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View Full Version : Will it work? - NN 3 MkII + Canon 500D + Tokina 11-16 f2.8



andybryant
07-15-2010, 02:37 PM
Background... New to Nodal Ninja, but have been playing with pano for some time - recently borrowed a Manfrotto 303, and now wants to get a NN. Looking to be able to capture 360x180 + some smaller cylindrical shots - mostly outside in nature, or in city. Have Canon 500D (T2i) + Tokina 11-16mm lens, and thinking about trying out a Pelang 8mm at some point (possibly - but would like a solution that will work with the Tokina). Like to get out into nature and hike - so low weight and size is really important. Some examples of my recent panos - http://andy.bryant.name/pano/

I was just about to press the button on a NN3 complete package, but then I came across this site
http://www.red-door.co.uk/pages/productpages/nodal-ninja-panorama-head-nn3.html

Which says that the distance between the tripod hole and front of lens is max 107mm (or 129mm with t-adapter)

Mine is 135mm with UV filter or 130mm without.

I'm having trouble visualizing why this is going to be an issue. Is it a show stopper? Or workable?

I've also got a RRS L-shaped QR base on the camera which I would prefer to maintain in the solution (although taking this off isn't a big issue.
http://reallyrightstuff.com/QR/05.html

Would this QR clamp work - http://store.nodalninja.com/product_p/asqrc-2.htm

Andy.

nick fan
07-16-2010, 02:16 AM
A F2.8 zoom will be better served by NN5/ 5L.


nick

Bill Bailey
07-16-2010, 07:42 AM
Hi Andy,
Looks like the Tokina 11-16 is a good lens - I would suspect much better than the Peleng.
We don't normally recommend the NN3 for users of DSLR unless it's a small DSLR with small lens. And you can't use the L bracket with DSLR on NN3.
Your best bet is stepping into the NN5 series, the least expensive model being the NN5L (approx 900 grams). You would be able to achieve full rotation up. And if you are used to the heavier Manfrotto the NN5 series (all models) are smaller and more lightweight. If you wanted to use L bracket we have an Arca Style Clamp.
We have a reseller located in your city - Grenoble: http://magasin.skivr.com/ (Vincen here in the forum). I'm sure he would be more than happy to assist you as well in finding the right model for your needs.
Cheers
Bill

hindenhaag
07-16-2010, 12:33 PM
Andy,

The upper rail settings is not determined by the overall distance from tripod mount to front lens. It relates to the NPP of the lens at a special zoom setting to the lens flange ( L2 ) plus the distance lens flange to the tripod mount of your camera body ( L1 ).

I am Nikonian, but you can find the data at this database: http://wiki.panotools.org/Entrance_Pupil_Database : L1 = 39, L2 Zoom 11 65.6 : 66, Zoom 16 67.6: 68. This will end up with an upper rail setting (URS) with 105 or 107.

The lower rail setting is determined by H of the database which is 38.5 for your camera, my personal equipment add 13mm for NN5 and 14mm for NN3 to this data, so lower rail settings are NN5 51.5 or 52.5 NN3.

You have to test this with your equipment: http://www.easypano.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=1&TopicID=4162.

I had a look to my NN3 MKII today because of your request. With the new Nadir adaptor you can go up to 70 - plus 6 mm for the offset of the vertical rail. So I suppose there is room for your L-bracket plus arca swiss style clamp.

So I suggest you might go with a NN3.

I often had comments of colleagues when I advised the NN5 in cases like this like Bill and Nick did as well. But when you are really thinking of weight, I know there are experienced guys who use a D300 with NN3. I tried this as well. When you add a heavier lens, the upper rail might not be able to stand the weight.

Once being infected of the pano virus and spread out your experience with other than fisheye lenses to get higher resolution, I'd go for the NN5 with nadir adaptor. Anyway, check the nadir shot at URS 105 for your overall length. Just thinking of it. But it should be possible. I'll check this for you tomorrow morning.

Conclusion: to be safe NN5 + nadir adaptor, limited weight with a rest of risk, NN3 + nadir adaptor.

Now you stay with your decision, that's life. Anyway, I have used Manfrotto before as well. You will like NN Products. Using it is like a new birthday.

And welcome to the forum,

Heinz

hindenhaag
07-16-2010, 12:38 PM
BTW, I am sure Vincen will help you and if you are near him, test both equipments.

Heinz

andybryant
07-20-2010, 06:24 AM
Thanks for the input guys. As I thought it isn't completely black and white; and I'm surprised to hear that we've got a reseller in Grenoble.

