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Thread: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD

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Keith Mackey

Posts: 14
Location: United States
Registered: 11 Oct 2007
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 12 Apr 2011 at 3:19 GMT
Hi Smooth:

Thanks very much for the great information. Just got the converter. Could you provide the NN3 settings you used?

Thanks

Keith
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 12 Apr 2011 at 7:57 GMT

Pedro said:

Hi Smooth:

Thanks for posting this example. It looks nice!. Will you have other samples to show under different lighting conditions?
Hi Pedro,

Yes, I hope to have some more to show. Just have a couple of projects to finish off first.

Keith Mackey said:

Hi Smooth:

Thanks very much for the great information. Just got the converter. Could you provide the NN3 settings you used?

Thanks

Keith
Hello Keith,

The rail setting are going to be very different depending on the mounting plate used. Using the NN CP2 Camera plate tinyurl.com/cp2-plate the rail settings I used were L46.5 U58.0 But as always you should set your own gear up following known methods for finding the NPP.

www.easypano.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?...
www.rosaurophotography.com/html/technical7.html
www.johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm

Please share your results when you have completed a panorama.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 12:46 GMT
OK, little dusk experiment with the Sony NEX and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter Lens.

www.omnipix.net/temp/nex/converter/dusk/

Pano shot at ISO 800, f/8.0, 1/20th

Again the converter lens shows it's softness. But you have to remember what it is, a $125.00 converter lens.

Anyway, hope this is of interests.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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hindenhaag

Posts: 900
Location: Netherlands
Registered: 7 Mar 2010
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 13:53 GMT
Hi Smooth,

once again thx a lot for letting us know and taking time and money.

You offer us the opportunity to let us have a look to the performance of new set ups. Now we can compare and decide before we have to buy new equipment and get a result that we do not like.

Which means, yes it is of interest.

Regards,
Heinz
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DemonDuck

Posts: 418
Location:
Registered: 10 Mar 2011
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 16:01 GMT
A little tiny bit soft but I'm guessing you didn't do any sharpening so's to show us more clearly what the lens does.

Does it look better with a little sharpening?
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Judy-A

Posts: 582
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Registered: 20 Jan 2010
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 18:21 GMT
Thanks very much for this, Smooth. It’s very helpful to see the image quality here. Yes, it’s soft but the noise level is quite low.

I went into a Sony store yesterday and handled the camera. It was even smaller than I had imagined.

When you see the size of the camera, this image quality is quite impressive.

Judy
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 19:00 GMT
Yes, I don't think people appreciate just how small this camera is until they actually hold one.

I'm still very impressed with this camera. It's not perfect, but it is first of a kind and no doubt the following releases will improve.

Personally I wouldn't recommend people go out and buy the fisheye converter over a "real" fisheye lens it is no substitute. The Samyang and Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye leave in for dead. But at $125.00 the fisheye converter is capable enough to capture a scene as I have shown in this thread.

I really believe the NEX series to be the equivalent to the Sony A33 DSLR only mirrorless. The specs seem pretty much the same.

I must say, as fun as it is and as handy and lightweight. It's nice to use my full size Canon and Nikon DSLR's again. That is where I feel at home.

Still, there will be occasions where this little Sony will get a run. I have just ordered an Arca Swiss style camera plate for it. This will make the upper rail NPP setting rock solid. Should Nick at Fanotec ever make a Lens Ring for the converter I'd be sure to grab one of those also.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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DennisS

Posts: 1763
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 13 Apr 2011 at 21:18 GMT
I have gotten used to the size of the NEX-5. Today I did a panorama with my D300. It felt like I needed two hands just to hold the camera. For doing monopod panoramas while cycling, this little camera rocks. For all other photography, I will leave it at home.

I tried the Sunnex lens today on the NEX. Don't waste your time. POSWOT! Until there is a smaller version of the Sigma 8mm f3.5, that is the lens I will be shooting.
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Pedro

Posts: 36
Location: United Kingdom
Registered: 10 May 2010
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 14 Apr 2011 at 8:55 GMT
updated: 14 Apr 2011 at 9:10 GMT
Hi Smooth:

Thanks again for posting this new panorama.

