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No nadir/zenith needed with fisheye on full frame camera?

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  • No nadir/zenith needed with fisheye on full frame camera?

    I have read that there is no need to shoot a nadir and zenith shot when using a shaved Nikon 10.5 on a full-frame camera. Is that correct? The tripod or the bracket is not in the way of the nadir?

    If it is correct, does it stitch perfectly?

  • #2
    On a full frame sensor camera, a shaved 10.5 tilted up 5 degrees should remove the requirment for a Zenith shot. I have seen examples, but have not tried it personally.

    If you can come up with an invisible pano head and tripod, then a separate Nadir patch shot will not be required. You would have to tilt down. Tilting down would then make a separate Zenth shot necesary. Since Nick has not yet released invisible hardware (I have heard rumors as to such devices), we are left with using an additional Nadir path shot if we want to enclose the sphere.


    • #3

      You can even get the zenith closed with 4 shots around at 0°.

      You can download my D700 pics with shaved 10,5 lens. In PTGui change the lens settings to : fullframe 10.5. The sets are taken as follows: 4 around at 0° pitch, +5° pitch, +7,5° pitch, 2x 60°180° visa versa, +90°, Nadir1, Nadir2 with NN5 and Nadir Adapter. Have fun playing around. The result concerning best quality because the center of the lens is used would be an extra Zenith shot. The easiest way should be 4 around at +5° plus 2x Nadir.

      Last edited by hindenhaag; 01-03-2012, 04:20 AM.


      • #4
        it makes sense to me that the tripod will be in the way but several sites have mentioned it this quote: "There is no need for a zenith or nadir shot." is from What are they talking about?

        I am downloading the zip file now and will play around with it, thanks!


        • #5

          I took your files and loaded them into PGGui (not the nadirs)
          I masked out the tripods in the non nadir images
          I loaded the 2 nadir shots, masked out the tripod
          Had PTGui create control points for the two nadirs
          Had PTHui create contol points for all images.
          The result was a pic with the bottom with various shades of muted grey where the tripod was masked out.

          what am I doing wrong?


          • #6
            "There is no need for a zenith or nadir shot."

            You do not need a Zenith or Nadir shot. That is a true statement - BUT - it always depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want a full 360x180 spherical panorama which allows the user to pan all the way in all directions and view the ground as if the camera is floating in space, you will need a Nadir patch shot.

            The best part of the image in a lens is in center. The worst part is at the edge. If you tilt at 0 degrees, the seam at the Zenith might not look as good as it could. Tilting up 5 degrees puts more of the better part of the lens in the picture.

            Tilting up does leave a hole at the bottom. Even if you shoot at 0 degrees, you still have the tripod in the picture. Some people choose to limit the downward tilt so as to not allow the viewer to see that there is a tripod. In this case you do not have a full spherical panorama. Maybe a 360x160 or something like that.

            The Nadir is a good place to put your or your customers logo. If the logo is big enough and your tripod legs were close enough together, you can cover the tripod with what is called a tripod cap. This is usually a corportate or photographers logo. In this case, a Nadir shot is not required. I like to have the full sphere available. I put my transparant floating logo at the Nadir.

            Here is the only panorama I have ever done where I put in a static logo in order to cover up the monopod. Turn up your speakers as there is sound with this one. I think that this Nadir cap works great as it tells the viewer exactly where and when they are. I was holding the camera over my head on a monopod. It was impossible to get a Nadir shot.

            The 10.5 lens on a DX camera will leave a rather huge hole at the Zenith and Nadir. The more you tilt up to try to cover the Zenith the more you open up the Nadir hole. In this case, a Zenith shot is required but the huge hole at the Nadir either needs to be covered up with a shot or a very large and obtrusive Nadir cap.

            So the statement that a Zenith or Nadir shot is not required when using a shaved 10.5 on a full frame camera is correct. Tilt up 5 degrees and you have a Zenith that is good enough. When in doubt, shoot the Zenith. If you want the entire sphere, shoot the Nadir. Otherwise you cover the tripod with a logo or "mirror ball" (YEACH!!!!) or something like that.

            I hope this make sense.



            • #7
              That does make sense... Its all about what actual result is needed. Thanks for clearing it up. I'm going to be in LA in two weeks--two bad I won't have any spare time or I would look you up.