My lens is 560g, and camera 480g = 1040g, well within the 'regular-use working load' for the NN3, which is listed at 1.5kg. So it sounds like I might get away with the NN3, but would be safer with the NN5 (and that will give me a better chance of using an Arca-style QR clamp

I guess I really need to get hold of a NN3 to try it in order to work out if it's going to work.

Thanks,
Andy.

No-Nonsense
08-01-2010, 07:14 AM
Hi Andy!


Background... New to Nodal Ninja, but have been playing with pano for some time - recently borrowed a Manfrotto 303, and now wants to get a NN. Looking to be able to capture 360x180 + some smaller cylindrical shots - mostly outside in nature, or in city. Have Canon 500D (T2i) + Tokina 11-16mm lens, and thinking about trying out a Pelang 8mm at some point (possibly - but would like a solution that will work with the Tokina).

[...]

Which says that the distance between the tripod hole and front of lens is max 107mm (or 129mm with t-adapter)

Mine is 135mm with UV filter or 130mm without.

I'm having trouble visualizing why this is going to be an issue. Is it a show stopper? Or workable?

I own both the Canon 500D/T1i (do you actually have the 500D/T1i or the 550D/T2i?) and the Tokina 11-16mm F2.6 ultra wide angle lens. Like you, I wanted to start into panoramic photography with an ultra wide angle lens instead of a fisheye lens, as it seemed more versatile to me. I do not have any use for a fisheye lens beside of panoramic photography.

To really get started I recently bought a used Nodal Ninja 3 MKII with R-D8.

I spend the last days to figure out the setup for my Canon 500D + Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm and it seems to me that I would need the T-Adapter to extend the upper rail above 107mm.

For the lower rail I used two methods: First I aligned the center AF point with the R-D8 screw as recommended in most tutorials. But then I stumbled upon another method where try to align something near (fixed to the tripod) with something far away (on the ground) while flipping the camera 180° (i.e. the alignment must not change when flipping the camera). The later version seems to result in a much more precise setup of the lower rail.

Then I setup the upper rail using the alignment of something near (an arrow on the window) and someting far (an antenna on the house on the other side of the street). My impression is that I would need to move the camera+lens combo beyond the 107mm that is possible with the NN3 MKII and the CP-1. At 107mm it is close to prefect, but not perfect. It already got better due to the second aligment precedure for the lower rail.

Now before I decide on buying either the T-Adaper, a NN5L, or a fisheye lens, I will try to experiemt if I can workaround the current inaccuracy while stiching. I use Autopanao Pro and found to have issues in my first 360°x180° tests.

I would apreciate any hints & tips on how I could get around with my current gear.

Please let me know, if you figure out a good setup for the 500D + Tokina 11-16mm together with Vincen.


Greetings from Germany,
Jens

hindenhaag
08-01-2010, 08:09 AM
Jens,

have a look to this database: http://wiki.panotools.org/Entrance_Pupil_Database. To get your lower rail setting, my personal NN equipment adds 14mm to ( H ). To find the upper rails settings, just addd L1 + L2 from the database.

Have a look to this : http://www.johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm

For LRS see Smooth's Hacksaw method.

Try these settings with your own equipment.

Regards,

Heinz

hindenhaag
08-01-2010, 04:36 PM
Jens,

the link on how to test your LRS: http://www.easypano.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=1&TopicID=4162

Heinz

No-Nonsense
08-02-2010, 12:59 PM
Hello Heinz,

thank you for the links!



have a look to this database: http://wiki.panotools.org/Entrance_Pupil_Database. To get your lower rail setting, my personal NN equipment adds 14mm to ( H ). To find the upper rails settings, just addd L1 + L2 from the database.

Have a look to this : http://www.johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm

For LRS see Smooth's Hacksaw method.

Try these settings with your own equipment.

[...]

the link on how to test your LRS: http://www.easypano.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=1&TopicID=4162

First I tried to setup the lower rail using the usual method to align the center AF point with the center point of the NN3. According to the test method you pointed me at it was pretty bad aligned: (see image 1).

I also stumbled upon the setup method explained at http://www.johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm. But I found it much more difficult than the "usual" setup method. For example I tried to determine if I had setup the lower rail correctly using the nail on the yarn. But it depends on how you look at the lens if the yarn is aligned with the "white spot" or not.

This is why is setup the lower rail as explained here: http://www.panorama-community.net/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&postID=41570#post41570. I have attached some example shots that show that I got the lower rail setup pretty good aligned:

(image 2 & 3 - both crops - therfore the NN3 center point is off center)

This also shows the test you pointed me to: (image 4)

I improved it a little bit thanks to the method you pointed me at: (image 5)

I will need to continue my reply in a follow-up post, as I reached the max. attachment number...

No-Nonsense
08-02-2010, 01:05 PM
Contunued ...

