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 Post subject: User Reports
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:09 pm 
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I have started this topic in the hope of soliciting reports and opinions from other Merlin/Papywizard users.

What are the good points?

What are the not so good points?

How do you use it?

For what sort of panos you shoot?

How it works alongside APP?

Suggested workflows?

Anything that might inform, entertain and/or assist other users......
......

For those who have just come across this topic this is what we are are talking about....

I know some people have made custom motorised pano heads from scratch, others are considering making their own controllers for the Merlin/Orion motorised astro telescope mount for use as a pano photography head, but is it worth it doing it yourself?

The Merlin/Orion two-axis motorised mount for astro telescopes, including a tripod and hand controller, costs GBP 149. With simple and inexpensive modifications it can be used as a motorised pano head controlled by the free Papywizard software.

The Papywizard software running on a Nokia Internet Tablet will give you a 'ready made' wireless handheld pocketable controller. The Nokia 770 Tablet which runs the Maemo OS (a version of Linux) sports a bright, 4-inch 800x480 touchscreen colour display, has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, and can be picked up secondhand on eBay relatively cheaply, typically for GBP 50-70. I doubt anyone could make something at home to match it at this price.

Beyond that all you need is the Tronisoft 4201 RS232-TTL module - solder 4-5 connections to add two resistors, one link and a 4-conductor RJ11 cable and you're done. The Tronisoft RS232-TTL adapter takes its power from the 8xAA batteries that power the Merlin head, by way of the RJ11 cable used to connect it to the Merlin head. Add an RS232-Bluetooth adapter that can be powered on pin-9 - such as the Tronisoft BTLink. And away you go. Together this lot will cost about GBP 40.

No modification of the internal electronics, or external connectors, of the Merlin/Orion head are required. The RS232-TTL adapter simply plugs in where the standard hand controller would plug in.

The Merlin head has a connector to which can be attached a shutter release cable/device which is automatically triggered as appropriate by the Paywizard software. Direct cable connection or IR shutter release triggers can be used. the Merlin head is supplied with a shutter release cable for low end (Rebel series) Canon DSLRs. I am using a gentled-JUMP IR shutter trigger with this standard cable with my Nikon D40. That setup will work with many other cameras.

A software - rather than firmware - based controller offers many advantages. It is much easier to update and add features. The software is written in Python, is available as source code, and runs many platforms - Linux/PC, Windows, Nokia Tablets, and could run on Apple Mac though no-one has tried it yet, offers many alternative setups. The software is free.

The next version of the Autopano Pro panorama stitching software, due in December 2008, will have built-in support for the Gigapan Imager and Merlin/Paywizard robt heads. The still more advanced Autopano Giga will also support the RodeonVR and Pixorb robot heads.

This support will assist in the placement of images that lack matching features - clear sky shots for example - that typically currently makes stitching giga pixel panoramic images quite difficult.

The standard dovetail mount on the Merlin/Orion makes it difficult/impossible to set the camera/lens at a correct NPP in many instances - although it is fine for my Nikon D40. But it is possible to replace the dovetail mount/crown, to facilitate the correct placement of NPP, quite easily. Drawings are available for a replacement crown which could be made by most machine shops.

If you are using the system for gigapixel imaging of distant scenes with nothing within say 100m of the camera then correct NPP doesn't matter anyway.

Merlin/Orion motorised head:
http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/binoculars/tripods/acuter_merlin_multi-function_mount_and_tripod

Nokia Internet Tablets - 700, N800, N810:
http://europe.nokia.com/A4145104
http://europe.nokia.com/link?cid=PLAIN_TEXT_508837
http://europe.nokia.com/link?cid=PLAIN_TEXT_508842

Papywizard software:
http://trac.gbiloba.org/papywizard/wiki/

Tronisoft 4201 RS232-TLL module:
http://www.tronisoft.com/4201.php

Tronisoft BTLink RS232-Bluetooth adapter:
http://www.tronisoft.com/2749.php

gentled-JUMP IR shutter release device:
http://www.gentles.ltd.uk/gentled/options.htm

_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Hurrah! My replacement Merlin head arrived this afternoon - and this one is complete with battery holders!.

I have shot my first spherical pano with it, under Papywizard running on a Nokia 770, using a custom preset - 6-around at -10 degrees and 1-up at +40 degrees. I wanted the 'zenith' to be shot at +65 but until I can remove that big camera knob I cannot get the pitch to more than about +45.

