Panoramic photography is stitching multiple, overlapping digital photographs together to make one large panoramic photograph. The best image stitching software to join the images together, creating seamless, high quality panoramas is PTGui from the Netherlands. Best shooting practice dictates the use of a panoramic head with the camera mounted on a special bracket that can be rotated on the tripod. The panoramic head is designed to rotate the camera around the nodal point of the lens, so the image content stitches correctly. Any focal length of lens can be used, but each focal length of lens requires an initial calibration on the panoramic head. There is no limit to the number of photographs that can be stitched together, and the initial raw images are taken in rows from left to right working top to bottom until you have captured the complete scene. Popular panoramic heads being Novoflex, Germany and Really Right Stuff, USA.
Other alternatives to PTGui for stitching panoramas include Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. In reality PTGui is the only choice to ever consider. PTGui is incredibly fast. What PTGui does in seconds, you may wait over half an hour with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom; if they complete the process at all. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are OK for a small number of images, but not volume. However, there is a major reason to choose PTGui above all else; its ability to correct vertical distortion – all without losing image quality. Photoshop requires stretching the image after creating the final panoramic photograph to correct the verticals; this destroys image sharpness in the stretched areas, brutally. With PTGui you move the complete image to correct the verticals in a preview first – before you create the final panoramic photograph, with no loss in sharpness at all. There are other benefits with PTGui, these are the two that make PTGui essential.