Panoramic Equipment

I’ve been taking panoramic images  for over 10 years, and I’ve been using various gears for taking them — cameras, lenses, rotating heads, tripods, and GPS.  Curious about what I use now?  Here’s my list.

Lens

My lens of choice is Sigma 8mm fisheye lens.  In general, I prefer the fisheye lens since the field of view is very wide, i.e. need to take less amount of pictures to cover the full 360 x 180 degrees; i.e. faster.

The optics is quite good, and we’ve had very few of them fail.  There’s some chromatic aberration, but typically stitching software takes care of that.

Sigma 8mm Fish Eye LensSigma 8mm Fisheye Lens

Camera

My camera brand of choice is Canon.  We’ve tried Nikons but they failed a lot more for us under extreme conditions (ask me if you’re curious).  I currently use Canon T1i, which has a 1080p video recording capability. Awesome camera.

Canon T1iCanon T1i

Because the T1i is not a full frame digital SLR, when used with the Sigma 8mm, the circular fisheye image is cropped.  But I actually prefer the crop for better “resolution” of the scene.

Panoramic Tripod Head

My choice for panoramic tripod head is Nodal Ninja R1.  It’s light, compact, sturdy, and precise. Also, because the mount attaches to the ring-mounted lens (see images below), you don’t have to worry about messing up the focus of the lens — I initially had some trepidation about this, but not any more.

Nodal Ninja R1 Ring-Mounted CameraNodal Ninja R1 Ring-Mounted Camera

So there.  What do you use to take your panoramas?  Care to share?

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