Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-25-2015, 06:35 PM   #16
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
lsimpkins's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 404
QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
Yes, it's another one of these "which lens" questions. While I do love reading all the "which lens" discussions, because it exposes me to a broad cross-section of opinions, experiences, knowledge, and often links to even more reading, I never thought I'd be writing one. But this recent January sale event has started me wondering ....

I want to spend some time at archeological sites in Yucatan trying to see if I can get some crisp, clear, and maybe even artistic impressions of the Maya ruins. Places like Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun, Xtampo, maybe Tulum in the off season, Ek Balam, Acanceh, many lesser known sites. And similar work in the cities and villages of the old colonial churches, monasteries, mansions, haciendas, etc.

So far, I've taken fairly causal shots while showing friends around (not spending much time), but I've got a nice tripod now and I want to really work at it, mostly for my own satisfaction, to see how "good" I can get at finding unique illustrations of these places.

My equipment most likely to be on the field trips would be: K200D, K30, DA 18-135mm WR, DA 12-24mm (one of my favorites), DA 35mm f/2.4 (plastic wonder), DFA 100mm macro WR, DA 40mm XS (same optical formula as the DA 40mm Ltd, I understand).
I was just at Chichen Itza two weeks ago. Although I was limited to casual photos (lots of people,no tripod,etc.), I found most use of my 12-24 with the Sigma 17-50 getting some time on the K-3. I envy your upcoming access, as the work of the Mayans was truly amazing and worthy of more time to compose and create good images.

01-25-2015, 09:04 PM   #17
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas / Yucatan
Posts: 1,171
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by lsimpkins Quote
I was just at Chichen Itza two weeks ago. Although I was limited to casual photos (lots of people,no tripod,etc.), I found most use of my 12-24 with the Sigma 17-50 getting some time on the K-3. I envy your upcoming access, as the work of the Mayans was truly amazing and worthy of more time to compose and create good images.
Chichen Itza is certainly the best known and most visited of all the Maya ruins in Yucatan and perhaps all of the lowland and highland regions. Since the big promotion to get it boosted into one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, it seems even busier than ever. If you are interested in more of the recent history (it was held in private ownership for around 500 years, once being owned by the American Consul to Yucatan, Edward Thompson and then the Barbachano family, it is finally in government hands.

That website, created by a friend, Josh Albright, documents a lot of the more recent history of the site. He's done monumental research regarding the events and personalities involved for the last 100 years or so. In fact, there's probably not anyone alive who has followed it as closely as he has. I hope his book is ready soon.

Over the years, I've been able to meet various people who know various places. Honestly, you can't run a dozen yards without tripping over ruins. I just want to try my hand at making interesting, informative images of my own, but of the lesser known areas.

---------- Post added 01-25-2015 at 10:53 PM ----------

Well, I'm not surprised at all the excellent advice I've received, as I've seen it over and over again at PF. This simply has to be the best photography forum going.

Where to start? Well, I don't really want to buy a ton of gear. In fact, the least which can do the most, the better.

A K-3? Yes, it would be an immediate improvement. It does appear some news is coming in February and I want to see what happens and how soon "Camera X" is available.

Stitching panoramics? Yes, that's the best way to get large file, high resolution, wide views. Honestly, I hadn't considered it a lot, but thinking about Interested_Observer's response, I have some new ideas to try.

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of hours 'developing' digital pics, but I do have Lightroom and could learn a lot more about using. I don't know anything about Capture One, but I'm in the process of Googling it.

And I wasn't aware that Samyang had a 24mm Tilt-Shift lens, which I've got to Google too. I actually have a Nikon 35mm Shift lens which I could possibly use on an older Sony NEX-5.

I'd like to use WR equipment as much as possible, but it's hard to go wide and sharp and stay WR. There are two challenges in Yucatan, which seem unlikely to exist at once, but they do: Humidity, rain, moisture, fog, condensation and dust. There isn't a lot of soil and there are rocks everywhere in various states of dusty decay. Rocks in the ruins and rocks across the limestone shelf countryside.

