Panorama photos.

D
Posted By
drjchamberlain
Dec 6, 2005
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1123
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23
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Closed
Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?

3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joseph Chamberlain

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MR
Mike Russell
Dec 6, 2005
"Joseph Chamberlain, DDS" wrote in message
….
1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

Experiment. Mount the camera on the tripod, and move to a position where two objects – for example a pair of lampposts, line up. Aim the camera so that the lampposts are near the left edge of the image. Rotate the camera and verify that the lampposts line up on the other edge of the field. If they do not, adjust the nodal point position of your tripod head and try again.

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?

Roughly 25%, but YMMV depending on any vignetting or edge distortion of your lens.
3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

Portrait is generally preferable because it gives you a wider vertical field of view, and fewer problems with vignetting and distortion.

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to
remove some unwanted image artifacts.

I’m a Windows guy. Someone else will have to answer this one. —
Mike Russell
www.curvemeister.com
S
Stewy
Dec 6, 2005
In article <BFBA80FE.32E1F%>,
"Joseph Chamberlain, DDS" wrote:

Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

Many tripods (especially Velbon) have a spirit level built-in. But if you take a 360 degree panorama, you don’t have to worry. Make sure you have separate pan and tilt locks.
2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?

20 – 25% is best. Try to shoot at ‘standard’ 1:1 (not wide-angle) If you do use wide-angle increase to 30% or more
3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

Portrait seems to work best.
4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

If you have the cash, then the Realvis panorama maker if the one for you – not only horizontal panoramas but also sphericals are easy. If not, Photoshop will do it for you but you have to use manual exposure. Make a search at Version Tracker for software.

http://www.versiontracker.com/macosx/
http://www.realvis.com/start.html
C
Clyde
Dec 6, 2005
Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?
3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joseph Chamberlain

1. Put the camera on a tripod. Ideally this will be on a panohead on the tripod, otherwise you won’t have a nice easy way to move the camera forward and back. This method also lines up the nodal point of your lens on the tripod, it doesn’t really tell you where the nodal point is.

Aim the camera at a near vertical object AND a far vertical object; lined up together. Pivot the camera side to side on the tripod to put the two vertical objects on the side and in the middle. Ideally you will have the two vertical objects lined up together on the side. When they don’t move in relationship to each other as you pivot the camera, you have it adjusted to the nodal point.

It may not matter; see below.

2. Don’t listen to the others. You want 50% overlay. You can get by with 30%, but you want all you can get. Stitching in the software will be a lot easier with 50%.

3. You can do it either way, but most of us put the camera in portrait orientation. The stitching will expand the width of the picture for as wide as you want it. Unless you are doing a spherical panoramic, the wide angle of your lens will be all that captures the vertical range of the picture. So, portrait orientation will capture the most.

4. PTMac. http://www.kekus.com/ It is one of those frontend systems that uses Panotools in the background. In the Windows world there are 3 of these: PTGui, PTAssembler, & Hugin. This is the only one for Mac. It does cost a tiny bit, but it is worth it.

I used to use this, but switched to all Windows. This program is very good. The support is great. Highly recommended. It doesn’t allow editing, but that’s why you have Photoshop.

However, Panotools (PT) based programs do have a bit of a learning curve. They are powerful and very flexible, but you have to spend some time learning the concepts and techniques. When you do, it will be a great tool for you. There are a lot of Web sites that discuss working with these tools.

I use Hugin now, but it works much like PTMac. I very rarely use a tripod. I’ve learned the techniques to stitching and fixing handheld panos. Besides those panoheads are big, heavy, and a pain to carry around. These tools will let you straighten out handheld panos very acceptably.

Clyde
J
jaSPAMc
Dec 6, 2005
On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 07:42:56 GMT, "Joseph Chamberlain, DDS" found these unused words floating about:

Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

As others have said – you’ll have to experiment. That in mind – I’ve never worried about it! More important is levelling and proper stability of exposure. If you can, shift the camera so thet the lens is centered over the pivot of the tripod and not worry overmuch about front/rear shift. More than half my pans are hand held – too rugged locations to be lugging a full tripod!

http://www.ttrr.org/ac_walk/aw_p12a.html
http://lephoto.ttrr.org/panorama.html

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?

Many say 25%. I use less when I have the lens in a > 50mm (equivalent) range. Usually I pick out (visually) a spot to mark and then pan until that spot is about the same distance from the opposite edge.

