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Thread: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

  1. #1

    Default Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Not sure if i am making sense in asking this or is this a non-issue...

    I am wondering what would be the best focal lengths if you are shooting to stitch a panorama in PP?

    As zoom lenses tend to have some barrel distortion at the widest end i suppose that would compromise or make it harder for a stitching program if you shot at the wide end. Assuming i am using a DA 18-135mm, what would you recommend then, is a good focal length to shoot on?

  2. #2
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    From what I read, it is recommended above 50mm (35mm equivilent) because wide angle lenses have distortion making it extmrely difficult if not impossible to shoot and stitch, I just shot my first one yesterday and it wasn't too bad, shot at 70mm equivilent, though its troublesome to stand further, you get a bigger picture and coverage of a wide angle lens without the distortion though viewing is a little troublesome if you shoot an extmrely long one, this is my 2 cents, I'm no pro at pano, but this is what I did and it worked for me
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Member scorpioh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Another advise is to shoot in portrait orientation. That way, you can get more height out of the pano shot.
    I say the lens is the soul of a camera. What about the body? Well, it's just the body...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by spidey89 View Post
    From what I read, it is recommended above 50mm (35mm equivilent) because wide angle lenses have distortion making it extmrely difficult if not impossible to shoot and stitch, I just shot my first one yesterday and it wasn't too bad, shot at 70mm equivilent, though its troublesome to stand further, you get a bigger picture and coverage of a wide angle lens without the distortion though viewing is a little troublesome if you shoot an extmrely long one, this is my 2 cents, I'm no pro at pano, but this is what I did and it worked for me
    yes, thank you for the answer. i think 35mm on cropped sensor shall be my starting point, as you advised!

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpioh View Post
    Another advise is to shoot in portrait orientation. That way, you can get more height out of the pano shot.
    yes, i have GOT to remember to do that! Tend to just shoot landscape-wise when i think of panos...

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    Senior Member oceanpriest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    I usually use my 28mm manual lens to shoot pano. It took 24 frames to create this pic (3x6 with 50% overlap each)



    as comparison, this was taken using 16-45mm at 16mm


    For cityscape, I think it will be easier if you use 28mm or 35mm.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanpriest View Post
    I usually use my 28mm manual lens to shoot pano. It took 24 frames to create this pic (3x6 with 50% overlap each)



    as comparison, this was taken using 16-45mm at 16mm


    For cityscape, I think it will be easier if you use 28mm or 35mm.
    nice i must try it one day

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Or .. make a gigapixel image ?
    get a long focal length for pano shots
    K10D, K-x, K-r Tamron17-50, Sigma30, Sigma70-200APO+1.4TC
    A50, Vivitar55, 135, Takumar200, MTO500

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanpriest View Post
    I usually use my 28mm manual lens to shoot pano. It took 24 frames to create this pic (3x6 with 50% overlap each)
    hi. everyone. just like to add on if you guys don't mind.
    the lens distortion may probably create problem for stitching but this sort of barrel distortion can be corrected using cs4 and above. So far, I haven't face such problem yet even without the correction. Maybe I haven't push the limit yet. Even the perspective distortion for close by object in the frame can be stitched. Just that you will find a bow line or sort of fish eye distortion effect in the pano frame. This one I did find in a few occasion it just refused to be stitched. Probably I may need to get a set up that will allow it to pan at the nodal point which may help.

    stitch 24 frames.... this is a really huge photo.

    what I can suggest for ts is to just go and try loh.
    Last edited by coolthought; 22nd December 2010 at 08:59 PM.
    Coolthought - 冷静思考 - クールだ http://xaa.xanga.com/0aba0666d143253.../t35917343.gif

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    I'm using 18mm for panoshots

    14 vertical shots in pef (really kill my slow & old pc),almost 180 degree angle.
    K10D, K-x, K-r Tamron17-50, Sigma30, Sigma70-200APO+1.4TC
    A50, Vivitar55, 135, Takumar200, MTO500

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    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    24 frames? I did mine in 12, but then again, I shot mine in landscape, good job!
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

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    Member dannyfoxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    I shot with fish eye, 6 shots to get 360 degrees with 30% overlap.

    here are my pano

    flickr
    ... I'm not a photographer yet.....

