Course Fully Booked

The second course is now booked out. Will post details of the third soon. Looking forward to this Saturday night, hope everyone gets something from it. 


~ by christianfletcher on March 24, 2008.

38 Responses to “Course Fully Booked”

  1. Hi Christian,
    Came across your lovely photos while traveling through Australia (I am from Sweden myself).
    I am about to buy a dslr for panoramic landscape photos but I am lost in a jungle of cameras and lenses. What camera + lens would you buy if you had about $2000 dollars to spend? Do I really need an ultra wide angle lens if I stich photos together?

    Would really appreciate an answer!

    Many thanks,

    Ps. Anyone else who wants to give some advise, please do!

  2. Toni, I would look at the 40D by canon and a 50mm f1.4 lens in that price range. A couple of things, first you should look at prime lenses for sharpness and a camera with a good sensor, from all accounts the 40D has a nice sensor and the 50mm f1.4 is not a bad place to start for a lens in your price range of around $2000. You will not need a wide angle lens IF you are going to stitch images.

  3. yes I agree with Neal, a 40 D and the 50mm prime would be perfect. I have used the 50mm f1.4 before and found it amazing considering how reasonably priced it is. I use a 50mm f1.2 lens with all my stitching and love it. The wide angle for stitching isn’t any good in my opinion. You don’t need as many photos to stitch a similar scene taken with say the 50mm lens which means your file size is smaller and the detail not as good. This in turn makes a difference if you want to extract the maximum possible from this camera and lens combination. Big file sizes bigger prints, better quality.

  4. Hey Christian ,
    Will definalty been keen for the next course .
    Im osed some favours at work for working over Easter so i shouldnt have a problem getting time off .
    I was also
    Im upgrading my kit soon and looking at buying a wideangle , prim lens and a Telephotozoom lens .
    I was looking at the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM for my wide angle ,
    Then I was unsure what decent prim lens and telephotozoom lens to get .
    I was gathering you guys would recomend the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM for a prim lens . Is the image quality a lot better with prim lens ?
    And what Telephotozoom lens would you guys recomend for around $1,000 .Is it worth looking at 3rd party lens like Sigma as well ?
    Im currently shooting with a Canon 400 EOS but will look at upgrading to probally a 40D buy next year as my photography improves .


  5. Hi Christian,

    Just wondered what paper you used to print our course notes on and where you got the folders from?

  6. Don’t forget that the 40D has a lens factor of about 1.6, I’ve been using the 17-85mm that comes in the kit at 30mm to take images for stitching. I’ve got my eye on a prime 28mm (45mm on the 40 D). Would you guy’s recommend still using a 50mm and taking two rows of images?


  7. I have been using the 17-40mm f4.0 at 40mm for stitching, real good results. I just dont want to keep changing lenses to avoid the dust problem eveb though my 40D has the self-sensor cleaner. I love the new liveview function, great tool for focusing.

  8. kirkhille,

    I use to own the 10-22mm lens and yes it is wide angle but because it is so wide I found the quality was lacking in the lens especially on the edges. If you were looking at stitching then this would cause problems. Spend the extra money and go for something like the 17-40mm like Tom or even the 16-35mm. At least with these lenses they will fit and work on any camera you grow into where the 10-22mm is made for a digital sensor and once you buy a full sensor camera it wont work.

  9. yes I agree with Matt, the 10-22 is a pig dog, the chromatic aberation on the edge of the images is terrible, I’m think the new 16-35mm would be good too. I would then look for a secondhand 70-200 f2.8, that is a nice lens. I have the 50mm f1.2 and have fallen in love with it. From killer portraits to super sharp landscapes it is brilliant. Don’t worry about the conversion with the 40D, the 50 will become an 80mm so stack the images two high in the stitch. The detail will be awesome, so will the file sizes. I want to get the 85mm and try some stitching with that. That is rated as one of the top Canon lenses. I’d say go crazy and buy the good gear, you will have it for a long time, long enough to pay it off and you won’t be disappointed by the cheaper soft lenses which you will want to replace in 6 months. Spend up big I say 😦

  10. p.s. yes the prime lens quality is better but my 24-70mm is still pretty awesome and I can’t see much difference if any.

  11. Okay Im gonna be the ignorant one and ask what the heck is stitching??? Is this something you do with photoshop??? Im a thinking Im a long way behind on all this stuff!! I starting to wonder if me and my 350D should just pack up and go home???

  12. Don’t do that Donelle 😦 stitching is not rocket science, it’s just a way to get better images quality from your camera to enable you to make bigger prints.