Shot with Nikon D40, Nikkor 10.5mm fullframe FE, 1.6 sec, F8, ISO 400.

Head controlled using Papywizard on a Nokia 770 Tablet, interface on Merlin head comprises Tronisoft 4201 RS232-TTL module plus a Tronisoft BTLink Bluetooth-RS232 adapter. Shutter triggered from Merlin head using camera shutter release cable supplied with Merlin head connected to a Gentled-Jump IR shutter release device.

Yes, it has 'holes' as expected because could not increase pitch above +40, and the WB is 'off, and the stitch isn't perfect, but I'm thrilled (I think the fashionable phrase amongst the young is 'made up'?) to have finally got to shoot a pano using the Merlin/Papywizard/Nokia 770 setup.

It all worked as it is supposed to - no problems at all. And the nadir 'footprint' of the Merlin is far smaller than I expected.

My thanks to Frederic, Paul, Claude and everyone else who has helped me to get this far.





_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:54 pm 
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Claude,

You said you know how to remove the telescope/camera attachment 'screw/knob' on the arm of the Merlin head without destroying it.

Please tell me/us how to do it.

I need to remove it - and replace it with a smaller camera screw - so that I can set the pitch to more than +45 degrees with my setup.

_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:58 pm 
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Have been posted in "What's hardware is required for Marlin panohead ?"

Your first results are very promising !

Claude

:cool:

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:cool: Claude :cool:
Merlin + Papywizard on Windows 7 & Nokia 770 § N810 & Acer (Netbook) + PanoramaApp Androïd + Deltawave PapyMerlin BT + Autopano
Spherical Pano (180 x 360) with Canon 40D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom & Pôle Pano with Canon 5D MK2 and shaved Tokina 10-17 3.5-4.5 AF DX Fisheye
Gigapixel photography with Nikon D200 + Sigma 70-200 F 2.8 EX DG APO HSM


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:23 pm 
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claudevh wrote:
Have been posted in "What's hardware is required for Marlin panohead ?"

Your first results are very promising !

Claude

:cool:

Thanks for the clear instructions and photos for removing the big knob on the camera/telescope screw on the dovetail rail:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/p31985-today-16-52-52#p31985

Well, sadly it didn't work for me - I just could not remove the small screw despite heating it with a soldering iron..

So.....patience exhausted .....I burned the big plastic knob away with a soldering iron - fumes from melting plastic not too pleasant - then grabbed the shaft of the camera screw with some grips and the head of the small screw with some pliers and finally managed to remove the small screw and the washer beneath it.

But...the brass insert from the big knob is still very firmly attached to the shaft of the 'bolt/camera screw' - is it screwed onto the shaft of the 'bolt/camera screw'?

Anyway I can still do the screw up and I have plenty of clearance now and with my D40 and Nikkor 10.5 FE can easily achieve full vertical rotation.

What would be nice now is a slightly cranked (dog-leg) rail with a channel in it - like a NN rail - so I could use my NN camera plate directly.

_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:36 pm 
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So here's my second Merlin pano.

Shot with Nikon D40 and Nikkor 10.5mm FE. 2 secs, F8, ISO 400.

Having hacked/burned the big knob off the dovetail rail camera screw I can now shoot 6-around at -10 degrees and 1-up at +65 degrees, just as I would with my NN5.
Here's the preset if anyone wants it:
Code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<papywizard>
<preset name="Nikon DX+10.5mm FE">
<tooltip>Nikon DX+10.5mm FE
6-around at -10 degrees
1-up at +65 degrees</tooltip>
<shoot>
<pict yaw="0.0" pitch="65.0" />
<pict yaw="0.0" pitch="-10.0" />
<pict yaw="60.0" pitch="-10.0" />
<pict yaw="120.0" pitch="-10.0" />
<pict yaw="180.0" pitch="-10.0" />
<pict yaw="240.0" pitch="-10.0" />
<pict yaw="300.0" pitch="-10.0" />
</shoot>
</preset>
</papywizard>

You can see how arduous I find it to shoot with Merlin/Papywizard. :cool:







_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Experimenting with Mosaic mode now.

D40, image size set to smallest (1000x1504 pixel), using 'kit zoom' 18-55mm lens at 24 (36mm 35mm equiv.). Camera set to smallest image size so as not to overwhelm my rather venerable PC while experimenting.

Shot partial pano 4 x3 images. Exposure, 2 secs at F8, ISO 400. Shot as JPEGs.

