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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Location: Lee, Maine, USA
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 won’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 doesn’t need a zenith shot? I can’t set any of my lenses back far enough to get on the no parallax point to be sure. I’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. I’m having all sorts of trouble stitching spherical panoramas in Autopano Giga. No doubt it is because I can’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 can’t enable it (it was checked at one point, but got disabled and I can’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 can’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 can’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 haven’t tried HDR yet or inserting my Promote Control.

5. What is the 1/8” 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? I’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 can’t figure out what it might go to, any ideas?

8. My iPhone 4 won’t see the Bluetooth adapter, although my Windows laptop sees it fine (using its internal Bluetooth adapter). I thought I’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, I’d like to sell this Merlin and a Gigapan Epic Pro that I also recently purchased and buy Josef’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! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Hallo Aaron I am Josef who developed the Touch Control. The Questions which relate to the controller are 4 to 9.
4. Use better the 3.5mm stereo plug on the TC instead of the 2.5mm plug at the head. I build in that plug, as a lot of people had problem triggering their camera by the head
5. both plugs work parallel. But I recommend to use the TC plug. The head plug must be rewired on some heads, as the shutter and triggersignal must be both actuated. The head plug is only necessary, when you run the head on a post and use the TC on a long wire, or if you operate the head by bluetooth
6. connect the promote at the TC and the camera at the promote. If you set bracketing on the TC to 1, you get only one xml location for each position. To do multible bracketings by the promote, the time on the TC must be set long enought to let the promote and the camera do the job in each position.
7. can you post a picture of that DC to DC cable?
9. Papywizzard uses the goto command of the head, which is responsible for the slow moving. The TC uses the move command with the maximum speed and checks continuously the position. For camara movements of less than 10° I use the goto too. So for focallength above 85mm or 100mm depending of you sensor format and overlapping, is the TC as slow as the papywizzard. But at these small angles you will not realize it. I red somewhere, that papywizzard has a speed mode too? You should check this as I am not shure.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Thank you very much for your responses Josef, that helps! Does it matter if the 3.5mm cable from the TC to the Promote is stereo or mono? I'll see if I can find one when I get back to the office. I'll also post a photo of the DC to DC cable too. There was also a 2.5mm to 2.5mm stereo cable, that I assume must be a shutter cable for some camera models.

Another question from the field: the smiley face at the bottom right before committing the shoot on the TC can be turned on or off but doesn't appear to do anything different? Some sort of preview or something I gather from reading the manual?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Hallo Aaron, it must be a 3.5mm stereo. The handheld has an infrared feature too and for that is a special infrared cable with 3.5mm mono used. The 2.5mm stereo to 2.5mm stereo is used for the small canon "Rebel" modells when direct connected into the head. The smiley face is the setting for mirror lookup before shooting. If your camera is suporting this feature, you can select it at the camera and at the TC, then your camera mirror will be triggered and lifted 0.5sec before the final trigger. This can be used at long focl length, when you will not have the fibration of the mirror in your picture.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:45 am 
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Ah, OK! I use the mirror lock up feature on the Promote Control already, so I won't need it enabled twice, so long as I leave enough time delay for the HDR bracket plus mirror lockup on the TC. I need to find a 3.5mm to 2.5mm cable tomorrow since the PC has the smaller port for the remote trigger aux port and I don't have any adapters around the office.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Hi Josef, I would like to start using my Touch Panel after getting the sequence working right on Papywizard. The above informatiuon is very useful, what I can't figure out how to do is to get the touch panel to use the same sequence that I have developed using Papywizard.
If it is helpful, I am doing the following
6 @ -40degrees
6 @ 0degrees
6 @ 60 degrees

Also is it possible to change the shutter pulse width with the TP as you can with Papywizard.

Thanks!
Seth


Last edited by sbradley02 on Wed May 09, 2012 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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