Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,466
Night Panoramas

A while ago I acquired a FA31Ltd that I have been trying to use for multiple frame panoramas stitched together. Initially, I got carried away with the speed of the lens and my DoF paid the price (along with a soft focus) - and I was not happy with the results.

So, I finally had some additional time this evening and was able to get some shots. I really missed last night's absolutely specular sunset, so I made due with this evenings. The result is the sharp images I was expecting - however, I did forget to reset the camera to ISO 100 and left it in automatic, so these are at ISO 400. The pano is 9 frames across or 16K by 4.5K, f5.6. f5.6 is the sweet spot for the 31, along with minimum vignetting and CA.

As a comparison I am posting 2 additional images of the same shot. The first one is from a couple of weeks ago, using the 12-24 at 24, f8 - 6 frames. The second is a shot with the 10-17FE at 10mm, f8 a bit too late to get the sky color I was after, but you can see that each of them are 180 degrees wide.

I also used a different stitcher that did a wonderful job in blending the sky across the stitched frames. Did much better than Autostitch.

Also, there is about 10 to 15 minutes between the pano using the FA31 and the 10-17, so I lost the really blue iridescent sky that I was after...

The 9 frame pano using the FA31 takes up the full width of a 23" flat panel display and its detail is wonderful. However, when you take all 3 of these individual images together, the focal length does play a critical role, especially when you scale each of these images to only 1000 pixels wide. The first one at 9 panels, really does reduce the height of the resulting image - that just comes with the territory. The second, at 6 frames, does not squish (an engineering term) the image as much. The third image using the FE - as a single frame really does frame the foreground a bit better than the first 2. Actually, sitting here looking at all 3 of them stacked up at 1K pixel wide really formed this composition observation.

I am finding that if you do not have the head on the tripod level, as you pan around, you get a spherical effect and thus not a level horizon. The way to correct for this is a setup similar to the Nodal Ninga, where the pivot is occurring in about the nodal point of the lens, rather than at the sensor's plane - where the camera sits on the tripod (One more toy for Santa to bring some future Christmas).

One last observation. There is a little slop on the width of the images. I did not crop them to be exactly the same view. I am thinking that I should probably do this to align with the 10-17 and maybe recover about 5% or so. I really was not expecting the focal length to play such a crucial role in the formatting and composure - however it makes perfect sense.


Attached Images
     

Last edited by interested_observer; 12-14-2009 at 10:22 PM.
12-15-2009, 05:47 AM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Perth Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,514
I use the fa50mm to do my panorama shots, to great effect. Sweet spot is f4 so that plus 200iso on the Kx works very well at dusk. I probably wouldn't use anything wider than 30mm as the distortion is so high, which can sometimes cause the processing to fail.

I also shoot raw now which has helped a lot.

shoot hand held and just be careful to overlap more shots than you need, and then the processing is much easier in photoshop, fully automatic in fact.

Last edited by WerTicus; 12-15-2009 at 05:54 AM.
12-15-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
Veteran Member
mysticcowboy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: port townsend, wa
Photos: Albums
Posts: 968
Why so many shots?

Unless you want to cover an entire wall with your pano, I don't seen why you'd take 6 shots with the 12-24 lens at 24mm. That's the softest focal length for the lens. 2 maybe 3 shots should give you more than 180 degrees at 12-14mm where the lens is sharper.

michael mckee
My Port Townsend A City in Photographs 365
12-17-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,466
Original Poster
Evening Mike, Well you right, 24mm is the softest and as to why - several reasons.

I was practicing for one thing, and wanted to compare the 31 to the other sharpest lens I have, the 12-24. 24mm for a couple of reasons. I wanted to compare the height of the pano in terms of the field of view I was getting, and just tried to take the same image across several lenses. Also, wanted to see how sharp the 31 was with some similar focal length - hence the 24mm Just an experiment. Actually it turned out quite well.

The other thing was trying out some ideas with the pano head in terms of just what I could get away with - in terms of the actual physical setup - actually not much, as I expected. Now that the weather is a bit cooler, I want to try getting some shots up in the Grand Canyon, and also the Wave, and Antelope Canyon. So, I was out taking advantage of some of the local vistas that are here close by. Targets of opportunity.

I was also trying some new ideas. In taking a pano you want to fix the aperture along with the shutter speed, so that you are able to get a consistent exposure across the width of the individual images being stitched. However, in the early evening (after sunset), I wanted to catch the iridescent blue color in the sky, but if I fixed the shutter speed I would get light on the left hand side of the pano, with the right half being entirely black (lack of light). So I was letting the shutter speed float, and then experimenting with the splicing software to see what I could get away with in terms of matching the sky, while using the silhouetted valley with the night lights. It appears to work out quite nicely - but I am finding that it depends on the splicing software - as expected.

You win some, lose some, but learn a lot along the way.

12-17-2009, 09:31 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,295
The limited work with Panoramas that I have tried, I find that a longer lens (I've even used my 100 macro) in portrait mode with a 25% overlap, manual focus, manual exposure and manual white balance gives the best results.
12-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
Veteran Member
mysticcowboy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: port townsend, wa
Photos: Albums
Posts: 968
That makes sense.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Evening Mike, Well you right, 24mm is the softest and as to why - several reasons.

I was practicing for one thing, and wanted to compare the 31 to the other sharpest lens I have, the 12-24. 24mm for a couple of reasons. I wanted to compare the height of the pano in terms of the field of view I was getting, and just tried to take the same image across several lenses. Also, wanted to see how sharp the 31 was with some similar focal length - hence the 24mm Just an experiment. Actually it turned out quite well.

The other thing was trying out some ideas with the pano head in terms of just what I could get away with
Interesting experiment. And I'm jealous of your 31mm.

michael mckee
My Port Townsend A City in Photographs 365
12-20-2009, 08:12 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Perth Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,514
here is one i did last night with the FA 50mm at f4 and 200iso on the Kx (sharpest at that)



This is just 3000 of the 12,000 pixels that are there (35mp) 8 shots put together in photoshop with automatic panorama which took about 30 seconds to compute.
12-22-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,466
Original Poster
Hi WerT, Wonderful image, I really like the clouds against the sky. I guess I could double up my potential images, if I were to get up much earlier and venture out before the crack of dawn. But, I am finding sunsets much more agreeable to my schedule.... I also like your website.

12-22-2009, 11:08 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Perth Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,514
I usually only do sunsets too, and don't bother to bring the camera when i walk the dog if there are no clouds.
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!
camera, frame, frames, image, images, length, level, pano, photography, role, sky, width
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K-x and Panoramas How-To D_Ivy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 11-21-2011 09:11 AM
K20D and panoramas Naturenut Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 14 05-01-2010 07:15 AM
Do my panoramas not look like panoramas? ftpaddict Post Your Photos! 22 04-21-2010 11:18 AM
Polar panoramas edward jenner Post Your Photos! 11 02-20-2009 02:27 PM
American Panoramas alchemy Post Your Photos! 10 09-26-2008 05:10 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:23 AM. | 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