    The basic principle is you put your camera on a tripod (with a special panoramic head) and take multiple shots of a scene, rotating the camera horizontally after each shot to cover the entire area you want in your image. You can also take several rows of shots by angling the camera up and down and repeating the process. It’s important to make sure yu have a consistent exposure throughout all these shots.

    Afterwards you put all the shots into a software program (Christian uses PTGui) and it magically “stitches” them all together into one big super resolution image.

    The main benfit is the increased size you can then print at without having to upsize your images. You have to see some of Christians prints in his Dunsborough Gallery to really appreciate the level of detail you can achieve with this technique.

    Hope I haven’t confused you 🙂

  13. Allrighty then, this is obviously how you get those supersized images!!! Always wondered how you did that!!! If Im just taking a normal scenic shot how do I get it printed reasonably large?? The guys at Central Photographics in Bunbury keeps telling me he cant print my images bigger than 8×10 or they go all blurry?? Whats with that?? Im good at point and shoot and I think thats about all I can manage for me!!!!

  14. Hi Christian,

    I was thinking about getting the 85mm for some of my fashion work. If you get it please let me know what you think. 🙂

    Jamie Paterson

  15. Donelle,

    With your 350D make sure you are shooting in RAW this is your master digital negative. It seams you are at the beginning of your journey, we have all been there. My main advice is get out there and start shooting and reviewing your work. Get a copy of Photoshop or photoshop elements and edit your RAW images in Adobe Camera RAW. Also hit a website called they are a great source of information for beginners to full time pro’s. If you have a question this place has the answer as someone has asked it.

    Also get rid of those 1 hour lab places and start using a professional lab for your shots. Just because it is a professional lab dosent mean you have to be a professional to use them. Sure they are a bit more expensive but their printing is colour managed, their chemistry is clean and their advice is worth its weight in gold.

  16. Cheers for that Matt, have you got a Photo lab you can recommend?? I know that my grandfather uses one in Perth and I cant ask him who as there is a slight family war on at the moment!!! I think I need all the help I can get so anyone feel free to tell me what to do!!

  17. Hi Donelle,

    Christian has a link on this website to Fitzgerald Photo Lab, they have an excellent reputation. Its

    Jamie Paterson

  18. Just love it, enjoy it, and ask questions on this site, or the ones matt mentioned.

  19. Thanks Christian, thinking about it and looking at how much of the image gets lost in the stitch once cropped, I’ll try my lens at 50mm and take more than one row. It might even be worth taking a couple more around the centre of the desired composition to fill it out.

  20. Donelle,
    If your in Perth use Fitzgerald Lab I have never used them but look who uses them ie Christian and that reference enough for me. A brilliant lab here in NSW is Ken Duncans lab. they print FujiFlex as a fantastic price. If you find a good lab stick with them even if you move interstate. I know all the people in Kens lab and I cant go in there without spending 40 min to an hour as we just catch up and have a big chat. My girlfriend hates it as I forget she is sitting in the car. Opps.

    As with telling you what to do in the way of photography thats a big one. But I teach people all the time over here who want to learn the basics of even advanced levels of landscape photography so maybe try finding someone over there who does the same. Better still lobby fletch to run a photography course for a day. The money would be well spent. Get the basics down with understanding firstly your camera, the relationship between aperture and shutter speeds, DOF… there is so much. But one step at a time and a course will do that for you.

  21. Hi Donelle,

    There is a guy here in Perth called Rob Miller who runs photography courses. Check out his website I’ve been assisting him for sometime now, all his students walk away with a much better understanding of their cameras as well as a good knowledge of how to manipulate and use light. The other great thing about Rob’s courses is that if you don’t get it the first time you can go back again for free.

    Jamie Paterson

  22. Hi Matthew,

    Recommending a particular lens for someone to buy is very tricky as it really depends on your budget and how you are going to be using the camera and your personal preference.

    The first thing to remember is that all lenses are not equal, always spend as much money as you can afford as cheap lenses will not give good results at all. In general Canon’s own lenses will out perform the independant lens makers lenses but will also cost more, that said some of canon’s low end lens are to be avoided at all costs. Try to go for Canon’s “L” series lenses if you can afford them.

    If you have a big budget to spend on lenses then going for primes is fine but for most people getting a good zoom will save you money, give you a flexible solution and still give great results if you get the right lens.

    I personally use a Canon 17-40mm and a 70-200mm for most of my work, I know I could do better but I get excellent results from these lenses for the time being. For stitching I am currently experimenting with the 70-200 (at 70mm) which is a very sharp lens. As Christian has pointed out the Canon 85mm 1.2 is an incredibly good lens but with a $3,500 price tag not that practical for someone on a tight budget.