              Is the only advantage of using a shaved fisheye on a full frame that you can do a 360 in 4 shots instead of 6? Are there any other advantages?

              I did experiment with angling the camera to eliminate the zenith and nadir. I did two rows because I was having a problem getting control points on the zenith with open skies: one at +15, one at -15. The top was perfect without a separate zenith. The bottom was a nice pic of the tripod. I will use that technique for shooting with open skies to eliminate the need for a zenith but will add a couple nadirs

              Nice shot on the Tour. Your nadir is so tiny, the logo is not obtrusive at all. Did you shoot extra shots around to insure coverage since you were working on a monopod?

              What size output settings did you use in Pano2vr for that shot?

              Thanks for your time,



              • #8

                There was no time to take extra shots. I had to eyeball the 90 degree rotation. I almost did not get it. The riders came by 7 times. I had enough time to practice. When the time came to take the panorama, I had seconds to get all 4 shots. As you pan around, look very closely at the direction the people are looking. 4 shots = 4 different directions. This is an example of a panorama creating the illusion that the entire scene was taken with one picture.

                Since the people were focused on the riders, they did not move around too much. While processing the pano, it took most of the day to mask out all movement. There should not be any floating body parts or people with two faces. This was back before PTGui had masking built in. I had to use Alpha Channel masks in Photoshop.

                The image is 8000x4000. This is typical for the Sigma lens on a D300 body shooting 4 around tilted up 5 degrees. In Pano2VR the cube face size is 2546 with an image quality setting of 90. This is one of the very few panoramas that I enabled zooming. I usually disable zooming and use much lower quality settings. With the sound and extra detail left in, the final image size is around 11 megs. That is really too big for quick loading. As internet speeds come up, load speeds go down.

                As to the advantages of shaving the 10.5. One of the biggest advantages I can think of is that you will be shooting with Nikon glass. That alone would be reason enough for me.

                Too bad we can’t hook up when you are in L.A. It would be nice to put a face to a name. I would be more than happy to show you how I create a panorama, both on the tripod and monopod.



                • #9
                  The shot was impressive, nice work--especially on masking out the movement. I have the Nikon 10.5 now on the D300. I was just trying to see it if was worth moving up to a full frame, but I doubt it as I don't expect to be in a rush for the types of shots that I will be doing so reducing from 6 to 4 shots will not be a great advantage.

                  I will be getting into LA on a Sat night at 8pm, teaching a class on Sunday from 7am - 2 then heading right out for Vegas. I will keep you in mind for my next trip though!


                  • #10

                    You should be able to produce some wonderful panoramas with your D300/10.5 lens. Keep in mind that throwing money at a panorama will not improve the panorama. Improving your vision and skill as a photographer will improve your panoramas.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Davidk View Post
                      The result was a pic with the bottom with various shades of muted grey where the tripod was masked out.
                      what am I doing wrong?
                      It could be a masking problem or an image alignment problem. It's often best initially to leave the last (shifted) nadir shot out of the optimization by unchecking that image in the "Use control points of" list on the Advanced screen of the Optimizer tab. When a good optimization has been obtained for all the other images, the last image can then be included by checking that image again. You will need to select the viewpoint correction option on the last image only in order to get a good optimization.
                      It may help if you inspect my project file and compare with your own. Download it from .


                      • #12

                        That is true to an extent, but having good equipment never hurts. I understand the vision. I used to be a professional photo back in the 80s and did pans with a Hulcherama, Alpa and Roundshot so I understand the art and vision of pans. What I need now is a better understanding of this new fangled digtial stuff :)

                        thanks, I will definitely download and compare


                        • #13
                          Pole caveat

                          I will put myself a caveat to this discussion. When shooting with a pole at a height of +10 feet from the ground, I prefer using -2.5 degree. My nadir is fully cover and a very very small area needs to be photoshop. Since I cannot take a nadir correctly at this height I prefer taking an additional zenith picture in which 10 feet + does not make a difference. I am using the 8-15mm canon lens at 11.5mm.


                          • #14
                            Softgad, that sound like a good idea to reduce the nadir. I need to master tripod work before I can attempt pole! LOL