I am very new in the world of panoramic photography...I own a Canon 5D mark2 and a Canon 8-15 mm fisheye lens...I bought a second hand NN5 just a few days ago and would like to know how to shoot nadir and zenith to be stitched later in the PTGUI pro...I have read somewhere that shooting these can be done handheld -but without loosing the NNP position of the lens - and this looks to be very dificult to me...Hold the camera, remove the big and heavy tripod and at the same time don't loose the no parallax point? How is this done? Any suggestions and comments are highly appreciated...
Hold the camera, remove the big and heavy tripod and at the same time don't loose the no parallax point? How is this done?
This is really not practical, but fortunately isn't usually necessary. PTGui's viewpoint correction works well enough to cope with even large departures from the NPP, and if you get reasonably close to the NPP then you certainly shouldn't have any alignment problems. Outdoors, the floor/ground may not be completely flat, in which case perfect alignment may not be achieved automatically. It might then be necessary to blend in the aligned nadir image externally in Photoshop to give the maximum control over the routing of the seam to hide the joins most effectively. Indoors, the light levels may not be high enough for hand held shots, particularly when taking bracketed shots. The camera then needs the support of the tripod. Use the Nodal Ninja nadir adapter, or see this tutorial for other techniques: http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/technical6.html .
To shoot the Zenith, you would simply pivot the pano head so the camera shoots up. Some people pivot at an angle, others shoot straight up at 90 degrees.
Shooting the Nadir can be done by pivoting the pano head so the camera shoots straight down. The purpose of a hand held (or tripod lean, or Nadir adapter) is to capture the image of the area that is covered by the pano head and tripod. Your patch shot will tie in with the Nadir shot. Since the Nadir shot was taken at the NPP, it will stitch just fine with the rest of the pano. The task then becomes how to align the patch shot with the Nadir shot. PTGui does a wonderful job with its viewpoint correction. Sometimes you have to resort to manipulating the patch shot in Photoshop either prior to or post stitching.
When shooting panoramas on my monopod, I shoot 4 shots around tilted up at 5 degrees and 1 hand held Nadir shot. I use a Sigma 8mm lens. This gives me enough overlap at the Zenith that I do not need an additional Zenith shot. Your Canon lens at 8mm may work. Since I do not own your camera or lens, I cannot speak from experience. This technique leaves a hole at the Nadir that is about 2 to 3 feet in diameter. I use a hand held patch shot since the vast majority of my monopod panoramas are in the daylight. If there is not enough light for a hand held, I leave the camera on the monopod and place the monopod on my shoulder in order to support the camera. I usually take the patch shot with the camera held about 2 feet off of the NPP but still pointed down at the ground at a point where the monopod pivoted around. This gives me a clear shot with my shadow removed. PTGui's viewpoint correction puts things to right just about every time.
Don't worry too much about taking your Nadir patch shot off of the NPP. As long as you point the center of the camera back to the pivot point on the ground directly under your tripod, you will be fine. I actually mounted a laser pointer on my camera to aid in aiming the camera when taking the patch shot. If the ground is not flat, you may have to resort to Photoshop in order to get a good blend.