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Author Topic: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail  (Read 7080 times)

Flake

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 06:46:07 PM »
It always raises a wry smile when people discuss pano heads, because I know that sooner or later someone will mention the 'Nodal Point' without a clue what it is.

In fact the Nodal point is the point on a lens element where the light bends, here is what Wikipedia has to say:

"The nodal points are widely misunderstood in photography, where it is commonly asserted that the light rays "intersect" at "the nodal point", that the iris diaphragm of the lens is located there, and that this is the correct pivot point for panoramic photography, so as to avoid parallax error. These claims generally arise from confusion about the optics of camera lenses, as well as confusion between the nodal points and the other cardinal points of the system. (A better choice of the point about which to pivot a camera for panoramic photography can be shown to be the centre of the system's entrance pupil. On the other hand, swing-lens cameras with fixed film position rotate the lens about the rear nodal point to stabilize the image on the film."

No doubt there'll be plenty of the usual smites for putting people right - yet another good reason for getting rid of it.


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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 06:46:07 PM »

Quasimodo

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 06:48:51 PM »
I have another suggestion. Try a lens that goes fairly wide, and shoot multiple overlapping shots vertically with free hand, and use the automate stitch in CS5.
For landscapes that might work, as slight shifts in the position of the camera won't have any noticeable effects on the angle of view of far-away things.

When you're indoors or working with closer objects, you'll need the precision of a tripod with the pivot point being at the optical center of the lens. Small shifts in camera position will result in visible changes in the angle of view as the things you're taking pictures of are close by.

Thank you:) that is useful information
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Flake

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2012, 06:54:10 PM »
Neuro, he could use the rail as a slingshot and pivot on the nodal point of the lens...

, and you can mark it on the rail/plate for each lens for future reference.


No you can't because the point changes position with both focal length on a zoom, and with focus.  The best you can hope to do is to get a close approximation and work from there.

A Pano head is only really useful where there is good perspective, objects close to the lens and further away.  If everything is more or less in the same focal plane then software will make a good job of it.  These days the software is so good that even without a pano head it will make a 'perfect' stitch, which is why I sold mine.

iaind

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2012, 06:58:56 PM »
Picked up a 24mk1 used for less than 1/3 cheapest price of mk2. Can do without the pivot of Mk2.

Its another option

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Flake

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2012, 07:15:41 PM »
Didn't take long for someone to hit the smite button did it? 

wickidwombat

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2012, 07:16:11 PM »
It always raises a wry smile when people discuss pano heads, because I know that sooner or later someone will mention the 'Nodal Point' without a clue what it is.

In fact the Nodal point is the point on a lens element where the light bends, here is what Wikipedia has to say:

"The nodal points are widely misunderstood in photography, where it is commonly asserted that the light rays "intersect" at "the nodal point", that the iris diaphragm of the lens is located there, and that this is the correct pivot point for panoramic photography, so as to avoid parallax error. These claims generally arise from confusion about the optics of camera lenses, as well as confusion between the nodal points and the other cardinal points of the system. (A better choice of the point about which to pivot a camera for panoramic photography can be shown to be the centre of the system's entrance pupil. On the other hand, swing-lens cameras with fixed film position rotate the lens about the rear nodal point to stabilize the image on the film."

No doubt there'll be plenty of the usual smites for putting people right - yet another good reason for getting rid of it.
I've been wondering how to find the nodal points on canon lenses, some nikon lenses have it marked on the barrel. Do you know where the nodal points are for canon lenses?
so you are saying set the front element is a better point to rotate about? interesting since i use the gigapan its easy to fix the point at the start of the panorama but as you say there is so much conjecture around about which point is best.
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Neeneko

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2012, 07:35:01 PM »
You want options?  Here is a whole page of options:

http://www.stitchpix.com/options.html

I am looking at the same question myself but have not settled on which way to go yet, though both the Zork and Novoflex look about right.

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2012, 07:35:01 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2012, 07:40:23 PM »
Didn't take long for someone to hit the smite button did it?

I gave you an applaud to counteract it  :-*
APS-H Fanboy

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2012, 11:40:01 PM »
Didn't take long for someone to hit the smite button did it?

I gave you an applaud to counteract it  :-*

Same here, I appreciated the explanation.  Somehow I recall reading that, but have forgotton it.

wickidwombat

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2012, 11:57:28 PM »
You want options?  Here is a whole page of options:

http://www.stitchpix.com/options.html

I am looking at the same question myself but have not settled on which way to go yet, though both the Zork and Novoflex look about right.


I use novoflex gear, its top shelf quality but expensive as hell

I also have the gigapan epic pro which i dont use nearly as much as i would like to :(
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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2012, 12:17:27 AM »
Probably the easiest and cheapest way for you to take those architectural shots is to get a tripod with rollers on it that you can lock so it runs straight.

