I am hoping that I can get some advice to solve a problem I am having with PTGui on a particular project.

I though I had my methodology honed – I use a Nikon D60 with a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye and take 8 horizontal images at 45° plus 2 zenith images at 90° and when I import these into PTGui and use “Align images..” the Optimisation usually reports “very good” with an “Average control point distance:” between 1 and 2 and occasionally this drops to “good” with an “Average control point distance:” between 2 and 3 if there is little detail for PTGui to generate the Control Points from.

When an important project came along a Nikon D300 with a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye was hired for the day because the Nikon D60, being an “entry level” DSLR, does not have a bracketing function and we wished to bracket 3stops either way (7 images per shot) to experiment with HDR.
Yes, I could have changed the exposure settings manually for each shot, but this would have been a real pain for one panorama, let alone 20.

The Nikon D300 was set up on the Nodal Ninja 3 so that the principal ray of the lens and axis of rotation were in the same plane and the “gold ring” aligned with the centre of rotation of the sphere when the NN3 was rotated, in exactly in the same way as I has set up my Nikon D60.
It was vital that this was done as accurately as possible because the centre of rotation of the camera and lens had to coincide with the centre of the HDS scanner we were using to a fraction of a millimetre, so a lot of care was taken.

When the Nikon D60 images are imported into PTGui they are all in portrait orientation, but the Images from the Nikon D300 came in with the 8 horizontal images in portrait and the 2 zenith images in landscape, which PTGui did not like, so this was sorted first, so according to my previous experience, and tests and panoramas I have made since, “Align images..” should have resulted in a near perfect result, but no.

The problem is that the area of overlap between to two sets of images is timber and painted brick so PTGui is unable to create Control Points between the images in the two sets although it created a mass of Control Points for the 8 horizontal images and a mass of Control Points for the 2 zenith images. This results in the zenith images appearing in the centre of the Equirectangular image, so I added lots of additional Control Point manually (including line CPs) for the overlaps of the zenith images with the horizontal images, but the result is horrible with huge distances between Control Points and “very bad” with “Average control point distance:” in the region of 120 and detail appearing twice some distance apart. This also results in the “Focal length:” of the lens being reduced (sometimes quite dramatically – e.g. to 8mm!) in the “Lens Settings”.

Using a Template from the Nikon D60 with a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye helps a bit, but not a lot.

There is no possibility of being able to retake the photographs or access to the Nikon D300 and Nikon 10.5mm lens used.

Any tips or suggestions as to how I can resolve this will be gratefully received.

Best regards, Hugh.