Canon 550D + Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye + Merlin head  

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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Canon 550D + Sigma 8mm F3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye + Merlin head

by surami » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:18 pm

Hi,

I'm new here and I would like get into panorama photography.

I have a Canon 550D since 1 year and just ordered a Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye lens. In these days, I was hooked on the net and learned much on this forum. At the moment it came to my mind, that would the 8mm circular fisheye lens good to use? I mean, when I will attache my DSLR in portrait mode on the Merlin head and I will find the right NPP, the Merlin head + the end of the expansion rail wouldn't come into the view at 0 positon (other postions also)? I know, that at the bottom, the tripod and Merlin head horizontal piece will be on the pictures (nadir), my question is about on the right side of the pictures, where the vertical piece of Merlin head and expansionrail will be (DSRL attached side).

Could somebody answer in this case? If the circular lens wouldn't be fine, which lens should I have?

Regards,
surami
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by mediavets » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:33 pm

Welcome to the fourm...

The Merlin robotic pano head offers little advantage if you plan only to shoot 360x180 spherical panos using a fisheye lens such as the Sigma 8mm f3.5.

Using this lens on a cropped sensor body (like the Canon 550D) you only need a min. of 4-around plus a nadir to cover the 360x180 and it's probably quicker and easier to use a manual pano head which would be smaller, lighter and will also have a smaller nadir foorptint than the Melin mount.

Robotic pano heads come into their own when shooting panos - typically partial panos with a pano FOV of less than 360x180 - using longer focal length lenses where you require some tens or even hundreds of images to cover the pano FOV.
Last edited by mediavets on Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:35 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 surami » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:56 pm

I would like to use the Merlin head with a DIY MX2 motion system too, so not only for sphere panorama. So I will buy it anyway. I just asked, that will it work fine or should I buy another lens, because the vertical side/attache side will be in picture? I would like to use the Merlin head, if I can and later maybe I will get in gigapano photography too.

Thanks for the suggestion. Which manual panohead (price value!) would be enough for me? I'm in Europe.
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by mediavets » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:23 pm

surami wrote:I would like to use the Merlin head with a DIY MX2 motion system too, so not only for sphere panorama. So I will buy it anyway. I just asked, that will it work fine or should I buy another lens, because the vertical side/attache side will be in picture? I would like to use the Merlin head, if I can and later maybe I will get in gigapano photography too.

I'll shoot a 360x180 on my Merlin with my Nikon DX (cropped sensor) body and a Sigma 8mm f.3.5 later for you. Then we can see whether or not the Merlin mount intrudes on the images.

Thanks for the suggestion. Which manual panohead (price value!) would be enough for me? I'm in Europe.

I have the Nodal Ninja 5L, chosen because it can accommodate just about any camera body/lens combination I'm ever likely to use with a manual pano head, but that is no longer in production. For use with a Canon 550D and Sigma 8mm f3.5 you can't go far wrong with the very popular Nodal Ninja 3 series, or the Nodal Ninja Rxx series lens ring-style heads if you only want a manual head for use with the Sigma 8mm f3.5.

The Panomaxx would do the job too I think although I've never seen one.

Where in Europe are you located?
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 surami » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:40 pm

mediavets wrote:I'll shoot a 360x180 on my Merlin with my Nikon DX (cropped sensor) body and a Sigma 8mm f.3.5 later for you. Then we can see whether or not the Merlin mount intrudes on the images.

Thanks! Could you be quick? I think, I could cancel my order on the weekend or on monday without any sanction, if the lens "doesn't operates" with the Merlin head, as I described above.

mediavets wrote:I have the Nodal Ninja 5L, chosen because it can accommodate just about any camera body/lens combination I'm ever likely to use with a manual pano head, but that is no longer in production. For use with a Canon 550D and Sigma 8mm f3.5 you can't go far wrong with the very popular Nodal Ninja 3 series, or the Nodal Ninja Rxx series lens ring-style heads if you only want a manual head for use with the Sigma 8mm f3.5.

The Panomaxx would do the job too I think although I've never seen one.

Thanks again for the suggestion!

mediavets wrote:Where in Europe are you located?

