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03-09-2016, 08:59 AM   #1
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Renting a K-3 II for the weekend to test out Pixel Shift

I am an ex-Pentax K-5 landscape shooter and have been reading up on Pentax's pixel shift technology. Thought I would give it a try this weekend with a K-3 II rental. One of the reasons for the test, is that, other than test shots I am finding very few "real" landscape shots online using Pixel Shift. I am aware of the limitations and am also aware of the fairly straightforward techniques to fix them in post using layers. I am quite frankly surprised at the lack of landscape examples online. Can anyone explain this?

Also, if anyone knows of a set of pixel shift landscapes they can point me too, that would be awesome.

03-09-2016, 09:14 AM   #2
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I can try it out this evening and post one if you'd like...
My widest lens is an 18-135 though.
I could also do one with the 35 ltd if you prefer.

I've only had a K-3ii for about a week now, but my overall impression about Pixel Shift is the subject needs to be perfectly still.
Even doing product photography with my 35 ltd I noticed artifacts using Pixel Shift on a tripod without a shutter release cable. After using the cable the images were tack sharp.
Perhaps if there is absolutely no wind the landscape would be alright, I worry about any movement between the 4 exposures creating artifacts though.

I also have no experience removing those from PP so maybe someone else, you included, can provide insight there.

Regardless, let me now if you want me to post an example and tell me which lens you prefer me to use!

DA*300
A 135mm f2.8
18-135
DA 35 macro
50 f1.7
03-09-2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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Yeah, that would be great. Using your 35 Limited would be great. And I agree and share your impression about the scene being perfectly still. I have seen a handful of shots so any PS shot you take, would be nice to see.

I shoot a lot of waterfalls within gorges so, in my case, my plan is to take a pixel shift sequence along with a non-PS shot and overlay the water in post. Of course, I would need to be careful to avoid shots with moving leaves and such. That is the plan anyway!
03-09-2016, 09:48 AM   #4
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I think the new K1 will only use moving things from one of the shots, so maybe that will find its way into the K3ii via firmware update at some point.

03-09-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zen4Life Quote
I am an ex-Pentax K-5 landscape shooter and have been reading up on Pentax's pixel shift technology. Thought I would give it a try this weekend with a K-3 II rental. One of the reasons for the test, is that, other than test shots I am finding very few "real" landscape shots online using Pixel Shift. I am aware of the limitations and am also aware of the fairly straightforward techniques to fix them in post using layers. I am quite frankly surprised at the lack of landscape examples online. Can anyone explain this?

Also, if anyone knows of a set of pixel shift landscapes they can point me too, that would be awesome.
Well I will shamelessly self-promote I have several taken over the past few months. Counting back looks like I've used PS in about 1/5 landscape shots. I created a Flickr album with the ones that I remember or tagged with pixelshift. I may have used it on one or two others in my photo stream, but these are the ones I remember.

Searching for 'pixelshift' on Flickr turned up a couple more but not many. I find it makes a visible difference.

https://flic.kr/s/aHskvfo8zo

---------- Post added 03-09-16 at 12:17 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I think the new K1 will only use moving things from one of the shots, so maybe that will find its way into the K3ii via firmware update at some point.
I do hope so. It seems to be primarily software responsible for the K-1 handling of movement in the frame so I doubt there's any technical reason they couldn't bring at least some of that back to the K-3ii, but maybe they want to save it for the K-3iii (or whatever). Kinda surprised there have been no new firmware updates on K-3ii. Guess the firmware developers have all been busy on the K-1.

And @UserAccessDenied is right that there really needs to be basically no movement. I do have a couple of other pics taken that I didn't post where there's a couple of blades of grass moving and if you pixel peep you can see a couple of artifacts. If I had wanted to post these I could've easily cleaned that up in LR/PS.
03-09-2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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I couldn't use it on my K-3II for outdoor macro focus stacks because of a matting pattern that resulted, presumably due to misalignment between frames (although I did use a tripod so a bit mystified). I had this on every single pixelshift image I attempted, so stopped using it. I'd love to use it again if possible but they'd need to do a firmware update to add that k-1 functionality which seems to deal with misalignment.
03-09-2016, 11:34 AM   #7
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Please post some full size samples afterwards ....
03-09-2016, 11:58 AM   #8
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Yeah, I saw a Japanese video about the K-1 that had a couple examples with movement in them. One was a shot at an outdoor ice skating rink and another was of a waterfall. Neither showed any signs of artifacts. I was very impressed. If an enhancement is not made to the K-3 II, I would hope the next iteration would have this.

Thank you @carolina_sky, those are great shots.

And @radeon7750, I will post some examples of my test outing this weekend.