I'm still digesting everyone's voluminous information and all of it is much appreciated. It's good to be reminded that GAS in itself needs to be avoided, but what I've been wondering was if there wasn't something (why do I keep reading about "magical", "pixie dust", and "controls my mind" about lenses I don't own?) which I ought to look into.

At this point, it looks like the DA 35mm f/2.4 and DA 40mm 2.8 XS would be good for stitching. And they take almost no room, nor noticable weight. The DA 12-24mm will probably go along. I'm still considering the Sigma 8-16mm for one shot wideness, particularly of interiors. The DFA 100mm WR Macro almost has to -- it's WR and it's the detail lens for an interesting carving or stucco mask.

I've got a couple M42 MF 300mm lenses. I'll take those out in the next few weeks and see if I can determine if a * 300mm would be a help given the spacing and conditions which I'm familiar with.

A bit of trivia I'd like to share as a poor reward for all the great help I've received here: One of the Spanish tricks was to select the favorite or most sacred structure of the Maya and construct a Catholic chapel atop the pyramid, converting the Maya gods to the Catholic God. Or at least so they thought. So, one of my objectives is to explore ways to illustrate this expropriation of cultures with more artistic shots than the technically sharp shots I've discussed before.

Although there are dozens of examples, the largest example of this expropriation that I know of took place in Izamal, the great healing pilgrimage city of the Maya, dedicated to the creator god, Itzamna. A massive pyramid was disassembled to the half-way down point, then the stones gathered from the top half were used to construct what was once the second largest monastery in the Catholic world, second only to the Vatican itself. Pope John Paul II visited this site in 1993.

My project won't be underway for a few months and it will likely carry on for a few years once I really get started. Being able to have a base in Yucatan is a great help in this case.

Last edited by yucatanPentax; 01-25-2015 at 09:58 PM.
01-25-2015, 10:09 PM   #18
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SoCal
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 517
On the wide side... has anyone tried the Rokinon 10mm or 14mm ?
01-25-2015, 10:38 PM   #19
Pentaxian
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,051
You have enough quality lenses already. I would take the 12-24, 40, and 100. The 10-17 can be fun.

01-26-2015, 12:04 AM   #20
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
At this point, it looks like the DA 35mm f/2.4 and DA 40mm 2.8 XS would be good for stitching. And they take almost no room, nor noticable weight. The DA 12-24mm will probably go along. I'm still considering the Sigma 8-16mm for one shot wideness, particularly of interiors. The DFA 100mm WR Macro almost has to -- it's WR and it's the detail lens for an interesting carving or stucco mask.
Stiching is long and boring and to be perfect need a panoramic head. If you start with 35mm field of view and obey the rule of 1/3 on each side to ease the assembly of panorama, this mean arround 16 shoots to get 18mm and 64 for 9mm.

Your 12-24 should be perfect for the work honestly with an easier range to manage than of what the 8-16 provide. There something to understand that the shorter the focal length, the more distorsion you get, meaning your building look completely different than they are in reality.

If you undo the distortion in post processing this effectively reduce the actual field of view and also introduce softness in the resulting image. In many case to me 15mm look to be more than enough... and when it is not, it is not even sure than 8mm would match.

On the opposite, 24mm is a very nice moderate wide angle focal length that will give results with only low distorsion and much more natural to the eyes. That good to have it available.

Ultimately you can't know in advence, but buying to much is still GAS
01-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #21
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by BAB Quote
Take you tripod and use it.....you'll get sharper photos that way than the guys with $2000 super-sharp glass that shoot hand held.
That's would be true if you have a panoramic head on the tripod and stich many shoot together... A bit difficult to manage handled even through it is fairly possible to do an handled pano as long there is no first plane that would require a panoramic head.

I agree that handled, you'll get some bad photos from time to time, in particular if your shutting speed is too low. SR + a good speed tend to be enough to compensate, at least to me.

I constantly see for example that the DA15 is my softest prime and FA77 is my sharpest. This simple example prove that even through the FA77 resolution might be limited by me shooting handled most of the time (I also have a tripod, thanks) that can't be the only justification for the DA15. Couting it is shorter focal length it shoud be easier to shoot handled or at least not worse.

