Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

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Rogers
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Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Rogers » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:46 am

Hello,

I'm building a DSLR setup and have been trying to decide my wide angle lens.

With regard to panorama stitching (via Autopano Giga2), is high distortion problematic, or irrelevant? I have only been using my "wanna-be-a-dslr" superzoom, so I only have experience with that one (it has decent, but not horrible, wide angle barrel distortion).

Just to sate your curiosity, I've been comparing the Tokina 11-16/2.8 and the Nikon 10-24/3.5-4.5. If I go fullframe though the choice is simple: Canon 17-40L.

Thanks for your advice!
Roger

Roll'
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Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Roll' » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:45 am

I don't think distortion is a big issue since it's mostly fixed while stitching the shots together. That said, I don't use autopano giga so I don't know how it works on this point.
Otherwise, you can find several softwares that perform quite well for correcting distortion issues (PTlens for example).

What's the price you intend to put in the lens and what's your camera?
The canon 17-40mm is not so good if used with a FF camera. I know several people who use it and they are quite disappointed with it. It's very smooth in the corners. Vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberrations are high as well.

Arnaud

Rogers
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:55 pm

Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Rogers » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:52 pm

That's what I thought - Autopano does have a stage called 'correcting distortion.'

I'm still designing the setup so I don't know which body I'm going to have, but if it's DX then Nikon D90, if FX then Canon 5D MkI.

I'd like to spend under about $900, but I do want something I'm going to be happy with for years, minimum. The fast aperture on the Tokina, combined with the IQ and etc, makes it a great option, but it has limited range. The Nikon has better range, lower distortion in the wide angles, but also slower aperture, and a higher price.

I've been going over the options and eliminating one after another until I'm left with these two, no matter the approach I take.
If I go with the Tokina, I can grab a Nikon 24/2.8 and preserve the fast aperture across the range, with a combined price of $1040 (going off Adorama's prices).

I've also posted the question on photo.net.

Roll'
Posts: 124
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Location: Toulouse, France

Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Roll' » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:32 pm

For this price, the tokina and the nikon can be a good deal but they are not flawless lenses… I would also suggest you to consider the sigma 10-22 F4-5.6 as being a good choice on an apsc
That said, I highly recommend you to buy the 5D for landscape photography.
Rogers wrote:I do want something I'm going to be happy with for years, minimum.
Assuming you buy a 5D, you should seriously consider buying a prime lens which is far better for what you're looking for. From experience, we usually use only one (or sometimes two) focal of a zoom so I don't think you suffer of the lack of focal range (anyway, that shouldn't be the first point to look at).
A prime lens around 20mm combined with the 5D will give you years of great photographic time.
Something like the zeiss 21mm would be a good choice. It's probably a bit expensive for you at the moment but it's worth the price, even if you need to put money aside for a little while to buy it.

If you are in a hurry to buy a lens, so the 17-40 will do the trick but the image quality will be far from perfect…

Arnaud

Rogers
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Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Rogers » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:51 am

The 5D is the more appealing of the options, though if I were to go to a prime wide angle lens, I'd want something wider than a 21mm: I love ultrawide, so I'd probably go for the Voigtlander 15/4.5. Even with how slow it is, it takes 52mm filters, has no distortion, and is extremely small and light. Of course, it lacks autofocus - something that I do want on a digital system.

Roll'
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Location: Toulouse, France

Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Roll' » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:11 am

The zeiss 21mm is quite wide when mounted on FF camera. Here's a gallery of images taken with this lens to show you how wide it is.
Voigtlander's lenses are not compatible with canon cameras unless you use an adaptor that will provide a loss of quality.

Arnaud

Rogers
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:55 pm

Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by Rogers » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:19 pm

Unfortunately. I do know that an adapter would be required, and so far haven't found anything but macro-only adapters that lack infinity focus; the Voigtlander (at least this one) isn't made in Canon mount, but it's by far the cheapest and best extreme wide angle available that I've seen. The competition is usually about $1000 or so; I'll keep looking...

sparkin
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Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by sparkin » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:17 pm

Do you want to make mosaic-type panoramas or 360° VR ? Either way, lens distortion should not be a problem if you properly calibrate your lens(es). If your intent is to make mosaics, you don't really need especially wide angles. For 360° VR, a good spherical fisheye is the way to go.

jhonsmith
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Re: Lens choice: Distortion in Panorama stitching

Post by jhonsmith » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:48 am

I love ultrawide, so I'd probably go for the Voigtlander 15/4.5. Even with how slow it is, it takes 52mm filters, has no distortion, and is extremely small and light...!!!
!!!..<<..Usman Gee..>>..!!!

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