I bought a Panogear and Touch Control Panel and I have a few questions after using it for a couple days. The firmware on the Touch Control Panel says 2.5.
1. It wonâ€™t shoot the nadir and zenith shots for a spherical panorama. It will do one or the other depending how I orient the bracket, but not both. Maybe it doesnâ€™t need a zenith shot? I canâ€™t set any of my lenses back far enough to get on the no parallax point to be sure. Iâ€™ve tried both 14mm and 24mm for a full frame sensor in portrait orientation with a standard lens (not a fisheye). At 14mm it wants to shoot 3 rows, 13 photos (2 rows of 6 photos plus 1 nadir), and at 24mm it wants to shoot 3 rows of 9, 10, and 9 photos plus a 4th row of 1 nadir. Looking at the photos it does appear to be doing the math correctly and getting good coverage (I set 25% overlap).
2. Iâ€™m having all sorts of trouble stitching spherical panoramas in Autopano Giga. No doubt it is because I canâ€™t get any of my lenses on their NPP without the camera hitting the battery compartment of the Panogear. Still, I would expect to be able to import the .XML file from the Touch Control Panel and see them displayed in a somewhat ordered fashion before doing any optimization or control point detection. I was trying to follow the instructions here http://www.kolor.com/forum/t13850-stitching-highres-sphere-using-papywizard-xml-import
, but Use Grid Position is completely grayed out and I canâ€™t enable it (it was checked at one point, but got disabled and I canâ€™t re-enable it).
3. Importing into PTGui is a DISASTER! I need to find a tutorial on using the .XML with PTGui since I canâ€™t make any sense of what it is doing.
4. When I plug the shutter cable from my Nikon D700 into the snap port on the telescope I get r16 on the display and it will take a photo when I unplug the cable. As long as the cable is plugged in and r16 is displayed on the camera I canâ€™t use most of the camera functions such as the camera menu or previewing images. It seems to take photos OK; I just often get an extra one when I unplug the cable. I havenâ€™t tried HDR yet or inserting my Promote Control.
5. What is the 1/8â€ jack on the Touch Control Panel? Is it also a camera trigger? Does it matter whether that port or the snap port on the Merlin is used to trigger the camera?
6. What cable do I need to insert my Promote Control between the camera and the Merlin or Touch Control Panel? Are they stereo or mono plugs? I assume one trigger command could tell the Promote Control to take a complete bracket? Iâ€™d want my .XML files to only show one image per bracket since I do my HDR tonemapping in Photomatix Pro before importing the tonemapped images into Autopano Giga or PTGui. I would guess it would do this by default without custom firmware to tell it otherwise?
7. The kit came with a DC to DC cable, different sized plugs on each end. I canâ€™t figure out what it might go to, any ideas?
8. My iPhone 4 wonâ€™t see the Bluetooth adapter, although my Windows laptop sees it fine (using its internal Bluetooth adapter). I thought Iâ€™d use the Merlin for other things like astronomy with some of my iPhone apps. Any ideas?
9. I haven't used the Merlin much with Papywizard yet because I don't want to lug my laptop into the field very often if I can use the Touch Control Panel instead. However, I noticed that Papywizard moves the camera much slower than the Touch Control Panel can. Is this a setting somewhere?
If I can get past these little issues, Iâ€™d like to sell this Merlin and a Gigapan Epic Pro that I also recently purchased and buy Josefâ€™s head instead. It looks like the bigger head would do a good job with spherical panoramas, and neither of these two can with my D700. Thanks in advance for any answers!