I have in mind a program that would be of great assistance to anyone trying to do panoramic pictures. I am confident that someone who understands the math and how to create an app would make short work of it. That is certainly NOT me! I do know it would be quite useful for me and I would happily pay a few bucks for it in the app store. (I use Android!)
This app would offer a panoramic shooter the information for precisely pointing the camera from exposure to exposure, thus assuring uniform results. The percentage of overlap should be specified in the post-processing program for best results.
The user would fill the following fields:
Specify Format: 4/3, APS-C, Full Frame, or Medium Format
Overlap in percentage desired:
Lens focal length to be used:
Shooting Aspect:- horizontal or vertical:
The app would do the appropriate calculation and report the output. A sample output is here below (The numbers are strictly a guess):
Format: Sony APS-C
Focal Length: 55 mm
Horizontal advance in degrees: 0 – 32 – 64 – 96 – 128 – 160 – 192
Vertical advance in degrees: 0 – 21 – 42 – 63 – 84 – 105 – 126
This app would be a great benefit in improving the quality of most panoramic photos. It would be best used with a pan and tilt tripod head, carefully leveled.
It also could be a nice freebie from a tripod manufacturer or third-party lens supplier, offering them the opportunity to advertise their brand every time the app is downloaded and used.
Update on 3/7/20: PetaPixel readers have offered several valuable responses to this article, for which I wish to express my thanks. It is very heartening to see what others have done.
One reader responded with the actual formula for determining the solution. Another reader pointed to tables available on the internet which would be excellent guides.
But! Another comment pointed me to an app that is just about exactly what I specified! And it cost US $ .99 for the Android version. It is also available for Apple products.
I found it at: https://www.tequnique.com/panocalc
It is an elegant program. It calculates field of view as well as the panoramic degree intervals, plus it lets you do so for different lenses and save the profiles. It allows you to set the percentage of overlap desired. Further, it tells you how many megapixels the finished, stitched panorama will use.
In one sense I am embarrassed that I did not find it myself. But it was not for lack of trying. I did Internet searches and failed to find anything. In retrospect obviously I did not use the appropriate search words. Yet, it was out there all the time.
In turn, it makes me wonder how many other little apps, little devices, or unusual procedures are out there that will make us better photographers if only we knew? I very much want to thank PetaPixel for publishing my request that lead me and hopefully you to a very worthwhile and inexpensive program.
About the author: Bob Locher certainly makes no claim to being a great photographer; rather, he considers himself to not be a very good one. He is not much of a speaker either, and does not have his own YouTube Channel, nor does he do Photographic Tours. But, he has been in the photographic hardware industry most of his life, fancies himself as something of a writer, has opinions and is not afraid to express them. He loves photography, values technical quality and is indeed a pixel-peeper. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Locher has written over 50 magazine articles as well as two books. You can find more of his work and writing on his website.
Image credits: Header photo by Chriz Luminario and used with permission