Touch control- custom 360x180?  

English support for Panogear kit
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andrewcochrane
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Touch control- custom 360x180?

by andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:42 pm

Using the BT control and my laptop, I can set the Panogear to shoot 4 x 15degrees down and 1 x straight up with a Canon 5DmIII and an 8mm lens. This gives a great spherical image with perfect overlap. The TC will take the same lens and shoot 5 x 0degrees down, 1 x straight up. I am fine with the 5x instead of 4x to cover the room, but I cannot find a way to force it to do them with a downward tilt.

Is this even possible? It would be the perfect system if yes, as lugging a laptop to control the camera makes it a little too inconvenient, but with the TC it is not shooting enough overlap to create a great sphere.

Thanks for any help you can offer,

-Andy

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:09 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:Using the BT control and my laptop, I can set the Panogear to shoot 4 x 15degrees down and 1 x straight up with a Canon 5DmIII and an 8mm lens. This gives a great spherical image with perfect overlap. The TC will take the same lens and shoot 5 x 0degrees down, 1 x straight up. I am fine with the 5x instead of 4x to cover the room, but I cannot find a way to force it to do them with a downward tilt.

Is this even possible? It would be the perfect system if yes, as lugging a laptop to control the camera makes it a little too inconvenient, but with the TC it is not shooting enough overlap to create a great sphere.

Thanks for any help you can offer,

-Andy

Did you configure the TC by connecting it to your PC and typing in your 8mm lens? Did you then choose the lens for shooting a sphere in spherical-mode?

The TC computes the shots for covering a sphere - but you have to tell it ONCE which camera(s) and lens(es) you intend to use and store them. Then you can choose the one you actually use from the menue.

So: if you once stored your 8mm in the list - it must work.

You know that you can set the overlap to a value you want? If you don´t have enough overlap: set it to a higher value.

Tilting the camera down to 15° on a Merlin wouldn´t make any sense at all - the Merlin´s base is too big for that.

Merlin isn´t good for using fisheyes due to it´s base.

I used the Merlin with a 15mm fisheye on a 5D2 and the TC without issues - but as said: the footprint is rather big.

The TC is very versatile, small and reliable. I prefer to use it instead of a note- or MacBook.

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

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by andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:14 pm

Yes, I entered the info into the TC from a computer, and it does work, just not exactly as I want it to.

The problem with an 8mm lens on a 5D is that it is not 180degrees. It is ~178. So shooting with a slight down angle gives you better coverage of the sphere, with the final image being straight up to fix the lack of coverage at the Zenith.

The result has an ugly nadir, for sure, but the total image is a proper full 180x360.

The TC, as it covers the sphere now, gets a 360x178, so there is improper coverage.

-Andy

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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:14 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:... as lugging a laptop to control the camera makes it a little too inconvenient, but with the TC it is not shooting enough overlap to create a great sphere...

Thanks for any help you can offer,

-Andy

Have you considered using a Nokia N800 or N810 Internet Tablet to run Papywizard?

These are handheld and pocketable.
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 andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:16 pm

I might have to go that route, but was hoping to limit the total equipment and cost to what I have now. I'd rather use the TC and have the rig be completely self-contained. I wish there was a setting in the TC that allowed you to determine a start angle etc.

-Andy

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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:20 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:Yes, I entered the info into the TC from a computer, and it does work, just not exactly as I want it to.

The problem with an 8mm lens on a 5D is that it is not 180degrees. It is ~178. So shooting with a slight down angle gives you better coverage of the sphere, with the final image being straight up to fix the lack of coverage at the Zenith.

The result has an ugly nadir, for sure, but the total image is a proper full 180x360.

The TC, as it covers the sphere now, gets a 360x178, so there is improper coverage.

-Andy

No, no, no.

You just need to force a 360x180 pano FOV when stitching.

If you are using APP/APG then you can do it easily by setting Preferred Projection to Spherical and Preferred Extend to Maximum projection range.

You will end up with a small black 'hole' at the nadir but so what - you will have to patch or otherwise hide the nadir anyway.


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 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:28 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:I might have to go that route, but was hoping to limit the total equipment and cost to what I have now. I'd rather use the TC and have the rig be completely self-contained. I wish there was a setting in the TC that allowed you to determine a start angle etc.

-Andy

The TC definitely is a better choice than a Nokia.

I forwarded the post to Josef. There´s no reason at all why it shouldn´t work properly.