Full auto CP detection, rendered with Spline36 interpolator and Smartblend.

Result was very good IMO.

What I don't quite understand is why Papywizard computed a mosaic with such a large vertical overlap.

I keep forgetting to set the shutter on the camera to IR remote - that setting is not saved when you turn the camera off.













_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:18 pm 
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mediavets wrote:
What I don't quite understand is why Papywizard computed a mosaic with such a large vertical overlap.

Because the number of pictures is an integer. When you set the start/end position, I compute the number of pictures needed,(using the minimum overlap asked) and round it at the upper integer. Then, I recompute the real overlap with this new number of pictures.

Another solution is to always let the overlap to the minimum asked, but then recompute the start/end position (and so total fov) according to the new number of pictures. This would result in a larger pano than asked one. But we discussed this at the begining, and found it is not a good idea.

_________________
Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:54 pm 
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fma38 wrote:
mediavets wrote:
What I don't quite understand is why Papywizard computed a mosaic with such a large vertical overlap.

Because the number of pictures is an integer. When you set the start/end position, I compute the number of pictures needed,(using the minimum overlap asked) and round it at the upper integer. Then, I recompute the real overlap with this new number of pictures.

Another solution is to always let the overlap to the minimum asked, but then recompute the start/end position (and so total fov) according to the new number of pictures. This would result in a larger pano than asked one. But we discussed this at the begining, and found it is not a good idea.

Yes, on reflection after my earlier post, that's how I thought it was computed. I could 'see' that there were these two approaches.

Perhaps something 'in between' is possible? My main concern would be that I have in the past found that excessive overlaps can cause problems, but maybe this will not be the case in practice with mosaics - at least not often?

This (a 'third way') would require some additional data - a max. permissible overlap, say - and would of course make the computation more complex, the maths is beyond me but I guess it's 'solvable'?

If image quality of the final stitched pano to some extent depends on having overlaps within a certain range then I'd go for that and would not mind the pano extending more than asked for - it's simple to crop a pano after all.

I think this issue - larger than anticpated overlaps - is perhaps only a potential problem with shorter focal lengths. Judging by my limited 'playing around' with mosaics in simulation mode with long focal lengths it won't happen in that case - is that correct?

_________________
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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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:08 pm 
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When setting the start/end position, it is easy to check the real overlap, and move a little bit further to lower it if needed (typically when >50%). But I would try to avoid adding more params... I have to think about it.

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Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:27 pm 
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fma38 wrote:
When setting the start/end position, it is easy to check the real overlap, and move a little bit further to lower it if needed (typically when >50%). But I would try to avoid adding more params... I have to think about it.

OK - sounds good to me. I agree if we can avoid additional parameters let's keep it simple.

I don't know enough to be able to suggest a cut-off for max. permitted overlap (before allowing FOV to 'grow') nor do I know enough about the impact of excessive overlaps on image quality of final pano - but perhaps GURL or Alexandre can advise, they are experts in such things?

_________________
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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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:30 pm 
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I am wondering if my replacement Merlin head - to replace the one which was delivered without battery holders - is one of a new batch.

The on/off switch is red on this one. As I recall it was not red on the original, but I may be mistaken.

Anyway so far it behaves as expected nonetheless.

_________________
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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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:24 am 
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Today saw the release of the latest development version of Papywizard (V1.3.0-1). Papywizard just gets better and better - thank you Frederic!

http://trac.gbiloba.org/papywizard/#Developpementversion

This version has two new features for Mosaic pano shooting.

Instead of having to move the camera/head to set/define the top and bottom opposite corners of your desired pano you can now also/instead manually enter values for desired overall pano FOV, or a desired number of shots (rows and columns).

Everything auto-updates too - so if you change the focal length value in the Config. the number of shots needed will also change, and so on.

I'm not sure I'd ever specify a pano in terms of number of rows and columns (maybe others would) but the ability to enter values directly to specifiy a desired pano FOV is just great and will save quite a bit of time setting up a shoot.

Most experienced mosaic pano shooters have a good idea of the pano FOV they wish to end up with depending on the type of projection they plan to use and so on, so being able to specify a mosaic pano directly in terms of pano FOV is a great shortcut. You will always end up with a bit of crop leeway/headroom too, if you want more just specify a larger pano FOV.

Now just move the camera/head using the arrow keys to point at the part of the scene you wish to be at the centre of your stitched pano, click to on Home/Centre icon to set that to be 0/0, enter two values to determine the pano FOV , for example 180x90, and shoot.