DennisS:

Do you have a sample to show with the nex5 and the Sunnex lens? Thanks.
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Keith Mackey

Posts: 14
Location: United States
Registered: 11 Oct 2007
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 17 Apr 2011 at 18:26 GMT
Hi Smooth:

Thanks for the information. I did as you suggested and set up my own NN3 rail settings. The results are almost identical to what you are using. I started with the NN original Camera Plate, but have since acquired the CP2. I find that there is no difference in the dimensions between them that would affect the rail settings. The CP2 when used with the NEX-5 does not seem to offer any advantage, as the camera is too small to touch the angle at the rear of the plate.

I've taken several panos that are not bad, but I don't seem to be able to get the sharpness that you've gotten on those to which you've provided links. I did one at first light this morning and used the Auto HDR feature of the camera. The shot did not work well at all withour using the Auto HDR. I tried to do a difficult shot with low light, both close and distant objects and lots of highlights and shadows. Your suggestions on what I may have done wrong would be appreciated. I notice a lot of CA and the picture is very soft. I shot it at f8 and ISO 800. Others that I've done in normal light without using the HDR feature have been a bit better than this one:

tinyurl.com/3qawdvv

I also have a question and a suggestion for new users of the NEX. The camera defaults to an aspect ratio of 16:9. When I used this setting, the pictures would stitch reasonably well, but the numbers you provided for PTGui did not work. I found the setting for aspect ratio, and set it for 3:2 which made the numbers come out quite close to what you show in your screen shots. Those new to the camera might wish to note this.

When I set the focal length to 10.23, and the Hor. FOV to 89.56 as you suggest, they change in the stitching process to 10.219878 and 89.62 respectively. I did not set any lens correction parameters. Is this something I'm doing wrong, or is the difference so small it can be ignored?

I'm relatively new at photography and have always used the Nikon 10.5mm. PTGui reads the EXIF data, and I've never had to make any changes in the lens settings.

I think the Camera and converter have a great deal of potential for portability and ease of use. Although the NN3 is small, when used with the NEX, it feels very bulky.

Can you use your influence to get Nick Fan to make an R1/R10 ring clamp for this converter? Should be easy as it is the same diameter as the Nikon 10.5mm.

Nick: If you read this, i'll loan you my camera and converter to get the job done wink It would then really be a very portable setup.

Keith
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 17 Apr 2011 at 19:00 GMT

Keith Mackey said:

The CP2 when used with the NEX-5 does not seem to offer any advantage, as the camera is too small to touch the angle at the rear of the plate.
You must turn the larger lipped plate 180 degrees and have it come lightly against the LCD screen to prevent tilt.

A better solution for the NN3 set up it to buy an Arca Swiss camera plate www.jtec-online.com/cameraplate.html
and mate this to the NN Arca Style Quick Release Clamp store.nodalninja.com/products/Arca-Style-Quick-Re...

Keith Mackey said:

I've taken several panos that are not bad, but I don't seem to be able to get the sharpness that you've gotten on those to which you've provided links.
More testing and maybe a little post production work. Get into RAW and forget .jpg

Keith Mackey said:

I notice a lot of CA and the picture is very soft. I shot it at f8 and ISO 800. Others that I've done in normal light without using the HDR feature have been a bit better than this one:

tinyurl.com/3qawdvv
The result is not bad considering it is Auto HDR. But to get the most from this camera you have to shoot RAW and learn how to publish/develop RAW files to gain the most potential from them. This is where you will clean up the chromatic aberration and purple fringing and attempt to reduce noise and add a little sharpening.

Keith Mackey said:

I also have a question and a suggestion for new users of the NEX. The camera defaults to an aspect ratio of 16:9. When I used this setting, the pictures would stitch reasonably well, but the numbers you provided for PTGui did not work. I found the setting for aspect ratio, and set it for 3:2 which made the numbers come out quite close to what you show in your screen shots. Those new to the camera might wish to note this.
16.9 is just wide screen TV/computer screen sillyness. Fine if you just want to display your happy snaps on the tele to your suffering audience! You are not getting the full image nor using maximum pixels. I think most like you, will work that out pretty fast. But now you have stated it, this may help some other people.