Of course you can define a start-angle.

best, Klaus

P.S.: can you please show an example?
Last edited by klausesser on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:34 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:I might have to go that route, but was hoping to limit the total equipment and cost to what I have now. I'd rather use the TC and have the rig be completely self-contained. I wish there was a setting in the TC that allowed you to determine a start angle etc.

-Andy

As my later post points out you don't need to change that 'start angle' with the T&C.

I should point out that although, arguably, the T&C controller may in some ways be more convenient to use than Papywizard it is also very much more expensive than a secondhand Nokia Internet Tablet.

And as for being self-contained there's no reason why you could not attach a Nokia Internet Tablet to the Merlin mount, or your tripod, if you really wish to.
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 andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:01 pm

@klausesser:

re: Nokia: agreed, I've got the TC/Panogear, I'd prefer to not add anything more if I can. It should be able to work!

You said that you can define a start angle- how?

I'll post an image when I can, so far everything we've shot is inside a building I can't post pics of :)

@mediavets I'll check my APG settings, but I will say that the results from a down-tilted panorama + zenith are much better due to chormatic aberrations in the lens. By tilting down the unusable fringe of the lens can be cropped out more aggressively and thus the end result is much cleaner.

-Andy

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:03 pm

Hi!

To get it straight: the TC computes everything. No need to give it any angle-presets in sphere-mode - a sphere is a sphere: 360x180°.

When you typed in the 8mm and the sensorsize you don´t need set more but the overlap. Usually the default overlap does fine.

I repeat: you´ll get a rather big Nadir hole due to the Merlin´s big base. With an 8mm there´s absolutly no use for tilting the camera.

I use the Panoneed-version of the TC with a 15mm Canon fisheye and 5D2 on the Panoneed-head - here the setting is 5x -12° + Zenith @20% overlap.
That works great - because of the Panoneed´s very small footprint.

Andrew got the things right, i guess!

best, Klaus
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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:11 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:@mediavets I'll check my APG settings, but I will say that the results from a down-tilted panorama + zenith are much better due to chormatic aberrations in the lens. By tilting down the unusable fringe of the lens can be cropped out more aggressively and thus the end result is much cleaner.

-Andy

Sorry, but I think that's nonsense.

Using an 8mm fisheye on a fullframe sensor body, shooting a main row at -15 pitch is crazy and there are other ways of correcting CA.

And shooting from a Merlin/Panogear mount you are always going to have a large nadir to deal with.
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 andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:22 pm

@mediavets your tone is rather insulting, and counter-productive to intelligent discourse. I appreciate your opinions, and your right to them, please try to do the same unto others, especially newcomers to this forum.

@klausesser thank you for confirming the process the TC uses, I'll continue to test potential alternate ways to get a panorama shot exactly the way I want it shot.

Has anyone worked on an iOS BT interface for the BT controller? I found a thread about a possible Android app, but it doesn't seem to have come to fruition yet?

-Andy

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:24 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:@klausesser:

re: Nokia: agreed, I've got the TC/Panogear, I'd prefer to not add anything more if I can. It should be able to work!

You said that you can define a start angle- how?

I'll post an image when I can, so far everything we've shot is inside a building I can't post pics of :)

@mediavets I'll check my APG settings, but I will say that the results from a down-tilted panorama + zenith are much better due to chormatic aberrations in the lens. By tilting down the unusable fringe of the lens can be cropped out more aggressively and thus the end result is much cleaner.

-Andy

Defining a start-angle is only needed when shooting in angle- or mosaic-mode. In spherical mode you don´t need it at all.

As is said: i forwarded your post to Josef, the creator of the TC. Via a firmware-update he surely will be able to change the behavior of the controller if it´s necessary.

But first try to use more overlap ;):cool:

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

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by andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:27 pm

I'll definitely try out an increased overlap to see how that changes the initial pan behavior, hopefully it will not add too many more exposures, as we are shooting 7 brackets at each position, which take ~42sec each. We often have to take our HDR spheres as fast as possible so at some point the ease of use of a Panogear vs the speed of a Nodal Ninja may come into play :(

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by klausesser » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:33 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:@mediavets your tone is rather insulting, and counter-productive to intelligent discourse. I appreciate your opinions, and your right to them, please try to do the same unto others, especially newcomers to this forum.

Honestly, Andy: Andrew is definitely right!
(Besides: he never is insulting).

best, Klaus
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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:37 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:@mediavets your tone is rather insulting, and counter-productive to intelligent discourse. I appreciate your opinions, and your right to them, please try to do the same unto others, especially newcomers to this forum.

