Lighting for 360° Panoramic Photo's?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cooknn, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #1
    A lot of you guys know the photo industry like the back of your hand, and as you may know I shoot 360° pano's for real estate. I have been becoming much more of a perfectionist as I shoot more and more luxury homes. My objective is to achieve as much dynamic range as possible. Currently that requires a hand job (3 or more sets of exposures). Would love to get this process simplified :cool:

    How could I get the light in say, a living room, to get closer to the outside world so that it isn't such a challenge to see out the windows in a 360° environment? Here's an example of what I do currently with 3 sets of exposures. It takes way too much time to put the different sets together and make it look good. I read about Medium Format Digital Camera Backs like the Leaf Aptus 17 that supposedly can achieve 12-stops of dynamic range, but as soon as you call them on it, they start backing up. I guarantee you if I could get 12-stops I'd spend the $30K to put a system together. I just believe it's all a sales pitch and not a lot of truth. So I'm back to lighting...

    Can anyone shed some <cough> light on this subject for me?
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    I've seen claims of between 11 and 13 stops for BetterLight backs, but that's under ideal lighting conditions, they cite 6 stops as their worst-case under bad lighting conditions, and "Over 11" as their normal case. It's large format though, which is an advantage in architecture but if you're already worried about speed, it's probably not the right answer for you.

    Any digital system is going to have a moving target dynamic range due to ISO and exposure time and noise. Scanning backs seem to do very well though. You *could* get the RB/RZ or GX-680 adapter with one of the BL backs and try that- it'd help with setup speed, but you'd lose the ability to shift, tilt and swing.

    Oh heck, now I'm seriously starting to add up numbers for a GX-680 and the smallest BL back...
     
  3. Cooknn thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #3
    I appreciate your feedback! I'm hoping to speed things up in post processing. How would the large format slow me down if it could indeed capture that much dynamic range?
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    It takes about 10-15m to get the camera set up, leveled, tilted, shifted, swung, etc. The camera is large, you're focusing on the ground glass (often with a loupe) then putting the holder (well, in this case back) in. I actually found when I was shooing LF film that the slowdown really helped my photography immensely, but you're not going to go get a couple of quick grab shots ever. I've set up in about two minutes before, but not if I had to account for perspective.

    You may want to call BL though, they seem to be helpful folks and they definitely have gear for architecture. If you're starting to see competition at the high end, LF is so much easier to market as a "this costs real money because it's not your cousin with a DLSR" type thing. You can also do the "I laugh in the face of DSLR megapixels" thing. We all know that megapixels aren't everyting, but our customers may not- sometimes that's a marketing advantage.

    Oh yeah, no in-camera meter either, though you may be able to do exposure with the backs, but you're hauling around a laptop too at that point- the results will be stunning, but the time to take and the size of the files will slow you down a lot.
     

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