nigel Dawkins wrote:
We're using a Canon EOS550D and have a Sigma 10 - 20mm lens and also the standard 18 - 55mm that came with the camera. We would like to know really what type of lens would be best for each type of scenario below.
We're looking at doing two different scenarios - some outdoor ones where we'd like to pick up stuff in the distance and also closer (to be taken from the top of a large office block in a city centre perhaps)
Try the 18-55mm zoom at 55mm to start with and see how you get on with some small test panos.
I'd probably opt for a 50mm or 85mm prime if I had those available.
You will be shooting these panos in Mosaic mode so you can run Papywizard in simulation mode to get some idea of the no. of images you'd need for a particular pano Field Of View (FOV) and estimated resolution of pano image.
It all depends on how much resolution (pixel dimensions of stitched pano) you want really. But the longer the focal length the more complicated it all gets for a whole host of reasons. So don't try and run before you can walk.
Will these panos be for online display or for printing?
We also want to do some panoramas inside building of various sizes - from relatively small rooms (about 12ft square) upto larger halls and function rooms - (45 - 60ft square)
I would choose a fullframe fisheye lens for those interior spherical panos - For you Canon the options are the Sigma 10mm, or possibly the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye, or maybe the fully manual Samyang 8mm ot its branded clones if you feel up to coping with manual lens.
If getting a fisheye is out of the question try using your Sigma 10-20mm rectilinear lens - you will be running Papywizard in Preset mode for interior sphericals but I think you may have to construct a custom preset for your lens. If so then the format is here:http://www.papywizard.org/wiki/UserGuideSvn#Presetmode
And you'll find suggestions for a shooting pattern here:http://www.vrwave.com/panoramic-lens-database/sigma/
But avoid high positive picth values that may result in a collision between the camera and the Merlin/Panogear mount. After setting your camera/lens at the No Parallax Point (NPP) move the head using the arrow icons to determine the max. viable positive pitch value you can achieve without the camera colliding with the mount.