Forum : Advice & Critiques

Can’t seem to get something to synth right? Curious about what lens is best? Ask your fellow Photosynthers here.

Topic: - You have can only two lenses. What are they?

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dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
If I have a budget to upgrade to a decent SLR camera... what lenses should I get?  I assume one wide angle and one zoom?  Any suggestions on the best combination to cover most photographic opportunities? (Not wanting to start a brand war... more concerned with the numbers)
Scott (Over 1 year ago)
I think you're secretly wanting to start a brand war.. :-)

In general, a 50mm prime and an inexpensive zoom lens is a good start.

The choices for synthing will be a little different.  If you're interested in getting lots of variation in scale (and you want to shoot without changing lenses) there's a lot of value in an ultra-zoom like the new Canon 18-200.
K (Over 1 year ago)
I agree with Scott, start with a super zoom and add a prime for low light.  For Nikon I'd recommend the 18-200 and the new 35mm DX f/1.8 lens Nikon just announced.

For synthing the 12-24mm f/4 is a fantastic lens.  I got it a few months ago and it's really great, especially for synthing tight interiors.
xRez_Studio (Over 1 year ago)
If you are a canon shooter I would recommend the EF 20mm 2.8 USM. I have done allot of photogrammetry with different programs and this is the best all around lens for working calibration. I haven't done rigorous testing w/ photosynth my observation is that it works better than other lenses in my bag. Then I would get a zoom for your inserts.
Scott (Over 1 year ago)
After having shot a 300 photo synth with a tripod, I'll also add that faster lenses are generally better than slower ones for synthing!
K (Over 1 year ago)
xRez can i assume that you're using that 20mm f/2.8 on a full frame body?  i shoot nikon and i've been wishing for an equivalent prime lens for an APS sized sensor which would be around 13mm.
XgenX (Over 1 year ago)
I think this depends on the subject. I expect this will be a question of art and style rather than best practices. The results of my theory will soon be tested with shots I've taken with a Canon 10-22mm zoomed out. Any bets?
Pierrot21 (Over 1 year ago)
Do you mean I use a non-decent or indecent camera?  ;-)))
It all depends what you want to do with the pictures; how many in a year do you print poster-size?
I really like bridge-camera because they are light and fast (very big zoom and no lens to change nor to carry); I'm traveling a lot by bike, and I can carry the camera in the front bag, about 20 seconds to open bag, camera and take the picture, from wide-angle to very long tele. To view a picture on a PC-screen you don't need so many pixels!
Digital cameras are built to break quickly and to be changed every 3 years ... :-(((

When you speak about lenses please write the mm-focal in equivalent for 35mm-cameras (you know the old ones with films) because it's different varying the size of the captor and the distance between lens and captor.
Read you soon happy picture-makers ;-)
Pierrot21 (Over 1 year ago)
Hi Darius;
Stop the brand war: have a look on this in the best synths :
Here's the gigapan unit capturing the inauguration panorama:
you will see the camera and lenses you need ;-)))
Hastarin (Over 1 year ago)
There are whole forums, and sites dedicated to discussing cameras, lenses, etc.  DPReview springs to mind.

I'll make two comments.

1. The idea that you need a "fast" lens is, in my opinion, wrong.  Ask yourself how often are you shooting below f4?  Most of the time you're probably even shooting at f5.6 or higher due to the depth of field.  What you need is a camera with high ISO ratings with low noise, and possibly image stabilisation.

2. The cameras I use are:
Canon S70 (small, portable, light weight, but full manual control)
Canon EOS30D with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (39-168mm equiv)

From my limited experience with synths so far the two things I want are an external flash, and an ultra wide angle lens for better coverage of interiors.

Of course I also want a serious telephoto zoom for nature photography, but that's not really Photosynth related.  :)

My Facebook wishlist for "My Camera Gear" has the EF 14mm f/2.8L USM and EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM on the list.
KrisWood (Over 1 year ago)
I'm in a similar situation at the moment. I recently purchased a Canon PowerShot a590 IS, and while it is an insanely awesome amount of camera for the $100 it cost (compared to around $500 for an entry level SLR), there are two types of shooting I'm pondering getting lenses for.

1: Small objects up close (the actual dimensions of the object I have in mind are around 4ft long by 1ft wide by 4ft tall) including both macro and normal focus ranges, between 2 meters and 3 centimeters or less in distance from the subject). In this case it'll be an 18th century ship model of which I'd like to capture both interior and exterior shots.

2: Large scenes, specifically castles that I plan to visit during my upcoming trip to the UK. This will include both interior and exterior shots.

I plan to synth both of these types of scenes. Also, any recommendations for finding an inexpensive tripod that's suitable for shooting synths?
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