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VinkoCM
08-04-2010, 06:33 AM
Hello everybody,

I am considering purchasing a fisheye or ultra-wide angle lens for my Canon 450d (from the Digital Rebel XSi kit) and I have narroed it down to these three options:

Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6 EX DC Canon HSM ultra-wide angle lens
Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Canon Circ Fisheye lens
Canon EF-s 10-22mm 3.5-4.5 USM ultra-wide angle lens

My question is what do other people think about these lenses? Are they usefull for 360x180 panoramas or do they cause some problems? What lens offers the best bang for your buck> Will they work with my 450d (I think so, but I would like confimation) How many shots around are need for 360 degrees (3 or 4 for the Sigma 8mm and 6 or 8 for the others?)? I don't intend to ever print any panos, I will just be posting them online. Also, will my setup (canon 450d with any of these lenses) fit onto the Nodal Ninja MK3. That is the pano head I have now and I am not ready to upgrade yet.

At the moment, I will not purchase anything, I am just doing research to see what is my best option. Right now I really like the Sigma 10-20mm because of the price ($700). I am only a student and I can't afford to dish out thousands for just a lens, I would rather spend the money on books for school or tuition.

Anyways, thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions. Hopefully one day I will make up my mind.

hindenhaag
08-04-2010, 06:42 AM
Hi,

have a look to this: http://www.vrwave.com/

Regards

Heinz

VinkoCM
08-04-2010, 06:55 AM
Hi,

have a look to this: http://www.vrwave.com/

Regards

Heinz

THANK YOU! This is a great resource of information and I would love to have found it earlier. This will help out a huge amount show me all my available options. Perfect.

Hugh
08-05-2010, 05:03 AM
Hello VinkoCM,

I would suggest that you also consider the Samyang 8mm, which is different in design to the Sigma 8mm fisheye so has a much tighter range for the entrance pupil.
http://www.hugha.co.uk/NodalPoint/Index.htm#Samyang

Further information on this lens is available @:
http://www.lenstip.com/160.1-Lens_review-Samyang_8_mm_f_3.5_Aspherical_IF_MC_Fish-eye_Introduction.html
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/SAMYANG/Early%20test%20report.html

All the lenses you list will produce great Panoramas, but the Samyang appears to be of better design than "conventional" fisheye lenses for Panoramas and is also less costly.
I have used the Sigma 8mm fisheye and still use the Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6 EX DC, but with a Nikon body, which does not make any difference as far as the lens is concerned.
I have changed using the Sigma 8mm for a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye, but only because I had to make a choice as I did not need to have two fisheye lenses.

Best regards, Hugh.

Bill Bailey
08-05-2010, 05:24 AM
Hello everybody,
I am considering purchasing a fisheye or ultra-wide angle lens for my Canon 450d (from the Digital Rebel XSi kit) and I have narroed it down to these three options:
Sigma 10-20mm 4-5.6 EX DC Canon HSM ultra-wide angle lens
Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Canon Circ Fisheye lens
Canon EF-s 10-22mm 3.5-4.5 USM ultra-wide angle lens
My question is what do other people think about these lenses? Are they usefull for 360x180 panoramas or do they cause some problems? What lens offers the best bang for your buck> Will they work with my 450d (I think so, but I would like confimation) How many shots around are need for 360 degrees (3 or 4 for the Sigma 8mm and 6 or 8 for the others?)? I don't intend to ever print any panos, I will just be posting them online. Also, will my setup (canon 450d with any of these lenses) fit onto the Nodal Ninja MK3. That is the pano head I have now and I am not ready to upgrade yet.

At the moment, I will not purchase anything, I am just doing research to see what is my best option. Right now I really like the Sigma 10-20mm because of the price ($700). I am only a student and I can't afford to dish out thousands for just a lens, I would rather spend the money on books for school or tuition.

Anyways, thanks in advance for any comments and suggestions. Hopefully one day I will make up my mind.

Hi Vinko,
As Hugh mentioned "All the lenses you list will produce great Panoramas". Buying a lens is like buying a pair of shoes - very user specific. Depends on budget, workflow, type of panoramas, future objectives etc. Basically speaking the longer the focal length the better quality output. Nikkor 10.5 has a better quality than the Sigma 8mm. However depending on how much time you have in post-production I have seen users of the 8mm produce stunning high resolution panoramas.
Here is a link to Dorin's website which showcases what is possible with different lenses but primarily he shoots with the Sigma 8mm.
http://www.dxn.ro
The Samyang will also produce equivalent output but it is a manual focus lens at about half the price. Stay away from converter lens.
Cheers
Bill

Seacat
08-05-2010, 07:07 AM
Hi Vinko,

The Sigma 10-20mm and Canon 10-22mm are nice lenses but for a 360x180 choice the Sigma 8mm Fisheye.