03-09-2016, 01:19 PM   #9
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I roll the other way and would love to see examples on a windy day or a creek with lots of motion! It could be modern digital impressionism (or perhaps just ugly?) but I don't see many pxshift samples either good or bad.
03-09-2016, 01:45 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
I roll the other way and would love to see examples on a windy day or a creek with lots of motion! It could be modern digital impressionism (or perhaps just ugly?) but I don't see many pxshift samples either good or bad.
I did incorporate "the artifact" in to this picture because it fit with the concept. If you look at the girl on the mound at the back of the picture, she is pixelated by the PS algorithm. She was moving just enough between shots to cause the blur. Note also that the sky colors are heavily modified because I thought the whole thing seemed like a star trek set from the original series so I made the sky look like those old weird studio backdrops they used to use (just in case anyone was wondering WTF was up with the colors). The colors of the rocks in the Paint mines are real though.



I haven't done any others with larger scale usage of "the artifact". It is pretty damn ugly. Here's a crop of one that was unintentional from another shot:
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03-12-2016, 11:23 PM   #11
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I usually get little flat blobs in my ps landscapes due to cloud movement, but that's mainly because I shoot long exposure at night. My most recent was taken just around/after sunset.



Tripod mounted, 13s exposure @ ISO 1600 f/4 using the Samyang 10mm f/2.8 lens, pixel shift enabled.
03-13-2016, 05:32 AM - 1 Like   #12
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You can see some PS artifacting (green streaks) from clouds on the left of frame here. Lightroom does something pretty nasty to it and it gets way worse if I try any PP work in LR. This is SOC unedited. I was hoping to just take the first frame from it and work with that but DCU doesn't allow me to save the file if I turn PS off - anyone ever encountered that before? Anyone know of a way to just take the first frame?

---------- Post added 03-13-16 at 08:38 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
I usually get little flat blobs in my ps landscapes due to cloud movement, but that's mainly because I shoot long exposure at night. My most recent was taken just around/after sunset.
Are you working with RAW or JPG? If RAW, what are you using to process? I don't even see any artifacting here, compared to the cloud streaking artifacts in this shot. Would love it if I can find a way to capture PS with some cloud movement without horrid artifacts. Hoping the K-1 is better at that.
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Last edited by carolina_sky; 03-13-2016 at 05:39 AM.
03-13-2016, 07:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
Well I will shamelessly self-promote I have several taken over the past few months. Counting back looks like I've used PS in about 1/5 landscape shots. I created a Flickr album with the ones that I remember or tagged with pixelshift. I may have used it on one or two others in my photo stream, but these are the ones I remember.
That "Dead or Alive" photo. Wow! Pixel shift or not, that was one cool picture.
03-13-2016, 07:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by carolina_sky Quote
You can see some PS artifacting (green streaks) from clouds on the left of frame here. Lightroom does something pretty nasty to it and it gets way worse if I try any PP work in LR. This is SOC unedited. I was hoping to just take the first frame from it and work with that but DCU doesn't allow me to save the file if I turn PS off - anyone ever encountered that before? Anyone know of a way to just take the first frame?

---------- Post added 03-13-16 at 08:38 AM ----------



Are you working with RAW or JPG? If RAW, what are you using to process? I don't even see any artifacting here, compared to the cloud streaking artifacts in this shot. Would love it if I can find a way to capture PS with some cloud movement without horrid artifacts. Hoping the K-1 is better at that.
I've been shooting JPEG only recently due to none of my current RAW editing software being sufficient anymore. My version of corel photo-paint is too old and is limited, silkypix is the version for k-50 and won't accept any files not tagged with k-50 in exif. It took about 11 shots to get the one you saw with no artifacts. Most of my shots in PS do have artifacts usually just flat blobs from clouds moving. Sometimes it looks cool, most times it doesn't. Haven't had a chance to try it out, but I think it would be a great feature for single shot non-stacked astrophotography.
03-13-2016, 01:45 PM   #15
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I put one here just today: https://flic.kr/p/F53MhW

The thing is that once you put 'em up online it doesn't matter that they've got better resolution in many cases. And the artifacts are pretty horrid; not just blur, but grids and such. Not usable. This one I put up actually has motion blur at the edges and in the clouds a bit, but on the original RAW you have to zoom to over 300% to see it. I got air turbulence artifacts shooting over wide salt flats in the desert as well. It's kind of a pain to work with because the artifacts can be small. I did run a PS through dcraw, extracted 4 TIFFS, and then just ran them through HDR processing in Photoshop, using the deghosting option, hoping that would do it. It did seem to catch it, but it might have caught too much.

I use the PS variant of dcraw to pull apart the frames, and you can also use it with a threshold for detected motion to mask out the movement by using the part from the first frame. See this post: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/311865-pixel-shift-finicky-3.html
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