3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

PORTRAIT ! You can -always- take more images on a smaller pan turn, but you can’t tilt up/down to get more ground/sky.

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

Ummmmmm ………….. Photoshop.

USE the tools built in! YEs, it’s manual {SHUDDER}, but with a bit of practice, you’ll not see the joins. I gave up on ‘automated’ stitching as I could -always- find the join.

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joseph Chamberlain
A
Auspics
Dec 7, 2005
Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?
3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joseph Chamberlain
The nodal point is not fixed in a Zoom lenses. Specify your lens and I might be able to tell you where it is. Otherwise, assume the rear element is the nodal point but another poster has told you how to establish it.
D
drjchamberlain
Dec 8, 2005
On 12/7/05 2:33 AM, in article
nUylf.13743$, "Alienjones himself"
wrote:

The nodal point is not fixed in a Zoom lenses. Specify your lens and I might be able to tell you where it is. Otherwise, assume the rear element is the nodal point but another poster has told you how to establish it.

First I wish to thank you all who responded to my post and provided such valuable information to my questions. The help is greatly appreciated.

The lens I am planning to use is the new 24-105mm f/4 zoom which I’ve just purchased. This is the new lot just released by Canon and not the 1000 lenses that were recalled due to a flare problem. The range is very nice and it seems to be one of those all around lenses. The zoom range is nice and I could have it set to any focal length depending on what is the ideal for the situation at hand.

In your opinion what would be the best focal length to be used for a panorama within this zoom range ? Would it be fair to assume that 105mm would be best since it probably produces less distortion around the edges ?

Thank you again for all your replies and the valuable input.

Best regards,

Joseph



Dr. Joseph Chamberlain
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
A
Auspics
Dec 8, 2005
Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
On 12/7/05 2:33 AM, in article
nUylf.13743$, "Alienjones himself"
wrote:

The nodal point is not fixed in a Zoom lenses. Specify your lens and I might be able to tell you where it is. Otherwise, assume the rear element is the nodal point but another poster has told you how to establish it.

First I wish to thank you all who responded to my post and provided such valuable information to my questions. The help is greatly appreciated.
The lens I am planning to use is the new 24-105mm f/4 zoom which I’ve just purchased. This is the new lot just released by Canon and not the 1000 lenses that were recalled due to a flare problem. The range is very nice and it seems to be one of those all around lenses. The zoom range is nice and I could have it set to any focal length depending on what is the ideal for the situation at hand.

In your opinion what would be the best focal length to be used for a panorama within this zoom range ? Would it be fair to assume that 105mm would be best since it probably produces less distortion around the edges ?
Thank you again for all your replies and the valuable input.
Best regards,

Joseph



Dr. Joseph Chamberlain
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
The greater the zoom ratio the less useful a lens is for stitched Panoramas. The nodal point of this lens could be anywhere within 15mm (over half an inch) of the predicted one.

Best results are obtained with fixed length (prime) lenses If you are going to use this on your 1Ds, then about 75mm would be good but really, why not get a dedicated lens for the job? Money doesn’t seem to be a problem. I’d use a 100 mm lens in portrait orientation, taking 40 or 50% overlaps with such a rig. Anything up to 10 shots will get you a nice picture in the resolution you need to make a wall size enlargement.

If you like the idea of getting a wider shot then a 50mm f1.4 is the only other choice but even these lenses have distortion at the edges – which is why I use portrait pictures to join, any distortion is at the top or bottom and joining is easier in the centre range.
N
nospam
Dec 8, 2005
On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 07:42:56 GMT, "Joseph Chamberlain, DDS" wrote (with possible editing):

Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

The nodal point is just ahead of the film plane, but normally it pretty closely corresponds to the tripod socket. Personally, I don’t worry about it.

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?

Most experts (I am not one) say between 30 – 50%. I use between 30 – 40% and that has been fine with a medium length lens (normalized 50 – 75 mm lens on a 35 mm format camera).

3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

It all depends upon what you are trying to accomplish. There is no "best" unless you specify some other criteria.

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

Can’t help. Sorry.


