When taking images for panoramas, a lot of folks use circular fisheye lenses — the wide field of view means less pictures to cover the full 360 x 180 degrees, so you can acquire less and stitch faster.
I played around with various lenses out in the market for panoramic photography trying to balance price vs. quality. One of my favorite is Sigma 8mm, but unfortunately, Sigma is really hiking up their prices — what used to cost around ~$500, is now up to ~$900 (MSRP $1230!). Can you say “exploitation?” Something’s going on. (If anyone knows what’s up here, pls comment!)
Naturally, I looked for an alternative and found Peleng 8mm at less than half the price! But in testing it out, it ended up being not acceptable for professional panoramic photography.
Here is my main reason for saying this is unacceptable — two words: lens flare.
Notice the flares on the bottom right (from light source on upper left) and bottom left (from light source on upper right) of this image. The resulting panorama is below:
Now notice the flares creeping into the stitched panorama above on the bottom left. (Pls click on the image to see a higher resolution panorama.) Although this issue can be “solved” by cropping tighter or Photoshopping, this then messes up enough things to a point I would rather use a better (but more expensive) lens.
Other things like the lens not fitting in snugly to the camera, having a hard time taking the lens off, manual controls, etc. make me think that it’s not worth the savings for the risk of taking bad pictures for our customers.
Peleng, if you are reading, please let us know when you’ve improved and resolved some problems. Until then, we are sticking to Sigmas.
Anyone out there have a similar experience?