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Archive 2012 · Wide-angle shot help
  
 
jcw1982
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Wide-angle shot help


I have a question I was hoping some of the landscape shooters could help me out with.

At times I would like to have a wider lenses than I do now-my widest has the equivilent of 28 on a full frame. My question is, what are your thoughts on a lower priced wide lens (@ 10-12mm at the wide end) vs. a higher quality, but narrower lens, and 'stitching' the images together?

Advice?



Sep 28, 2012 at 11:21 PM
dbehrens
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Wide-angle shot help


For landscape stitching can yield amazing results. Much better than a wide angle lens and much better than what a 35mm sensor can produce.

Since you are asking about 10-12 I am assuming you are shooting with either a 1.6 or a 1.5 crop. I know there are some good offerings in the 10-12mm range but years ago when I shot the 1.6 crops I was particularly happy using the 15mm fisheye lens - which I seem to recall yielded a 17mm FF equivalent. The FE effect was mostly gone and for landscapes much preferred using the 15mm FE as opposed to the wide angle distortion produced by the 17mm or 14mm rectilinear lens.

Dave



Sep 29, 2012 at 12:01 AM
DonH
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Wide-angle shot help


By all means, FOV through stitching. Use the lenses that you currently own.


Sep 29, 2012 at 12:25 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Wide-angle shot help


Stitching has its virtues, for sure. But it also can pose some "issues," especially with shots that include near and far subjects, one of the frequent reasons for using ultra-wides. If you go this route, you may find that while distant objects align nicely, the closer ones do not - unless you use special tripod heads that rotate the camera around the nodal point of the lens.

Dan



Sep 29, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Wide-angle shot help


IMO, stitching is a pain. Sure, it's great when you're shooting at noon --- but that's not when the good light is. Try stitching a dynamic subject in changing light, and you'll be happy to spend the money on a good wide angle lens. I went down the road of stitching, and found it to be far more trouble than it's worth.


Sep 29, 2012 at 06:12 AM
killersnowman
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Wide-angle shot help


It really depends on the type of wide angle shots you want to take. If you want just a standard WA shot with not much foreground then stitching is fine. If you want to exaggerate perspective by getting close to your foreground then nothing can beat a 14-17mm lens on FF. you will end up with a lot of issues if you try to stitch a shot with a tight foreground because of the parallax error due to not rotating around the nodal point of the lens. Not to mention DOF and having to DOF blend in a stitched shot...

I'd go for an ultra wide



Sep 29, 2012 at 06:13 AM
aFeinberg
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Wide-angle shot help


Ben's still stuck in film...dont listen to him hahaha.

Stitching works well if you are REALLY good at it under dramatic light/subjects (ie: fast changing light and motion). It requires very fast capture and then blending by hand if the motion doesn't match up. That being said the result is way higher MP than a single shot. How big do you print? 24x36? 40x60? 120"? If you print huge than stitch and get good at it...if not just go for single frame. Much easier and then upgrade etc when you need.

woop!
aF



Sep 29, 2012 at 08:15 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Wide-angle shot help


I really like an uwa lens. I couldn't afford one for three years after I went digital though.

I'd take the lower priced uw lens its probably good enough. Tamron 11-18 cheap probably good enough. I need to get in to stitching. Cant seem to.




Oct 10, 2012 at 01:30 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Wide-angle shot help


Why don't you stitch with the lens you have? Probably the best way to tell.



Oct 10, 2012 at 02:14 PM
 

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Henga
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Wide-angle shot help


Most of my shots are the result of stitching several photos into one image.
As a primarily pano photographer, I've mainly used focal length from 50mm to 200mm since I find these focal length to be the best ones for panorama format… I finally ended up with only 2 lenses: a 50mm and a 70-200mm I recently completed with a 35mm.
For about one year, I've found myself wanting to try different formats, especially the portrait format for landscape photos. At this time, I didn't want to buy an extra lens dedicated for landscape, so I did it with my 50mm.
The major issue I encountered was DOF blending the images. Took me about 2 months to come up with a technique that works well… Another issue is to frame the image in your head before taking all the photos.

Here are two examples with details viewed at 100%:
6 shots stitched taken with a Canon 50mm F1.8 II, equivalent FOV of a 24mm.










Left = far top left corner, center = a detail of the stalk in the foreground, right = a butterfly on the big red rock.




6 shots stitched taken with a Samyang 35mm F1.4, equivalent FOV of a 14mm.










Left = details of the tree, right = details of the bush on the left of the fern in the foreground.



Of course, the great advantage of this is to have a HD image you can print large. Both of these can be printed at 24x36" at 300dpi!

