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by evan-pak

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I would like to create panoramic images of smaller spaces, such as office cubicles. Can one suggest how I might best capture this using a Rebel XTi? The option to replace the camera entirely is open but a lens suggestion would be ideal for me.

Edit: after looking at the price of the 8-15mm f/4 fisheye I would like to add I'm trying to keep costs minimal.

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You can capture a panoramic image with any lens and any camera.

You just take multiple images that together cover the entire scene you are trying to capture and combine them in software.

There are many programs that can automatically stitch together the images to create the panorama with a wide range of price and capabilities all the way from Photoshop to free and open source tools.

Tips for shooting panoramas:

  1. Use a tripod

  2. Leave a lot of overlap between images (around 30% overlap is enough to safely work with any software).

  3. Use manual exposure, manual white balance and manual everything so the settings don't change between pictures.

  4. In the past you had to make sure you rotate the camera around the lens entrance pupil, today software is so good it's not that important in most cases.

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At short distances, like indoors, where perspective varies heavily for different viewpoints, rotating around nodal point is still recommended. – Imre Mar 22 '12 at 11:00
@Imre - I've made an acceptable panorama indoors with an iPhone at arms length rotating around me - so while rotating around the nodal point is recommended, and will probably give higher quality, I don't really believe any modern stitching software will have problem correcting photos taken while rotating rotating around the camera's tripod screw (and panoramic tripod heads aren't cheap) – Nir Mar 22 '12 at 11:40
@Nir - MS Photosynth! – dpollitt Mar 22 '12 at 14:44
A Tilt Shift Lens would be useful for managing any changes in the focus plane due to slight shifts in perspective. – cadmium Mar 22 '12 at 16:58
@cadmium - I think a tilt shift lens is the single most expensive way to solve this problem - even if you want to solve this optically (and ignore the fact that this can be solved using free software) a panoramic tripod head is cheap in comparison to a tilt shift lens – Nir Mar 22 '12 at 20:50

If you decide to go for a fisheye (like you mentioned it in your edit), have a look at Samyang/Rokinon/Pro-Optic whatever 8mm f/3.5 fisheye. Its very cheap and supposedly performs very good. Does not autofocus but at this focal length it should not matter, stop it down a few stops and the depth of field is so large you essentially don't have to focus at all. Look up some reviews.

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+1 had my eye on this lens for a while. My next purchase for sure Can't really go wrong for $290. – Jakub Mar 22 '12 at 14:47

a zoom in the 10-22 range will do what you want without the distortion of a fisheye. You can use the 'stich' function in nearly all post-processing software to make a panorama.

That said, shooting the inside of most office cubicles will be hard, they are tiny.

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