I already blogged on using Gigapan Pro Panoramic head with a modified digital camera for multispectral imaging. This blog is about using the same head with an InGaAs camera for fast Panoramic Infrared Reflectography.

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Multispectral imaging at the highest resolution possible and in the shortest time is a great advantage for documentation of large collections. There are excellent medium and large format cameras on the market which produce large file, but they are expensive. The affordable solution is a panoramic head coupled with a stitching software. A motorized pan head such as the EPIC Pro produced by Gigapan allows to make the process automatic. Any DSLR camera can be used together with a prime telephoto lens.This is how I get multispectral imaging at high resolution. The multispectral images have pixel dimension 12000 x 1000 and have been collected with a modified Nikon D800 – 36 MP – and a 200 mm telephoto lens with a total of 12 stitched shots. Images are uploaded on IIPImage server and visible here

Multispectral imaging of this size and higher can be shared on the internet using IIPImage, an image server system for web-based streamed viewing and zooming of ultra high-resolution images. 

The Gigapan EPIC Pro motorized pan head as said – allows to automatically take the shots sequence since it can trigger a DSLR camera with cables provided for the major camera models. Though, this head can be used in automatic with any imaging device connected to a PC since a USB trigger adapter can be implemented. Gigapan don’t provide this trigger adapter device yet but I know they are working on it or you can make it yourself and they will be happy to tell you how to set it up. Otherwise you can just keep saving your images manually.

Infrared Reflectography mosaicing

Infrared Reflectography mosaicing of 104 InGaAs images. Gigapan makes the shooting process precise and fast while PTGUI takes care of stitching the images.

Panoramic Infrared reflectography is the low cost alternative to high resolution infrared reflectography done with pretty costly systems. I plugged my InGaAs camera  (320×256 pixels) Merlin NIR produced by Indigo Systems to a Gigapan Pro head to produce the Infrared Reflectography image hosted on gigapan.com and on IIPIMAGE. A total of 104 images were shot with a 200 mm telephoto lens and stitched with PTGUI software.

panoramic infrared reflectography

Gigapan Pro can hold a digital SLR camera as well as an InGaAs or a Thermal Camera. It makes stitching more fast and precise.

The video below show the PTGUI stitching procedure. If you consider you get the stitching in 2 minutes and you invested just $200 for the Telephoto lens, $200 for PTGUI and $1000 for Gigapan, it sounds pretty fair. Caveat, in the stitching totally automatic process, software can make some mistakes. But you can correct them adding control points.

Using an automatic trigger, a panoramic head could be used  with any other imaging device such as thermal cameras for detailed thermographic imaging of historical architecture.


pigments checker v2 vsPigments Checker is for photographers, conservators and scientists interested in technical documentation of paintingss. It has 54 swatches of historical pigments designed for infrared photography, ultraviolet photography and other technical photographic methods for art examination. Check it out!

Pigments Checker is a collection of 54 swatches of his­tor­i­cal pig­ments that have been applied using gum ara­bic as a binder on a cel­lu­lose and cot­ton water­color paper, acids and lignin free. This paper is not treated with opti­cal bright­en­ers, it’s slightly UV flu­o­res­cent, and it reflects IR. Two cross-hair lines, 0,2 mm (ver­ti­cal) and 0.4 mm (hor­i­zon­tal) are printed on each swatch of paper before the appli­ca­tion of paint, in order to have a means to eval­u­ate the pig­ments’ trans­parency in the IR and IRR imag­ing. Among all the pig­ments and their vari­eties ever used in art these pig­ments col­lec­tion select the most used ones from antiquity to early 1950’.