I'm from Hungary and I'm hungry for spherepanorama pictures! :)
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by surami » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:57 pm

I think if the 8mm (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/8mm-f35-ex-dg-circular-fisheye-sigma) doesn't fits, I should get the 10mm one (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/10mm-f28-ex-dc-hsm-fisheye-sigma). Or? It wouldn't be so wide, as the 8mm, there wouldn't be black corners on the pics, I should make 6 photos every 60° at 0° + Z + N (http://www.360precision.com/360/index.cfm?precision=products.lens_database&MainSlideID=2&mainnavID=2&MainMenuOpen=1,http://www.vrwave.com/panoramic-lens-database/sigma/) and I could use it for videos too (without black corners).
Last edited by surami on Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by mediavets » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:02 pm

surami wrote:I think if the 8mm (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/8mm-f35-ex-dg-circular-fisheye-sigma) doesn't fits, I should get the 10mm one (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/10mm-f28-ex-dc-hsm-fisheye-sigma). Or? It wouldn't be so wide, as the 8mm, there wouldn't be black corners on the pics, I should make 6 photos every 60° at 0° + Z + N (http://www.360precision.com/360/index.cfm?precision=products.lens_database&MainSlideID=2&mainnavID=2&MainMenuOpen=1,http://www.vrwave.com/panoramic-lens-database/sigma/) and I could use it for videos too (without black corners).

Look out for an email with a link to download a sample image set shot with my D40 and Sigma 8mm f3,5 on the Merlin mount.

Yes, parts of the Merlin mount will appear in the images. But APP/APG anti-ghost will remove them and they will not be seen in the stitched pano.

......

Regarding the Sigma 10mm fisheye lens. It's a relatively recent lens and there do not seem to be many pano photographers using it.

Nikon DX users seem to peer the Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye and canon crop-sesnor users who want a lens of that type seem to go for the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye.

I've read that the Sigma 10mm fisheye is more prone to chromatic aberration.

How do prices of the Sigma 8mm f3.5, Sigma 10mm and Tokina 10-17mm fisheye compare for you?

Both of the 'fullframe' fisheye lens - the Sigma 10mm and Tokina 10-17mm - produce an image with a diagonal FOV of about 167 degrees on a cropped sensor Canon I believe. You need a min. of 6-around plus zenith and optional nadir to cover 360x180 with these lenses.

Of course both of these lenes will produce a higher resolution pano image then the Sigma 8mm f3.5.
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 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:08 pm

Here are some images relating to the test shoot using the Sigma 8mm on my D40 with the Merlin.

1. Sigma 8mm f3.5 mounted on Nikon D40 on Merlin. It's a fairly tight fit laterally.

2. An image shot with the above at zero pitch showing parts of the mount in the frame.

3. Panorama Editor screnshot showing 'ghosts' of those bits of the dovetail clamp that appear in the images.

4. Stitched and rendered pano image which shows that the APP/APG anti-ghost has removed any sign of the dovetail clamp.








Last edited by mediavets on Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:16 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 surami » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:39 am

mediavets wrote:Regarding the Sigma 10mm fisheye lens. It's a relatively recent lens and there do not seem to be many pano photographers using it.

Nikon DX users seem to peer the Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye and canon crop-sesnor users who want a lens of that type seem to go for the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye.

I've read that the Sigma 10mm fisheye is more prone to chromatic aberration.

I see also proneness to CA, but I think every lens has it, it have to be dealed in post. I found some tests here: http://www.360precision.com/360/index.cfm?precision=products.camlensinfolist

I read somewhere, that Tokina 10-17mm (http://www.tokinalens.com/products/tokina/atx107afdx-a.html) has more CA, then the Sigma 10mm, because of the zoom capability. I hadn't get tests about this, so what is the truth, I don't know...

What I know is that the Sigma 10mm is faster, then the Tokina 10-17mm, the Tokina has zoom capability, so I could use it as UWA lens too. About the sharpness I hadn't see comperisions at the same focal lenght. The Tokina could be used on FF body too, but I don't plan to get FF body in the near future.

mediavets wrote:How do prices of the Sigma 8mm f3.5, Sigma 10mm and Tokina 10-17mm fisheye compare for you?

If I get the Sigma 8mm as ground, then the Sigma 10mm costs 17% less and the Tokina 10-17mm costs 15% less.

mediavets wrote:Both of the 'fullframe' fisheye lens - the Sigma 10mm and Tokina 10-17mm - produce an image with a diagonal FOV of about 167 degrees on a cropped sensor Canon I believe. You need a min. of 6-around plus zenith and optional nadir to cover 360x180 with these lenses.

Yepp I count with 6 + 1 + 1 too, but Sigma 10mm (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/10mm-f28-ex-dc-hsm-fisheye-sigma) is for APS-C only not?

mediavets wrote:Of course both of these lenes will produce a higher resolution pano image then the Sigma 8mm f3.5.