But regarding the upper rail setup I could still not get it right. I tried the value from the table you pointed me to. It would be 104,6mm for the Canon 500D + Tokina 11-16mm @ 11mm and focus at infinity. This still gives me stiching errors. With the maximum of 107mm it is better, but my initial test show that I must get to 108 or 109mm:

(image 1 and 2)

Maybe I am doing something wrong when taking the pictures or when stiching the files in Autopano Pro?

I have setup the camera to F11, ISO 100, and use a 45° interval at 0°, and a 60° interval at +45° and -45°.

Then I add all files to Autopano Pro and change the project properties to a high detection quality and 200 CPs. If I also check to remove lens distortion, it even gets a little bit better.

Then I even get a perfect round hole in the ceiling :) (image 3)

Thanks in advance, greetings from Germany,
Jens

hindenhaag
08-02-2010, 01:51 PM
Jens,

The last one does not look bad. Just one question to pic one and two, did you turn the camera clockwise or contra-clockwise? As you tell us you think to go from 104 - 108, you move your cam backwards. This means the reference point moved against the turning direction of the camera. If you turned the other way, the reference moved with the cam, then you have to go forward. You could start with 100 for example, move backwards by 5, and try to find out at which point the reference moves in another direction. Then go back forward one by one, till you found the NPP. Your NPP still seam to be a little bit wrong and this is corrected by APP.

Pic one and two seem to be different in exposure and focus. Please remember to set all things to manual: preset WB, set camera mode to A, and have a look for shutter speed when moving your camera around. Choose the best shutter speed and set camera mode to M with the best shutter speed. Focus to M. Tape the zoom on chosen position. And take the set of shots.

I'd shoot 3 rows at 45° with 8 shots at 47.5°, 5°, and -35° to avoid the head of the rotator. Plus 1 +90°, 2/3 at -90°. Overlap calculated with around 30%.

Cheers,

Heinz

Vincèn
08-03-2010, 01:52 AM
BTW, I am sure Vincen will help you and if you are near him, test both equipments.
Sorry I missed that thread, I would be happy to assist you if u need to try NN3 before you decide which model to buy :) I'm currently on holidays but will be back in Grenoble mid of next week ;)

Vincèn

hindenhaag
08-03-2010, 03:44 AM
In first case I did not realize Brian lives in Grenoble because of his British flag. But this happened in former times as well "an english man in New York":wink:

Heinz

No-Nonsense
08-03-2010, 11:01 AM
Hello Heinz,

thanks for the reply!


The last one does not look bad. Just one question to pic one and two, did you turn the camera clockwise or contra-clockwise?

I turned the camera clockwise (to the right) and the upper rail was at the maximum of 107mm. My impression is that I need to move even further than the maximum of 107mm, or am I wrong?


Pic one and two seem to be different in exposure and focus. Please remember to set all things to manual: preset WB, set camera mode to A, and have a look for shutter speed when moving your camera around. Choose the best shutter speed and set camera mode to M with the best shutter speed. Focus to M. Tape the zoom on chosen position. And take the set of shots.

The camera was set to Av f11, automatic white balance, and spot metering. The lens was set to 11mm. I focussed only one time on the area of interest using live-view. It should therefore not have focussed inbetween. In image 1 the area of interest was on the far right side of the image and on image 2 on the far left side.

I must admit that I did not set the focus to infinite (as shown in the table you pointed me to). I will retry right now with the focus set to infinite.

Autopano Pro does a great job to adjust the white balance and overall brighness. I will experiment with these settings when I get the nodal point right. Or does this have an impact on stitching?

I will also try this method of fine-tuning the nodal point: http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/technical7.html and http://www.outline.be/quicktime/tuto/.

Greetings from Germany,
Jens

hindenhaag
08-04-2010, 07:33 AM
Hi Jens,

When you turned your camera to the right, and the reference point moves with the camera to the right as well, you have to move your camera forward on the upper rail. This is what I see from your pics. So you have to move forward from 107 > to 104 for example. When the reference moves to the opposite side, then you have to go backwards.

You have to set WB to a fixed setting like "sun", not to Auto. You might see differences in your pano taken with WB at "Auto"

Focus has to go to manual as well. Otherwise the camera will focus for each shot to something else. Set Focus to manual on your camera body. Google "Hyperfocal Distance", think it is dofmaster, and look it up for the chosen camera, lens and aperture. Only this will give you the best "Depth of Field" for you settings.

You may just use John's methods to test your NPP. I find the belgium grid method a little bit too complicated. "Keep it simple".

Regards

Heinz

No-Nonsense
08-05-2010, 01:52 AM
Hello Heinz,

thank you for your help!


