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NN4 Complete Manual

12. About Parallax

Parallax defined

Parallax is the apparent shifting of a foreground object relative to a background object when viewed at different angles or perspectives. With panoramic photography, multi-shot images or images shot side by side create an issues know as parallax. This is because each image shot is actually different from the one before it due to the minor shifting of objects in the field of view. The foreground objects will tend to shift from the background objects if the camera is rotated outside the no parallax point (NPP) of the lens. Seamless stitching of adjacently shot photos is almost impossible with tell tale lines whenever parallax is prevalent. Things simply won't line up properly.

Parallax Demonstrated

Hold your thumb out in front of you at arm's length and view it with your right eye (left eye closed). Move your head side to side while remaining focused on the background, and you'll see your thumb move side to side relative to the background - this apparent change in position is due to the effects of parallax. This is the same thing that happens when a camera is rotated on a tripod. Tripods are NOT designed to eliminate parallax with panoramic photography.
Using a special head like the Nodal Ninja, and adjusting it properly, so it rotates about the "entrance pupil" of a lens, will eliminate virtually any parallax.

Parallax and Panoramic Photography

Once parallax free images are taken, and with the use of special "stitching software", you are able to seamlessly stitch the images together.

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