I’ve had a Gigapan robotic panorama head sitting around for a few years now, waiting for a camera that was a good match for it. I picked up a used Olympus Pen-2 from Craigslist a couple weeks ago. My buddy Carmine Filloramo found a nice clean Olympus 50mm f1.8 lens on the $5 table at Simonds Photographic in East Hartford, CT and sent it down for me to use. With the addition of an inexpensive adapter, I mounted it to the EP2, mounted up the EP2 to the Gigapan, charged the batteries and went for a shoot.
I used an ancient (well, 30 years old) Gitzo tripod with a Fanotec leveler to mount the Gigapan.A front was coming through the area, but luckily the sun did finally peak out at sunset . I shot several sequences, and went through several sets of batteries on the Gigapan. I shot both jpgs ang RAW files, and did a quick assembly of the jpgs to get an idea of which images to proceed with. This saves assembly time and also shows where the areas of concern will be in the final assembly. I shot a total of 6 panos, and did a rough assembly on numbers 4 and 5:
I decided to go with version 4, because I liked the focus on the water and sky better than the strong geometric shapes formed by the overhead bridge in version 5. Both had many misaligned frames that needed to be adjusted, and the color of the sky needed to be brought out, as well as the exposure balanced out between the center of the frame and the edges.
After converting the RAW captures to 16 bit tiff files in Adobe Lightroom, I did the assembly and stitching in PT Gui pro, and because of the frame count (108 images to stitch in 6 rows by18 columns), this took about three hours to hand align control points. It’s especially difficult to properly align areas of concrete because the texture can provide few details that are visible in frame overlaps.
The stitch did assemble well, producing a 2.15 gigabyte file 52,616 pixels wide by 15,002 pixels high. This was definitely a case of “too much of a good thing” as I really had no need to make aprint at 175″ x 50″ tall.
A little work in photoshop consisting of cropping to a 4:1 ratio, dodging, burning and color adjustments yielded a pleasing photograph of the Riverwalk in Stuart FL, under the Roosevelt Bridge:
I’ll be back in Stuart soon, and hope to try another photo using a Canon 28mm adapted lens to reduce the frame count and file size. Let’s hope the weather cooperates…