When you turned your camera to the right, and the reference point moves with the camera to the right as well, you have to move your camera forward on the upper rail. This is what I see from your pics. So you have to move forward from 107 > to 104 for example. When the reference moves to the opposite side, then you have to go backwards.

I fear I made a fault determining the direction I turned the camera. I did a new test yesterday with the following setup: 11mm, F11, focus at infinity, ISO 100, spot metering (to have the area of interest correctly illuminated).

In the second image set I started at the maximum of 107mm on the upper rail. My impression is that this set clearly shows that I have to set the upper rail beyond 107mm (actually 1-3 mm I would suspect).

For the first image set I did a trick to go beyond the 107mm. The screw on the rail is long enough so that I could lay some folded paper underneath the CP-1 plate to go beyond the limit stop.

Now I will try to get the NN T-Adapter. If I can then get a good setup with my gear, I will see if I find some shop that could shorten my CP-1 plate by ~2-3mm.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance, greetings,
Jens

No-Nonsense
08-24-2010, 09:28 AM
Hello!

This is an update on my progress with the Canon 500D/T1i, the Tokina 11-16mm, and the Nodal Ninja 3:

In the meantime I bought a Nodal Ninja T-Adapter from the local distributor Thaler Design, which allows to move the camera on the upper rail beyond the 107mm that were possible with the CP-1 plate. With this I tried various NPP setup methods (German speaking people can read the full history in my thread (http://www.panorama-community.net/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=5113) in the Panorama-Community) and am convinced that the upper rail must be set to something between 108mm and 109mm.

With the best setup I did some test shots with the following shooting pattern: either three rows à 8 pictures at 0°, + 45°, and -45° or one row à 8 pictures at 0° and two rows à 6 pictures at +45° and -45°.

Unfortunately I was not able to get any good results using Autopano Pro. The stitched panoramas always suffer from some skips that I was not able to remove by manual optimization of CPs and links. I tried the various settings in Autopano Pro (number of CPs, optimization settings, lens distortion correction, ...) without success.

I was about to give up when I gave the current trial of PTgui a try. PTgui was able to stitch my images without any issues when selecting the option "Minimize lens distortion: Heavy + lens shift" without any manual intervention.

You can find some examples of both my Autopano Pro and PTgui results in my Picasa gallery (http://picasaweb.google.com/jens.remus/).


I have started a thread regarding my issues with Autopano Pro (http://www.autopano.net/forum/t9696-problem-with-canon-500d-t1i-and-tokina-11-16mm) in the Autopano forum some days ago, but unfortunately nobody has answered to it as of now. I would like to save money and therefore don't want to spend money on PTgui, as I already own Autopano Pro.


Does someone on this forum has any ideas what I could try to get good results with Autopano Pro? I have uploaded two sample images sets (~100MB each set) to my Dropbox:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/944445/2010-08-02.7z
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/944445/2010-08-12.7z


Thanks in advance, kind regards,
Jens

hansnyberg
08-24-2010, 12:48 PM
They stitch perfect in PTGui but I can see you have a very large horizontal shift. 55 pixels shift for this size of images is really large and it might be that autopano has problems handling this. I have no experience with autopano but in PTGui this is taken care of by optimizing for the shift.

As far as I can see no large parallax but the largest controlpoints errors come from upper and lower row connection to the centre row. That might point out that it is slightly wrong but it may also mean that your camera is not parallel to the axis of the spherical arm. Something that the T-adapter could be responsible for.
However the room does not give you much options for good controlpoints between the rows either.

Hans

No-Nonsense
08-24-2010, 02:55 PM
Hello Hans!

Thank you for experimenting with my test image sets and taking time for a reply!


They stitch perfect in PTGui but I can see you have a very large horizontal shift. 55 pixels shift for this size of images is really large and it might be that autopano has problems handling this. I have no experience with autopano but in PTGui this is taken care of by optimizing for the shift.

Could you please go a little bit more into detail why you consider the horizontal offset as very large?

My understanding of the lens shift parameters is that they specify that the offset from the center of the distortion of both camera and lens. Is this correct? Or could the large values also be caused by mounting the camera off center on the Nodal Ninja?

I also have noticed that the lens shift parameters vary very much between different image sets I have taken so far (with different lower/upper rail setups). Could this be due to different setup? How can I ensure that I mount the CP-1 or T-Adapter really right to the camera and then also to the rail (there is some tolerance). Do I really have to take care of the camera body not beeing 100% plain (I have read here to fix this with tape)?


As far as I can see no large parallax but the largest controlpoints errors come from upper and lower row connection to the centre row. That might point out that it is slightly wrong but it may also mean that your camera is not parallel to the axis of the spherical arm. Something that the T-adapter could be responsible for.
However the room does not give you much options for good controlpoints between the rows either.

