Mosaics vs large format

Discussion forum for techniques and issues relating to the creation of panoramic and/or "mosaic" images

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waters
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:38 am

Mosaics vs large format

Post by waters » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:42 am

My father is an accomplished photographer and my parents are downsizing to a retirement community. One of his cameras is a 4 X 5 with a nice assortment of lenses. He wants to sell the camera and lenses for a fraction of what he paid for them if I don't want them. On one level, on principle, I hate the idea of selling it, plus I love the images it produces. Of course he has years of darkroom experience and could bring the negatives to fruition. If I took the camera it would be a long term project of learning how to use it ( I am quite familiar with the process ). The darkroom end of it is another aspect that would involve quite a bit more learning. Plan B is doing multi row mosaics; I have done many 360 degree panoramas, in addition to a number of hand held mosaics.
To those who have used large format and the much smaller subset who have used both large format and done mosaics, what would be the difference between the final images? I realize the absent a tilt / shift lens for the DSLR I would not have the same perspective control, perhaps one of the biggest drawing points for large format, even though it might be possible to control that post assembly in Photoshop. Not sure it would amount to the same thing.

terje.mathisen
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Re: Mosaics vs large format

Post by terje.mathisen » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:58 pm

The only real drawback for mosaics is if you want to take large images of scenes with moving objects!

For anything static a mosaic is better in all meaningful ways: Arbitrary resolution, arbitrary field of view, high dynamic range etc.

Your last wish, for tilt/shift style processing, is dead simple to achieve using Max's own PTAssembler, and since you can focus each frame individually it is trivial to let the focus plane of such a post-processed tilted image follow the line you want.

Terje

waters
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:38 am

Re: Mosaics vs large format

Post by waters » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:46 pm

Terje:
Any suggestions for lens focal lengths? I have done many 360 degree panoramas and have a couple of NN rotators; the RD8 will give me 18 degree increments. This would seem to limit me to 50mm lens in portrait orientation. I have had success hand holding, but missing a picture can trash a nice panorama, often only discovered when back home. The newer NN RD 8 goes down to 3.75 degrees, giving me a wider range of options. Maybe a pan tilt head and more concentration would be a better way to go?!

terje.mathisen
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Re: Mosaics vs large format

Post by terje.mathisen » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:35 am

I have one of the original PanoSaurus heads, but most of my panoramas have been taken freehand, it is mostly a matter of keeping the camera more or less still and rotating my body around it.

I have used this approach from 28 mm (equiv.) all the way to 400 mm (approx), the latter was used for a really thin 360-degree pano.

I do agree that by going without fixed indents on a pano head, or (even worse) handheld, you do increase the risk of broken panos and mosaics.

My most common problem these days, when most of my photos are taken with a 16 Mpix Samsung S6, is to have a single out of focus shot in the middle of a sequence, this is really aggravating when it happens. :-(

Tomh
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Location: Lancaster, UK

Re: Mosaics vs large format

Post by Tomh » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:08 am

A single out-of-focus shot... yes, I've been there and it is very annoying. I had the problem on a couple of panos recently when I was in Greenland and using a telephoto lens from a Zodiac, which does not provide the most stable of platforms! Fortunately the unsharpness was quite mild and I was able to sort out the difficulty by using the excellent (and not expensive) program Blurity on the offending frames. This only works with JPEG files so if you use TIFFs you have to convert, de-blur and then reconvert to (in my case) 16-bit TIFF. This gave results in which there was no obvious signs of a fuzzy component. Perhaps I was lucky, but I would certainly recommend this approach to others with this problem and it can indeed save the day.

Hope that this suggestion proves useful for someone.

Tom

waters
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:38 am

Re: Mosaics vs large format

Post by waters » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:05 pm

I am looking at setting up for a mosaic and thinking of it as an alternative to the work that would go into taking a picture with a large format; in lieu of the work of getting proper exposure and the thought process that involves, I would use my Nodal Ninja equipment. The advantage is that by selecting the right degree increment click stop to allow sufficient overlap between shots I would lessen the chance of missing a shot. This is particularly painful when you have traveled to a beautiful place and your panorama is ruined! The NN also allows me to do rows more predictably. I have had luck hand holding mosaics, but the NN offers some advantages, including the ability to bracket.

waters
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:38 am

Re: Mosaics vs large format

Post by waters » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:56 pm

I have used PYGui for my 360 panos, as well as some mosaics. Any reason to consider pT Assembler?

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