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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:27 am 
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Hey guys,

I'm looking to produce some high quality, full 360/180 spherical panoramic virtual tours.

Currently I have a 5D Mark II and a 16-35mm Canon EF lens.
I've been told by gigapan that the epic pro can do 360/160 degree panorama's and that I'd have to shoot the zenith and nadir points myself.

Anyone out there had any experience shooting virtual tours with the epic pro. Any suggestions on other gear that might work better (like kolor's Panogear?)

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:47 am 
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kingston345 wrote:
Hey guys,

I'm looking to produce some high quality, full 360/180 spherical panoramic virtual tours.

Currently I have a 5D Mark II and a 16-35mm Canon EF lens.
I've been told by gigapan that the epic pro can do 360/160 degree panorama's and that I'd have to shoot the zenith and nadir points myself.

Anyone out there had any experience shooting virtual tours with the epic pro. Any suggestions on other gear that might work better (like kolor's Panogear?)

Thanks!


Welcome to the forum...

My understanding is that the Gigapan Epic Pro can only shoot a regular grid/matrix pattern.

If that is (still) the case it's not well suited to shooting spherical panos.

When shooting spherical panos it is desirable to reduce the number of images per row as you approach the zenith and nadir to avoid excessive overlapping, let alone to avoid shooting more images that necessary.

Plus it would be fiddle to remove the camera from the mount and set it up somehow to shoot the zenith and nadir.

The Gigapan Epic series of robotic pano heads are primarily designed for, and best used for, shooting partial panos - panos with a HFOV of much less than 360 and a VFOV of much less than 180.
..........

I cannot recommend the Panogear system with the Panoshoot controller.

The Panogear/Merlin mount with a Bluetooth/TTL adapter (such as the Papymerlin deltawave BT adapter) plus Papywizard software, or the T&C Touch Controller may work for you, but you may need to modify the rail/dovetail clamp to accommodate yor camera/lens at the NPP, if the distance from camera base to centre of the lens mount is greater than 40mm or the diameter of the lens barrel is greater that 80mm.
............

The best mount for you would probably be the T&C Panoneed, but that is in a different class:

http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?ln=en&tp=pk_home


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Thanks Mediavets,

I also got this response on another blog:

Gigapan Epic Pro like all Gigapan products shoots in a selectable grid pattern. It is 100% possible to shoot a full 360x180 panorama. Ultimately it is better suited to longer focal length lenses as opposed to super wide angles or fisheyes. Simply because the Gigapan cannot take advantage of the differing amount of shots per row. This means you end up taking far too many shots because you are locked into a grid shooting sequence of equal amount of shots per row.

The Gigapan has no issue shooting the Zenith shots. It's only the Nadir you need to shoot and this can be done on or off the Gigapan. It involves moving the tripod/panohead and shooting the area where it was positioned when the panorama was shot. With a longer focal length lens this may require multiple shots. You can use PTGui's Pro grid stitching feature mixed with VPC (View Point Correction) to stitch in the Nadir shot/s. All 360x180 panorama shooters have to do this regardless of robotic head or manual.

As for the Panogear product. It also works, albeit rather slow. The advantage it is you are not locked into grid shooting. So if you must have a robotic head with a Fisheye (on the cheaper end) this product is OK.

I guess what I'm saying is you already have the gear so learn how to make panoramas using what you have. If you get stuck along the way; head back to this thread and ask your questions or post up your problem.


And when I spoke with gigapan reps, they said it was possible, however, salesmen tend to want to make you believe anything.

Do you have a particular setup that works for you?

Thanks,

Sean B


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:14 pm 
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kingston345 wrote:
Thanks Mediavets,

I also got this response on another blog:

Gigapan Epic Pro like all Gigapan products shoots in a selectable grid pattern. It is 100% possible to shoot a full 360x180 panorama. Ultimately it is better suited to longer focal length lenses as opposed to super wide angles or fisheyes. Simply because the Gigapan cannot take advantage of the differing amount of shots per row. This means you end up taking far too many shots because you are locked into a grid shooting sequence of equal amount of shots per row.

The Gigapan has no issue shooting the Zenith shots. It's only the Nadir you need to shoot and this can be done on or off the Gigapan. It involves moving the tripod/panohead and shooting the area where it was positioned when the panorama was shot. With a longer focal length lens this may require multiple shots. You can use PTGui's Pro grid stitching feature mixed with VPC (View Point Correction) to stitch in the Nadir shot/s. All 360x180 panorama shooters have to do this regardless of robotic head or manual.

