Tag Archives: panorama

Lightroom Merge to Panorama Error

I’ve been enjoying the new panorama merge feature in Lightroom CC and have found that it generally does a good job of merging. But I have just had it fail to merge correctly for the first time. I wanted to use Lightroom to redo a merge of eleven frames I took in 2008 and had previously merged with AutoStitch to create the panorama below.

Panorama from Kalk Bay harbour wall

When I merged the frames shown in the grid view below I didn’t get the result I expected.


The frames are DNG files converted from Canon 30D raw files shot with a Sigma 18-125mm lens and the correct lens profile was applied before attempting the merge in Lightroom. Instead of something similar to the original merge, I ended up with this in the preview window, where it has taken frames from the left and tacked them on to the right.

Panorama Merge Preview (26)

I tried to merge the left and right sections independently to see what would happen and while merging the seven rightmost frames produced what I would expect, merging the five leftmost frames didn’t. If you compare the merge preview of the leftmost five frames shown below to the section of the original merge overlaid on it, you will notice that an entire hill/mountain has been excluded from the merge that Lightroom did.

Panorama Merge Preview (27)

After some searching for Lightroom merge errors I found a thread suggesting that a panorama exceeding 32000 wide pixels would fail with an error, but in my case I receive no error and the resulting panorama would be far below the 32000 pixel limit; Lightroom simply generated a different panorama than it should.

I would be interested to hear if others have experienced similar problems.

Pringle Bay

Pringle Bay
Click here to view a larger version or on the image above to visit the Flickr page.

I don’t own, and can’t afford to buy, one of the latest versions of Photoshop that have good panorama stitching support; or a specialised stitching application for that matter. I must therefore resort to free applications and have had good results from Autostitch up to this point. This panorama is the first one that I was not able to stitch successfully with it; the result had many artifacts and stitch errors and it would not really have been practical to try and repair them to reach a usable image.

I tried the new Microsoft ICE and it did a reasonably good job, with just two stitch errors that were easily corrected. However it produced very marked colour banding with this image so I had to try something else.

I have heard of Panorama Tools but been put off by their non-graphical nature; they seem as though they would take some major effort to learn and use. The Panorama Tools page mentions hugin, a graphical frontend, or toolchain, that uses Panorama Tools behind the scenes. I hoped it would hide some of the complexity so I gave it a try with this image and was blown away. Performing just an automatic stitch, using the wizard, without needing to delve into all the options, produced this image with no stitch errors that I could see and no colour banding.

hugin will certainly be my choice of panorama stitcher from now on.


I have been dabbling with panoramic photos, stitched together from several overlapping photos. Mostly these are landscapes or cityscapes but as Sunbathers, the photo below shows this need not always be the case. It was stitched together from four separate hand-held frames. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version. The original, full-sized photo is much more detailed but somewhat too large to display here.