Panoramic photography experimentation

I’ve just posted results of my initial tests with the Manfrotto MN-303 pano head, AutoPano Giga and krpano to the pano page on my site.

It includes two shots from the Cabaret Frappe Installations du Feu in Grenoble, one from the top of Charmont Som, and two from Place Verdun.  

Click on the images on the pano page to expand full-browser views of the panos, and explore around with the mouse.  

I’ve also posted a couple of static versions to the Alps and Grenoble sections of my Images section, along with a bonus thundercloud shot (below) from the top of Charmont Som, just as the sun was setting.  

I like the effects you can create with a ‘proper’ pano head, and the speed of being able to take a panorama without worrying if you’re created enough overlap - however the Manfrotto is just too heavy and bulky for me to want to carry far from the car; and the one I borrowed for these tests wasn’t the Manfrotto 303SPH Spherical version.

This meant that I had to use 3 rows to capture a full 180x360 - however my up and down tilted rows weren’t positioned correctly due to the forward/back rotation - so this caused some issues when stitching. The size of the base was also a bit of an issue as I had a lot of head and tripod to mask-out when preparing the files for the stitch (or in some cases to paint-over later).

If I’d have had a wider lens, then this wouldn’t have been an issue - however I was using a Tokina 11-16 zoom on a Canon 500D - so I couldn’t capture a full vertical 180 in one image.  I believe that an 8mm fish-eye would have allowed me to capture a single row panoramic image (completing the sequence with a zenith and nadir shot), however I don’t have one of those.

I think my next gadget purchase might just have to be a Nodal Ninja