I just clicked into your SIG website and saw that gogeous panorama. Let me say first in general I think the visual and technical quality of the images you have posted there is first class. I can see the D2X is performing extremely well in your hands. Re the D2X, does it have an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, or does Nikon use some other approach for dealing with aliasing effects? Do you generally use a tripod for the landscape and architectural work?
On the panorama, I am curious about processing technique:
Do you use Photoshop's panorama stitching tool for stitching the images, or some other software or approach? Also, do you do the curves adjustments (hue, luminosity etc.) on each image before stitching, or do you stitch first and then adjust the integrated composite?
Thanks for the nice words.
The D2X does have an anti-aliasing filter, but it seems to be rather weak judging from the shaprness of many shots viewed at 100%. I don't know how they do it, but there are stil very few aliasing problems in the resulting images. I was expecting to see a lot of moire in the "night pray" shot for instance, but I couldn't see any (I didn't check very carefully though).
I nearly always use a tripod for landscape and architecture. I'd say that 90% of the images on Photosig where taken with a tripod.
The post processing of this panorama was done in less than 20 minutes using Nikon Capture to convert the RAW images to jpg, and then Stitcher 4.0 for the stitching itself.
The shooting itself was done in less than 5 minutes from idea to completion (including set up and shooting), which was more the result of the changing conditions... It had rained very heavily until then, and started to rain again a few minutes later. The key aspects to consider for good stitching are:
- rotate as close as possible to the entrance pupil of the lens,
- shoot in M mode so as to have equal exposure for all the shots (which requires you to find the best average setting for the images you intend to include in the panorama),
- shoot RAW for additional headroom in case something didn't go per the plan,
- have conditions stable enough that the scene will not have changed too much between the shooting of 2 successive images
- shoot in portrait mode so as to have maximum pixel information,
About post-processing. In the present case, I applied some S curve in Nikon Capture for mid-tones contrast improvement, as well as a slight saturation boost, on the left image first, until I achieved what I though was proper. I then used the copy/paste capability of NC to apply the exact same processing to the other 5 images before RAW conversion.
I did some additional modifications (local contrast increase using USM in PS) on the resulting image.
The bottom line is that global modification of the image can be applied before RAW conversion on each image in an identical way, but local corrections, using PS masks for instance, have to be applied on the resulting panorama.
To be completely honnest though, this stitch is not perfect when viewed at 100% on screen, it would take more time to come up with something suitable to an A1 print.
Hope that it helps.