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Thread: Lens for Panoramas

  1. #1
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    Default Lens for Panoramas

    need some advise on which type of lens is best suited for panoramic shots. is it the zoom type of a prime lens type? tell me which and give reasons for your choosing.
    Mythbusters - the bigger the explosion, the better it is.

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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Quote Originally Posted by mohgui View Post
    need some advise on which type of lens is best suited for panoramic shots. is it the zoom type of a prime lens type? tell me which and give reasons for your choosing.
    some say prime sharper, esp if u wanna maintain edge to edge sharpness. IMO tho, primes might be better suit cos the focal length is fix, hence maintaining the same perspective thruout ur pano frame. zoom lens, all u need is a little change in the focal length in bet frames and u'll have a bit of problem stitching it later (i assume u doing panos on a DSLR?).

    dat said, i've done pano on a 17-55. i just have to remember to turn off all the AF and auto-watnots, once i got a lock on the focus and exposure. a little more hassle...
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    What kind of panoramic photography ? Landscape ? standard zoom should be more flexible ..

    Recommend to use with a stable tripod and pano bracket.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Not necessary to use tripod unless it's for night or low speed. Important is the exposure, WB, focus and level. As mentioned by someone, be sure you do not zoom in between shots. a slight zoom may ruin the whole sequence of shots. Just make sure you have an overlap of more than 50% then you can afford to drop frames.
    Here is one I did long time ago. Eg1 Eg2 and Eg3
    Forgot, your choice of software is also very important.
    Last edited by Blu-By-U; 14th November 2006 at 02:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    i'm doing landscape pano on a DSLR.

    i've heard people mentioned that prime lens offer distortion-free edges as compared to zoom lenses. this will enable easy stitching. is this true?

    oh, thanks for other insights to panoramic shots.
    Mythbusters - the bigger the explosion, the better it is.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Yes. Prime lens should give lesser distortion, thus easier to stitch.

    Visit this link for useful pano informatino http://www.panoguide.com/howto/panoramas/
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    Yes. Prime lens should give lesser distortion, thus easier to stitch.

    Visit this link for useful pano informatino http://www.panoguide.com/howto/panoramas/
    dude, thanks!
    Mythbusters - the bigger the explosion, the better it is.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Prime lens is better. Because:

    1) Better quality, assuming you are getting a good prime lens. Better edge to edge sharpness and less light fall off at edges. You get better stitching results.

    2) You don't have to worry about "accidental" changing of focal length which will pretty much screw up your stitching process.

    Whatever your lens choice, you should also do a distortion test on your lens, no matter how slight it is. Correct for distortion before you stitch to ensure you get the best panoramic stitching.


    Do you plan to use your panorama to generate a virtual tour like those QuickTime VR movies or just for normal image on screen display or for print?

    Whatever the case, all lens can be used. The difference is in the quality of the lens. Other important things to note are:

    1) Keep camera level. Use of tripod is a must for best results or else you get image clippings along the top and bottom horizontals.

    2) Exposure must be consistent for all shots. If you can, set your camera to manual exposure or else use AE lock.

    3) Use a shutter release if possible to reduce camera shake. Lock you mirror if you can.

    Have fun shooting panos

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    And dun use circular polarizer ... realised it too late

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Why not? Any sample to show?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Use a lens with the least distortion. If you use a zoom lens, choose a focal length with least distortion This usually is in the mid range of the zoom. Extreme wide or tele ends will usually give pincushion or barrel distortion. Lens distortion poses a little problem when stitching photos together, albeit software has the ability to correct this distortion. It will prevent funny distortion at the stitches.

    Why do you not use polarisers? As you pan, the angle wrt to the light source (the sun) changes and the degree of polarising changes. You will get changing colour tone from frame to frame.
    Last edited by Scaglietti; 15th November 2006 at 11:32 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    If you are creating QuickTime VR type panorama, using a focal length somewhere in the middle of your zoom lens presents a problem in determining an accurate nodal point. If you do not locate your nodal point accurately, you will have stitching errors.

