Nadir Adapter

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  1. Re: Nadir Adapter

    #16

    Minor re-levelling isn't necessary if the VP option is used. You can take the nadir shot offset by a metre and with the camera at 45 degrees and the VP correction will still work. (Only for flat floors, of course).

    John
  2. #17

    Hi Everyone

    Well I have had my new Nadir adapter now for 10 days and I have to say that I am wholly disappointed with it. Now either I am doing something drastically wrong, or I have the wrong set up. Despite watching the various tutorials ( which I thank you all for taking the time), I find that the extra workflow involved in preparing the shots is just too time consuming. Never once has the adapter produced anything but disappointing Nadir shots that have either leave me with gaping holes to patch, or tiny slits to rectify. I really wanted this device or something similar to enable me to produce HDR panos but I shall have to go back to hand held shots.

    Please do not misunderstand me, I would imagine that this adapter will fit in well with some of you, I am not trying to put people off buying it. All I would like to say is if you can get chance to trial it then do so, I believe it is not for everyone.

    On the subject of workflow I can produce a full 360 x 180 panorama using PTGUI pro and a hand held Nadir at arms length, and in most cases with out having to use Alpha channels to mask my feet. I simply reduce the image parameters on the Nadir shot from 100 to anything as low as 1 with little need for any retouching. My only reason for buying the adapter was to steady the bracketed shots for the Nadir in HDR.

    Please I am not trying to stir up a hornets nest, my belief is that we should work together and share our experiences with like minded people. This is just my personal opinion, and if anyone else has had a similar problems then people should know. For me I think I have wasted my money, but we suffer for our art, do we not.

    Brian
  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellarman View Post
    Hi Everyone

    Well I have had my new Nadir adapter now for 10 days and I have to say that I am wholly disappointed with it. Now either I am doing something drastically wrong, or I have the wrong set up. Despite watching the various tutorials ( which I thank you all for taking the time), I find that the extra workflow involved in preparing the shots is just too time consuming. Never once has the adapter produced anything but disappointing Nadir shots that have either leave me with gaping holes to patch, or tiny slits to rectify. I really wanted this device or something similar to enable me to produce HDR panos but I shall have to go back to hand held shots.

    Hi Brian,

    You are using Niokon 10.5mm on D90, right? Are you taking 6 shot around at 0 deg tilt? The Nadir is quite large at this setting. You can use -7.5 to -10 deg tilt to reduce the nadir hole. This will increase the chances of successful patching. Of course, more practices in placing the tripod for correct nadir position will also help.
    In fact there are many methods for taking proper nadir shots. The nadir adapter is just an add-on product to make the job done more easily (esp. for beginners in spherical panography). If you manage to patch nadir using other methods, you don't need the nadir adapter. There is a shortage of this adapter at the moment. Just list it in the "classified forum". You will help other member who is eagerly waiting for one.


    nick



    Fanotec
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  4. Nadir Adapter

    #19
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    Well I have had my new Nadir adapter now for 10 days and I have to say that I am wholly disappointed
    Brian,

    That is truly sad. As with any tool, be it software or hardware, you need to use it correctly to get good results.

    I use a D300 and a Nikon 10.5 lens. I shoot 6 around at 0 degrees, 1 up, 1 down and 1 patch shot.

    1st you need to make sure your rig is oriented correctly. Please refer to pictures earlier in this thread for an example of what your Nadir shot and the patch shot should look like when you bring them into Photoshop. Your Nadir shot should have 1 tripod leg sticking straight out away from the pano head, right down the center of the picture with the other two legs behind the pano head. Your patch shot will have the two legs sticking into the scene at 60 degrees up and down with the single leg behind the pano head. You should have a clear view of the ground for your patch shot.

    Measure from the center of your main rotator to the center of the Nadir adapter pivot point. Multiply that number by two. That is the distance you will slide your rig over.

    You take your Nadir shot, lock your rotator, swing the camera out, slide the rig in the direction the single tripod leg is pointed, take your patch shot, bring your patch shot into your favorite editing software, rotate it 180 degrees, then finish processing. Do not rotate your tripod at all. Just slide it over.

    Do not give up hope. What works for someone does not necessarily work for all. If you still cannot get it, I am sure there is someone here that will take it off your hands.

    Dennis
    Last edited by DennisS; 07-22-2010 at 09:37 PM.
  5. #20
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    Brian,

    Sorry to hear about this.

    What do you mean by "reducing image parameters of the nadir shot from 100 to anything as low as one" and that you only in some cases have to mask your feet, but in most times you can stitch without masking? May be you have pics for us to understand?

