anyone living near Guildford Surrey UK?  

Everything you need to motorize your head
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bb
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anyone living near Guildford Surrey UK?

by bb » Fri May 01, 2009 9:33 am

Hi
anyone living near Guildford Surrey UK using Merlin or similar that would be willing to show me the setup?

I have read a lot of the thread but TBH most went over my head ...

Thanks in advance

bb

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Fri May 01, 2009 9:51 am

bb wrote:Hi
anyone living near Guildford Surrey UK using Merlin or similar that would be willing to show me the setup?

I have read a lot of the thread but TBH most went over my head ...

Thanks in advance

bb

I live near Ely, Cambs - not so close by unfortunately.

But happy to help if I can.

What problems/questions do you have?

Perhaps this will help?:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Orion_TeleTrack_altazimuth_tracking_mount
Last edited by mediavets on Fri May 01, 2009 10:24 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 bb » Fri May 01, 2009 12:41 pm

Thanks for reply ... just trying to understand what's needed for setting up with motorized head ... would be great to see how it comes together ..

I'm using a Nodal Ninja 5 with a 5D which is really good but automation seems like the way to go ..

bb

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by mediavets » Fri May 01, 2009 1:28 pm

bb wrote:Thanks for reply ... just trying to understand what's needed for setting up with motorized head ... would be great to see how it comes together ..

I'm using a Nodal Ninja 5 with a 5D which is really good but automation seems like the way to go ..

bb

OK.

I think this should explain the basics:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Orion_TeleTrack_altazimuth_tracking_mount

In essence you need:

1. A Merlin head.

2. An interface device to allow connection between the 'host' (Nokia Internet Tablet, Windows PC, Linux PC) or Mac) running the Papywizard control software and the Merlin head. A wireless connection is probably the most attractive option for most users. The simplest wireless (bluetooth) interface - plug-n-play out of the box - is the Bluetooth device from Teleskop-Austria. This plugs into the socket on the head provided for the standard handset controller:
http://www.teleskop-austria.at/prod.php?tid=15&lng=de#montz-blt-hu

3. A 'host' platform to run the Papywizard software - the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet makes for a small, 'pocketable' host and works very well. You can usually pick up a secondhand one on eBay for £70-100. Papywizard also runs on Windows 2000, XP and Vista; Linux; and Apple Mac OSX 10.5 or later.

4. The Papywizard software for your 'host' platform - created by Frederic Mantegazza, this is free and Open Source. It will run in simulation mode without being connected to a Merlin head so you download, install and run it to see how it looks to the user.

Papywizard is written in Python and is cross-platform. It runs on the Nokia Internet Tablet OS2008; Windows 2000, XP and Vista; Linux; and Apple Mac OSX 10.5 or later.

Download Papywizard from here:
http://trac.gbiloba.org/papywizard/wiki/WikiStart#Download

5. 8xAA NiMH batteries, or an external 9-12VDC 500mA (min) power supply.

6. A shutter release cable that connects between the shutter control port on the Merlin head and the wired remote control socket on the camera. The Merlin head comes with a cable suitable for the low end Canon DSLRs, you would need to make up a cable for the Canon 5D - cheapest and easiest way if to 'hack' a cheap Chinese wired remote control available for 'peanuts' on eBay. Ask again for specfic advice if you decide to go ahead.

That's it for the basic system - no modification to the internal electronics of the Merlin head is required.

Such a set up will be fine for shooting high res., many shots, 'mosaic' partial panos (less than 360x180 FOV) with a Canon 5D if using a longer focal length lens and the scene is a relatively distant landscape because parallax errors are not an issue in such cases.

But if you wanted to shoot closer up scenes, or use a short focal length lens, or use a FE lens, for example, then using a Canon 5D I think you would need to modify the rail mount on the Merlin head to allow you to set the camera/lens at the correct No Parallax Point (NPP).

In standard form the Merlin head can accommodate at the NPP camera bodies measuring up to 40mm from the base of the camera to the centre of the lens mount. Modifying the rail mount to accommodate larger camera bodies at the NPP requires a bit more sophisticated DIY (or third-party machining) but it's not rocket science and several people have have done it (in different ways).

However since you already have a NN5 you'd probably chose to use that for panos which required relatively few shots to cover the scene - as I do.

Robotic heads come into their own when you need to shoot many tens or hundreds of images. The Merlin-Papywizard system will shoot scenes of up to 5,000 images - 50 rows x 100 columns - fully automatically, and you can use Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB) if your camera supports it.

Autopano Pro V2 and Autopano Giga have a special import filter for image sets shot using Merlin/Papywizard which uses the XML data file optionally recorded when shooting a pano to place 'featureless' images (when shooting with longer focal lengths you will often have a lot of 'featureless' sky shots) which other stitching programs would fail to include in the stitch - this works very well indeed.

Here are simple 72 and 120 shot image sets you can try to stitch with APP V2 or APG that were shot with Merlin/Papywizard, using my lowly Nikon D40 set at smallest image size and basic image quality, with kit zoom set at equiv. of 52mm, that show how well the import filter works. BTW focus is poor especially in the 120 shot set because that lens suffers from zoom/focus creep when tilted (ugh!) Each ZIP file includes a full set of images and the Papywizard XML data file required to use the Papywizard Import filter in APPV2/APG.:

http://www.three60views.org.uk/image_sets/mosaic-garden-72.zip (13MB)
http://www.three60views.org.uk/image_sets/merlin-mosaic-front-120.zip (22MB)

Together Merlin+Papywizard+APPv2/APG comprise the very best low cost two-axis robotic pano photography system for DSLRs available anywhere.