    Check out Best Canon EOS Lenses for a starting point as to which lenses are good in various price brackets.

  23. You guys are great, all the hard questions are answered for me, very good advice given to Donelle. I feel like I’m obsolete but the best thing is I am picking up tips too. Keep up the good work everyone, I’ll just sit back and relax!!! I wish…… As for the 85mm, didn’t know it was that expensive, ouch!!! Still I say don’t get cheap on me, go sell the kids if you have to. Buy the best glass going as in the end you want to be leading the pack and good gear is one step in that direction.

  24. Thanks Dave, that Lens website is really good. The 50mm f1.2 does look good but I’ll experiment with what I have for now, and see what can be done with that.

  25. If you want a full run down on canon lenses read more information you can poke a stick at.

    Also read the forums at Fred Miranda. Join the buy/sell forum and pick up god prices on any camera gear you require.

  26. This blog is pretty bloody informative!
    All questions can be answered here!

  27. Hi Christian,
    What is the 360absolute/adjuste like in windy conditions?
    Does it sway around or is it very steady?

    Cheers Tom

  28. Thanks for that link Spool, that is one comprehensive website!

  29. Tom,

    I should have my 360 absolute head tomorrow and for the money I am expecting this thing to be a bloody rock in the wind. It’s the best panoramic head on the market that combined with a good tripod (which I have) I expect wind not to be a problem. Within reason. Im sure Christian will let us know. You thinking of getting one yourself?

  30. Oh you guys are just legends!!! Thanks for all the advice!! Unfortunately a course is going to be outta the question as I have two kids, no babysitter and I just found out number 3 is on its way!! So I think my photography career is gonna go on hold for awhile!!! But a huge thanks to everyone for you help it is very much appreciated!!!

  31. I have had it out in very strong winds, the pano head that is!!, and it didn’t move. I think there was a slight vibration but that was through the legs of the tripod. My tripod is a bit dodgy so if it was better there is nothing that will move that beast!! It truely is a monster, the vertical arm is like the undercarriage of a 747 and I’m sure could stop a truck if nailed to the road, i.e. it is fat, I mean Phat. It looks cool too, real kind of home made, but good home made. You won’t see a made in China stamp anywhere on it, it looks like someone got the biggest hunks of metal they could find and screwed it together, in a good way!! Hope my overly keen observation helps!

  32. Hi Matt & Christian,
    Yeah I may as well buy one, just doing the pros and cons of the absolute & adjuste. And also the Kaidan is another bulky head.

    I have also looked at the nodal ninja but it appears more prone to viabrate in the wind compared the the 360precision.

    The panosaurus is terrible in the wind, but a good cheap option.
    There is one on eBay if anyone is interested, I just wanted to test it, but isn’t good for me.

    I will keep researching.

  33. Regarding 360 panoramic heads:
    Sorry for asking such a novice question, but why is the 360 panoramic head needed? Cant I just turn the camera 360 degrees on the tripod?

  34. you’ll get parallax when you do that. A pano head will Rotate the camera about the nodal point of the lens which prevents parallax. Others can go into more detail.

  35. Peter, 360deg pano’s are whole new ballgame and you certainly need a pano head for that. If you are just doing a small stitch say 4-6 shots wide you can get away with using the tripod , infact you can almost do that hand held. If you are into selling your prints thats a little different as they need to be near perfection, although I would say the average punter wouldn’t be able to tell the difference

  36. yes the guys are right Parallax is the big problem if you don’t use a pano head. Still I have taken some shots hand held and they have stitched pretty well. “Parallax causes adjacent pictures for a panorama to differ in ways that prevents them from being stitched together perfectly. It can cause ghosting, blurring, or even prevent stitching software from being able to work out where to position the pictures to be able to stitch them together. It’s really easy to see the effect of parallax: Hold up your index finger in front of you. Close one eye and line up your finger with something further away such as a door, piece of furniture, window, whatever. Now without moving your finger, rotate your head from left to right – your finger will seem to move slightly as you turn your head, you are seeing parallax.”

  37. or do the finger thing that fletch said, but open one eye and close the other. now without moving your head or finger, close that eye and open the other.

  38. Parallax: when you’re a passenger in a car looking side way out of the window passing through a forest, notice how the trees close to you move by faster than the trees in the distance! That’s how parallax was explained to us in photogrammetry class. Moving a camera through the nodal point of the lens (using a panoramic head) cancels this out. You’ll really need it if you’re stitching in a forested/rural environment!

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