So, yesterday I got really excited when I came across a link to the multistitch back on the forum. I spent all day drawing different variations of frame combinations and modeling some ideas in 3D on the computer.
It became pretty clear to me that instead of the multistitch ($950) or the Kapture Group Quadstitch ($2800), the same effect could be achieved with a low cost 4x5 sliding adapter for 35mm cameras that are under $200 on ebay, like this http://www.dirtimage.com/forsale/4x5-canon1.jpg. Simply using one of those with the back vertically, combined with rear-standard lateral shift to either side would get you a very large image!
With a 35mm DSLR a 3x3 composite produces an effective capture size of roughly 2.66 x 4.08in (with a canon 5d mkii that would be roughly 150MP).
Unfortunately for me, I do not have a 35mm DSLR... But I do have a Sony NEX-5N, which is conveniently small and light. Although the NEX-5N is nominally less MP than the Canon, it's pixel density is higher, so that despite a 3x3 composite covering less area (1.6 x 2.51in) the output resolution would be not much less (113MP).
All this is to say that I was itching to test the idea out for myself in reality. So I quickly slapped together some foamcore and chipboard, and voila:
I have a very limited 4x5 kit, so all I could use was my Nikkor SW 65/4 and mystery camera. I didn't have an allen wrench on hand to reset the lens panel distance, so because the adapter shifts the focal plane back almost 1in I was restricted to a macro test:
This is a 5-frame composite stitched with Hugin. The capture area is almost identical to a Hasseblad XPAN at 24x65mm. Resulting image size is 13,051 x 4,897 pixels, 60MP. Focus was only about 12in away. Shot at f/16, ISO 200, regular tungsten house light. If you'd like to download a full-size jpeg you can do so at http://www.mediafire.com/i/?jan4e95qd4vi8r5 If I had rear-standard shift capability I could easily expand the image to a 148MP 6x7cm image with 12 frames, a 300MP super-6x9cm image with 25frames, or further...
You can see some flare on the left and right of the image because the foamcore is white and because I shifted the panel a little too far. If it were made properly this would not be present.
Now I'd just love to do this properly, outside, with infinity focus, multi-row capability, etc.
Without movements, however, I am wondering what advantage this method gives, if any, over shooting a regular panorama...?
Does anybody else have experience doing something similar?