What I found impressing is that PTgui was even able to stitch all my previous image sets taken where I used the CP-1 and a small table tripod. To me it looks like Autopano Pro had really big issues with ultra wide angle lenses.


Could you please have a look at this:

Besides other NPP-setup methods I followed these two methods and combined them:

1. On the Panorama-Community I read about a method to setup the lower rail by using exactly the same method as used for the upper rail: aligning something near (e.g. a small arrow attached to the tripod) with something far (e.g. the ground) with the camera facing down and while turning the Nodal Ninja 180°.
I have two images that show my calibration result: image 1 (http://picasaweb.google.de/jens.remus/20100815NodalpunktSetup#5505624800187662386) and image 2 (http://picasaweb.google.de/jens.remus/20100815NodalpunktSetup#5505624801354049282).
What bothers me a bit is that the pictures also show that the camera + lens are mounted off center (i.e. the turning point of the Nodal Ninja rotator is not in the image center with this setup method. On the other hand this is the only setup where I have nearly no parallax while turning by 180°.

What do you think? Should I try with the rotator mounting screw in the image center instead?

2. I tried "The Grid" method described here: Finding the "Point" (http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/technical7.html) and "La Grille" - "The Grid" (http://www.outline.be/quicktime/tuto/). I used the lower rail setup from the other method, as I found calibrating both the lower and upper rail at once not very easy to do.
I have uploaded my calibration result images to this gallery (http://picasaweb.google.de/jens.remus/20100815NodalpunktSetup#).
With Autopano Pro I get a really bad stitching result. With PTgui it is much better, but still not perfect.
Now what I find strange is this: I see some kind of parallax that is only visible to the border of the images. It can be seen quite easily in the images 4 to 6: In image 4 and 5 the distance between the grid and the top edge of the rack are identical, but the distance between the grid and the rack-box below are not. Now comparing the distance between the grid and this rack-box in images 5 and 6 shows that there it is identical.

Could it be that PTgui crops my images (as Autopano Pro is only able to do with images taken with fisheye lenses) so that this parallax error does not have such a big impact in PTgui?


Thanks in advance, kind regards,
Jens

hindenhaag
08-24-2010, 03:39 PM
Jens,

I tested your set 8/6/6 in autopano but I am getting crazy within 1.5 hours. I deleted all bad CP, lined it up, added manually, played around with settings, there is a lack of info in the upper and lower row. When you open up the CP control pic you see a lot of orange squares with bad CP. I deleted them to good conditions and tried to add CP manually. Most of the problems arise from the blue painting to the door and further on. With 6 around this is not enough overlap for autopano.

So I now downloaded the 8/8/8 set and tested it in PTGui. Created a .mov and I see a hacksaw cutting to the right. This means you should move your cam 1mm to the right in the LRS and try again.

I now will test this set in autopano, let's see what happens.

BTW: the shift is corrected nicely by autopano by using the "adapt Horizon Button". You can clearly see that this corrects stitching errors on the blue picture and on the upper part of the door frame for example.

Jens, benutze einfach ein Geodreieck um den rechten Winkel fuer CP-1 zu pruefen, und ein Lineal um zu checken, das der Adaptor mit der upper rail in der Flucht sitzt, d.h. das dein adaptor nicht schief sitzt. Du musst nicht duennes Tesa auf den Boden der camera kleben, alles Quatsch. Die Software korrigiert das. Die Leute, die das propagiert haben benutzen es wahrscheinlich selbst nicht mehr. Auf der einen Seite sind Sie super korrekt, auf dem naechsten thread erklaeren Sie, es kommt auf 1 oder 2mm nicht so sehr an.

Keep cool man!

Heinz

hansnyberg
08-24-2010, 04:17 PM
Jens,


So I now downloaded the 8/8/8 set and tested it in PTGui. Created a .mov and I see a hacksaw cutting to the right. This means you should move your cam 1mm to the right in the LRS and try again.

Heinz

???
I see no hacksaw. The LRS is perfect.
http://www.panoramas.dk/test/jens.jpg

Hans

No-Nonsense
08-24-2010, 04:54 PM
Hans,

thank you for dedicating this much time to my problem! I am really overwhelmed by the kind of help I receive here. This is really a great community!