On a Canon Eos 450D the 10-22mm = 16-35mm (crop of 1.6 of the sensor). What about later on, are you buying a full frame Canon (5D MKII)? When you planning to buy one with in one year, don't buy this lenses at all. On the Canon 5D MKII and higher you can't use the EFs 10-22mm or the Sigma 10-20mm. The Sigma 8mm fisheye will work on the 5D MKII, even better!

Johan

VinkoCM
08-05-2010, 07:26 AM
Hello VinkoCM,

I would suggest that you also consider the Samyang 8mm, which is different in design to the Sigma 8mm fisheye so has a much tighter range for the entrance pupil.

All the lenses you list will produce great Panoramas, but the Samyang appears to be of better design than "conventional" fisheye lenses for Panoramas and is also less costly.

Best regards, Hugh.

I have been reading about this lens in the links you gave me and it seems like a very promising lens. I am definatly considering it now. Can you tell me how much this lens costs? I have not been able to find a reseller or vendor in my area (Ottawa, Canada) so I do not know how much it would cost in store. Is it around the $500-$700 range?


Hi Vinko,
As Hugh mentioned "All the lenses you list will produce great Panoramas". Buying a lens is like buying a pair of shoes - very user specific. Depends on budget, workflow, type of panoramas, future objectives etc. Basically speaking the longer the focal length the better quality output. Nikkor 10.5 has a better quality than the Sigma 8mm. However depending on how much time you have in post-production I have seen users of the 8mm produce stunning high resolution panoramas.

The Samyang will also produce equivalent output but it is a manual focus lens at about half the price. Stay away from converter lens.
Cheers
Bill

I couldn't agree with you more Bill. Buying these kinds of lenses is very user specific.

What I am looking to do is shorten my workflow on a tight budget. What I would like to do is shorten the number of images I need to take as well as the time I need to take them. I would like to be able to walk around/go hiking and quickly take a pano. With my current setup, I am taking way too much time to take the images (using auto-bracketing adds a bit of time aswell). This is causing me problems such as the scenery changing (clouds, sun being blocked or shining through) and I end up spending more time standing around the tripod than enjoying my free time.

So, right now I am leaning towards the Sigma 10-22mm because it cuts down the number of needed images by more than half and will only cost me about $700 CAD. I would love to get the Sigma 8mm which would really shorten my workflow, but it is very expensive for me. On the other hand the Samyang 8mm seems perfect if it is not too expensive and will cut down on the number of needed images.

As for creating super high-resolution images, I really don't care too much about that right now. I don't intend to print/publish any of my panos, only show them online to family and friends and to document my travels. If I ever do need to create high-resolution panos, I can just use my current Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens.

Does the lens being a manual focus affect the workflow much? I read in one of Hugh's links that by stepping down to a specific F-stop and focusing at about 1m/3f everything to infiity focuses. Am I making sense? Maybe I misunderstood what I read.

One final question: why stay away from converter lenses? I have not even thought about them, but it is curious you mention to not even look at them.


Hi Vinko,

The Sigma 10-20mm and Canon 10-22mm are nice lenses but for a 360x180 choice the Sigma 8mm Fisheye.

On a Canon Eos 450D the 10-22mm = 16-35mm (crop of 1.6 of the sensor). What about later on, are you buying a full frame Canon (5D MKII)? When you planning to buy one with in one year, don't buy this lenses at all. On the Canon 5D MKII and higher you can't use the EFs 10-22mm or the Sigma 10-20mm. The Sigma 8mm fisheye will work on the 5D MKII, even better!

Johan

I am not planning to upgrade my camera at all yet. I will be using my 450d for a while to come. But I will keep this in mind, just in case. Thank you.

VinkoCM
08-05-2010, 01:01 PM
I am really starting to like the Samyang 8mm lens, but I am a bit confused about its name. Is it also called a Rokinon sometimes? I found this on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-Aspherical-Fisheye-Digital-Cameras/dp/B002LTXQUE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1281037744&sr=8-4 and I think it is the same lens. Can some one confirm this?

Also, I ran it through the pano calculator here on the Nodal Ninja site and it gave me 4.4 images in portrait with 25% overlap. Is this correct? For $270, I really like this one, especially if I worked the calculator right and it means I don't need to take more than 10 images.

