panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2009-06-02
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2009-07-24
#1

Ok, let's see if I have this right

Unfortunately I will not have ample time to practice al lthis before heading off to exotic-land and taking pics, but processing upon return...so it might be trial by fire, lol....so I obtained a Nikon D300 and a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye.

Camera settings recommended were:

# Aperture f/8.0
# ISO 200 or less
# White Balance "Custom" to match scene (not sure how to WB yet)
# Manual Lens Focus
# Use remote shutter release
# camera set to RAW+JPEG fine

With the head and the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye, I am to shoot
6 around at 0 degrees with 1x Zenith at +90 degrees and 1x Nadir -90 (or hand held -90).

Now Nikon has a pseudo extended dynamic range setting they call Active D-lighting. Shall I enable that setting or turn it off and take 2 series of shots, slightly over exposed, then slightly underexposed, then blend them?


Any other settings, advice or things I should do?




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Joined: 2002-11-23
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2009-07-24
#2
More important than anything else is to set a perfectly correct No Parallax Position (NPP) so you are rotating around the Entrance Pupil (EP) of the lens. You MUST get this 100% right or you will suffer great pain trying to stitch images. Of course for this to happen you must have a panorama head. More on this here

It is not advisable to go into Panorama Photography without experience or at least testing and proving the set up. Otherwise it will lead to disappointment.

With the 10.5mm you will need an Aperture of f/11.0 NOT f/8.0 as a general rule as f/11.0 is the sweet spot for this lens. You must then match the shutter speed to the light meter at 0ev at the most natually lit part of the scene and retain this position for all shots within the panoramic scene and shoot 1 thru 8 with the exact same settings.

Without experience with shooting and stitching panoramas you will not handle IDR (Increased Dynamic Range) work as it introduces far more issues. You will not find all that much difference between Active D-lighting on or off. Enable it if you like.

A better shooting procedure I covered in another post.

Regards, Smooth
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Joined: 2007-04-22
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2009-07-24
#3

Adding to what Smooth said, I don't think you will need the Raw + JPG as you stated. You really only need Raw.
What Rotor head are you using?
I shoot brackets of 5 at +- 1 EV to ensure I have a wide enough range for the HDR/IDR.
As stated above, if you don't have the NPP correct you will be pretty much wasting your time. You may be able to stitch them but it will be very time consuming and painful.
Not mentioned above but you must shoot everything in total Manual Mode.
Don't be to concerned with the white balance at this point. If shooting in Raw you can correct that later. But what ever you do, do not set it to Auto as it will change with each shot and be much more difficult to blend later. But at some point you do need to learn white balance.
What post processing programs are you going to use IE: Photoshop, Lightroom?
I see you are in the US, if you would like to talk on the phone before you leave about any questions just let me know. I'm not the expert but maybe I can help and point you in the right direction.
Have a good trip.


Nikon D300, D3s, Nikon 10.5 lens, RingT105N+Footplate+MrotatorTCPs, Giottos MT9261 Tripod, Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head.

If you know the "secret" then everyday is a good day!
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2009-07-24
#4
I will be using Photoshop, although I need to update that to the latest version.

I will be giving PTGui and Panoweaver Mac beta a try on the pano processing.

Got the F11, thanks, but in your tutorial, you say have the 10.5 Nikkor fisheye aimed down 15 degrees. Other places I thought it was said to set it at 0 degrees.

As to finding the NPP, so far as I understand it, I should set up something vertical maybe 10 feet away yet in front of another vertical line, and rotate the camera to see if the points move, and adjust till they appear to not move.

What does TB stand for , as in 6+TB? I m looking for zenith and nadir, so I thought I would see "6+ZN"


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2009-07-24
#5

Here is the best tutorial for finding the NPP. Hope this helps.
TB stands for top and bottom which most people understand better than zenith and nadir.
I don't shoot the bottom, I just use a advertising cap to cover the space. So what I do with the same set-up you have is shoot 6 around at 0 degrees and then 1 up at 90 degrees. The up shot is taken at the same position as the # 6 shot. Not sure why the tutorial you refer to above says 15 degrees down unless it's to make the nadir smaller. But I was taught to shoot at 0 degrees. I guess you want go wrong either way.  

