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  • finding Nodal point

    Wondering if there is a chart for setting for different camera lens set ups. I have a nodal ninja 3ii. One camera i need settings for D850 with Tamaron 15-30 2.8. I also need settings for a D7000 with Nikon 10-24 3.5. If anyone is using these set ups and have the settings I would be grateful. I am struggling finding on my own.. Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by TonyM View Post
    Wondering if there is a chart for setting for different camera lens set ups. I have a nodal ninja 3ii. One camera i need settings for D850 with Tamaron 15-30 2.8. I also need settings for a D7000 with Nikon 10-24 3.5. If anyone is using these set ups and have the settings I would be grateful. I am struggling finding on my own.. Thanks
    Hi Tony

    Such databases have existed in the past but were often full of errors, approximation ! It's always better to search Nodal Point for your specific camera/lens combination by yourself. It's not a complicated process (it's fully documented in the NN3 documentation: http://www.nodalninja.com/Manuals/NN3_USER_MANUAL.pdf). This way you'll "loose" few minutes to find a good nodal point instead of using generic settings. The few minutes "lost" in the process will be a big time saver for stitching pictures (more nodal point setup is done correctly on head, easier goes the stiching process).
    Side note: more objects are narrow of camera more nodal point setup has to be accurate ! If you are shooting a panorama in a bathroom you'll need a perfect nodal point setup ! If you shoot at top of Mont Blanc, an approximate nodal point won't be a problem ;)
    Retired Nodal Ninja Distributor
    Blog: http://www.skivr.com

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    • #3
      Hello Tony,

      The Nodal Point is related to the lens so the camera body is not relevant, and as Vincen states, is a matter of scale - the closer the subject the more accurately you need to establish it.

      There are various ways of determining the Nodal Point (No Parallax Point - NPP) as shown on:
      https://www.panoramic-photo-guide.co.uk/finding-the-nodal-point.html
      http://www.hugh360.co.uk/measurement/finding-the-nodal-point-of-a-lens/ (A simple method ...)
      http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Locate%20point%20nodal.html
      https://www.red-door.co.uk/pages/productpages/nodal-ninja-parallax-nodal-point.html
      Basically lining up two objects so they are still in line when rotating the camera left and right.

      Note that the NPP changes as you change the focal length of a zoom lens so you really need to decide what focal length you are going to use and find the NPP for that focal length.
      Looking towards the bottom of http://www.hugh360.co.uk/measurement/finding-the-nodal-point-of-a-lens/ will show you examples of the NPP for various lenses.
      It also changes with the focus, but wide angle lenses, especially fisheye, have such a large depth of field that the the lens can be set to one focus (usually infinity) and locked there using electrical tape or similar.

      Feel free to post further questions.

      Hope this helps, Hugh.
      Last edited by Hugh; June 4th, 2019, 01:57 AM.

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      • #4
        Thank you for the responses. I see what your points are here. I have not done a pano for some time and remember last time struggling with the manual set up. The focal point issue makes total sense and is something that was not brought to reason last time. I shoot real estate but very seldom get requests for panos. So if I understand correctly, the set up just needs consistency with the FOCAL LENGTH but does not matter how far away your FOCUS Point is? Does it matter how far away the vertical lines are away when setting up? Obviously I will be shooting wide, probably 12-14mm F11 so focus is not usually a concern. Side note... I am dyslexic so videos are by far my best learning tool. Thank you again! Tony

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        • #5
          From your message I guess that you will be shooting in rooms so I would suggest shooting at the widest angle to minimize the number of shots (i.e. 12 mm with the Nikon 12-24 mm on the D7000 and 15 mm with the Tamron 15-30 mm on the D850) and choosing the camera/lens that gives you the least amount of shots.
          You could try the Nikon 12-24 on the D850 as this will probably give you the least number of shots.

          As you will be at f11 I would suggest keeping the lens focused at infinity.

          It should not matter how far away the vertical lines (room corners?) are away when setting up, although I would try and get as central as possible, but this is not always achievable.
          I shoot with a D800 and Nikon 10.5 mm lens and have been in some quite small rooms such as the bathroom in Lantern House (http://360hugh.co.uk/panormas/proper...se-ilfracombe/).

          Note that once you have found the NPP for the Nikon 12-24 at 12 mm it will be the same for both bodies.

          I have noticed you comment about video and you could try looking at these:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJZE1NaeXGI
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxUHDwqicXk

          If you look at the last item on http://www.hugh360.co.uk/measurement...int-of-a-lens/ you will see a diagram for a Sigma 12-24 mm at 12 mm so this should give you a good guide to where the NPP will be at 12 mm on the Nikon 12-24 mm.

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          • #6
            Why is it necessary to "minimize the number of shots" and to choose a "camera/lens that gives you the least amount of shots"? Is it not true that the wider the lens the more corrections that will have to be made in editing? Wouldn't a high quality 35mm lens on the D850 serve one better even though you had to make more frames to cover the same amount of ground as a super wide?

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            • #7
              It is not "necessary to "minimize the number of shots" and to choose a "camera/lens that gives you the least amount of shots".
              You are free to chose whatever lens and body you wish and your choice will depend what you wish to achieve.
              If you wish to create a gigapan with a high resolution Equirectangular (panorama) then you would select a prime lens rather than a fisheye, but if the end result is destined for the Internet say on Google maps or a web site with a resolution of say 13,000 x 6,500 or maybe less (or maybe even a lot less) is acceptable then keeping the number of shots to a minimum by using a fisheye lens produces the desired result.

