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I'm learning to create panoramic photos. I'd like to know if there's any recommended proportion to determine its size. I have the feeling that 4:1 is fine, but I could'nt find any pattern.

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It's not really an answer as such, but I find that when shooting stitched panoramas, shooting each constituent image in portrait orientation results in a much less "thin" final image. –  Conor Boyd Aug 18 '10 at 22:48

5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As others point out, there is no standard. I personally use somewhere between 2:1 to 3:1. I like 3:1 because 36x12 inch frames are easy to find and therefore cheap.

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good point. :-) –  Paulo Guedes Aug 19 '10 at 10:14

There is no set rule for this; it all depends what you want to photograph. If a photo is wider than a 4:1 ratio, it will look a bit too thin, but you could shoot a whole 360° panorama and make an interactive QuickTime panorama that lets you pan and zoom within a window.

If the end result is a good photo, it shouldn't matter what the exact proportions are.

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so, 4:1 is in gerenal a good aspect ratio? –  Paulo Guedes Aug 18 '10 at 1:36
    
As I said, there's no rule - it's more about how good the photo is. If it's a good photo, it won't matter. Don't get hung up on the aspect ratio, and concentrate on the shot itself. –  Nick Miners Aug 18 '10 at 6:03

Some common panoramic film camera aspect ratios would be:

1:3 - 35mm film cropped with in-camera pano feature

2:5 - 35mm Widelux/Noblex/Horizon swing lens pano cameras, also common in old banquet view cameras

1:2 - 6x12 medium format cameras

6:17 - 6x17 medium format cameras

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A lot of the recommended sizes for different image types (2:3, 4:5) are based on the availability/cost of printing in those sizes. For instance, 4:5 is only common because many portraits are printed as 8"x10".

For panoramas, there hasn't been any agreed upon standard, and there are not a lot of printers that handle panoramas outside of a custom job.

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I chose a rather odd-sounding ratio of 2:9 (or 1:4.5 if you prefer) for the panoramic printing option of my site (OddPrints). This is the aspect ratio of panoramic photos taken with iPhones.

I agree there should be more "standards" but hopefully if the iPhone panoramic feature prove to be popular, this standard size may emerge. Hopefully, manufacturers of picture frames and mounts will read this and start making affordable frames at these sizes ;)

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