    I personally have two problems with the handheld shot: I lost nadir shots because during braketting my hand began to move hanging the D3 "high in the sky, feet possibly out of side, no body in reflecting glasses". To get quick shots I raised the ISO and shot in CL mode, but even then in late afternoon light I lost some handheld nadir shots.
    In lower light conditions or with night shots and braketting I am not really able to get a sharp shot without movements even with ISO raised to 3600 or beyond, while many cameras start up the noise problem at lower ISO of 1200 for example.

    I personally like to have the nadir adaptor also and especially for these conditions.

    I have tried with an extra tripod with a horizontal arm on top, works fine. But I have to carry this extra load and change lot of things while shooting, and I do not like to "miss some of my equipment placed in my back" in busy places while shooting the nadir. This is why I like the nadir adaptor.

    I know masking is time consuming especially with bracketed shots and lenses asking several shots per row.

    I found it boring masking bracketed 5 nadir shots twice. I tried to optimize my workflow. I take one shot where I can see my tripod nicely, alpha mask it, safe as tiff and use it as "anchor shot" for the other pictures. Then load the anchor pic to ps as well as one of the other nadir shots that you can see both of them. Then copy the alpha channel of the anchor picture to the other one and save. I have set up an "action" of this, so copying, pasting and saving is done automatically. Mask once, copy the rest. Saving a lot of time. This works for Jpeg and RAW.
    Now I try to batch process loading all the rest of the nadir shots I have to be masked besides the anchor picture to ps to run the action "copy alpha channel" and save them. But I am not quite sure if a batch process can do this. May be someone else has already solved this problem and can tell us.

    "Action" is a nice tool in ps, one click, and it is done.

    Anyway, thx for letting us know about your experience and feelings about the nadir adaptor. Only by facing both sides, positive as well as negative experiences help to improve a product.

    The last thing I like to mention: this forum, different from others, is a fair one in respecting, accepting, and being open for different opinions. No one will kill you because you said " I am disappointed."

    Once again thx,

    Heinz
  6. #21

    Quote Originally Posted by hindenhaag View Post
    Brian, What do you mean by "reducing image parameters of the nadir shot from 100 to anything as low as one"
    He means the Blend Priority parameter, which determines how much of the nadir is used in the blending. Hence, feet at the outer edge of the image can be excluded by using a low blend priority.

    John
  7. #22
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    thx John,

    does it often avoid alpha channel masking? I will give it a try.

    Heinz
  8. #23

    Heinz, Whether it is practical or not depends on how the images are shot. It's easy enough to try tweaking the blend priorities to get a good blend in the Panorama Editor window. If it's not possible, you can switch to Plan B and add some alpha channel masks instead.

    John
  9. #24
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    does it often avoid alpha channel masking?
    Before I understood how to use an alpha channel mask, I used the blend priority all the time. It is not hard to do. I achive more consistant results in a shorter amount of time using a mask. It takes me less time to apply a mask than it does to adjust the blend priority. I also never used viewpoint correction because I did not fully understand it. Now that I do, I turn it on all the time.
  10. #25

    Hi Everyone

    Thanks to all of you for your responses and suggestions, I will try and answer each one of you.

    Nick
    I used the D200 with a Nikon 10.5 rectilinear fish eye ( I haven't used the D90 yet for the Nadir attachment) I set for approx -10deg tilt (or until I can just see the base coming into view) 6 round + 1 for zenith I then normally remove the camera (quick release) stand at arms length again at approx height and take the Nadir. I have tried various tripod positions but none seem to work, hence my disappointment. As you say it is only an aid to achieve the Nadir shot and I shall persevere for a while, but if in the end it is not for me then I shall put it up for sale.

    Dennis
    As you quite rightly say it is all down to correct orientation. Obviously you have tried the adapter and it works for you. But I must admit that the amount of work that you put into post prep and production just seems to be very long winded. Now I am not trying to upset any purists here as I myself admit that I have on occasions spent an evening correcting my work because I am not happy with the result, but this is not the norm. I am not going to give up and I shall keep on trying so watch this space.

    Heinz
    It is as John explained it is within image parameters in the nadir shot using the Blend Priority parameter, I normally set for a figure of 25, but I have gone as low as 1. Using that method I have on occasion had to use a mask, but it was far less time consuming than the other methods I came across. Once I have taken my 6 round and 1 Zenith I release the camera and NN3 and hold it at the approx height that it left the tripod, I then slide the tripod and myself as far back as I can reach keeping the camera as near to the original orientation as possible, then take the shot. But of course you all know this and I am sure I am not teaching you anything new, although sometimes a quick reminder of the older methods spark new interests. I agree that to hand hold for bracketed (unless you are using a very high shutter speed) then there is bound to be a slight offset. But this was the reason I wanted to try the new adapter. To be honest I now cheat a little bit if I need to achieve an HDR pano. I always shoot in Raw so if I need to simulate HDR I just make a few series of under & over exposed raw images and then introduce them to PTGUI or layer them in Photoshop. ( OK big workload there but really it is just the same as messing around with bracketed images ) and by the way still using a hand held Nadir.

