APP REVIEW // Lightroom 6 Merge To Panorama

I've always been an opportunistic landscape photographer, and while I like giving panoramas a go, I've never really printed or published any of them.

Lightroom 6's Merge to Panorama preview and options dialog.

Before Lightroom 6, you had to use Photoshop's Merge to Panorama feature to automatically blend your individual frames together. It would create a high detail TIFF file from the images, but you would lose all of the extra flexibility with the original raw files.

With the new version, everything changes. Lightroom 6 not only merges to panorama without leaving the application, it also creates a raw DNG file from the merge, giving you all of the dynamic range and flexibility with presets and adjustments that you had in the original files.

This is huge. I've been testing it out for a little while now and it's actually very good at what it does, providing you give it good source images.

Here is an example of Main Range in South East Queensland. These are the 5 photos I took on my Leica M and 35mm Summarit lens. I gave it plenty of overlap as this only ensures you get alignment of all images, it means there is less obvious vignetting in overlapping areas due to the lens characteristics.

It's Really Quite Simple

First select the photos you wish to merge, then right click them and select Photo Merge > Panorama in the drop down menu.

The default options will almost always do everything correctly. Once you're happy with the preview, you click Merge and Lightroom will go away in the background and create the merged DNG file.

I've found that the results are very impressive and require little tweaking other than your standard development adjustments you would normally apply, and best of all, it's raw!

The raw DNG panorama without the autocrop applied.

After tweaking the white balance and applying VSCO's Fujicolor 800Z preset with some sharpening, here is the final result. The full resolution is 14,004 x 3,294 which totals 46.1 mp, fit for any practical printing size.

If you really want to perfect the panorama, you could weed out those slightly noticeable vignettes around the areas where the frames were merged.