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Author Topic: What focal length for panorama  (Read 12845 times)
Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2010, 03:45:17 PM »
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It depends on your kind of panorama shooting (spherical, cylindrical, partial panorama) and your camera (35mm full format chip, APS, etc.).
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2010, 06:07:14 AM »
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Quote from: fike
Very wide angle lenses (under 17mm, but more like 10mm or 11mm) tend to have more potential for parallax error because of the substantial increase in close-up foreground when using level tripod framing of the images.
In this practical genre, another remark comes to my mind : with very wide focal lengths (less than 20-24mm eq.) the framing gets really difficult, as each individual frame gets a big deformation to be mapped into the panorama, and you shall take wide margins with the border of frame (and therefore lose another bit of resolution) to avoid cropping important elements.
It's well illustrated by your image (specially the 10mm one)!
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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Marlyn
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2010, 01:48:40 PM »
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The majority of my Pano's are done with the 90mm TS-E.
The rest with either the 24mm TS-E, or the 70-200 if I need a bit longer (around 150)

Canon, Full frame.


Regards

Mark
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erick.boileau
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2010, 01:53:06 PM »
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of course it's easy and fast with a 24 mm  but if you have a very detailed foreground it doesn't work that easy
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brianc1959
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 07:59:39 AM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
What is your favorite focal length for panorama?

For DX format I use mainly 55mm and 105mm for rectilinear mosaics, and 4.88mm and 16mm fisheyes for spherical panoramics.  For FX format I generally use 80mm, but sometimes 180mm.  My choice of focal length is determined in part by the click stops available on my ancient Kaidan pano head.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2010, 07:43:56 PM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
What is your favorite focal length for panorama?

Most of my panos are stitched from portrait-format frames taken with a 70 - 200 zoom, usually toward the longer end. Minimal distortion & easy stitching, and it just seemed to fit the way I see things.

More recently though I've been making stitched panoramics using wider focal lengths, starting near the 24 mm end of a 24 - 70 or 24 - 105 zoom. It takes a bit more planning at the shooting stage, and 'unwinding' the resulting curved pano shape can be a challenge; but the final print can be really emersive.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2010, 09:42:28 PM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
of course it's easy and fast with a 24 mm  but if you have a very detailed foreground it doesn't work that easy

Hi Erick,

I'm not sure what you mean. With a TS-E lens, with tilt to add DOF without having to close down the aperture, what's not easy?

Cheers,
Bart
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OldRoy
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2010, 12:46:35 PM »
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Ok, that's been well covered by this stage. Now the burning question: what shoes are most suitable for shooting panoramas? Personally I favour a mock-Croc loafer. A pair of them is even better.
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erick.boileau
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2010, 01:00:37 PM »
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Quote from: BartvanderWolf
Hi Erick,

I'm not sure what you mean. With a TS-E lens, with tilt to add DOF without having to close down the aperture, what's not easy?

Cheers,
Bart

I mean with a normal 24mm , not a TSE
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2010, 11:54:48 PM »
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Erick
most of mine are single row panos with the camera in portrait orientation, with that said all of them are shot with either my
5DII + 24-105mm  or my P45 + Mamiya 55-110mm. The exact focal length varies but is usually more than 24mm and less than 105 so I would guess most of my panos fall within 35-70mm (35mm equivalent)
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
erick.boileau
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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2010, 12:37:29 AM »
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Thank you Marc
with the P45 I use the 80mm
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2010, 08:02:55 PM »
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Photography is all about seeing, and the view when seeing. Thus... is it not odd that above replies seem to leave out the size of the film/accumulated sensor area ??

- Each focal length represent a particular view, as related also to the film or sensor area.

For panoramas I particular like the 617 format (proportions) = 3:1. The particular focal I like with that format is 90mm and that is my only lens for my Fotoman 617. On 35mm terms that equals to 19mm on width or 37mm height. This is just a tad wider than my equivalent favorite focals of around 40-45mm and 21-22mm that I prefer for my other cameras (non panoramic).

For 2:1 proportions, as in 612 images a 65mm focal appeals most to my eyes, which equals 19mm width and 27mm height, while if I can pick a second focal for 617 that would be a 180mm.

I should add that the reason I like 3:1 is the striking/surprising width both horizontal and vertical such slices of capture can cover. While the 2:1 indeed has a stronger impact, I find the 3:1 one more interesting but that is personal taste.

Actually, if you look at classical focal lengths for panoramas you will find they often concur with above choice of focal lengths.


Simply put, the focal length in relation to the film/accumulated sensor is one of the fundamental parameters in photography. The other is the accurate composition. Thus, if you do digital stitching, have you considered buying a panoramic viewfinder to arrive at better composition? See http://www.fotomancamera.com.cn/accessories.asp (as a parenthesis, Fotoman China is still in producing cameras, while Fotoman.com is not). Alternatively, if I recall correct Ben Rubinstein above uses his zoom to first compose 2:1 images in half the frame, then to re-zoom for 2x magnification of 2-3 stitches to 2:1 ratio, an interesting concept.

