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Thread: Photo-Stitch Software

  1. #1
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Photo-Stitch Software

    Greetings, all. It's been a while since I posted but I have been looking in on you from time to time and following the Project 52 threads in particular with great interest.

    Anyhow, I bought a nodal rail for my tripod today; am heading out to the lake tomorrow and thought it would be a good opportunity to launch myself into this thing called panoramic photography. Trouble is, my D90 doesn't stitch and I don't have PS, so I am going to need some stitching software. The archives seem to suggest that PTGui is or was the tool to beat. Are there any other recommendations? I'll be needing something I can use on a Mac.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    Momo's Avatar
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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Kolor Autopano Giga is pretty amazing. I did a trial recently and was most impressed.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    I have been using Hugin lately and have been rather pleased with the capabilities. It comes in a Mac version and its free.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Yeah, second on Hugin if you don't want to blow the bucks on PTGui. PTGui is definitely nicer, though.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Have you had a look at Microsoft ICE. I have managed to stitch 20 portrait landscape shots and it worked fine.....and the best bit is that it is free from Microsoft

    David

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Thanks, David, Kathy, John and Darren for your replies. I don't think Microsoft ICE is an option for me as a Mac user. That Kolor product really does look impressive, but even pricier than PTGui. I think I'll give Hugin a whirl for now and see how happy I am with the results.

    Meanwhile, I've got a bone to pick with the shop that sold me the rail. One of the stops fell out somewhere on the beach today and the other is missing its screw. I think I was sold a used product. Grrrrr!

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Meanwhile, I've got a bone to pick with the shop that sold me the rail. One of the stops fell out somewhere on the beach today and the other is missing its screw. I think I was sold a used product. Grrrrr!
    Do you mind me asking which "rail" you bought? I am interested in getting a pano-head soon. Check these out if you have not seen GigaPan systems already. The Epic is pricey, but I bet it takes a wicked pano. I'm just window shopping for now.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Hi Janis! Nice to see you posting again. I've missed you!

    Although I've downloaded a trial copy of Zerene for testing, I use the photo stitching capability of Photoshop in the Edit menu for both focus stacking and panoramas. It is not perfect but so far better than my initial attempts at Zerene (but that is likely my lack of skill fault). For me, not having to buy and learn another software package was another reason to expand my capabilities with PS. I don't remember if you are using PS on your MAC, but whatever you use may have some built in photo-stitching capability.

    If you need to get a replacement for your rail, I've been quite pleased with my Velbon Super Mag Slider. I have learned, however, that although the slide rail is great for small objects, a lot of the nature focus stacking I have done has required a longer reach than a slide rail can achieve so I've had to change the camera's focus rather than move the camera.

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Arca's too rich for my blood. I went with a Nodal Ninja, since I'm only putting a fisheye+body on it, and I needed zenith/nadir shot capability as well. The nice part about the NN is that you can get replacement parts very easily. I lost one of the main adjustment knobs, and was able to buy a replacement for $10 off the website.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Momo View Post
    Do you mind me asking which "rail" you bought? I am interested in getting a pano-head soon. Check these out if you have not seen GigaPan systems already. The Epic is pricey, but I bet it takes a wicked pano. I'm just window shopping for now.
    Hi Darren,

    I bought an Acratech rail. I have their GP ballhead and have been very pleased with it thus far, although I have not tested it beyond my 105 mm macro lens, which is the longest and heaviest I own. Correction: 105 mm plus three Kenko extension tubes. One of the things I like about the GP is that it serves as its own levelling base if you flip it upside down. (The panning base has two rows of numbers, so you don't need to read upside down.) I wanted to keep the weight down, and the GP is very light compared to a standard ballhead/levelling base combo. The one drawback I see is that I won't be able to do vertical panos with the GP flipped upside down unless I also buy an L bracket. But given the cost of an L bracket, I will just use the GP right side up if necessary, and level the hard way.

    The Epic looks pretty cool, alright. For the price, though, there are other things I want more at this point. I have to say that that Nodal Ninja of Kathy's looks very attractive, in terms of function and price. This is one product that I didn't spend any time researching and now I'm wishing I had.
    Last edited by purplehaze; 20th March 2012 at 12:16 AM.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Janis! Nice to see you posting again. I've missed you!
    Thanks, Frank; I've missed you, too.

    ...Zerene..
    My goodness, if you of all people are having trouble learning Zerene, there is certainly no hope for me! I don't actually have anything that will stitch, so I will give Hugin a try, at least to get my feet wet.

    I've been quite pleased with my Velbon Super Mag Slider.
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind, and the point about changing focus.
    Last edited by purplehaze; 20th March 2012 at 12:25 AM.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    My goodness, if you of all people are having trouble learning Zerene, there is certainly no hope for me!
    I wouldn't be alarmed about Zerene. I was really dumb with the test shots I used and didn't take the time to setup my tripod even though I had it with me. Shooting hand-held the background didn't always line up with the subject owing to the wind so when Zerene choose the background to do its image alignment on, the subject was all over the place and that produced a messy result. I can get around it in Photoshop because I can easily tweek the subject's position to get it to line up. I doubt I'd have had any issue if I didn't get lazy while shooting so it really isn't Zerene's fault.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Hi Janis,

    Max Lyons has some of the neatest panoramas I have ever seen.

    His site also contains info on some photo stitching software..

    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/index.html

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGee View Post
    Have you had a look at Microsoft ICE
    I'll add a vote for MS ICE too, it's easy to use and it's free, get it here:
    http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/...roups/ivm/ice/

    Ken

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    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I doubt I'd have had any issue if I didn't get lazy while shooting so it really isn't Zerene's fault.
    You, a lazy shooter? Thank you, Frank. It's confessions like that make me feel part of the human race.

    Max Lyons has some of the neatest panoramas I have ever seen.
    Excellent links, Richard. Thank you.

    I'll add a vote for MS ICE too.
    It certainly seems to get good reviews, Ken; too bad there isn't a version for the Mac.


    Update on the rail situation: full props to Acratech, who are shipping out two new stops, without my even asking them to do so. As far as I am concerned, it was the store that was at fault, for selling me a product that was apparently used for demonstration and not returned to "as shipped" condition. Honestly, it's enough to make me inclined to forsake my "buy local" principles.

    I'm off to clear some room for Hugin on my hard drive. Wish me luck.

  16. #16
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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Max Lyons has some of the neatest panoramas I have ever seen.
    First guy to stitch a gigapixel pano. His stuff is awesome. Super pioneer into digital panostitching.

    His site also contains info on some photo stitching software...
    Actually, he's mostly using software he wrote himself which he sells: PTAssembler. It's terrific, but it's Windows-only. It's based on Helmut Dersch's PanoramaTools library. As are PTGui, PTLens (which only uses the lens correction bits, not the stitching bits), the late lamented PTMac, and Hugin. Dersch made some of the PT suite open source, but some bits he did not. The open source guys gathered together all the open source bits, and wrote new utilities to replace the proprietary bits.

    The other package that's got some popularity as the code base for stitchers is AutoStitch. It requires less user knowledge, but isn't as flexible or powerful as the PT-based apps. The MacOS port, Calico, though, seems to be on hold as the developer has some family issues to deal with right now.
    Last edited by inkista; 21st March 2012 at 08:46 PM.

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    Re: Photo-Stitch Software

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    It's based on Helmut Dersch's PanoramaTools library.
    You are a veritable fount of knowledge, Kathy. I have PTLens, but I hadn't made the connection. Interesting; thanks.

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