Friday, March 3, 2023

Flat Stitched 617 Digital Panos

In the last few posts I've discussed how I approach achieving a 617-style panoramic image by the use of rotation and/or shifting, eg with my 24mm TSE lens. 

In this post, I'll discuss how I achieve full flat stitching, which results in near zero image-to-image distortion and no need to worry about locating the entrance pupil's location.

Before discussing how I do it, let's cut to the chase and say how you should do it: that is go out and buy into this solution:

That is buy an Alpa 12 Pano and, of course, a Phase One IQ4 150 back, which, with a couple of suitable lenses, will set you back some $50,000 or more. 

OK, like me you most probably can't afford $50k, so the question is: can we have some fun at the other end of the affordability scale?

My starting point is a suitable tripod and, as I wish to travel lightish, I'm drawn to the Peak Design Carbon Fibre Travel Tripod, as it comes with a built in levelling capability: so I don't need to buy a additional levelling base. Plus, of course, I’ve already got it ;-)

The next part of the solution is to fit a panning base, which, ideally, should have variable click settings. The one I have chosen is the Andover PAN-60H:

The above, with the tripod, gives me the ability to establish a level panning plane, irrespective of the tripod orientation, so I can rotate my camera in the landscape and know I'm level. To complete things I then add a Sirui L-10 tilt head, giving me full control of composition:

Finally, I now need to consider the camera and the lenses. First, l’ll replace the Alpa 12 Pano with something a little bit more affordable: a Fotodiox Vizelex RhinoCam, in my case for Canon EOS M Cameras and Mamiya 645 Lenses:

As for an alternative to the Phase One IQ4 back, I use two (secondhand) EOS-Ms and have one converted to InfraRed, at a 720nm cut:

Finally, having decided to use Mamiya 645 ecosystem lenses, I acquired three secondhand, near mint, lenses from eBay at 35mm, 45mm and 150m, eg:

The final 'rig' looking like this:

As my intention in this post was only to introduce my really poor man’s version of the Alpa 12 Pano system, I’ll draw this post to a close, but end with a glance into what can be achieved using this fully flat stitching solution - in this case using my IR digital back with the 45mm lens:

After taking two rows of three images, pano stitching them in Lightroom, cropping to a 617 format, I ended up with a digital image file that was 13243x4674, which is equivalent to having a single sensor that was some 70 mm x 25 mm.

As usual I welcome any comments on this post or any of my posts.



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