Finding the focal plane

Ysarex

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I do a lot of panoramas, and the only way they work is to NOT MOVE THE CAMERA'S POSITION. A change in perspective will destroy any chance of building a panoramic scene. Pan the camera across for wide panorama, tilt the camera for vertical panorama, but do not move the camera or change the zoom or focus. You can't make a panorama that works if you shoot a building face, then walk 30 feet down the street and shoot the next building. The perspectives will never match up.

That said, it should be obvious that a panorama of something too close won't work well, as the widest areas will be severely distorted. My usual limit is four or five frames, with about a third of a frame overlap, and I build them in Photoshop, which does a rather good job with it. This picture is four frames across, with about a third of a frame overlap from one frame to the next. No calculations (other than what Photoshop does,) but no changes to the camera between frames. You can't... change... anything.
32037025480_888cc59ccf_b.jpg


As for a button to lock focus, you're describing back-button focus. Some cameras have a dedicated button, some have a button that can be set for that in the menus.

I also like to do panoramas and sometimes it's pretty hard to not move at least a little. Like the 4 frame shot below of the bridge at Lansing Iowa. Not only was the canoe moving but so was the river. :winky:

lansing_bridge.jpg
 

Grandpa Ron

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While discussions in such threads are interesting to follow; fortunately modern technology has given us a "connect and go" hobby.
 
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M

mathbias

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I also like to do panoramas and sometimes it's pretty hard to not move at least a little. Like the 4 frame shot below of the bridge at Lansing Iowa. Not only was the canoe moving but so was the river. :winky:

View attachment 251403
I think the key to that panorama working despite camera motion, is the fact that there is just one really important distance at each boundary angle of the view, so the pictures can be aligned to make that distance (the bridge) work. If that messes up the picture boundaries for the waves that are much nearer, that is quite easy to fix in a way that won't be noticed. The far hill (seen under the bridge) could also be messed up if there is a boundary there, but less so than the near waves and also not very noticeable in the final picture.

My panoramas, that typically fail because I didn't have a perfect axis of rotation, tend to have clear subject objects in the foreground far closer than the main distant subject. Then any alignment breaks either the near subject or the far subject (your choice during alignment) unless the axis of rotation was correct and stationary.
 

weepete

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Generally I find my handheld panoramas failed for one of two reasons:

1. Blur, due to me not slowing down my rotation when taking the shots. I find I can need a reminder to move, stop, then shoot. If you've a fairly slow shutter speed this can be easy to overlook.

2. Sticthing errors due to a lack of overlap between frames. Modern software is very good at stitching, but a large overlap of 1/3rd to 1/4 normally allows enough room.

I'll often take a "safe" shot before setting up the panorama. That's a single shot composition of the scene, just in case the pano fails. That way I still have something to work with.
 

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