Novoflex’s Panorama=Q PRO; When A Wide Angle Lens Just Won’t Get It! Page 2
The angle-of-view chart is based on a full-frame SLR. If your digital camera has a smaller sensor, just apply the camera manufacturer's multiplication factor to the focal length of the lens you're using. If you're using a 24mm lens and have a 1.5x magnification factor you multiply the 24mm by 1.5 to get a 35mm equivalent and look up 35mm on the chart. Since I was shooting with a Canon EOS 5D the angle of view on the chart told me how many shots I needed for a 360Þ circle, including the required overlap. You turn the Panorama=Q PRO's blue knob to select how many increments you want to shoot but since this number is for a 360Þ set you may want to shoot less.
One rule about overlap is that frames should overlap by 1/4 or 1/3, and that's
what the chart's recommendations seemed to produce. I made some tests
and actually shot at settings more and less than what was suggested. Always
visually check your calculations when shooting. Look through the viewfinder
or the LCD preview screen (my preference if you have a big screen) as you pan
to the next increment and make sure you have 1/4 to 1/3 of the frame overlapping
Tip: Make sure the Panorama=Q PRO is tightly mounted on your tripod head.
If it is not, the plate can shift when you move it from one click stop to
another, ruining the sequence and causing you to start over. Initially the plate
was stiff when moving from detent to detent but as I used it the unit seemed
to warm up from being inside a cold car trunk and the motion between indents
became silky smooth.
The Panorama=Q PRO is a precision tool and will be priced like it, too. When I asked the US importer about the cost I was told "it will be expensive" but right now there is no better or easier way for photographers to make perfect overlapping panoramic shots quickly and easily.
For more information, contact HP Marketing Corp., PO Box 715, Pine Brook,
NJ 07058; (800) 735-4373; www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
There are more different kinds of panoramic software available than there are panorama heads. For the images made with the Novoflex plate I used Adobe Photoshop CS3's (beta) Photomerge function that uses the program's Auto Align Layers function to make quick (there's that word again) work of assembling the panorama. Photomerge's dialog box offers five different ways to align images, including Auto, Perspective, Cylindrical, Reposition Only, and Interactive Layout. You can select a folder of images and even though the images were shot right-to-left instead of left-to-right, Photomerge assembled them left-to-right and lined them up perfectly with one click. Sure, it took a while because these were large JPEG files shot with a Canon EOS 5D, but the result was nevertheless perfect.
Dimensions: 140x86mm (5.5x3.4")
Height: 35mm (1.4")
Weight: 630 g (1.4 lbs)
Tripod Connection: 3/8" (1/4" adapter included)
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