As for the Panogear product. It also works, albeit rather slow. The advantage it is you are not locked into grid shooting. So if you must have a robotic head with a Fisheye (on the cheaper end) this product is OK.

I guess what I'm saying is you already have the gear so learn how to make panoramas using what you have. If you get stuck along the way; head back to this thread and ask your questions or post up your problem.


And when I spoke with gigapan reps, they said it was possible, however, salesmen tend to want to make you believe anything.

Do you have a particular setup that works for you?

Thanks,

Sean B


I have a Merlin mount (well two in fact) which is the same basic mount as the Panogear product, although that has added accessories such as the LiON batteries.

But I use it with a small Nikon D40 body that fits at the NPP without the need for modification to the dovetail clamp or rail.

I tend to shoot sphericals (360x180) with fisheye lenses and then use a manual pano head (I have several) because with so few shots required to cover the FOV there's little if any advantage in using a robotic pano head especially when the Merlin/Panogear has a relatively large nadir footprint.

If I was to shoot a spherical with longer focal length lens - necessitating many more shots - then I would probbaly use a 35mm or 50mm prime lens and the Merlin/Panogear robotic panohead with Papywizard running on a Nokia N800/N810 Internet tablet over a Bluetooth wireless connection.

Papywizard, and the T&C ouch Controller (with both Merlin/Panogear and panonned heads), can record shooting co-ordinates in an XML formatted data file that can then be used with APP/APG to assist the stitcher in placing 'featureless' images.

Both systems can also shoot an optimised pattern for spherical with fewer images per row as you approach the zenith and nadir.

Do you really need a robotic pano head to shoot sphericals with a 16mm focal length lens on a fullframe body, when you only need 14 images to cover the 360x180 panoFOV?

http://www.vrwave.com/panoramic-lens-database/canon/

Why not buy a Nodal Ninja NN4 with R-Dx rotator manual pano head instead?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:09 pm 
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I guess I probably don't if it's that wide. However, I'm looking for maximum quality and minimal distortion. So when the viewer takes the virtual tour you don't get that warped feeling when panning around. Maybe I should be looking at more of a 35-50mm lens?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:16 pm 
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kingston345 wrote:
I guess I probably don't if it's that wide. However, I'm looking for maximum quality and minimal distortion. So when the viewer takes the virtual tour you don't get that warped feeling when panning around. Maybe I should be looking at more of a 35-50mm lens?


The stitcher and then the tour viewer take care of distortion that is nothing to do with the focal length or type of lens used to shoot the pano.

The longer the focal length the greater the resolution (not the same thing as image quality) the stitched pano image will have.

Are you planing to shoot indoor or outdoor panos - what sort of scenes?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Truthfully it will be a mixture of both. A lot of exteriors, landscapes etc. Hotel lobby's/rooms etc.

I'm not really trying to use the robotic pano for giant gigapixel photography, I just figured the workflow would be more efficient because I plan to do mass amounts of these.

I'm looking to purchase the autopano giga/panotour pro/Live pano package. Specifically because of my interest with incorporating video in the tours.

I would like the flexibility of a higher resolution image. Basically I'm trying to achieve the below example:

http://www.xavierspertini.com/360/haute-maurienne/


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:30 pm 
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kingston345 wrote:

I would like the flexibility of a higher resolution image. Basically I'm trying to achieve the below example:

http://www.xavierspertini.com/360/haute-maurienne/


They don't look very high res to me - I'd guess they were shot with a fisheye lens.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Correct, you can't really zoom in. But the quality looks good enough for what I'm trying to achieve. I'm loping at the nodal ninja's a bit more though. I think your right in that they may be a better solution.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:17 pm 
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kingston345 wrote:
Correct, you can't really zoom in. But the quality looks good enough for what I'm trying to achieve. I'm loping at the nodal ninja's a bit more though. I think your right in that they may be a better solution.


go manual for anything using 24 mm or less lens. For interior often 8-12 mm is used, often fisheye. Nodal Ninja has great nadir adapter to make nadir shots.

Gigapan can make 360*180 but making the nadir shots is difficult to do. Some use heavy ballheads and raise the whole setup a bit for the nadir shots.
Best to keep autoheads like gigapan for 360*160 panorama's


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