Old 03-12-2007, 05:26 PM   #1
Railfan Ohio
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Default Unlevel Horizon and Cropping Questions

During a recent trip to Marion, Ohio, I took several pictures of trains going by. this one is somewhat confusing because I don't know how to level it since everything is leaning toward center. Cropping help would also be nice, should I take of the left or right, top or bottom?

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreject.php?id=347781

Thank you!
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:16 PM   #2
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Three steps:

1. Crop it in on the right (and a little off the top and bottom to maintain your proportions) so that the wooden pole is omitted from the shot.

2. After cropping, rotate the picture so that it looks as level as possible. Due to lens distortion from your short focal length, it will be impossible to get it perfect.

3. Submit it again and cross your fingers that it doesn't get canned again for unlevel horizon. Due to the level of distortion, different parts of the train lean at different angles, so that will make things difficult.


On a slightly different vein, I love train watching at Marion, but find the photography very limited. It's hard to get a shot which hasn't been done a billion times before due to the limited angles present and the fact that you are confined to a single area.
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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The image definitely needs to be rotated counterclockwise. It looks like you used the telephone pole as your vertical reference. The problem with telephone poles is they are not always vertical, as is the case here. In this case the signals on the left should be your vertical point of reference. Even without the signals, you can see how the train leans to the right. As for the cropping, there is quite a bit of dead space on the right side, and you could probably tighten it up on the bottom as well.
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
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I agree with what's been said. About 3 degrees ccw rotation so the the front right of the loco is square. Then trim some off the right a see how it goes.

Cheers
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:53 PM   #5
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Thanks guy!

And I agree with you ken. When we were there on Sunday, there were up to 10 other guys there and the traffic was good, but I was running all over the place trying to find a shot. My favorite spot turned out to be the top of AC tower right outside the door looking down on NS trains over the curve. I don't have the photo on here yet, but when I do (hopefully) I will show you.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Railfan Ohio
Thanks guy!

My favorite spot turned out to be the top of AC tower right outside the door looking down on NS trains over the curve. I don't have the photo on here yet, but when I do (hopefully) I will show you.
Probably my favorite spot as well. There are some interesting night shots to be had as well.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:08 AM   #7
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Back to my orginal photo. I fixed the leveling and cropping but now it is "blurry." This is something I don't get very well. Can someone tell me how it is?
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:46 AM   #8
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Here is the photot I promised earlier.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=179138
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:35 AM   #9
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Default Wide angle distortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Brook
About 3 degrees ccw rotation so the the front right of the loco is square.

Cheers
The original shot wasn't anywhere near 3 degrees out. If you took the right hand edge of the loco's bonnet as a point of reference, it was only about 0.35 degrees out. The problem with this photo is the use of a wide angle lens which has distorted the shot. I have attached a slight rework of the image. All I did was rotate the picture 0.35 degrees ccw, and then I used the crop tool in photoshop to pull in the top left and top right corners, and cropped it with the perspective box checked. This has the effect of stretching the top part of the picture, which removes some of the distortion from the image. OK, it was a quick fix, and had I spent a bit more time, I could have probably got it looking a lot better, but the attached image will give you some idea.
I haven't attempted to crop the picture to remove dead space. I would find it difficult to crop the picture correctly, as I think the picture really needs to be taken again, as the train is all left of centre and the back of the train is too close to the edge of the frame for a decent crop. If you do take the shot again, I suggest using a slightly bigger lens and standing further back to avoid distortion (known as converging verticals).

I hope this helps
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason15c
The problem with this photo is the use of a wide angle lens which has distorted the shot.
Some of us that love the wide angles would take exception to that statement.




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Old 03-13-2007, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
Some of us that love the wide angles would take exception to that statement.




Joe
He still has a valid point.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
Some of us that love the wide angles would take exception to that statement.




Joe
I used to take a hell of a lot of photos with a wide angle lens, and when I look back at those shots now I cringe. A few of the shots were fine, but whenever a photo is taken with a wide angle and the camera is either pointing upwards or downwards away from the horizontal, the picture distorts. This is not a pop at those who love wide angles - just fact. That does not mean to say that wide angle lenses should never be used, they have their place in the photographers kit bag, and can come in very handy. I was merely pointing out the limitations and the down side of their use, which was very apparent in the photo that started off this thread. In fact, that very distortion that is caused by a wide angle lens, can, in the right situation be used to advantage by the photographer.
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Old 03-14-2007, 01:03 AM   #13
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My use of the smilie probably insinuated I was more upset by this than I really am. I love my wide angle lens and shots, but not everyone does. And that's fine. My son really loves the shots I take of him with the wide angle.




