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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:11 pm 
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Hi, I need help please. I am an estate agent wanting to produce high quality panoramic property tours both internally and externally. I initially bought a 360 one shot lens from panopro, as I thought it would be simple to use. I have a Cannon 650D camera which I use with the one shot lens. I have found the quality is poor and I have great difficulty getting the right exposure. This has led me to looking at other options. I would like to know what is the best solution for me. I dont mind buying the right equipment, but I want to make sure its straightforward to use. Can anyone please advise me as to best lens options ,camera setup and software please. I currently have three lenses for my cannon; 18-55mm, 10-22mm sigma, 17-40mm cannon.

Many Thanks
SB


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:35 pm 
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smartproperty wrote:
Hi, I need help please. I am an estate agent wanting to produce high quality panoramic property tours both internally and externally. I initially bought a 360 one shot lens from panopro, as I thought it would be simple to use. I have a Cannon 650D camera which I use with the one shot lens. I have found the quality is poor and I have great difficulty getting the right exposure. This has led me to looking at other options. I would like to know what is the best solution for me. I dont mind buying the right equipment, but I want to make sure its straightforward to use. Can anyone please advise me as to best lens options ,camera setup and software please. I currently have three lenses for my cannon; 18-55mm, 10-22mm sigma, 17-40mm cannon.

Many Thanks
SB

The most useful setup for your purpose definitely is a good (!) fisheye on a (preferable) fullrame camera and a manual head like a Nodal Ninja.
Using Autpano Pro or Giga and Panotour Pro you can optimize the process to some extent almost automatically working.

Fullframe camera: Canon 5D, 5DII,5D III (5DII might be ideal because you can get it for a reasonable price and it´s almost perfect for this work).
Another way would be Nikon-fullframe.
Of course you also can use crop-cameras - here lso i suggest Nikon or Canon. Others work too - but are sometimes not so widely supported like N&C.

As lenses i suggest on fullframe:
Canon 2,8/15mm fisheye resp. 4/8.15mm Fisheye-Zoom and Nikon 16mm fisheye.
On 1,6 crop: 10,5mm Nikon fisheye.
You need around 5-6 shots horizontal and 1 shot for Zenith to cover a full-sphere.
I also suggest to leave a Nadir away for the period of learning - you can do it when you´re fit.

But the most important poiunt: be aware that you NEED to learn about the basics of photography in general and of panorama-making in special. There´s no way around it.
Tons of literature on the web will help you.

best, Klaus

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Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel


Last edited by klausesser on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Location: Isleham, Cambridgeshire, UK.
smartproperty wrote:
Hi, I need help please. I am an estate agent wanting to produce high quality panoramic property tours both internally and externally. I initially bought a 360 one shot lens from panopro, as I thought it would be simple to use. I have a Cannon 650D camera which I use with the one shot lens. I have found the quality is poor and I have great difficulty getting the right exposure. This has led me to looking at other options. I would like to know what is the best solution for me. I dont mind buying the right equipment, but I want to make sure its straightforward to use. Can anyone please advise me as to best lens options ,camera setup and software please. I currently have three lenses for my cannon; 18-55mm, 10-22mm sigma, 17-40mm cannon.

Many Thanks
SB

Welcome to the forum...

I am a little confused. Your email address leads me to this web site which claims the company is a "leading provider of 360 panoramic photographic tours for a large range of industries in Northern Ireland":

http://www.smartpropertymarketing.com/property_marketing/360_virtual_tours
...............

Anyway to answer your questions....

Assuming you will retain and use your Canon 650D:

1. A good quality tripod - the Manfrotto 055XPROB is popular, adding a 555B leveling centre column will make it even easier to use for pano photography.

You might add a ball head so you can use ithe tripod with your 10-22mm Sigma for regular wide angle shotts too.

Try and match the QR systems on pano head rail and ball head to make it easier to swap camera from one to the other. Of course it would be more convenient to have two camera bodies.

2. A fisheye lens: either the Sigma 8mm f3.5 with Canon mount; or the Tokina 10-17mm zoom Fisheye with Canon mount; of if money's no object the Canon 8-15mm zoom fisheye.

3. A proper pano head. The Nodal Ninja range is popular and of good quality.

For the Sigma 8mm f3.5 you could consider the R1/R10 series of ring styl;e heads, or the NN4; both easier to use for your purposes than the NN3.

For the Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye or the Canon 8-15mm zoom fisheye you should consider the NN4.

Later consider adding the respective nadir adapter for your chosen pano head.

4. A wired (or infrared if supported for you camera) remote control.

5. Exposure fusion softare if shooting brcaketed exposures; commonly required fo real estate pano photography.

6. Stitching software: Autopano Pro or Giga.

7. Virtual tour software: Panotour Pro.

8. Bags for the gear.

9. A suitably equipped computer.

10. A willingness to learn and to practice, and acceptance that it will take a while before you produce top quality results.

......

If all this seems 'too much' then find a local pano photography and pay them to do the work.

.....

Are your clients willing to pay for this service - whether you are doing the work, or paying someone else?

.....

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Nikon D40, Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, Sigma 8mm f3.5 fisheye, Nikkor 18-55/50/35mm lenses, Nodal Ninja 5 Lite, Nodal Ninja 4 with R-D16, Agno's MrotatorTCS short.
Nikon P5100, CP5000, CP995, FC-E8, WC-E63,WC-E68, TC-E2, Kaidan Kiwi 995, Bophoto pano bracket, Agno's MrotatorA.
Merlin/Orion robotic pano head + Papywizard on Nokia 770/N800/N810 and Windows 8/XP/2K.


Last edited by mediavets on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:46 pm 
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mediavets wrote:
Your email address leads me to this web site which claims the company is a "leading provider of 360 panoramic photographic tours for a large range of industries in Northern Ireland":

A widely spread phaenomenon with panorama-photography on the web - promising more than can be finally provided . . :D :cool:

best, Klaus

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Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:10 pm 
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HansKeesom wrote:
klausesser wrote:
mediavets wrote:
Your email address leads me to this web site which claims the company is a "leading provider of 360 panoramic photographic tours for a large range of industries in Northern Ireland":

A widely spread phaenomenon with panorama-photography on the web - promising more than can be finally provided . . :D :cool:

best, Klaus

Maybe he is indeed the best one can get in Northern Ireland...... ;-)

:D:cool: yeah . . who nows . . :P . . .
uh - no, i don´t think so:
http://www.kenmcbride.com/360photography.htm
http://www.360cities.net/de/profile/garyquigg
;)

best, Klaus

PS:

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Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel


Last edited by klausesser on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Thanks for your prompt response. You are right, the website is correct but my partner who started this journey with me has emigrated to Australia! Leaving me in a position where I have had to decide whether to do virtual tours or not. That was his baby! Out of interest would the panogear be quicker to use on site than manual setup?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:19 pm 
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smartproperty wrote:
Out of interest would the panogear be quicker to use on site than manual setup?

No.

As an example: manual head, 5DII, 15mm Canon fisheye, shooting-time about 2 min per panorama:
http://www.360impressions.de/Wohnung/
Postprocessed as HDR-tonemapping and stitching/rendering took about 20 min for each panorama.
Making the tour you can calculate 20-30min.

These calculations base on some experience.

best, Klaus

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Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel


Last edited by klausesser on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:21 pm 
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smartproperty wrote:
Thanks for your prompt response. You are right, the website is correct but my partner who started this journey with me has emigrated to Australia! Leaving me in a position where I have had to decide whether to do virtual tours or not. That was his baby!

I see. If clients valued this service, then perhaps hire and train some young person to do this for you? It's not really 'rocket science' but your time might be spent more profitably doing other things?

Quote:
Out of interest would the panogear be quicker to use on site than manual setup?

Probably not...

Klaus will say that a robotic pano head is best, but I think that he wouldn't advocate the Panogear for this application because it has a larger nadir 'footprint' (leaves a larger 'hole' looking down) than a manual pano head.

He would probably advocate the use of the Panoneed robotioc pano head. It's very capable general purpose pro-grade robotic pano head, but it is also quite heavy, large and relatively expensive too.

