View Full Version : First spherical pano with Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70, M1-L wRD16, EZ Leveler II.

06-14-2012, 04:18 AM
I just have finished my firs spherical panorama using gear as in tittle plus nadir adapter. It's done from 33 photos at 24mm X 3 as it's a HDR. Software - Photomatix, Photoshop and PTGui.

Any feedback much appreciated. I'm new into this so would be great to know from experienced users what is done well and what not.

My lower rail setting is 140mm, upper 177mm. There is just one thing which bothers me. After zenith shoot I always need to change upper rail setting as on 177mm I cant angle my camera to the up on 90 degrees as it's hitting LR ... Probably there is no way arround this but maybe I'm wrong. Any suggestions welcomed.



06-14-2012, 07:19 AM

Your lower rail setting depends on the way you assemble your vertical rail, upper rotator to the Nadir Adapter. To get the best out of it, the vertical rail's flat side should point to the side of the lower rotator in closed position. This way you get the smallest footprint of the Nadir Adapter in Nadir2 when opened up.

You are right concerning the Zenith. To avoid to re set URS, you could shoot at +60 max 65 pitch 2 shots 180 visa versa. We often do this to get connection to the ground in case of blue sky via Lamp Posts or roof corners etc. I would do some test shots to compare.


nick fan
06-14-2012, 08:44 AM
Hi LeoNeon,
Nice pano.
Are you using the nadir adapter? if not, we are also releasing cheaper extender for vertical rail.


06-14-2012, 11:20 AM
Thnx hindenhaag for suggestions.

I have done test with two zenith shoots and it seems to work perfect. With my lens and camera I can go as far as 50 on the one side and 60 on the other. Probably it solves my problem regards to changing settings on UR and as you said helps with stitching.

Regards to the vertical rail position I'm assuming you suggest to do this like on your picture http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=368&d=1321087421 That's a surprise actually as I get my M1-L from Noodal Ninja with vertical rail installed in opposite way. Does it make a big difference? I'm always getting a dead point on my nadir shoot, maybe this few cm will help ...

nick fan thnx. I already have a nadir adapter.

06-14-2012, 01:21 PM
When you do not use the Nadir Adapter, M1-L has to be installed in the way it is normally assembled by NN. So you got the standard installation. You can use it that way, but the best installation for use with Nadir Adapter is the way shown in my picture. You have to take the vertical rail to peaces. Take off upper rotator and re install it the other way round to the opposite side like shown in the picture.

http://www.nodalninja.com/Manuals/M1LS_Installation_QRG.pdf Have a look to 6 on the right hand side.


May be you have to move the tripod for Nadir2 > than DPD. I use 28cm. In PTGuiPro After loading and aligning >advance tab to open up >optimizer. Set optimizer >advanced. You see a tab of data. On the right side you find viewpoint. You have to set it for Nadir2 shot because this is slightly out of NPP moving more than DPD.

Feel free to ask. May be you can send a set of pics to check what might go wrong with your nadir shot besides re assembling your vertical rail. This will already help a lot.


BTW: you already have learned a lot for your first job.

06-15-2012, 07:21 AM
hindenhaag I have followed by your guides. Please find attached. Looks like I have problems with vertical and horizontal lines. I don't know is it a problem with my soothing technique or control point in PTGui. Nadir and Zenith looks fine to me. I just need to figure out how many centimeters I need to go above the DPD.

Zenith is done from two shoots at 70 and 50. Ten shoots with camera angled up at 40, ten at 90 and ten at 40 with camera angled down plus two nadir shoots. URS 176,5mm, LRS 160mm


06-15-2012, 10:41 AM
Sorry, can not open your file,


06-15-2012, 12:26 PM
Thats great, i have the 14-24 and am waiting for the D800, not long now, been waiting 2 months, dealer in sydney is slow, australia is the ass end of the market, anyway i will be attempting similar stuff soonish. how do you get the photo to rotate? does the 360 site do that? with a name like that i guess it would, did you do any photoshop work on the single images? did you use HD for the single images? i am very impressed with the sharpness and clarity, hope my 24-70 is as sharp, once again great shot.

John Houghton
06-15-2012, 01:25 PM
I was able to download the rar file ok. As supplied, PTGui's optimization of the project reported an average control point distance of 1.96 and a maximum of 21.9. Not good! I was able to improve this to an average of 0.75 and a maximum of 2.0. I have put my project file at http://www.johnhpanos.com/leoneon-pano-jh.zip .
Some comments: There were many horizontal and vertical line control points assigned. No horizontal line points ought to be assigned: they are only valid when placed on features that should be horizontal in the output panorama. Horizontal line features are not generally straight and horizontal in the equirectangular projection. Only the line of the horizon should be straight and level.
Two or three vertical line control points are sufficient to level the panorama. 13 is gross overkill!
The shear parameters should not be optimized as camera images do not suffer from shear distortion so don't need to be corrected for this.
The control points were generally cleaned up, some being deleted and others newly created.
There was no need to use Smartblend. I used the PTGui blender and visited the auto exposure panel to correct vignetting. PTGui's interpolator Bicubic Normal is perfectly adequate and fast.
The final result looks good.

