PanoTwin Markus shooting the courtyard of Städel Museum Frankfurt/M.

This image shows a behind-the-scenes impression of PanoTwin Markus shooting the courtyard of Städel Museum in Frankfurt/M.

PanoTwin Markus shooting the courtyard of Städel Museum Frankfurt/M.
PanoTwin Markus shooting the courtyard of Städel Museum Frankfurt/M.

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Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: SLT-A99
Exposure Time (sec): 1/2500
F-Number: 2.8
Focal Length (mm): 200
Lens: Sony 70mm-200mm/2.8 G(D)SSM
ISO: 100

Tilt experiments with Kipon Tilt adapter for Nikon lenses on Sony NEX cameras

Kipon manufactures an adapter which enables you to mount any lens with a Nikon F-mount to your Sony NEX camera. Additionally the adapter can be tilted in any direction. Tilting in this context means, that the lens is pivoted out of the optical axis of the lens.

The two following images illustrate this concept. In the first image the lens was tilted to the right (from the photographers point of view). In the second image the lens was tilted to the left (from the photographers point of view).

Nikon Nikkor 20mm/2.8 AI-s on Sony NEX-7 (tilted right)
Nikon Nikkor 20mm/2.8 AI-s on Sony NEX-7 (tilted right)
Nikon Nikkor 20mm/2.8 AI-s on Sony NEX-7 (tilted left)
Nikon Nikkor 20mm/2.8 AI-s on Sony NEX-7 (tilted left)

You can use a tilted lens to orient the plane of focus of your optical system in special ways. Normally you use a tilting lens so that the plane of focus is oriented in a way which maximizes the visually sharp areas of your image. Theodor Scheimpflug was the first person who described these facts and therefore the priciple is called the Scheimpflug principle.

But in the following example I tilted the lens in order to orient the plane of focus in a way which minimized the sharp areas of the image. As this looks nearly identical to a very shallow depth of field, the observer mostly gets the impression, that he is only looking on a photographed mock-up of a landscape rather than a real landscape.

Tilt experiment with Kipon NIK-NEX adapter and Nikon Nikkor 20mm/2.8 AI-s on Sony NEX-5
Tilt experiment with Kipon NIK-NEX adapter and Nikon Nikkor 20mm/2.8 AI-s on Sony NEX-5

In order to get this image, the lens was tilted and the camera was pointed down. Back at home, the vertical lines of the buildings were brought back to vertical alignment. In other words I tilted in the real world and shifted in the digital world…

Wireless remote control and panorama setup for Sony NEX-7

Markus already wrote two articles about controlling the NEX-5 with a wireless remote control. The first article presented the code and the schematics. In the second article he wrote about the final ‘product’, a boxed version of his Arduino.

Inspired by his design I tried to reduce the size. Therefore I didn’t implement the infrared receiver part and I also used a Arduino Nano instead of a regular Arduino. And I also used a smaller radio receiver. I finally had these components.

Radio transmitter, opened controller-box, trigger
Radio transmitter, opened controller-box, trigger
Radio transmitter, opened controller-box, trigger
Radio transmitter, opened controller-box, trigger

The next image shows a detailed view of the guts inside the box. With all the connecting cables and the two circuit boards there is not much space left.

Arduino Nano, radio receiver, cables
Arduino Nano, radio receiver, cables

The next images are showing the final setup. The trigger is attached to the camera. The controler box is connected to the trigger. The radio transmitter is ready to fire.

Sony NEX-7 with attached trigger, controller box, radio transmitter
Sony NEX-7 with attached trigger, controller box, radio transmitter
Sony NEX-7 with attached trigger, controller box, radio transmitter
Sony NEX-7 with attached trigger, controller box, radio transmitter

The following image shows a detail of the mounted trigger on the Sony NEX-7. I used some florist wire to attach the circuit board to the connector of the hand strap. On the other side the circuit board is glued to an hotshoe adapter which connects to the hotshoe of the camera.

Sony NEX-7 with attached trigger (detail)
Sony NEX-7 with attached trigger (detail)

And finally some images of the complete panorama setup, including a custom made lens bracket (in fact it’s a simple pipe clamp from the hardware store), a Novoflex Alpha- to E-Mount adapter and a Sigma 8mm/4.0 fisheye. For panoramic photography this setup is used on top of a double-monopod construction.

The weigtht of the shown setup is 1145 g (2 lb 8 oz). My old setup (Sony Alpha 900 with shaved Sigma 10mm/2.8) has 1710 g (3 lb 12 oz). In both cases this includes camera, lens, adapter, bracket, trigger, controller box, batteries and memory card.

Both setups delivers equirectangulars with the same size (10.000 x 5.000) and with both setups I shoot 4 around and mostly no up and no down shot.

Complete setup (back view)
Complete setup (back view)
Complete setup (right view)
Complete setup (right view)
Complete setup (front view)
Complete setup (front view)
Complete setup (left view, wake up)
Complete setup (left view, wake up)
Complete setup (left view, trigger)
Complete setup (left view, trigger)

And here is the new setup in action.

Shooting a horizontal pole panorama
Shooting a horizontal pole panorama

Click here to view some panoramic images which were taken with this setup.

Another Experiment With a Cinemagraph

The original footage has been taken from a Full- HD movie. I exported some frames of the film to individual images and used Photoshop CS6 to create this cinemagraph (in fact it’s an animated GIF image).

View over Husavik harbour
View over Husavik harbour

Lessons learned: Use a tripod!

As I didn’t use a tripod in the shoot, I had to align each of the images to minimize the movement between frames.

