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simonone

Posts: 10
Location:
Registered: 31 Oct 2012
Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 5:47 GMT
Hallo Everybody from Italy.

I am a longtime photography enthusiast, and now I discovered the panorama stitching technique.
I mostly like doing pictures during my travels abroad, so I would like to add some panoramas to my set of memories from my trips smile
My set up is the following:
Nikon D7000 set on fully manual (time, white balance, iso, f)
Peleng 8mm fisheye lens (manual) set on f8 or f11
Wireless remote control
Normal tripod (quite cheap)
Hugin software, and a friend which can use photoshop if needed

I shoot with taking 4 pictures + zenith and nadir

Till no I got decent results with outdoor panoramas, but for interiors stitching goes very bad.
I get very big gaps on straight lines which can be from 2m to 5m away from my camera.
I've tried both landscape and vertical position, shooting as much as 10 pictures, and also with a non-fisheye lens (11mm), but the gaps are very noticable and make the picture useless.
I've followed step by step all the tutorials from hugin website, and asked also for help from my friend with photoshop.

Is there any "secret recipy" which I am overseeing to get good panoramas indoor?
I've read about panoramic heads, and if need be I can buy a panomaxx or nodal ninja, but I would like to be 100% sure that they are really needed to have good stitching indoor for 2 reason:
- I am not spending 200$ light-hearted
- they would add weight to my photobag while touring around.

Please help if you feel like
sad
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Flashificator

Posts: 150
Location: Lima, Peru
Registered: 16 May 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 6:34 GMT
Outdoors panos you can shoot without having to worry too much about the NPP (No Parallax Point) of the lens, for as long as objects are far away, as you already know.

When you shoot indoors, you CAN do that free-hand, using Philopod (string with a weight hanging from the camera towards the floor) and you can even build your own panorama head bracket if you have basic tools and a couple of pieces of metal and a few screws. Some kind of a head is absolutely preferred, due to the fact that you normally have a lot of straight lines, patterns etc. which are close to the camera, and will be very prone to parallax errors because of the proximity to your camera.

Personally I am very happy with the Nodal Ninja panorama heads and other equipment they have. The quality of the hardware is superb, and the customer support... well, you won't find anything similar to it on this side of the universe. If you really like shooting panos, you would be making your life much easier and better, by having a good panorama head. The R1 heads from NN are small, light weight, quick to set up and very reliable. I am not sure if these are made for the Nikon/Peleng (only saw the Canon/Peleng listed on the NN site)... Then there is the NN3, which is said to be a very good head, and from what I know, it should absolutely fit your camera/lens setup without problems.

I started out with a Panosaurus head, and it served me well for as long as I used it (having hacked it to make it fit my needs). It was made out of plastic, and before it broke after falling, it had warped badly after I forgot it for a few hours in the back window of my car, where the sun shone on it... it got some serious damage from that. Once I decommissioned it, it went to the trash-can. No resale value at all. If I had started with a basic Nodal Ninja head and upgraded to a better model later, the old head would still have had a good resell value.

With a panorama head (nodal ninja, home made or something else) you should not have a problem with interior shots if you calibrate your hardware correctly. The cost may be a few hundred dollars, or much less if you make a working bracket... either solution will work.

I am used to hacking things, making tools and equipment, repairing stuff and working with my hands, but I can confidently say that I am more than happy to have NN heads. These work perfectly for my needs. Not only on a good day, but every single time I need to use one of the heads they work flawlessly.

A good lens can easily cost a couple of thousand dollars, and if one NEEDS such a lens, one will have to save up for it. If you need a good head... you should treat it in the same way: Buy something good, that you can use for years, and sell for a good price later on if you don't want to use it any longer.

Hopefully this rant will help you.


Trausti
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burake

Posts: 336
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Registered: 7 Jun 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 7:00 GMT
Hi,
I am also new to panoramic photography and I am very satisfied with my Nodal Ninja 5 panoramic head which I've bought second hand...The stitching process is also very important; I was advised to buy Ptgui Pro and I'm also very happy with that programm...
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hindenhaag

Posts: 901
Location: Netherlands
Registered: 7 Mar 2010
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 7:51 GMT
updated: 31 Oct 2012 at 7:54 GMT
Hi Simon,

You are lucky, because Nodal Ninja thx continious development of hardware and because Nick listens to customers, there is a new leightweight R1-S panoramahead.

store.nodalninja.com/index.php/pano-heads/nodal-n...

Small, direct use of the lens ring in the upper rotator and all the pictures are shot in NPP, that means without paralax. Specially Zenith and Nadir shot.

But:! you have to know it only works with lenses that can use the lens ring like fisheye lenses. But this new model will fulfill your needs at best.

www.360way.it (Warranty & Repair Center) You may contact Mauro in Italy as italy's distributor and reseller.

Feel free to ask,
Heinz
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simonone

Posts: 10
Location:
Registered: 31 Oct 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 10:35 GMT
Thank you all for the support!
So everybody confirms I will need a pano head, which I also suspected.
Please forgive me if I insist, but before spending hundreds on equipment, I really would like to make sure that the investment can effectively solve my issue.
Here is a cropping of a panoramic test I'm doing into a friend's place.
I marked the areas were lines are interrupted, as if they weren't self-evident devil

This is quite a cramped place, but the same thing happens also in bigger rooms.
As mentioned before, I took this picture with D7000, peleng 8mm, normal tripod.
The pano has been stitched with hug in, and even increasing the check points, the situation doesn't improve (to the contrary, it seems to get worse, if I put too many points)
Do you rekon that with a pano head I can obtain a decent result?

