Stops and Lenses and Arca Swiss [Archive] - Nodal Ninja Forum

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schlake
04-14-2008, 06:47 AM
I've been poking at my Nodal Ninja 5L for several days now. I even pieced together a panorama that is (sort of) four rows of twenty columns (http://schlake.livejournal.com/763516.html). It doesn't compare to Carel Struycken's pictures, but I'm still quite proud of it as a first attempt.

My first question, though, is what is a good lens to use? I have a Canon 1DmkIII (1.3x cropping factor) and a Canon 5D (FFS) available to shoot with. My lenses are a 15mm f/2.8 fisheye, 20mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 plastic, 100mm f/2.8 macro, 200mm f/2.8, and 300mm f/2.8 IS L. The first thing that I noticed is that many of the NN stop plates seem to be for very wide lenses. I would have assumed that the distortion in the wide lenses would be a liability? I made my first multi-row pano with the 50mm, and it turned out ok. I wanted to use my 200mm f/2.8, but there was no ring that caused clicks-stops to happen with overlapping images. I suspect if I buy a tripod collar for it and turn it back to landscape orientation that it would work out for me.

My second question is how would I go about making my NN5L use an Arca Swiss style mounting bracket? I'm quite new to Arca Swiss and have only been using them a day longer than I've had my NN5L.

Mauro Contrafatto
04-14-2008, 08:10 AM
Hi there,

you made a real good stitching work in the panorama you linked. To get a perfect result, you will need to keep image parameters (ISO, aperture and exposure time), focus and white balance constant between each shot.

There is not a good lens or camera in absolute to use for panoramic pictures.
It basically depends on the panorama format you want to achieve (full spherical, cylindrical, rectilinear) and the resolution you want it to be displayed or printed.

Very wide lenses are preferred in full spherical images because they allow to cover the field of view with a reduced quantity of shots, while tele lenses are used for gigapixel mosaics.

About your Arca Swiss question, you can use your clamp on NN5L without any problem! Just mount it over the standard camera plate.

Carel
04-14-2008, 05:12 PM
Hi Schlake,

Mauro already mentioned the importance of keeping all camera settings on manual.

The Canon 15mm f2.8 is great. I have seen some beautiful night panoramas that were shot with that lens.
For panoramas with moving objects/people you are better off with a shorter fisheye, such as the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye or the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye. When using the Tokina fisheye <15mm on the 5D, the shades will become visible, so they need to be cut. Instructions are here:
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Tokina_10_17/Shaving_the_hood/Wim_method.html

To shoot with the 200mm tele lens requires a very different setup. Bernhard Vogl has built a robot for that purpose. Instructions for building the "GigaBot" are here:
http://dativ.at/gigabot/index.html

A mounting bracket makes it much faster to set up the camera. I use a Manfrotto bracket that needed to be filed down a bit to fit on the upper horizontal arm of the NN.

Carel Struycken

Macro
04-14-2008, 08:54 PM
A mounting bracket makes it much faster to set up the camera. I use a Manfrotto bracket that needed to be filed down a bit to fit on the upper horizontal arm of the NN.


Hi Carel,

Do you have a part number or link for this?

Thanks,
David

schlake
04-15-2008, 06:41 AM
I went out again after work yesterday, and I tried a wider lens. This time it was a 20mm with a 1.3 cropping factor. I thought ahead, and used a fixed WB, fixed focus, fixed aperture, and fixed shutter speed. I also stuck the resulting image on a real web server instead of linking to an https server on my home DSL box with an expired self-signed certificate, so there won't be any warning messages when you click to it!

http://infohost.nmt.edu/~schlake/fstmp/pano/traintrackssmall.jpg

It turned out a lot better. I seem to have not quite had the coverage I needed on the left side of the image since a couple of holes have appeared. I took two rows of eight pictures, the first set at -30 degrees and the second set at +30 degrees.

How much should each image overlap when I shoot them? Also, does it help to shoot one more image than 360 degrees when I take the pictures? Lastly, did it hurt me that I took two angled shots instead of taking three rows with a level shot, a downward shot, and an upward shot?

schlake
04-15-2008, 06:54 AM
A mounting bracket makes it much faster to set up the camera. I use a Manfrotto bracket that needed to be filed down a bit to fit on the upper horizontal arm of the NN.


I'm ordering an Arca Swiss style clamp that should mount onto the NN plate. What would be nicer would be a native NN5 Arca Swiss clamp. I'd buy one if it was for sale.

Mauro Contrafatto
04-15-2008, 11:31 AM
It turned out a lot better. I seem to have not quite had the coverage I needed on the left side of the image since a couple of holes have appeared. I took two rows of eight pictures, the first set at -30 degrees and the second set at +30 degrees.

How much should each image overlap when I shoot them? Also, does it help to shoot one more image than 360 degrees when I take the pictures? Lastly, did it hurt me that I took two angled shots instead of taking three rows with a level shot, a downward shot, and an upward shot?


Still some stitching problems there, but it is a lot better than first experiment!

Your 20mm on 1.3x cropping factor is a 26mm equivalent, and the horizontal field of view in portrait position is roughly of 50?. Usually, an overlap 25-30% is needed to get enough control points for a successfull stitching. I would use 3 rows with 9 or 10 shots each, at around +45?, 0? and -45? pitch, for a spherical image. Of course, if you want to do cylyndrical, 2 rows at +30? and -30? would be enough!

Native Fanotec Arca Swill style clamp will be out sometimes soon, I know :wink:
Before turning to Arca Swiss, I used a Manfrotto 3299 RC2 System Quick Release Adapter over the 3157N Plate. Hope it helps!

Sam Rohn
04-15-2008, 08:50 PM
I'm ordering an Arca Swiss style clamp that should mount onto the NN plate. What would be nicer would be a native NN5 Arca Swiss clamp. I'd buy one if it was for sale.


it wasn't cheap, but this arca swiss clamp works fine on my NN3, & with kirkphoto (http://www.kirkphoto.com/) L-bracket on D300, as the lever is slim enough to clear the arm -

http://www.adorama.com/AWFL3860.html

sam

Macro
04-15-2008, 10:41 PM
What would be nicer would be a native NN5 Arca Swiss clamp. I'd buy one if it was for sale.

Add me to the list <credit card in hand>, but it has to mount in both directions to work with both camera plates and lens plates. A simple square base would allow this.
(hello Nick, are you there? :wink:)



it wasn't cheap, but this arca swiss clamp works fine on my NN3, & with kirkphoto (http://www.kirkphoto.com/) L-bracket on D300, as the lever is slim enough to clear the arm -


How will you keep this clamp from rotating on the arm?

Sam Rohn
04-16-2008, 02:40 AM
that hasn't been an issue, the grippy rubber pad and rail stops seem to do the trick

sam

schlake
04-16-2008, 06:30 AM
I've attempted new wide-lens panos and met with failure. I seem to always get holes with my 20mm, and the 15mm is even worse; I just get junk with it.

I'm using the automate photomerge in photoshop for my stitching. It performs well with normal to telephoto lenses but doesn't seem to be very good at the wider ones. Most people here seem to use PTGui, so I suspect that I will need to invest in that.

erik leeman
05-02-2008, 04:28 PM
I don't think Photoshop is capable of stitching/merging fisheye images at all, you really need a dedicated tool for those.
PTGui might not be the easiest one to get aquainted with, but it is well worth the effort!