I didn't intend to be insulting. You came to the forum for advice. I am offering advice - based on my experience and that of many others - but you seem quite determined to ignore it.

I'll just add that I know of no-one shooting spherical panos who would ever advocate shooting a main row at -15 degrees pitch with a Canon 5D (or any other fullframe sensor body) and an 8mm fisheye lens whether using a manual pano head or a robotic pano head.

Has anyone worked on an iOS BT interface for the BT controller?

I am not aware of any such development.
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 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:38 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:I'll definitely try out an increased overlap to see how that changes the initial pan behavior, hopefully it will not add too many more exposures, as we are shooting 7 brackets at each position, which take ~42sec each. We often have to take our HDR spheres as fast as possible so at some point the ease of use of a Panogear vs the speed of a Nodal Ninja may come into play :(

In terms of quality i suggest to use a 15mm fisheye. Usig an 8mm you save one or two shots - that´s not enough saving to justify the loss of optical quality.
You might consider the 8-15mm fisheye from Canon for your 5D3 that´s a good lens and you can choose the appropriate focal-lenght for teh job you´re doing in a situation.

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:43 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:I'll definitely try out an increased overlap to see how that changes the initial pan behavior, hopefully it will not add too many more exposures, as we are shooting 7 brackets at each position, which take ~42sec each. We often have to take our HDR spheres as fast as possible so at some point the ease of use of a Panogear vs the speed of a Nodal Ninja may come into play :(

You can be a lot faster with a NN than you can be with a Panogear. The Merlin/Panogear is a fine device - but it´s rather slow. Even though it´s faster using the TC and the accus than in the basic version (PapyWizard on Nokia/laptop).

best, KLaus
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by andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:09 pm

@klausesser thank you, I'll look into that.

@mediavets "Sorry, but I think that's nonsense." and "shooting a main row at -15 pitch is crazy" is what I was referring to as being insulting. I came here to ask for info on how to shoot a panorama with the TC the way I want to shoot it, a method that the BT control allows. While it may not make sense to you, I assure you it comes from years of manual panorama shooting and testing.

If you have seen a movie with CGI in the past 5 years, you have seen the results of a spherical panorama shot on an 8mm lens on a full frame DSLR. We and hundreds of other on-set technicians around the world use this approach to quickly capture the lighting information in a setup. Speed and accuracy are the two critical issues. Speed is certainly not on the Panogear's side, but foolproof setup and accuracy make it a contender for replacing the nodal ninja + shutter control we use now. As I said before, we do not trust the information on the outer edge of an 8mm lens' FOV. This is both due to lens distortion beyond the normal spherical fisheye distortion, and due to chromatic aberration. To combat this, we crop in more aggressively than most shooters would, effectively decreasing the FOV from ~178 to ~160 or even lower. With the TC defining the the sphere it shoots, we cannot get the overlap that we normally want; the crop we use on our images requires a slight downward tilt to get full coverage. And yes, the rig is visible in the Nadir, but so is the ground around it, which we can easily clone over the rig and the nadir.

I hope that an update to the TC will allow us to do what we can do now with our NN+shutter control or BT+laptop, in the meantime I will see how big of an impact requiring more overlap of the TC will accomplish. Perhaps even lying to the TC and claiming that it has a 9mm or 10mm lens will force it to shoot the way I'm wanting it to!

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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:09 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:...we are shooting 7 brackets at each position, which take ~42sec each.

Of the approx. 42 sec per shooting position how much of that is taking the 7 bracketed shots and how much the head moving between positions?

I guess you are using the 5DMkIII's built-in HDR shooting mode?

Using a different head I presume you could only, potentially, reduce the time to move between shooting positions.

I believe the faster than Panogear/Merlin heads - the T&C Panoneed, Seitz VR2 drive, MK Panomachine 8 and Rodeon - all compute the shooting positions for sphericals and, unlike Papywizard, offer no manual/custom shooting patterns.

so at some point the ease of use of a Panogear vs the speed of a Nodal Ninja may come into play :(

Do you have Nodal Ninja too? The NN4 with R-D16 rotator is pretty fast to operate with it's positive locks on the pitch axis at 15 degree increments.
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 andrewcochrane » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:17 pm

It's 42seconds of just exposures, so the head move + settle time is in addition to that. While the NN solution is working for us, we've been looking for a solution that is ideally completely automated so we can set it up and let it run while we take other measurements and reference images with another camera and a more normal lens (24mm or 35mm typically).

