Panoramic photos without a tripod

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by cuervo.taylor, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Hi guys

    I wanted to know if it is possible to take panoramic photos without a tripod.

    A mean when someone takes lots of pictures and then merges thm together to create a long and beautiful panoramic photos.

    How can I do it?

    I have a gh3.

    Also I have a panny 7-14mm and a Voigtlander 25mm f.095.

    Can I do it with any of those two lenses?
  2. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 15, 2010
    I'm pretty sure it's possible. I made some myself using the 14mm pancake and the kit lens. You just need to have reference points on the image you'´re taking, so you know where you need to start the next shot. I made it with 5 or 6 images. I then used a software to put them together (There is MS Ice if you use PC, which is free and works well). One more thing, I believe the wider you go, the easier is the job, so the 7-14mm should be a breeze to do it.
    Here one I made with my kit lens (Pana 14-45mm):

    Andes Sight From Argentinian Borders por sLorenzi, no Flickr
  3. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    definitely possible. with the em5 you have an outline box to follow if you set it up for a panorama shot, so you can view reference points while moving the camera handheld.

    it has lines on either side of the frame to use for overlap as well. now i dont know about the gh3 but ive done it handheld with the em5

    3 frames with the 12mm 2.0 stitched in PS cs6
    Panorama of Citizens bank park by Leading Line Photography, on Flickr
  4. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    lovely photos. thanks for the help guys
  5. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Easy. I usually have the spirit levels activated when I shoot, and I find this a big help in lining up shots for stitching. ImageUploadedByMu-431371430352.659987.

    This one is three shots stitched in the iPad Autostitch app.
  6. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  7. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    It's not hard to do panos handheld provided you are careful and pay close attention to the camera's orientation. You can't get sloppy. Also, since handheld you won't be accurately rotating around the proper lens nodal point, close objects become problematic.

    Also, getting a straight level horizon on a long multishot pano is quite difficult. This is a 360 degree pano built from 11 separate images. It was shot from the top of the lighthouse, here in Key West, and I had to walk around the outer walkway to get the shots. There was no way to pivot the camera in one spot. If you look closely, the horizon bends up and down with a slight wave shape. The shorter 3-5 shot panos that I've done handheld have generally worked out well. I've also been successful with two row panos, either 2 rows of 2 shots each or 2 rows of 3 shots each.

    Attached Files:

  8. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    This is a handheld 15 images stitched in photoshop shot with the O75mm.

    View attachment 284740
    Torres Del Paine by Chris Leskovsek, on Flickr

    as for how would you do it. if your camera doesnt have a panoramic option to build panoramics what i do is,

    Use a normal or tele lens in your case i would use the 25mm (dont bother with UWA like your 7-14 because they have such amount of distortion that when putting them together is way harder than with a regular lens)

    Preview through your camera whats the shot you want to get. pan a couple of times without pressing the shutter.

    Then meter and lock your exposure were you think the light is harsher in the pano. sometimes is the sky, sometimes is the light reflecting in the water, etc.

    with your exposure locked, pan one more time across the frames and check that some shadows in some of the extremes are not too dark. if its all good, shoot it. and try always to find a point of reference in each frame and the horizon as straight as possible. that is how photoshop or you will stitch the pano later.

    then preview it and then ensemble in your computer. photoshop its the easiest way to me to build my panos.

    there are tons of way to do this. this is my way to do them.

    hope that made sense and helped!.
  9. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Thanks Chris for excellent advice.
  10. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Ok guys, just wanted to confirm it's totally possible.

    I have seen also that people does macro panoramic photos which it's kinda cool:


  11. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You can eat those mushrooms raw in salad is pretty good. I bet they keep coming back for a couple of seasons!

    Coprinellus micaceus. You will want to pick them a bit sooner than this.
  12. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    oh no those aren't mine, i found them on the webz
  13. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I find it not just possible but very easy.

    Chris's advice should get the best consistent exposure. I use the thirds overlay in the viewfinder to help keep the horizon at a steady height, allow about 1/3 overlap between adjacent images and then left Microsoft ICE (free!) patch them together.

    I've managed a run of 10 images of the shoreline from a moving ship with out any problem.
  14. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    It works ok as long as you don't have a close and busy foreground. It was fine for this:


    and this:


    and this:

    But this was a problem due to the cobblestone in the foreground:

    I like taking vertical shots instead of horizontal, that way you get an image with a higher vertical pixel count. I use Hugin for my stitching. It is free and very powerful.

    You can also try vertical panos for tall objects:

  15. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    If you're not careful to line things up you can end up with this.

  16. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    As the Major's example shows, it's a good idea to do a careful 'test pass' to confirm your starting alignment. I've learned the hard way (OK, it's digital and cheap to reshoot...) that careful planning is vital with any pano. When shooting handheld it's even more important to plan where the seams occur so that they're place where alignment is less critical. Also, you need to lock the exposure so you don't get uneven exposures. I prefer to use manual exposure rather than trying to hold an exposure lock during the multiple shots.

    Here's a 2x2 array (2 rows of 2 shots) that I did in PS. Since I can't justify the expense of the 7-14 the OP has, I had to take this approach with my 14-45 zoom at 14mm. I took two trys to get a decent set of images.

    Attached Files:

  17. mcshort

    mcshort Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2012
    czech republic
    few samples from me
    E-PL1 + 14-42mm (Helios 44-2 58mm)

    9shoots vertical (with my old pocket camera DC750)

    7shoots vertical

    12shoots horizontal


    9shoots horizontal

    67shoots horizontal in 4rows (helios 58mm)
  18. Rob917

    Rob917 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    jacksonville, florida usa
    Handheld series of 5 shots

    Stiched in PS
  19. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I think it's when you are shooting close subjects, like room interiors, or macros like those inky cap mushrooms, that you need the fancy hardware and careful alignment of the lens position to keep the image plane at the center of the rotation. Hand-holding these shots will probably not work.

    Someone familiar with pano hardware should chime in here.
  20. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I've not done it with macro, but I have with a microscope! For shots like the mushrooms with a more distant background visible I think careful rotation would be needed, but if that's not the case translational movement should be adequate (it worked fine for the microscope). In which case a simple '4 way' macro rail could be enough.
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