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At night with the GigaPan

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At night with the GigaPan – high resolution night photography

Testing the GigaPan at night


The Gigabyte Christmas card

A quick trip into Leicester City centre with the Gigapan.

This shot is taken from one made up of 56 individual exposures, using a 90mm lens (TS-E90)

The composite image is around about 1.6 GigaBytes and would make a full resolution print about 2 metres by 3 metres.

view of the clock tower and Christmas tree - Leicester 2011

Clock tower and Christmas tree – Leicester

At this size, on the web, the image doesn’t look much different from that I could have got with one of our specialist lenses (such as the TS-E 17 mm shift lens).

With a single shot, I can easily print at 20″ x 30″ – the image above could comfortably be enlarged to give a sharp detailed print at 20 feet by 30 feet.

The sample below gives an idea of the detail.

image detail from GigaPan image

Image detail

You can read the phone number…

Technical details

It’s a stitch of 56 Jpeg images (90mm 100 ISO, 3.2s @ f/8) , straight out of the camera (I normally shoot raw+Jpeg), it’s produced a lovely level of detail (~26kx18k pixels). The set took some 8 minutes to produce.

Initially stitched with the GigaPan software, but the normal and Mercator projections available in that software don’t look right (the camera was pointing up at nearly 60 degrees to get the top of the clock tower) The resulting image needs progressive vertical stretching as you move away from the horizon line.

I then opened the files in Stitcher 2009, and it happily autostitched all the images with detail in them. A bit of fill and blur for the dark sky quickly covers up any patchiness. During the course of the shot, various people walked past, but only one person at a cash machine seems to have made the final pic.

I’ll be writing up more detailed uses of the GigaPan in due course. [See its use in making a 14m print]

See also previous GigaPan post

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2 Comments
  • MPH | Nov 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Great shot — I really love the sharp detail.

    More gigapanners should take night shots like this.

    • Keith | Nov 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

      It helps using a really sharp lens like the TS-E90. I was very impressed by the results, given it was stitched from unprocessed jpegs.

      I do find some GigaPan shots are of the ‘because I could do it’ category rather than thinking how the final image works as a photo. The kit is great but I’m also looking for images that will work as a big print. That said I’m also looking for ways to embed such large images on this site (not via GigaPan, since I may not be using their software)

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