OK, so after a week of lurking here and reading everything I could find on panos, a long phone call to Red-Door (great service BTW) and a couple of days actually owning a NN-5L it's my turn to post my first pano......
I guess I should be flattered you could doubt me - yeah that was day 2 with the NN. Day 1 I tried 1 in the garden and one indoors. Before that I'd never shot a pano. Oh, apart from a couple using the built in stitching with a Kodak compact I had.
I'm not happy with the nadir though. I cloned the tripod out on the source files before stitching but it's tricky on fisheye shots. I'm not happy with the central flagstone - the joints aren't right.
Since then I've tried cloning on a PSD output from PTGUI and then wrapping it. That's faster but not as clean. Any tips?
Jonathan, You've made an excellent start with your first panorama. While the stitching is good, I find the mixture of lighting of different colour temperatures unsatisfactory. The way I deal with this problem is to generate two sets of images from the RAW originals. One balanced for the exterior light and the other for the artificial indoor light. After stitching the two sets and layering the two equirectangular images in Photoshop, a layer mask is applied to the top image and then edited to merge the images to give a good rendering of all parts of the panorama.
For editing the nadir, you can extract a nadir view from the equirectangular stitched image with Pano2VR, edit in Photoshop, and then insert it back into the equirectangular image. Alternatively, you can generate the 6 cubic tiles with Pano2VR (or the free Pano2QTVR), edit the nadir tile and then rebuild the equirectangular image from the edited tiles.
If you capture a view of the nadir with the camera on the tripod shifted to one side a little, you can use the Viewpoint correction feature in PTGui to stitch that image in along with all the others. See: Viewpoint tutorial.
Thanks John. I spent a lot of time on your site recently but I must have missed that one. I'll give it a go.
You probably realise I'm shooting multi exposure HDR with the shadow exposure at around 20s so a hand held nadir or tilted tripod isn't going to work for me. Looks like I need to spend some quality time with PTGui and possibly buy a copy of Pan2VR (I think Mac owners can't get the free version).
Good point on the colour temperature. It's one I face every time I go into the cathedral and becomes almost a philosophical question. They light it with different temperature bulbs and even to the naked eye you can see the colour shifts. That leaves me with the question whether to correct in layers or to leave it as you see it (almost - of course the shifts are more obvious to an all seeing camera). On this occasion the HDRs took nearly 2 hours to render so I decided not to run them a second time for the other colour I hadn't thought of layering after stitching though. That would make the edit considerably easier. Though the file size may get a little hefty.