It's a well-known tenet that Perspective Control (PC) or tilt/shift lenses
are intended for shooting architectural subjects. But who says you have to use
them that way?
tilt/shift lenses from Canon allow tilting on one axis while shifting
perpendicular to that axis. On this shot of Point Piños the
depth of field provided by the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L was adequate without
using this feature but it can be used to optimize focus in some
All Photos © 2006, Joseph A. Dickerson, All Rights Reserved
A PC lens lets you do a certain amount of tilt/shift, rise/fall control, a
limited equivalent to a technique that view camera photographers can fully exploit
via the movable standards on their gear. Canon offers three such lenses: the
TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, the TS-E 45mm f/2.8, and the TS-E 90mm f/2.8. For Nikon users
there is the amazing PC Micro Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D. So what do you do if you don't
shoot with Canon or Nikon gear? Well, there are PC (shift only) lenses offered
for other systems--check the manufacturer's website to see if there
is one for your camera.
images are added to Panorama Maker 3.0 in the order that you want
them stitched (left to right), then click on Include All. This will
start the stitching process and take you to the next dialog screen.
Zörkendorfer manufactures tilt/shift attachments that can be adapted
to fit many cameras, including medium format. Both Horseman and Wista (HP Marketing)
have recently introduced view camera-like devices that convert a normal SLR
camera into a mini view camera.
screen shows the complete panorama, you can zoom in to inspect the
areas where the images join to make sure there are no anomalies.
You can also use the Fine Tune tool if you find any problems.
One exciting technique I have been playing with for a while now is stitching
images together in the computer to create composite panoramas. It's a
blast and it creates images that look like they were shot with a dedicated panoramic
camera. My fascination with panoramas started when I acquired a 6x12cm rollfilm
back for my 4x5 view camera. I really like the wide aspect ratio, the 6x12cm
rollfilm back is easy to use, and the 6x12cm negatives will print on a standard
4x5 enlarger. As my interest in panoramas grew I looked into shooting 6x17cm,
but found the cameras somewhat limited and, for me, too expensive. The Hasselblad
XPan seemed like a great compromise but I really didn't need yet another
camera system. While the XPan is no longer being produced you can still find
some dealer stock and used models.
completed panorama. You can choose what you want to do with it and
where you'd like to save it. I save mine as TIFF files and
save them to the desktop. I then open them in Photoshop to size
and optimize them.
Then serendipity showed up in an opportunity to take a panoramic class taught
by George Lepp and Brian Lawler at the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging in
Los Osos, California. Long-time friends of mine, and panoramic photographers
extraordinaire, Lepp and Lawler taught us to stitch images together using Photoshop
or an inexpensive, easy to use, software called Panorama Maker 3.0 by ArcSoft.
Problem solved, sorta. This eliminated the need for a specialized camera system
but the shots are not always simple to align. Care must be taken to allow enough
overlap of the images to facilitate the matching of elements within adjoining
frames. But with proper technique and attention to detail even 360Þ panoramas
are possible using virtually any camera.