Nikon D800: The ultimate stitching machine

I enjoy making huge size images. I shoot medium and large format for that reason. There’s nothing like viewing a large print, period.

Before the arrival of the Nikon D800E, my 12mp D700 and 10mp Leica M8 were used to construct multi megapixels photos from sequential shots. The problem was that I had to take a large number of photos for stitching them with software like the Autopano Pro in order to produce a very large final image. The more images you shoot, the more attention and proper technique it requires (and probably at a point you need a panoramic head to do it right).

With the arrival of the D800E, those boundaries have been broken for good. The 36 megapixels allow he creation of multi megapixel photos very easily.

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(Stitched image)

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(zoom crop from the left side of the image above)

All examples on this post are images shot handheld and in a very short time. Since there are very few image requires (the image above is a 5 photos stitch) there is less room for error. I have thoroughly checked this image at 100% zoom and I didn’t find any imperfections. That can be very helpful if there are moving elements in the photo (i.e. people walking).

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(Stitched image)

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(zoom crop from the center of the image)

This image is again shot handheld with the Nikon 28-300 lens. Don’t forget that at its long edge this lens is a poor performer, and of course shooting a long telephoto handheld will produce shake. Yet again, the buildings are visible (at this magnification we a talking about a very very large print viewed from a distance of a few centimeters).

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(Stitched image)

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(zoom crop at the centre of the image, the large church tower)

You can see the clear difference that a good lens can produce. This was shot with the Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC. This lens has no image stabilisation, yet it managed to produce a good result. This image is above 200 megapixels so what you see will look even better viewed from a normal distance (you don’t view a 3 meters wide print with your nose touching the frame, if you do that you are just pixel peeping and not enjoying the photo !!)

Now, imagine what you can do if you follow strictly the rules of creating multi megapixel photos, which means you shoot carefully on a tripod, checking levels on each frame, or even better using a panoramic head !!!

I have recently done a 430 megapixels photo using the proper approach (tripod, leveling, and using a good lens), you can check it here.

This photo was printed 3 meters wide and one meter long (that’s 120×40 inches). You can pixel peep as much as you like and even touch your nose on the print, and still you will not see any pixels. You can only compare it with a 8×10 large format photo which has been drum scanned.

So, for anyone who is interested in making huge prints with absolutely wonderful image quality, the D800 is THE TOOL to use (actually is the D800E which provides even sharper images and until today, I haven’t seen even the slightest sign of moire).

The D800E is not a cheap camera, by any means, but for serious work its really a revolutionary camera offering unprecedented image quality and dynamic range, at a resolution that only medium format digital backs or 8×10 drum scanned photos could offer until recently.

I am pretty happy with my lenses for the Nikon D800E, but if I was going to abandon film (and raise funds by selling them), I would probably purchase the Nikon 45mm PC-E and 105mm macro lenses in order to produce multi megapixels photos.

(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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