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Thread: cropping vs shifting

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    cropping vs shifting

    While evaluating a "cheap" 22MP back for my Artec (because I exchanged my other back for the S2) I wondered with increasing MP backs having more room to crop.
    So instead of getting a 22MP back for the Artec I could save the money for the upcoming 24mm Leica S2 lens and do some cropping for perpective correction instead of using shift on the Artec.
    Of course there would be not tilt.
    Do I forget anything in this assumption?

    I wondered with backs even more resolution than 37MP do you also use "wide lens+cropping " as perspective correction tool?
    Last edited by Paratom; 23rd March 2011 at 04:05.

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    If I tried to do this I fear I would hit my head against the wall regarding trying to create compelling/visually-comprehensible compositions using the top half of the LCD.

    This is the same problem I have when I try to tilt and then correct perspective in Capture One rather than using true shift. The composition changes slightly and often what was a compelling composition becomes more ordinary and/or an important element of the composition is cropped out.

    Both of these are personal-preference statements so by all means grab a dSLR or even point and shoot and walk around an interesting building composing first with the full viewfinder/LCD and then second by the top half of the viewfinder/LCD and see what you think - maybe it won't bother you.

    My other issue with your plan is it relies on a future, yet-unreleased lens from a company that has a legacy of producing fantastic quality lenses - but often not on the original timeline they expected.

    On the opposite side any 9 micron digital back is going to at least occasionally show moire in a building pattern or furniture fabric so make sure that if you do select such a back that the software includes a good way to quickly, easily, and effectively remove moire locally while keeping the file in raw. The S2 would have an edge in this regard with it's smaller pixel size.

    I like the spirit of getting the most out of the equipment you already have rather than always looking for new gear to solve the problem.

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    There are two things that I would consider...

    Most people compose a scene starting from the bottom of the frame and then going up to the top. So it can feel really unnatural to imagine a composition starting from around the middle of an LCD, ground glass, or viewfinder etc and going up to the top while intentionally dismissing the bottom part of the frame. A comparison could be made to someone that learns how to drive an automobile on the right side of the road in the United States and then attempts to drive on the left side of the road when traveling abroad in another country. It's certainly possible to do but can feel really awkward.

    Another thing to consider is that cropping instead of using a rise movement usually moves the lens axis plane to the bottom of the image. For example, if a photographer were shooting a scene that would normally require a front rise but instead he has decided to crop, there is a good chance that the crop will cut away a significant portion of the bottom of the frame leaving the lens axis plane basically at or near the bottom of the cropped frame. This means that all of the orthogonals in the scene and line of site are basically leading the viewer's eye to the bottom of the cropped frame. It's Ok to do, but it can have the psychological effect of always making the image feel too top heavy to the viewer.

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    If your requirements are not extreme, I think that the best compromise is a good wide angle lens and perspective correction in PP.
    As an example, this one was made with a Pentax 645d with FA35/3,5 with no cropping and an accurate adjustement of perspective & image height in PS.
    From the full size jpg available on Flickr, the loss of resolution on the high
    part of the image, subjected to stress due to correction, is practically inobservable.


    IMGP0650bn2 by sergio lovisolo, on Flickr

    Sergio

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    using just a part of a fixed 24 on a S2, won't give you the angle of view of a 28 on a full aptus 22... so, if you need to shoot that wide, then it won't help you !

    i'm using my Rm3D with an Aptus 22, and i can easily compose on the ground glass a picture with an aspect ratio of 1x2 and then use stitching technique it gives me a virtual (36x72mm) sensor size... quite nice some times !
    You can't do that with an S2...

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    I'd like to understand this better myself.

    Why for example couldn't one use a RRS Ultimate Omni Pivot set up for stitched shots of a vertical building ... or just the normal Nodal point kit for landscape orientation? The Nodal point is marked right on the S lens barrels.

    Or am I not understanding the objective at all (which is highly likely)?

    -Marc

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'd like to understand this better myself.

    Why for example couldn't one use a RRS Ultimate Omni Pivot set up for stitched shots of a vertical building ... or just the normal Nodal point kit for landscape orientation? The Nodal point is marked right on the S lens barrels.

    Or am I not understanding the objective at all (which is highly likely)?

    -Marc
    There is no ideal solution:

    Back vertical and shifting is the best solution, but it uses the edge of the image circle, which is usually not as good as the center. This technique can be used with shift-and-stitch, which increases pixel count without re-sampling or distortion.

    Back vertical and crop wastes much of the res (pixel count) that you have paid for.

    Point camera up and fix in post (pan and stitch) distorts and re-samples the image and results in loss of pixel quality... it also gives increased pixel count and larger file size... and should result in a better picture.

    Retro-focus (DSLR) wide-angles tend to be awful and distort, so pan-and-stitch with longer lenses tends to be better.

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    I clearly see that composing is not so great when doing a crop.
    However composing with an external viewfinder or an groundglass and a loupe isnt so easy either. (both ways are very difficult though)
    Maybe I shouldnt oversee the software solution, for the occasional use where I need Shift.

    The perspective I also have to understand first...meaning cropping would leave me less foreground in the image..I assume its the same from the side - where I could shoot a building with streight lines but still seeing the side and the front (lets say I stand 45 degrees in front/to the side of the building) while I could not achieve this with cropping?

    The last thing is photographic experience, and that is something where I really like the Artec way of shooting, first levelling the camera and then doing the detailed shifting etc.
    Ideally I would want a >=33MP back again for the Artec, but hard for me to justify for very occasional use. I will still look further at the used market and time would work for me.

    By the way one advantage of cropping or the software solution would be that it avoids a lot of color shifting /need for white shading.

    Back to the S2...I see there are allready solutins for shifting Hassy and Rollei lenses on the S2, maybe one day there will be one for shifting Leica lenses on the S2 as well? I wonder if the image circle of the S2 lenses has some room for that or not.

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    Re: cropping vs shifting

    I see there are allready solutins for shifting Hassy and Rollei lenses on the S2

    what is it ?

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