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Old 03-14-2007, 02:13 AM   #14
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"Distortion" is in the eye of the beholder, and need not be removed by perspective control. Of course, I do not have the abilities to consistently get it how I want it, but others do:

Image © Daniel Putz
PhotoID: 174511
Photograph © Daniel Putz

Image © Daniel Putz
PhotoID: 172758
Photograph © Daniel Putz


Quote:
Originally Posted by jason15c
I used to take a hell of a lot of photos with a wide angle lens, and when I look back at those shots now I cringe. A few of the shots were fine, but whenever a photo is taken with a wide angle and the camera is either pointing upwards or downwards away from the horizontal, the picture distorts. This is not a pop at those who love wide angles - just fact. That does not mean to say that wide angle lenses should never be used, they have their place in the photographers kit bag, and can come in very handy. I was merely pointing out the limitations and the down side of their use, which was very apparent in the photo that started off this thread. In fact, that very distortion that is caused by a wide angle lens, can, in the right situation be used to advantage by the photographer.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I do not have the abilities to consistently get it how I want it, but others do:
No doubt. Willie Brown's wide-angle stuff has motivated me to get the Tamron 17-35mm lens like he uses (if only B&H would get a shipment in!):

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Old 03-14-2007, 07:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
No doubt. Willie Brown's wide-angle stuff has motivated me to get the Tamron 17-35mm lens like he uses (if only B&H would get a shipment in!)
What is your widest lens now, and what do you like about this lens in particular?

I shoot Canon and replaced my kit 18-55 with a Sigma 17-70, been thinking about switching to a Tamron 17-50/2.8, for non-railpix reasons.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:00 PM   #17
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The kit lens is my widest. I've been having good luck with it lately (see Jetphotos), but the Tamron 17-35 is a step or two up in quality. Andrew (2) and CTS use the Sigma 17-70 to good results, but there's a couple things holding me back on that: 1) it's digital only, so it most likely won't work for a full-frame sensor, and I don't want to limit my options for future full-frame bodies with my lens purchases now. 2) The price is a couple hundred more, and I don't really need focal lenghts between 35 and 50mm or 50 and 70mm (I have Canon's 50mm f/1.8 deal as well as the 70-200mm f/4.0L).

As far as the Tamron goes, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Couple that with the results I see from Willie's Tamron and the choice is easy for me...
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
The kit lens is my widest. I've been having good luck with it lately (see Jetphotos), but the Tamron 17-35 is a step or two up in quality. Andrew (2) and CTS use the Sigma 17-70 to good results, but there's a couple things holding me back on that: 1) it's digital only, so it most likely won't work for a full-frame sensor, and I don't want to limit my options for future full-frame bodies with my lens purchases now. 2) The price is a couple hundred more, and I don't really need focal lenghts between 35 and 50mm or 50 and 70mm (I have Canon's 50mm f/1.8 deal as well as the 70-200mm f/4.0L).

As far as the Tamron goes, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Couple that with the results I see from Willie's Tamron and the choice is easy for me...

Cool.

I guess I'll never understand, Chris, the importance some people put on switching to full frame at some point down the road and avoiding the effort buying and selling a lens at that point down the road. I also don't see how it can be helpful in buying a wide-to-normal lens that it also be appropriate as a different type of lense, superwide-to-wide, on a different camera down the road. When and if I switch back to full frame, I'll clear house, just as I did in going from film to crop digital a few years ago.

But people are different, and yes the 17-35 is said to be a great lens. A bit short for me, I'd rather not switch lenses so often to shoot a bit longer than 35. It sounds like a great choice for you.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
When and if I switch back to full frame, I'll clear house, just as I did in going from film to crop digital a few years ago.
See there's where capitalism comes in. If I were a camera manufacturer, I'd make all these Crop lenes like the EF-S line and then down the road, stop making crop-sensor dSLRs and make nothing but full-frame sensored cameras. That would force people to dump their Crop lenses and it would make me more money when they had to buy full frame lenes, mu wa ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Oh, one more thing, the Tamron comes with a 6 year warranty versus 1 year for a Canon or Sigma. Not a bad warranty...
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason15c
OK, it was a quick fix, and had I spent a bit more time, I could have probably got it looking a lot better, but the attached image will give you some idea.
And yet another quickie...

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Old 03-15-2007, 02:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Oh, one more thing, the Tamron comes with a 6 year warranty versus 1 year for a Canon or Sigma. Not a bad warranty...
I believe you get 4 with a Sigma, at least in some stores, of which Sigma4Less.com is not one. But my memory is fuzzy...
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:48 AM   #22
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Sigma has a 4-year warranty on lenses.

...oops, I see Janusz already posted that. Gotta read before I type.


Quote:
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Oh, one more thing, the Tamron comes with a 6 year warranty versus 1 year for a Canon or Sigma. Not a bad warranty...
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:28 AM   #23
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1 year or 4 years, I'll have to take your guys' word for it, maybe it's incorrectly listed on B&H as 1 year (look under Items Included):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:36 PM   #24
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I see...
I have the Sigma 80-400, which comes with a "1-Year Worldwide Warranty + 3-Year Extended USA Warranty".

Guess different lenses have different warranties?
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
1 year or 4 years, I'll have to take your guys' word for it, maybe it's incorrectly listed on B&H as 1 year (look under Items Included):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
That's odd! Adorama offers four!
http://www.adorama.com/SG1770EOS.htm...7-70&item_no=1

B&H is a quality place, I've bought a fair amount of stuff from them over the years. I wonder why the difference.
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