    Using zoom lens tend to have a higher chance of accidental change in focal lengths, which will definitely screw up your stitching.

    As for barrel distortion, using Pano Tools, will more than take care of it. All the leading panoramic QTVR developers use it and deliver professional results for their clients. So do not fear the distortions and using software to correct it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    I have tried Realz Stitcher and Panorama Factor, and they are great panoramic softwares.

    Recently my friend intro this new pano software called AutoPano and I tried it. Very friendly and stitching is done automatically. It can stitch multiple rows too.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Since we are here discussing panoramas, Can someone advice how to correct a single out of level shot in a panorama? I have this sequence. The last shot is slightly tilted resulting in the final picture, a building being tilted. I tried rotating the picture before the switching process and somehow it still would not join properly.

    In my recent trip, I used the 11~22 (E-330) in almost all the panos. I think I do not have the problem of distortion was that all my shots have an overlap of 50% or more. As for software, Arcsoft's PanoramaMaker version 3. Their version 4 is horrible. Until they come out with a patch for editing and adjustment, you should not even bother to look at it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Quote Originally Posted by Blu-By-U View Post
    Why not? Any sample to show?
    I have not finish the final touch ups for my china pics yet. But a preliminary processing revealed the following. The place where i took the pano, sky was very very blue. Usage of CPL will render some parts of the sky darker than the rest. Imagine stiching several of these pics together and u get a final panorama with differing blue skies right across in a wave form. I'd rather stick with a UV Haze and adjust the levels later in PS.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    I have tried Realz Stitcher and Panorama Factor, and they are great panoramic softwares.

    Recently my friend intro this new pano software called AutoPano and I tried it. Very friendly and stitching is done automatically. It can stitch multiple rows too.
    Does Autopano evens out uneven skies caused by CPL in each frame? Getting sick of painting the skies with my healing brush and clone tools...haha..
    Last edited by maestrolik; 15th November 2006 at 01:32 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    ok ok..now learning. If you have not mentioned the CPL's problem, I would be using it on my next holiday and come home with the same problems as you are facing now. Thanks.

    So how do we overcome water reflections?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Ah that one bo pian, have to use CPL to cut out the reflections. In fact the best time from my experience to use CPL is during high noon, and in places where there is alot of greens and reds and yellows (ie field full of flowers). If it is high altitude and sky is very blue, i'd rather use a UV Haze (get a multi coated one) as the blue which I get from the CPL is not to my liking no matter how much i adjusted, seems to be always a dark dirty blue instead of the sky blue seen in postcards.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Quote Originally Posted by Blu-By-U View Post
    Since we are here discussing panoramas, Can someone advice how to correct a single out of level shot in a panorama? I have this sequence. The last shot is slightly tilted resulting in the final picture, a building being tilted. I tried rotating the picture before the switching process and somehow it still would not join properly.

    In my recent trip, I used the 11~22 (E-330) in almost all the panos. I think I do not have the problem of distortion was that all my shots have an overlap of 50% or more. As for software, Arcsoft's PanoramaMaker version 3. Their version 4 is horrible. Until they come out with a patch for editing and adjustment, you should not even bother to look at it.
    You did the right thing by trying to level the image before stitching but this could end up with unpredictable results, depends on your software. Try using a different stitching software. Different software use different methods for stitching. If your program has manual stitch, use that function.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lens for Panoramas

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    I have tried Realz Stitcher and Panorama Factor, and they are great panoramic softwares.

    Recently my friend intro this new pano software called AutoPano and I tried it. Very friendly and stitching is done automatically. It can stitch multiple rows too.
    Yes, Realviz Stitcher is great but learning curve a bit steep, must RTFM or else blur like hell

    I still use my QuickTime VR Authoring Tool Suite and Studio. Sometimes VR ToolBox.

    Mac based, so never tried Panorama Factory and Autopan.

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