Sharper lenses do provide sharper results even handled and a tripod is not enough to compensate for the difference except if you are shooting in bad conditions. If we speak of wide angle in day light, the biggest threat to sharpness is much more likely to be the lense itself, flare and contra light than the lack of tripod.

At night or if you need to manage moving people in the frame that you want to make disapear, that would be a different story of course... provided there is no wind.
01-26-2015, 02:27 AM   #22
Pentaxian
kh1234567890's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,600
QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Stiching is long and boring and to be perfect need a panoramic head. If you start with 35mm field of view and obey the rule of 1/3 on each side to ease the assembly of panorama, this mean arround 16 shoots to get 18mm and 64 for 9mm.
Really ?
01-26-2015, 06:26 AM   #23
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 45,069
V-A-V stitching, advice from a colleague who does a lot or panoramas using a Nodal Ninja: MICROSOFT ICE a free program available on line, does an excellent job matching multiple shots to create a seamless panorama.

01-26-2015, 07:37 AM   #24
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,517
Your last post was both very informative and extremely helpful. I was just about to ask this and you just answered - this will be an on going project. With this in mind, the gear that you have will be just fine. This first cut at the project will serve as much as a "process" trial and pretty much an initial survey. You are going to be refining your approach as you go. Here are a few more thoughts...
  • GPS - Getting the GPS O-GPS1 would probably be helpful. It would give both location and direction of the individual shots. This would serve to help self document exactly where it was taken and its direction. Microsoft has a research project that takes the shots along with what ever additional information is available and puts them all together in a "virtual" environment. Having this information would just tie everything to a location and a direction and make it that much easier. Lightroom has a mapping page, where it automagically assembles all the images and lays them out on a google earth like map. That can help assess what you have done and not done, along with what views may be missing of what. I need to go find the Microsoft site that addresses this. They crowded sourced off the web thousands of images of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.... Here is the link. Take some time to let the "walkthrough" load on the initial page. These are not a time-lapse, just a succession of individual images that are sequenced together so that you progressively walk through them.
Take a look at this set of links. It was done with Photosynth down in Tikal Templo I - Guatemala and another in Belize - similar ruins I think. Play around with the controls and it might give you some additional ideas in ways to use the images that you are going to take anyway - or images that you have already taken from past trips.
  • Notebook - Keep a notebook handy to jot down your thoughts as you are working this (both while taking the images as well as post processing them) - otherwise you will forget. What would be handy, what works well, what didn't.
  • Stitching - Stitch handheld and on your current tripod/head. See if it does anything for you, helps - doesn't help. What ever. That along with Microsoft ICE, you have everything you need with out buying a thing. With a utility like photosynth, you can just take a collection of images, and it will piece them together in a way that you can walk through them, with out the formality of stitching them together. You could wind up doing both - what ever you find to be most effective. Options are nice to have.
  • GAS - With this being a long term project, you can actually figure out what you specifically need as you go. No - guessing. You also might be able to rent before you buy. If it works and preforms as expected - you will be money ahead.


Last edited by interested_observer; 01-26-2015 at 08:20 AM.
01-26-2015, 07:48 AM   #25
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,857
QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
Really ?
Don't really see what you want to show?

For me stiching lot of pictures (the guy giving the example was speaking of sticking DA35 for 8-15mm shoots) take time, increase issues (wind, moving objects, parallax errors... I don't find it that entertaining. Could be occasionnaly if you miss the lense or if you have no other choice because you need lot of resolution but really I'd 100 time prefer have the proper lense.
01-26-2015, 09:57 AM   #26
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
lsimpkins's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 404
QuoteOriginally posted by yucatanPentax Quote
Chichen Itza is certainly the best known and most visited of all the Maya ruins in Yucatan and perhaps all of the lowland and highland regions. Since the big promotion to get it boosted into one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, it seems even busier than ever. If you are interested in more of the recent history (it was held in private ownership for around 500 years, once being owned by the American Consul to Yucatan, Edward Thompson and then the Barbachano family, it is finally in government hands.

