www.nodalninja.com since 2004




Preset Based on Shooting Positions – MECHA C2 – Updated

For firmware version 12382 or newer.

This video is especially for those of you who have a MECHA C2 Controller and would like to quickly automate the process of shooting a simple, one-row, up to three-row, panorama. 

We are assuming that you already know how many shooting positions are needed for a row, depending on the lens you are using, and we won't go into detail on this. 

When using MECHA, automation boils down to creating a preset that you can use whenever you need to. 

Let's get started! 

You can modify an existing preset or create a new one. 

To create a new preset, find an empty option in the Preset menu, then press the plus button to enter edit mode. 

Example 1.

The first setting is also the most important in our case. "sh" stands for number of shots around (actually, it is the number of shooting positions). 

This alternates with AUTO and focal length. Use the up arrow button to find the "sh" setting, if necessary. And to adjust the value, use the minus or plus button. 

"4sh" means 4 shots around. 

The second important setting is the row tilt setting. 

You can set a tilt from -90° to +90° for each of the rows, but note that tilt 0° for rows 2 and 3 means that they will be omitted when taking photos.

So, 0° 0° 0°, means one row at 0° tilt.

If the row order is important to you, when you set it later, remember that the first tilt set here defines the middle row, the second - the down row, if negative, or the up row, if positive, and the same goes for the third one. 

You can adjust any other setting to your needs, except the settings for Mapping type and Custom overlap on width. 

These are our settings: 

T1, which means one camera trigger signal per position. 

The duration of the shutter button signal is half a second. 

The upper rail position when launching this preset must be horizontal (or Level). 

The direction of rotation is to the right.

The modifier of exposure is 1, so no effect. 

Manual focus. 

No pause for camera wake-up. 

No pause before camera trigger signals. 

1 second delay after camera trigger signals.

Row order is the third important setting. For simplicity, we recommend choosing MDU, or a three-letter value, where M stands for middle row, D - down row, and U - up row.

Next is the setting for zenith and nadir shots. "Z,N"  means one shot for zenith and one for nadir. 

Then a setting for the order in which the photos will be taken, which can be either Normal or Zigzag. 

Mapping type is Grid, and cannot be changed. 

Camera orientation - Portrait. 

Custom overlap on width cannot be changed either (it will be ignored). 

These are: Load profile, Speed (in revolutions per minute), Micro-stepping. 

This setting tells MECHA to wait after the last shot.

Finally, the crop factor, where "FF" stands for full frame.

Now you can press the center button to save the preset. 

Press this button again if you want to launch the preset. 

When the OLED display shows "Set POSITION", position the upper rail as set in the preset: horizontal (or Level), in our case. If it is in the Parked position, you can use the up and plus button combination to rotate it 90° up. Press plus quickly after pressing up. 

You can omit this step if the upper rail is already in the required position. Just press the center button to confirm. 

For a full spherical panorama, you can use an 8mm focal length fisheye lens, in this case. 

There are 4 shots around, plus one zenith shot and one nadir shot.

Here is how the stitched panorama should look like in the panorama editor. And this is the MAP featuring the overlap between images.

Example 2.

Let's see another example, modifying the preset created earlier. 

6 shots around instead of 4, a 5° tilt for the first row, and 0° for the next ones, which means they will be omitted. 

We can also omit the zenith and nadir shots.

A 12mm focal length fisheye lens can be used to create a full spherical panorama (add your logo instead of nadir photo).

Press the center button to save the preset. Next, confirm the position.

Example 3

The first row, at a tilt of -30°. 

Press and hold the adjustment button to speed up the adjustment.

The second, at a tilt of +30°, and the third will be omitted. 

One zenit shot, and one nadir shot. 

Use the plus or minus button to find a certain value.

The lens can be a 20mm focal length fisheye lens to create a full spherical panorama.

Press the center button to save the preset. Next, confirm the position.

Example 4.

10 shots around instead of 6, the first row at 0° tilt, the second at -45°, and the third at +45°. Zenit and nadir shots - the same as in Example 3, but the lens can be a 28-29 mm focal length rectilinear lens. 

A full spherical panorama can be created in this case as well.

Press the center button to save the preset. Next, confirm the position.

Example 5.

And one more example, changing the tilt to +20° and +60° for the second and third rows, respectively. 

Increase the value by pressing the plus button. 

Decrease the value by pressing the minus button.

This means we have one row at 0° tilt, and two up rows. So, no down rows.

We can also omit the zenith and nadir shots.

The lens can be as in Example 4, a 28-29 mm focal length rectilinear lens.

Press the center button to save the preset. Next, confirm the position.

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