The Brenizer Method: Medium Format DoF with M4/3! (Or any cam =P)

napilopez

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So since I haven't seen it mentioned on this forum before, I thought I'd point out a technique commonly known as the Brenizer method for those who aren't aware of it. Basically, it's panorama stitching with a shallow DoF and/or telephoto lens. A "bokeh panorma", if you will.

Although it can be quite time consuming, it really does produce some wonderful results if you have static subjects and background or have control over their movements. Or your subjects don't even have to be static if you can get them entirely in the first shot. It can basically make your photos look like wide angle super fast FF or medium format photos(besides being mega high resolution)

Obviously this isn't super convenient, but if you ever have a shot you really want to do with shallow DoF at a wide angle of view and know you can't achieve that with M4/3, this is a great technique to try. I'd love to see someone try this with the 75mm f1.8. It's a great way to combine the intimacy of wide angle with the isolation of telephoto.

Details here:

The Brenizer Method Explained With Directions | San Francisco Bay Area Editorial Story-telling Wedding Photography

Here is one shot I found with the E-M5 and 45mm f1.8:

View attachment 249652
Olympus OM-D & Brenizer Method by jmcs36, on Flickr

And here is one awesomely shot by the "creator" himself(make sure to read the story behind it on 500px):

<table cellpadding="2"><tr><td style="border-bottom: 0px solid #fff;"><a href="http://500px.com/photo/2285428">
4.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"800" height="540" alt="Lemonade Out of Lemons by Ryan Brenizer (RyanBrenizer)) on 500px.com" border="0" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0;"></a><br/><font style="font-size: 120%;"><a href="http://500px.com/photo/2285428">Lemonade Out of Lemons</a> by <a href="http://500px.com/RyanBrenizer">Ryan Brenizer</a></font></td></tr></table>

I haven't tried it yet, I had forgotten about it for a while but I definitely will be soon!
 

fluberman

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Thanks for reminding me about the Brenizer method. I haven't used this method for m4/3 cameras, but last year I shot with 4/3 camera (Oly E-620) and ZD 50mm. Considering that 4/3 and m4/3 have the same sensor size, you might expect a similar perspective then for m4/3.

Below is some examples of the images I have. I don't remember how many images were stitched to create those.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/flubie/6882473877/" title="Alone in the middle of a frozen lake by Flubie, on Flickr">
6882473877_c487c7b263_b.jpg
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"1024" height="438" alt="Alone in the middle of a frozen lake"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/flubie/6882471253/" title="Let's enjoy the snow by Flubie, on Flickr">
6882471253_11ac4a9c29_z.jpg
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"549" height="640" alt="Let's enjoy the snow"></a>
 

NJH

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Forgive me but I think its easy to misinterpret the point of this method. It isn't to overcome DoF limitations and make a camera look like a different larger sensor camera, its to create something which is impossible otherwise, a perspective like a wide angle lens but with the DoF and compression from a short telephoto. Certainly interesting stuff but it seems crazy to me to stitch 20 or 30 images just to get more bokeh from m4/3. Couldn't one do that by just taking some OOF images and layering in photoshop?
 

jloden

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Forgive me but I think its easy to misinterpret the point of this method. It isn't to overcome DoF limitations and make a camera look like a different larger sensor camera, its to create something which is impossible otherwise, a perspective like a wide angle lens but with the DoF and compression from a short telephoto. Certainly interesting stuff but it seems crazy to me to stitch 20 or 30 images just to get more bokeh from m4/3. Couldn't one do that by just taking some OOF images and layering in photoshop?

Well, that's what you'd get with a wide angle lens on a medium format or large format camera with shallower depth of field. So in a sense, it *is* about creating images that mimic the look of other formats. Ryan Brenizer in the B&H video on this topic even mentions using this with an APS-C camera to reproduce a FF camera look. It's also a way to create results to emulate lenses that don't exist on your system, or simply ones you can't afford (wide angle super-fast primes).

Stitching the images versus layering (focus stacking the OOF areas) is to create a wider field of view from a long, fast lens used up close. Layering OOF areas wouldn't change your field of view, and it might or might not be possible to create the same effect from focus stacking depending on the exact lens, aperture, and distance to subject.
 
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