Yes, thanks. I saw it at the 360precision.com.

mediavets wrote:Here are some images relating to the test shoot using the Sigma 8mm on my D40 with the Merlin.
1. Sigma 8mm f3.5 mounted on Nikon D40 on Merlin. It's a fairly tight fit laterally.
2. An image shot with the above at zero pitch showing parts of the mount in the frame.
3. Panorama Editor screnshot showing 'ghosts' of those bits of the dovetail clamp that appear in the images.
4. Stitched and rendered pano image which shows that the APP/APG anti-ghost has removed any sign of the dovetail clamp.

Many thanks for the test!!! You are in time, I cancelled my order without any trouble. :) You saved me much time (get the stuff, send back the stuff, etc.), many thanks again!!

I have to decide between Sigma 10mm or Tokina 10-17mm for Canon 550D/T2i (crop 1,6).

I think/hope, that this discussion will be helpfull for others too! Much respect for your help, mediavets!
Last edited by surami on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by surami » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:52 am

I found this here to compare 4,5mm, 8mm, 10mm and 15mm on APS-C body: http://www.pbase.com/ladycrumb/photo_tests. Is this relevant or not?

Fished/defished is the best comparision! :lol: :P
Last edited by surami on Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by mediavets » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:13 am

Some more comments:

1. Both the Sigma 10mm and the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye are designed for use with cropped sensor bodies.

2. Both can be used with fullframe bodies if you shave off the sunshield/lens hood:
http://www.360pano.de/en/tokina-sigma-nikon.html

3. Both lenses would typically be used stopped down to about f8.

4. I have no hands-on experience of either the Sigma 10mm or the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye.

5. You may wish to seek the opinions of other pano photographers on the panoguide.com forum:
http://www.panoguide.com
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:17 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.
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 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:51 am

surami wrote:I found this here to compare 4,5mm, 8mm, 10mm and 15mm on APS-C body: http://www.pbase.com/ladycrumb/photo_tests. Is this relevant or not?

Yes, it's relevant in that it shows you the difference in FOV of the fisheye images generated by each lens.

Of course all but the 4.5mm circular image will fill the sensor frame.
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:56 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.
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 surami » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:46 pm

mediavets wrote:1. Both the Sigma 10mm and the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye are designed for use with cropped sensor bodies.
2. Both can be used with fullframe bodies if you shave off the sunshield/lens hood:
http://www.360pano.de/en/tokina-sigma-nikon.html
3. Both lenses would typically be used stopped down to about f8.
4. I have no hands-on experience of either the Sigma 10mm or the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye.
5. You may wish to seek the opinions of other pano photographers on the panoguide.com forum:
http://www.panoguide.com

mediavets wrote:Yes, it's relevant in that it shows you the difference in FOV of the fisheye images generated by each lens.
Of course all but the 4.5mm circular image will fill the sensor frame.

I run through the results by searching for Tokina 10-17mm and Sigma 10mm on panoguide.com forum and the consequence is, that the Tokina 10-17mm F/3.5-4.5 will do the job very well.
pros:
- pretty sharp (thanks for F stop suggestion!)
- minimal lensflare
- no black corners
- moderate CA (in post it can be corrected very well: http://www.davidkennardphotography.com/blog/352-tokina-10-17mm-fisheye-ca-removal-comparison-cnx2-vs-dxo6-vs-acr6-2.xhtml)
- zoom function
- useage for UWA pics and videos
- reasonable price
- can be used on FF body (thanks for shaved version source!)
cons:
- a bit slower then the Sigma 10mm F/2.8
- less FOV
- have to take 6 + Z + N pics, instead of 4 + Z + N pics (Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye and Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye comparision)
- I hadn't found other cons.

ps.: Could somebody overwrite the topic's title? I think this would be better: Canon 550D + Sigma 8mm or Sigma 10mm or Tokina 10-17mm + Merlin head
Last edited by surami on Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by surami » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:15 am

I've decided to get the Sigma 10mm for my Canon 550D instead the Tokina 10-17mm. Another forum: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=537750&page=5
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by medtransportation » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:32 am

surami wrote:I've decided to get the Sigma 10mm for my Canon 550D instead the Tokina 10-17mm. Another forum: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=537750&page=5

Ia this good indoors with no light just an indoor light...