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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.


Last edited by mediavets on Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:12 am 
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Photos of a Nikon D200 with 500mm lens mounted on an Orion Teletrack (same as Merlin) mount:
http://flickr.com/photos/odysseyexpeditions/tags/orion/

Photos of Papywizard running on a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet:
http://flickr.com/photos/odysseyexpeditions/tags/papywizard/

_________________
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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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:47 am 
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Andrew, you don't even need to use the Home button before giving the FOV: I compute values so the current position is the center, whatever this position is.

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Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:36 pm 
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This topic risks becoming a personal Blog - which was not my intention.

Are no there no other Merlin/Papywizard users willing to reveal themselves and contribute their experiences, and to contribute their ideas to the further development of the project?

A few have 'owned up' to using Merlin/Papywizard on/via the forum - besides me, Andrew Stephens (aka mediavets) in the UK; there is Frederic Mantegazza (aka fma38) the author of Papywizard, in France; and there is Klaus Essner (aka klausessner) in Germany.

I think there are others in Germany, France, Belgium, New Zealand and the USA, and maybe elsewhere - but who are you, what camera/lens setups are you using, what kind of panos are you shooting, what are your experiences, do you have tips and tricks to offer?

Come on guys (and gals?) it is time to come out of the closet! ;)

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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.


Last edited by mediavets on Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:04 pm 
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yeah, I would like to

BUT
the Merlin importer surprised me offering an astronomic price for this atronomic device ...
so I ordered it in Austria and have to wait longer ...

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Paul

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


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:35 pm 
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Paul wrote:
yeah, I would like to

BUT
the Merlin importer surprised me offering an astronomic price for this atronomic device ...
so I ordered it in Austria and have to wait longer ...

Hi Paul,

So what was the astronomic price quoted?

Prices in UK vary a little but at least two retailers offer the Merlin with tripod for GBP 149 which is the SRP quoted by the distributor.

It would be good to identify reliable and competitive suppliers in every major country.

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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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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:00 pm 
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250.- incl. table plate but without tripod

I ordered the Merlin in Austria for 172.- incl. shipping.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:34 pm 
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Paul wrote:
250.- incl. table plate but without tripod

I ordered the Merlin in Austria for 172.- incl. shipping.

Euros 172 is a very good price if it includes the tripod, and pretty good if it doesn't.
..........

I paid GBP 149 including (free) shipping for my Merlin with tripod from Telescope Planet - http://www.telescopeplanet.co.uk/

The package was delivered direct from Optical Vision Ltd, the distributor.

The first Merlin head I received did not have the battery holders.

I called Telescope Planet who initally said they'd arrange to have the battery holders mailed to me. After a week and not having received anthing I called them again and the next day they told me the distributor wanted to collect the whole package and replace it. They duly collected it two days later but I did not receive a replacement. After another week I called Telescope Planet again, they chased up the distributor, who two days after that finally delivered a replacement. The ridiculous thing is that the distributor (OVL) is based about 14 miles from where I live but refused to allow me to take my defective unit in to their premnises for a straight swap.

Guess what - the bubble level on the replacement is dysfunctional - there's just a huge bubble and very little liquid in the level. Perhaps I can chop it out, no doubt it's fixed with some sort of super-glue, and replace it? Though it is hard to see when you have a camera mounted on the head, so maybe I'll think up some other way/place to mount a level - I'm pondering placing an old CD (or something similar between the head and the tripod and sticking a bubble level on that. Anyone got a better idea?

It would appear that quality control by the manufacturer in China may not be very consistent. Telescope Planet asked me to check whether the bubble level was fitted when I placed my original order as appraently several customers has received Merlin heads with the bubble levels missing.

So for me the purchase of a Merlin head has been a rather a frustrating and irritating experience. It was not the fault of Telescope Planet that the initial unit lacked battery holders, but I feel they were slow in resolving the issue with OVL, the distributor.

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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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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:49 pm 
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The Merlin/Orion head has a socket for connecting a shutter release cable - it is supplied with a cable with 2.5mm stereo jack plugs on each end which will work 'out-of-the-box' with the low end range of Canon DSLRs - the 300D, 350D, 400D and 450D, aka the digital Rebel range in the USA.

You can modify this cable to work with cameras requiring a different connector at the camera end. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to but an appropriate cheap remote control (from eBay) and cannibalise the cable to assemble a 'hybrid' cable using part of the standard cable, so that you have the camera specific connector on one end and the 2.5mm stereo jack plug at the other to connect to the camera socket on the Merlin head.