John Houghton
06-15-2012, 03:44 PM
Looking at the panorama in a spherical viewer, it was apparent that the sharpest areas were at the nadir. At the walls furthest away, the images were quite blurred. The camera settings were 1/100th at f/3.5. This accounts for the inadequate depth of field. The lens needs to be stopped down to a smaller aperture and the focus setting set very carefully in order to get the optimum focus range. (Check the hyperfocal distance). The longer exposure times then needed are easily manageable indoors where there is no subject movement to cope with.

06-15-2012, 03:50 PM
hindenhaag here's a zip version of panorama, should work fine now. http://www.50hzphotography.ie/leoneon.zip

Kidraver thnx, I'm glad that you like it. 360 site will make your panorama rotate. There is some tutorials which might be helpful. My panorama is done from RAW files converted to TIF's and than, after stitching in PTGui blended in Photomatix. Final touches are done in Photoshop. For sure you will get great results using 14-24 or 24 - 70 and D800.

John Houghton that's something what I did not know regards to horizontal lines. Now I will try to use them only on a horizon which actually obviously has a lot of sens while making equirectangular projection. Now I see that the shear optimization was doing lot of bad things ... When to use Smartblend? It for sure is slower, I'm using this just following by some advices found on line .... I know about focus, sorry, it was done in rush, just to have an example :) Thnx a lot for your help.

John Houghton
06-16-2012, 01:54 AM
When to use Smartblend?
All the blenders have their strengths and weaknesses. Smartblend is good at hiding alignment errors that are due to movement or parallax. It does this by routing the seam around the edges of features. However, it doesn't support blending across the nadir and zenith regions, so you can often get a vortex or pointy star at the zenith in the sky. It doesn't support PTGui's green masks but red masks are ok. Images will be discarded as surplus to requirements when there is no blank space to fill below.
PTGui's blender works very well when the images are well aligned - i.e. when there is no parallax or subject movement. It gives a smooth blend across the zenith and nadir areas, so good for the sky. You can also control how much of an image is used with the blend priority option in PTGui Pro. So you can force a zenith or nadir cap to be included even when there is no hole to fill. No smart blending around the edges of features, though.
Generally, I would recommend using PTGui's blender unless there are good reasons for using Smartblend. It is sometimes advantageous to do two stitches with PTGui's blender and Smartblend and merge them in Photoshop to get the best of both.

06-16-2012, 02:35 AM
John those are valuable tips. Much appreciated!

06-16-2012, 03:21 AM
Thx for sending a new file. Now I could open it. Your nadir shots seem to be ok for me. So DPD seems to be ok.

You are already doing a good job. You already got the basic hints by John.

In busy places you might try to change your workflow: work on the bracketing set to remove the ghosts in the set in Photomatix first and then stitch the finalized pics in PTGui. You might get problems shooting a lot of pics around. Shooting +30 -30 in pitch you might get a lot of ghosts. Try to keep the horizon free from ghosts by changing your pitch settings. Raise ISO to get shorter shutter speeds, on D700 ISO 1200 or 1600, test for beginning noise with your own equipment. Shooting bracketing sets better use CL mode in continuos shooting because CH + high speed mode causes unsharp pics because of mirror up and down movements. There is no Mirror up function for continuos shooting on Nikon Bodies. Only with Promote Control, a great add on to your equipment for EV settings and mirror up function. Worth it's Price.

At least to avoid buffer overflow of the camera you should use high speed CF cards. Shooting with D3 Nikkor 50mm I often had to wait shooting in CL mode to save the data to CF card. The green light is lightened and the continuos shooting is stopped. Because of buffer overflow.
Result: With the excellent equipment on Nodal Ninja / Fanotec helps you to be quicker in setting up the next shooting position and you are stopped by the rest of your equipment. In busy places I use Scan Disk Pro Extreme with 90 mb/ps. Helps you to avoid buffer overflow what means don't have to wait for saving data to cf card before taking the next shot. To safe time downloading infos with Nikon Transfer, I use Lexar Pro CompactFlash reader (FireWire 800). All this might make your life much easier.


06-16-2012, 03:32 AM
Hi Kidraver,

You are not the only one to wait for D800. Just got the info that our friend Vincen got one at home. We already got brilliant results shooting with D3 14-24mm. He told me he will try the D800 with Zeiss 15mm/f2.8 as well. There have been discussions about the "old 16mm" fisheye for D800 sensor. So let us wait for the results.


Have fun with your new camera,

06-16-2012, 04:21 AM
hindenhaag cheers for your help.

I have chosen to stitch first three panoramas and than make out of them a HDR in Photomatix. I'm getting 102 images from camera for one panorama. Doing this other way I would have to first make 34 hdr's and than one panorama. It's seems to be more time and work saving to do this my way, on other way stitching one panorama takes lot's of time with my laptop (it's horribly long time). I will try your work flow.

Are you talking about this hardware? http://www.promotesystems.com/products/Promote-Control.html If that's allows take bracketing photos with mirror up through all sequence than it's for sure worth considering buying. Probably there is some more companies doing such devices, can you recommend any? My card is 30 mb/ps, looks like I will need to upgrade this if I buy this remote trigger.