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Thread started 28 Dec 2013 (Saturday) 09:19
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Best lenses for Brenizer method

 
pulsar123
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Dec 28, 2013 09:19 |  #1

For those who never heard about it, the Brenizer method is just a special case of panorama stitching from multiple partially overlapping shots, with one specific goal - to create a very shallow DoF composite photo, ideally much more shallow than any existing lens can do. Apparently it was promoted by a (wedding?) photographer Brenizer, hence the name. But the guy didn't invent it obviously.

I had only one experience with Brenizer, some time ago, with 135L on 50D, 9 shots stitched together:

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6015/5920499218_736772f545_n.jpg
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In the shadow (external link) by syamastro (external link), on Flickr

Now I am starting to think about it again. What I am interested in now is what lens/camera combination would produce the most "wow" Brenizer effect?

Those who experimented with this method - what is your opinion?

From my limited experience + lots of googling, it looks like the best lens for Brenizer is

- 85mm for FF; and 50mm for a crop,
- the fastest lens you can get, and
- the lens with fairly smooth and circular bokeh.

I think the last point is critical - those old manual 50-55mm f1.2 lenses may appear very interesting for this method (on crop camera) but are likely not suitable, given how harsh and non-circular their bokeh is, especially away from the frame center. (Hard to stitch such shots together!) Anyone with real life experience with such lenses for Brenizer shots? May be you can prove me wrong.

In terms of FL - I think it is important to use short telephoto for your sensor (that is, 85mm for FF or 50mm for crop). The reason: by merging multiple shots you effectively mimic a super-fast wide angle lens, and from many Brenizer shots I've seen the strong perspective effect of a WA lens combined with an unnaturally shallow DoF (for such a lens) is what makes the strongest "wow" effect.

These are photos (not mine) to illustrate the point (one per lens; all on FF):

http://www.flickr.com …leries/72157639​081519503/ (external link)

So in this context, my only experiment with Brenizer - 135L on 50D - wasn't going to produce anything spectacular. I think I'll need something like 50mm f1.4 on my 50D, or even better - upgrade to FF and get something like 85mm f1.4. (Perhaps re-purchase the Samyang 85mm - I used to own it.)

But these are my personal opinions/observations. What do you think - which specific lenses are best for Brenizer method? May be, with some examples?

EDIT: I did a bit of math (using the DOF equation (external link)), and computed the following table. Assumptions: we want to have the subject all sharp (so the target DoF=0.5m) - this determines the distance to the subject, for given FL and f-number; the overlap between photos to stitch is 0.25 in each dimension (in frame units); the target effective FL of a stitched photo is 30mm (on FF) - this will ensure a pronounced wide-angle effect, and seems to be the typical value Brenizer himself was using. I used thecircle of confusion equation (external link) for the case of background at infinity to compute the "bg blur" column - size of CoC in standard CoC units (0.03mm for FF); the larger the number, the stronger is the background blur. Finally, the last column shows the frame height at the subject's distance in the composite shot (meters; landscape orientation):



Lens Distance(m/ft) N_shots f-number bg blur height(m)
135L 8.7m / 29 ft 36 0.44 11.0 4.9
85/1.4 6.6m / 22 ft 14 0.49 13.2 3.7
85/1.2 7.1m / 23 ft 14 0.42 14.2 4.0
55/1.2 4.6m / 15 ft 6 0.65 14.3 2.6
50/1.2 4.2m / 14 ft 5 0.72 14.3 2.4
50/1.4 3.8m / 13 ft 5 0.84 13.3 2.2

6D, Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC, 135L, 70-200 f4L, Laowa 15mm 1:1 macro, 50mm f1.8 STM, Samyang 8mm fisheye, home studio

  
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Nick3434
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Dec 28, 2013 10:03 |  #2

I get it, but if this is really the goal, why not get a wide fast lens? I guess the distortion control and cost are detouring. I looked at the pics and pretty sure with the 24 or 35 and some PP plugins aside from LR recreating all of those would not be that hard at all, no stitching and a few of them to me look sooc from a fast wide angle lens.

Am I missing something else from this method?


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TheAnt
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Dec 28, 2013 10:10 |  #3

The Brenizer Method is a way of creating a much bigger scene, while still making the person larger than they would be in the scene if you were using say a wide angle. The person would be much smaller and less the main point of focus. The Brenizer Method of shooting takes a large amount of images, stitches them together to make the person seem much bigger in the scene than they are, while still creating a large scene behind them.

Usually Brenizer Method processed shots use much more than 9, it's usually 30+ photos to create the larger scene.

http://blog.buiphotos.​com …xplained-with-directions/ (external link)

Has a good write-up on it.


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pulsar123
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Dec 28, 2013 10:11 |  #4

The point is, if you use the right lens for Brenizer, you mimic a WA lens which does not exist - something like 30mm f/0.5 on FF. And this is pretty much real, no photoshopping (so all OOF areas will look very natural).