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Nikon D40, Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, Sigma 8mm f3.5 fisheye, Nikkor 18-55/50/35mm lenses, Nodal Ninja 5 Lite, Nodal Ninja 4 with R-D16, Agno's MrotatorTCS short.
Nikon P5100, CP5000, CP995, FC-E8, WC-E63,WC-E68, TC-E2, Kaidan Kiwi 995, Bophoto pano bracket, Agno's MrotatorA.
Merlin/Orion robotic pano head + Papywizard on Nokia 770/N800/N810 and Windows 8/XP/2K.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:22 pm 
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not only the huge Nadir in the pano on your Frontpage... you also have the same sized zenith logo...
and lookup at the Image Quality... in sum you used such an 360mirror System.
I would bann this from your site this is not at all a Quality Feature...

if you stick on your 1.6crop camera I would use a 8mm Fisheye if you go Standard (1.0 crop FF) than the mentioned 15mm Fisheyes. In rare cases with much Patterns and Details in your Scenes than 22mm also make sense.

Georg

PS heads... yes if you only wanna do indoor panos than Manual head is first choice.
Merlin panohead is useless because of huge Nadir. it works with Fisheyes, but postprocessing the Nadir costs more than a mentioned Manual head...
VRdrive2, Klauss, panoneed... if you also wanna expand to outdoor panos (garden/park/house Scene from outside etc.) than for 30-80mm These automatic heads do have Advantages too. (XML files are saved, indoor Fisheyes are also working ... so no Need to take more than one head with you...)

Georg

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Last edited by gkaefer on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:27 pm 
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mediavets wrote:
Klaus will say that a robotic pano head is best,

No - he wouldn´t . . . :D:cool:

best, Klaus

PS: i suggest motorized heads exclusively for people who gained some experience and who´s panorama-business already runs successfully.
Here it definitely makes sense for several reasons.

But for starters it doesn´t make sense at all to buy expensivce gear prior to having built a reliably running business.

_________________
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel


Last edited by klausesser on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:44 pm 
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gkaefer wrote:
not only the huge Nadir in the pano on your Frontpage... you also have the same sized zenith logo...
and lookup at the Image Quality... in sum you used such an 360mirror System.
I would bann this from your site this is not at all a Quality Feature...

if you stick on your 1.6crop camera I would use a 8mm Fisheye if you go Standard (1.0 crop FF) than the mentioned 15mm Fisheyes. In rare cases with much Patterns and Details in your Scenes than 22mm also make sense.

Georg

PS heads... yes if you only wanna do indoor panos than Manual head is first choice.
Merlin panohead is useless because of huge Nadir. it works with Fisheyes, but postprocessing the Nadir costs more than a mentioned Manual head...
VRdrive2, Klauss, panoneed... if you also wanna expand to outdoor panos (garden/park/house Scene from outside etc.) than for 30-80mm These automatic heads do have Advantages too. (XML files are saved, indoor Fisheyes are also working ... so no Need to take more than one head with you...)

Georg

Hi Georg!

I definitely prefer a 10,5mm fisheye over an 8mm on crop: you loose plenty of resolution using the 8mm. That minimizes the zoom-range which is real nice to have with indoor panos of real estates. Loosing that zoom-range will cost attraction.
I did some highend real-estate jobs - they were very impressed being able to have a zoom-range for looking at details. Here a fullframe camera and a 15mm/16mm fisheye provides around 112MPx.

THAT definitely is a marketing-advantage over quick-and-dirty done average real estate visualisation.

Doesn´t make much more effort but most likely gaines business positively very much. Quality pays in the end.

best, Klaus

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Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:47 am 
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Hi SB,

To make the list of Andrew a bit more easier to digest and cheaper to follow. This is what I advice to photographers that work with me for their panoramas. It allows them to sell good quality panoramas in matter of weeks instead of months/years without breaking the bank.

1. Forget the ball head for the moment.
2. Cheap option is version 2 of the Samyang 8 mm lens. Version 2 is shaved so in future can be used on full frame camera. There is an difference in quality but not as much as the difference in price.

3. Go for Nodal Ninja 4 with RD-16 rotator. It is a tool that will serve you long and well in many situations. Bought as a set it is not that expensive.

4. Not for the moment, but camera on 2 second self timer and it will shoot without vibration and the whole bracket.

5. Not for the moment

6. Send the photos by dropbox to me and I will process them for you.

7. You can logon to my server and connect the panoramas in panotour. Will support you with that.

8. Yes, you dont want to loose money by breaking things

9. If you go for my support as stated in 6 you don't need a big expensive computer.

10. Due to 6 and this post, you should be able to deliver quality in much shorter time

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Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. If you want to concentrate on your business and shooting you might want me do the stitching for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:19 am 
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HansKeesom wrote:
1. Forget the ball head for the moment.

