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Panoramic Focus Question?
Hi everyone..

I'm probably getting way ahead of myself, but......

I've been reading about how to shoot panoramics and I'm confused about what everyone says about focusing..

My question is.. Once you figure out your settings (and leave them there in manual), do you take the rest of the pictures in the same focus as your original focal point or do you use the autofocus on the other photos so every photo is in perfect focus?.

Being a newbie, the auto fucus seems to be your friend in this situation, but it sounds like you leave the initial focus and shoot the rest of your photos..

Is this correct?.

Thanks in advance...

Comments (7)

Correct. As changing the focus would also change the spatial charasteristics of the image slightly, which would be a problem for the stitch program..

Canon cameras have a stitch shooting mode. When in this mode the focus of the initial shot in the series is automatically locked in by the camera for the other shots. So nuthin to remember there..

Kelly Cook..

Comment #1

Thanks for the cofirmation..

I just bought a 400d. My older p&s cannon has a pano setting, but I can't seen to find it on the 400d? Should I just use the manual setting?..

Comment #2

Poop12676 wrote:.

I just bought a 400d. My older p&s cannon has a pano setting, but Ican't seen to find it on the 400d? Should I just use the manualsetting?.

Yep. Manual everything..

DSLRs give you more control and that is a Good Thing. But another way of saying this is that the camera won't do as much for you - you *have to* take control...

Comment #3

To do panoramas-.

For panoramas- -use tripod. you must keep it level with the horizon. if your tripod does not have a level builtin then buy one that slides into your flash hotshoe. again make a max effort to get the camera level..

-for exposure. set the exposure by pressing halfway and noteing the fstop and shutter speed. you are trying to find the brightest part of you panorama scene to be. once you have found the brightest check the fstop and shutter speed. put camera into manual metering mode and use those settings. do not change them for any part of the panorama..

-lens selection. I shoot mine with a 20mm. tried a 35mm didn't work, the individual shots didn't overlap. the angle of view wasn't wide enough. note: SHOOT THE LENS VERTICALLY. this is the only way to get some vertical scene, otherwise the panorama will be shaped like a hotdog.

In vertical you are cutting your angle of view way down. my tripod has degrees engraved in the mount, I was shooting at only a 15 degree spread and in looking at the shots before stiching there wasn't that much overlap. I later shot panoramas with 35mm 50mm; the hot dog effect was more pronounced. the panorama itself did work..

-determine in advance the center point of the scene and try to go X number of shots on each side of it. for me with my setup a 120 degree scene is 7 shots; the center and 3 on each side. if I go with a 35mm lens then a 120degree scene will take 13 shots. no matter what lens you use realize that you are adding only 33% new scene with every shot, the rest is overlap for the right and left adjoining shots. the only exceptions are the end shots in the whole scene. it is possible to add another row above and/or below the first one.

You must make sure that there are no gaps..

- I stick my hand in front of the lens and shoot, then shoot the panorama, the 7 shots, then put hand in front of lens and shoot. later I know that everything between hands is the panorama..

-i have used cs2 or the panorama factory software to make the panorama. for either couldn't be simpler simply select the shots and it does the work. this is where using a level pays off. the software is leveling the scene to make the long rectangcal, but if the scene was not as level as possible in the first place the vertical becomes less and less(you end up with hotdog shape). so having the tripod and camera level is very important. also when mount and shooting vertically make sure the camera really is vertical, carefully check by looking threw the viewfinder.



-on focusing- what I do is to simply preset the 20mm lems at infinity, because of depth of field everything from 5.64ft to infinity is in focus at f11.0 distance 200ft. you can also use a hyperfocal focus setup. but thanks to the DOF table, just setting the lens at infinity is simpler. -i left WB alone, that is set at AWB; or you can use a preset setting like sunny or cloudy, but once set donot change it till panorama shots are done..

-online depth of field calculator available here- http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

-for panoramas, the software I use is either panorama factory orPTGui or cs2. the one that works best for me is PTGui. I have since gotton PTGuiPRO, expensive but worth it. has many features and abilities that the other software does not have, including the ability to process 360 and 720degree sphereical panoramas, plus many projection types...

Comment #4

The pano below is hanging on my mother's wall in her front room. it is printed as a 36x12inch pano. it is the view from her front porch..

It is a 120degree pano made from 7 shots with a 20mm lens, and has about a 33% overlap between shots. it was made using the above replys info..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #5

How do you preset your lens to infinity?? (I have 400d)I tried to look this up... some say it's a good thing and some say it's bad??.

I don't have a tripod and won't/can't use them for my trip. Is it just as easy to shoot panos vertically or should I get the "hotdog" effect and shoot with the camera horizontally... ie. normally??.

I have been practicing with autostich and the program is really easy. I have done a couple (just to see what happens) panos using auto-focus. The panos seen to come out clear and nice. The part where you just focus on the brightest/best/most interesting part of the shot and take off the autofocus for the other shots.... I'm not grabbing this aspect??.

Should I autofocus on all shots when I stich just a few pics together? Lets say a tall chuch needing 2 shots to get the whole structure in?? Or do the same... Autofocus on the lower half of the structure and shoot the top half with that same focus??.

Thanks again.... your help is greatly appreciated!..

Comment #6

Poop12676 wrote:.

How do you preset your lens to infinity?? (I have 400d)I tried to look this up... some say it's a good thing and some sayit's bad??.

I don't have a tripod and won't/can't use them for my trip. Is itjust as easy to shoot panos vertically or should I get the "hotdog"effect and shoot with the camera horizontally... ie. normally??.

I have been practicing with autostich and the program is really easy.I have done a couple (just to see what happens) panos usingauto-focus. The panos seen to come out clear and nice. The partwhere you just focus on the brightest/best/most interesting part ofthe shot and take off the autofocus for the other shots.... I'm notgrabbing this aspect??.

Should I autofocus on all shots when I stich just a few picstogether? Lets say a tall chuch needing 2 shots to get the wholestructure in?? Or do the same... Autofocus on the lower half of thestructure and shoot the top half with that same focus??.

Thanks again.... your help is greatly appreciated!.

To focus to infinity- put lens/cmaera ino manual focus and turn lens focusing ring to the infinity mark. or use a hyperfocal setup..

The preceding is refering to an out door shot. if inside a room or building and doing a pano you are going to have to determine the range that you want in to have in focus and set the fstop for that distance. you also want lots of dof. I use f8 or f11. do not go past f11 or you will get diffraction distorsion. this is true of any hot panos or not.

To get whjat you want into focus.http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

If no tripod then obviously you cannot use one. the problem of no tripod really hurts if you doing a full 360 degree pano the 2 ends will not meet very well. you can consider getting a monopod and packing it in your suitcase. this would help. you can try practicing swinging you upper body only to keep the camera to an unvaring height..

If doing just 2-3 shots for a scene autofocus would work. or you can let the camera autofocus on the most important part of the scene and then without bumping the focus, put the camera/lens into manual focus to lock the focus at that point..

If you are doing a vertical panofocus doing what I just said and make sure your f stop is f8-11..

Always shoot vertically(portrait) for panos it helps get rid of the hotdog effect. the exception is vertical panos then do it just the opposite. shot horizontal to get max width, or else the building will be a picture of a spagetti noodle on a hot dog.standing on end..

You mentioned autostich. try looking at PRGUI Pro as pano software. it is the best one out there. costs more but it does more. it can do 360 and 720degree spherical panos, and do hdr panos without any work on the hdr side first. aslo has many projection types available...

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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