That said, I really don't think that stitching images to achieve the result of a WA lens is the good way to go. It can be a real time consumer and difficult technique at the beginning, and is not worth the effort for 99% of the photos most of photographers take.
Even if it took me around 15-20min to process the two above images (including the stitching, the focal/exposure blending and the post processing), I do not consider the samples I posted to be worth the stitch.
I'm now about to buy a WA angle lens to get what I want in a single frame and keep my technique for THE photo if I have the chance to get it someday

Arnaud



Oct 11, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Ho1972
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Wide-angle shot help


Henga, a question about your technique. Do you alter the focus as you move from foreground to background or are you just depending on a small aperture to give you acceptable DOF?


Oct 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Chiefdog72
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Wide-angle shot help


As with other areas of photography, shooting wide has its’ own set of problems/limitations, enhancements, and learning curve; as does stitching. The landscape forum has some magnificent examples of both. The folks in the landscape forum make it look (sound) easy. Kind of like asking Michael Jordan how to shoot a basket…..nothing to it.

I can only comment on Canon equipment……Using a crop camera (which I did for years) the EF-S 10-22 (16-35 equivalent) is really the widest option you have. The 14mm II gives you a 22mm equivalent; the TS-E 17 gives you a 27mm equivalent (I have both and love them). Using the TS-E shift function for creating a 3 shot stitch gives great results.

The optimum would be able to do both…….have wide lenses and ability to stitch when the situation requires……

I recommend renting some wide lenses before you spend the money on something you may not like or use.

Hope this helps.



Oct 11, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Henga
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Wide-angle shot help


Ho1972 wrote:
Henga, a question about your technique. Do you alter the focus as you move from foreground to background or are you just depending on a small aperture to give you acceptable DOF?


I can't get everything in focus even if I use the smallest aperture of my lenses so I take several shots with different focus points I blend in Photoshop.
This said, I usually reduce the number of images needed for the blend by using a small aperture like F16, especially when the foreground is busy or complicated to blend, like in the photos I posted.
For a flat and a not-too-busy foreground, I will use a larger aperture like F8 or F11.

In the first image, I used 4 shots to extend the DOF and 2 photos were used for the second image.

Arnaud



Oct 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM
jeraldcook
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Wide-angle shot help


Henga wrote:
Even if it took me around 15-20min to process the two above images (including the stitching, the focal/exposure blending and the post processing), I do not consider the samples I posted to be worth the stitch.
I'm now about to buy a WA angle lens to get what I want in a single frame and keep my technique for THE photo if I have the chance to get it someday

Arnaud


If those two images weren't worth stitching, I'd really like to see the photos you do think are worth the time. Those two are pretty darn good if you ask me.



Oct 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM
DonH
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Wide-angle shot help


aFeinberg wrote: Stitching works well if you are REALLY good at it under dramatic light/subjects (ie: fast changing light and motion). It requires very fast capture and then blending by hand if the motion doesn't match up. That being said the result is way higher MP than a single shot. How big do you print? 24x36? 40x60? 120"? If you print huge than stitch and get good at it...if not just go for single frame. Much easier and then upgrade etc when you need.

You really never know how large one of your images will need to be printed. Several months ago I was approached by a company in France who was interested in one of my panos for their booth at Photokina. Had it not been stitched and thus contained many pixels they would not have been interested. It was, however, and as a result it became the central theme image (backdrop) of their booth and they had it printed 11 feet x 27 feet. Big enough?



Nov 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM
mola
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Wide-angle shot help


Ben Horne wrote:
IMO, stitching is a pain. Sure, it's great when you're shooting at noon --- but that's not when the good light is. Try stitching a dynamic subject in changing light, and you'll be happy to spend the money on a good wide angle lens. I went down the road of stitching, and found it to be far more trouble than it's worth.


I agree totally. Stiching sunset/sunrise images taken at 10mm wide satisfactorily is very difficult and certainly not worth the pain.



Nov 16, 2012 at 09:36 PM
DonH
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Wide-angle shot help


Try using a 50mm lens and you will find it much easier since you won't have to deal with barrel distortion. As for it being a PITA, I don't agree. In fact I enjoy the process but, of course, YMMV.


Nov 17, 2012 at 11:48 PM
PeaktoPeek
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Wide-angle shot help


In conclusion, there are definitely times when each method is the best. Your best option is to be able to use either method. So get a WA and also try stitching, because it doesn't hurt to be able to do either when the time comes. Personally, my main lens is a wide angle -- but I also carry longer lenses that I use to stitch when I can. On a crop I used the Tokina 12-24, which is both very good and pretty inexpensive. The newer Tokina 11-18 is also supposed to be great. Having a fast 50mm to stitch when possible is also great to have in the bag.
Paul



Nov 18, 2012 at 01:14 AM





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