I do get what some of you are talking about insofar as seeing the whole pano in the viewfinder. I wasn't talking so much in my previous post as the viewfinder. Additionally if I had the money to buy $2500 X-pans and Fuji TX cameras, I would probably also love to see the whole scene.
However, I am an Under $1000 camera guy and often not over $500. The used market serves me well. Most of my camera acquisition is from eBay, and frankly I sell a ton of film gear on eBay to pursue my acquisitions.
But stitching digital, and scanning film to stitch also works for me on Pano's.
Yesterday, I went out to photograph and old homestead from the late 1800's built original in a stand of Birch trees. One of my favorite subjects, roaming the high desert of Central Oregon and finding these old dream homes from pioneers of yesteryear.
I took about 40 shots of the old unlivable home, and I decided to get a pano of the Birch stand with the home bleeding out the right side.
No tripod, no match, no head games.... just hand hold and rotate the camera on a level plane... as much as possible with handholding. Just make sure that certain trees ended up in the proper ends of three frames.
Now, this forum does not do justice to the sharpness of my photos... so I must tell you the focus and sharpness is much better on my screen. Some of you have attempted to tell me various ways to improve the sharpness, but I prefer to blame this site. I have used many and various computers from different internet providers on RFF, and frankly I never really see sharp images here. Yet most other posting sites look fine to me.
I shot for an hour at the scene of this image, and the three shots took about five minutes. I then stitched them in the "create" section of Windows Live Photo Gallery... probably 20 minutes of PP. Naturally, I can crop and resize them to suit preference. I use for digital a Fujifilm S3 Pro set Wide on the Dynamic Range function. I will also post another stitch of 6 frames taken with an Olympus E400 4/3 DSLR.
S3Pro Three images stitched end to end
Olympus E400 5 or 6 images shot vertically and stitched vertically
E400 on Monochrome
Two images from 6X9 Fuji GL690.. scanned and stitched, very little overlap
I repeat, these are simply horrible in viewing on this web site. That has been my consistent refrain and I pretty much see others photos this way as well. Say what you will, but the problem seems insurmountable.
I also use LF 4x5, and a modified half dark slide to get two panos on one sheet of film. The size is a bit unconventional but there's always cropping. That's one way for me to see the whole pano on the Ground Glass.