Flatbed scanner panoramic camera

I’ve always loved panoramic pictures, especially when they’re printed up big. I’m not new to panoramics, as I’ve done quite a few stitched sequences, as well as true panoramic film photography. A while back I was wondering if I could repurpose the scanning head part of a scanner into a rotating head panoramic camera. After an initial trial with mediocre results, I did some digging and found out that people have made these before. There’s quite a few issues though: fitting a new lens, an IR filter, the proper speed rotating part, etc. An added difficulty with flatbed scanners is the scanning head scans over a white strip before every scan to calibrate the sensor, so if you don’t have something white for the scan head to look at right at the beginning of the scan, you get some really goofy color stripes. Sheet feed scanners aren’t supposed to do this, so I tried one of those but quickly tired of fooling all of the little switches. It always thinks there’s a paper jam.

Line scanner

The scan head sensor is actually pretty cool, and by definition it’s a line scan camera. It would still be cool to set it up as a line scan camera to play with.

After seeing this rig at HAD, I’m convinced I’m wasting my time. Moving forward I will be designing a stepper-driven tripod mount for my camera and use stitching software instead. If anybody has any suggestions on good software to try let me know. I’ve been using Panorama Maker or whatever the Nikon bundled program was called. It just doesn’t always do a very good job, even with the special mount I made that’s supposed to eliminate parallax. I get a lot of blurring at the upper and lower edge stitches. I would also like to experiment with multi-row so I can use longer lenses.

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Friday, July 16th, 2010 Cameras, Electronics

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