Larry
Email to rapp at lmr dot com

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joseph Chamberlain
RF
Robert Feinman
Dec 8, 2005
In article <BFBCEFAE.3330A%>,
says…
On 12/7/05 2:33 AM, in article
nUylf.13743$, "Alienjones himself"
wrote:

The nodal point is not fixed in a Zoom lenses. Specify your lens and I might be able to tell you where it is. Otherwise, assume the rear element is the nodal point but another poster has told you how to establish it.

First I wish to thank you all who responded to my post and provided such valuable information to my questions. The help is greatly appreciated.
The lens I am planning to use is the new 24-105mm f/4 zoom which I’ve just purchased. This is the new lot just released by Canon and not the 1000 lenses that were recalled due to a flare problem. The range is very nice and it seems to be one of those all around lenses. The zoom range is nice and I could have it set to any focal length depending on what is the ideal for the situation at hand.

In your opinion what would be the best focal length to be used for a panorama within this zoom range ? Would it be fair to assume that 105mm would be best since it probably produces less distortion around the edges ?
Thank you again for all your replies and the valuable input.
The nodal point issue is over-rated for objects more than about 10 feet away. A difference of a few inches won’t affect the results. I’ve shot many stitched panoramas handholding the camera and rotating *me*. As for the focal length to use: if you shoot vertically you will get more image above and below the horizon. The wider the angle the more you get and the fewer the number of images needed to cover a given scene. If the scene is rather flat this may just mean including lots of boring sky. If you use good stitching software distortions caused by the rotation will be fixed so the use of a narrower field of view to correct for this will not be necessary.

You can look at some of my panoramas and see what sort of effect you desire and that may help you decide on how to take the pictures. For stitching I like Panorama Factory, but several others work as well.


Robert D Feinman
Landscapes, Cityscapes and Panoramic Photographs
http://robertdfeinman.com
mail:
C
Clyde
Dec 8, 2005
Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
On 12/7/05 2:33 AM, in article
nUylf.13743$, "Alienjones himself"
wrote:

The nodal point is not fixed in a Zoom lenses. Specify your lens and I might be able to tell you where it is. Otherwise, assume the rear element is the nodal point but another poster has told you how to establish it.

First I wish to thank you all who responded to my post and provided such valuable information to my questions. The help is greatly appreciated.
The lens I am planning to use is the new 24-105mm f/4 zoom which I’ve just purchased. This is the new lot just released by Canon and not the 1000 lenses that were recalled due to a flare problem. The range is very nice and it seems to be one of those all around lenses. The zoom range is nice and I could have it set to any focal length depending on what is the ideal for the situation at hand.

In your opinion what would be the best focal length to be used for a panorama within this zoom range ? Would it be fair to assume that 105mm would be best since it probably produces less distortion around the edges ?
Thank you again for all your replies and the valuable input.
Best regards,

Joseph



Dr. Joseph Chamberlain
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Using a wide angle lens for shooting panos will cover more in each shot. I know that sounds simplistic, but it is the same for stitched panos or single pictures. If you cover more with each shot, you need fewer shot to get your whole pano in.

The longer the lens is the more shots it will take to get you pano taken. It will also narrow the angle of the view. This isn’t a problem for the width of the pano, but it can be for the height. Panos shot with normal to tele lens will be very wide and very short; more so the longer the lens is. The lens will cover less in the vertical and take more shots to cover the horizontal.

For that reason, most pano shooters use the widest lens they can get. We want to get our picture with as few shots as possible. This will give us panos with a more reasonable dimensional ratio. For example, you are more likely to get a pano that is 8×23" with a wide angle lens. With a short tele lens, you are more likely to get a 4×23" pano.

The ratio isn’t good for just display. It is also important in editing. If you shoot everything on a tripod with a properly calibrated panohead, this may not be an issue. However, a lot of us shoot handheld. This will tend to stitch together in a wavy manner. This is due to not holding the camera level and/or going up and down as you turn. If you have nice vertical or horizontal reference lines in your pano, this can often be corrected in software. Still is it common to crop off some of the top and bottom. On a wide, short pano the top may be lower than the bottom in the middle of a wavy pano. That leaves you with a pano you can’t crop. So it is often very good to have plenty of extra at the top and bottom of your final pano. You only get that by using a wide angle lens.

Of course, using a wide angle lens for panos will give you the same perspective shift that it will in single shots. i.e. Object will appear to be farther away in the picture. Tele lens will pull things closer. In theory, you would use it the same way in panos. In practice you aren’t likely to find many places to use a tele. To do so, you usually need to be far away from everything in your pano. That is great for shooting the horizon in the prairies, plains, or deserts, but not too many other shots. Besides the above points tend to over ride this.

