For the 4.5mm lens, use the camera in portrait orientation on the top rail of the NN5 and take 3 shots around. The pano head will intrude very slightly on the right, but will be of little consequence. If you want to try 2 back-to-back shots, then mount the camera in landscape orientation on the bottom rail.
I haven't been very happy with the sigma 4.5mm. I need 6 shots for a full spherical and I loose a lot of resolution. I'm not sure how anyone is able to do one with just 2 or 3 shots.
So now I'm looking at trying out the Sigma 8mm or the Nikon 10.5 f2.8 AF DX Fisheye. Does anyone know where I can get samples from the Nikon 10.5 to try out? Does anyone have any opinions on the two lenses?
On NN180, R1 or R10, you only need 3 shots around+ nadir.
you can find some sample shots here
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Your panoramas are in need of levelling. In a equirectangular image, all the vertical features like sides of doors, walls, windows etc. should normally be exactly vertical - not leaning over to one side. If using PTGui, see http://www.johnhpanos.com/levtut.htm. Autopano Pro also has a levelling option.
I was wondering about the leveling thing. I'm using RealViz Stitcher Unlimited 5.6 on a mac. Do you know if there is a way to do it with that?
Greg, I don't know if there is a specific levelling tool in Stitcher, but you can roll the image and shift it up and down to level it visually, as far as I can remember. At worst, you could download Hugin for free and import the equirectangular image for levelling using t1 control points as in PTGui.