Keith Mackey said:

When I set the focal length to 10.23, and the Hor. FOV to 89.56 as you suggest, they change in the stitching process to 10.219878 and 89.62 respectively. I did not set any lens correction parameters. Is this something I'm doing wrong, or is the difference so small it can be ignored?
Ignore this, simply entering the lens manually at 10.5mm is enough to get you going. Once optimised correctly PTGui will give the correct numbers. After making good repeatable template I know 10.23mm is correct. But coming close is good enough if your images have stitched well.

Keith Mackey said:

Can you use your influence to get Nick Fan to make an R1/R10 ring clamp for this converter? Should be easy as it is the same diameter as the Nikon 10.5mm.

Nick: If you read this, i'll loan you my camera and converter to get the job done wink It would then really be a very portable setup.
I've publicly stated that I would buy one if Nick produces it. Even an insert for the Nikon 10.5mm ring would do! Maybe the footplate would be different? It would depend on the location position of the ring. Over to your Nick, there will be a demand of some sort.

A lens ring would be preferable over the NN3 for sure. When using the Nikkor 10.5mm I am using a Lens Ring.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 21 Apr 2011 at 13:28 GMT

Smooth said:

Keith Mackey said:

The CP2 when used with the NEX-5 does not seem to offer any advantage, as the camera is too small to touch the angle at the rear of the plate.
You must turn the larger lipped plate 180 degrees and have it come lightly against the LCD screen to prevent tilt.
I have since added a Resin-Kit LCD Protector that I purchased from ebay tinyurl.com/lcd-protect
It is high quality at a low purchase price and offers good protection again the NN CP2 Large lip when coming into contact with the LCD screen.

I thought I'd mention this as it is a good product and offers good cushion of protection for the NN CP2 and the LCD.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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Keith Mackey

Posts: 14
Location: United States
Registered: 11 Oct 2007
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 2:41 GMT
Hi Smooth:

Thanks for all your help and advice. I've had a chance to experiment a bit more and have a few observations and comments:

Regarding the rail settings for the NN3:

Smooth said:

The rail settings I used were L46.5 U58.0 But as always you should set your own gear up following known methods for finding the NPP.


I did as you suggested, and got close to what you used, but had a lot of stitching errors. I repeated the calibration and set the bottom rail by taking a picture of the rotator. To place the target exactly in the middle of the frame, the Photoshop rulers were set to percent. I used a line drawn at 50% to set the lower rail which was measured using this method at 43.5. This setting and 58 on the upper rail has eliminated most stitching errors and PTGui usually optimizes with "good" results. The 43.5 setting was the same for both the CP1 and CP2 camera plates.


Regarding the CP2 plate, I had it turned as you suggested, but there is still a slight gap between the lip and the LCD screen even with the Sony LCD Protector kit installed.

I contacted Nodal Ninja to see if they might be planning to make a ring clamp for the NEX converter lens and got this reply:
"the problem with the R1/R10 and the fisheye converter for the Sony NEX-5 is that the lens ring system does not allow a zenith shot. At the moment, we don't have plans to introduce a lens ring for the adapter. However, this may change in the future, so please stay tuned on our site and the forum.
Regards,
Mauro Contrafatto
Nodal Ninja Customer Service Manager (also Distributor for Italy)"


I'm sure the ring could be made, but it would require some engineering to accommodate the release lever for the converter. A cutout could probably be made to allow access. A worse, but workable option would be to attach the ring to the 16mm lens which would require allowing room for the lens release button.

Your suggestions about using raw were taken. It always seemed I was a version or so out of date with Photoshop and none of my cameras were supported in Camera Raw. I recently got the CS5 upgrade which does support the NEX series. (older versions do not) You've got me hooked on raw now. What a difference correcting the CA and sharpening with Camera Raw makes. Guess I'll never go back to jpeg if I can help it.