So, experiment with the whole range of your 24-105. I bet you’ll quickly be shooting all panos at the 24mm end. Many pano shooter use lens that a much wider than 24mm. There is a lust for 180 degree fisheye lens among a lot of pano shooters.

Clyde
T
toby
Dec 8, 2005

J. A. Mc. wrote:
On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 07:42:56 GMT, "Joseph Chamberlain, DDS" found these unused words floating about:

Dear members:

I am purchasing a special tripod head for panorama shots and have some questions for the group.

1. how can I determine what the nodal point for my lens is ? I have looked at a few but can’t seem to find any kind of imprinted sign that identifies it (maybe I haven’t looked in the right place).

As others have said – you’ll have to experiment. That in mind – I’ve never worried about it! More important is levelling and proper stability of exposure. If you can, shift the camera so thet the lens is centered over the pivot of the tripod and not worry overmuch about front/rear shift. More than half my pans are hand held – too rugged locations to be lugging a full tripod!

http://www.ttrr.org/ac_walk/aw_p12a.html
http://lephoto.ttrr.org/panorama.html

2. What is considered the proper overlap between shots for proper assembly of the panorama and the achievement of the best possible results ?

Many say 25%. I use less when I have the lens in a > 50mm (equivalent) range. Usually I pick out (visually) a spot to mark and then pan until that spot is about the same distance from the opposite edge.

3. I have seen panoramas made with the camera mounted on the tripod in landscape mode as well as in portrait mode. What is the best one and what difference exists between the two options ?

PORTRAIT ! You can -always- take more images on a smaller pan turn, but you can’t tilt up/down to get more ground/sky.

That’s right – you’ll usually need as much vertical field of view as you can get.

4. What is the best panorama software to use with the Macintosh ? I am looking for one that provides some alternatives in terms of image editing to remove some unwanted image artifacts.

Ummmmmm ………….. Photoshop.

USE the tools built in! YEs, it’s manual {SHUDDER}, but with a bit of practice, you’ll not see the joins. I gave up on ‘automated’ stitching as I could -always- find the join.

The operations of true stitching (in particular, deprojecting before joining) cannot be done in Photoshop. While it can be a quick hack for simple cases, there’s much more to stitching than just butting together a series of 2D images (intro here:
http://www.sgi.com/misc/grafica/merge/index.html).

As for stitching software, you must have been using bad settings or bad source material if you could find the joins. Using correct de-projection for your lens, assuming there are no mismatching exposures or backgrounds, seams are gone. I used Apple’s QTVR Authoring Studio for most of my work, but the other tools cited would be just as good.

Thank you for your help.

Best regards,

Joseph Chamberlain
JH
Jim Hargan
Dec 8, 2005
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 10:40:29 -0600, Clyde wrote:

So, experiment with the whole range of your 24-105. I bet you’ll quickly be shooting all panos at the 24mm end. Many pano shooter use lens that a much wider than 24mm. There is a lust for 180 degree fisheye lens among a lot of pano shooters.

If you shoot an image with (say) a 28mm lens, you will notice that vertical lines towards the edge of the image slant inward. Known as "apparent distortion", it’s not really distortion at all. It’s the result of trying to cram additional image width into a frame whose width is fixed. This is not a lens error, and you cannot stop it from happening.

Note that these edge verticals will always slant inward. That means that the vertical lines on the joining edges will slant in different directions. The wider your lens, the more extreme this will be.

The purpose of panorama shooting isn’t to make a long, narrow image; you can always do this by cropping. It’s to make a long, narrow, *high resolution* image. When you crop, you loose resolution, throw away information. When you assemble separate images, you gain new information. As discussed on other threads, this may or may not be important; it depends on the final use.

So, I would advise: concentrate on resolution. You can triple your information capture by using a heavy tripod, mirror lockup, and cable release. Fixed lenses have more resolving power than zoom lenses. Filters reduce resolution; AFAIK, only a polarizer will actually give you new information. Properly handled, low speed 35mm film can resolve 5500 pixels along the long axis. This is enough information to print 18" wide at 300 dpi — if you’ve done everything else right.