Regards
Anders
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 08:04:32 PM by Anders_HK » Logged
erick.boileau
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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2010, 12:28:37 AM »
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thank you Anders , and for the link too
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2010, 09:27:05 AM »
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Quote from: Anders_HK
Photography is all about seeing, and the view when seeing. Thus... is it not odd that above replies seem to leave out the size of the film/accumulated sensor area ??

You obviously didn't read my reply, in which I stated that composition is the first thing, and choice of focal length follows from that. This is true regardless of whether shooting panorama or not, and independent of format. Obviously you'll need a different focal length to get a particular composition when shooting 4x5 instead of APS-C, but that doesn't negate the fact that there is no perfect focal length for panorama; it depends on the subject and best composition for that subject. Once you've figured out the framing, format factors into choosing a focal length, but starting with focal length instead of framing/FOV is bass-ackwards.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 09:33:13 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2010, 10:31:52 AM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
What is your favorite focal length for panorama?
¿what is a panorama? anything longer than 1:1.5?

The replies so far assume or state "full frame"...implying 24 * 36mm, but you can do panos with anything.

The answer really depends on the subject matter, and that depends on the terrain where you work.

I see many scenes about 1 degree deep... but I live in a gently undulating area.

In the alps or the Andes you may often require a 30 or 40 degree lens, or more if you want to use movements.

I dream about getting a Schneider Fine art Gold 1,100mm, but that is about a 50 degree lens! (plenty of image circle for movement or stitching).
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2010, 07:25:19 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
You obviously didn't read my reply, in which I stated that composition is the first thing, and choice of focal length follows from that. This is true regardless of whether shooting panorama or not, and independent of format. Obviously you'll need a different focal length to get a particular composition when shooting 4x5 instead of APS-C, but that doesn't negate the fact that there is no perfect focal length for panorama; it depends on the subject and best composition for that subject. Once you've figured out the framing, format factors into choosing a focal length, but starting with focal length instead of framing/FOV is bass-ackwards.

The mere point I implied was that each focal gives a different kind of view. That is one aspect of the seeing part. For non panoramas I prefer around 40-45mm focal as my standard lens because it simply gives a "comfortable" slight width of view. 35mm is too wide and 50mm is too long. It allows also some "comfortable" surrounding around subjects. For wide I prefer around 22mm which is the focal which I use for landscape to place a subject in and in near focus and with a landscape scene behind. For longer I prefer around 60-80mm which is my lens for shallow DOF. Around 200mm is the tele for rare cases when I photograph wildlife.

Like many I began with a zoom and thought I should use it to crop a composition from wherever I stood more or less. I only own one zoom now, and only use it at its wide or long ends. I have simply trained my eye to these "my personal" focals, simply because to my personal eye I feel they bring the best perspective to work with and the width which I like. Why? Because of what I use them to compose with, I know what will fit. As also implied above I have the equals in my other cameras 4x5, digital 44x33 and my little M8. It indeed was interesting to realize that in fact a 90mm on 617 correspond to my favorites, albeit just a tad wider which is what that format well lends itself to.

Yes, it is framing but first of all subject and how you wish to render it in a frame, and of course that depends on the width of view of your focal. With using all focals in a zoom it can be a little like trying fish anywhere in a lake, while with some personal focals one arrive quick at the views one likes. Jack Dykinga in his book Large Format Photography mention his "standard" focals in one of his chapters. I concur with just a tad differing preference in my preference of focals. Everyone has differing preference for focals perhaps?

Regards
Anders
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2010, 08:03:32 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
Obviously you'll need a different focal length to get a particular composition when shooting 4x5 instead of APS-C, but that doesn't negate the fact that there is no perfect focal length for panorama; it depends on the subject and best composition for that subject. Once you've figured out the framing, format factors into choosing a focal length, but starting with focal length instead of framing/FOV is bass-ackwards.

I would argue that there is no relationship between framing and focal lenght when doing cylindrical/spherical panos.

I can cover the same angular coverage with a 100mm and a 300mm, I will just need 9 times more individual frames with the 300mm to cover the same angle.

The only thing that is going to differ is the DoF since there will be less of it when shooting with the longer lens. The image below is very wide, but was shot with a 100mm lens on a D3x.



Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 08:06:20 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2010, 07:13:03 AM »
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Quote from: Anders_HK
The mere point I implied was that each focal gives a different kind of view. That is one aspect of the seeing part. For non panoramas I prefer around 40-45mm focal as my standard lens because it simply gives a "comfortable" slight width of view. 35mm is too wide and 50mm is too long. It allows also some "comfortable" surrounding around subjects. For wide I prefer around 22mm which is the focal which I use for landscape to place a subject in and in near focus and with a landscape scene behind. For longer I prefer around 60-80mm which is my lens for shallow DOF. Around 200mm is the tele for rare cases when I photograph wildlife.

You're confusing the effect of focal length with perspective. Perspective has nothing to do with focal length; it is determined solely by the relationship between the point of view and the subject.

