Upper rail settings with D800
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  1. Upper rail settings with D800

    #1
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Posts: 58

    Just experienced something wierd - I went through finding the upper rail lens settings for Nikon's 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 70-300 and 80-400 on my new D800. I used each mm setting on each lens, a total 27 setting checks. I used Live View and aligned on two objects - one near, one far. When necessary I magnified the image in the LCD. I moved the camera from side to side viewing the relationship of the obejcts at the left and right edges of the LCD to verify there was no change in that relatioinship; I went from side to side more than once each time. The upper rail setting of 14.2 was the same for all lenses and mm's. Somehow this just doesn't seem right but I am confident I did it right. Greatly appreciate any comments; I know I have to make some panoramas to see if there are any parallex errors but thought I'd ask before going through the exercise of making 27 panoramas.
  2. #2
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    Hi Bob,

    I cannot believe this is true.

    I have tested 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, and a lot of other lenses on different bodies, specially on D3 and D700. They did not have the same entrance pupil and same URS. Live view is a first step to come close to the right setting. But to be sure, I use a shot straight forward, then move to the right for example, import into PS, and compare the reference point position in PS. Turning clockwise and the reference point moves to the opposite direction, you have to move forward on the upper rail. In case your reference point follows your moving direction but does not stand still, move backwards.

    Plus: some lenses like 70-200 or 18-200 make "problems" close to zoom settings @105 for example. On NN5 you had to turn over the upper rail forward to get the right URS. Sometimes NPP is behind the sensor. Strange but this often happens. You will find the sensor mark on top of your camera body. So do not be afraid of moving the camera forward behind the turning point of the upper rotator from viewpoint view. Sometimes NPP is directly on the rotator and you can not reach this point with NN3 - NN4/5. Happy to use an M1.

    Specially 14-24 was tricky to find the right settings. You might contact Vincen at www.skivr, but I am quite sure he reads this thread and answers. He owns a D800 and shoots with 14-24 et al.

    John's advice to be sure about the URS is to place the reference points in the area of overlap and stitch a pano. Correct John? Do I remember well?

    Longer focal lenses need much room to test NPP for URS. The reference points have to be placed in longer distances to the tripod. Specially the second one.

    I personally do my first check up inside with a special created reference device with a rectilinear gap and use a red yellow board as second reference. I use clockwise and counterclockwise movements to find URS. Often you find clockwise movement is ok, but counterclockwise moves. I adapt URS till both are in same place. Controlled in layered PS shots.

    Plus, sorry to ask about it, did you check your LRS with Smooth's method? Before I go out shooting Panos, as a hobby not to earn my living, I try to be sure about my settings.

    You know about focussing problems of D800? Seems to be that the sensor of D800 does not focus regularly. As far as I understood all Nikon Rumors comments, there might a problem with the sensor with different focussing from left to right. Might be you should contact Nikon Pro Service to check your body. Camera body of course..they use a software to adapt the different focussing infos of the sensor and correct this problem.

    Vincen has send us a lot of glamorous panos with D3 and 14-24, but did not feel to be confident with his first D800 Panos compared with the same lens. They seemed not to be very sharp. I was disappointed too. A very short depth of field to get an unsharp pic further away.

    Hope this helps a little bit, feel free to ask, may be you get some answer from the lucky D800 owners.

    Before I would step out to shoot this amount of panos, I really would try to be sure about LRS and URS for each lens and zoom setting. Because a different zoom setting will change URS as well.

    Plus to all of us: check the highest ISO without noise with every single lens. This will help us to raise ISO at the sight to get shorter shutter speed to avoid ghosts for example or moving waves or trees, cars and people in busy places.

    Success,
    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 08-29-2012 at 11:31 AM.
  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by hindenhaag View Post
    John's advice to be sure about the URS is to place the reference points in the area of overlap and stitch a pano. Correct John? Do I remember well?
    Heinz, Yes, you remember it well. I would recommend having the two reference objects as far apart as possible. Use something near to infinity at the rear - remember that two objects in your room are BOTH subject to parallax effects. The near object can be quite close and out of focus even at f/22 or f/32. By stitching together two images with control points only on the background, you will still be able to discern the parallax shift of the near fuzzy object against the sharp background when you switch between the images in a layered output PSD file in Photoshop.

