Photographers using panoramic cameras normally photograph broad scenes - swathes of spectacular landscape or broad surroundings in urban or rural surroundings. They are less likely to photograph people or events. A priority is therefore to obtain sharp images where depth of field extends from the near foreground to the distant horizon. As with any lens, this is achieved by using a small aperture such as f/16, f/22 or f/32. Depth of field is maximized by setting the lens to the hyperfocal distance.

Before beginning to make exposures, it is important to ensure that the chosen depth of field is adequate for the whole sequence of images. Changing focus, and hence the depth of field, results in subtle but discernable changes in the field of view. A consequence of this is that software used to merge images may be unable to do so in a seamless manner. It is therefore essential to scan the field of view of the whole panorama and note the features closest and furthest from the camera. Depth of field must be sufficient to extend from the nearest feature to the furthest even when the two features do not appear in the same exposure.