Comparing corrected and uncorrected images of CV12mm/5.6 on Sony NEX-7

In a post from yesterday I analyzed a series of images from the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 on my Sony NEX-7 in order to identify the best aperture for maximum resolution. I wondered about the impact of my corrections at the stage of post-processing the images. To answer this question I picked the image taken with an aperture of f=8 and compare a uncorrected and a corrected version of the image.

While post-processing the uncorrected image I did the following:

  • conversion from ARW- to DNG-format
    (Adobe DNG Converter 6.6.0.261)
  • input sharpening in Adobe Camera Raw
    (Sharpn. = 25, Shrp.Radius = +1.0, Shrp.Detail = 25, Shrp.EdgeMasking = 0)
  • noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LuminanceSmoothing = 0, Col.NoiseReduction = 25, Col.NoiseRed.Detail = 50)
Magenta cast and vignetting in corners uncorrected, distortion and chromatic aberrations also uncorrected.
Full image (uncorrected) with marked crop locations

While post-processing the corrected image I did the following:

  • conversion from ARW- to DNG-format
    (Adobe DNG Converter 6.6.0.261)
  • correction of magenta cast in the corners and vignetting with cornerfix
    (cornerfix 1.4.2.0)
  • correction of chromatic aberration in Adobe Camera Raw
    (ChromaticAberrationR = -15, ChromaticAberrationB = +8)
  • correction of distortion in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LensManualDistortionAmount = +3, PerspectiveScale = 101)
  • input sharpening in Adobe Camera Raw
    (Sharpn. = 25, Shrp.Radius = +1.0, Shrp.Detail = 25, Shrp.EdgeMasking = 0)
  • noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LuminanceSmoothing = 0, Col.NoiseReduction = 25, Col.NoiseRed.Detail = 50)
Corners corrected with cornerfix, distortion and chromatic aberrations corrected with Adobe Camera RAW
Full image (corrected) with marked crop locations

For each of the marked locations in the full image I extracted a square (250 pixel * 250 pixel) which I will present at it’s original resolution. These images are not sharpened except for the same input sharpening with the raw converter. They are saved for web with a quality-setting of 60%.

Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8 (uncorrected)
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8 (uncorrected)

Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8 (corrected)
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8 (corrected)

In my opinion it’s clearly visible that the applied correction didn’t reduce the resolution of the image and therefore the identification of the best aperture for maximum resolution is not affected by these corrections.

Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 (on Sony NEX-7) at different apertures

Recently I started using a Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 on my Sony NEX-7. In two other articles I already described how to configure your NEX-7 for maximum assistance with manual lenses, how to attach the lens to the camera and how to post-process the images to eliminate the magenta cast in the corners.

As I am aware of the fact, that any combination of lens and body has it’s maximum sharpness at a specific aperture I did a series of test images to find this maximum. My subject was the front of a building. It has a nearly flat surface and the clinker bricks contain a lot of fractal details. The camera was mounted on a tripod whose distance to the wall was approximately 15 meters (approximately 50 feet). Images were taken with self-timer to prevent any camera-shake. Focus was set at the first exposure which was taken at f=5.6. The image quality was set to RAW (6,000 pixel * 4,000 pixel).

While post-processing the images I did the following:

  • conversion from ARW- to DNG-format
    (Adobe DNG Converter 6.6.0.261)
  • correction of magenta cast in the corners and vignetting with cornerfix
    (cornerfix 1.4.2.0)
  • correction of chromatic aberration in Adobe Camera Raw
    (ChromaticAberrationR = -15, ChromaticAberrationB = +8)
  • correction of distortion in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LensManualDistortionAmount = +3, PerspectiveScale = 101)
  • input sharpening in Adobe Camera Raw
    (Sharpn. = 25, Shrp.Radius = +1.0, Shrp.Detail = 25, Shrp.EdgeMasking = 0)
  • noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LuminanceSmoothing = 0, Col.NoiseReduction = 25, Col.NoiseRed.Detail = 50)

The following image (at f=8) was scaled to 1,500 pixel * 1,000 pixel, sharpened and saved for web with a quality-setting of 60%.

Corners corrected with cornerfix, distortion and chromatic aberrations corrected with Adobe Camera RAW
Full image with marked crop locations

For each of the marked locations in the full image I extracted a square (250 pixel * 250 pixel) which I will present at it’s original resolution. These images are not sharpened except for the same input sharpening with the raw converter. They are saved for web with a quality-setting of 60%.

Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@5.6
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@5.6
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@11
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@11
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@16
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@16
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@22
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@22

In my opinion it’s easy to see that the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 reaches it’s maximum sharpness at an aperture around 8 on a Sony NEX-7. If you stop further down diffraction starts to limit the resolution. For further reading on this issue try to start at this page at diglloyd.com.

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Panotwin Markus shooting the subway station Westfriedhof for WWP ‘Color’

Today I was searching for an image of the subway station Westfriedhof in Munich. As I browsed my database I found the following image of Panotwin Markus shooting the Munich subway station Westfriedhof with a double monopod setup.

Panotwin Markus doing a poleshot.
Panotwin Markus doing a poleshot.

The final panorama is hosted at the WWP event ‘Color’.
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Happy new year 2012

This year we started with a photographic experiment. We recruited two assistants and used some sparklers to write 2012 in the air.

In this image we used sparklers to write 2012 in the air.
2012 written with sparklers

With this image we wish you happiness, luck and health for 2012. And of course a lot of new panoramic images 🙂

Exposure Time: 6 sec
F-Number: 11
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO: 200