I have also seen the slight hacksaw in the images stitched with PTgui. But when I would correct the lower rail away from the center (to the right?), then there would be parallax with the method I used to setup the lower rail. This is what confuses me. I will nevertheless try that tomorrow - maybe I am too focused on these calibration methods than on the final result. :)

Does "Adapt Horizon" really have to do with lens shift? I thought that lens shift is just another parameter of the lens distortion correction. In Autopano Pro I can only select to correct lens distortion and heavy lens distortion, but there is no option like in PTgui to handle lens shift. Maybe Autopano Pro already handles lens shift with the lens distortion options, but then not very well?

What settings did you use to process the 8/8/8 image set in Autopano Pro? I tried various settings and did not get really good results. I even tried to manually set all CP clouds, but that did not make it better (most of the time it made it worse).

Thanks in advance, kind regards,
Jens

hindenhaag
08-24-2010, 06:31 PM
{post deleted}
Moderator note: Input is greatly appreciated in this forum and highly valued. We do need to try to keep on point with subject matter inside a thread and would encourage folks with tendencies to drift outside the subject matter to please simply start a new thread.
Thank you
Bill

hindenhaag
08-24-2010, 06:53 PM
Jens,

I tried your second set. Without playing around with my preferences, it does not look bad. I think we should compare our preference settings. May be we should discuss this on our own. Not anybody might be interested in this. I can record my workflow and send it to you.

I am personally interested to set up a comparison PTGui/AutoPano to present this to our "normal users" to help them to set up basics to compare the software in reality with real pics. And I really like to test myself to prefer PTGui instead of Autopano. Actually I bought it because of the possibility to use different focal length in one pano set up as it is presented by the developers, lets us say 50mm at 0° and a different focal length in other rows. But actually a lot happens in Autopano without asking me and it is resulting in a "rare pano" without my understanding why this happened. Different to PTGui.

I am gonna sleep now:em0200:

Regards,

Heinz

hansnyberg
08-25-2010, 04:12 AM
Hans,

thank you for dedicating this much time to my problem! I am really overwhelmed by the kind of help I receive here. This is really a great community!

I have also seen the slight hacksaw in the images stitched with PTgui. But when I would correct the lower rail away from the center (to the right?), then there would be parallax with the method I used to setup the lower rail. This is what confuses me. I will nevertheless try that tomorrow - maybe I am too focused on these calibration methods than on the final result. :)

Does "Adapt Horizon" really have to do with lens shift? I thought that lens shift is just another parameter of the lens distortion correction. In Autopano Pro I can only select to correct lens distortion and heavy lens distortion, but there is no option like in PTgui to handle lens shift. Maybe Autopano Pro already handles lens shift with the lens distortion options, but then not very well?

What settings did you use to process the 8/8/8 image set in Autopano Pro? I tried various settings and did not get really good results. I even tried to manually set all CP clouds, but that did not make it better (most of the time it made it worse).

Thanks in advance, kind regards,
Jens


Jens
As you can see from my image posted above there is no hacksaw when the images are processed and optimized correctly.
You may get hacksaw even with perfect settings if you do not optimize for shift.

The normal reason for shift is that your sensor is not aligned precise. Remember tat we are talking about extremely small dimensions . When the sensor is misaligned horisontaly with the lens the warping will be different in left and right side which has to be blended. Same for vertical shift. This used to be much less than your camera has. Normally I do not see more than 40 pixels shift.
However not only the sensor has shift. Also the lens can be misaligned, my Tokina 10-17mm gives me a difference of 25 pixels compared to my Canon 15mm. If the shift of your lens is the same way as your sensor shift they might ad together for example sensor 25pixels+ lens 25 pixels.

Hans

No-Nonsense
08-25-2010, 04:52 AM
Hans,

thank you for your reply and the explanation of the sensor shift issue!


Jens
As you can see from my image posted above there is no hacksaw when the images are processed and optimized correctly.
You may get hacksaw even with perfect settings if you do not optimize for shift.

I think we are discussing different pictures. I provided two image sets. One of my workroom at home and one of my balcony.
The one you showed is my workroom and you are absolutely right, there is no hacksaw. The one the other Hans mentioned is my balcony and there is a slight hacksaw.

It is possible that I used different settings (lower and upper rail) for both image sets, as they were taken on different days and I experimented a lot. Sorry for that.

Greetings,
Jens

hansnyberg
08-25-2010, 06:28 AM
Hans,

thank you for your reply and the explanation of the sensor shift issue!
I think we are discussing different pictures. I provided two image sets. One of my workroom at home and one of my balcony.
The one you showed is my workroom and you are absolutely right, there is no hacksaw. The one the other Hans mentioned is my balcony and there is a slight hacksaw.

It is possible that I used different settings (lower and upper rail) for both image sets, as they were taken on different days and I experimented a lot. Sorry for that.

