Canon 450D with 4.5mm Sigma  

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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tigme
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Canon 450D with 4.5mm Sigma

by tigme » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:36 pm

Hey Guys n Gals I'm new here. Just recently bought AutoPano Pro. I think it is the best stitcher out there...

After doing some extensive research and talking to a few people they recommend that I buy and APS-C size sensor hence the Canon 450D and use the 4.5 Sigma lense instead of the 8mm Sigma. How many people here are using an 8mm fisheye with a APS-C.

Is it worth the extra $100 to buy the 4.5mm Sigma with a APS-C SLR Camera?

I'm also considering the Nikon D60 and then get the 8mm.

I'm told that there will be cropping using the 8mm Sigma with and APS-C sensor. Since there are very few raw samples to download I'm worried cropping the circle circumference. I'm also worried getting a circle that is much smaller than the frame. I want to use this camera for creating HDR images in my 3D program but also want to use it for bubble shots of shop interiors, houses for websites.

What is the best recommendation?
(1)Nikon D60 with 8mm Sigma or (2)Nikon D60 with 4.5mm ?
(3)Canon 450D with 8mm Sigma or (4)Canon 450D with 4.5mm ?

I appreciate any feedback...
ps. Did any of you guys compile a list of suitable combinations of camera bodies and lenses or is it all a trade secret? :rolleyes:


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by mediavets » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:54 pm

I would choose the Sigma 8mm over the 4.5mm. IMO it is not worth spending more for the 4.5.

4.5mm gives full circular image rather than a cropped circular image you'd get with the 8mm but that's no problem at all with APP and final pano resolution will be much greater with the 8mm as the image it produces covers so much more of the camera sensor.

If you choose a Nikon body you could also look at the Nikkor 10.5mm fullframe FE (180 degree FOV diagonally) which is another 'workhorse' lens for pano photographers.

But if you want to shoot bracketed exposure sets for HDR then you'll have to go for the Canon as the Nikon D60 does not have AEB.

So of the options you list THE choice is the Canon 450D and Sigma 8mm f3.5FE.

Oh, and what pano head are you proposing to use?

I use a Nikon D40 (6MP) with Sigma 8mm and Nikkor 10.5mm with the Nodal Ninja 5 pano head, works well but I wish it had AEB.

You can find a sample image set shot with D40 and Sigma 8mm on NN5 head - JPEGs not RAW - to download here:

http://www.three60views.org.uk (look for link towards the bottom of the page)

Sigma 8mm FE on 1.6x crop factor Nikon body will give you 180 degree VFOV with camera in portrait orientation and cropped both sides on the shorter dimension. With the Canon cropped sensor (1.5x) the image will be cropped on all four sides.
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:33 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 tigme » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:04 pm

Andrew, THANKS

I built my last bracket out of wood and used it on a tripod with some nice results using a Canon Powershot Pro 1. Because I'm on a budget I'll most probably make another wooden device specifically for the camera and lens I will get. I suppose I'll get the Ninja bracket if I can source it somewhere in South Africa.
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by mediavets » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:29 pm

tigme wrote:Andrew, THANKS

I built my last bracket out of wood and used it on a tripod with some nice results using a Canon Powershot Pro 1. Because I'm on a budget I'll most probably make another wooden device specifically for the camera and lens I will get. I suppose I'll get the Ninja bracket if I can source it somewhere in South Africa.

If you want to achieve full 360x180 coverage and good image quality with a either Nikon or Canon cropped sensor bodies and the Sigma 8mm FE - and people who chose this lens are usually aiming to achieve full 360x180 coverage with relatively few shots - then you cannot do it with a single row of images.

You need to use a full pano head rather than a Ring type pano head, and shoot an additional zenith shot and (optionally) a handheld nadir shot too.

The NN3 or NN5 heads will allow you to do that and offer geat value for money. I chose the NN5 over the NN3 because it is larger and can take greater loads so that it would work with any camera and lens that I might ever consider using for panos.

OTOH if you don't want/need a full 180 degree VFOV then you could shoot just a single row with a Ring type head. The least expensive of these is the Bophoto pano bracket (also made of wood - laminated birch ply):
http://www.bophoto.com/bracket/bracket-SIGMA-8mm.html
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:35 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 tigme » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:35 pm

I just found this also...

Interesting link Using 2xP5100 with 2xNikkor fisheye to make a oneshot solution:
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/DuoPix/DuoPix_solution.html
found on this website: ( with a lot of text to read)
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/
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by mediavets » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:41 pm

tigme wrote:I just found this also...

Interesting link Using 2xP5100 with 2xNikkor fisheye to make a oneshot solution:
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/DuoPix/DuoPix_solution.html
found on this website: ( with a lot of text to read)
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/

Sure, very interesting, but IIRC his conclusion was that it is not a viable practical proposition.

I have what I call my 'snapshot pano' setup which comprises a Nikon P5100, UR-E20 adapter, Nikon FC-E8 FE convertor and Bophoto pano bracket. Works fine as a 'walk round' pano setup with a cheap and light photo-walking pole as a monopod, and results are good within the limitations of the equipment but are not a patch on panos shot with my DSLR-base setup. You can also find sample image sets taken with this setup here:
http://www.three60views.org.uk

There is no single perfect combination of camera, lens and head for every kind of pano in every kind of situation.
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:44 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 DrSlony » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:42 pm

If you want 360 panoramas for online displaying then resolution isnt very important. A 360x180 equirectangular pano probably wont be bigger than 4000x2000px for online use. If your panos will be mostly viewed by Telkom users, then even less, probably 2000x1000px or less.

If you can capture the whole image on your sensor then obviously that image will be smaller, and so lower resolution. Capturing as much as possible in one shot is important for high-activity scenes, like standing amongst people on the sidewalk. Obviously these scenes are a big problem if you need them high resolution, then you need a smaller field-of-view lens and need to take more shots, during which people move and all hell breaks loose. You mentioned "shop interiors, houses" dont worry about whole-circle-on-sensor-or-cropped there, just get a sharp lens with as little chromatic aberration around edges as possible, since the number of shots in these static scenes doesnt really matter. At least I would prefer to have to shoot e.g. 7 shots with a cropped circle but a nice sharp lens with no CA, than only 3 shots but with a lens that is much more expensive and has worse quality around edges.

Wanting HDR images doesnt complicate your choice of lense at all, just youre choice of camera. As Mediavets mentioned, you need a camera that is able to automatically bracket 3 or 5 shots by 2EV preferably with only 1 push of the button, so check this carefully before buying. See http://hdr-photography.com/aeb.html If you need to push the button several times to bracket then it will take you longer than if the camera did it automatically, and as a result more things in the scene will change between shots.

As for your panohead, if you want cheap, order the Panosaurus for 76USD online, cheapest panohead I know of, fits a wide range of camera/lens combinations. Only real downside is that you need to screw the camera on instead of clipping it on. If you can afford it, I would recommend that you get a panohead that lets you clip the camera on, much faster to set up.

Lastly, my condolences, because when I imagine you sending a high resolution, or even a low resolution, pano over the internet using Telkom's primitive cables... suicide seems more appealing ;]
Last edited by DrSlony on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by tigme » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:46 pm

mediavets wrote:
tigme wrote:Andrew, THANKS

I built my last bracket out of wood and used it on a tripod with some nice results using a Canon Powershot Pro 1. Because I'm on a budget I'll most probably make another wooden device specifically for the camera and lens I will get. I suppose I'll get the Ninja bracket if I can source it somewhere in South Africa.

If you want to achieve full 360x180 coverage and good image quality with a either Nikon or Canon cropped sensor bodies and the Sigma 8mm FE - and people who chose this lens are usually aiming to achieve full 360x180 coverage with relatively few shots - then you cannot do it with a single row of images.

You need to use a full pano head rather than a Ring type pano head, and shoot an additional zenith shot and (optionally) a handheld nadir shot too.

The NN3 or NN5 heads will allow you to do that and offer geat value for money. I chose the NN5 over the NN3 because it is larger and can take greater loads so that it would work with any camera and lens that I might ever consider using for panos.

OTOH if you don't want/need a full 180 degree VFOV then you could shoot just a single row with a Ring type head. The least expensive of these is the Bophoto pano bracket (also made of wood - laminated birch ply):
http://www.bophoto.com/bracket/bracket-SIGMA-8mm.html

Thanks Andrew, this is a great help :D
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TIGME.COM / GoVisit.net

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by tigme » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:03 pm

DrSlony wrote:If you want 360 panoramas for online displaying then resolution isnt very important. A 360x180 equirectangular pano probably wont be bigger than 4000x2000px for online use. If your panos will be mostly viewed by Telkom users, then even less, probably 2000x1000px or less.

