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Ultra-wide angle zoom question


Back in July I purchased a Canon 6d and the EF 17-40L lens.   My first shooting attempt with this equipment was a sunrise panorama of a beach resort skyline near where I live.  I used a tripod and took 6 frames with the suggested 60% image overlap, with the intention of creating a stitched panorama. My camera angle to the view was fairly close to perpendicular.  At home I first tried stitching with Photoshop Elements.  It managed to stitch, but poorly.  One frame was excluded, which of course rendered the final product unacceptable.  So, on to Canon's DPP stich program.  Not one image was useable.  I forgot the error message, but it kept telling me to delete certain frames, which led to deleting the entire shoot.  So, I guess this is a "lens 101" question(s).  Is this lens suitable for landscape photography? Is there a technique to using wide angle lenses in landscape photography?  The focal length I used has long since left my brain, but let's assume it was set at F28, or about in the middle of the range. I also have a Canon EF  70-200L series.  Perhaps I should have used it.  But sunrise waits for no one.


Any helpful comments will be greatly appreciated.





I don’t know that I’d blame the lens, I’d look to the software first.  I’m not much of a fan of Elements, and didn’t use it much even though a free version came on my computer.  I’d try a dedicated stitching program if you’re into stitching, otherwise, try it in Elements again.  Sometimes I get bad stitches in Photoshop, I just do it again and it usually works.


As to the focal length: personally, if I’m going to be stitching then I’d use a longer focal length unless I specifically was going for a distorted/exaggerated look that you get with UWA.  If you’re just trying to get a lot in your image, use the sharpest lens you have and stitch it together.  Do you have a 50 prime or something?  


UWA lens is great for landscapes. It's great for panorama too especially 360* pano. If you run into problem stiching them together, maybe there is something wrong in the capture. Is there a lot of distortion in the photo (it should not be since you said you put the camera level)? Is there a way you can post a few photos? It wil be clearer to troubleshoot with some photo. Here is the pano with 6D + 17-40 @ 17mm I took earlier this year.


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I've only tried a pano once & it worked fairly well but wasn't anything great. You mention sunrise which leads me to ask whether the lighting was drastically different across the set of photos. If it was that might be why the software doesn't like certain frames.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Cicopo, I believe the lighting was pretty consistent across the exposures since I took the shots quickly. As soon as I get a chance, I will post some photos as requested by Hsbn.

@billybobboy42 wrote:
Cicopo, I believe the lighting was pretty consistent across the exposures since I took the shots quickly. As soon as I get a chance, I will post some photos as requested by Hsbn.

That doesn't matter, if you don't lock your exposure the camera will still assess each shot individually, and if there happens to be more dark subject in the center on one shot (e.g. mountains on the horizon), then more sky on the next, you're going to get different exposures.  Lock your exposure if you know you're going to do Panos, it'll help ease the stitching.


I don't know what went wrong with your pana but I did one this summer that was about as bad of conditions as you could want. I use Photoshop CS6 for my stitches. I will say with out reservation, the 17-40mm f4 is not the cause of the failure.


I offered our local community theater my services to do their pubs and promos for the show they were doing. It was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I was told thanks but no thanks as they already hired a photographer. Even though I offered it pro bono.

I also play in the pit and I always have a camera with me. This occasion I hand my 7D with a 50mm f1.4 lens on it. I snapped a few quick shots of some of the actors and I had a few pretty random shots of the closing bows.

Well it seems Mr. Hired Photographer failed to get a shot of the entire cast. They came to me and asked if I did. Long story short, I found four shots that did get the entire stage but they were no where what you would do if you wanted a great pana.

I stitched them in PS and here is how it turned out. So what went wrong with yours? Who knows but keep at it. Your photos need to have common points in each photo. Although I didn't do it for this pana because I wasn't going to even make one, but turn your camera vertical when you shoot panaramas.joseph1.jpg


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


Here are the 5 frames I took to be stitched.  What I forgot to mention earlier was that I was using the 6D's HDR function as well.  I set it for -3, 0, +3 exposures.  Hence the .jpg format vs raw (the HDR function only works in the 6D with .jpg files).  I want to mention right up front that I don't suspect lens problem.  It's likely the "photographer" that is in error.  And if so, I just need some advice as to how to do better.  I've done successful panorama stitching with my old 20D, but of course using an EF-S 17-85 lens.stitche frame 1stitch frame 2stitch frame 3stitche frame 4stitch frame 5


I also tried stitching again, using Canon's photo stitch software, so that I could get the "problem" message; and here it is: "can't merge because images with very short focal length are included".  What would "very short focal length include"?  17, 25, 30? 


My intention was, provided the stitching worked, to enlarge the merged photo 3 clicks in Photo Shop Elements and then crop off a bit of the top sky area.  A test enlargement of one of the frames turned out decent enough to actually view the buildings.

In order for a stitch to work your photos must have common points that the software can select to merge the like areas. Although yours look blue and have "similar" points, none of them are alike enough. Somehow you changed the size of most of the areas where PS would grab for comparison.

This is probably the best it can be in this instance. I could not get any points to line up.edit.jpg

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Did you move or walk a bit between each shot?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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