No need for a long lens
Outdoor Ontario

No need for a long lens

Dinusaur

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At least for bird photography now that the Artificial Intelligence based software is here. Case in point are these two photos. Over the week-end I took the first photo of a Snowy Owl sitting in a farmer's field far away - this is exactly how the photo was taken, straight out of the camera. Then I cropped it to 100%, ran it through Topaz Labs software and then crop it again to produce the second photo. What do you think?

1. Original photo


2. After running through Gigapixel software from Topaz Labs and then cropping to produce this.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Impressive result, but how does your Topaz-processed crop compare to a crop with more
conventional PS manipulation? There is certainly some HDR super-detailing occurring that
can create the illusion of sharp detail. How many pixels are comprising your original image?
What ISO was this shot taken with? I'm not sure AI is seriously exceeding what PS can manage
except that it can achieve a finished product is far less time. I guess more examples are needed
with direct laborious PS version processing to compare. Sounds like fun. If AI truly works head-
and-shoulders above PS then your 500mm lens might have the makings of a 5000mm lens.
It boggles the mind. I wonder what that's like?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Mathew Rossi

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Interesting concept but the final shot is not the real adventure to   me. Also it's apples and oranges IMO until you're getting feather details and being able to see the eyes of talons and what not.

I dont know a lot about the AI concept you're referring to so that makes it harder to understand fully.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Paul O'Toole

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I like the rows of snow in the field, nice visual effect for the shot.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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Some very good questions posed by both Shortsighted and Mathew - unfortunately I don't have all the answers. I am not an expert on Photoshop and nor did I make any effort to understand the underlying mechanism of Topaz software. Here are two photos of a Short Eared owl that I saw and photographed for the first time almost two years ago. The first photo is from 22MB Nikon D5 with a 500mm lens attached to it. After conversion to jpeg the file was 10MB in size. The second photo was after using Topaz software and expanding the image by 2x and then cropped it to produce a same 10MB jpeg file. Now imagine taking this image hand-holding a 1000mm lens and the cost that comes with it. The basic premise of the software is to extend your reach without breaking the bank or hurting your back. Of course if I had a D850 with twice as much megapixel as D5, then I would've captured more details and who knows we might have seen the individual feathers that Mathew is looking for.

1. Nikon D5, 509mm f4, ISO 220, 1/1600s and lens wide open at f4.


2. After Topaz 2x conversion and cropping to provide the same file size.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Do you know how this AI software works? Is it a matter of inter-pixel interpolation?
Hand tools in PS can manage inter-pixel noise at least to some extent but who wants
to use hand tools when there are power tools in the room. Topaz is not cheap so
it could prove to be a costly experiment, but if you are planning to print the images
it may be worth it. I would like to see how far you can push the AI software before
cropping artifacts start making the image resemble a painting instead of a photograph.

The example below is just a more basic approach to pushing focal length shortfalls in
PS by recruiting a few tools. How it prints is anyone's guess.

Shot with 200mm lens wide open at f4. At that distance inadequate depth-of-field was
not a concern. I under-exposed 2/3 stop to the left to manage blow-out and needed
a fast shutter speed due to lack of IS and also because I was cantilevering my body between
boulders which created a very unsteady situation. ISO was 200.
The second image is not the same shot because I didn't save the cropped version so I used
another frame from the same burst, so it is essentially the same shot.



The second image is cropped and artifact management deployed in PS. Sure, this image would
be better if taken with a 400mm lens delivering 4x as many pixels but it offers an image that
is satisfactory. Otherwise I would need to spend thousands on a lens twice as long and equipped
with IS and that is never going to happen, at least not in the foreseeable future. I would like to
try a Canon 1.4x TC but even that little item is work at least $500. Also, not going to happen.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Mathew Rossi

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Hey Shortsighted, take a look at Kenko teleconverter, I have one and the price was better than Canon and with the "tape trick" I found it reasonable to use, though I don't use it constantly.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Thanks for the suggestion but only the latest Canon TC glass has the optical quality to make
it worth the effort. The older marks of Canon TC were not that great and even the mark 3
will result in some image degradation, but I figure it would not be too noticeable if the primary
glass is clean as is the case with my old 70 - 200mm lens. Even so, gaining only 80mm will not
be like night and day when compared to w/o the TC attached. Likely, the extra magnification
might be off-set completely by the loss of an f-stop, the slightly slower shutter speed bring me
into dangerous territory when IS is not on-board. Now, a kit like Steven Hood has, with 2-stops
of lens IS and an additional 5-stops of camera body IS, then a TC would be worth it. That set
of tools is way too expensive for me but what Mr. Hood can do with it is truly amazing. You
get the right photographer and he right gear and magic happens. That's what I've heard. I
wouldn't have any personal experience with any part of that philosophy but I espouse its validity.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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Quote from: "Shortsighted"
Do you know how this AI software works? Is it a matter of inter-pixel interpolation?....
I understand that the software doesn't use conventional inter-pixel interpolation - it is trained on millions of similar photos to learn and add missing details, that's where the AI concept comes into effect. Well, it's their claim, not mine.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Nothing to do with Gigapizel AI but it seems that Paul O'Toole is peaked by
background patterns as in the periodic field ruts defiled by snow depicted
om Dinu's Snowy owl photo. I'm with him on that observation. I have no
Snowy owl to offer but I can give you a pattern to feed your esthetic sense.
Clearly this photo is BC (before Corvid-19). Ah, those were the days.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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A beautiful photo - very soothing to the eye, particularly on a day like today when everything is gray and dull.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Shortsighted

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Dull and gray can be a drag but even then there is muted colour and
subjects, especially after it rains. When the outdoor is not green there
may be stuff indoors that is.


Line of drops with string of lights


Turbulent Chlorophyll
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »