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HELP! What lense to use with Canon 5D and Autopano Pro?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:58 am
by jeffk
I am using a Canon 5D with a Kaidan Quickpan Spherical system (http://www.kaidan.com/Detail.bok?no=43)

I am trying to find the best lens to purchase to shoot the least amount of shots to get a good 360 pano that the Autopano Pro software will like. Right now, I use a 19mm-35mm Promaster (I use the 19mm) and I have to take too many shots for a full spherical (converted into a 360 degree virtual tour).

I was looking at a fisheye lens...would this be the best solution? I am shooting these photos to convert to 360 degree virtual tours.

Here is one lens I was looking at: Tokina Zoom FISHEYE-WIDE Angle 10-17MM (http://www.tokinalens.com/products/tokina/atx107afdx-a.html)

Any help on lenses would be appreciated. Again, this is for 360 virtual tours (I use Pano2VR to convert my images http://gardengnomesoftware.com/)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:32 am
by mediavets
jeffk wrote:I am using a Canon 5D with a Kaidan Quickpan Spherical system (http://www.kaidan.com/Detail.bok?no=43)

I am trying to find the best lens to purchase to shoot the least amount of shots to get a good 360 pano that the Autopano Pro software will like. Right now, I use a 19mm-35mm Promaster (I use the 19mm) and I have to take too many shots for a full spherical (converted into a 360 degree virtual tour).

I was looking at a fisheye lens...would this be the best solution? I am shooting these photos to convert to 360 degree virtual tours.

Here is one lens I was looking at: Tokina Zoom FISHEYE-WIDE Angle 10-17MM (http://www.tokinalens.com/products/tokina/atx107afdx-a.html)

Any help on lenses would be appreciated. Again, this is for 360 virtual tours (I use Pano2VR to convert my images http://gardengnomesoftware.com/)

Canon 5D has fullframe sensor.

IMO the best lens to make the most of your camera's sensor is the Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens - a fullframe FE lens, ie. you will get FE images which have 180 degrees FOV on the diagonal - the min. number of images for 360x180 coverage will be 8, Z+N+6 (or 7 images, if you are happy with a nadir cap):
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=151&modelid=7321
http://photo.net/equipment/canon/15-fisheye
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-15mm-f-2.8-Fisheye-Lens-Review.aspx

You can find a sample image set shot with this camera/lens linked from this page (link near the end of the text) so you can see what sort of results you get stitching with APP:
http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/oxfordtour/tutorial/index.asp?ID=35&pagename=Canon%205D%20&%2015mm%20FE

The Tokina 10-17mm zoom FE is designed or use with cropped sensor camera bodies. It can be used on camera bodies with fullframe sensors if you 'shave' off the sunshade, that will offer 360x180 coverage (with good resolution) in the least amount of shots (just 3 I believe):
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Tokina_10_17/Fisheye-What_is_the_real_Angle_of_view.html
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Tokina_10_17/Can_the_Zoom_Tokina_10-17mm_be_shaved.html
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Tokina_10_17/Shaving_the_hood/Wim_method.html
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/Tokina_10_17/Intricate_Panography.html

Not sure whether you will be able to get a +90 zenith shot with a Canon 5D on a Kaidan Quickpan Spherical pano head with the Tokina 10-17mm zoom FE or the Canon 15mm f2.8 FE lenses?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:17 pm
by jeffk
Andrew,

Thanks for the reply. It seems that there about a $200-$300 difference between the two lenses. Are both lenses going to do the same thing in the end or is one lens better than another for the 360's? If you were going to make a purchase, which one would you buy?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:40 pm
by mediavets
jeffk wrote:Andrew,

Thanks for the reply. It seems that there about a $200-$300 difference between the two lenses. Are both lenses going to do the same thing in the end or is one lens better than another for the 360's? If you were going to make a purchase, which one would you buy?

I don't have fullframe sensor camera - so for my Nikon cropped sensor camera I would buy the lens designed for crop sensor cameras - namely the Tokina 10-17mm zoom FE.

Except that I already have the Nikkor 10.5mm FE - the equivalent of the Canon 15mm FE on the Canon 5D - which does that job for me on my Nikon D40 cropped sensor camera.

If I had the fullframe sensor Canon 5D I think I would buy the Canon 15mm f2.8 FE I think. But that's because I'd be happy to take Z+6-around+N shots for 360x180 coverage; perhaps that's more shots than you wish to shoot for sphericals?

Being able to shoot a spherical in just 3 or 4 shots - which I understand you can do with a 'shaved' Tokina 10-17mm zoom FE on the Canon 5D - is useful if you plan to shoot panos where there is a lot of movement in the scene (I bought the Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE for doing that with my cropped sensor camera).

But 'shaving' the sunshade of a Tokina 10-17mm zoom FE so it will work usefully on a fullframe camera like the Canon 5D is not a task for the faint hearted! I believe thee are some people who will do this as a service for a fee if you wish to consider it.

Others may have a different take on your question.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:55 pm
by jeffk
OK great...well I'd love to hear what some other folks think as well! I don't know about this shaving with the Tokina. Thanks for pointing that out. Is this something AutoPano pro does by chance?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:38 pm
by mediavets
jeffk wrote:OK great...well I'd love to hear what some other folks think as well! I don't know about this shaving with the Tokina. Thanks for pointing that out. Is this something AutoPano pro does by chance?

You might ask your question on the panoguide.com forum too - I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions there.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:19 am
by bigwade
Remember, the Tokina 10-17FE is at best at f11/16
Indoors that could be a problem with longer exposures.
Shaving is a DIY challenge :-)
Find a workshop and tape the lens.
The shade is metal and metal parts at shaving can ruin the glass

A Sig 15FE is best at 5,6/8
All on a 5D FF Canon.
There's a lot information at panoguide.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:39 am
by jeffk
Ok, what's the best choice here... A Sigma 15 mm FE or Canon 15 mm FE?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:07 am
by bigwade
Some vote for the Canon, others for the Sigma.
The Sigma is a newer design and cheaper.
Your choice......:-)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:44 pm
by hankkarl
Consider the aperture you will use when selecting a lens. shorter lenses give you better DOF at wider apertures.

I use f/16 on the 5D, diffraction isn't so much of an issue, and I get a great DOF.

According to http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-50D-Digital-SLR-Camera-Review.aspx
the 5D is diffraction limited at f/13, the 50D is limited at f/7.5, the 20D/30D are limited at f/10.3, and 40D is limited at f/9.3

Remember, part of the issue is circle of confusion, so the exact diffraction limit will depend on the size you will view the output (just like DOF depends on CoC and print size).

Interestingly enough, the 50D is difraction limited at f/7.3, whicy is less than the "default aperture" of f/8.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:49 pm
by jeffk
So has anyone heard if the Sigma 15mm or Canon 15mm is better on the Canon 5D for 360 degree shots? I shoot real estate and building interiors mostly.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:47 pm
by klausesser
jeffk wrote:So has anyone heard if the Sigma 15mm or Canon 15mm is better on the Canon 5D for 360 degree shots? I shoot real estate and building interiors mostly.

from what i saw in this Oxford-link the Canon 15mm isn´t bad at all!
Maybe a "shaved" Nikon 10,5mm on a 5D could make you work faster.
Hans Nyberg http://www.panoramas.dk/panorama/index.html uses this set. Good quality, minimum quantity of shots.
http://www.hans-nyberg.dk/
http://www.virtualdenmark.dk/qtvr/cubic.html

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:42 pm
by bigwade
The Canon is a ±1994 design while the Sigma is from ±2003
I think they improved lens designs in 9 years a bit.
But I'm sure if you google canon 15mm vs sigma 15mm or try Fredmiranda.com you will find what you need.
Forget the shaved Nikon.
A) you must shave it
B) You need an (eBay) adapter to use it.
C) No camera aperture control
D) more or less flare problems with FullFrame.

I have used it 1/2 year and sold it to a happy Nikon user.
The (shaved) Tokina has no flare problems but for best results you need at least use f11.
(Lens was not designed for FF)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:12 pm
by jeffk
Awesome..thanks for the feedback!

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:29 pm
by mediavets

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:55 pm
by hankkarl
One thing I've noticed between Canon and aftermarket lenses, including Sigma is that Canon cares about FF, while the others seem to optimize the lenses for crop cameras. Sometimes Sigma is sharper at the center, but the corners and edges (the part outside the 1.6 crop on a FF) is very much worse than the equivalent Canon.

Also note that becasue of the larger pixel (photosite) size on FF cameras, you don't need as sharp of a lens, but you do need a lens that performs well in the corners.

If you do a lot of portraits, and vignett the images, then a bit of blur on the edges is ok. But if you do panos, where the center of the picture includes several images (or you do a 360x180 where there is no center) then you need to be concerned about the corners and edges of the lens.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:01 pm
by bigwade
The Sigma 15mm FE is designed for FF !
a 15mm FE on a crop camera is of no use.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:44 pm
by hankkarl
bigwade wrote:The Sigma 15mm FE is designed for FF !
a 15mm FE on a crop camera is of no use.

Yes, the lens fits on the EF mount. But lenses vary in their sharpness; some lenses are very blurry, kit lenses are reasonably sharp, and L glass is usually very sharp.

a 15mm on a crop camera is a very slight fisheye, and people do use it. I don't know why you'd use the 15mm fisheye instead of teh 14mm rectilinear, but people do.

Most lenses are sharper at the center than at the edge. Some lenses optimize the center sharpness at the expense of the edges and corners. There are a lot of crop cameras that don't even use the edges of the lens. Other lenses optimize sharpness so its more even across the focal plane.

The issue with the 5D and with APP is that you have to be concerned with lens sharpness across the focal plane, not just in the center.
Note that APP has issues if one picture (or part of a picture) is more out of focus than another picture.