Phil Howard wrote:
I currently have Canon EOS 450D/XSi with the kit lens (18-55mm), and an older Bogen tripod with 3D head. My first panorama stitched in APP worked well.
I'm going to upgrade lens before upgrading camera. What I would like to know is whether APP would work better with rectilinear wide angle lenses, or with a fisheye lens. Or does it not really make any difference?
I'll be doing landscape, cityscape, and indoor panos. I also want to do some night time lightning filled panos, so something fairly wide would make those easier to do under the pressure of storm activity.
Do you have a suggestion for a Canon or premium after market brand lens? At this point I don't know if a later upgrade of the camera would be a 50D or 5DmkII, so it might make sense to give 2 suggestions if they would differ for APS-C vs. full-frame.
1) You cannot 'have it all' with one lens. There is no single lens that's ideal for every type of pano. And you certainly cannot achieve all you say you wish to do with just shooting a single row.
2) Landscape partial panos are probably best shot with a rectilinear lens, the focal length chosen depends on how many images you are willing to shoot and the final resolution you wish to have. So use whatever lens you like. If you want very high res. and this requires a lot of images (more than 20-30?) consider using a motorised pano head.
3) Indoor 360x180s are probably best shot with a circular or fullframe FE.
4) Busy 360x180 citiscapes are definitely best shot with a circular FE lens - the fewer shots the better.
5) Perhaps it's time to replace that old tripod - the 3D head will just get in the way.
6) Unless you plan to stick to partial panos of distant landscapes using non-FE lenses you are going to need a proper pano head - I suggest a Nodal Ninja 5 which will accommodate most lenses and bodies you are likely to use, the new models with the RD-8 and RD-12 rotators allow you to change no. of click stops 'on the fly'. If awash with cash look at the 360Precision Adjuste head.
7) Consider whether you will be producing panos solely for on-line display or whether you'll also wish to produce large prints - the resolution required for large prints is usually rather higher than that neeedd for even fullscreen display on-line.
Unless you are certain you will upgrade to a fullframe sensor body I suggest you focus on lenses best suited to cropped sensor bodies. Should you upgrade to a fullframe body you'll probably be able to sell your cropped sensor lenses for close to what you pay for them
Suggestions for Canon cropped sensor bodies:
Circular FE - The Sigma 8mm f3.5 (4-around+Z+N)
Fullframe FE - the Sigma 10mm or Tokina 10-17mm FE. (6-around+Z+N)