Bill Bailey
08-05-2010, 01:19 PM
Same same - Samyang, Rokinon, Falcon, Polar, Bower, Vivitar or Opteka. I'll let someone else answer the question on overlap - haven't used this lens myself.

Seacat
08-05-2010, 01:19 PM
When i'm making a 360X180 i make:
- 6 images around;
- 1 image of the top (the zenith)
- 2 images of the bottum on the tripod (nadir)
- 1 image of the bottum without tripod (to close the nadir)

So 10 images is correct! sometimes i make 6 images around 2 times, so when people or cars are in the frame, i can clone them out or in.

Johan

Bill Bailey
08-05-2010, 02:34 PM
Hey Johan,
off topic here but had to say love your website (www.360p.nl) - especially the Messina giga-pixel image you did. What camera/lens did you use?
Bill

John Houghton
08-05-2010, 11:29 PM
Does the lens being a manual focus affect the workflow much? I read in one of Hugh's links that by stepping down to a specific F-stop and focusing at about 1m/3f everything to infiity focuses. Am I making sense? Maybe I misunderstood what I read.
Lack of auto focus is not a big inconvenience with fisheye lenses because of the huge depth of field at the apertures normally used. Mostly, you can just set the optimum focus distance and tape the lens in that position so that you get the maximum depth of field. However, don't rely too much on the focus scale of the lens; it isn't always very accurate. Take some test shots to establish the optimum focus setting and read up about "hyperfocal distance".

John

Hugh
08-06-2010, 02:46 AM
Hello VinkoCM,


Lack of auto focus is not a big inconvenience with fisheye lenses because of the huge depth of field at the apertures normally used. Mostly, you can just set the optimum focus distance and tape the lens in that position so that you get the maximum depth of field. John

I agree completely with John.
Autofocus is not a major consideration with fisheye lenses for Spherical Panoramas. Some autofocus fisheye lenses are only autofocus with some bodies (e.g. Sigma 8mm is autofocus on Nikon D70 and Nikon D300, but not on Nikon D60).

As Bill says, the lens has many different names. I cannot comment on suppliers in Canada, but as a guide to price 360 Tactical VR in Scotland (http://www.360tacticalvr.com/systems/fisheye-lenses/samyang.html (http://www.360tacticalvr.com/systems/fisheye-lenses/samyang.html))
sells it for £270 ($430), so your $270 on the other side of the pond is probably right.

The Sigma 10-20mm does have the property that all the rays entering the lens meet at a single point (Entrance Pupil) making this the correct point to rotate round, whereas this "point" in a fisheye is actually an infinite number of points so the point of rotation tends to depend on the number of images and personal preference. Also, a lens such as the Sigma 10-20mm can be used for "normal" photography, whereas a fisheye is less versatile.

As for number of images: Seacat's recommendation fits the general pattern, and John would probably agree with this, but it can boil down to personal preferences. I tend to use a "Tripod Cap" for my nadir as a link back to my "index" page so 6 horizontal images with 1 zenith with the Samyang 8mm would suit me.
With my Nikon 10.5mm I take 8 horizontal images plus 4 at +45° and with the Sigma 10-20mm I do 3 tiers with the 8 detent ring (45°) horizontal separation, which is a lot more images.
My philosophy is that I have taken time to get to site and set up my kit so a minute or two for extra shots is not a problem and processing time in PTGui is not significantly increased.
http://www.hugha.co.uk/NodalPoint/Sperical-Panoramas-With-A-Normal-Lens.htm

Going off topic: Thanks Bill for the link to Dorin's web site. :001_smile: I found it a pleasure to brows and an inspiration. I though I was doing reasonably well with my panos but Dorin's work is amazing and something to aspire to.
I particularly liked the anaglyph stereo panos. I have only made one of these and it took me a long time and a lot of “head scratching” despite Wim’s excellent tutorial, so really appreciate the effort he has made.
Dorin, if you read this - I tried complementing you on your "Contact" page, but got an "Internal Server Error" message - maybe my location so I'll try from a different one tonight.

Best regards, Hugh.

Seacat
08-06-2010, 03:23 AM
Hey Johan,
off topic here but had to say love your website (www.360p.nl) - especially the Messina giga-pixel image you did. What camera/lens did you use?
Bill
Hi Bill,

first: my excuses to Vinko for this off topic part!

I used a Canon 1D MkIII and a Canon EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS. For more info see:

http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4022-The-Strait-of-Messina

Johan

VinkoCM
08-06-2010, 07:59 AM
Hello VinkoCM,

I agree completely with John.
Autofocus is not a major consideration with fisheye lenses for Spherical Panoramas. Some autofocus fisheye lenses are only autofocus with some bodies (e.g. Sigma 8mm is autofocus on Nikon D70 and Nikon D300, but not on Nikon D60).

