I finally got all the gear together, and did a successful stitch using JohnHPanos.com 1st tutorial and his photos.
Nordal Ninja 5L: I center the bubble at 0 degrees, and when rotating at 90/180/270 the bubble in the bubble level goes outside the black line, but not to the very edge of the bubble level. Is this normal? How bad will it screw up stitching in PTGui?
I did my 1st test with the new equipment, and it ended in a miserable failure. PTGui and I manually can't find control points for the Zenith to match any of the other 4 photos, so PTGui sticks it in the middle (#2 of 5) shots So I'm out to test a 5 degree up angle shot, which if I remember the thread I can't find correctly, will eliminate the Zenith shot. Is this correct?
________________________________________ moderator note: removed suspicions promotional signature
If you cannot find any matching features at all, then maybe you just have a featureless sky. You can position the zenith image sufficiently accurately by entering the yaw, pitch, and roll values on the Image Parameters tab. Think back to when you took the zenith. Probably immediately after taking the last horizontal shot you raised the camera to point up at pitch +90 degrees. The yaw value will be the same as the last shot. Roll will be approximately the same as for all the other shots. Hence the zenith can be positioned well enough. The blender should blend it in nicely - there being no features to cause any obvious stitching problems.
One solution to this general problem is to make sure that you capture some features in the zenith image by rotating the head to point the camera in a suitable direction, or tilting the camera down a bit so one side is low enough to capture detail at the horizontal level. The other solution, is to tilt the horizontal shots up by 5 degrees, as you say, which is just enough to close the zenith hole.
I recently upgrade to 5d mkII and NN5 but i used to shoot with NN3, 40D and sigma 8mm
i have not tested 40D and NN5 but
my settings where 5 shots round (-5° or -10°) and 1 shot up (when it's possible I tend to remove tripod with post production rather that shooting nadir shot)
always stitched perfectly with ptgui although I have the pro version but it should work just the same!