new Panorama equipment to buy - comments pls  

In the panorama field, hardware is also part of the success. You can discuss here about it: camera, computer, pano head, anything
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new Panorama equipment to buy - comments pls

by Anna » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:45 am

I'm about to upgrade my panoramic equipment totally.
I've been searching quite a lot, and here is what I came up with.
Any comment if this is a good buy would be appreciated a lot!

Two different scenarios:
1. High res and/or HDR, for landscapes and non moving sceneries
2. sceneries with people: few photos with good res

Camera:
Canon 5d Mark II
Lenses:
Samyang 8mm (3 shots) (shave it)
Canon 50mm Ef 1.4

Motorized head:
Merlin, bluetooth adapter, Akku + charger and connector, L-Bracket, some cables
- does this all go together with the camera, do I need more, and:
Do I need to modify the Merlin?

As for the motorized head: I'm wondering why the kit sold by kolor is more expensive than if I buy the same elements at teleskop austria = I calculate around 400 € with teleskop austria compared to 500 € with kolor. – well, probably I miss something?

Thx
Anna

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by klausesser » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:38 pm

Anna wrote:Canon 5d Mark II
Lenses:
Samyang 8mm (3 shots) (shave it)
Canon 50mm Ef 1.4
Motorized head:
Merlin, bluetooth adapter, Akku + charger and connector, L-Bracket, some cables
- does this all go together with the camera, do I need more, and:
Do I need to modify the Merlin?

An 8mm on a fullframe and a Merlin is not a good idea i mean. The Merlin´s base is huge so you have to shoot an extra Nadir anyway - as well as you have to make using a 15mm fisheye, but you get a lot more resolution with the 15mm.

I don´t use my Merlin with the fisheye - no need for that.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Anna » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:01 pm

thanks, very interesting, means you don't shoot with the fisheye motorized at all? You shoot sceneries with people with the 15mm, moving it by hand? 6 shots?

The Merlin in that case only for high res shootings. Needs modifying for the 50 mm Lense?

The Samyang isn't good on the fullframe?

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by 360pano » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:47 pm

The Samyang isn't good on the fullframe?

Think about the shaved Tokina 10-17:

http://www.360pano.de/en/tokina-sigma-nikon.html

Grtz Tobias

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by mediavets » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:33 pm

Anna wrote:thanks, very interesting, means you don't shoot with the fisheye motorized at all? You shoot sceneries with people with the 15mm, moving it by hand? 6 shots?

The Merlin in that case only for high res shootings. Needs modifying for the 50 mm Lense?

I have a number of pano heads.

I don't use a Merlin with either of my fisheye lenses either. They work OK on the Merlin with my Nikon DX body but as Klaus dsays the nadir footprint of the Merlin is relatively large, and it's as fast or faster to use a manual head when shooting so few shots.

If you wish to mount your camera/lens at the No Parallax Point (NPP) in portrait orientation on an unmodified Merlin then you can only do that if the dimension from the base of the camera to the centre of the lens mount is 40mm or less, and the diameter of the lens barrel is less than 80mm.

If either dimension is greater than those then you will need to modify the standard dovetail mount to position camera/lens at the NPP. You'll find some pictures of various modifications made by users on this page:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback

However if shooting scenes such as distant landscapes then positioning camera/lens at the NPP is not necessary.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by mediavets » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:57 pm

Anna wrote:As for the motorized head: I'm wondering why the kit sold by kolor is more expensive than if I buy the same elements at teleskop austria = I calculate around 400 € with teleskop austria compared to 500 € with kolor. – well, probably I miss something?

Thx
Anna

Why more costly?