Jim Hargan
Freelance Photographer and Writer
www.harganonline.com
J
jaSPAMc
Dec 9, 2005
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 19:27:03 GMT, Jim Hargan
found these unused words floating
about:

On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 10:40:29 -0600, Clyde wrote:

So, experiment with the whole range of your 24-105. I bet you’ll quickly be shooting all panos at the 24mm end. Many pano shooter use lens that a much wider than 24mm. There is a lust for 180 degree fisheye lens among a lot of pano shooters.

If you shoot an image with (say) a 28mm lens, you will notice that vertical lines towards the edge of the image slant inward. Known as "apparent distortion", it’s not really distortion at all. It’s the result of trying to cram additional image width into a frame whose width is fixed. This is not a lens error, and you cannot stop it from happening.

While -not- an ‘error’ in the lens per se — it IS distortion caused by the wider angle of view and usually referred to as "barrel distortion’.

Note that these edge verticals will always slant inward. That means that the vertical lines on the joining edges will slant in different directions. The wider your lens, the more extreme this will be.

The purpose of panorama shooting isn’t to make a long, narrow image; you can always do this by cropping.

Provided you -could- get the desired field of view within one shot …

It’s to make a long, narrow, *high
resolution* image. When you crop, you loose resolution, throw away information. When you assemble separate images, you gain new information. As discussed on other threads, this may or may not be important; it depends on the final use.

So, I would advise: concentrate on resolution.

Amen!

You can triple your
information capture by using a heavy tripod, mirror lockup, and cable release. Fixed lenses have more resolving power than zoom lenses. Filters reduce resolution; AFAIK, only a polarizer will actually give you new information. Properly handled, low speed 35mm film can resolve 5500 pixels along the long axis. This is enough information to print 18" wide at 300 dpi — if you’ve done everything else right.

Digital camera resolution is pretty much ‘fixed’. If you use a sufficiently high shutter speed, then you’ll get all that the camera has without lockup or cable release.
JH
Jim Hargan
Dec 9, 2005
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:15:21 -0800, J. A. Mc. wrote:

Digital camera resolution is pretty much ‘fixed’. If you use a sufficiently high shutter speed, then you’ll get all that the camera has without lockup or cable release.

High shutter speeds cause you to open the lens and loose depth of field — another way of loosing resolution. Lenses are typically optimal at 5.6 to 11. However, minimum aperture can give you lots of foreground detail while loosing you a tiny bit of edge detail. I tend to shoot minimum aperture. Need a tripod for that.


Jim Hargan
Freelance Photographer and Writer
www.harganonline.com
D
drjchamberlain
Dec 9, 2005
On 12/8/05 2:41 AM, in article
P5Ulf.14485$, "Alienjones himself"
wrote:

The greater the zoom ratio the less useful a lens is for stitched Panoramas. The nodal point of this lens could be anywhere within 15mm (over half an inch) of the predicted one.

Best results are obtained with fixed length (prime) lenses If you are going to use this on your 1Ds, then about 75mm would be good but really, why not get a dedicated lens for the job? Money doesn’t seem to be a problem. I’d use a 100 mm lens in portrait orientation, taking 40 or 50% overlaps with such a rig. Anything up to 10 shots will get you a nice picture in the resolution you need to make a wall size enlargement.
If you like the idea of getting a wider shot then a 50mm f1.4 is the only other choice but even these lenses have distortion at the edges – which is why I use portrait pictures to join, any distortion is at the top or bottom and joining is easier in the centre range.

Your answer gave me a great idea. I have Canon’s 100 mm macro lens that I use for macro medical photography. This is not a "L" lens but it produces images of good quality and it may be a good option for panoramas since it is a prime with a fixed nodal point.

Thank for the suggestion.

Best regards,

Joseph



Dr. Joseph Chamberlain
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
D
drjchamberlain
Dec 9, 2005
Thank you again to all who responded my post.

After reading the latest post I can see that there seems to be differing opinions as to what lens is best for panoramas. Some favor lenses with wide coverage while others seem to think that lenses in the 50mm to 100mm are better.

The two prime lens I own that fall within the suggestions that have been made are the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens (non "L") and the 24mm f/1.4 L lens. Which one of these two lenses would you feel to be the best for panoramas ?

Now, although lenses with wide coverage are probably more convenient and simpler to use since last frames will be required to cover the entire panorama area, wouldn’t it be better to use a longer focal lens with less coverage to capture more frames and create a greater resolution panorama ?

