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Author Topic: More on Stitching  (Read 5444 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: December 04, 2005, 07:35:27 PM »
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Dear all,

I have spent more time stitching recently, and have reached some conclusions that I thought might interest some of you.

To start, I am absolutely delighted with Stitcher 5.03 from Realviz, and the quality of the automatic stitch is very impressive. I got some perfect 13.000 wide stitches made from images shot with my d2x and a 70-200 f2.8. Those images had been converted from RAW using RSP. Stitcher is expensive, but the gains in terms of time appear to be huge.

I did however find some imperfections when trying to stitch images shot using my Nikkor 12-24 that does, like all wide angle zooms, suffer from some distorsion at its extreme focals.

I tried the same stitch with images converted using the DxO Optics Pro 3.5 RAW converter, and the result was improved very significantly. I am still not completely sold on the RAW conversions delivered by Optics Pro in terms of sharpness compared to the quality produced by RSP, but I am just starting with the software. Even so, the improvement of the stitches alone is probably worth the investement for those serious about stitching.

It might be possible to get the same benefits by converting first with plug-ins like PT lens though, I'll investigate this too.

The bottomline is that I am getting impressive A2 stitches with a few mouse clicks using first DxO Optics Pro, followed by the automatic stitching of Stitcher 5.03.

Regards,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2005, 08:03:54 PM »
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Thanks for that account of your experience Bernard. I shoud go to their web page and have a second look.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2005, 10:52:11 PM »
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Hi Mark,

I believe that they have a free trial version.

Regards,
Bernard
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frankric
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2005, 10:54:36 PM »
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Hi Bernard

Are you using Stitcher on Windows or Mac? After Michael reviewed Stitcher 4 there was some feedback that unlike the Mac version, the Windows version was buggy. I found it to be so when I tried the v4 demo.

I would be very pleased if v5 was stable on Windows...

Regards

Frank
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2005, 03:16:46 AM »
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Hello Frank,

I was also using Stitcher 4.0 on Windows and experienced many stability problems too on my fast 2 Xeon 2 GB Win XP Pro box. Actually, I was hardly using it at that time and wasn't very happy about having spent so much money for a piece of crap. I decided to give them a second chance for version 5.0, since the new features seemed appealing.

Stitcher 5.00 was also a complete disaster, but 5.03 is now perfectly stable from what I could see. Not a single crash, and it is very fast.

I have tried the .psd output, creating one 2 GB file (4 D2x images) and that worked also, although it was rather long. Normal .tiff 16 bit output (I tried up to 6 D2x images, which resulted in a 350 MB tiff file) is stable and fast.

I am not saying that it will not find out problems as I expand the envelope of my usgae of Stitcher, but for my core usage, it works perfect today.

Regards,
Bernard
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frankric
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2005, 04:33:25 AM »
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Thanks for that Bernard. It sounds like I should give it another try.

Regards

Frank
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sergio
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2005, 11:08:55 AM »
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PTgui 5.5 is working incredibly well and costs a lot less. The autostitch is VERY good and relatively fast. I made a pano of 25 11mpx files in 2 rows in a little less than 2 hours with a fairly strong machine.
It is very powerful to correct distortion, vignetting and other aberrations of lenses. The seams are perfect 99% of the time and you have the option to output a layered file with masks make the correction very easy. I think this program for 70+ USD is very cheap for what it does and how it does it.


Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina
20297 x 7174 px
25 image stitch
Canon Eos1Ds
« Last Edit: December 05, 2005, 11:31:11 AM by sergio » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2005, 05:02:12 PM »
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Hi Sergio,

Nice image, thanks for posting it. PTgui seems to be an interesting tool as well.

What type of head did you use for your 2 rows panorama?

Two recent stitches done with Stitcher:

http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=1656601
http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=1659714

Regards,
Bernard
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2005, 10:36:12 PM »
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Hi Sergio,

Nice image, thanks for posting it. PTgui seems to be an interesting tool as well.

What type of head did you use for your 2 rows panorama?

Two recent stitches done with Stitcher:

http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=1656601
http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=1659714

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52870\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Bernard and Sergio,

Nice images! You guys really tempt me to get into the stitching business, too. Someday, when I have time on my hands . . .

-Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2005, 11:02:09 PM »
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Eric,

I am still very new to the field, but it is fun, and the image quality that you can achieve with the latest software when the images are carefully taken is plain great.

You cannot do everything with stitching obviously, but I am now wondering whether I would buy a Phaseone P45 even if I could afford it...

Regards,
Bernard
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tived
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2005, 07:30:53 AM »
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Eric,

I am still very new to the field, but it is fun, and the image quality that you can achieve with the latest software when the images are carefully taken is plain great.

You cannot do everything with stitching obviously, but I am now wondering whether I would buy a Phaseone P45 even if I could afford it...

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52895\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

if you are considering panoramic images, why not look at a betterlight back with panoramic head, to suit! it seems almost perfect, almost!

hmm, but I wouldn't say no to the p45 :-)

Henrik

PS: I am going backworth - 6x17 and an imacon! am I mad? I have the RRS panohead for my 1Ds!!! ?? just very confused
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2005, 01:21:32 PM »
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Eric,

I am still very new to the field, but it is fun, and the image quality that you can achieve with the latest software when the images are carefully taken is plain great.