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by HansKeesom » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:46 am

mediavets wrote:
surami wrote:I think if the 8mm (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/8mm-f35-ex-dg-circular-fisheye-sigma) doesn't fits, I should get the 10mm one (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/10mm-f28-ex-dc-hsm-fisheye-sigma). Or? It wouldn't be so wide, as the 8mm, there wouldn't be black corners on the pics, I should make 6 photos every 60° at 0° + Z + N (http://www.360precision.com/360/index.cfm?precision=products.lens_database&MainSlideID=2&mainnavID=2&MainMenuOpen=1,http://www.vrwave.com/panoramic-lens-database/sigma/) and I could use it for videos too (without black corners).

Look out for an email with a link to download a sample image set shot with my D40 and Sigma 8mm f3,5 on the Merlin mount.

Yes, parts of the Merlin mount will appear in the images. But APP/APG anti-ghost will remove them and they will not be seen in the stitched pano.

......

Regarding the Sigma 10mm fisheye lens. It's a relatively recent lens and there do not seem to be many pano photographers using it.

Nikon DX users seem to peer the Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye and canon crop-sesnor users who want a lens of that type seem to go for the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye.

I've read that the Sigma 10mm fisheye is more prone to chromatic aberration.

How do prices of the Sigma 8mm f3.5, Sigma 10mm and Tokina 10-17mm fisheye compare for you?

Both of the 'fullframe' fisheye lens - the Sigma 10mm and Tokina 10-17mm - produce an image with a diagonal FOV of about 167 degrees on a cropped sensor Canon I believe. You need a min. of 6-around plus zenith and optional nadir to cover 360x180 with these lenses.

Of course both of these lenes will produce a higher resolution pano image then the Sigma 8mm f3.5.

I have been using the Sigma for a while and it worked fine for panoramas until i tipped over my tripod and it broke into two pieces. It is now in for repair. There is a CA issue which is not gigantic. Of course I would not use it also on a automatic head.

It is an expensive lens but yes fullframe and 2.8 so it can really be used very well outside panorama photography.

At the moment I am using the Samyang 8 mm and think about adding something like a good 14 or 16 mm non-fisheye for all these situations where fisheye is just failing....
Regards, Hans Keesom
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by surami » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:45 pm

HansKeesom wrote:I have been using the Sigma for a while and it worked fine for panoramas until i tipped over my tripod and it broke into two pieces. It is now in for repair. There is a CA issue which is not gigantic. Of course I would not use it also on a automatic head.

It is an expensive lens but yes fullframe and 2.8 so it can really be used very well outside panorama photography.

At the moment I am using the Samyang 8 mm and think about adding something like a good 14 or 16 mm non-fisheye for all these situations where fisheye is just failing....

Oh, that's bad to hear about the accident, hopefuly it can be repaired.

So I bought the Sigma 10mm and I'm very impressed with the picture quality, there is a CA as you said, but it can be solved in post.

I built an individual mount on my Merlin head (something like this: http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback#Panoramann) and it works perfectly. I found the exact nodal point and I'm in testing/learning phase with it these days.

My Papywizard setting: 6@-5 + Z. On every picture there is only a very little part of the Merlin head in the bottom right corner, but in post it can be masked out (PTGui), the automatic control points generator drops every time very good results, so there aren't any parallaxes on the equirectangular picture, so stiching is perfect too (I can produce 14000 x 7000 equirectangular pics :) ). As you can see I hadn't setup nadir shooting in the preset. My plan is to try to put my tripod away from the place where I made the circle with 1 meter and shoot 1 picture @ between -15 to -45 and use this like a nadir. I hadn't tried this yet, we will see, that at stiching what will be the behavior.

I haven't got any wide angle lens, I only has a kit lens (18-55mm), so I can't suggest. But as I read, the Canon 10-22 or Tokina 11-16 could be a good option not?
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by HansKeesom » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:25 am

Hi Surami,

Having the 18-55 will problably help you when in small spaces with lots of lines that have to be good. fisheye will likely not work there. Try your fisheye in a tiled toilet and you will see what I mean. Having the Merlin is then practical as it can run on itself and you don t have to step in and out of the toilet all the time.

Canon and Tokina are good also, but not you ordered the sigma, I think that is the lens to use for the moment and it will serve you well

I am glad you like the lens. i hope mine can be repaired not to expensive. It does still work as a manual lens so if they can t fix it it will be used like that.

Good to see you use a quickrelease on your set., doing the same myself :-)

If you want to make a prefect nadir with the merlin, read this http://www.kolor.com/forum/p88309-2011-09-07-18-49-33#p88309
Last edited by HansKeesom on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
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by surami » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:46 pm

HansKeesom wrote:If you want to make a prefect nadir with the merlin, read this http://www.kolor.com/forum/p88309-2011- … -33#p88309

Thanks, I'll read through...
surami


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