Pano Tools and PT Assembler

You know I love panoramic photography. I’m always looking for tools to help me improve my results. Some months ago I downloaded Pano Tools and Pano Tools Assembler, but never found the time to try them out – until today. After my first hour with Pano Tools, all I can say is, “W-W-W-WOW!”

greenley_flattened.jpg

There are many great things about Pano Tools. It does an amazing job at combining images seamlessly. It’s relatively easy (albeit a bit geeky) to use. But best of all, it creates layered PhotoShop files. I know of no other pano program that gives you this much power and flexibility for 39 bucks!

The shot is a composite of four images I shot of the Greenlee Building, across the street from our loft. What makes it really special to me is that Pano Tools allows me to combine the images in such away that it looks as if it were shot with a view camera or an expensive shift lens. Notice how the building’s lines are straight – they do not converge as the camera is pointed up. Well, that’s part of the magic of Pano Tools. The other magical thing about this program is that by combining a series of 4 images in this way, I effectively quadruple the resolution of my camera! Click on the image to see it 3,000 pixels wide.

This is my first panorama with Pano Tools. I used my poorest quality lens and made quite a few mistakes on this image. I promise future panoramas will be even more amazing.

UPDATE: OK, here’s my second Pano Tools image. This one consists of 6 images – two rows by three columns. This time I used a much sharper lens – my beloved Sigma 30 mm. The full-size composite image is more than 11,000 pixels wide, more than 400 megabytes in size. Click on the image to see it 3,000 pixels wide. Wow – this is fun!

affy_3x2_flattened_3000.jpg

affy_office_12-24mm.jpgFor comparison, have a look at the same building shot from the same spot with my 12 mm lens. The only way I could get the entire building in a single shot from across the street was to use this very wide focal length. The resulting image has nowhere near the sharpness of the Pano Tools composite and is somewhat distorted. 🙂

This means that I can do high quality architectural photography of the sort normally reserved for large-format cameras in much less time using my digital camera and Pano Tools!

2 comments

  • Batmensch

    Wow, I had no idea what went into making images like this. I’m glad Panotools has come such a long way. It used to be IMPOSSIBLE to use the thing.

    OK, now I know enough to be impressed 😉

  • albert

    I read with interest of your neighborhood near Jack London Square where I operated, on 1st street, a small hamburger joint(unsucessfully)in 1970-71. While there I collected a lot of Jack London material which I took with me to Berkeley when I opened Fatapples Restaurant(burger joint) in 73. – ——–Your Carnaval Photos are in a league of there own. There are all the usual, frantic photo-oppers and then there is ” The Dude”.After seeing your work, I’m embarressed to post my snapshots. See Carnaval 05 king queen–parade. Albert Doherty. I would like to purchase a few hours of your time and review my misunderstanding of the Nikon D 70. Thank you albertdoherty@albertdoherty.com 510 222 4864

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