Use a prime lens and push the trolley top the left side, take a picture, then shift the whole thing to the right so you still get overlap, then move right again etc and when you've got everything in the set that you want, stitch it together in Photoshop, or in Elements.
That way, you won't get problems with curvature etc.

A tilt-shift lens won't fix the problems you are encountering.
They are mainly designed to get a certain part of the picture in or out of focus, and for parralex errors, and won't neccesairly be able to get a whole room in perfect focus, without a lot of fiddling experimentation.

It's easy to find the nodal point of your lens.
Place 2 sticks vertically in front of, but slightly to the side of the camera on the tripod, and keep one about 4 or 5 ft behind the other.
Adjust the position of the camera on the tripod so that when you pan the camera, the sticks stay together and don't get further apart as you pan.
There's a good explanation and a video of it on the www.Acratech.net site.
Once you've done it a couple of times, it only takes about a minute to do.

anim8r79

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2012, 11:51:10 AM »
Thanks for all the great advice!  I think I'll rent the 24mm TS and give it a spin.

Now to figure out if the 5D MkIII is really worth the extra $$$ over the MkII...

Neeneko

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2012, 12:52:53 PM »
Now to figure out if the 5D MkIII is really worth the extra $$$ over the MkII...

If you are primarily doing architectural shots, then no, it really is probably not worth it.  The high framerate, ISO, and fast AF give you and advantage in moving targets, but buildings are generally pretty damn slow, thus giving one plenty of time to focus and get good low light shots via simply increasing the shutter time.

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2012, 12:52:53 PM »

kirispupis

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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2012, 12:53:14 PM »
There is one thing I am a bit confused about: why is the focus so much on panos in real estate photography?

I am a real estate photographer and do not see any requests for panos.  Early in my career I took them and no one used them.  There are some agents who use 360 panos - which are quite a bit different - though around here no one asks for them because many of the local MLS sites do not support them.  Anyways for 360 panos a TS-E 24 would be a major pain.  The 8-15 fisheye would be more useful for that purpose.

I have the TS-E 24 II, TS-E 17, and TS-E 90 and only use tilt shifts for my RE work.  I use them for their architectural shift capabilities - not for their ability to take two shot panos.  By shifting I can easily choose how much floor vs. ceiling I want in my shot while keeping my verticals straight.  It is extremely important for emphasizing the key selling points of the room.  I typically use my TS-E 24 II for exteriors, TS-E 17 for interiors, and TS-E 90 on rare occasions for shots from docks or distance views of the property.

Outside of RE, I occasionally take panos.  There I have found a macro rail to be useful for adjusting to the nodal point of the lens.  I own two different macro rails - a Really Right Stuff XY rail (two rails stacked) and the Stackshot from Cognisys.  In the past I owned the Kirk rail but sold it in favor of the RRS.  The RRS rails is more precise and much stronger.  For panos I only use the RRS rail.

For macro I would definitely buy the best rail possible (Stackshot) but panos do not put much stress on the rail so even a cheap one will do.
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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2012, 12:55:03 PM »
It always raises a wry smile when people discuss pano heads, because I know that sooner or later someone will mention the 'Nodal Point' without a clue what it is.

In fact the Nodal point is the point on a lens element where the light bends, here is what Wikipedia has to say:

"The nodal points are widely misunderstood in photography, where it is commonly asserted that the light rays "intersect" at "the nodal point", that the iris diaphragm of the lens is located there, and that this is the correct pivot point for panoramic photography, so as to avoid parallax error. These claims generally arise from confusion about the optics of camera lenses, as well as confusion between the nodal points and the other cardinal points of the system. (A better choice of the point about which to pivot a camera for panoramic photography can be shown to be the centre of the system's entrance pupil. On the other hand, swing-lens cameras with fixed film position rotate the lens about the rear nodal point to stabilize the image on the film."

No doubt there'll be plenty of the usual smites for putting people right - yet another good reason for getting rid of it.
I've been wondering how to find the nodal points on canon lenses, some nikon lenses have it marked on the barrel. Do you know where the nodal points are for canon lenses?
so you are saying set the front element is a better point to rotate about? interesting since i use the gigapan its easy to fix the point at the start of the panorama but as you say there is so much conjecture around about which point is best.
Turn on live-view, rotate the camera/lens, and check for parallax.  Adjust pano head until the foreground doesn't move w.r.t. the background.  Mark the position on the pano head to save you time next time around.

Nodal points are defined based on a cross-over of light beams in a single element lens.  For multi-element lenses it's a theoretical spot only.  Light bends at each element, so it's not the location "where the light bends".


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Re: Tilt-Shift Lens vs. Macro Slide Rail
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2012, 12:55:03 PM »