Greetings,
Jens

Yes you are right. As you can see I made the screenshot with the pano in the background so that you could see it but Heinz seems to be more interested in harassing me than actually look at what I am showing.
The problem with the room is that you have very little features in the ceiling and some of the images has no features for controlpoints at all.

I had a look at you second set and yes there is a small hacksaw corresponding to 1mm LRS error. However as I pointed out several times +-1mm does not give problems even in very tight environments.
And this pano also stitches perfect however there is a lot of work actually because of the rotator in the images.
The rotator generates controlpoints and they give you errors in thousands of pixels.

After deleting them and also some bad ones in the sky I get a perfect stitch.
Here is a Pano and project file.
http://www.panoramas.dk/test/jens2.zip

I never include the rotator in the pano also because that will give you problems if you want to stitch the nadir in PTGui using viewpoint. Even with just a small part of the rotator at the bottom it may give you a shadow in the blending which needs extra work.

Actually I would say that the best way of shooting with your lens is 8 at -30 8 at +30 and 1 zenith at +90.
That may of course sometimes give you problems with no features in the zenith but in most cases it is easy fixed if you learn to take the zenith the same way always.

Hans
www.panoramas.dk

hansnyberg
08-25-2010, 07:04 AM
Jens

If you compare image 5-6-7-14 -15 in the project file you can see that there is no parallax which will give you any problems even if the rotator shows a small hacksaw.

Hans

hindenhaag
08-26-2010, 06:05 AM
Jens,

which version of autopano pro are you using. This is important to know, if it is possible to add a single CP to get better results in difficult situations. Yesterday I tried your second set in autopano giga and after deleting a lot of bad CP, link by link and pics by pics, I ended with a fair result, some stitching errors left. I do not work too much with autopano because I do not like the way CPs are placed and they way you have to del bad ones.

Just discussed this problem with Vincen, SkiVR. He told me, that there are more possibilities in the latest versions of autopano, even to add a single cp manually. I will have to try this.

So there is a possibility to get a good result with autopano pro as well, but I prefer PTGui, specially the latest beta version with a lot of new functions.

Uebrigens,

Heinz...

Vincèn
08-26-2010, 06:33 AM
Just discussed this problem with Vincen, SkiVR. He told me, that there are more possibilities in the latest versions of autopano, even to add a single cp manually. I will have to try this.
In fact you need to download AutoPano Giga 2.5 Alpha 1, it includes possibility to add individual CP same was as you are used to do in PTGui ;)

Vincèn

No-Nonsense
08-26-2010, 08:14 AM
Hans, Heinz, Vincèn,

thank you for your kind help! Sorry that I did not reply ASAP, I have late shift this week and did not manage to try all your tips. I am looking forward to this weekend to have some time for that though. :)

Btw.: Sorry that I got confused about Hans & Heinz - I don not know how this happened to me.




After deleting them and also some bad ones in the sky I get a perfect stitch.
Here is a Pano and project file.
http://www.panoramas.dk/test/jens2.zip


Thanks! I downloaded the project file and will have a closer look at it tomorrow, if the PTgui trial version will let me open it.


I never include the rotator in the pano also because that will give you problems if you want to stitch the nadir in PTGui using viewpoint. Even with just a small part of the rotator at the bottom it may give you a shadow in the blending which needs extra work.

Can you explain why this is causing problems? I understand that it is not real relevant image data and that (see your next tip) I could make my life easier leaving the rotator out of the images. But I thought that the PTgui mask feature would let me mark this part as non-relevant when adding a nadir image? I will be using the Nodal Ninja Nadir-Adapter - at least I hope that it will work with my tripod with center column ... .


Actually I would say that the best way of shooting with your lens is 8 at -30 8 at +30 and 1 zenith at +90.
That may of course sometimes give you problems with no features in the zenith but in most cases it is easy fixed if you learn to take the zenith the same way always.

Thank you for the tip! I will give that a try on the weekend. This would really ease taking a full sphere! I will report back here. :)





which version of autopano pro are you using. This is important to know, if it is possible to add a single CP to get better results in difficult situations. Yesterday I tried your second set in autopano giga and after deleting a lot of bad CP, link by link and pics by pics, I ended with a fair result, some stitching errors left. I do not work too much with autopano because I do not like the way CPs are placed and they way you have to del bad ones.

[...]

So there is a possibility to get a good result with autopano pro as well, but I prefer PTGui, specially the latest beta version with a lot of new functions.

I am using Autopano Pro 2.0.9 64-bit under Windows 7 64-bit. I have downloaded the alpha/beta version of Autopano Giga 2.5, but I find it not beeing really useable right now. I am also disappointed that Kolor choose not to offer manual CPs in the Pro edition but only in the Giga edition. I would be fine if they chose to have huge image size, HDR, new projections in the Giga ediation only.

