Thanks for the link Doug, interesting read.
Dykinga does great work, but as you said many of us have been doing this for years, its not like he invented it but reading the article one would certainly think so. I have been doing this since my old D1x days and maybe even classic D1 days with the 85 PC before software was available to do it automatically. Talk about a lot of work! As one other poster pointed out there was some fuzzy math going on too. Shifting LCR provides 3 not 6 frames, unless he left something out of the equation such as also roatating up or down in vertical mode. Not sure where the 300 mb is coming in at either, non of that adds up.
Perhaps the most salient point in the article is the fact a die hard LF photographer has now adopted a dslr workflow, rather than an MFDB one. A potent statement on two levels in itself, which surprised me.
I think the need to use T/S lenses is overestimated a bit. Sure they are the best solution but I haven't had many problems with plain old rotational stitching. With longer lenses it's even easier, just be sure to keep the camera level throughout all the frames. Even with shorter lenses it works pretty well.
I use back shift with my 6x6 cm Ebony SW23 LF camera to produce 6x17. There's an advantage with keeping the nodal point stationary if the subject is three-dimensional, such as having flowers close in the foreground. Unfortunately that camera only has front shift, so I have an RRS dovetail rail so I can shift the front and then shift the camera in the opposite direction to keep the nodal point stationary.
Still, stiching doesn't work at all if you have a busy sky with clouds constantly changing the lighting.
300 megabytes is 50 megapixels uncompressed, so that actually seems about right.
I wonder what he means by "go right to fine art" and how he makes that decision. Interesting article.But I still continue to use film and my 4x5. If I’ve got a scene that I know is really going to go right to fine art, I’ll pretty much revert to film.
I personally can't 'see' in stitching and prefer a big ground glass, but the possibilities available now are very cool.
if you use the shift (and the available image circle) for stitching doesnt that mean that one looses the ability to correct perspective?
Anyways, I have to admit that I wondered about stitching with a EOS 7D and the 17mm T/S Canon lenses.
This should allow some pretty big files as well.
In the end however I dont understand why someone who frequently would want big files would not just use a high MP MF back and a technical camera.
Flat stitching has been around for a long time in the digital arena. Infact if I remember right Jack Flesher wrote an article on the subject dealing with shifting the camera parallel to the lens using an L plate.
I also find the concept that flat stitching is any more 'pure' than rotational stitching to be marketing nonsense on this guys part, if he was aligning the layers in PS exactly by hand and flattening, that might be more pure. He's using the photomerge program which is no doubt dealing with the issues that Jack deals with in that essay and therefore he is still needing and using a program to mangle his pixels into shape.
I looked into flat stitching when I first decided that LF photography wasn't going to work for my project. I even have a Mamiya-Canon shifting adaptor somewhere. You get the megapixels if you are shooting for a square but to be honest you don't get a huge amount of megapixel advantage compared to rotational stitching, it's far more fiddly and in the case of a t/s lens, you're hitting the edges of the frame which are going to result in a quality dip. I worked out on my 5D that stitching to the far extent of both sides of the frame (i.e. one plane stitching) would only give me another a few more megapixels and by the time I'd used a perspective adjustment in PS any advantage would be pretty much shot.
One of the photos in the article was from the Atacama desert in Chile. It's the worlds oldest salt desert, 65 million years, with enough geological movements to push up the salt at one end of the pan into a small mountain range, Cordillera de Sal. This is where Valle de La Luna is, where the pic was taken. I spent two months there a few years ago, and man was there salt blowing in the air! A sealed body or an LF rig is more or less necessary if you want the equipment to last. So I'm not surprised that Dykinga went for gear that can endure the elements a bit.
Stitched, in the middle of a cloud (it was moving fast) and movement, the horrors! Tell you something, doing a rotational stitch is one heck of a lot faster than flat stitching. I made this, a 70 megapixel stitch in less than a minute.
Another problem (less so in digital of course) is when shooting at dusk or dawn with Velvia at ISO 40, f/32, center filter, ND grad - easily at least 30 secs exposure time which makes stitching impossible as it gets darker/lighter between exposures. Of course, with a D3s you can just cruise around that problem.
That shot was at iso 1600, even with that I only got a 1/20th @ f18 (focal length was 100mm) but I needed to stop the action of the people walking past and the waving leaves.
I gave up on LF for that reason, the shutter speeds were between 1-10 seconds at the fstops I needed (iso 400 film) and I wanted to stop motion enough to give definition to the moving people.
Of course if the clouds are moving fast it's a problem. What I do is take a straight single photo of the scene afterwards, then using 'align layers' in PS just paint in the sky/clouds over the completed stitch, you don't need resolution in clouds after all. That way you get the full advantages of stitching where it counts and have a solution should the stitching program not manage to sort out the cloud mismatches.
Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 11th February 2010 at 10:33.
Why is he doing 5 images across when you only have 11mm shift on the nikon pce? and the resulting images are mostly 5x4 dimension.
Plus the 300mb files? Guess he is quoting the 16bit file size?
Does not really add up for me
And from a marketing perspective, Jack Dykinga = Large Format Camera, i would not mess with that if i were in his position!
Jack is good. I admire him. He is a terrific photographer, a great teacher, sells images, and has books printed, something many of us do rarely, if at all. Over at the LF forum, which seems to be down, there's a 20+ page discussion in which there's a lot of gnashing of teeth and rending of fabric. The world seems to have come to an end for some of these folks. I have worked with LF for over 25 years and have mostly converted to 35mm full frame digital now.
I have taken two workshops with Jack (both also with Bruce Barnbaum and Jay Dusard, last in 3/09). At both he used only his Arca, (I used my Arca and my D700) but we discussed his increasing digital interest and expertise. Jack has a great eye for visual drama. He did not win a Pulitzer prize for nothing. His large format work reflects his visual competence. Jack is a pragmatist. He will use the best tool for the job at hand. He sees relatively quickly (faster than I do), and can set up a 4x5 and make a great shot before I'm done wandering around with my viewing card.
I do not care if he invented stitching, he is clearly using it to make visually striking images. I do not dissect and interpret his every statement. I hope to connect with and learn from him in the future. Now... how about a D3x?