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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Cool SONY DSLR Panorama - a tutorial

    Welcome to Don’s Corner …

    PART I: Shooting Panorama’s (hand held) with a SONY DSLR.


    Now, this is a procedure, that if followed, step-by-step, it should provide a dandy looking “big picture.”

    The one thing you need to understand when shooting a panorama, is that as you turn the camera for each segment of the image, the natural light usually changes also, and unless you lock your exposure (if you are using any other mode than “M” Manual Mode), the camera will alter the exposure right along with it, in an effort to provide a great SINGLE image, not part of the whole.

    This makes for hard light transitions in the panorama which usually look like vertical lines in your sky. Very uncool. Therefore, you need to LOCK the exposure, with the “AEL” button. You need to hold this button down throughout the series of shots. If you let the pressure off of it, it resets and your panorama may be (and probably will be) corrupted. Yes, it is an important step.

    Also, you need to understand that the panorama is an over-sized image. It still only has one subject … and THAT is what needs to be “in focus”, so autofocus will be to be stopped.

    WARNING: It is vital that you do not move from the spot you have chosen for this procedure until the series of shots is finished. If you do, you threaten and probably will change the focus distance between you and your subject, throwing off the entire shot (unless the subject is out in infinity focus, of course)

    1. Ensure “SSS” is in the “On” position
    2. Locate your “AF/MF” button (There is none on the SONY A100, so don’t fret)
    3. Achieve focus: For your initial “test shot” (go ahead and take a few for trial … they are not part of the actual panorama-series), zero-in on your subject … autofocus on it clearly … then, press the “AF/MF” button on the back of the camera and hold it down with your right thumb. This locks the focus while you hold it down. (A100 users … press the shutter release half way down, thereby locking the focus and hold it).
    4. Focus Mode Switch change:
      SONY A100 users: simply slide the AF/MF mode switch, on the front of the camera, alongside the left of the lens mounting base into the “MF” position. Release the pressure on the shutter release.)
      All other SONY DSLRs: While continuing to hold the “AF/MF” button, reach around to the “Focus Mode” switch (located on the lower left front of the camera body and rotate it to the “MF”

      The lens is, now, ready to “sweep” the area of the image, preset for accurate focus on your subject.
    5. Locate the “AEL” button on the upper, right-hand area of the back of the camera.
    6. Set the camera to “MULTI-SEGMENT” metering, if you already have not. (A100 – Mode switch on right top of camera, rotate completely to the right and press button to change) This provides meter of the entire frame and since this shot is larger than normal, I am betting no single point is all that important. If not, use “SPOT” metering.
    7. Now, reacquire the “subject” in the viewfinder’s frame. Tap the shutter release to activate metering. Set your setting for “0” in the meter by advance or retarding the shutter speed setting, changing the ISO or adjusting the aperture … then, press the “AEL” button and hold it down throughout the series.
    8. BUILDING YOUR PANORAMA: Following an imaginary horizontal-line running through your desired shot, turn to the left, to the left extreme of your desired panorama shot.
    9. With your eye, pick out a “landmark” that is about two-thirds of the frame, to the right.
    10. Take the first image and maintain that pressure on the “AEL” button. Do NOT let up!
    11. Turn to the right, until you get the left side of the frame aligned with the “landmark.” Pick out a new “landmark”, 2/3s of the frame to the right.
    12. Take the second image.
    13. Repeat the creeping along until you have gotten the entire panorama
    14. BEFORE you go and run off, review the Panorama, in the Playback Mode. Make sure it is all there. If there was a plane flying through or other sub-subject that you might want to eliminate from your work, you might just retake that frame(s).
    15. Once you are absolutely SURE that you have the shot you want, turn the “Focus Mode” switch back to the “AF-A” position, or you will be sorry, later on.


    I highly recommend that you practice this several times in a “test environment”, because doing this at the real location can be challenging. Once you have a few rounds under your belt, feel free to make any exposure changes to accommodate flash or other lighting challenges.

    You have just opened yourself to a wider world.

    Good luck
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-25-2009 at 02:06 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    2,562
    Good job Don. What I do is I meter the shot in Aperture mode for what aperture I want to shoot the shot at then switch to Manual mode and use those settings. Is this the same as holding the AEL button?

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    Good job Don. What I do is I meter the shot in Aperture mode for what aperture I want to shoot the shot at then switch to Manual mode and use those settings. Is this the same as holding the AEL button?

    Frank
    Yeah, pretty much, you panorama-taker, you.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-25-2009 at 01:41 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
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    Cool PART II - Making a panorama

    PART II: Turning your series of shots into a “Big shot”

    In Adobe Photoshop CS2/3:
    1. From the Main Menu bar "File" > "Automate" > "Photomerge…"
    2. Layout: Some people like “automatic” … I prefer using “cylindrical”
    3. Source Files: (Browse and select your series of image files)
    4. Press “OK
    5. Save the new panorama and prepare to edit and crop as desired.


    That is the basic way … there are other extra ideas that eliminate obstructions and other “problems” in the image.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-25-2009 at 02:05 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Don, you can post the link to the shack lesson. It is hard for me to hold the AEL on the A100 for all the shots. I tried to do the shack pano with the snow last week but I couldn't get it to work. I don't know if I took the images right.

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Another thing that helps is to set AEL to a toggle mode where you don't have to keep your finger on it to keep the * lit up.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Is that an option on the A100? I never seen it yet.

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    On my A300 it is.

    It's under the MENU, the gear tab,

    look for AEL button, set it to AEL toggle instead of AEL hold.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    I will check.

    Thanks
    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    176
    again Don above and beyond ill take a crack at it and see what happens. Only wish i had time this week to properly test. pretty much go to work its dark and come home its dark so we will see what happens. ty
    Sony A350
    Sony 18-250mm Lens
    Sony 50mm f1.4
    F42AM flash

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