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My 135 mm is fine and stable, but the Canon 300 mm f4 is heavier and moves with the slightest touch. It helps that the 300 mm lens has a mount near the centroid so that you can mount the lens to the upper bracket instead of the camera body. I have been thinking of ideas for stabilizing it and dampening vibration. I have two different needs for long lenses. I am not sure what focal lengths will give me the best prints. For cityscapes such as Sydney and landscapes such as Machu Pichu Scott Howard used two different lenses. He used a 400 mm lens for 90% of the 169 images that comprise the panorama and 200 mm for 10% of the images. The Machu Pichu image has visible problems around the edges in the foilage. I don't know how this effects a large print. I can easily see it on my monitor. I think that this image was taken in 2006.
I need to shoot some more big images before I understand the tradeoffs, but I feel like I need to be in a hurry as I am late to the party and the hoardes of dogs are snapping at my ankles
Thanks for the feedback. Your experience is what I expected. If I use a motorized head with long Canon L lenses (heavy glass) it seems that it would be impractical to use an NN5, particularly at low AVs.
When you shoot a mosaic of 100s of images, a cityscape for example, how important is it to avoid NNP errors, particularly with multiple rows?
I don't know because I am new at this. I definitely welcome the D12 and D8 rotators though. I will buy one of them and use them for my 360s and large prints that do not need more resolution or need more than one RAW exposure. The work flow will be much easier with the D12.
EDIT: After reworking some old shots that were shot at aproximately 100 mm (no longer have images with exif info) on a tripod without a panoramic head I have decided that you better not try your luck without a pano head. I had a mismatch on a building edge between image rows that was about 970 meters / 3180 feet / 0.6 miles away (rough estimate using google earth) Caveats: These were photomatix exposure blended with feature alignment and the pitch was not precisely controlled.