    John
  4. #4
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    Join Date: Aug 2008
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    Thx John,

    I was quite sure you were watching in the background as you do in different forums. Thx again for all your basic advice to all of us.

    Do we meet you in The Hague in two weeks time at the meeting?

    Would be really great to meet you personally.

    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 08-29-2012 at 11:40 AM.
  5. #5

    Heinz, No, I'm afraid I shall not be seeing you in at the PanoTools meeting. It would have been delightful to meet you, Bill and Nick but it's not to be. And no T-shirt for me this year!
    John
  6. #6
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    Join Date: Apr 2011
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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    John, Heniz
    I also have a hard time believing what my eyes saw - that's why I asked.
    My object was two upright metal clothes poles - the closest being black at 66 feet from me. The second being silver at 72 feet from me. I positioned so that approximately 1/2 of the back, silver pole appeared to the right of the front, black pole, the other half hidden behind the front pole. I was in Live View and I magnified the image so that it was large enough to see comfortably. I focused on the front pole. D800 focus issues, which I understood to have affected only the left, - I have the latest firmware upgrade which is supposed to have corrected that; in addition just got it back from Nikon because the Mirror Lock Up was not functioning - my dealer also specified a general check up to be made.
    When I did these I did not shoot any images. What I think I'll do is to make a panorama at the minimum and maximun mm for each lens - two rows of three images each down the row of the back yards in my neighborhood - that way I have both near and far objects - does this seem a reasonable test to you? Given I've got it wrong, parralex errors in the stitching should show up.
    And thanks, I really appreciate your thoughts
    Bob
  7. #7

    Bob, Can you not find anything closer than 66 feet away? 4 feet would be fine. I use a strip of sticky tape on a window looking out onto a distant scene. The far object should be the furthest away thing you can see. Set the focus as you would for a panorama, not on the near object. (See part 4 of this guide: http://www.johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm ).

    John
    Last edited by John Houghton; 08-30-2012 at 11:38 AM.
  8. #8

    Hello Bob,

    I would suggest that your objects are too close together and too far away.
    In my opinion, one object should be close to the camera (even if it is not in too good focus) and the other some distance away as in my simple method:
    http://www.hugha.co.uk/NodalPoint/In...simple_method_...
    Would you agree John?

    One useful method is to sticks a small piece of tape on a window and line up with a feature some distance away.

    Oh! I have just checked back to make sure I was answering the question correctly when I noticed John has pipped me to the post with the same suggestion, so there you go Bob stick a bit of tape on the window!

    All the best, Hugh.
  9. #9
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    John, Hugh
    Easy enough to do - I'll set the closest at the furtherest minimum focus distance of all my lens and I'll find something else at least 100 feet from that.
    Again, thanks
  10. #10
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    Join Date: Apr 2011
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    John, Heinz, Hugh

    (I had a nice reply all typed out - finger hit something and everything gone -frustrating! Starting over)

    Went back and did the settings over - as you knew, I found that what I had done was wrong.

    First time I used the camera's Live View enlarged with neighborhood objects - fence posts, telephone poles, sides of buildings, etc. Can't use a tape on a window as the windows of our house, front and back, look out into live Magnolioa trees and there is no vista.
    This time I took my laptop outside and tethered my camera to it using Nikon's ControlPro. I made my own close object - a 1/8th inch brass rod with one end ground to a point, set in a stand.
    I used your procedure, John, in combination with Really Right Stuff's published instruction. Biggest problem I had to overcome is when I focused on the far object the near object was a blur and vice versa. I think I found reasonable compromise however.
    I did find different settings for each lens, however I found only one setting for a lens regardless of the zoom level - for instance, the setting for the 24-70 is 10.7 regardles of the zoom. Do you think I need to go back again?

    Here is what I have so far (still have my 70-200 and 80-400 to do):
    16mm - 11.8
    14-24 - 17
    24-70 - 10.7
    70-300 - 14.3

    Lower rail for the D800
    Without the battery grip - 15.8
    With the battery grip - 19.1 - BUT I have to recheck this

    Yesterday made a 360-180 with the 16mm - to my eye it looks perfect found no stitching error at all (I use the FPSViewer). Only problem I had was, for me, the usual checkerboard hole when I added the Nadir patch shot (I use PTGui Pro - latest version). Was able to move the bottom crop up and get rid of it.

