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Will it work with a tilt/shift?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by SqueamishOssifrage, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I have just 'k'-ed out my T/S lens - that's found its zero parallax position to non-photogrammetrists :p - to take some pictures of the front of the house, as I now have a very different shade setup over the top patio, and I have been asked for a pic of it by a family member. The problem is, to show 'in toto', I have to back off to the bottom patio, which is about 1.5 metres lower, and I can't get far enough back even with a 15mm lens to get the whole thing in, owing to a 2 metre stone perimeter wall, while keeping the camera level. Hence the need for the T/S lens.

    Problem number two is that the T/S is 24mm so I am going to have to do two-by-two panorama, and stitch it together. The plan is to do a normal pano horizontally, but with some up-shift, but more up-shift for the second horizontal pano layer. I use the Microsoft Labs I.C.E. panorama software, which is remarkably good, and originally written for huge projects like the the full frontal of Notre Dame cathedral for thousands of separate pictures.

    I would appreciate any comments on my approach. Is it going to fail spectacularly due to the geometry of a T/S lens, or do I have a modest chance of success, and has anybody else tried stitching a pano vertically, using shift?
  2. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    No I haven't tried your suggestion, not having a t/s lens. However, before you say get thee hence out of here, is it possible to climb a ladder to take the shot more full on horizontally? Or even pump the tripod up as far as it will go?
    RogerMac likes this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I've never tried it but, if the camera is level, you should be able to join shots. The usual application is to use left and right shift to create a horizontal pano with the camera fixed. A vertical pano should work in the same way. If you have the camera in proper position on a panoramic head then you should be able to use shift for the vertical and rotation for the horizontal. Try it and see! You may need the camera portrait position to get enough "height" for the vertical.

    Edit. Realised the last sentence of original post made no sense so I deleted it.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  4. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    The only step ladder I have is just 1.2 metres, which is not enough - the house is rather tall at the front. I had thought to put a standard ladder against the outside of the boundary wall, but it would damage the flower bed on the outside, and the flowering wall plants that grow up the wall.
    Catriona likes this.
  5. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I have a very effective levelling mechanism for the tripod head, so a conventional pano in the horizontal plane is no problem. Unfortunately the horizontal shift on the lens is insufficient to cover the width required. I shall have a first pass tomorrow morning. as it's too damned hot outside now - 39°C and I have a policy of not going anywhere that's hotter than I am! :D
    Catriona likes this.
  6. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    It's sounds to me like your just waiting for someone to push you over the edge in your secret desire to buy a drone . ;)

    More fun than a taller set if stepladders I suspect .
  7. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    Hi, I have stitched vertical shots by flipping the images by 90deg., before opening for the PAN.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Ah, but for whom? Can be quite entertaining watching someone balance on top of a set of tall steps.
    neilt3 likes this.
  9. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    If you haven't yet, I'd suggest you visit the website at
    He earns his living it would seem by putting tilt/shift to work commercially.

    I have two tilt/shift lenses - both Canon, and I have both full-frame and APS-c DSLR bodies. The 45mm lens is relatively easy to use - even hand-held with a decent viewfinder, but I've found the 24mm to be much more demanding. (I have the MkII Canon 24mm TS, the original version is not recommended being soft near the edges.) I'd recommend using a decent spirit level and taking time to get your camera accurately level. Using Photoshop to correct small errors may work - sometimes I've been lucky.

    Good luck!
  10. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Footloose, Geren, AndyTake2 and 7 others like this.
  11. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    Fair point .
    It'll just need someone in the vicinity with a camera ready for the inevitable moment .

    Ah , the joy's of being a photographer's assistant !
  12. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The photo of them with the ladder in the tree is a good one.
  13. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I got distracted - that was the one I was looking for, but I found this one first!

    I'd love to have been a fly on the wall if they ever met the Abraham brothers.
  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think there was a thread on them on the forum one or two years back.
  15. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    It was almost certainly started by me and if not, I carried it on - they are right up my alleyway, all this heroic age of photography stuff really floats my boat.
  16. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    One of our forum members had a tripod as high as the contrived extensions in #10. He used it with very tall steps, (probably an orchard ladder). Does anyone remember him. I'm going back a long time.
  17. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    All done and dusted!

    In fact, I found that by actually standing with my back against the wall and the rear tripod legs sitting on paving tiles in the flowerbed by the wall, I had enough lateral and vertical shift to do the job with just the four shots I had planned, with a 30% overlap. This was good, as it meant there were no geometry problems for MS ICE to deal with.

    I needn't have spent an hour 'k'-ing out the lens!
    Levelling the camera is not a problem, as I splurged out some years ago on a levelling centre column with its own decent bubble. Slacken the screw by means of the grip at the bottom of the column, adjust the head to get a level base, and retighten the screw. Trying to get a level base by means of adjusting the tripod legs is a hiding to nothing - the most frustrating activity undertaken by a photographer ever, and I hate my panoramas sliding downhill!
    daft_biker and Catriona like this.
  18. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    When you absolutely positively must get the shot.
  19. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Excellent. Something I must try.
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Possibly more than one, my Benbo will get pretty high, but not that high.

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