PS: once you get your lens set up in your rotor head I would suggest you tighten it down and never remove it or you will have to go through the same procedure every time you want to use.  


Nikon D300, D3s, Nikon 10.5 lens, RingT105N+Footplate+MrotatorTCPs, Giottos MT9261 Tripod, Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head.

If you know the "secret" then everyday is a good day!
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2009-07-25
#6
That's a great tutorial Jerry, I hadn't seen that before.

But it begs the question, why adjust the vertical axis of your camera lens always stays horizontal?
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2009-07-25
#7
Sorry Jerry, Although I recommended you on "The Grid" method some years ago for finding the NPP it is not the best way of locating the NPP it is just one way and not bad as a "starting point". But if you want better, nothing is more accurate then my tutorial on zoning in on the NPP point via nadir view. You could easily prove this to yourself by shooting a set of images at -15 degrees - stitching and seeing just how accurate your NPP really is via the Nadir view!

Shooting 6 around at 0 degrees leaves a far larger tripod footprint because you have to shoot a -90 degree nadir (meaning you are actually taking a picture of the panohead and tripod). Shooting 6 around at -15 degrees negates the nadir shot totally if you are going to cap the tripod and the tripod/panohead view is much, much smaller (meaning there is a lot less to clone/heal/patch to remove the tripod totally). I explained the better shooting procedure here Let me also say that this method was not possible with Easypano Panoweaver until the release of Panoweaver 6.0

I recommend you do shoot RAW+JPG for reasons I have covered before. You can quickly view a .jpg and even stitch a set of .jpg images to see if it worth the time of processing the RAW files. .jpgs load faster for a quick view and stitch faster for a panorama preview. Whether they should be in Fine mode is up for debate and .jpg small/basic would probably do.

Regards, Smooth
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2009-07-25
#8
Quote: Originally posted by EBMN on July-24-2009

Got the F11, thanks, but in your tutorial, you say have the 10.5 Nikkor fisheye aimed down 15 degrees. Other places I thought it was said to set it at 0 degrees.



I explained this in another post in a reply to you.

Quote: Originally posted by EBMN on July-24-2009

As to finding the NPP, so far as I understand it, I should set up something vertical maybe 10 feet away yet in front of another vertical line, and rotate the camera to see if the points move, and adjust till they appear to not move.



That will service as a "starting point" much the same as "The Grid" method. But as I have pointed out and proven time and time again there is a more accurate way.

Quote: Originally posted by EBMN on July-24-2009

What does TB stand for , as in 6+TB? I m looking for zenith and nadir, so I thought I would see "6+ZN"



This I also covered in a reply to you in another post. Easypano choose to call the Zenith (TOP) and Nadir (BOTTOM) so (TB) as it is their forum and how it is written up in the Panoweaver help manual I'm just following the Easypano protacol.

Regards, Smooth
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2009-07-25
#9
Shooting Raw + JPG I guess is fine if you are shooting outside or in a well lighted space where you don't need to bracket. As stated it will give you a quick preview to stitch-up. However if you shoot mostly indoors as I do for real estate in low light conditions you will need to bracket. So I shoot 6+T in raw in brackets of 5 gives me 35 images. If I throw in a JPG now I'm up to 70 images, not acceptable! I guess it just depends on your shooting conditions. It's my understanding you are doing this for an upcoming trip. My guess is you will be shooting mostly outside therefore you probably will not need to bracket.
Nikon D300, D3s, Nikon 10.5 lens, RingT105N+Footplate+MrotatorTCPs, Giottos MT9261 Tripod, Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head.

If you know the "secret" then everyday is a good day!
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Joined: 2007-08-13
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2009-07-25
#10
Jerry, I think he's going have his camera record a RAW plus a jpg image for each shot, so he will only need to shoot (as in this example) 35 images.
Vince
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2009-07-26
#11
Either that or Smooth has stock in CF card manufacturers and wants me to max out my CF cards ;)