By now you’ve probably seen the uproar over a professor banning the use of 18-55mm kit lenses in a college photography class. I wanted to see just how far I could push using a kit lens, too. For this experiment, I used a kit lens with an older micro four-thirds camera. Here’s the kit lens processing to push the Lumix GX85 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens to a larger size file.


The image was created with nine exposures. The camera is in a vertical position and set back a bit on the tripod so the light entry (or nodal point) is closer to the pivot. This makes it easier for Photoshop to render a straight horizon. Having a longer mounting plate helps with camera/lens position.

Nine image panorama in vertical orientation as seen in Adobe Bridge.


Files were loaded into Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) for some tweaking to color and shadow/highlight adjustments (click here to read part one). ACR also came in handy as I hadn’t paid attention to this camera’s sensor for a while, and discovered a fair amount of sensor dust.

I’ll show you in part three on how to make some fast fixes for cleaning up those nasty spots, along with prevention ideas.

Photoshop’s Photomerge dialog box with settings.

All nine files were loaded using Adobe’s Photomerge, and I used the Geometric Distortion Correction command as well. You can always add Content Aware Fill, but I prefer to add that step later. Usually a crop into the image resolves non-rendered areas without having to fill in pixels.

Photoshop’s Photomerge loads all files into layers and masks them. This is why you want to overlap your captures. It also allows you to correct for any problems in stitching before flattening the file.
Photoshop made a solid stitch with just a few small areas that didn’t fill the frame.

This is where Content Aware Fill can come in handy. It will do a pretty darn good job of filling in blank areas that did not render. I prefer to not do this automatically in case of pixel duplication that shows it was added — kinda like seeing clone tracks.

Many times Photoshop will do an awesome job of adding pixels, but sometimes it’s just good enough that you might miss it. I like to make sure long before I go to print especially on larger images.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob