The Sigma 8mm Fisheye Lens &
the Pitch Variation Method

  • Using an 8mm fisheye lens with any ASPC sensor dslr camera the pitch variation method makes it possible to take 360°x180° panoramas with just 4 handheld pictures.
  • The information here is based on Bruno Postle's original wiki.
  • PLEASE NOTE that this method only applies to Sigma and Peleng 8mm lenses. The Samyang 8mm has fundamentally different optics.

8mm fisheye image size

crop picture
This figure is based on a Canon 1.6 crop sensor and shows how, in portrait mode, small amounts at the top and the bottom are missing.

360° x 180° from 4 tilting pictures

4 pictures
The pitch variation method covers these gaps by pitching upwards for 2 pictures and downwards for 2 pictures. A suitable amount of pitch is 15°.

The 4 pictures and the tennis ball


First up, second down, etc


Above and below: The tennis ball effect showing how the 2 up pictures (black lines) overlap at the top and the 2 down pictures (white lines) overlap at the bottom.

And click here to visit the centre of this sphere.

4 kinds of panoramas from the 4 pictures

1 Spherical, interactive panorama; also known as VR, click here for the SPi-V version (requires the shockwave plugin) or here for a quicktime version.

2 Equirectangular panorama; 2:1, above or large.


3 Stereographic panorama; above.


4 A recursive panorama based on a Pierce-Quincunial projection.

An EOS 500D with a Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG Fisheye Lens

The Peleng 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens. Said to have a useless lens cap and slightly more flare but is a better build and generally sharper. Only manual focus and aperture but then auto is not needed for panos. Less than half the price and available here and there.

A few links on the Samyang 8mm
Michel Thoby