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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-28-2014

Focusing DSLR for landscape panorama

I would like to know the best method for focusing DSLR camera for taking a sequence of shots to be merged into a landscape panorama.

I know that the basic idea for a landscape panorama is to hold the exposure absolutely  same for all the individual frames which can be achieved by setting the camera to 'manual' mode and then selecting same shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Thereafter, comes  focusing.

Is it correct initially to focus for a distant object at infinity or near infinity by camera's auto focus system, and then switch to manual focus and take all  sequence of shots at that setting?

Guidance from experienced photographers will be appreciated.

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,021
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Focusing DSLR for landscape panorama

[ Edited ]

Of course these are going to be 'general' guidelines because everything in photography changes.

Using a tripod is mandatory for the best results and it must be set level so the pan stays level.

A smaller rather than a larger aperture is better. Set ISO to a lower number.

The use of a fixed manual exposure will most certainly guarantee you get different results on each shot. Bad idea.

Use the camera in the vertical position not horizontal. This gives you a better aspect ratio on your finished print.


Landscapes is not the only place to use pano shots. I was not the photographer for a Broadway musical that was in our town a couple years ago. But the producer saw I was there with my camera, I go everywhere with it, he asked if I happened to get a shot of the entire cast? Well, no, I didn't as I was not there for that task. The 'hired' photographer failed to get this most basic of shots! But I said I could probably get them a shot. I stitched together a pano from five random shots and got the entire cast. Not the way would have done it but they were pleased to get it. Better than nothing and they put it on a poster and sold them.

This was under less that ideal circumsatnces, for one thing it was hand held and I was off center. But it shows this procedure can be useful in many situations.




If you come up with any more questions, please, feel free to ask.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Focusing DSLR for landscape panorama

Decisivemoment, I believe you have answered your own question Smiley Happy.  That is what I do...even though if you set the f/stop to something high like f/16, it probably doesn't matter unless in one of the shots, the camera latches on to a very near object.

Diverhank's photos on Flickr
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