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Comments on Gigapan: Marcellus Gas Well Drilling

Gigapan Comments (3)

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  1. The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661"

    The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" (November 12, 2010, 10:37PM )

    What Man says is completely correct in my opinion. My eyesight is not good enough to focus manually, so I can't use Man's hybrid technique, but his gigapan www.gigapan.org/gigapans/64732/ is pretty good evidence that he knows what he is talking about.

  2. Man Garnier

    Man Garnier (November 12, 2010, 02:37AM )

    Not sure how I arrived here but thought I should comment. I'm finding that a combination of using the hyperfocal distance setting (this involves focusing on a main subject which when in sharp focus and at a particular chosen aperture chosen by you for a variety of reasons - will have acceptably sharp focus 1/3rd in front of the main subject and where thie acceptably sharp focus generally extends to 2/3rds behind the main subject) and 'pausing' the Gigapan when the focus will obviously be out-of-focus (OoF) and re-focusing to ensure sharp focus - produces the results you have been looking for. The degree of Depth-of-Field (DoF) you obtain will rely on the nearness of your main subject (There is less DoF for near subjects as you may have noticed when shooting images very near to you and then say, focusing on something in the mid-distance. When you pause the Gigapan - don't panic - it will hold that mode for quite long enough for you to focus and press the continuation button - just relax otherwise you are liable to get some camera movement in your enthusiasm to continue. It is useful to have some small colour markers that stick onto your lens barrel (careful where you stick them - i.e. not on adjacent moving parts!). Like this you can identify the actual hyperfocal distance appropriate for you (hyperfocal distance extends in front and beyond the focused point as stressed - again - 1/3rd in front and 2/3rds beyound the focused point). It follows that a smaller aperture of say f/16 will have a greater DoF than the same lens at f/5.6. I mention the 'same' lens as different focal length lenses will give different results and if you are using a zoom - it is a possibility that it is not quite the same as a fixed focus lens. With shorter focal length lenses it is not so much of a problem as you'll find that a 'normal' subject (landscape) will be in focus at f/8 from about 3 or 4 ft to infinity (acceptably sharp. I'm assuming you will be using 200mm and longer lenses for a reasonable Gigapan though - it is here where the combination of using the hyperfocal distance and some straight manual focusing will be useful. I'm still careful not to expose for longer than 1/30th second for most subjects but of course you can control your speed and aperture by the fantastic high ISO's available on professional cameras. This provides other problems of 'noise' loss of definition and so forth. Noise can be significantly reduced in PhotoShop CS5 - and the Canon system 5D Mk11 and above (your choice) is overcoming such loss of quality quite nicely. Haven't used Nikon for years but I hear they are excellent too. Quite like to do a comparison with both systems on the same subject and place them side-by-side on the Gigapan website. Are you afraid to do this Canon/Nikon? I favour Canon but I'm willing to be convinced.

  3. The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661"

    The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" (November 06, 2010, 11:37PM )

    You mention "multiple focus issues". I think you are referring to the problem of gigapans like this requiring a depth of field from a few meters to infinity. One approach is use autofocus, another is to use a manual focus and change it as the gigapan shoots and another is to use manual focus set at the hyperfocal distance. I find the first is unsatisfactory because I have no control over what is in focus and this can lead to stitching problems. The second approach is fiddly and error-prone but is probably the only choice if you are after perfection. Of course the problem is that it is not practical to change the focus for every shot but in a scene like this the focal point is about the same distance for each row, so if you shoot in rows then you 'only' have to change the focus each row. In theory. If you use a small enough aperture? The question mark is because I don't use this technique myself so I am only guessing. I use the third method. I decide on an aperture for the shot and then guess where the hyperfocal point is, then I take some test shots from near to far to check the sharpness. Often the immediate foreground is of no real interest (eg it is a field of grass) so I don't mind if the foreground is out of focus. Once the focus is set I can leave the gigapan to run without interuption. Not having to worry about focusing leaves me free to think about other things that can go wrong during the shoot eg people walking in front of the camera, the light changing due to clouds, the camera not taking images because the card is full or the shutter arm slipping off the shutter button (if using Epic or EPic 100) etc etc. Having said all that, I will say that other people are better at getting a good depth of field than me :-)