I guess these reasons:

1. The benefit of a single source with warranty.

2. The standard Panogear 'kit' includes some useful extras - the lithium ion batteries and adapter, and the extra rail, which are otherwise available as accessories from Kolor, SkiVR, or the maker; and a shutter cable (I think):
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?tp=Produkte&up=batt
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?tp=Produkte&up=mount

Incidentally the Panogear 'kit' is supplied with the excellent Deltawave Papymerlin Bluetooth adapter which is less expensive than that offered by Teleskop-Austria.
http://www.papymerlin.com/interface-%C3%A9lectronique

If you are happy to 'shop around' from multiple sources then, yes, you can put together a Merlin/Papywizard robotic panohead system for less than the price of the Panogear 'kit'; and that's what those of us did who assembled systems before Kolor offered the Panogear 'kit'; but make sure you are comparing like with like.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by Anna » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:32 am

Thanks a lot for your extensive replies! Yes, I come closer to what I actually need.

The Tokina, I was thinking of that one first; but then, the Samyang, and 3 shots - that's tempting!

As for the 50 mm lense: seems to be possible without modification; spherical shooting assumed, portrait mode?

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by klausesser » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:53 am

Anna wrote:Thanks a lot for your extensive replies! Yes, I come closer to what I actually need.

The Tokina, I was thinking of that one first; but then, the Samyang, and 3 shots - that's tempting!

As for the 50 mm lense: seems to be possible without modification; spherical shooting assumed, portrait mode?

You´ll have to take in account what resolution your kind of shooting needs. The Samyang may save shooting time - but you loose MUCH of the resolution your camera provides!
So you have to decide between production-speed and the visual quality of your pano . . :cool:

best, Klaus
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by Anna » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:50 pm

great help!
It's because of people moving.
I find quite helpfull information on compaarison of these lenses (samyang, tokina, nikkor on this page:
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/SAMYANG/Early%20test%20report.html
But I can't guess how big the differences in resolution are. Production will be multires tiled krpano flash.

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by mediavets » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:38 pm

Anna wrote:As for the 50 mm lense: seems to be possible without modification; spherical shooting assumed, portrait mode?

Are you talking about mounting a Canon 5DMkII with 50mm lens on a Merlin?

If so what is the dimension between the base of the camera and the centre of the lens mount on the Canon 5DMkII?

It will need to be 40mm or less if you are to mount the camera in portrait orientation at the No Parallax Point (NPP) without modifying the Merlin mount.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by klausesser » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:41 pm

Anna wrote:But I can't guess how big the differences in resolution are. Production will be multires tiled krpano flash.

My advice: always look to get at least 10000px width in exellent quality if you want a moderate (around 30°) zoom-in in high image quality. If you want a deeper zoom you should look to get 15000px or more.
It´s 6+2 shots of 21MPx each and 25% overlap.

Using a 15mm Canon FE on your 5D2 the native resolution in pixel is around 15000px width. Using a shaved 8mm FE @ three shots i think you wouldn´t get more than 5-7000px width - i can only guess . . maybe someone can tell the correct numbers.

In the end of course it´s always a question of what you want or need - no more, no less . . :cool:

Again: i suggest to use a 15mm Canon or a 16mm Nikon FE instead of an 8mm - IF you want/need very good and zoomable results.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:51 pm

mediavets wrote:
Anna wrote:As for the 50 mm lense: seems to be possible without modification; spherical shooting assumed, portrait mode?

Are you talking about mounting a Canon 5DMkII with 50mm lens on a Merlin?

If so what is the dimension between the base of the camera and the centre of the lens mount on the Canon 5DMkII?

It will need to be 40mm or less if you are to mount the camera in portrait orientation at the No Parallax Point (NPP) without modifying the Merlin mount.

For the use of my 5D2 on Merlin - regardless which lens - i needed to nag away a piece of the Merlin-original rail. The 5D2 is a bit "fatter" than a 20D so the lens went over the vertical-axisses NPP about 1 cm.
Quickly done by Josef on his machine.
(i always use portrait mode and use the dismounted L-bracket´s part).