That website, created by a friend, Josh Albright, documents a lot of the more recent history of the site. He's done monumental research regarding the events and personalities involved for the last 100 years or so. In fact, there's probably not anyone alive who has followed it as closely as he has. I hope his book is ready soon.
Thanks for the link and further info on Chichen Itza. Our guide did not delve into the more recent history of the site. I've bookmarked the website and read much of what is posted. Again, thanks.
01-26-2015, 10:46 AM   #27
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas / Yucatan
Posts: 1,171
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by lsimpkins Quote
Thanks for the link and further info on Chichen Itza. Our guide did not delve into the more recent history of the site. I've bookmarked the website and read much of what is posted. Again, thanks.
If you are able to visit the Yucatan again, I'd highly recommend taking a tour of Uxmal. It isn't as well-known or widely promoted as Chichen Itza. And it is a long-way from the all-inclusive hotels in Cancun where the vast majority of travelers stay. However, it is a unique site with a lot of fascinating and well-preserved structures.

There's a nice B&B near there: The Pickled Onion (no personal or business connection with me) where you can stay in authentic Maya-style homes with modern conveniences and good food.

Uxmal is about an hour and a half from Merida, the busy medical, university, business capital of Yucatan state and all of SE Mexico, really. Also high-recommended is a visit to an operating henequen plantation: Hacienda Sotuta De Peón.

Anyway, enough of my tour-promoting of Yucatan. I just like to share the knowledge I have in exchange for all the help I'm getting here.
01-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #28
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 370
QuoteOriginally posted by formercanuck Quote
On the wide side... has anyone tried the Rokinon 10mm or 14mm ?
I have the 14mm Rokinon, a wonderful lens for $300. I now have a 16-50mm and am considering selling it, but everytime I look at the pictures it makes I can't bring myself to it. Seems to capture more detail than it's price. Nice color too, a little more neutral (less warm) than the FA series, but very nice.
01-26-2015, 11:33 AM   #29
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 45,069
A little more about panoramas.
1) The point of rotating around the lens' nodal point is to avoid duplication of vertical features, especially something like a small tree or pole, when the images are stitched.
2) It is essentially impossible to rotate the camera/lens precisely around the nodal point without using a tripod (=cannot do it hand held).
3) To get the lens rotating around the nodal point, the camera/lens must be moved backwards (toward the photographer) on the tripod head.
4) If you use Arca-Swiss mounts, place a LONG plate on the camera such that it projects forward directly below the center line of the lens = at right angles to the sensor. Now you can move the system backward on the tripod head.
5) To test if you are exactly over the lens' nodal point. find two verticals (the thinner/smalerl the diameter the better) and align yourself so that the farther is exactly hidden behind the nearer. Set up tripod/camera/lens, level precisely, slide back with the Arc-Swiss and lock when the estimated nodal point is directly above the center of rotation. Point at your aligned verticals and if they are not precisely one behind the other, shift your position slightly. Now rotate the camera/lens with the tripod head and observe the verticals. Do they remain precisely one behind the other or do they shift slightly so that you can see the farther one peeking around the side of the nearer. If they remain alined, you're system is over the nodal point. If not, loosen the Arca-Swiss, shift the camera/lens a bit, try again and if necessary again, until there is absolutely no perceptible shift of the verticals. MARK THE POSITION OF THE LONG BAR IN THE CLAMP IN SOME WAY SO YOU CAN REPEAT THE POSITION ON YOUR TRIP WITH NO EXPERIMENTATION.

Now you're ready to take multiple images that should provide a perfect panorama.

AND OF COURSE, the nodal point you've found applies for certain only to the lens used for the experiment.
01-26-2015, 01:06 PM   #30
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas / Yucatan
Posts: 1,171
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Your last post was both very informative and extremely helpful. I was just about to ask this and you just answered - this will be an on going project. With this in mind, the gear that you have will be just fine. This first cut at the project will serve as much as a "process" trial and pretty much an initial survey. You are going to be refining your approach as you go. Here are a few more thoughts...[LIST][*]GPS - Getting the GPS O-GPS1 would probably be helpful. It would give both location and direction of the individual shots. This would serve to help self document exactly where it was taken and its direction.

