Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sweep Panoramas

I don't think I am alone in wishing that I had a digital panoramic camera similar to a Linhof Technorama 617. There are 2 problems that keep me from buying one. The first is the the price - $4500 and the second is that it shoots film. In 2000 I stopped using film and have no intention of going back to it. I have been making panoramic photographs since 1974 when I would shoot several overlapping photographs, print them and then glue them together. In the 1980s Fuji introduced a very nice panoramic film camera. I pasted a photograph of it above my desk. In the 1990s still unable to afford either a Linhof or Fuji panoramic camera, I began to work with in camera panoramic masks in 35mm and 4x5. In the 2000s I began to use Photoshop to make panoramic photographs. In 2011 I began using a Samsung Galaxy S cellphone camera which has in camera stitching. I liked how I could see the finished photograph on site rather than waiting to download the photographs to my computer and edit them with imaging software. On August 2 I wrote about mirrorless cameras in my blog post- "Beyond Digital Point-And-Shoot". In October 2011 I bought a Sony NEX-5 hoping to go beyond my cellphone panoramics in terms of resolution.

The resolution from this camera is everything I hoped it to be, but the stitching process could be much better. Much of what I shot with my Samsung phone is impossible to shoot with my Sony camera. I really love this Sony camera. It is one of the most versatile cameras I have ever owned. Perhaps creating a stitching algorithm that meets my standards is impossible. I use this camera handheld. Quite often when I sweep across a scene it cannot capture it and I get an error message. Photographing moving groups of people is close to impossible. The people will often appear with 2 heads, 4 legs or other bizarre although sometimes delightful configurations. I get about 5% of what I try to capture compared to about 70% with the phone. The prints are finely detailed and absolutely beautiful. I would like to see a camera or stitching software where I can get 50% of what I try to photograph.

 © 2012 Paul Light all rights reserved


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredible quest there. What occurred after? Thanks!
My web blog ... Boudoir Photography

5:36 AM  
Blogger Paul Light said...

I continue to make panoramics with the Sony camera. Here is a link to them

4:17 PM  

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