We made the rail flatter at the part which is clamped to the Merlin-mount and left it as it was where the camera is fastened. Now the 5D2 meets both axisses NPP perfectly.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Anna » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:46 pm

omg I'm ashamed to get all this precious information here, and nothing to give back...
Firstly: So happy to have the guessed numbers for the different Focal lengths - that really gives me an idea!
Secondly, to gnaw the Merlin doesn't cheer me up ;-( as I don't have any "Josef" around ;-) - skip to Gigapan??? have more options for the future (bigger lenses)???
Thirdly, now, Klaus, you are talking of two other lenses; I had cut down the number of my favorites to the Tokina 10-17 and the Samyang...
Forth: you have good results with 6+2 with moving sceneries, people and such?

Now I'm at the beginning again...

Anna
Last edited by Anna on Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Anna » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:17 pm

still not decided...
I tend to take the Tokina 10-17; can I use the Merlin or do I need an additional manual Nodal Ninja or something?
Is it possible to move the Merlin manually?
thx
Anna

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by mediavets » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:42 pm

Anna wrote:still not decided...
I tend to take the Tokina 10-17; can I use the Merlin or do I need an additional manual Nodal Ninja or something?
Is it possible to move the Merlin manually?
thx
Anna

You stated at the outset that wish to be able to cope with:
"Two different scenarios:
1. High res and/or HDR, for landscapes and non moving sceneries
2. sceneries with people: few photos with good res"

Unfortunately no single system - camera/lens and panohead - is ever ideal for every type of pano and the two types/scenarios you describe are at opposite ends of a 'spectrum' of pano types.

For high res. landscapes which involve shooting with longer focal length lenses and may require many tens, or even hundreds, of shots to cover the scene then a robotic pano head will be really useful if not essential.

On the other hand to shoot scenes with people and cars and so on moving in the scene you need to shoot fast using a fisheye lens, in order to minimise the number of shots required to cover the scene, and a relatively simple manual pano head is probably the best choice. A Merlin head would not really be suitable for this scenario.

Do you really need a Canon 5DMkII, or would you be better off investing relatively less in a DSLR body and relatively more on panoheads and lenses?

DSLR bodies depreciate rapidly as new and 'better' models emerge rather frequently. Lenses and pano heads typically have a much longer life and depreciate much more slowly.
Last edited by mediavets on Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by Anna » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:46 pm

Hm. Thank you for your thoughts! very helpful.
My ideas were:
- have a very good body with a fisheye to get the best out of only few shots.
- use that very good body and a good strong "normal" lense for multipurpose, including non panoramic photography; and giga res, is as far as I can see not my future. Internet is my medium...

In fact, I chose the 5DMark because of the full frame and the best quality for fisheye shots.

That I can't use one pano head for fisheye _and 50mm - makes me sick...
Anna

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by 360pano » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:37 am

With a shaved Tokina 10-17 you get a resolution:

3 shots at 120° @ 10mm = 9100 x 4550px ( small overlap )
4 shots at 90° @ 12mm = 11000 x 5500px
8 shots at 90° ( -45 and + 45 ) @ 17mm multirow = 16000 x 8000px

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by mediavets » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:53 am

Anna wrote:Hm. Thank you for your thoughts! very helpful.
My ideas were:
- have a very good body with a fisheye to get the best out of only few shots.
- use that very good body and a good strong "normal" lense for multipurpose, including non panoramic photography; and giga res, is as far as I can see not my future. Internet is my medium...

In fact, I chose the 5DMark because of the full frame and the best quality for fisheye shots.

That I can't use one pano head for fisheye _and 50mm - makes me sick...
Anna

You can use one pano head for shooting with a fisheye and 50mm; either a manual pano head or a robotic pano head such as the Merlin.

What I said was that no single setup - panohead + camera/lens - could ever be ideal for shooting every type of pano...

Some related observations/comments:

1. The Merlin is too slow to be ideal for shooting pano scenes with people and cars and so on moving in the scene using a fisheye lens; it takes too long to move from one shooting position to the next to be ideal for such pano scenes. You can shoot faster with manual a pano head and there's no need for automation when so few shots are required to cover the scene; and of course the greater size, weight and complexity makes a robotic pano head more obtrusive in such scenarios.

2. You may not need a robotic pano head, like the Merlin, for shooting partial panos (less than 360x180) if the longest focal length you plan to use is 50mm on a fullframe sensor. If you are only shooting, say, 20-30 images then the lighter weight, smaller size and greater simplicity of a manual pano head may outweigh any advantage offered by automation with a robotic pano head.

3. Robotic pano heads are probably most useful when shooting high res partial panos with longer focal length lenses where many tens or hundreds of images are required to cover the scene.

4. A robotic head could also be useful when shooting high-res. sphericals with non-fisheye lenses (such as your 50mm - which would require about 80 images to cover the full 360x180) just because it's esaier when you are shooting different numbers of images in rows approaching the zenith and nadir. But you need to use a robotic head that has a mode suited to spherical pano shooting such as the Merlin with Papywiard, or the T&C/Kolor touch controller, rather than the Gigapan Epic series which can only shoot a regular matrix/grid of images. Robotic pano heads tend to have a larger nadir 'footprint' than manual pano heads but this isn't really much of an issue when shooting high-res. sphericals.

5. High res spherical panos have been a minority pursuit to date, but the Merlin+Papywizard, and Panogear, robotic pano head systems combined with Autopano Pro/Giga and the multiresolution capabities of the krpano Flash Panorama Viewer front-ended by the Autopano Tour /Panotour virtual tour authoring software may change that.

6. You suggest that giga-pixel panos are 'not my future' because the 'Internet is my medium'....but the Internet/Web is probably the medium best suited to the display of giga-pixel images if you wish to share your work with the largest number of people.
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by claudevh » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:52 pm

Hello Anna,

I use a Canon 5D Mk II with a "shaved" Tokina FE 10-16.

For Spherical pano, I use this combinaison at 12 mm, on a monopod, manually ... 4 shoots at 90 ° on one row (No Nadir, No Zenith, No "monopod" image, No photograph ;), no Photoshop :cool:)
This give me a perfect 360 x 180 pano in 15 seconds max ! The result of the 4 shoots is very easy to obtain with Autopano, very fast, no manual intervention, perfect stichting and 55 to 60 Mega pixels easy !

Have a look on the web site of "360pano" ! ("360pano" give me excellent orientations in my choices and have shaved my Tokina)

For normal pano and gigapixels, I use the same Canon 5D Mk II with the Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM (my preference) and "from time to time" my old Nikon D200 with a Sigma 70-200 F 2.8 EX DG APO HSM. The results obtained with the Canon are far better then those of the Nikon combination (Nikon = low pixels count and 1.5 X factor)
All those pano are made with the Merlin head, Papywizard, Bluetooth connection and a small Nokia (N810 second end).
For normal pano and gigapix the Canon 5D Mk II with the 24-105 is the ideal combination.
Your idea to use it with a cheap BUT excellent 50 mm is also a good one ... you will get "really crisp" panos with excellent resolution !

You must have a look into our users database, this will give you a real overview of the most popular combinations ... the Canon 5D is used by 10 to 15 % of the users:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback
Last edited by claudevh on Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
:cool: Claude :cool:
Merlin + Papywizard on Windows 7 & Nokia 770 § N810 & Acer (Netbook) + PanoramaApp Androïd + Deltawave PapyMerlin BT + Autopano
Spherical Pano (180 x 360) with Canon 40D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom & Pôle Pano with Canon 5D MK2 and shaved Tokina 10-17 3.5-4.5 AF DX Fisheye
Gigapixel photography with Nikon D200 + Sigma 70-200 F 2.8 EX DG APO HSM

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by Anna » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:57 am

thank you!!!!!!!!! I love you all ;-)
very precious information; I can't understand why you give it so freely - I might be your competitor ;-)
claudevh wrote:For Spherical pano, I use this combinaison at 12 mm, on a monopod, manually ... 4 shoots at 90 ° on one row (No Nadir, No Zenith, No "monopod" image, No photograph, no Photoshop)
This give me a perfect 360 x 180 pano in 15 seconds max ! The result of the 4 shoots is very easy to obtain with Autopano, very fast, no manual intervention, perfect stichting and 55 to 60 Mega pixels easy !

this seems to be it! how you manage with the nodal point? (and what do you mean by "no monopod image, no photograph"? ;-)

As for the 50mm, I want to have a very fast lense, for normal photography,too. Zoom lenses are far slowlier...
Yes, I want to have as little equipment for as many purposes as possible ;-)

and the merlin, I will have to find smeone to modify the rails.

