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57062Re: [PanoToolsNG] RE: Questions shooting panos in low light & busy environments

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  • Robert Fisher
    Oct 26, 2013

      On Oct 26, 2013, at 11:27 AM, <lovefilm@...> wrote:


      Thanks Robert - you gave me some ideas I hadn't thought of - at least not for use with panos.  I never thought to use my camera's Live View for a panorama, believing that was only useful for product photography (which is the only time I do use it).

      I was looking at the Zacuto viewfinder last year when I was hoping to shoot a video project.  Again, never thought of using that type of equipment for panos.  But those would add a lot more bulk I think.  Instead maybe Magic Lantern's focus tools would be better.

      I use the finder because I can see the screen to focus and judge exposure. The rear LCD is a pain to use in full sun! I will use anything to help me make better images. I was working on a museum job shooting vintage aircraft interiors and had lot of issues using the rear screen on my 7D so I picked up a 60D and it was awesome to use. The rear screen orients to make it much more usable. It was either that or an off camera monitor via HDMI out on the camera. Most of my video gear I use to shoot stills.

       I have not used the latest version though - not sure if it works with the 7D.  But also I'm nervous to try it because with the new ISO bracketing features it supposedly does more manipulation to he camera's actual firmware and looks to me to be more risky to install (the previous version for the 7D was installed on the compact flash card and not change the camera's firmware).

      I put ML on the 60D so I can use the extended bracketing features but haven't used it much.My Nikon D200 was great since I could shoot 9 exposures 1 stop apart and use any of the exposures for exposure fusion in post. Thats what I was looking for with ML on the 60D.

      Going back to the focus issue, though, the idea of having a fixed focus and not having to adjust for that during composition is very appealing as I'm trying to do more action panos. So Maybe the softer focus in some areas of the pano just might be one of the compromises I need to accept for such shooting.

      If you are shooting a lot of panos under similar conditions, A live concert or similar, then you could figure out a focus distance and set it for the night and if you need then change. I don't think I would use the Sigma 8mm at f3.5 but f4-5.6 is usable enough. I had the previous Sigma 8mm f4.0 and after I tested it I found it pretty sharp at f8-11. Above or below really sucked. I also found clarity, or sharpness, in the background suffered under some circumstances, others it was quit good. Really depended on focus, aperture, and position of the sun and moon. Just about anyone can shoot a passable pano but it takes a craftsman to learn how his tools work to make the best images he can.

      Robert Fisher
      VR Photographer + Cinematography

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