              " Is it not true that the wider the lens the more corrections that will have to be made in editing?"
              Yes, the distortion with a fisheye lens, particularly barrel distortion, is large and not uniform but If you are stitching the images in say PTGui or similar then the stitching software is doing the work for you so this is not an issue. The more shots you have the more work your stitching software will have to do, the more power you will need on your computer, the more the light will change during the shoot and the chances of getting image overlap with little or no detail for Control Point generation increases.

              "Wouldn't a high quality 35mm lens on the D850 serve one better even though you had to make more frames to cover the same amount of ground as a super wide?"
              Sure, but as said it depends on what you wish to achieve and also what budget you have.

              Using a Nikon 10.5mm or Samyang 8mm on an FX body I can get a good overlap for Control Point generation with 4 shots round and a handheld Nadia shot and with 6 shots round some 50% overlap with plenty of scope for masking out movement as well as excellent Control Point generating, resulting in an Equirectangular in excess of 13,000 x 6,500 and if I create a Tour for publication in WordPress I usually have to reduce this considerably.
              Also I can shoot with a single row head (i.e. R1).

              Using a prime 35mm lens on an FX body will result in a higher resolution Equirectangular but requires shooting multi row with many more shots round (something like 20 to get a 50% overlap) so if you need this resolution then go for it.

              In this case, Tony already had the camera bodies and lenses so I was working on that basis, but the choice is yours.

              There are some amazing gigapans shot with prime lenses much longer than 35mm and these require a lot of time, patience and computing power.


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              • #8
                When you don't know something, the best way to find out is ask someone who does. I was not trying to be a wise guy or facetious with the questioning- I simply do not know and I thought that you would. So, I appreciate you taking the time to explain in detail your insight. I do have top notch glass and a D850 to mount them on, thankfully. But what I lack is dedicated panoramic software. My goals are more to printing high quality prints and not display on social media or websites. So I can in certain circumstances(I think) make use of the Zeiss Milvus 35mm combined with the D850 and produce files of very high quality for printing. It will certainly take longer and more frames to do the same thing as the 10.5 mm. I'm sure there are many other considerations as well and I will find those out as I go along. I look forward to learning more from you and others. Thanks again. You can see my very first image with the new setup in the photo gallery section of this forum. Title: First Impressions with the Milvus 35mm.

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                • #9
                  I did not think that you were trying to be a wise guy or facetious so have tried to answer your questions as well as I could.
                  It is sometimes difficult to actually work out how to answer questions without seeing the person face to face and now that you have said that your goal is to print high quality prints, and you have the equipment to do it, then this has to be the way forward for you.
                  My interest is in full spherical panoramas where PTGui does a great job in stitching the images and the lens distortions are coped with by the software,but I am also interested in using "off the shelf" cameras and lenses for measurement and for this distortions are a challenge and totally agree that for your application the least amount of distortion the better so a first class prime lens, such as you have, is in my opinion a good choice.
                  Also, for your application you are not going to need the large number of images required for producing a spherical panorama.
                  I have looked at your post "First Impressions with the Milvus 35mm" and it is not just impressive, but stunning.

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                  • #10
                    Well thank you very much for that kind complement of the bedroom image. I enjoy very much interior and architectural photography, though I haven't done as much of it as I desire or intend to do. Now that I have the Panoramic head all I need is time.
                    I recently photographed an early morning scene of a bridge and dock that took seven portrait oriented frames to cover with the 35mm. On two different sets of those images the software would only use five frames and gave some message to the effect that the others could not be stitched. I am using Lightroom CC to stitch the pano and thought that might be the problem. Both fails in each attempt came from the same side of the frame(right). It was a long exposure(2 seconds) and there was clouds in the sky on that side. I shot other seven frame sequences from a different angle that stitched just fine. My question to you is, do you think that the PTGui software handles all panoramic shots better than Lightroom does? I'm interested in any thoughts you might have concerning any of this that you're willing to share.

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                    • #11
                      I use PTGui for stitch both 360 panoramas and panoramas like your shoot where I turn the camera into portrait mode and shoot from left to right.
                      I get a 50% overlap by moving the camera so that the centre of the image is moved to the left side for the next and PTGui handles this well.
                      I am not sure if 50% is necessary, but this is derived from my photogrammetry experience, but guess your overlap will be set using the settings on the head.
                      Yes, I would suggest seeing if PTGui meets your needs.
                      You can download the full software for evaluation free and then if it suits you can purchase it to get rid of the watermarks.
                      I don't use Lightroom so cannot give you a comparison, but can help you with PTGui if necessary, but hopefully you will find it intuitive.

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                      • #12
                        I know that you can set the overlap with the settings on the head of the M2 but I have yet to figure all that out. Thus far, I just overlap about one third the previous frame. I appreciate the offer to help with using PTGui in the future. I will probably purchase it soon. One other thought comes to mind with your mention of shooting from left to right. I remember that with the sequence I mentioned earlier that did not use all seven images, they were rotated from right to left. I don't know why that would matter but maybe it does? In any event, I appreciate your input and my ego doesn't mind learning anything from anyone. The fellow that knows everything knows nothing as he should.

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                        • #13
                          PTGui doesn't seem to mind if you shoot from right to left or left to right, but what I would say is that all the fittings (M2 to Rotator, Rotator to Tripod) are usually clockwise and I have found that sometimes if you turn anticlockwise something will start to unscrew which spoils the interval.
                          The amount of overlap seems to depend on who is talking about it and one third is plenty for Control Point generation PTGui.
                          You will need PTGui Pro to get the best out of it and this has a useful Mask option so if there is movement between shots (e.g. leaves) you may wish to aim for half.

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