The Sigma 10-20mm does have the property that all the rays entering the lens meet at a single point (Entrance Pupil) making this the correct point to rotate round, whereas this "point" in a fisheye is actually an infinite number of points so the point of rotation tends to depend on the number of images and personal preference. Also, a lens such as the Sigma 10-20mm can be used for "normal" photography, whereas a fisheye is less versatile.

As for number of images: Seacat's recommendation fits the general pattern, and John would probably agree with this, but it can boil down to personal preferences. I tend to use a "Tripod Cap" for my nadir as a link back to my "index" page so 6 horizontal images with 1 zenith with the Samyang 8mm would suit me.
With my Nikon 10.5mm I take 8 horizontal images plus 4 at +45° and with the Sigma 10-20mm I do 3 tiers with the 8 detent ring (45°) horizontal separation, which is a lot more images.
My philosophy is that I have taken time to get to site and set up my kit so a minute or two for extra shots is not a problem and processing time in PTGui is not significantly increased.
http://www.hugha.co.uk/NodalPoint/Sperical-Panoramas-With-A-Normal-Lens.htm

Best regards, Hugh.

Ok, So I am definitely liking the Samyang 8mm lens. It is inexpensive, it seems to be perfectly suited for 360 panoramas and it will cut down my workflow considerably. At first I was a bit worried about the lack of autofocus, but I am sure I can handle it.

But now I am a bit confused. You mentioned that a fisheye lens has an infinite number of no paralax points and that picking a point depends on the number of images I want to take. I don't understand how this works or why. Is there a special way of finding the NPP? And if there is more than one, how do I now which one to pick? I know how to find the NPP for a normal lens, but I guess this is different. Is there an online tutorial or something I can read up on?

I hope I am not a pain with all these questions.
Vinko

VinkoCM
08-06-2010, 08:48 AM
Never mind. I now understand the whole business about many NPPs with fisheye lenses from the site Hugh mentioned. Thank you.

Now I am down to 2 choices: the Sigma 10-20mm or the Samyang 8mm. I like them both equally because they are both inexpensive and will help reduce the number of images I need to take. For me, the big thing going for the Samyang is the price. On the other hand I find the multiple NPPs confusing and I am a little scared I may never figure out how to work with it. The big thing going for the Sigma is that It can also be used for 'general photography' and I can buy it locally, here in Ottawa. I don't like shopping online (buying my Nodal Ninja MK3 from the estore was a big deal for me).

Hugh
08-06-2010, 09:19 AM
On the other hand I find the multiple NPPs confusing and I am a little scared I may never figure out how to work with it.

Hello VinkoCM,

Don't worry about the questions - we all need to start somewhere and getting the experiences of others is what I think the forum is all about.

Also don't worry about the NNPs.
There is a lot written about this and lots of advice on how to determine it, but these are the values I and my colleague use and PTgui usually returns "very good" and sometimes "good" when the Optimizer is run.

With the Sigma 10-20mm, the NNP is 6mm back from the gold ring when set at 10mm and on the gold ring when set at 20mm.
With my Nikon D60 and NN3 I can just set the top bar to get this at the 10mm end of the zoom, but cannot accommodate it with the zoom set to 20mm as there is no room.

My colleague uses a Samyang 8mm on a Canon body (APS-C sensor) and the NNP is set up 3mm in front of the gold ring, which is approximately the back of the lens hood as shown on Michel Thoby's web site (http://michel.thoby.free.fr/SAMYANG/Samyang_shaved.jpg (http://michel.thoby.free.fr/SAMYANG/Samyang_shaved.jpg))
He takes 8 images @ 45° intervals.
As your Canon is also an APS-C sensor you can ignore the comments about shaving off the lens hood.
I usually use my fisheye for panos for the Internet, but use the sigma 10-20mm if I want a little better resolution. The Sigma does require more images and longer processing, but I don’t think you would be disappointed with whichever lens you decide on.

Best regards, Hugh

DennisS
08-06-2010, 09:24 AM
On the other hand I find the multiple NPPs confusing and I am a little scared I may never figure out how to work with it. A "floating" NPP in the fisheye lens is very easy to deal with. You figure out how many shots around you want to use, then calibrate your rig. The NPP will not move around, unless you start using a different number of shots around. If you want to start using a different number of shots around, then you MIGHT need to re calibrate. Once you get your set up dialed in for a given number of shots, you will not need to adjust your rig. For my Sigma 8mm, I use 4 around. For my Nikon 10.5, I use 6 around. Once my rig is calibrated, I leave it alone for each lens. If I ever get a full frame camera and decide to use my 10.5, I bet the camera position will need to change.

