus ought to be static enough for focus stacking and vv.
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HSakols
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« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2013, 09:53:11 AM »
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I am curious about using a tilt shift adapter.  What is available for Nikon and Canon? What I miss most about my view camera are tilts, but I'm too cheap to buy a lens that is as expensive as an entire view camera set-up.  It would seem to me that an adapter would work just fine?
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