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Author Topic: Pano-head always needed?  (Read 2103 times)

rodcones

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Pano-head always needed?
« on: June 04, 2009, 07:12:50 pm »

For taking panorama shots, is a proper pano-head justified more for any definite fore-ground or perhaps fore-midground object(s) and go on to depend on the object size and distance? And I should probably ask if there's a rough, or not so, guide to what the distance is wrt lens used.

I have seen various online and mag articles and the examples and advice mostly hint at my suggestion and they have obvious objects seemingly fairly less than 70-100m away from camera and a  more distant main subject. I just wonder what members here have found in practical terms.
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bill t.

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Pano-head always needed?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 09:06:42 pm »

It depends a lot on the subject, and the intended use of your image.  And how good you are at Tai Chi body movement.

Personally I always use a tripod (with panohead) when shooting professional panos because...

1. It leads to absolutely sharp images.
2. It leads to absolutely sharp images.
3. It leads to absolutely sharp images.
4. It minimizes the amount of resolution waste due to handheld up&downing&rotating while shooting.
5. Coupled with a good pano head it takes all the worry about registration out of pano making.

Of course, that's except when I'm just knocking off a shot for fun, in which case I swing my little P&S free and wide as I like and live with the consequences which might include never stitching the image because it's just too over the top to post process.

If you just want a ballpark, things closer than about 20 feet really wants to be pano'd from a tripod + panohead, and 100 feet is better.

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Panopeeper

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Pano-head always needed?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 09:14:12 pm »

Quote from: rodcones
For taking panorama shots, is a proper pano-head justified more for any definite fore-ground or perhaps fore-midground object(s) and go on to depend on the object size and distance? And I should probably ask if there's a rough, or not so, guide to what the distance is wrt lens used
This is not so simple. The best is if you understand whan exactly is happening, i.e. how parallax error occurs.

1. The same close objects have to appear in multiple frames in order to cause problem.

Example: Pano with close objects
The tree at the left edge and the one at the right edge were within a few meters away. Prime suspect for parallax error? No, because these are in a single frame (I had to reshoot the serie, because I misjudged it in the first try, and the tree at the right edge appeared in two frames).

Anhother example: Pano with close objects
I paid attention to shoot one frame with each of the shrubs in the center of the frame, so that they do not appearin multiple frames. However, the curb had to be photoshopped.

2. The ground close to the shooting position may be a source of major PITA or it may pose no problem at all. Typically, grass, gravel, shrubs, snow, etc. pose no problem. (Water may be difficult.)

Example: 12-frames pano
The gound at both sides stretches over several frames. However, this was a very forgiving terrain, horrendeous unmatching overlappings vanished.

Note, that the control points have to be selected manually, none in the ground, or removed if automatically selected, otherwise the mid and top segments are paying the price.

Bad example: the attached crop of pavement. This is the nightmare, very difficult to correct in Photoshop; I cropped away some part of it: Lake Louise Fairmont Chateau

On the other hand, this cobblestone did not cause any problem (small and irregularly laid).

All the above examples were shot hand-held.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 09:16:50 pm by Panopeeper »
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Gabor

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Pano-head always needed?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 10:08:00 pm »

do a search and you will find quite a lot of discussion on this
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elf

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Pano-head always needed?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 04:34:15 am »

Quote from: rodcones
For taking panorama shots, is a proper pano-head justified more for any definite fore-ground or perhaps fore-midground object(s) and go on to depend on the object size and distance? And I should probably ask if there's a rough, or not so, guide to what the distance is wrt lens used.

I have seen various online and mag articles and the examples and advice mostly hint at my suggestion and they have obvious objects seemingly fairly less than 70-100m away from camera and a  more distant main subject. I just wonder what members here have found in practical terms.

You also need to consider what quality level you're looking for.  A pano head will give you better odds at getting the best quality image, but at a price of more complexity and weight.  If you don't rotate the camera exactly around the entrance pupil, something in the image will need to be either stretched or shrunk.  

I'd recommend just going out in your backyard and shoot some practice panos using both techniques, then see how well the software can stitch them together.
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