I keep thinking of these panoramas as a series of "tiles" assembled together. The tiles will always have the resolution of my camera’s sensor independent of what lens I choose. In the case of a telephoto lens such as one in the 100mm lens the coverage area will be reduced requiring more frames to form the same panorama with a greater resolution image as the end result.

From all I’ve read here and in other pages portrait orientation seems to be the way to go with panoramas. In this case the 100mm should provide enough coverage but in case it doesn’t I can always take two rows of photos instead of one. In your opinion, assuming I have the camera set on a tripod with a pano head, how difficult is it to create a panorama with two rows of frames instead of one ?

The main question now:

The purpose of the panorama is to generate high resolution images. However, the higher resolution will not have that much impact if it can’t somehow be translated to greater resolution images on paper. I have an Epson photo printer that usually produces great quality photo-like prints. Its max resolution is rated at 5760 dpi but I have seen discussions here and elsewhere that this theoretical resolution is not always achievable.

After creating a panorama with the highest possible resolution, how can I ensure that all the details present in this atypically large file will actually be transferred to my print ? What settings and protocol should be followed to ensure that all the pixels in the image file will be transferred to paper or that the printer will print at its maximum claimed resolution ?

I guess my idea here about panoramas is that they have the potential to create something a little above the ordinary prints we see on regular base in magazines and even printing from our printers in much the same way that Photoshop’s HDR offers an alternative to enhance dynamic range when compared to the digital and printing technology we have used up to now. Is this a fair expectation ?

Thank you again to all who responded and I appreciate the extremely helpful and informative responses.

Best regards,

Joseph



Dr. Joseph Chamberlain
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
R
rumpledickskin
Dec 9, 2005
Whew!
Good thread!
A
Auspics
Dec 9, 2005
Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
Thank you again to all who responded my post.

After reading the latest post I can see that there seems to be differing opinions as to what lens is best for panoramas. Some favor lenses with wide coverage while others seem to think that lenses in the 50mm to 100mm are better.

The two prime lens I own that fall within the suggestions that have been made are the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens (non "L") and the 24mm f/1.4 L lens. Which one of these two lenses would you feel to be the best for panoramas ?
Now, although lenses with wide coverage are probably more convenient and simpler to use since last frames will be required to cover the entire panorama area, wouldn’t it be better to use a longer focal lens with less coverage to capture more frames and create a greater resolution panorama ?
I keep thinking of these panoramas as a series of "tiles" assembled together. The tiles will always have the resolution of my camera’s sensor independent of what lens I choose. In the case of a telephoto lens such as one in the 100mm lens the coverage area will be reduced requiring more frames to form the same panorama with a greater resolution image as the end result.

From all I’ve read here and in other pages portrait orientation seems to be the way to go with panoramas. In this case the 100mm should provide enough coverage but in case it doesn’t I can always take two rows of photos instead of one. In your opinion, assuming I have the camera set on a tripod with a pano head, how difficult is it to create a panorama with two rows of frames instead of one ?

The main question now:

The purpose of the panorama is to generate high resolution images. However, the higher resolution will not have that much impact if it can’t somehow be translated to greater resolution images on paper. I have an Epson photo printer that usually produces great quality photo-like prints. Its max resolution is rated at 5760 dpi but I have seen discussions here and elsewhere that this theoretical resolution is not always achievable.
After creating a panorama with the highest possible resolution, how can I ensure that all the details present in this atypically large file will actually be transferred to my print ? What settings and protocol should be followed to ensure that all the pixels in the image file will be transferred to paper or that the printer will print at its maximum claimed resolution ?
I guess my idea here about panoramas is that they have the potential to create something a little above the ordinary prints we see on regular base in magazines and even printing from our printers in much the same way that Photoshop’s HDR offers an alternative to enhance dynamic range when compared to the digital and printing technology we have used up to now. Is this a fair expectation ?

Thank you again to all who responded and I appreciate the extremely helpful and informative responses.

Best regards,

Joseph
You’ll need to decide for yourself who’s ideas you’ll go along with but you should keep in mind that all lenses below 50mm on your camera will produce distortion. True, some software will "correct" distortion for known lenses but every time you alter (edit) an image it degrades. If you use the ultimate pano tools (costa lota cash) you can quickly assemble 50 shots into a nice image of exemplary detail and huge size.