That was suggested so that he could use his 10-22mm wideangle for regular WA photos, often required to complement panos fro real estate work.

Quote:
2. Cheap option is version 2 of the Samyang 8 mm lens. Version 2 is shaved so in future can be used on full frame camera. There is an difference in quality but not as much as the difference in price.

The reason I didn't suggest this lens - despite its significantly lower price - is that he wanted something that is 'straightforward to use' and in my opinion a fully manual lens doesn't fall into that ctaegory for a self proclaimed newbie.

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Nikon D40, Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, Sigma 8mm f3.5 fisheye, Nikkor 18-55/50/35mm lenses, Nodal Ninja 5 Lite, Nodal Ninja 4 with R-D16, Agno's MrotatorTCS short.
Nikon P5100, CP5000, CP995, FC-E8, WC-E63,WC-E68, TC-E2, Kaidan Kiwi 995, Bophoto pano bracket, Agno's MrotatorA.
Merlin/Orion robotic pano head + Papywizard on Nokia 770/N800/N810 and Windows 8/XP/2K.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:43 am 
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mediavets wrote:
HansKeesom wrote:
1. Forget the ball head for the moment.

That was suggested so that he could use his 10-22mm wideangle for regular WA photos, often required to complement panos fro real estate work.

Quote:
2. Cheap option is version 2 of the Samyang 8 mm lens. Version 2 is shaved so in future can be used on full frame camera. There is an difference in quality but not as much as the difference in price.

The reason I didn't suggest this lens - despite its significantly lower price - is that he wanted something that is 'straightforward to use' and in my opinion a fully manual lens doesn't fall into that ctaegory for a self proclaimed newbie.

Regarding the ballhead I get your point. Still I would hesitate to use it while shooting panoramas.
Regarding the Samyang, for panoramas you have to use manual focus anyhow. Having an autofocus lens is just an extra option to make a mistake.

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Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. If you want to concentrate on your business and shooting you might want me do the stitching for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:11 am 
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HansKeesom wrote:
mediavets wrote:
HansKeesom wrote:
1. Forget the ball head for the moment.

That was suggested so that he could use his 10-22mm wideangle for regular WA photos, often required to complement panos fro real estate work.

Quote:
2. Cheap option is version 2 of the Samyang 8 mm lens. Version 2 is shaved so in future can be used on full frame camera. There is an difference in quality but not as much as the difference in price.

The reason I didn't suggest this lens - despite its significantly lower price - is that he wanted something that is 'straightforward to use' and in my opinion a fully manual lens doesn't fall into that ctaegory for a self proclaimed newbie.

Regarding the ballhead I get your point. Still I would hesitate to use it while shooting panoramas.
Regarding the Samyang, for panoramas you have to use manual focus anyhow. Having an autofocus lens is just an extra option to make a mistake.

I would also avoid having a ball head beneath my pano head. But some people like that setup.

Best would be to have two cameras and two tripods. One setup for pano shooting the other for regular phototography.

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

WRT the Samyang I wouldn't be bothered about manual focus, as you say one would choose to use manual focus for pano shooting. I've never used a Samyang but I think I would miss the metering, and camera control over aperture, offered by the other lens options mentioned. There is a version of the Samyang for Nikon bodies with an AE chip but I am not aware of a similar model for Canon bodies.

_________________
Andrew Stephens
Nikon D40, Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, Sigma 8mm f3.5 fisheye, Nikkor 18-55/50/35mm lenses, Nodal Ninja 5 Lite, Nodal Ninja 4 with R-D16, Agno's MrotatorTCS short.
Nikon P5100, CP5000, CP995, FC-E8, WC-E63,WC-E68, TC-E2, Kaidan Kiwi 995, Bophoto pano bracket, Agno's MrotatorA.
Merlin/Orion robotic pano head + Papywizard on Nokia 770/N800/N810 and Windows 8/XP/2K.


Last edited by mediavets on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:07 am 
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I am not pledging for the Samyang, certainly not for an experienced photographer but when someone is starting from scratch and needs to buy a lot of stuff this lens is a way to get started a bit cheaper.

_________________
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. If you want to concentrate on your business and shooting you might want me do the stitching for you.


Last edited by HansKeesom on Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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