At the moment it looks like I have to to swallow the bitter pill (in German "bite the sour apple") and spend some money on PTgui Pro.

PTgui assembles all of my image sets perfectly or nearly perfectly without any manual action and perfectly with some manual editing of CPs. If Autopano Pro requires me to do a huge amount of manual optimization, then I would rather spend the 150 EUR on PTgui Pro.




In fact you need to download AutoPano Giga 2.5 Alpha 1, it includes possibility to add individual CP same was as you are used to do in PTGui ;)

See above, I really like this feature, but if this is the only solution to my problem, then I think PTgui is the way for me to go.


I am also really disappointed that Kolor did not respond to my thread in their forum at all. Over a week has passed now. I even send them a mail and asked if this was a limitation of Autopnao regarding the use of ultra wide angle lenses. But no reaction.



Thank you all, I can not tell how lucky I feel getting all this help here! Even if it drives me in the direction I did not want to (buy PTgui).

Kind regards,
Jens

hansnyberg
08-26-2010, 08:41 AM
"Can you explain why this is causing problems? I understand that it is not real relevant image data and that (see your next tip) I could make my life easier leaving the rotator out of the images. But I thought that the PTgui mask feature would let me mark this part as non-relevant when adding a nadir image? I will be using the Nodal Ninja Nadir-Adapter - at least I hope that it will work with my tripod with center column ... ."

Well you have 8 images which you need to ad mask on. Just a tripod leg included in the image may destroy your nadir stitch. The stitcher does not know that it is not an important element. Of course it can be done with copy/paste now using the new mask function and it can probably also be included in a template. Does not work always yet though.
That will also exclude the rotator from being a target for auto-controlpoints which corrupts the stitching completely like it did in your example. But why include it when it does not have any function.

The nadir takes just 30 sec to take (also with long exposure bracketing ) by using the leaning tripod method which many of us uses.
And you do not need to change anything on your panohead, just tilt down slightly.

Hans

hindenhaag
08-26-2010, 11:33 AM
Jens,

I had the same frustration with autopano like you concerning CP and the amount of work to get the pano right.

One thing I'd like to tell you about PTGui. HDR is a part of the program, which I personally only use for exposure fusion, with very confident results for me. I do not use the true HDR stitching, because I do not like the results. I look to this point of the program for not being so perfect. But actually this is not the biggest goal of PTGui. So if you like to do full HDRI, you better use a different program for this part of the work, Photomatix Pro for example or , cause you use windows, the new program of http://www.oloneo.com . Either you use these programs in the beginning, and place your HDRI pics in PTGUI, or you use PTGUI exposure fusion and place the different blended panos to photomatix. May be you try both workflows and then you decide what you like better.

But anyway, keep your autopano version to be able to upgrade later if you need this software for things you might do in the future, gigapixel..

Concerning the Zenith shot: in difficult situations, totally blue sky, very little or no connection to the rest of your pics, it helps to take two zenith shots for example at +60°pitch( depending of FOV of your lens} 180° visa versa, to get connection to the horizon by catching corners of houses, lamps posts etc.

Regards,

Heinz

No-Nonsense
09-09-2010, 11:44 AM
Hello!

I just want to give a short update on my progress, as I promissed to give feedback on the tips I received.

In the meantime I bought a copy of PTgui Pro and experimented a bit with the shooting technique suggested by Hans.

The 8 pictures at -30° + 8 pictures at +30° + 1 zenith + 2 nadir (180°) works pretty good. Thank you very much Hans!
I will have to practice takings panoramas with my gear now and eventually continue to fine tune the NPP. But for now I am really glad to have found a solution (PTgui with your tips).

The only downside sofar is that the performance of Autopano on my computer is way better than the one of PTgui (probably due to GPU processing). I also have the impression that PTgui is causing a lot of paging due to excessive use of memory. I will probably need to get more RAM (I currently only have 4GB).

Thank you all for your very kind help! I hope to give something back in the future!

Kind regards,
Jens

hansnyberg
09-10-2010, 01:16 AM
You say the performance is better with Autopano. Usually it is the opposite. PTGui is at least double as fast (at least on Mac) however you may need to adjust your settings.
What is your computer especially how many cores do you have. There is cvurrently a problem using the auto settings for this.
In preferences (I believe it is called settings on windows) look at the advanced area. If you have a large number of cores you have them all set in Number of simultaneous threads to use.
Change the autosettings to just 2 if it says 4 or more. This may cut stitching time to half on Intel i7 processor computers which have 8 threads set as default.

If you have a 32bit computer Ptgui can only use 2 GB ram.- Your autosetting is then set to arround 50%

Hans