    I intend to shave my 10.5 fisheye - should I find its setting before I do so?

    Gentlemen, again many thanks. I always appreciate and value your comments and suggestions

    Bob
    Last edited by BaltimoreBob; 09-13-2012 at 11:09 AM.
  11. #11

    Hello Bob,

    I sympathies with you as I too have spent time writing a nice message only to hit the wrong button and lose everything!
    I am interested that your 24-70 is 10.7 regardless of the zoom and would suggest that you do not have to go back again.
    Unfortunately different lenses behave very differently so what is right for one lens is different for another.
    The acid test is if your panoramas stitch good, which is where you have succeeded.
    If you cannot find stitching errors in your panorama then the set up is right, or at least within tolerance.
    The accuracy with which you have to set up the camera/lens is one of scale - i.e. the closer the subject matter the more accurate the settings have to be.
    I agree that having an object close to the camera and one far away does present a focusing problem, but the key is to be able to identify the subjects sufficiently to line them up.
    I like your 1/8th inch brass rod with one end ground to a point, set in a stand.
    When I used this method I used a 10mm dowel some 7m (23ft) from the camera as my near point and a feature some 200m (650ft) away from the camera as my far point so that focus was not too much of an issue.
    Shaving the Nikon 10.5mm lens will not effect the location of the NNP as the Entrance Pupil is the same whether the lens hood is in place or not.
    I use my Nikon 10.5mm with the gold ring coincident with the vertical axis of rotation and it works just fine, PTGui always give me a "very good" when I run the Optimizer and I find no stitching errors.
    Finding the NNP for such lenses has to be a compromise as the Entrance Pupil depends on the angle of entry of the light ray.
    http://www.hugha.co.uk/NodalPoint/Index.htm
    Looking out onto live Magnolia trees both front and back must be quite stunning when they are in bloom!
  12. #12
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    Interesting result - tested my 24-70 at both 24mm and 70mm . Made a pano consisting of 2 rows, 5 images each row. Scene was down the back yards of the neighborhood - had plenty of near and far objects - cars, trees, fences, houses, clothes lines with sheets hanging, whatever.
    PTGui put the pano together rapidly - had two stitching errors in the overlap of the third top and bottom row images - and only at the overlap - the error did NOT extend to either the top or bottom of the image.
    I made two new panos - one of each row individually and neither had a stitching error - just the overlap. First row was at 0, second row was elevated 15 - plenty of overlap, maybe too much???
  13. #13

    Quote Originally Posted by BaltimoreBob View Post
    I used your procedure, John, in combination with Really Right Stuff's published instruction. Biggest problem I had to overcome is when I focused on the far object the near object was a blur and vice versa.
    You need to stop down the lens to the smallest aperture. With the rod or tape 1m away, it should then be sufficiently in focus. If you are using live view, you need to press the dof button (though possibly it may only operate with the lens at maximum aperture). If you take two shots as for a panorama and stitch them together to a layered PSD file, you will be able to see any shift clearly even with a blurred rod (as in my tutorial).
    .
    I did find different settings for each lens, however I found only one setting for a lens regardless of the zoom level - for instance, the setting for the 24-70 is 10.7 regardles of the zoom.
    This is quite possible. What matters is the behaviour of the entrance pupil as you zoom. If the entrance pupil remains in a fixed position while the lens elements zoom about, then the NPP setting will not change. This is very easy to check. Set the aperture to f/22, say, and point the back of the camera towards a light source. Press the depth of field button to stop the lens down, and look into the lens with your two eyes. You will be able to readily judge the position of the bright disc (the entrance pupil) as you vary the zoom setting. Does it move or not?
    .
    Note that the entrance pupil is located at the position of the virtual image of the limiting aperture formed by the lens elements in front of the aperture. The limiting aperture is normally the hole in the diaphragm (the iris), but with the lens wide open the limiting aperture may well shift to another part of the lens structure, which might remain fixed in position regardless of zoom.
    .
    John
  14. #14
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    John
    Thanks - what you provided is a good double check.

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