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    Senior Member oceanpriest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyfoxy View Post
    I shot with fish eye, 6 shots to get 360 degrees with 30% overlap.

    here are my pano

    nice one Did you use your DIY pano head?

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    Member dannyfoxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanpriest View Post
    nice one Did you use your DIY pano head?
    This was taken handheld without tripod
    flickr
    ... I'm not a photographer yet.....

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    14mm on 35mm full frame

    (Scroll to the right, its only half the pic appearing on screen)





    Or view it interactively here:

    http://pan0.net/intro.php?return=%2F...fe9a193ae2cfd2
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

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    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    of course if
    1) you want the resultant stitch to NOT look distorted and curved where it is suppose to be straight
    2) you are not to dextrous with post processing, and correction of distortions ( not sure how well PS CS5 does it but some softwares seem to do better ) or unless u r very techically proficient ( like our dearest NM86 )

    4) NOT have excessive crops here and there ( largely as a result of software de-distorting each wide frame leaving gaps in the stitch )

    and short of having a shift/PC lens, a stitching of frames captured with focal length in the telephoto range is easiest to handle. ( of course we understand it is really not always possible depending on the scene )

    Otherwise. all focal lengths will do ..

    Ryan
    Last edited by giantcanopy; 23rd December 2010 at 10:46 AM.

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    Member dannyfoxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    if use 14mm full frame, you only need 2-3 shots to get 180 degrees

    flickr
    ... I'm not a photographer yet.....

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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Hi Night86mare, nice uwa photos you got there.
    May i know if those pictures which were taken by the sigma 10-20 were pp in anyway to produce such "straightness" or simply taken from a distance? (Not too close)
    Thanks.
    K5, Tam 17-50, DA 50-200, FA 31, DA 70, DA 14

  19. #19

    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanoo View Post
    Hi Night86mare, nice uwa photos you got there.
    May i know if those pictures which were taken by the sigma 10-20 were pp in anyway to produce such "straightness" or simply taken from a distance? (Not too close)
    Thanks.
    some had to be liquified. this depends on the number of frames.

    i don't use any nodal heads, i just make sure legs are level (spirit level on legs), and camera is level. then use panballhead, pan.

    for up to 3-4 frames with 50% overlap, a LINEAR STITCH can be done most of the time, this will not need any work, very straightforward.

    beyond that, different type of stitch can be use (think is cylindrical, etc). i think up to 6 frames usually no work is required, or minor liquify needs to be done.

    for 8 frames and above, definitely will start getting slight fisheye effect for stitching. i am not sure if this will be the case if you use a nodal head (which is the best way to go), but i don't want to buy one just to test this, and i don't want to go around in life with a nodal head either.

    please note that this experience applies for users with ptgui.

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    Default Re: Best Focal Length for Pano shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    some had to be liquified. this depends on the number of frames.

    i don't use any nodal heads, i just make sure legs are level (spirit level on legs), and camera is level. then use panballhead, pan.

    for up to 3-4 frames with 50% overlap, a LINEAR STITCH can be done most of the time, this will not need any work, very straightforward.

    beyond that, different type of stitch can be use (think is cylindrical, etc). i think up to 6 frames usually no work is required, or minor liquify needs to be done.

    for 8 frames and above, definitely will start getting slight fisheye effect for stitching. i am not sure if this will be the case if you use a nodal head (which is the best way to go), but i don't want to buy one just to test this, and i don't want to go around in life with a nodal head either.

    please note that this experience applies for users with ptgui.
    Thanks bro. I'm penning down all these in my manual.
    K5, Tam 17-50, DA 50-200, FA 31, DA 70, DA 14

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