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Seeking advice/suggestions

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  • Seeking advice/suggestions

    Hi all - long time pano shooter, new Nodal Ninja customer (M1L) and first post here.

    I have a photoshoot coming this summer which extends slightly beyond my current experience - I'd like to request advice on how to handle this/equip myself, so that I can procure the gear needed and practice ahead of time.

    This will be an indoor shoot in a relatively large hall, ceiling height probably at 30 ft, with about 500 people standing (but not really moving) and distributed evenly on the floor, with maybe higher density towards the center.

    The goal is to provide a 360 spherical shot from the center of the hall, at a height of about 4m. In essence, this is an indoor version of the fantastic work of Jook Leung shown here:

    This shoot will be done with a D800. As far as lenses are concerned, Nikon 16mm or shaved 10.5mm are my current options - but I am open to suggestions here too.

    My tripod (a large Gitzo) with the M1L on top of it will only go to about 2.4m so this means pole shooting I suppose (unless other options are available? a giant Manfrotto stand?).

    I will have the luxury to be able to shoot a zenith patch independently (before or after) the main event (the exact shooting location on the floor will be marked). Actually I am thinking about making a spherical pano of the empty room first, which may come in handy for compositing reasons later on, if needed.

    So far I am thinking about a Series 2 pole with either R1 or the M1L with a lens clamp directly mounted in the rotating clamp of the vertical arm (is it possible to mate the horizontal arm of the M1L to the top of the pole though?).

    If I keep my lens centered on the NPP, I will have a substantial dead spot in the nadir (I will probably have to draw a circle on the ground that people should not 'enter' least their feet are cut).
    If I move forward my lens in front of the NPP, I can escape the nadir issue. But then will stitching becomes too difficult?

    Finally, there is the issue of the number of shots, in relation to the slightly moving people. My initial thought is to use the 16mm at -15 degrees, 6 shots around + zenith. Or would it be best to use only 4 shots around with the shaved 10.5mm? I am debating between having less seams, and having more pictures to chose from to composite people back into the final pano if limbs are cut etc. (and some will). My concern is mostly with the people who will be the closest from the pole.

    Last but not least, the final product should allow Facebook users to tag themselves in the picture. To be honest, I have no idea how this is done - a google search indicates it is possible with some software, so I guess I am looking for feedback here. I will be using PTAssembler to generate the pano - but again open for options here.

    Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!
    Last edited by clickclickclick; 05-12-2013, 08:28 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity