Autofocus and Gigapanos...  

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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Autofocus and Gigapanos...

by enridp » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:07 am

Hi! I want to buy a lens for making my own gigapanos, but I don't know what I need.
My camera is a Nikon D5000, it doesn't have inner motor, therefore if I need autofocus for making gigapixels, I need an AF-S lens, but they are too expensive for me :(

I thought autofocus was essential because with 300mm+ our DoF is very poor, but then I found this project:
Paris 26 Gpx:
http://blog.paris-26-gigapixels.com/en/?p=115
They used this:
300mm f4.0 with a tele converter 2x (equivalent 600mm f8.0)
Manual focus. We used the Live View (zoom and pan) to get a very precise focus control.
Priority diaphragm F13 (to have a bigger depth of field)
Iso 800
Speed 1/800 in order to reduce the heat haze
Recording in RAW
Compact Flash 16GB
The motorized head triggers the cameras.

They used Autopano too...

This is in the same blog:

The shooting strategy was to take pictures horizontally (left to right) from the horizon and then down to the foot of the tower. At the beginning of each line we paused the panoramic head to manually adjust the focus through the Live View and change the memory card if necessary.

So it's possible to use Manual Focus, but I'm not sure about the process, can somebody explain it better?
What I'm understanding is that they were shooting each picture in the same line with the same focus setting, and in every line they were adjusting the focus again, manually but I don't know what "through the Live View" means...

My goal is to avoid buying an AF-S lens because I can't pay it :(
So any help/advice is welcome

Thanks !!!

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by mediavets » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:30 am

enridp wrote:So it's possible to use Manual Focus, but I'm not sure about the process, can somebody explain it better?
What I'm understanding is that they were shooting each picture in the same line with the same focus setting, and in every line they were adjusting the focus again, manually but I don't know what "through the Live View" means...

My goal is to avoid buying an AF-S lens because I can't pay it :(
So any help/advice is welcome

Thanks !!!

Welcome to the forum...

Live View:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5000/page9.asp

So using the main LCD to determine manual focus rather than looking through the optical view finder.

You'd need to use manual focus anyway because shooting with long focal length lenses means having a smaller FOV and some shots will be just blue sky, for example, and AF will fail; and some DSLRS won't shoot an image if AF doesn't get a focus lock.
.............

What lenses are you considering?
.............

Are you planning to use a Merlin/Papywizard robotic pano head system?
Last edited by mediavets on Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:32 am, 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.
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by enridp » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:25 pm

mediavets wrote:Live View:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5000/page9.asp

So using the main LCD to determine manual focus rather than looking through the optical view finder.

I see, thanks!
But... is there any advantage of doing that? or they are using view finder just for comfort?

mediavets wrote:You'd need to use manual focus anyway because shooting with long focal length lenses means having a smaller FOV and some shots will be just blue sky, for example, and AF will fail; and some DSLRS won't shoot an image if AF doesn't get a focus lock.

But I can't understand how the two situations are compatible, I mean, we need a full automatic process (with our robotic pano head) and a full manual autofocus...
Is the trick adjust the focus only at the beginning of a new line? and to shoot the gigapano in linear mode, I mean:
first row, adjust focus, shoot all columns
second row, adjust focus, shoot all columns...
etc.
Is that the way to go for gigapanos?

mediavets wrote:.............

What lenses are you considering?
.............

I don't know :(
I'm not a photographer, I don't understand too much about lenses, but my budget it's really limited (about U$S100), therefore I can't but an AF-S lens, because here in Argentina they are about U$S650. But if we don't need AF, then maybe I can buy any 300mm.
What do you recommend? are there any specs that I must to take into account before buying a lens for gigapanos?


mediavets wrote:Are you planning to use a Merlin/Papywizard robotic pano head system?

I didn't know that project, it's really amazing. But my problem it's always the money :(
I was reading, and Merlin Non-GoTo costs about $170, and here in Argentina the customs adds 50%, that is $255, and here that's a lot of money (it's like $1000 for everyone in US or 1st world).
I will try to make my own pano head, but I think I can use Papywizard...

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by John_Sauter » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:45 pm

I have found it necessary to use manual focus to prevent the "no-parallax point" from moving. At least on my camera, a Panasonic DSC-FZ8, changing focus moves the no-parallax point enough to cause stitching errors. To get good depth of field I stop down to F/8, which gives me good focus from a few meters to infinity. Your situation will be different, of course, since you have a much larger sensor than I do, and your focus mechanics are different.

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by GURL » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:17 pm

;) You can compensate limited budget and high tax levels by knowing more about focusing a lens!

The depth of field of a given lens is increased by using a small aperture and by using hyperfocal distance setting, to be computed first and used for all and every shot in a panorama (manual setting.) For most megapixel panoramas selecting a small aperture like F:16 and the corresponding hyperfocal distance should ensure a crisp result (this could not work well in a small room for example but should be OK for landscapes.)

If you are patient enough here are some excellent tutorials http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm but many more can be found using Google and "hyperfocal" as the main keyword.

Another method could be used to find the best distance + aperture settings:
- aim the camera toward the most distant part of your subject, adjust distance accordingly
- aim the camera toward the less distant part of your subject, adjust distance accordingly
- manually set the distance setting between the two settings you found in previous steps
- close the lens aperture to F:16 (or F:22, etc, depending on camera and lens)
- make some tests to validate this distance + aperture settings.

I hope this help, more knowledge and some tests often help for these matters!
Last edited by GURL on Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Georges

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by enridp » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:32 pm

Hi GURL, thanks for the tips, I'm reading the DoF tutorial.
But remember that I'm asking for gigapixel panoramas, with lens of 300mm or more. In that situation I think it's impossible to achieve a fixed DoF that covers the entire scene.
What is the best technique for this?
Do you recommend to take the pictures in a row pattern, and adjust the focus at the beginning of each new row?

If that's the technique then it's not necessary an AF-S lens, even more, I think it's not necessary AF lenses... and that are good news because manual lenses are cheaper.

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by John_Sauter » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:56 pm

If it is not possible to get all of the scene in focus at once, then perhaps you could make two (or more) panoramas with different focus points, and merge them using enfuse in focus stack mode.

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by gkaefer » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:15 pm

John_Sauter wrote:If it is not possible to get all of the scene in focus at once, then perhaps you could make two (or more) panoramas with different focus points, and merge them using enfuse in focus stack mode.

with merlin head its not wise to make several runs of panos, each one with one seperate focus.
Here its better to take each image position manually and to review image live and decide if a second or third focus set of actual image is needed.

Georg

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by John_Sauter » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:08 pm

gkaefer wrote:
John_Sauter wrote:If it is not possible to get all of the scene in focus at once, then perhaps you could make two (or more) panoramas with different focus points, and merge them using enfuse in focus stack mode.

with merlin head its not wise to make several runs of panos, each one with one seperate focus.
Here its better to take each image position manually and to review image live and decide if a second or third focus set of actual image is needed.

Georg

Could you provide some more detail on the work flow in this situation? Would you capture a second image only if not all parts of the first image were focused correctly? Would you then use enfuse to combine the images prior to stitching? If so, how do you prevent the stitching errors caused by movement of the no-parallax point due to the change in focus?

Also, could you explain why it is not wise to make several panoramas, each with separate focus, using the Merlin head.

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by klausesser » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:24 pm

gkaefer wrote:with merlin head its not wise to make several runs of panos, each one with one seperate focus.

mmh . . i do that sometimes using the T&C controller. Works fine - stitching no problem. Focus-planes should be not too different - that means you have to do a sufficient amount of steps. It´s try and error.

But pausing the head after each exposure to change focus and proceed then also works fine. But i prefer the othetr method: you have to touch the camera only once for each pano instead of touching it several times at each position. And you have a constant focus for each pano.

I tried it also at short distances with stillifes - even here i got no problem shooting 4 times a pano using different focus each time.
I just pushed "start" again each time after changing the focus.

best, Klaus
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

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by enridp » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:02 pm

Well, I'm really confused now.
My goal is to make a really big pano, more than 10 gigapixels, I can't imagine taking 2 or more of those and enfuse them, and stoping the pano head in every image, checking if it's in focus, and shoot again or continue will take forever I think...
Did somebody make a pano with more than 10Gpx? what was the technique and equipment used in that case?

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by klausesser » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:36 pm

enridp wrote:Well, I'm really confused now.
My goal is to make a really big pano, more than 10 gigapixels, I can't imagine taking 2 or more of those and enfuse them, and stoping the pano head in every image, checking if it's in focus, and shoot again or continue will take forever I think...
Did somebody make a pano with more than 10Gpx? what was the technique and equipment used in that case?

:cool: you wouldn´t have to stop at every image but maybe at every row - depends on what you shoot resp. how your motiv looks like combined with the length of your lens. A 600mm shooting a far-away landscape doesn´t need focus change anyway. But a sujet like Paris 26 Giga needs focus changing at each row starting with the far away or the nearby row.
That shouldn´t be too much effort . . . or better forget to go the Gigapixel way because it definitely means much effort :cool:

best, Klaus
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by mediavets » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:48 am

enridp wrote:
mediavets wrote:Are you planning to use a Merlin/Papywizard robotic pano head system?

I didn't know that project, it's really amazing. But my problem it's always the money :(
I was reading, and Merlin Non-GoTo costs about $170, and here in Argentina the customs adds 50%, that is $255, and here that's a lot of money (it's like $1000 for everyone in US or 1st world).
I will try to make my own pano head, but I think I can use Papywizard...

When you say you wish to shoot gigapixel panos :

1. Are you using the gigapixel as a shorthand term for high resolution or is the gigapixel 'thing' a goal in itself?

2. Are you planning to shoot using a manual pano head? If so what do you have?

3. Are you wanting to shhot spehrical panos or partial (less than 360x180 pano FOV) panos?

4. Do you wish to shoot indoor panos or outdoor panos?

5. What camera body do you plan to use?

Creating high res./gigapixel panos is not easy, in particular it demands powerful computers to stitch and edit these huge images.

Shooting these high res./gigapixel panos is also demanding although the use of a robotic pano head makes it much esaier. It is very challenging using a manual pano head.

If you shoot witha long focal length lens the FOV of each image is small and it's very likley that some of the images in your pano image set will be 'featureless' which means that most stitching software will not be able to include them in the stitch because there are no features to match with neighbouring overlapping images.

Autopano Pro/Giga have special Import wizards that can assist with the placement of such featureless images IF you use one of the supported robotic pano heads to shoot your panos. The lowest cost robotic pano head supported by APP/APG is the Merlin/Papywizard system.

Perhaps you have friends living abroad who are planning to visit Argentina for a panoramic photography holiday who might forget to take their Merlin mount home?

In nay case you can use the free Papywizard software in simulation mode (without a merlin mount) to explore the issue of how many images you will need to shoot with various focal length lenses and/or various camera sensor resolutions to obtain a final pano image resolution.

Download the latest developmnet versions of Papywizard from here:
http://www.papywizard.org/wiki/Download
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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 enridp » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:30 am

klausesser wrote:...
That shouldn´t be too much effort . . . or better forget to go the Gigapixel way because it definitely means much effort :cool:

best, Klaus

Yes, adjusting the focus at each new row it's OK.
I know a gigapano is a lot of work, but I really want to make one, I love them.
But I don't want to buy an expensive lens unnecessary, like any AF-S (which are definitively out of my budget)

mediavets wrote:Are you using the gigapixel as a shorthand term for high resolution or is the gigapixel 'thing' a goal in itself?

I want a gigapixel thing :)


mediavets wrote:Are you planning to shoot using a manual pano head? If so what do you have?

I'm planning to make my own robotic panohead.

mediavets wrote:Are you wanting to shhot spehrical panos or partial (less than 360x180 pano FOV) panos?

partial, like Paris 26Gpx

mediavets wrote:Do you wish to shoot indoor panos or outdoor panos?

outdoor

mediavets wrote:What camera body do you plan to use?

Nikon D5000, what lens do you recommend for this camera?

mediavets wrote:Creating high res./gigapixel panos is not easy, in particular it demands powerful computers to stitch and edit these huge images.

Yes I know, for Paris they used this:
Code: Select all
"we borrowed an Intel Server System SR2600UR that included 2 Intel Xeon processors 5500 series and 6 SSD hard drives of 160 GB each, allowing a much faster data writing than standard hard drives. With this hardware that would have certainly made a number of geeks jealous (16 cores, 24 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD), the rendering lasted only 3 hours and 14 minutes"

I don't have that computer, but I think that leaving the PC working for a day or two must be enough.

And for editing, they used a custom tool for cuting and joining again the images, even more, they offered that tool to this community!
Code: Select all
We developed a tool that can cut, and then easily reassemble such large images. It will soon be made available to the Autopano community.

Does anyone know if that tool is available now?

mediavets wrote:If you shoot witha long focal length lens the FOV of each image is small and it's very likley that some of the images in your pano image set will be 'featureless' which means that most stitching software will not be able to include them in the stitch because there are no features to match with neighbouring overlapping images.

Yes, that is my fear, and that's why I'm asking for the propper lens. Because I thought that it was necessary an AF-S so every image is autofocused.
But in Paris they used manual focus, and every image was OK.

mediavets wrote:Perhaps you have friends living abroad who are planning to visit Argentina for a panoramic photography holiday who might forget to take their Merlin mount home?

No, I haven't :(
But it's a good moment for making some friends... so, if someone needs a roof and a bed (I can sleep in the floor for a few days) in Argentina, is welcome to my house, the only requirement is a Merlin mount :)

mediavets wrote:In nay case you can use the free Papywizard software in simulation mode (without a merlin mount) to explore the issue of how many images you will need to shoot with various focal length lenses and/or various camera sensor resolutions to obtain a final pano image resolution.

that's an useful feature, thanks!
I will try to use Papywizard in my own panohead (if I can make it...)

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by mediavets » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:37 am

enridp wrote:I'm planning to make my own robotic panohead.

I doubt you could make one as effective as the Merlin mount for less money - people have tried....

Nikon D5000, what lens do you recommend for this camera?

Use Papywizard in simulation mode to determine the focal length you'd require to obtain the pano resolution you seek and then you'll narrow the choices.

Yes I know, for Paris they used this:
Code: Select all
"we borrowed an Intel Server System SR2600UR that included 2 Intel Xeon processors 5500 series and 6 SSD hard drives of 160 GB each, allowing a much faster data writing than standard hard drives. With this hardware that would have certainly made a number of geeks jealous (16 cores, 24 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD), the rendering lasted only 3 hours and 14 minutes"

I don't have that computer, but I think that leaving the PC working for a day or two must be enough.

Sadly that's not the case. You will need a certain min. specification to handle very large numbers of images.

And for editing, they used a custom tool for cuting and joining again the images, even more, they offered that tool to this community!

Does anyone know if that tool is available now?

Not yet but still promised.

mediavets wrote:If you shoot witha long focal length lens the FOV of each image is small and it's very likley that some of the images in your pano image set will be 'featureless' which means that most stitching software will not be able to include them in the stitch because there are no features to match with neighbouring overlapping images.

Yes, that is my fear, and that's why I'm asking for the proper lens. Because I thought that it was necessary an AF-S so every image is autofocused.
But in Paris they used manual focus, and every image was OK.

Manual focus (perhaps adjusted periodically during the shoot) is the way to go.

The issue of how to place 'featureless' images is quite separate and different from the focusing issue. Shooting high-res. partial panos outdoors with long focal length lenses you are very likely to end up with a lot of 'featureless' images (clear skies and so on).

Kolor has promised a Generic matrix/grid Import filter/wizard - somewhat similar to the current Gigapan Import filter/wizard - this would assist with the placement of 'featureless' images when stitching images sets shot using a manual pano head. And yes it is possible to shoot very high-res and gigapixel partail panos with a manual pano head but it's very challenging and requires great dedication. The shooting stage of the process is much easier witha robotic pano head.

I will try to use Papywizard in my own panohead (if I can make it...)

How good are you with machining, electronics and programming?
Last edited by mediavets on Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:46 am, 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 enridp » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:47 am

mediavets wrote:I doubt you could make one as effective as the Merlin mount for less money - people have tried....

I know I can't :(
But it's not a caprice, my limit is the money. Here in Argentina u$s300 is very much money. And I bought a Nikon D5000 with a Samyang the past months



mediavets wrote:Use Papywizard in simulation mode to determine the focal length you'd require to obtain the pano resolution you seek and then you'll narrow the choices.

I want a 300mm. But my doubt is about the other features, like AF, AF-S, VR, manufacturer, or any "important" detail, specially for gigapanos.
I'm not a photographer and I'm afraid of making a bad choice.


Sadly that's not the case. You will need a certain min. specification to handle very large numbers of images.

Can you explain it better Andrew? Do you know which is that minimum?


The issue of how to place 'featureless' images is quite separate and different from the focusing issue. Shooting high-res. partial panos outdoors with long focal length lenses you are very likely to end up with a lot of 'featureless' images (clear skies and so on).

Kolor has promised a Generic matrix/grid Import filter/wizard - somewhat similar to the current Gigapan Import filter/wizard - this would assist with the placement of 'featureless' images when stitching images sets shot using a manual pano head. And yes it is possible to shoot very high-res and gigapixel partail panos with a manual pano head but it's very challenging and requires great dedication. The shooting stage of the process is much easier witha robotic pano head.

yes, I saw that feature, and I'm planning to follow some pattern supported for Autopano (shooting in the same pattern that Paris Gpx should work I think...)


How good are you with machining, electronics and programming?

I'm not an expert, but I'm studying an engineering. I'm good programming, not so much with machining because I don't have too many tools. But I like to make things like this.
Anyway, If I had the money I would pay for Merlin, it is only expensive here in Argentina (because we are 3rd world and because I must import it...)
Last edited by enridp on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by aussiejohn » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:09 am

If you have access to tools you may want to try the following. I tried a proof of concept, the idea works, at the moment I have no time to build a finished panorama device.

In Australia it is cheaper to purchase a new cordless drill than purchase the replacement batteries. Your situation may be different.

Obtain a cordless drill with defective batteries.
Salvage the motor and gearbox.
Dismantle the motor and gearbox assembly.
You will need to remove the hammer assembly from the gearbox.

I don’t have any drawings, you may have to Google, there are a few robotics sites which use cordless drill motor and gearbox assemblies for robotics projects.

Clean out the grease and replace it with the white high temperature car door grease. The grease is thicker and will also stop gearbox backlash.
Reassemble the gearbox and motor and power it up on a battery supply.

Electric driven car seats contain three motors with worm drive gearboxes. Auto wreckers usually don’t waste their time on electric driven seats with damaged upholstery. They may give you the seat assembly if you are prepared to remove the damaged seat yourself. Salvage the worm drive motor assemblies. Cut off the worm drive assembly from the motor and attach it to the cordless drill gearbox. Depending on the type of worm drive assembly, you may need to machine the shafts.

You can control the motor speed using any pulse width modulator circuit.

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by mediavets » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:08 am

aussiejohn wrote:If you have access to tools you may want to try the following. I tried a proof of concept, the idea works, at the moment I have no time to build a finished panorama device.

In Australia it is cheaper to purchase a new cordless drill than purchase the replacement batteries. Your situation may be different.

Obtain a cordless drill with defective batteries.
Salvage the motor and gearbox.
Dismantle the motor and gearbox assembly.
You will need to remove the hammer assembly from the gearbox.

I don’t have any drawings, you may have to Google, there are a few robotics sites which use cordless drill motor and gearbox assemblies for robotics projects.

You'll find something similar at the bottom of this page:
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Poleposition/Poleposition.html
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 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:17 am

enridp wrote:I want a 300mm. But my doubt is about the other features, like AF, AF-S, VR, manufacturer, or any "important" detail, specially for gigapanos. I'm not a photographer and I'm afraid of making a bad choice.

Do you think you'll find anything cheaper than the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR:
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/zoom/telephotozoom/af-s_nikkor55-300mmf_45-56g_ed_vr/index.htm

But the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor ED 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF is said to be superior.

What lenses have you been considering?

......................

And have you yet worked out how many images it will take to cover a typical desired partial pano FOV when shooting with your D5000 and a 300mm lens?
Last edited by mediavets on Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:40 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 digipano » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:10 am

Does anyone know if that tool is available now?

I think this was the tool they used called gigatiler, didn't they?
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/GigaTiler

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by gkaefer » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:22 am

and on krpano side theres the tool kmaketiles. webpage says that cutting into slices and pasting the slices back to a pano is possible...
http://www.krpano.com/tools/index.php?lang=en
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by mediavets » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:56 pm

enridp wrote:
mediavets wrote:Sadly that's not the case. You will need a certain min. specification to handle very large numbers of images.

Can you explain it better Andrew? Do you know which is that minimum?

I don't know that there is a method to caculate this with any precision, but I think one can make some general observations. If you want to stitch many tens or hundreds or thousands of images to make gigapixel images then:

1. Choose a 64-bit operating system - in the case of Windows that means Windows 7 64-bit.

2. Get as much RAM as you afford - anything less than 8GB is probably not going to be sufficient.

3. Get as many fast hard drives or solid state drives as you can since many aspects of performance will be disk bound.

4. You need a lot of patience!
Last edited by mediavets on Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:56 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 mediavets » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:19 pm

enridp wrote:I want a 300mm. But my doubt is about the other features, like AF, AF-S, VR, manufacturer, or any "important" detail, specially for gigapanos. I'm not a photographer and I'm afraid of making a bad choice.

I've had a look at how many images you might have to shoot to create a 'typical' partial pano using a 300mm lens on your D5000.

Using Papywizard in simulation mode it appears that shooting a 50x25 matrix would give you a pano FOV of 115x87 degrees with an estimated pano resolution of 8.7 gigapixels. (see screenshots 1 and 2).

Do you feel capable of shooting 1,250 images manually (with no click-stop assistance - because as far as I know there's no manual pano head that offers click-stops for such small intervals on either axis)?

Perhaps you could start off with somewhat less ambitious goals - such as shooting with a 50mm lens. The Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D is small, light, compact, relatively inexpensive and has excellent optical qualities. It's manual focus only on the D5000 but that's not an issue for pano shooting; it has a focus scale and it doesn't suffer from focus creep at high +/- angles of pitch.

With the 50mm you'd only need 9x4 images for the same 115x87 pano FOV and you'd obtain an estimated pano resolution of 234 megapixels which is still a pretty high-res pano image which will offer plenty of scope for zooming in when using Panotour Pro's multi-res capabilities. (see screenshot 3).

If you have a standard Nikkor 18-55mm kit zoom lens you could use that to gain experience before deciding whether you really want to spend the money to properly equip yourself to shoot and process gigapiexls panos. I I found that my Nikkor kit zoom suffered badly with zoom and focus creep at high +/- pitch angles so you'd probably have to tape it to prevent that.






Last edited by mediavets on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:28 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 enridp » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:03 pm

mediavets wrote:I've had a look at how many images you might have to shoot to create a 'typical' partial pano using a 300mm lens on your D5000.

Using Papywizard in simulation mode it appears that shooting a 50x25 matrix would give you a pano FOV of 115x87 degrees with an estimated pano resolution of 8.7 gigapixels. (see screenshots 1 and 2).

Thanks for the test Andrew! I was taking as reference Paris Gpx:
Setting the panoramic head (horizontal field angle: 219.75 ° and 38.49 ° vertical). According to preliminary estimations with a 30% overlapping between images we got:
* 138 columns by 17 rows for a total of 2346 photos and for a shooting time around 2:30.

And although they was using a FullFrame 21MP, they used 600mm (at really 300mm with 2x zoom), so I was calculating around 1000 pictures for 10Gpx.


mediavets wrote:Do you feel capable of shooting 1,250 images manually (with no click-stop assistance - because as far as I know there's no manual pano head that offers click-stops for such small intervals on either axis)?

I don't know, I don't have experience with something like that, maybe it's possible to do it manually with a lot of patience (not so much because we need to make the pano quickly due to the light changes).
50 pictures for 115º it's one picture every 2º.
In Paris GPx, 138 pictures for 220º, it's one picture every 1,6º (they was using 30% of overlap)

mediavets wrote:Perhaps you could start off with somewhat less ambitious goals - such as shooting with a 50mm lens.

I don't have any other lens, only a Samyang 8mm. The price of a Nikon 18-55 here in Argentina is: u$s 150
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-102968151-lente-nikon-18-55-vr-con-6-meses-de-garantia-_JM
The 55-300 mm AF-S Nikkor costs here: u$s 625
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-102004468-nikkor-55-300mm-f45-56g-ed-vr-af-s-dx-env-a-todo-el-pais-_JM

And I was thinking in buying a lens like this
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-104786518-sigma-70-300-mm-dg-macro-sin-af-40-56-_JM
(u$s 125... used)

or this:
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-103552771-zoom-lens-sigma-100-300mm-nikon-sin-uso-_JM
(u$s 175)

or this:
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-104428694-nikon-70-300mm-af-zoom-teleobjetivo-parasol-gtia-local--_JM
(u$s 230)

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by enridp » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:22 pm

aussiejohn wrote:If you have access to tools you may want to try the following. I tried a proof of concept, the idea works, at the moment I have no time to build a finished panorama device.

In Australia it is cheaper to purchase a new cordless drill than purchase the replacement batteries. Your situation may be different.

Obtain a cordless drill with defective batteries.
Salvage the motor and gearbox.
Dismantle the motor and gearbox assembly.
You will need to remove the hammer assembly from the gearbox.

I don’t have any drawings, you may have to Google, there are a few robotics sites which use cordless drill motor and gearbox assemblies for robotics projects.

Clean out the grease and replace it with the white high temperature car door grease. The grease is thicker and will also stop gearbox backlash.
Reassemble the gearbox and motor and power it up on a battery supply.

Electric driven car seats contain three motors with worm drive gearboxes. Auto wreckers usually don’t waste their time on electric driven seats with damaged upholstery. They may give you the seat assembly if you are prepared to remove the damaged seat yourself. Salvage the worm drive motor assemblies. Cut off the worm drive assembly from the motor and attach it to the cordless drill gearbox. Depending on the type of worm drive assembly, you may need to machine the shafts.

You can control the motor speed using any pulse width modulator circuit.

I will try it, thanks for the tip John !
Anyway, I was planning to use stepper motors, I have a lot of them from printers and other "garbage", I must test if they still working...
I think the most difficult part is to make the head really stable and precise.

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