Thank you for the great links. I never would have known to look for something like that.

Yes, in some cases, this would be an on-going project, particularly at large sites which have public access and cleared grounds.

There are other cases -- sites on private property, sites with limited access to the public, sites only revealed after a run-away fire, sites far from access roads, etc -- where I'd basically have a one or two day chance at doing what's possible, without being sure of a chance to return. That's not my blog, by the way, but I've met Mark. All four posts are interesting, but the idea of a "personal pyramid" isn't really all that unusual in a land where they simply abound if you know what to look for.

You've given me a ton more ideas. And yes, there is some gear involved. I'll need the GPS unit, plus a "pano rail/device" for the tripod. While reading someone else's thread about panoramas, I saw a mention of the Nodal Ninja - NN3 MKII Starter Package, which I was considering.

This whole thing has evolved from:
  1. Visit (the same and more) sites and take more interesting photos than in the past.
  2. Visit sites, taking better technical (sharp) and artistic photos than the past.
  3. Create visual impressions of the larger site area and tie in individual structures and structure details to the overall scene <-- point at which I began this thread.
  4. Add panoramas.
  5. Add GPS and mapping. And the "walk-through" concept is really intriguing.

And the "gear needed" is transforming a bit from lenses to the panorama device and GPS. Gives me a lot to think about. I still do want to insure I have serviceable lenses along with me. The body "thinking" is waiting to hear the announcements in Feb.

---------- Post added 01-26-2015 at 02:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
A little more about panoramas.
1) The point of rotating around the lens' nodal point is to avoid duplication of vertical features, especially something like a small tree or pole, when the images are stitched.
2) It is essentially impossible to rotate the camera/lens precisely around the nodal point without using a tripod (=cannot do it hand held).
3) To get the lens rotating around the nodal point, the camera/lens must be moved backwards (toward the photographer) on the tripod head.
4) If you use Arca-Swiss mounts, place a LONG plate on the camera such that it projects forward directly below the center line of the lens = at right angles to the sensor. Now you can move the system backward on the tripod head.
5) To test if you are exactly over the lens' nodal point. find two verticals (the thinner/smalerl the diameter the better) and align yourself so that the farther is exactly hidden behind the nearer. Set up tripod/camera/lens, level precisely, slide back with the Arc-Swiss and lock when the estimated nodal point is directly above the center of rotation. Point at your aligned verticals and if they are not precisely one behind the other, shift your position slightly. Now rotate the camera/lens with the tripod head and observe the verticals. Do they remain precisely one behind the other or do they shift slightly so that you can see the farther one peeking around the side of the nearer. If they remain alined, you're system is over the nodal point. If not, loosen the Arca-Swiss, shift the camera/lens a bit, try again and if necessary again, until there is absolutely no perceptible shift of the verticals. MARK THE POSITION OF THE LONG BAR IN THE CLAMP IN SOME WAY SO YOU CAN REPEAT THE POSITION ON YOUR TRIP WITH NO EXPERIMENTATION.

Now you're ready to take multiple images that should provide a perfect panorama.

AND OF COURSE, the nodal point you've found applies for certain only to the lens used for the experiment.
Your detailed information about panoramas has been very interesting. Thank you for providing more technical information on getting the initial images right before stitching.

Last edited by yucatanPentax; 01-26-2015 at 01:27 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
catholic, da, direction, distance, gps, help, itza, k-mount, lens, lenses, lot, ltd, macro, pentax lens, photos, project, rocks, ruins, shots, sites, slr lens, structures, time, types, wr, yucatan
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Returning to Pentax, looking for some advice on setup for the Wilderness SweFin Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 20 09-11-2014 06:04 AM
Just Picked Up a Bunch of Darkroom Stuff & Looking For Advice! Yael Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 5 04-08-2014 03:11 AM
Looking for some wedding advice. suphfly Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 17 11-20-2013 09:29 PM
Looking for Accessories Advice Killieman Pentax DSLR Discussion 8 07-21-2013 10:55 AM
New user looking for info and advice on adapting a lens for a canon dslr Gypsybird Welcomes and Introductions 4 06-23-2013 08:14 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:50 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top