Here's a list of just some of the people using Merlin/Papywizard. At least three of whom are professional photographers - so it's not just a 'toy' for hobbyists:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback

Any more questions - just ask.
Last edited by mediavets on Tue May 05, 2009 5:20 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 » Fri May 01, 2009 2:11 pm

Thank you for the nice summary Andrew :)

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by mediavets » Fri May 01, 2009 2:21 pm

DrSlony wrote:Thank you for the nice summary Andrew :)

Perhaps you will yet join the Merlin/Papywizard 'club'? I do hope so.
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 » Fri May 01, 2009 2:43 pm

Well I sort of already did, because I translated Papywizard, but I don't have the hardware yet so I'll just keep lurking in the shadows ;]

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by mediavets » Fri May 01, 2009 3:30 pm

DrSlony wrote:Well I sort of already did, because I translated Papywizard,

And I reckon you might yet be the first Polish user?
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 bb » Fri May 01, 2009 4:19 pm

Thanks for the summery Andrew

At least now I have just about all I need to know in one place ..:-)

I updated to autopano giga 2 yesterday .. so will download the files and run them through ..

Regards

Ben

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by claudevh » Fri May 01, 2009 4:31 pm

Hi Andrew,

As usual ... fantastic summary ! :)
I think really that you should publish it in the Wiki !
If you agree, I wil translate, submit to you and Frédéric and publish in the french part of the Wiki and in my "tiny" website !

Let me know if OK for you !

:)
Last edited by claudevh on Fri May 01, 2009 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
: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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by mediavets » Fri May 01, 2009 5:08 pm

claudevh wrote:Hi Andrew,

As usual ... fantastic summary ! :)
I think really that you should publish it in the Wiki !
If you agree, I wil translate, submit to you and Frédéric and publish in the french part of the Wiki and in my "tiny" website !

Let me know if OK for you !

:)

Claude,

Please do whatever you like with it.

I'm sure it can be improved - I just dashed it off quickly.

Regards,
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 tived » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:13 am

Andrew,
great dashing this off, just need to get my head around it all

thanks

Henrik

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oroles
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by oroles » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:25 am

Finally I found the thread. I have place an order for the Merlin head. The onlything I'm missing is item no. 5 "8xAA NiMH batteries, or an external 9-12VDC 500mA (min) power supply". Can i use instead of 8xAAA an external battery pack? If yes, which one is suitable? Thank you.

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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:42 am

oroles wrote:Finally I found the thread. I have place an order for the Merlin head. The onlything I'm missing is item no. 5 "8xAA NiMH batteries, or an external 9-12VDC 500mA (min) power supply". Can i use instead of 8xAAA an external battery pack? If yes, which one is suitable? Thank you.

Anything providing 12V DC.

I have one of these - it's big and heavy but will run the Merlin for a long time:

http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/Skywatcher/generalaccessories/7ahpowersupply.html
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 claudevh » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:14 am

Welcome "oroles".

CCTV Camera's batteries are excellent choice, quite long-live, easy to charge, compact etc... easy to find on Ebay also in the UK...

The suggestion of Mediavets is excellent too ,but the weight and size can be a handicap otherways excellent capacity !
: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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by oroles » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:58 pm

After some bad reviews of these external power sources I will go for 8 x AA Sanyo Eneloop 2000 Mah. Hope it will be enough. Thanks.

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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:05 pm

oroles wrote:After some bad reviews of these external power sources I will go for 8 x AA Sanyo Eneloop 2000 Mah. Hope it will be enough. Thanks.

Enough for what - do you have particular project in mind?

Someone may be able to advise whether those batteries will provide sufficient autonomy to complete the shoot.

You could also consider the Lithium ion rechargeable battery upgrade kit :

http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories
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 klausesser » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:19 pm

oroles wrote:After some bad reviews of these external power sources I will go for 8 x AA Sanyo Eneloop 2000 Mah. Hope it will be enough. Thanks.

In the Panoneed i use 4 replacemet accus for LSM160.

They have 7,4V 2000mAh each and last at least around 3000 moves/shots. That´s about 10 times my average sphere-sizes: 4 gigapixels (214) and 700 mpx (48).

I use to carry around a second set - never needed it . . :cool:

best, Klaus
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

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oroles
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by oroles » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:50 pm

I ordered 2x LSM160 accus from amazon for 21 eur (free shipping from .DE to .IT). Still cannot find the battery connecter that allows you to connect the batteries to the Panogear head. Seen one around on ebay/amazon? Thanks.

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:14 pm

oroles wrote:I ordered 2x LSM160 accus from amazon for 21 eur (free shipping from .DE to .IT). Still cannot find the battery connecter that allows you to connect the batteries to the Panogear head. Seen one around on ebay/amazon? Thanks.

Here, I think this is it: http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/adaptateur-batterie.html

Or you may be able to get it directly from T&C.
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 oroles » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:38 pm

T&C? Never heard of. Do you have an adress?

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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:07 pm

oroles wrote:T&C? Never heard of. Do you have an address?

AFAIK T&C originally developed this battery upgrade accessory:

http://www.typeandcolour.de/
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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