I shot this one today to try to see how the camera would perform with a wide dynamic range. I processed it in raw which helped a lot in correcting at least some of my mistakes.
tinyurl.com/3tpw953

Regards, Keith
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DennisS

Posts: 1763
Location: Los Anglels, United States
Registered: 1 Sep 2007
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 4:47 GMT
Keith,

Make sure you update your firmware if it is not at the latest version. Mine was 1 release behind. The latest adds some very nice features, like programmable menu buttons.

Pointing the camera down at the rotator gives you a starting point in the calibration process, but is not the absolute last word. You still have to go through the calibaration process.

Nice looking pano. The more I see produced with this camera the more I like it.

Dennis
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Sony NEX + Sony Fisheye Converter: Cost $125.00 USD
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 6:02 GMT
Hello Keith,

Keith Mackey said:

Regarding the rail settings for the NN3:

Smooth said:

The rail settings I used were L46.5 U58.0 But as always you should set your own gear up following known methods for finding the NPP.

I did as you suggested, and got close to what you used, but had a lot of stitching errors. I repeated the calibration and set the bottom rail by taking a picture of the rotator. To place the target exactly in the middle of the frame, the Photoshop rulers were set to percent. I used a line drawn at 50% to set the lower rail which was measured using this method at 43.5. This setting and 58 on the upper rail has eliminated most stitching errors and PTGui usually optimizes with "good" results. The 43.5 setting was the same for both the CP1 and CP2 camera plates.
This method is as Dennis points out and a starting point and the best way to find dead centre is by viewing the nadir footprint of stitched images that capture the edge of the panohead as shown in my tutorial.
www.easypano.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?...
If you are stitching with PTGui then using Smartblend as the blender with give clearer results. If you get a 100% perfect circle you have it nailed.

Keith Mackey said:

Regarding the CP2 plate, I had it turned as you suggested, but there is still a slight gap between the lip and the LCD screen even with the Sony LCD Protector kit installed.
It is totally adjustable so no gap should be there. There is a small Allan Hex Screw that allows for the lipped plate to slide and adjust to any position required.

Keith Mackey said:

I contacted Nodal Ninja to see if they might be planning to make a ring clamp for the NEX converter lens and got this reply:"the problem with the R1/R10 and the fisheye converter for the Sony NEX-5 is that the lens ring system does not allow a zenith shot. At the moment, we don't have plans to introduce a lens ring for the adapter. However, this may change in the future, so please stay tuned on our site and the forum.
Regards,
Mauro Contrafatto
Nodal Ninja Customer Service Manager (also Distributor for Italy)"
While I respect Mauro, he is just playing customer support here. The fact is, rings exist for plenty of other lenses that can't be tilted for exact Zenith position. Like the Canon 15mm, Sigma 15mm and Nikkor 10.5mm. So it is unlikely the reason. You can of course use PTGui Pro's View Point Correction feature just as well on Zenith as Nadir shots. It is manufacturer Nick Fan at Fanotec who will make that call.

Keith Mackey said:

Your suggestions about using raw were taken. It always seemed I was a version or so out of date with Photoshop and none of my cameras were supported in Camera Raw. I recently got the CS5 upgrade which does support the NEX series. (older versions do not) You've got me hooked on raw now. What a difference correcting the CA and sharpening with Camera Raw makes. Guess I'll never go back to jpeg if I can help it.
Yes, jpg is for amateurs or quick and dirty. Once you understand RAW a whole new world opens up. On the release versions of ACR etc. You can always download the FREE Adobe DNG converter. It will convert any RAW file supported into Adobe .dng RAW format that can then be used with any version of ACR new or old. It has always been this way.

Keith Mackey said:

I shot this one today to try to see how the camera would perform with a wide dynamic range. I processed it in raw which helped a lot in correcting at least some of my mistakes.
tinyurl.com/3tpw953
It is a nice job and good composition. Makes for a pleasant interesting scene. One problem I did spot though was the stair casing effect on straight lines when zooming in. Somewhere along the line Anti Aliasing should have taken place. I'm not sure if it is your image or a setting in how you published with Pano2VR. Most likely the image itself.

It is certainly progress and another good example from the Sony NEX 5.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.omnipix.com.au
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