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  • Leveler needed?

    Hi there! I'm new to the pano world and recently ordered the NN3 to do panoramas for the organization I work for. It's been a pleasure so far using the NN3, but I do have some occasional troubles that I believe the EZ leveler might fix. My problem is this: Occasionally, my panos will look level at one perspective, but, as I pan around the image, the horizon in the shot tilts. Continue panning and it might level back out, then tilt again before arriving back at the beginning of the image.

    I think my issue might be the tripod I'm using (photo attached). I was told that the NN3 would work with any tripod, but I see most panographers using what looks to be a tripod without a head that pans and tilts. My tripod head has a bubble level, but so does the NN3. Before I begin shooting, I try to make sure both bubbles are level (prioritizing the NN3 bubble), but I notice the NN3 bubble moves from center as I move the camera around the scene.

    Will an EZ leveler correct the issue I'm having?

    As you can imagine, the tripod I'm using also makes for a messy situation with editing out the nadir. Any helpful tips for minimizing that would be helpful.

    Thank you,

    Zach
    This is (generally) how my NN3 sits on my tripod. I needed to mock it for the purposes of this photo. There would be a plate mounted to the bottom of the NN3.

  • #2
    EZ leveler is good to have but not a must.
    Use tripod with smaller shoulder and head will help to reduce the nadir footprint.
    Nick
    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.

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    • #3
      Hey Zach - welcome to the forum.
      The bubble level on the pano head is the most important level and the one you should reference. Once level your good to go for the sequence of shooting. If you find minor bubble drift during rotation it is not a concern and stitching software should allow for any horizontal adjustments. What you do not want to do is re-level every shot as this will affect the results.

      All pano heads use 3/8 male thread and we include a 3/8 to 1/4 thread adapter which will allow mounting onto all photography tripods and ball head mounts. Some will use a ball head to level (mounting quick release plate to the base of pano head), some will mount the pano head directly to the top of a tripod and adjust legs in and out to level. If you shoot outdoors or on uneven surfaces, a ball head is certainly preferred. Some inexpensive ball heads may be a little jerky when trying to level. So depending on your final set up if you find leveling a challenge the EZ-Leveler-II will certainly aid in fine-tuning your level but as Nick said is not a must-have item but will make fine-tuning your level easier.

      Also the tripod you show has a pan/tilt handle. This should be removed if using a fisheye lens when shooting your panorama. The FOV of fisheye lenses may be just that the handle will show up in the completed sequence. Here is a top-selling tripod on Amazon that won't break the bank - K&F Concept 62'' DSLR Tripod. Independently moving legs, ball head, and a quick release mount as well as being small and lightweight.

      Hope this helps - let us know how you go.

      Best

      Bill
      Nodal Ninja - "turning heads"

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Zach,

        What software are you using to stitch your images?
        I use PTGui to stitch the images and the horizon can be straightened with this software, although I am sure there are other solutions.
        Sometimes when I stitch images I get the same problem,even with the NN3 bubble not moving very much, which could be down to a number of things including Control Point generation.
        If you are using PTGui have a look at this link:
        https://www.ptgui.com/man/straighten.html
        Also, if you are using PTGui and wish to ask further questions, please feel free to do so here or contact me by my contact form on 360hugh.co.uk so I can look at your images and make suggestions.

        As both Nick and Bill have stated, the bubble moving a little as you pan around should not be a problem and I experience the same thing with my NN3 and agree with their good advice.

        As Bill says, I hope this helps and please let us know if you have more questions, Hugh.

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        • #5
          Thanks, guys, for your replies. I'll pay closest attention to the bubble level on my NN3 and won't concern myself too much if it drifts minimally. Bill, is there anything I should do if I notice my NN3's bubble drifting significantly? I also took a pano I was having issues with and was able to straighten it out nicely with the straighten tool in PTGui. Appreciate your help, guys!! I'll keep you posted on how I get on. :D

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          • #6
            Originally posted by zmcnulty View Post
            Thanks, guys, for your replies. I'll pay closest attention to the bubble level on my NN3 and won't concern myself too much if it drifts minimally. Bill, is there anything I should do if I notice my NN3's bubble drifting significantly? I also took a pano I was having issues with and was able to straighten it out nicely with the straighten tool in PTGui. Appreciate your help, guys!! I'll keep you posted on how I get on. :D
            Assuming the tripod and center column are stable. The bubble should remain inside the black circle if you center it properly. Read the bubble in 90 degree directions to eliminate any reading error.
            Fanotec
            We listen. We try harder.

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            • #7
              Don't be too concerned with the bubble drifting.

              As a retired Land Surveyor / Civil Engineer getting things absolutely level is in my DNA.
              (When measuring angles to one second of arc with a theodolite, getting it level first is crucial.)

              I use the NN 3 fitted directly to the 3/8th thread on top of a good rigid tripod and even on concrete the bubble drifts as shown in the attached photograph.
              As we rotate the camera round the NPP the centre of gravity is not through the axis of rotation and the weight of the camera is always pulling away from that.
              Any tiny movement in a tripod head will also cause the bubble to drift and the surface the tripod is set up on will also affect it (e.g. carpet).

              Use the NN3 bubble, not the tripod bubble, because you are rotating around the NN3 axis.

              Even though I take a lot of care to get the bubble centered before I start I have found that when stitching the panorama it is not always true and on some occasions I have had to work really hard to get it so it is satisfactory.
              I have made panoramas where I have had to do various things to get them to stitch level.
              Two of the techniques I have used are to rearrange the image order (i.e. delete the first image then reload it so it goes on the end) then Align images or "Delete All Control Points" then "Generate Control Points for all overlapping images" (Ctrl+Alt+J).
              Sometimes the problem is caused by Control Point(s), which are not far enough wrong to be found with "Delete Worst Control Points" (Ctrl+Shift+W) such as on clouds or moving leaves.
              I have panoramas that have stitched not level and found that starting again it worked fine, so without spending a lot of time trying to work out why I have done various things to get the result I want.
              Sometimes it is just deleting Control Points from the sky or vegetation.

              Over the years I have had panoramas not stitch level and have not been able to understand why, but it is not because the bubble has drifted and probably more to do with the way the software starts off.

              If you would like me to look at your work and offer suggestions (if I can) then contact me through my Contacts page on 360hugh.co.uk

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