We typically operate at the grace of the rest of the crew, which is usually limited to about 2mins to do our entire job between setups.

We are currently using a Promote with the 5Dm2's and a shutter release with the 5Dm3. The promote has a tendency to misfire, wasting time and requiring we re-shoot brackets. So far, the Panogear has worked every time. With the TC, the Panogear could shoot everything we need, perfectly and automatically, with no additional hardware, so we really want to get it working the way we need it.

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by mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:35 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:... we use on our images requires a slight downward tilt to get full coverage. And yes, the rig is visible in the Nadir, but so is the ground around it, which we can easily clone over the rig and the nadir.

My earlier point was that you don't need the images to provide complete coverage of the nadir to produce a stitched pano image witha 360x180 pano FOV. You can easily force a full 360x180 pano FOV in the stitcher. So that downward tilt is not really required so long as you get the outer edge of the Panogear mount battery cover in shot.

BT+laptop

Make that 'Papywizard+laptop'. All the 'intelligence' in the system is provide by the Papywizard software, the Panogear mount is 'dumb'.

The Bluetooth (BT) aspect is merely a means of achieving a wireless connection between the Papywizard host and the Panogear mount. It is possible to have a wired serial connection if you use a PC (Nokia Internet Tablets only support a Bluettoth wireless connection).
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 mediavets » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:44 pm

andrewcochrane wrote:We are currently using a Promote with the 5Dm2's and a shutter release with the 5Dm3. The promote has a tendency to misfire, wasting time and requiring we re-shoot brackets.

You sem to have ben unlucky with the Promote - others seem to find it OK.

So far, the Panogear has worked every time.

Have you tried using the Promote with the Panogear? Some like that combination.

With the TC, the Panogear could shoot everything we need, perfectly and automatically, with no additional hardware, so we really want to get it working the way we need it.

If you want faster moves between shooting positions as well then the upcoming Panoneed robotic head from T&C, makers of the T&C Touch Controller which the Panoneed head will also use with different firmware, may be the optimum solution along with a custom shooting pattern. Speed + Precision + Automation.

............

One solution to the custom shooting pattern issue would be for T&C to offer the option of uploading and using Papywizard custom presets with the T&C Touch Controller.

I asked whether that might be possible recently on the forum.
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 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:15 am

andrewcochrane wrote:To combat this, we crop in more aggressively than most shooters would, effectively decreasing the FOV from ~178 to ~160 or even lower. With the TC defining the the sphere it shoots, we cannot get the overlap that we normally want; the crop we use on our images requires a slight downward tilt to get full coverage. And yes, the rig is visible in the Nadir, but so is the ground around it, which we can easily clone over the rig and the nadir.

I hope that an update to the TC will allow us to do what we can do now with our NN+shutter control or BT+laptop, in the meantime I will see how big of an impact requiring more overlap of the TC will accomplish. Perhaps even lying to the TC and claiming that it has a 9mm or 10mm lens will force it to shoot the way I'm wanting it to!

To combat your issues with CA and so on: use a 15mm fisheye. I refuse to use 8mm because we need good quality in our panos - we take a Canon 15mm on a 5D2 for the quick ones (5+1 images) and 35mm (45 images) for the better quality and 85mm (200/214 images @20/25%). Bracketing usually 3-9, depends on the scene.

I read you´re doing spheres for CGI (vehicles?) - usually you don´t need a Nadir at all then, do you?

best, Klaus
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by klausesser » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:39 am

mediavets wrote:One solution to the custom shooting pattern issue would be for T&C to offer the option of uploading and using Papywizard custom presets with the T&C Touch Controller.

I asked whether that might be possible recently on the forum.

No. Would be possible but we decided not to use it because it wouldn´t make any sense at all. Definitely no presets needed. TC calculates everything in real-time on the base of the informations about lens and sensor you stored at home in the menue.

Choosing the sphere-mode the TC knows it is 360x180° and computes all moves. So: why custom presets? The TC ALWAYS is custom pre-set: lens and sensorsize. Choosing a sphere result in
the adaequate settings automatically.

Believe me: it works great. I´m glad not to have to use generate presets for spheres as with my Nokia and PW.

The PapyWizard-compatible XML the TC generates also work perfectly. So a sphere shot with my 35mm is done rather quickly: http://www.360impressions.de/ArchivTausendf/

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

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