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Author Topic: Panoramics  (Read 4017 times)
shaunw
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« on: April 21, 2012, 01:55:44 PM »
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Iam looking to improve my panoramic work, id appreciate thoughts on a good set up....what softwear? do i need a pano head? currently using a geared head...... tips/advice in general much appreciated. I hear Autopan is good? and the pano heads seem very expensive for what they are...can i make decent images without one?

Shaun
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Canon 5D mk II Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 24-105mm L, Canon 70-200 L, Lee Filters, Manfrotto geared head/tripod.

''Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop''. Ansel Adams
http://www.shaunwalbyphotography.com
kikashi
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 02:15:32 PM »
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Iam looking to improve my panoramic work, id appreciate thoughts on a good set up....what softwear? do i need a pano head? currently using a geared head...... tips/advice in general much appreciated. I hear Autopan is good? and the pano heads seem very expensive for what they are...can i make decent images without one?

Shaun,

There's been quite a lot of discussion on this site about the topic, some of it quite recently. I seem to recall a fairly lengthy thread on exactly this topic in the last couple of months.

As to your specific quesions, opinions vary, of course, but:

AutoPano Pro and PTGui are both excellent; they have minor differences in their strengths and weaknesses. I use APP, for no very good reason. PS CS5 does a pretty respectable job as well: you can see Jeff using it in one of the C2P2 videos.

No, you don't need a pano head, save if you're planning to include objects in the near foreground, in which case rotation about the lens's nodal point (or entry pupil, depending on whom you read) is very important to avoid parallax errors. You don't even really need a tripod: it's perfectly possible to get a really good panoramic shot handheld, even with more than one layer. It just takes a lot of concentration.

Jeremy
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 02:18:31 PM »
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...what softwear?...

Cotton is quite soft, but is also very hygroscopic, thus not very comfortable for sweat-inducing long hikes, or rainy and damp environments Wink
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Slobodan

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shaunw
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 03:46:45 PM »
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Thanks Jeremy...ill have a go with Autopan and see how i get one without a pano head


thanks Shaun
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Canon 5D mk II Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 24-105mm L, Canon 70-200 L, Lee Filters, Manfrotto geared head/tripod.

''Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop''. Ansel Adams
http://www.shaunwalbyphotography.com
shaunw
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 03:54:14 PM »
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Slobodan

Amusing iam sure, particualrly for those who arnt Dyslexic
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Canon 5D mk II Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 24-105mm L, Canon 70-200 L, Lee Filters, Manfrotto geared head/tripod.

''Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop''. Ansel Adams
http://www.shaunwalbyphotography.com
Tony Jay
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 06:00:16 PM »
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Hi Shaun

The previous posts are right about current topicality of panoramas.
Do a search and see what comes up.

I do panoramic work and my suggestion to you is to adopt a graded approach.
It is possible to do handheld panoramas of a few shots with substantial overlapping as long as there are no near and far elements to complicate the composition and one does not compose too tightly so as to leave the option of substantial cropping. PS CS5 does have content-aware fill but this is not really a solution in a detail-rich panorama.

See what results you can achieve with the above approach.
If ultimate image quality is the way you want to go then tripods, levelling heads, dedicated panoramic heads can be researched.
After that look at focus stacking and HDR.
Learn how to maximize IQ from single exposures and then use what you have learn't for your panoramas. Live view, remote release, bean bags, tripods, and tripod stabilizing with weight all come to mind as options. Practise using live view with magnification to focus manually.

Panoramic imaging is usually all about a beautiful, richly detailed, perfectly focused, and deftly composed image.

If your research leaves you confused about certain issues come back to the forum with your queries.
Experiment a lot - one only gets good at this stuff with practice.

Kind Regards

Tony Jay
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 08:41:19 PM »
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Iam looking to improve my panoramic work, id appreciate thoughts on a good set up....what softwear? do i need a pano head? currently using a geared head...... tips/advice in general much appreciated. I hear Autopan is good? and the pano heads seem very expensive for what they are...can i make decent images without one?

Shaun
For software, I like PTGUI Pro 9.x ( current version at any rate).

Pano head: I assume you using one of the Manfrotto geared heads. There are better ( the Arca-Swiss D4 and D4m for example) but the Manfrotto 410 or 405 is a decent head. What you should do is add a panning mechanism like the Really Right Stuff PCL-1 (http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=PCL-1), Sunwayfoto (http://www.amazon.com/SUNWAYFOTO-Panning-Tripod-Compatible-DDH-01/dp/B004DRDA0I) or similar Novoflex  clamp to the top of your current geared head. Your geared head then is essentially a leveling base. rotation atthe top of the head instead of the base means the orbit is a flat plane instead of one that rises and falls if there the planes at  the base of the head and the top of the head are not parallel.

Can you make decent panoramas with a panning head and nodal slide? That depends on your subject matter and your definition of decent

-If everything  is at ∞ and you aren't doing  huge enlargements the answer is you probably don't need the panning clamp and the nodal slide. If you have near / far subject relationships that are import to the finished image then a panning clamp and nodal slide are not bad ideas and will likely save you grief and time when processing.

-How do you define "decent"? What are your goals?
I hope that helps.

You can look into doing HDR and focus stacking  to  add to your panoramic brew. I have but found that the extra labor rarely adds as much to my panoramic work as I hoped it would. there are other things that pay off more for the extra time and labor invested.
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Ellis Vener
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kaelaria
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 11:09:47 PM »
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I love doing panos, but can't justify the equipment expense for any specialized gear since it's all for personal fun.  I just use my regular Giottos ball head.  These are all from a couple months ago in Key West, 5-7 frame stitches.  I always use PS to do it, works great.
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NancyP
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 02:33:02 PM »
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Go read wiki.panotools.org for useful information and links.

The purpose of pano heads is to ensure rotation of the camera around the no-parallax-point (NPP, sometimes incorrectly called "nodal point"). This optical location is usually somewhere near / in the front element group of your lens. All a pano head does is shift the camera backwards so that the lens (NPP) is over the center of the tripod base. There is at least one home-made pano head linked on this site. For less than 10 bucks and a little time, you could make a no-fuss "nodal slide" from plywood, which would allow you to have both near and far items in your pano. Or, you could try the string-plumb bob-penny method for rotating around your lens' no-parallax point. String and plumb should be long enough to almost touch the floor when one end of the string is tied to your camera support hand finger. Find a level place. Put penny down on ground. Place finger towards the front end of the lens (approximate NPP), hold camera so that the plumb-bob hovers directly over and 1 to 2" from the penny. Note where your horizon falls. Take picture. Step sideways, repeat, ensuring that you have the horizon at the same level before taking picture. You are walking around the penny.

Free programs:
Microsoft ICE (windows only)
Hugin (all OSs)
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pointblank
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 07:40:35 AM »
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Dedicated equipment is indeed expensive and for some unaffordable but if you use a software image try at least to mimick that equipment to prevent curvy beaches and the likes as it comes nowhere near a quality panorama image. Search for Linhof/ Horseman 612 images and you know what I mean.
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