Quote
Like many I began with a zoom and thought I should use it to crop a composition from wherever I stood more or less. I only own one zoom now, and only use it at its wide or long ends. I have simply trained my eye to these "my personal" focals, simply because to my personal eye I feel they bring the best perspective to work with and the width which I like. Why? Because of what I use them to compose with, I know what will fit. As also implied above I have the equals in my other cameras 4x5, digital 44x33 and my little M8. It indeed was interesting to realize that in fact a 90mm on 617 correspond to my favorites, albeit just a tad wider which is what that format well lends itself to.

You're assuming that "foot zoom" is always better than adjusting focal length, and that one can always achieve superior results by allowing a relatively small number of focal lengths dictate one's choice of point of view for compositional purposes. This is rather simplistic and narrow-minded view; the truth is that you allow for far more creative possibilities when you first choose the point of view for best perspective, and then choose the focal length for the best composition with whatever format you're shooting. When you choose focal length/FOV first, you'll often have to sacrifice the best point of view on the altar of semi-optimal framing; either by backing up too far to include everything in the composition, or moving in too close to avoid excessive cropping.

There's also the issue of "foot zoom" being impractical or impossible in many cases, especially when shooting landscapes ("foot zooming" over the edge of a cliff or through a rock wall or into a river will not help you get the shot) or events (you'll often be limited in your choice of shooting positions, and you often won't be able to "foot zoom" quickly enough to capture a moment, especially when other people are in the way).

Quote
Yes, it is framing but first of all subject and how you wish to render it in a frame, and of course that depends on the width of view of your focal. With using all focals in a zoom it can be a little like trying fish anywhere in a lake, while with some personal focals one arrive quick at the views one likes. Jack Dykinga in his book Large Format Photography mention his "standard" focals in one of his chapters. I concur with just a tad differing preference in my preference of focals. Everyone has differing preference for focals perhaps?

Perspective/point of view is first, framing is second.

I don't have any preferred focal lengths because I don't subscribe to the notion that real-world photographic opportunities come neatly pre-packaged in a limited number of focal length/FOV "boxes". IMO, the notion that they do is a symptom of a creative blind spot--if your favorite focal lengths are 22mm, 40mm, and 70mm, it's because you haven't learned how to "see" photographic opportunities at 35mm, 50mm, or 120mm.
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Anders_HK
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« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2010, 11:34:38 PM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
You're confusing the effect of focal length with perspective. Perspective has nothing to do with focal length; it is determined solely by the relationship between the point of view and the subject.



You're assuming that "foot zoom" is always better than adjusting focal length, and that one can always achieve superior results by allowing a relatively small number of focal lengths dictate one's choice of point of view for compositional purposes. This is rather simplistic and narrow-minded view; the truth is that you allow for far more creative possibilities when you first choose the point of view for best perspective, and then choose the focal length for the best composition with whatever format you're shooting. When you choose focal length/FOV first, you'll often have to sacrifice the best point of view on the altar of semi-optimal framing; either by backing up too far to include everything in the composition, or moving in too close to avoid excessive cropping.

There's also the issue of "foot zoom" being impractical or impossible in many cases, especially when shooting landscapes ("foot zooming" over the edge of a cliff or through a rock wall or into a river will not help you get the shot) or events (you'll often be limited in your choice of shooting positions, and you often won't be able to "foot zoom" quickly enough to capture a moment, especially when other people are in the way).



Perspective/point of view is first, framing is second.

I don't have any preferred focal lengths because I don't subscribe to the notion that real-world photographic opportunities come neatly pre-packaged in a limited number of focal length/FOV "boxes". IMO, the notion that they do is a symptom of a creative blind spot--if your favorite focal lengths are 22mm, 40mm, and 70mm, it's because you haven't learned how to "see" photographic opportunities at 35mm, 50mm, or 120mm.


In all respect Sir, but you fail to see my point. While I respect that your view differ, I frank find it utter useless to waste time to argue with you, no disrespect.

As I stated above, I have gone from zooms to fix focals in my personal development in photography. I explained that in my above post. It is about vision and view, and making very simple. For one focal, the equivalent of 90mm on 617 is striking. Perhaps one reason is that panoramas naturally lend themselves to wide.

Regards
Anders
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2010, 09:43:25 AM »
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Quote from: Anders_HK
IAs I stated above, I have gone from zooms to fix focals in my personal development in photography. I explained that in my above post. It is about vision and view, and making very simple.

Limiting yourself to a particular FOV (or small set of FOV options) is certainly simpler, but you can't deny that by creating such a set of creative "boxes" for yourself, you're limiting yourself only to creative opportunities that fall within those "boxes". What do you do when you have a subject that really needs a 30mm FOV for optimal framing/composition, if you can't adjust the distance between yourself and the subject? Do you use the 22mm and crop heavily, or use the 45mm and try to make the best of things? Or do you simply not "see" the opportunity and move on to something that can be handled by one of your preferred focal lengths?
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