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simonone

Posts: 10
Location:
Registered: 31 Oct 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 12:38 GMT
re the pano heads, I am more prone to chosing Pano-Maxx, which seems to be more readily available in Italy.
Does anybody have any experience with such hardware?
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Judy-A

Posts: 582
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Registered: 20 Jan 2010
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 14:56 GMT

simonone said:

Do you rekon that with a pano head I can obtain a decent result?


Yes, you need a pano head. I personally use and like a Nodal Ninja 3 with my D7000 and Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens. However, if your budget is tight and you're handy with tools, this might be a start.

www.peterloud.co.uk/nodalsamurai/nodalsamurai.html

Judy
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Judy-A

Posts: 582
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Registered: 20 Jan 2010
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 15:19 GMT
Here's a list of international Nodal Ninja resellers.

www.nodalninja.com/store/resellers-google-map/37/

Judy
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DennisS

Posts: 1787
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 16:05 GMT
if your budget is tight and you're handy with tools, this might be a start.
That would be like asking a mechanic on an F1 team to jump in the seat and have a go at racing.

Until you have a complete understanding of what it takes to create a panorama, making your own pano head out of strips of scrap metal, pop rivets and nails might provide more frustration than results. You would be better off purchasing a used pano head. When you run into issues you will not be able to find the source if you cannot 100% trust your pano head. I made my own after a couple of years doing panoramas. I used a milling machine and solid aluminum stock. It can be done, but not recommended for a beginner.
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Pete Loud

Posts: 398
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: 14 Oct 2006
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 17:35 GMT
updated: 31 Oct 2012 at 17:43 GMT
Hi DennisS.

I made my Nodal Samurai in my early days of trying panoramas. It cost me $2-$3. I made my first pano-head bracket even before I bought my DSLR & tripod. The only tools I had were a $2 hacksaw, a $2 file and a $40 bench drill.

www.peterloud.co.uk/nodalsamurai/nodalsamurai.html

Perhaps you explain why my panoramas taken using this are so bad.
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simonone

Posts: 10
Location:
Registered: 31 Oct 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 17:42 GMT
Thank you everybody for your help.
I'm not really able to machine stuff and build precision mechanics, so I prefer buying a proper pano head.
I have no problem in investing money in the hobby, as long as I am sure it will fix the issues in the picture I posted: spending is ok, wasting money definitely isn't

So if everybody agrees that the interrupted lines I posted will be fixed by a pano head, I will go for it.
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hindenhaag

Posts: 901
Location: Netherlands
Registered: 7 Mar 2010
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 22:17 GMT
updated: 31 Oct 2012 at 22:18 GMT
Hi,

I received my R1-S panohead today and i have set up some pics for you with D7000 and Samyang 8mm similar to your lens.

Point1: to get a good stitch you should use a panohead.

Point2: During my lifetime I have waisted a lot of money for wrong or insufficient equipment.

Point3: My advice is based on own experience with the equipment. I advice equipment to avoid "newbies" to spend money for equipment which should have better been spend for nice dinner.

Point4: My advice is based on your special needs to shoot inside wit your lens with smallest and lightest equipment. Shooting shots around with Zenith and Nadir in NPP. I'd add a Nadir Adapter as well.

In total this will be "the cheapest equipment" to reach your goal. There is no sense to spend €180 in place of €240 for example to realize €180 equipment does not help your needs.

ge.tt/4U6LheQ

Contact Mauro, one of the best distributors and resellers in EU. You can trust his advice, I know him personally.

Be sure we'll help you stitching your pano pics.

So long, feel free to ask,
Heinz
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Flashificator

Posts: 150
Location: Lima, Peru
Registered: 16 May 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 31 Oct 2012 at 23:23 GMT
I have no personal experience with Pano-Maxx, but not long ago a member of these forums had his issues with that brand, and you can read his story here:

www.panoguide.com/forums/tipsntricks/10378/

Maybe it was just plain bad luck, or maybe it was something more common. I really don't know. What I DO know, is that the NN gear does in no way or form wear out like that.

And as Heinz stated correctly: You are better off purchasing proper equipment, even if it costs a bit more, than saving a few coins on a cheaper brand, that will end up giving you problems.

Make a good purchase from the start, and you can focus on what you want to focus on, rather than having to deal with problems.

And yes, the issues you are having, are due to you not having the camera properly aligned on a bracket or a head that takes care of the NPP.

Trausti
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DBurns

Posts: 1
Location: Valencia, CA,
Registered: 16 Jan 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 1 Nov 2012 at 2:06 GMT
I am still new to this panorama thing. Lots to learn.

If someone had suggested to me early on that I should make my own panorama bracket out of scraps and expect to quickly get good results with a small amount of issues, I would have asked them to share whatever they were smoking/drinking.

There is no way on this green earth that I would be where I am today if I had to struggle with inferior equipment.

I purchased a NN5 and have never looked back. Best decision I could have made, other than skipping the backyard machinist option. Being able to make very fine and accurate adjustments to the camera position on the pano head is well worth any money saved cutting corners making a camera bracket.

I can guarentee 100% that a commercial pano head of good quality will remove all stitching errors when properly calibrated and correctly used.
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simonone

Posts: 10
Location:
Registered: 31 Oct 2012
Re: Doing internal panoramas...on a budget
Posted: 1 Nov 2012 at 4:40 GMT
Thank you all for your advices.
I've quit long time ago to buy bad equipment only because it was cheap. I know that in photography more often than not quality is expensive.
About NN, I'm waiting for Mauro's feedback.
To be honest, I would go for the NN 3 (the one with the screw mounting) as I don't like too much the idea of fixing the camera by its lens, both for mechanical reasons, and because I would like to use 2 different lenses if needed.
Will the NN3 allow me to do also nadir and zenith pics?
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