Two Panel Or Three Panel?
I plan to reserve my serious cultural and intellectual efforts for toy stores, book stores, and pubs. If the Jack Stanbridge's put in a used book section, a couch, and a keg I would never leave the town...
Be that as it may I experimented this morning with the Fuji X camera perched on top of a monopod. The places I go to have other tourists swirling about and a tripod would be a distinct hazard - and the extra weight and volume of one would cut down on the capacity of my luggage to bring back toy cars and books. The monopod is a carbon fibre one, fits into my folded photo bag, and with a Novoflex panorama plate on top makes a handy war hammer for late night explorations.
The panorama plate is normally seen on a tripod - you get the bubble level centered and then spin the camera around the vertical axis and get good horizons on your image. I figured that I could HOLD it vertical and then spin it for 2 or three shots. Out on the lawn this morning to experiment...
Yes. it works. I let the camera set its own exposure, though on other occasions I would use manual - there are some scenes that change light value widely and you really need to set a good compromise and then run all the panels with it. The Fuji puts out a good image on the rear screen and writes its RAF files fast enough to let me do three panels.
The files go into the Photoshop Elements program in the computer - it has a very easy-to-use panorama maker that allows a number of different perspectives on the scene. You can get a flat horizon with essentially flat images or they can curve up at the ends in several ways. I have been experimenting with it but have not decided which I prefer.
One good setting in there removes most of the vignetting that might occur around the edges of the panels - in a single photograph it might be quite attractive, but in multiple panels it is disturbing. Of course it adds a little time to the assembly of the images, but it is automatic and you can drink coffee while it works.
Purists will squawk at the imprecision of the monopod vs the tripod - at the simplicity of the PSE10 program - and at the modest nature of the result. But if I see a good panorama I can capture it in a minute and I won't have to haul 10Kg of gear to do it. I can leave my nodal points and virtual reality at home in the cupboard and leave space in the camera bag for a chocolate bar. And a hot rod magazine.
Ya gotta get yer priorities right...
* I used to own a camera and photo album. Now it is an imaging system.