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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:02 am
Posts: 6
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Hello everybody.

First of all thanks for a great site!!

I've been using the Canon Powershot A80 as my general purpose family camera for 3-4 years now. But before that I was using(and still owning) a Nikon FM film SLR with some pretty old lenses: Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 No.5281240 and Nikkor-S 35mm 1:2.8

My passion, besides documenting my family, lies in landscape and panoramic photograhphy, so I've been lucky to be able to borrow the Russian Horizon 202 from a friend from time to time. Recently I borrowed the Panasonic DMC LX2 from another friend to see if that would satisfy my needs, but the barrel distortion when zoomed out and the noise levels put me off.

So finally I decided to to go for a proper DSLR and got my mind set on the Nikon D80. But I'm wondering which kit lens to go with it , and I narrowed it down to the 18-70mm and 18-135mm - the 18-200mm VR is too expensive for me right now.

I like to do 180 degrees panoramic shots and then stichting them in Canon PhotoStitch, but I often experience that the lines doesn't match up (probably due to wrong focal length and lens distortion or even cheap software). Vignetting is also an issue when stitching multiple images together ...

I would really appreciate advise on which of the two lenses to go for in terms of stitching panoramas/general use. I'm leaning towards the 18-70mm in terms of build quality. Maybe I should get a lens with fixed focal length specifically for stitching later on - any adwise on that? I'll still need a zoom lens for general use though.

Will I be able to use any of my old lenses on the D80 - I don't mind the manual aspects - but will I destroy any switches/contacts?

And finally any advise on photo stitching software? Canons PhotoStitch is decent but I would like some more options ... been looking at PTGui ...

That's it for now - quite a lot though!! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9952
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi D'Eighty. welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

For stitching panoramas you really want a lens with little distortion at the edges, so wide angles are out and short teles are in. If you're really serious, you should also turn your camera by 90 degrees and shoot each section in portrait aspect.

Zoom lenses are fine, but you have to make sure they don't shift while taking each frame. So fixed focal lengths are better and I think your existing 50mm f1.4 will be perfect with an equiv focal length of 75mm and good correction. It should work fine with your D80.

As for software, I personally just use layers in Photoshop, but in terms of auto-stitching, one of the best is Stitcher by RealViz - http://stitcher.realviz.com/

If you fancy talking more about panorama software, it might be best to start a new thread in the software section a bit further down...!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:02 am
Posts: 6
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Hi Gordon and everyone,

- and many thanks for your kind welcome and quick response!

I'm really looking forward to get serious with the D80 - I'm picking it up on Thursday with the 18-70mm to go with it - and Saturday we're flying to Mallorca ... I can't wait to see how it'll perform under the Mediterranean sun with a polarizing filter etc. Got a lot of experimenting to do!!

Definitely keep me posted on any thoughts considering lenses, filters and stitching.

Thanx!!


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