September 14, 2017

Panoramic Comparison

For some time now, I have been curious too see how modern digital ‘stitched pans’ using tilt/shift lenses compare to traditional 6x12 and 6x17 film formats.
While the mental approach to shooting and stitching can be debated, I wanna see what I get at the end of the road and what each approach offers.
So here is what I did: I compared 3 tilt/shift lenses, two wide angle zooms, a prime, two traditional panoramic film formats and just for good measure, I threw in a 35mm Russian swing lens camera (two actually) and shot a couple sheets with a 65mm lens on 4x5.
The first three panos from the top were made by combining or stitching three pictures together from tilt shift lenses. For the first picture, the lens was shifted as far to the left as it could go (+/-12mm for the 17mm and 24mm, +/-11mm for the 45mm). The second shot, the lens was centered and the third was shifted all the way to the right. The three individual frames were then stitched together in Lightroom yielding a 6x15.079 pano.  The three lenses were the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L, 24mm f/3.5L II and the 45mm f/2.8. 
The next three shots were made with super wide-angle lenses and cropped the same 6x15.079 ratio of the tilt shift panos. These lenses were the Canon 14mm f/2.8L vII, the new 16-35mm f/2.8L III (on a 5D mkIV body) and my favorite little travel companion the EF-M 11-22mm on a mirrorless Canon M6 body.
The next two shots were made with traditional panoramic (film) camera formats, a 6x12 camera with a 65mm f/5.6 Super Angulon and a probably the most traditional or classic panoramic format, a 6x17 with a 90mm Super Angulon.
And just because I was interested to see how it would size up,  I shot with a couple Russian Horizon swing lens cameras and shot a couple sheets of 4x5 with my ultralight wide camera with a 65mm f/8 Super Angulon.
While the 6x12 and 6x17 cameras are a joy to use, the quality and precision that is afforded with modern tools just can't be beat.
It also should be mentioned that I knew exactly how the digital pans looked without heading to the post office to Priority Mail the film to the lab, waiting a day to drive to into the city to (pay money) get the film, bring it home to scan it and put it all together. Ironically, the film wasn't actually scanned, I used the same camera body to shoot a digital file of the film.  Full circle?

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