If you can capture the whole image on your sensor then obviously that image will be smaller, and so lower resolution. Capturing as much as possible in one shot is important for high-activity scenes, like standing amongst people on the sidewalk. Obviously these scenes are a big problem if you need them high resolution, then you need a smaller field-of-view lens and need to take more shots, during which people move and all hell breaks loose. You mentioned "shop interiors, houses" dont worry about whole-circle-on-sensor-or-cropped there, just get a sharp lens with as little chromatic aberration around edges as possible, since the number of shots in these static scenes doesnt really matter. At least I would prefer to have to shoot e.g. 7 shots with a cropped circle but a nice sharp lens with no CA, than only 3 shots but with a lens that is much more expensive and has worse quality around edges.

Wanting HDR images doesnt complicate your choice of lense at all, just youre choice of camera. As Mediavets mentioned, you need a camera that is able to automatically bracket 3 or 5 shots by 2EV preferably with only 1 push of the button, so check this carefully before buying. See http://hdr-photography.com/aeb.html If you need to push the button several times to bracket then it will take you longer than if the camera did it automatically, and as a result more things in the scene will change between shots.

As for your panohead, if you want cheap, order the Panosaurus for 76USD online, cheapest panohead I know of, fits a wide range of camera/lens combinations. Only real downside is that you need to screw the camera on instead of clipping it on. If you can afford it, I would recommend that you get a panohead that lets you clip the camera on, much faster to set up.

Lastly, my condolences, because when I imagine you sending a high resolution, or even a low resolution, pano over the internet using Telkom's primitive cables... suicide seems more appealing ;]

Thanks DrSloney
:cool:
Rudolph Thomas
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by tigme » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:21 am

Thanks guys for all your sugestions...

I ended up getting the 450D, 8mm Sigma, Nodal Ninja 3 mk II, 222 Manfrotto head (Joystick-works great for quick leveling), and an entry level Manfrotto tripod.

Only have one caveat: The Nodal Ninja 3 MkII is just 2-3mm to small when tilting the camera to ceiling to take the nadir shot. The memory card reader door touches the rotation knob of the Nodal Ninja. There is a workaround by tilting the camera the other way around. I wish the guys would have updated their website before I made the purchase. Other than that their service was 10+ on speed of delivery. After all the Nodal Ninja costs half of what the similar Manfrotto would have cost.

*** So as a slight warning for those with the Canon 450D rather get the bigger Nodal Ninja 5...

Just for fun while waiting for my NN3 to come via the postal service I experimented with a string hanging on a target on the ground:
http://tigme.com/__home/index.php?dirname=html_docs_photography/07000qtvr
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by mediavets » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:30 am

tigme wrote:Thanks guys for all your sugestions...

I ended up getting the 450D, 8mm Sigma, Nodal Ninja 3 mk II, 222 Manfrotto head (Joystick-works great for quick leveling), and an entry level Manfrotto tripod.

Only have one caveat: The Nodal Ninja 3 MkII is just 2-3mm to small when tilting the camera to ceiling to take the nadir shot. The memory card reader door touches the rotation knob of the Nodal Ninja. There is a workaround by tilting the camera the other way around. I wish the guys would have updated their website before I made the purchase. Other than that their service was 10+ on speed of delivery. After all the Nodal Ninja costs half of what the similar Manfrotto would have cost.

*** So as a slight warning for those with the Canon 450D rather get the bigger Nodal Ninja 5...

I have a NN5 Lite - it's fine pano head oferng plenty of clearance for a +90 zenith shot but when shooting with D40 and Sigma 8mm I never shoot a +90 zenith - I always shoot the 'zenith' (sometime two at about 120 separation) at about +60. This gives good zenith coverage and also ensures that I almost always get a good link between the 'zenith' and the main row.
Last edited by mediavets on Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:35 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 tigme » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:23 am

Thanks Andrew, interesting thought, I'll give it a go....
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by Paul » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:03 pm

you could make a little block (Polyacetal or alloy), which fits under the vertical arm of the NN3, to extend it

if you now somebody who has a CNC mill it is made in minutes

look here:
Image


cheers
Paul
Paul

close, but no cigar ... ... ...

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by tigme » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:22 pm

The thought has crossed my mind, but I don't know anybody with such machinery. I guess a Teflon block will also do and I should be able to cut it myself.


Thanks for the nice tip...
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