Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Medium Format from a 35mm DSLR

Image: 5D Mk I, 70-200 f2.8 L IS, 5 shot panorama, Snake River Bend, BH-1 ball head, Gitzo CF 3530 tripod.
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Image: 5D Mk I, 24-105 f4 L IS,
5 shot panorama, Grand Tetons, BH-1 ball head, Gitzo CF 3530 tripod.
See larger image here

Shooting panoramas can be a lot of fun, the real pay off comes when its time to print and with today's cameras, that means large format printing. I have made some panoramas that in reality are just to big to print and frame, the frame being to prohibitive from a cost stand point, I can print a shot at 24" x 72" and the cost is maybe $25 in ink and paper (my time not included) but to get it framed and mated would run around $400 for a half way decent frame with UV glass, museum glass would double that cost. I try to keep my panorama's down to 2 or 3 shots now and when ever possible I shoot them in portrait mode to get a taller picture in which case I may shoot 5-7 shots. Whats required ? a good tripod that you can level, Ball head and at minimum a 50mm lens, special pano heads are not needed unless you are shooting architecture or other technical work that requires zero parallax. Don't shoot to wide and in most cases don't use a CPL or your shots wont stitch together, know how to use exposure lock and have a decent software program for stitching and blending your work together: Ptgui, Panorama Maker or CS4 are some good programs that come to mind. Experiment and see what works. You can get shots that only a medium format digital camera could have done. I have shot panoramas from 24mm to 170mm
it is very easy, you need to move fast in dynamic conditions, like seascapes and landscapes, try dry shooting the shot first to see what you will get and do a few shots, then change focal length and try it again.

Ross Murphy Images In Light

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