Now I seem to have found my solution!
THX!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anna

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by klausesser » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:13 pm

Anna wrote:In fact, I chose the 5DMark because of the full frame and the best quality for fisheye shots.

That I can't use one pano head for fisheye _and 50mm - makes me sick...
Anna

With any lens - and with fisheyes in special - the quality is determined by the optical quality of the lens.
There are some FEs on the market showing results that definitely need lots of Photoshop work afterwards
to correct their optical shortcomings like tons of CA and non-linear distortions as well as off-center manufacturing.

My experiences show that there are two FE-lenses to rely on when using full-frame cameras: Nikon 16mm and Canon 15mm.

The difference between 4 and 6+2 shots when shooting a sphere means max. 1 minute.
Is that worth to loose that much resolution/quality by using an 8mm on full-frame?

I mean: definitely not worth it.

Using higher resolutions than needed means to work on higher image quality - and when you scale it down to 10000x5000px
then you have very good results . . . and the option to use higher res than you thought you need to have before in the case
the client wants a deeper zoom or a cut-out of the sphere for print. I had that several times - and was happy to just to render a stitch a second time
using 100% instead of 66%, which i usually have when rendering for 10000x5000px output.

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:21 pm

Anna wrote:Forth: you have good results with 6+2 with moving sceneries, people and such?

Depends on the way you shoot:

http://www.klausesser.de/360impressions/OrangeCinema/BernEntree.html
http://www.360impressions.de/OrangeCinema/Zuerichbar.html (about 15 sec. expouretime)

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:38 pm

Anna wrote:I tend to take the Tokina 10-17; can I use the Merlin or do I need an additional manual Nodal Ninja or something?
Is it possible to move the Merlin manually?

Doing few shots with fisheye i always us a manual head - it´s better controllable when people move around an so on.
I use the Merlin for highrez mosaics - and sometimes for spheres using a fisheye or a 20mm Nikon lens when i need
an "elevated" camera-position using a high rising tripod. Not relly a "mast" but a Gitzo No.5 with telescope center or a high-rise lamp-tripod
for stage-use. That means 3-5m usually.
Here a motorized head is essential of course - but due to the Merlin´s big footprint the Nadir hole is big also . . . . i don´t know any motorized option to shoot a Nadir looking straight down beneath the tripod without having to come it down, change the camera/head position, have it raised again, move aside the tripod some 30cm and shoot a Nadir . . .

Maybe somedays somebody designs a fully motorized solution for that . . . a three-axis off-centered head :cool:

best, Klaus
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by Anna » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:46 pm

mediavets wrote:Do you really need a Canon 5DMkII, or would you be better off investing relatively less in a DSLR body and relatively more on panoheads and lenses?

DSLR bodies depreciate rapidly as new and 'better' models emerge rather frequently. Lenses and pano heads typically have a much longer life and depreciate much more slowly.

Hmm... which one??

mediavets wrote:2. You may not need a robotic pano head, like the Merlin, for shooting partial panos (less than 360x180) if the longest focal length you plan to use is 50mm on a fullframe sensor. If you are only shooting, say, 20-30 images then the lighter weight, smaller size and greater simplicity of a manual pano head may outweigh any advantage offered by automation with a robotic pano head.

Ahh... good idea! At the moment, I really don't plan to use longer focus than 50 mmm...

Anna
should I finally be able to buy this week?? ;-)
Last edited by Anna on Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.


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