'Giga pixel' pano question

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  1. 'Giga pixel' pano question

    #1

    Hi folks

    I've been tinkering with hi res multi shot, multi row panos and would like some advice.

    I have a NN5 which obviously allows rotation and tilting but it's not the most robust platform for big lenses like a 70-200 f2.8 or 300 f4. I have long Arca lens plates to allow me to move the lens further back on the upper rail but that introduces more flex in the system.

    Naturally I could just use the lower rail for more stability but what about tilting for multi rows?

    Full Gimbal heads like Wimberly will be strong enough but won't have the precision. A Gigapan epic pro would do everything but I don't want to buy one for what is just a hobby.

    Any recommendations on beefing up what I currently have?

    Thanks
  2. #2
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,733

    Hi,

    I used and still use my NN5 for D3 and big boy lenses like 14-24, 24-70, 70-200mm lens. NN5 does the job. The only tricky lens is the 70-200mm concerning the settings. I use CP-2 in the front socket of the lens collar towards the lens cap. Always use the lens collar in case your lens has one. This will keep camera lens combination in balance. Because 70-200/f2.8 VR has the "NPP" @ zoom 200 behind! the sensor plane, you have to swap the upper rail to the front from zoom 105mm onwards. So the upper rail shows to the front in place of showing towards you as normally.

    What is the benefit of NN5: you already have it at home. The upper rotator has 2.5° minimum manual pitch settings. Total weight is lower than M1-L.

    What is the alternative: M1-L with two MFR210mm rails. Upper rotator has fixed detend steps of 7.5°, that can not be changed manually. More stable but more weight. You use MFR210 screwed to lens collar and place this directly in the upper rotators clamp and slide it to NPP settings. Benefit: rails and RD16 Rotator can be used on upgraded new models which are in development.

    Concerning Gigapan Epic Pro is a lot of weight, specially when you have to walk a while. I would not buy it again. It is really slow. You are much quicker to shoot the Giga with NN5 compared to Giga Pan Epic Pro. This will help in windy conditions to avoid much stitching errors in clouds or waves in the sea.

    Hope this helps a little bit,
    feel free to ask,
    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 10-15-2012 at 10:30 AM.
  3. #3

    Thanks Heinz for the reply.

    I'm a Canon shooter and my 70-200 and 300 have lens collars, to which I have Arca lens plates. My 5D and 7D bodies have L brackets.

    There's definitely a lot of flex in the rails which worries me a bit, hence the question about using a gimbal head. Provided exposures are 1/30th sec and above there shouldn't be too much wobble.

    You've obviously had success with your NN5 so I shall continue to experiment.

    I've had a look a round but can't find NPP settings for longer focal lengths. Being very lazy, has someone got these published anywhere?

    Mike
  4. #4
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,733

    Mike,

    Your first look should go to wikidatabase: http://wiki.panotools.org/Entrance_Pupil_Database

    Take L1 for your camera bodies, and add L2. Then you get NPP for URS. You are lucky, somebody has tested Canon 70 -200mm.

    Heinz

    Gigapixel is not the favorite goal to shoot panos for everybody. Takes a lot of time to shoot, to stitch and some big memory cards etc.
  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by hindenhaag View Post
    Mike,

    Your first look should go to wikidatabase: http://wiki.panotools.org/Entrance_Pupil_Database

    Take L1 for your camera bodies, and add L2. Then you get NPP for URS. You are lucky, somebody has tested Canon 70 -200mm.

    Heinz

    Gigapixel is not the favorite goal to shoot panos for everybody. Takes a lot of time to shoot, to stitch and some big memory cards etc.
    Thanks Heinz

    You beat me to it as I found those 70-200mm settings 5 mins after my post! A quick test this morning indicates I can use a long arca lens plate and still have the upper arm in the 'correct' position. A photo will make this obvious.

    Now I'll have to do some tests with the 300mm to establish the npp and rail settings.
  6. #6
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,365

    Quote Originally Posted by M1ke_a View Post
    Hi folks

    I've been tinkering with hi res multi shot, multi row panos and would like some advice.

    I have a NN5 which obviously allows rotation and tilting but it's not the most robust platform for big lenses like a 70-200 f2.8 or 300 f4. I have long Arca lens plates to allow me to move the lens further back on the upper rail but that introduces more flex in the system.

    Naturally I could just use the lower rail for more stability but what about tilting for multi rows?

    Full Gimbal heads like Wimberly will be strong enough but won't have the precision. A Gigapan epic pro would do everything but I don't want to buy one for what is just a hobby.

    Any recommendations on beefing up what I currently have?

    Thanks
    what kind of scene you are taking? for focal length at 200mm, you may ignore the NPP and place the rig at the center of gravity. you can find some near and far objects in your scene and take 2 pictures placing them at the seam. Then compare the pictures to see if any parallax is there.

    Nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by M1ke_a View Post
    Hi folks I've been tinkering with hi res multi shot, multi row panos and would like some advice. I have a NN5 which obviously allows rotation and tilting but it's not the most robust platform for big lenses like a 70-200 f2.8 or 300 f4. I have long Arca lens plates to allow me to move the lens further back on the upper rail but that introduces more flex in the system. Naturally I could just use the lower rail for more stability but what about tilting for multi rows? Full Gimbal heads like Wimberly will be strong enough but won't have the precision. A Gigapan epic pro would do everything but I don't want to buy one for what is just a hobby. Any recommendations on beefing up what I currently have? Thanks
    Hi M1ke_a,
    Before M1L and NN4 I was using NN5 for many of my gigapixel images. I also use Epic Pro but much rather shoot with manual head.
    This gigapixel image was shot using D3X w/ 70-200mm lens @ 200mm. I mounted using lens collar and at the time the older style camera plate (CP1x).
    http://gigapan.com/gigapans/43961/
    This was a smaller shoot - only 320 images in total (64 columns by 5 rows) and took 13 minutes to complete. Because of the added weight and torque on the upper rail the assembly actually tilted about 2 degrees. I compensated by using small coin as shim under the vertical rail foot. The system wasn't very stable but still doable. Holding onto the camera and lens during rotation actually aided in reducing time by not having to let the lens settle into position at each movement like with the Epic Pro.

    I also did same location gigapixel image at 400mm (2x tele) which was 10+GB and composed of 1067 images (97 columns by 11 rows). There was so much dust on the sensor (twice as much as the 200mm image) that it's not worthy of posting but proved it's still doable.

    Point here is it is very easy to shoot gigapixel images with Nodal Ninja's.
    The NN3 allows you to shoot gigapixel images using compact cameras with zoom.
    The NN4 is more robust than NN5 with slightly shorter rails and good for lenses up to 100mm (due to upper rotator 15 degree stops).
    The M1-L is even stronger yet and with upper rotator having 7.5 degree stops you can shoot up to 200mm.
    The NN5, even though is still doable at faster shutter speeds, is really is not recommended when using longer and heavier lens as you will encounter the same issues I did.

    Hope this helps.

    Bill
  8. #8

    Thanks for the replies guys

    I've only been doing 40 - 80 shot tests of landscapes so they're nothing compared to what Bill has posted!

    I have however discovered that anything below 1/60th introduces too much vibration and that I really haven't got to grips with focusing at different points within the scene!

    Unfortunately the weather here in the UK at the moment is miserable so I'll have to wait to experiment more. I also have the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro which will be lighter on the system.
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