Hello, I've been using a Gigapan Epic 100 for years now. The stitching program that comes with it, 2.0.5xx works pretty well. However, there are times when it doesn't work properly so I've used the free Microsoft ICE that you can download. It's a great program. The other program I purchased was Autopano. It has only worked for me once or twice. It's a nice program though it's really expensive. Another free program to get is Hugins that a lot of people have had success with. I haven't and don't use it.
As for the type of lens to use, I've used a 75-150mm series E up to 400mm. Of course the longer the lens the longer it takes to take a Gigapan. At times I felt that it would be faster just to shoot it manually and it was faster. However, the stitching wasn't as precise as with the Gigapan. Some people use a fisheye for specialty and a 50mm. I think that's a little too short. A 85mm is a good length to start.
I think your 180mm will be perfect and the 70-300 would work as long as it doesn't vignette in the corners.
If you want to see my work just go to the gigapan site www.gigapan.org and search for nathantw. You'll see the 75-150 worked great for me along with the other lenses.
Good luck and have fun with your Epic Pro! By the way, Welcome to Nikonians!
>Hello, > >My interests lie in architectural photography (and related >architectural sculpture) for my teaching and research (art >history). I am applying on a departmental budget to purchase a >Gigapan Epic Pro to offer my students the next best experience >of architectural space other than standing in the buildings >themselves. > >First question: I use a D700 and the relevant telephotos I own >are a 180mm 2.8 AFD and 70-300 VR. Do you have any >recommendations re one or other of these lenses for Gigapan >high res composite photography (unfortunately the budget won't >stretch to a 70-200 2.8!). > >Second question: will the bundled software do the job for 360 >x >180 composites or must I invest in PTGUI or such-like? > >Many thanks in advance of any advice received, > >Jethro > >ps. this is my first Nikonians post so apologies if it is not >within the best discussion thread (I'm stilll finding my way >around the site); I figured the D700 was sufficient a >connection ... >(UK)