You cannot do everything with stitching obviously, but I am now wondering whether I would buy a Phaseone P45 even if I could afford it...

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52895\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Bernard,

That's what makes the idea of stitching so appealing. When I'm willing to work slowly, I should be able to get great things out of my lowly Canon 10D plus some L lenses.  

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2005, 08:18:55 PM »
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if you are considering panoramic images, why not look at a betterlight back with panoramic head, to suit! it seems almost perfect, almost!

hmm, but I wouldn't say no to the p45 :-)

Henrik

PS: I am going backworth - 6x17 and an imacon! am I mad? I have the RRS panohead for my 1Ds!!! ?? just very confused
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52912\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Henrik,

I have been going backward for some time too, 4*5 + Imacon...

As far as scanning back is concerned, they are IMHO a lot more limiting than stitching since any movement in the frame is prohibited. With stitching, it is OK to have slow movement accorss the whole frame, as well as fast movement as long as it is stationary enough (like a river at slow shutter speed), or limited to a single frame.

Scanning back will create awful RGB artifacts if the color of a pixel changes between the moment the 3 lines of CCD pass over it. Trees are out, moving water is out, moving clouds are also basically out...

I am familiar with Betterlight products, and have considered several times buying used ones over ebay (there are a few as we speak) for my 4*5, I might one day, but I don't see it as an alternative to stitching, more like a parallel technique with different strenghts and weaknesses.

Regards,
Bernard
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sergio
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2005, 08:20:40 AM »
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What type of head did you use for your 2 rows panorama?


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52870\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I use an Acratech ballhead, but this particular image was shot handheld.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2005, 08:32:00 AM »
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I use an Acratech ballhead, but this particular image was shot handheld.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52980\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sergio,

I have never really managed to get convincing results shooting handheld.

Would you care explaining how you proceed to stay close to the nodal point of your lens while shooting handheld?

Thanks,

Regards,
Bernard
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jmb
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2005, 10:10:33 AM »
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Would you care explaining how you proceed to stay close to the nodal point of your lens while shooting handheld?

One possility is to locate the nodal point for the lens you are using and then tie a string around the barrel of the lens at that point and a loop at the bottom of the string. Then, put one foot through the loop and rotate around the string (keeping it vertical). Alternatively, you can also just attach a small weight to the string, mark a spot on the ground and rotate around it.

That said, I have never used either of these methods when making panoramas. Typically (~50% of the time), I shoot the panos handheld (carrying a tripod and panoramic head up a climb is a little difficult...) and don't really encounter many stitching problems that can't be fixed with 5-10 minutes work in PS (since I tend to shoot landscapes with subjects that are fairly far away, parallex issues generally aren't much of a problem...).

Here's a 10 picture stitch (followed by a crop including a seam or two...):

10 picture Stitch ~320 KB

Crop ~570 KB

And here's an 18 picture stitch (with two crops):

18 picture Stitch ~108 KB

Crop1 ~343 KB

Crop2 ~212 KB

JMB

Edit: Sorry about the large pictures... I forgot about dial-up users... (I have resaved the pictures so they should be a bit smaller now)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2005, 11:28:53 AM by jmb » Logged
francois
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2005, 10:14:11 AM »
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...I have never really managed to get convincing results shooting handheld.

Would you care explaining how you proceed to stay close to the nodal point of your lens while shooting handheld?...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52981\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I would also be interested  
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Francois
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2005, 10:58:32 AM »
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I would also be interested 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52985\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As long as there are no foreground objects, nodal-point panning is not necessary.
I've been making stitches for years and I never use a tripod for panos unless photography conditions demand it.  (exposure times)  

I'm not saying that I couldn't do better with a tripod, but I am saying that sometimes, it's not worth packing one.

What is important is supplying appropriate overlap and keeping the camera level in the Z (roll) axis.   I've successfully stitched at high vertical angles, both positive and negative, but nothing will gibble up a stitch faster than a non-level horizon.

I don't use complex stitching software, just simple programs like Phoptovista (now defunct) and recently, Autostitch. PT is on my "gotta learn it" list.


Note to jmb:  Please don't post huge images inline.  Low bandwidth users are killed by this.  If you wish to post large data sets, provide a link so we can choose.  If they're linked directly, we have to sit and wait.  In my case, nearly ten minutes, for your images to complete loading.  



Peter
20 kbps
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Julian Love
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2005, 11:49:15 AM »
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I am using PTGui and find I can produce excellent stitches without resorting to special techniques. I simply mount my camera on a ballhead, set it as level as possible, and then just rotate the base of the head. For additional verical resolution I tilt the camera up or down and shoot another row. I correct the converging verticals (if any) in PS.

Like others here I stitch landscapes (and also cityscapes) and do not find parallax to be a problem. For interiors where subjects are much closer to the lens this may be different...
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