    My thanks to all of you for letting me have my rant. All your suggestions are taken on board with my greatest respect to your art and profession. This is a good forum and I am pleased to be a part of it, keep up the good work

    Brian
  11. #26
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    But I must admit that the amount of work that you put into post prep and production just seems to be very long winded.
    To the untrained eye, it does seem like a lot of work. When I read my first tutorial on alpha channel masks (thanks John) I thought I would never get it. It actually takes less than a minute to apply the alpha channel mask. You do not have to be real precise. In a video shown earlier, it was killing me the amount of time spent actually applying the mask. Maybe the instructor slowed down for instruction sake. Good move. The real time saver comes during stitching the masked images. With a well calibrated rig, it takes 5 to 10 minutes from opening the images in Photoshop to a final stitch in PTGui. I tend to enjoy the process, so I never rush it. This is a hobby for me, after all.

    When you start doing panoramas with people in them (and you should. They are much more interesting.), you must become the master of the alpha mask in order to take care of ghost images and floating body parts.

    Actually I am the one who pushed Nick to develop and manufacture the Nadir Adapter. It took me about 6 months from the time I made my first one (not my original idea or design, by the way) to the time I had the technique down. For monopod work I always use a hand held Nadir patch shot.

    When are you going to share your work with the rest of us?
  12. #27

    Dennis

    I suppose I had better put my money where my mouth is. I am not going to bore you with the sort of work I am asked to do, I am more concerned with mastering this nadir adapter. I am like a dog with a bone, I shall not give up until I have conquered it, or it conquers me, if the latter be true then it will be up for sale. Needless to say your input is welcome so I have uploaded some files as an experiment.

    Forgetting the subject matter (my garden and washing line on a rather dull British afternoon, sorry) I took all the images as I normally would except at the end I used the Nadir adapter first, trying to incorporate your suggestions, and then stood back and did a hand held nadir shot.

    In the sample there are 2 PTGUI projects, both self explanatory by there titles. On the hand held nadir you may have to drag image 7 to the bottom in panorama editor and them fix the control points. I then went into image parameters and down to image 7. Moved across to blend priority and reduce that to 10 and voila, feet disappear.

    The adapter shots clearly shows gaps and I can get away with filling them in but again why create extra work. Comments good and bad are welcome, all I am aiming to achieve is a good workflow with the adapter if possible. I need to be able to trust what I take and not have to go back and re-shoot.

    BTW I totally agree with you using alpha with people shots, I am working on that.

    Brian

    http://www.360viz.co.uk/tests/adapter v had held.zip
  13. #28

    BTW I am having a few problems with my Internet connection, so if there are problems with the download then please let me know.

    Thanks everyone

    Brian
  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cellarman View Post
    The adapter shots clearly shows gaps and I can get away with filling them in but again why create extra work. Comments good and bad are welcome, all I am aiming to achieve is a good workflow with the adapter if possible. I need to be able to trust what I take and not have to go back and re-shoot.
    Hi Brian,

    I placed your "nadir" shot over the normal -90 deg shot. Nadir shot was rotated to match the -90 deg shot. Area other than the tripod and NN is masked. Click image for larger version

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    The attached photo shows that your need to move your tripod further away to gain more clearance for the nadir.
    The nadir shot will then have enough coverage for nadir patching. However, it will be more distorted as it is further away from center of image. You can use ptgui with the same lens parameter as the rest of images to defish the nadir shot before patching in image editing program. If the nadir shot has enough feature for control point placement, you can include the nadir shots in stitching. Just turn on viewpoint correction for the nadir shot.
    I see that a longer nadir adapter will help to provide larger clearance for nadir patching. However, it will impose more torque on NN3 lower rail and tripod (making it easier to tip over).
    Also, as shown in the attached image, removing your tripod head below NN3 will greatly reduce the nadir footprint, making my nadir adapter a more valid accessory .


    Nick
    Last edited by nick fan; 07-29-2010 at 12:09 AM.



    Fanotec
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  15. #30

    Brian, No problems with the download. I came to the same conclusions as Nick. The main problem is the overlap of the quick release adapter and the struts on the tripod that brace the legs. You might try dispensing with the quick release adapter. Increasing the sideways shift + VP correction will still be better than handheld shots in poor light conditions, when there is significant risk of blurring due to camera shake.

    John
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