Otherwise, I think many of the suggestions offered are less than ideal if you are the perfectionist past posts suggest you are. My check list you might like to consider is this:

1. lens size. Smaller is more distorted, longer means more shots. Zoom means variable nodal point. Not much value in a Manfrotto pano head if you keep moving the point of rotation! Despite what Robert says, you simply can’t align a million pebbles in a pano if the nodal point was you and you had to breath during the rotation.

2. Software. The real stuff costs more than many lenses but makes child’s play out of the most complex assembly. Panoramas are vista as well as just wide. Many of my wall filling shots are stitched from a 100 or so images in both vertical and horizontal directions. The real trick then is the force some distortion into the finished image so it look natural. That’s another story!
C
Clyde
Dec 9, 2005
Jim Hargan wrote:
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 10:40:29 -0600, Clyde wrote:

So, experiment with the whole range of your 24-105. I bet you’ll quickly be shooting all panos at the 24mm end. Many pano shooter use lens that a much wider than 24mm. There is a lust for 180 degree fisheye lens among a lot of pano shooters.

If you shoot an image with (say) a 28mm lens, you will notice that vertical lines towards the edge of the image slant inward. Known as "apparent distortion", it’s not really distortion at all. It’s the result of trying to cram additional image width into a frame whose width is fixed. This is not a lens error, and you cannot stop it from happening.
Note that these edge verticals will always slant inward. That means that the vertical lines on the joining edges will slant in different directions. The wider your lens, the more extreme this will be.
That is called barrel distortion and it isn’t just "apparent", it is real. Very few lens have no barrel distortion. A good stitching program should be able to correct for that. Actually if they can’t, you won’t get a perfect stitch.

Fisheye lenses have extreme amounts of barrel distortion. Many pano shooter use fisheye lenses to get the widest shots that they can. They rely on good stitching software to correct.

The purpose of panorama shooting isn’t to make a long, narrow image; you can always do this by cropping. It’s to make a long, narrow, *high resolution* image. When you crop, you loose resolution, throw away information. When you assemble separate images, you gain new information. As discussed on other threads, this may or may not be important; it depends on the final use.

So, I would advise: concentrate on resolution. You can triple your information capture by using a heavy tripod, mirror lockup, and cable release. Fixed lenses have more resolving power than zoom lenses. Filters reduce resolution; AFAIK, only a polarizer will actually give you new information. Properly handled, low speed 35mm film can resolve 5500 pixels along the long axis. This is enough information to print 18" wide at 300 dpi — if you’ve done everything else right.

Nothing to put in front of the capture sensor will change it’s inherent resolution. Your 6 MP camera will still take 6 MP pictures, even with bad filters. Your picture may or may not be as good, but it doesn’t change the resolution.

35mm film does not resolve any pixels at all. You are mixing your media. Since there are so many different 35mm films, you can’t even use that as a general relationship.

Polarizer filters do NOT add any new information. They DO take away light that is reflected at certain angles. That reduces the light coming in. That may or may not be useful, but it doesn’t add any information.

Some non-zoom lenses will resolve finer than some zoom lenses. However, that is by no means a universal truth. There are zoom lenses that are considerably sharper than some prime lenses. Then again, it may be irrelevant as you only need enough for your particular capture sensor.

Of course, "a heavy tripod, mirror lockup, and cable release" is serious overkill for most shots. Thankfully so. I have a heavy tripod with a heavy panohead on it. It’s a huge pain to carry around. That’s why I’ve learned to shot panos handheld.

Clyde
C
Clyde
Dec 9, 2005
Jim Hargan wrote:
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:15:21 -0800, J. A. Mc. wrote:

Digital camera resolution is pretty much ‘fixed’. If you use a sufficiently high shutter speed, then you’ll get all that the camera has without lockup or cable release.

High shutter speeds cause you to open the lens and loose depth of field — another way of loosing resolution. Lenses are typically optimal at 5.6 to 11. However, minimum aperture can give you lots of foreground detail while loosing you a tiny bit of edge detail. I tend to shoot minimum aperture. Need a tripod for that.

I doubt there is any stitching software that will stitch your pictures together fine and accurate enough that it will keep any of those minute little advantages that you are getting.