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raptor3x
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Dec 28, 2013 10:14 |  #5

I'd say 135L on FF is probably the best setup due to the nice bokeh, lack of LOCA, and the short MFD of the 135L.


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vengence
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Dec 28, 2013 10:35 |  #6

Nick3434 wrote in post #16559497 (external link)
Am I missing something else from this method?

Yes, the point is to get a shallower depth of field than is otherwise possible. Depth of field is (very close to) a set percentage of frame width at any particular aperture regardless of focal length.

Let's say if you shoot a subject at 10' away with a 50mm on a full frame camera at f/2. Your picture will be 7.2 feet wide, and your depth of field will be 1.45 feet. Let's assume for a minute you're happy with this depth of field, but you want a wider shot. If you change to a 25mm at 5' away, your picture will still be 7.2 feet wide and at f/2 your depth of field will be 1.47 feet, basically the same photo as before (ignoring perspective distortion differences of course). While you've kept the depth of field shallow, you haven't picked up the wider frame. So you move back to 10' then your depth of field would grow enormously to 6.34 feet. The solution is to shoot several narrow pictures with thin depth of field and stitch them. Alternatively, you could open your aperture up, but you'd have to go all the way to f/0.5 to get back to the 1.5'ish depth of you started with. Unfortunately, most UWA lens don't have f/0.5




  
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gremlin75
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Dec 28, 2013 10:55 |  #7

Brenizer mainly uses a 105mm f1.8, at least in the video he released about it that what he said. In the video he also used a 50mm f1.2, 70-200 f2.8 at 200mm, and mentioned a 85mm be a great lens for te method

You can use any lens you want for it just depends on how many frame you want to shoot. I know in the video when he used the 70-200 at 200mm he took something like 8-10 shots of just the subject. God forbid they move a little!!!

Use which ever lens you find best.




  
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Nick3434
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Dec 28, 2013 12:00 |  #8

Thanks ant, that link was great.

Yes, it is like an impossibly fast wide angle.


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maverick75
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Dec 28, 2013 12:09 |  #9

The easiest way is to just shoot medium and large format.


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Luckless
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Dec 28, 2013 12:20 |  #10

maverick75 wrote in post #16559748 (external link)
The easiest way is to just shoot medium and large format.

Your definition of 'easy' is an interesting one. Having to travel to another city, rob a high end camera store, and get home without getting caught doesn't sound 'easy' to me when I have a 7D sitting in my gear bag beside me.


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Dec 28, 2013 12:22 |  #11

This was my first and only attempt. Used a 85mm 1.2 Would of come out better had I not noticed his hand behind the stand thing. oh well again it was only an attempt:

I think the math said it was equal to a 38mm F0.65

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pyrojim
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Dec 28, 2013 12:56 |  #12

maverick75 wrote in post #16559748 (external link)
The easiest way is to just shoot medium and large format.


I am a huge fan of medium format.

Medium format is giant pain in the butt.

But shooting at F11 gives you the same depth of field as these brenzier shots.


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mclaren777
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Dec 28, 2013 14:19 |  #13

My favorite lens for this technique is the Sigma 85mm because it's so incredibly sharp.


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MalVeauX
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Dec 28, 2013 15:37 |  #14

Heya,

I've done a few attempts on inanimate large objects. I've used 50mm and 85mm to great extent on the BM and the longer the focal length and more narrow the depth of field, the more interesting and popping image you get in the stitch. It depends how pronounced you want the blur. I find the 50~85mm range is more subtle, but still obvious that there's something interesting going on. As you extend focal length, it gets less subtle and more pronounced (the effect) because depth of field gets even more narrow and the background blur goes higher still. So as you increase distance (with focal length) you get a more 3D pop in the image on your subject.

I want to get a 200mm f2.8 to try more of this method.
For now though, I prefer the 85mm f1.8 at 1.8 for this.

Some examples that are non-standard, used the BM method.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7407/10408091385_f22d7dbc2c_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mwise1023/10408​091385/  (external link)
Bush_Panorama1 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2813/10408326266_e3fbc9e865_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mwise1023/10408​326266/  (external link)
Bush_Panorama2 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3822/10824604906_37e9490477_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mwise1023/10824​604906/  (external link)
Swing_Panorama1 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3670/10844574823_964bf88564_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mwise1023/10844​574823/  (external link)
MailBox_BMPan_Large (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

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TelephonePole_BMPan_La​rge (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3777/10828719406_9ac04dec3e_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mwise1023/10828​719406/  (external link)
Puppy_Pan_25images (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

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kin2son
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Dec 28, 2013 16:25 |  #15
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I think all Brenizer tutorial suggest using a fast 85mm to maximise the effect...


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Best lenses for Brenizer method
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