There are some posts here about how to do that for the Canon XXD series of DSLRs:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/p32348-yesterday-18-13-01#p32348

What if you would like to use Merlin/Papywizard but your camera does not have a socket for a wired remote control....how can Merlin/Papywizard automatically trigger the shutter while shooting a panorama?

If like my Nikon D40 (also the case with the D40X, D50 and D60) you camera does not have a socket for a wired remote but does support an IR remote then you may be able to use the gentled-JUMP IR shutter trigger device:
http://www.gentles.ltd.uk/gentled/options.htm#IRjump

The gentled-JUMP has the advantage of having its own battery to provide power and it works just fine with my D40 using the standard camera cable supplied with the Merlin/Orion head - a 'plug-n-play' solution - see photo below.

The gentled-JUMP should work with any camera that will work with one of the following IR remotes:
Image

If you are more adept at DIY than I am you should also be able to configure the gentled-SHUTTER IR cable - but you will have to provide power to it (perhaps from the Tronisoft 4201?) and add a suitable 2.5mm jack connector to connect it to the head:
http://www.gentles.ltd.uk/gentled/options.htm#IRshutter

The gentled-SHUTTER should work with any camera that will work with one of the following IR remotes:
Image

If you camera does not support either a wired or IR remote then you can still use the Merlin/Papywizard motorised pano head system but you will have to press the shutter button yourself. Papywizard can be configured for manual shooting - when it will stop at each position and wait until the user chooses to resume.



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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.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:00 pm 
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Posts: 13960
Location: Isleham, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Paul wrote:
yeah, I would like to

BUT
the Merlin importer surprised me offering an astronomic price for this atronomic device ...
so I ordered it in Austria and have to wait longer ...

Hi Paul

So now at last you have your hands on a Merlin head - and you have already taken it apart!:rolleyes:

What are your first impressions?

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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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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Location: Bonn, Germany
mediavets wrote:
What are your first impressions?

solid slow motion chassis

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Paul

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


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Location: Deep in the woods, UK
Paul wrote:
mediavets wrote:
What are your first impressions?

solid slow motion chassis

Slow motion... you mean that it moves very slowly?

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2000th Member :D

GigaPixel Experimenter
Gigapan Beta Unit, Canon Powershot S5IS, Canon 350D, Nikon D40, Manfrotto Tripod, BT-Serial + Papywizard on Nokia 770, Fully-Operational Merlin the Wizard Unit!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Location: Isleham, Cambridgeshire, UK.
I visted then Nature and Astronomy Centre's showroom/warehouse they have a showroom stuffed withg all types of telescopes, binoculars, mounts and accessories. It is on a small industrial estate, the Lancaster Business Park, on the former site of a WW2 bomber base, just outside Ely, Cambridgeshire.

They sell from there to customers who visit, and also via several web sites:

Scopes'n'Skies - http://www.scopesnskies.com/

Pulsar Optical - http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/

They sell the Merlin mount - they had one in the showroom and told me they carry stock:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/merlin/starter-scope/refractor/merlindeluxe.html

I had a useful conversation with a helpful guy named David. I told him about the Merlin/Papywizard project/system and he was very interested because he'd had a telephone enquiry just the day before from someone who wished to use the Merlin mount in this way.

Now he is briefed about it - so if you wish to buy a Merlin mount in the UK, you could do worse than call and ask for David.

I bought an alloy dovetail rail - this would allow use with longer lenses than when using part of the stanard dovetail rail, also because it is hollow underneath than a regular camera screw can fit within the profile - it is 160mm long and was cheap, just £5.99:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/ScopeTeknix-accessories/halfdovetail-bar/dovetailm.html

When I got it home it sparked an idea for increasing the 'A' dimension from 40mm to 50+mm to increase the odds of being to achieve the NPP - without replacing the crown or separating the vertical and horizontal casting that make up the Merlin head.

If you use the other shorter part of the standard dovetail arm and bolt a flat bar on the back of it you can gain 10mm, or more if you used a cranked bar, and would still just clear the vertical arm with most cameras and lenses.

Here are some pictures with my new dovetail rail attached to the back of the shorter part of the standard dovetail rail to give you an idea of what I'm talking about - obviously you would use a flat bar rather than a second dovetail rail as shown here, and would probably wish to add a second bolt.











_________________
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.


Last edited by mediavets on Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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