Is Panogear right for VR photohraphy?  

English support for Panogear kit
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Pichan
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Is Panogear right for VR photohraphy?

by Pichan » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:08 pm

Hi all1

I'm planning on purchasing a panohead to create spherical panoramas. First I was going to get a Nodal Ninja but then I came across Panogear.

The price difference between the two isn't that big, so I'm currently weighing the pros and cons of Panogear. Like I said, the primary use for panohead in my case would be spherical panoramas, but I'm also interested in gigapixel photography so Panogear could be a good all-around panohead for me.

I'm pretty much aware of the pros of Panogear and I have a gist of some of the cons, like the difficulty of nadir shot due to the size of the base and the risk of not being able to align the lens with the nodal point without some tweaks. If these cons can be overcome with reasonable effort and nothing else comes up, I'm seriously considering Panogear. Otherwise I'll have to make do with Nodal Ninja and no Gigapixel photos.

What I'm asking here is some concrete proof of the cons of Panogear, like actual photos taken with it that show the size of the base. Also I'd love to read about your experiences with Panogear.

I'm going to use either Canon 60D or Canon 5D mkIII with a Samyang 8mm fisheye and various kit lenses.

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Pichan
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by Pichan » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:17 pm

I just found this: http://www.panoguide.com/forums/qna/9946/?page=1#msg73001

I understand that Merlin and Panogear are basically the same device..? The footprint doesn't seem that big. I think I could manage with that.

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gkaefer
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by gkaefer » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:39 pm

Pichan wrote:I just found this: http://www.panoguide.com/forums/qna/9946/?page=1#msg73001

I understand that Merlin and Panogear are basically the same device..? The footprint doesn't seem that big. I think I could manage with that.

hmm Hans Nybergs comment

You bought the Kolor Pano gear and want to do Spherical panoramas?

You will be very disappointed. Its not made for this. Its for gigapixel panos.

I think this statement is wrong.
I use a canon eos 400D (so 1.6crop) and a Samyang 8mm whenever possible with the merlin head, for outdoor and indoors too.
no problem, you only need to place the lens in perfect NPP, which is so easy with the samyang because its marked in form of golden ring.)
I also have the Samyang 85mm lens and I also can perfectly place the Canon & Lens in perfect NPP without modifying the crown or so.
if you wanna go bigger than 1.5 Gigapixel you will find your limits depending of used cam & lenses etc. on different points.
doing full sphericals with 120mm can be achieved (I did it not) if you wanna do partly sphericals with 400mm than its will work
even if no NPP can be found at all (thanks to autopano) but you have to think about counter weights etc. to avoid slipping of the head because of missplaced center of gravity.

SO I think its rather the other way round: 8-85mm perfect with merlin... and only smallest gigapixel panos.

in general an automatic head for gigapixel is preferable against the manual panohead... the T&C handcontroller part of the merlin package (addon?) does
calculate all the imagepositions and rows for you, so for nodal and zenith rows less images and more images for equatorial area, it can take into account bracketed images etc.
so even fo 8mm panos - where normally automatic heads look like luxury overhead - I prefer using this merlin in combination with the T&C handcontroller and the promotesystem device so I can handle bracketing, HDR, focus stacking etc. ... my biggest 50x50cm scene I did with the merlin was using a 85mm + 2x macrorings and finally had more than 1100 images with stacking, bracketing etc. ;-))

Georg

PS: nadir and 8mm Samyang:

mark your nadir inside your tripod with a stone or whatever...
place your 8mm samyang lens to look at equator.
Than lift your merlin x cm (where x = merline height) than turn your merlin 90" so the Samyang is looking to bottom now
now move your tripod so the center of viewfinder is over the stone...
normally 1 image for nadir is enough.
sometimes (and to avoid some mistakes) I do 2 images with 180" different orientation taking the nadir (focusing the stone...)
just prepare your 1 or 2 nadir images in photoshop, gimp etc. and erase all feet, all tripod legs and use repair tool for the stone...
and finally just load these 1 or 2 images just with all the other pano images and autopano will 100% solve the nadir area for you...
Last edited by gkaefer on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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klausesser
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by klausesser » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:28 pm

Pichan wrote:Hi all1

I'm planning on purchasing a panohead to create spherical panoramas. First I was going to get a Nodal Ninja but then I came across Panogear.

The price difference between the two isn't that big, so I'm currently weighing the pros and cons of Panogear. Like I said, the primary use for panohead in my case would be spherical panoramas, but I'm also interested in gigapixel photography so Panogear could be a good all-around panohead for me.

I'm pretty much aware of the pros of Panogear and I have a gist of some of the cons, like the difficulty of nadir shot due to the size of the base and the risk of not being able to align the lens with the nodal point without some tweaks. If these cons can be overcome with reasonable effort and nothing else comes up, I'm seriously considering Panogear. Otherwise I'll have to make do with Nodal Ninja and no Gigapixel photos.

What I'm asking here is some concrete proof of the cons of Panogear, like actual photos taken with it that show the size of the base. Also I'd love to read about your experiences with Panogear.

I'm going to use either Canon 60D or Canon 5D mkIII with a Samyang 8mm fisheye and various kit lenses.

Hi!

I shot this sphere using a Merlin/Orion and a 20mm Nikon lens on a Canon20D. Nadir-hole was retouched.

www.360impressions.de/Bar

Indeed the Merlin has a big footprint. For using a fisheye i also would recommend a manual head - 5-6 shots are easily and fast done manually.


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

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Pichan
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by Pichan » Tue May 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Sorry for very late reply. I haven't been able to focus on my VR project at all because of work.

I figure that I might be best off with Panogear, since I value all-around operability of Panogear at the cost of a little clumsiness more than Nodal Ninja's ease of use with the one specific task it was designed for.

If you have more advice or demo material to share, please do :)

Thank you both for your advice

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Pichan
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by Pichan » Mon May 28, 2012 10:06 pm

I bought a manual panohead, Pano-MAXX, after all. It was a little cheaper than Nodal Ninja MK3 and seemed basically the same, even in reviews.
Here's a link: http://www.panorama-hardware.de/2/product_info.php?info=p7_pano-maxx-tripodhead--pano-head.html


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