It is the same as shooting with the 10-20. Once you get it dialed in, you leave it alone. If you change the zoom setting, you might need to re calibrate.

VinkoCM
08-07-2010, 07:43 AM
Ok, so after thinking and thinking even more, I keep changing my mind as to which lens I want. But I think that my final choice is the sigma 10-22mm. Here are my arguments: 1. it is inexpensive 2. can also be used for general photography 3. I can buy it locally and not worry about paying online 4. it will drastically reduce the images I need for a pano and still provide a high resolution final output 5. It has a fixed NPP at the 10mm focal length 6. it has autofocus 7. it is a zoom lens (for general photography).

Yep, I think I am going with the sigma. Now I just have to start saving up cash and going into town someday. Thanks to everybody for all the help. I appreciate it. I now feel a lot more certain and secure about the decision I took and I know it is the right one. Thanks.

VinkoCM
09-21-2010, 11:15 AM
Sorry for opening this up again, but let me explain:

So my birthday is coming up and I am trying to get my family to buy me one of these lenses, but they want me to do a little more research. So I did and I still could not find the Samyang 8mm in my area. But I found an Opteka 6.5MM F3.5 Fisheye lens that I can purchase for about $400 in Ottawa (my city). I assume that Optika is the same as Samyang/Rokinon/Polar, right? How does this lens compare? Has anybody tried it out? Will it fit on the Nodal Ninja 3 with a canon 450D? I am really considering this or the Sigma 10-20mm. Here is a link to my local store: http://www.henrys.ca/61631-OPTEKA-6-5MM-F3-5-FISHEYE-LENS-CANON.aspx. Tell me what you think.

Vinko

nick fan
09-21-2010, 10:38 PM
Sorry for opening this up again, but let me explain:

So my birthday is coming up and I am trying to get my family to buy me one of these lenses, but they want me to do a little more research. So I did and I still could not find the Samyang 8mm in my area. But I found an Opteka 6.5MM F3.5 Fisheye lens that I can purchase for about $400 in Ottawa (my city). I assume that Optika is the same as Samyang/Rokinon/Polar, right? How does this lens compare? Has anybody tried it out? Will it fit on the Nodal Ninja 3 with a canon 450D? I am really considering this or the Sigma 10-20mm. Here is a link to my local store: http://www.henrys.ca/61631-OPTEKA-6-5MM-F3-5-FISHEYE-LENS-CANON.aspx. Tell me what you think.

Vinko

Optika looks like a Samyang. Yes, it works on NN3 with 450D. It gives excellent result.

nick

hindenhaag
09-22-2010, 03:05 AM
Vinko,
some links for you to et to know about it.

http://www.versacorp.com/vlink/jcreview/sy8rv9jc.pdf
www.360pano.de/en/tokina-sigma-nikon.html
www.360pano.de/en/samyang_5D_1D.html
www.autopano.net/forum/t7939-samyang
michel.thoby.free.fr/SAMYANG/Early%20test%20repor...

Regards

Heinz

VinkoCM
09-22-2010, 07:13 AM
Hi Heinz,

Thank you for the great information. But I need to confirm whether or not I need to shave the petals. Like Hugh said before, I have a Canon 450D that contains an APS-C sized sensor (1.6 cropping factor) which means it is not full frame, which means the petals should not matter.

Thank you,
Vinko

hindenhaag
09-22-2010, 07:30 AM
Vinko,

you only have to shave for full frame. But I just realized that it is 6.5mm mm fisheye by opekta. I send info about 8MM Samyang Browers etc. May be it is good to contact Rosauro the canadian reseller of NN, may be he can help you. http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-Aspherical-Fisheye-Digital-Cameras/dp/B002LTXQUE , have a look through Amazon, they sell samyang lenses, you have to look for canon mount. Before you buy the opekta, ask your dealer to test it.

I never heard of the 6.5 opekta, plus I did not see anybody having tested it. So be careful. A lot of guys are familiar with the samyang.

I just took off the lensring from my samyang 8mm. Your opekta lens looks very similar to it. The region of the lens hood, area of golden ring, focus rubber ring. I had to laugh, cause suddenly I thought about a wrong print, 6,5 instead of 8.5. Plus the focus ring is the other way round, it works from 0.5 to infinity from left to right. All my lenses have infinity at the left side.

Compare to the pics in the links.

Heinz