I often shoot with a small sensor digicam that gives me lots of DOF at any F stop. The lenses aren’t perfect, the aperture isn’t the perfect setting either, and my feet don’t turn perfectly either. I use the hugin frontend to PanoTools (with Enblend) and get super stitches. However, they aren’t perfect and don’t keep every bit of detail. They are more than good enough though.

I could be wrong, but it sounds like you are focusing on the technology and not the final picture. Have you tested all these little anal techno ideas in a complete workflow from capture to final stitched pano? My testing shows that most of them are irrelevant in the final picture.

Clyde
C
Clyde
Dec 9, 2005
Joseph Chamberlain, DDS wrote:
Thank you again to all who responded my post.

After reading the latest post I can see that there seems to be differing opinions as to what lens is best for panoramas. Some favor lenses with wide coverage while others seem to think that lenses in the 50mm to 100mm are better.
<snip>

Please do NOT rely on everything stated in this or any newsgroup. The key thing is to get out there and start taking panoramic pictures. This is a form of photography that takes a significantly different vision. Your viewpoint will change considerable. You will start seeing the world very differently. Your mind will be rewired to handle this huge shift; that takes time and lots of experience.

I do know that most pano photographer use as wide a lens as they can, but that does NOT have to be your vision. So, try all your lenses. Try them a lot. See what works for YOU. Work this into a style and make the best panoramics that you can.

The main question now:

The purpose of the panorama is to generate high resolution images.
<snip>

Balderdash! High resolution should never be the purpose of any kind of photography. Photography is a communication tool that a photographer uses to enrich the vision of other people through his/her eyes. You take panoramic pictures to enhance your own vision of the world and to past that on to others.

Any technology is ONLY there to bring that vision to reality. If the final picture ever communicates "technology", your communication has failed. You only need enough technology to make sure that what you want to say about the world will get through in the best possible way.

First get your vision down. While you are doing that, the printer settings will take care of themselves; they will fall into place.

Clyde
J
jaSPAMc
Dec 9, 2005
On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 03:20:40 GMT, Jim Hargan
found these unused words floating
about:

On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:15:21 -0800, J. A. Mc. wrote:

Digital camera resolution is pretty much ‘fixed’. If you use a sufficiently high shutter speed, then you’ll get all that the camera has without lockup or cable release.

High shutter speeds cause you to open the lens and loose depth of field — another way of loosing resolution.

Say wha’ ???

Resolution is a physical function of the mechanical device – focus is NOT resolution!

On a scenic I doubt that you woul be so close to the items in the scene using "sufficiently high shutter speed" (EG: 1/90 or 1/125) that the DOF would be in any way obvious!

Lenses are typically optimal at 5.6 to
11. However, minimum aperture can give you lots of foreground detail while loosing you a tiny bit of edge detail. I tend to shoot minimum aperture. Need a tripod for that.

Might consider getting a published chart for the DOF. You’ll soon find that most pans don’t require minimum aperature for decent DOF.
J
jaSPAMc
Dec 9, 2005
On Fri, 09 Dec 2005 11:24:38 -0600, Clyde found these
unused words floating about:

Jim Hargan wrote:
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:15:21 -0800, J. A. Mc. wrote:

Digital camera resolution is pretty much ‘fixed’. If you use a sufficiently high shutter speed, then you’ll get all that the camera has without lockup or cable release.

High shutter speeds cause you to open the lens and loose depth of field — another way of loosing resolution. Lenses are typically optimal at 5.6 to 11. However, minimum aperture can give you lots of foreground detail while loosing you a tiny bit of edge detail. I tend to shoot minimum aperture. Need a tripod for that.

I doubt there is any stitching software that will stitch your pictures together fine and accurate enough that it will keep any of those minute little advantages that you are getting.

I often shoot with a small sensor digicam that gives me lots of DOF at any F stop. The lenses aren’t perfect, the aperture isn’t the perfect setting either, and my feet don’t turn perfectly either. I use the hugin frontend to PanoTools (with Enblend) and get super stitches. However, they aren’t perfect and don’t keep every bit of detail. They are more than good enough though.

I could be wrong, but it sounds like you are focusing on the technology and not the final picture. Have you tested all these little anal techno ideas in a complete workflow from capture to final stitched pano? My testing shows that most of them are irrelevant in the final picture.
Clyde

Amen! … and it IS the image that counts! <G>

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