Panorama tripods - why the blurry shots?

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bhuether
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Panorama tripods - why the blurry shots?

Post by bhuether » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:31 pm

I was just looking at the reviews of the various offerings. Compared to shots taken on a tripod, the shots taken with panasaurus, etc all look much more blurry. I find this surprising. I have a Nikon D90 and it has a feature where it delays the shutter release by one second when taking a photo on a tripod. Apparently, this should reduce blurring since the photo is in theory taken after the initial mechanical vibration imparted to the tripod from the camera. So with this option set, do you expect I would get very sharp photos?

Also, I am going to try a 2x2 mosaic today handheld. THe subject will be a distant lanscape scene for which I don't expect parallax errors. Have others tried this handheld and had very good results?

ALso, are there lists somewhere that say what lenses fit on what pano tripods? I have a Nikkor 16-85mm that I will use for my mosaics.

thanks!

brian

maxlyons
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Re: Panorama tripods - why the blurry shots?

Post by maxlyons » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:15 pm

bhuether wrote:I was just looking at the reviews of the various offerings. Compared to shots taken on a tripod, the shots taken with panasaurus, etc all look much more blurry.
If you are talking about the reviews I have written, then I introduced camera shake, on purpose, to evaluate the relative stability of the tripod heads. The "Stability" section of my Nodal Ninja 1 review outlines the reasoning...here is an excerpt:

I was curious to try and quantify the degree of instability that adding a panoramic tripod head would introduce. I wanted to come up with a test that would allow me to make meaningful comparisons in stability without requiring complicated test equipment. And, I can't rely on the wind to blow at a constant rate for me to conduct the test with different equipment. The best test I could come up with was to mount the camera on the tripod head, and shoot a picture at a slow speed (1/15 of second in this test) with a long lens (200mm in this test) and see how much vibration the camera's own shutter introduces. This has the advantage of ensuring that exactly the same amount of "wobble" is introduced for each test. My theory is that the more blur is visible in the final image, the less stable is the tripod head. I'm sure this could be further improved, but as a first test, it seems reasonable.

If you had some other reviews in mind, I'd be interested to see the images you mention. Could you post a link?
I have a Nikon D90 and it has a feature where it delays the shutter release by one second when taking a photo on a tripod. Apparently, this should reduce blurring since the photo is in theory taken after the initial mechanical vibration imparted to the tripod from the camera. So with this option set, do you expect I would get very sharp photos?
You should expect photos at least as sharp, and likely sharper, than without this option set. Getting "very sharp photos" requires getting everything right...and mirror lockup is just one of those things.
Also, I am going to try a 2x2 mosaic today handheld. THe subject will be a distant lanscape scene for which I don't expect parallax errors.
You'll still have parallax errors, but if you don't move too much, they will likely be small enough that the errors can be disguised during the blending process.
Have others tried this handheld and had very good results?
Yes...all the time. At least half of these panoramas were taken hand-held. Some of these required manual blending because the parallax errors were sufficiently large that that the automagic blending programs couldn't quite disguise all the errors.

Max

bhuether
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Post by bhuether » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:08 am

Thanks for the info. The reviews I was referring to were your panasaurus and nodal ninja 5 I beleive. But now I understand what you were after.

I really can't wait to give this a 'shot'!

thanks,

brian

Terrywoodenpic
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Location: Saddleworth England

Post by Terrywoodenpic » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:52 am

bhuether wrote:Thanks for the info. The reviews I was referring to were your panasaurus and nodal ninja 5 I beleive. But now I understand what you were after.

I really can't wait to give this a 'shot'!

thanks,

brian
I use a NN3 mk 2 directly on the legs of a manfrotto 055 proB
This is not as strong as the NN5 range.

Vibration is probably the biggest cause of unsharp shots, but it is not easy to prevent.
I use mirror lock and fire with a remote release.

By watching carefully you can actually see vibration moving through the system... when the mirror rises you can see the camera vibrate slightly... then the vibration runs down the legs of the tripod and back up again into the camera.. momentarily you see a rise in vibration , before it vanishes.
All this takes more than one second so to be on the safe side I do not fire the shutter until things have settled down , wind has dropped etc. and certainly not before 5 seconds have passed.

As Max has shown, the shutter itself causes vibration about which you can do very little, except perhaps increase dead mass into the system.

It is interesting to note that wooden tripods size for size and quality for quality, vibrate less than metal ones.

In very windy conditions I find that hand holding provides a better control of vibration. ( the human frame deadens vibration very effectively, But may introduce shake and all the problem associated with hand holding.)
Terry

old decrepit and still taking photographs

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:50 am

A good way to increase dead mass without actually carrying any more mass than you would anyway is to use a hook on the bottom of the post of the tripod to hang your camera bag or pack. This works best when the bag can still be in contact with the ground, instead of swinging like a punching bag! Many tripods include a hook or have it as an optional accessory.

Dave

joergen geerds
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Post by joergen geerds » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:55 pm

dave is right, any method to dampen vibrations is fair game... i think the most crucial thing is NOT to extend the middle column. at all. never. ever.
i have seen wind induced vibrations of at least 1mm with a fully extended middle column, and mirror slab also doesn't help, since it takes at least 5s for the vibrations to come down. if you feel like using a taller tripod, buy longer legs, or increase your shutter speed above. 1/125.

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