Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens  

In the panorama field, hardware is also part of the success. You can discuss here about it: camera, computer, pano head, anything
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Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by inMotion » Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:13 am

I've done several gigapixels with the kolor motorized head, and to be honest, it was barely better (if at all) than shooting the thing manually by hand. It was crazy slow and the interface was quite poor.

My question is, is there a better automatic panoramic head available for use with such a large lens? What are you using and what do you love and hate about it?

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by Destiny » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:07 am

Hi.. Have you looked at the GigaPan Epic Pro.. http://gigapan.com/cms/shop/epic-pro

Its comes with great software too...

Destiny..

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by gkaefer » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:14 am

... depends on Budget...

Seitz panoheads, if Budget is no Problem is always an Option :cool:
http://www.roundshot.com/xml_1/internet/en/intro.cfm
(Destiny is using a Seitz... :) )

panoneed, cheaper than Seitz, fantastic simple to use:
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?ln=en&tp=pk_home
(the T&C handcontroller for the merlin can be reused with the panoneed after Firmware Change)

I would not go the gigapan road... to limited Hardware for no real cheap Price...

The Rodeon Heads not to forget finally...
http://www.activecomp.ca/clauss/rodeon-vrhead.html

Georg (upgraded this year from Merlin to panoneed...)

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by inMotion » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:19 pm

Thanks for the info! I've been researching each head...i'm still curious what actual users are experiencing though.

I'll be shooting ~10 gigapixel images with a Canon 5D Mark 3 and a 400mm lens.

I already have the Kolor Panogear head, but it has been very unsatisfactory for these reasons:
- The time between taking photos is much too slow (from what i remember around 20-30 seconds between each shot)
- the interface is not user-friendly and the hardware relies on some rather outdated interfaces
- i was not able to import the xml file into autopano giga to align the images perfectly - it had to be manual, which resulted in areas such as skies and lakes needing to be positioned by hand.

On a 400mm lens, what are the speeds between each shot that you've encountered with your head? It seems that when the focal length is increased, the time between each shot goes up exponentially. This is very important as the weather and lighting changes throughout the day. We ended up just shooting the gigapixel manually over the course of a few hours, instead of 6+ hours with the panogear. It was a very arduous process that didn't get the best results.

Is there a simple user friendly software interface to program the your head that creates an xml to import into autopano? I was never able to get that working with the Panogear.

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:48 pm

inMotion wrote:Thanks for the info! I've been researching each head...i'm still curious what actual users are experiencing though.

I'll be shooting ~10 gigapixel images with a Canon 5D Mark 3 and a 400mm lens.

I already have the Kolor Panogear head, but it has been very unsatisfactory for these reasons:
- The time between taking photos is much too slow (from what i remember around 20-30 seconds between each shot)
- the interface is not user-friendly and the hardware relies on some rather outdated interfaces
- i was not able to import the xml file into autopano giga to align the images perfectly - it had to be manual, which resulted in areas such as skies and lakes needing to be positioned by hand.

On a 400mm lens, what are the speeds between each shot that you've encountered with your head? It seems that when the focal length is increased, the time between each shot goes up exponentially. This is very important as the weather and lighting changes throughout the day. We ended up just shooting the gigapixel manually over the course of a few hours, instead of 6+ hours with the panogear. It was a very arduous process that didn't get the best results.

Is there a simple user friendly software interface to program the your head that creates an xml to import into autopano? I was never able to get that working with the Panogear.


Would that one suit your needs? ;) :cool:
Image

Panoneed. I use it all the time - was involved into the developement.
http://panoneed.com watch the movie!

Very comfortable to use, collapsable and so on - read the site.

Around 2300.-€ completely +tax (somewhat long wait-list actually ;) )

Results:

http://www.klausesser.de/Wuppertal
http://www.360impressions.de/Medienhafen/
http://www.360impressions.de/Klapheck

and many more.

Klaus

P.S.: i forgot - the new PixPlorer from Dr.Clauss.
http://www.dr-clauss.de/en/foto-studiot ... ries-eng-2



Not as elaborated and sturdy as Panoneed or Seitz or Rodeon (also from Dr. Clauss), but comfortable, light and
perfect to handle. But not for cameras with battery-handgrip.

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by inMotion » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:01 pm

Hi klausesser!

That looks pretty impressive. At long focal lengths, how long does it take to re-position and shoot each new photo? Does it provide an XML file for seamless stitching?

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:20 pm

inMotion wrote:Hi klausesser!

That looks pretty impressive. At long focal lengths, how long does it take to re-position and shoot each new photo? Does it provide an XML file for seamless stitching?


I didn´t measure the speed - but it´s fast. Very much faster than Panogear/Merlin. It writes precise XML files for positioning the shots in APG and PTGui.
Works perfectly.

This one took about 25minutes to shoot using a 300mm Nikon lens - about 300x3 shots.
http://gigapan.com/gigapans/97639 (see the snapshots)

Klaus

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by Destiny » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:48 pm

Hi.. After owning my VR Drive II for a couple of years, I have come to appreciate the quality and functionality of this beautiful motorised head.. I have only shot a couple of giga pixel images using my Sigma 50-500mm so I am still testing.. Very heavy lens but my VR Drive was not effected by it.. I have speed mode on my VR Drive which is just so amazingly quick.. I am not the best as setting up the shooting pattern but I am learning.. There is an all new VR Drive just released.. I mostly use my VR Drive for 360 panos..

http://www.roundshot.com/xml_1/internet ... 78/f79.cfm

MK PanoMachine is also an option..

http://vr-head.com/english/mk-panomachine/

The VR Drive has a dedicated software in APG too, for XML import..

Destiny...

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by gkaefer » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:24 am

can make a short test tomorrow "simulating" a pano indoors with my panoneed using my (120-)300mm lens + x2 Adapter + my 1.7 crop camera... so somewhat 1020mm using my panoneed and the handcontroller.
Georg

PS I attached the english panoneed Manual. So you can see the Screenshots of the handcontrollers touchscreen...
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Manual_Panoneed_EN_1.pdf
(224.26 KiB) Downloaded 194 times

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:08 am

gkaefer wrote: So you can see the Screenshots of the handcontrollers touchscreen...



No, you don´t . . . ;) :cool:

That´s what i´m telling the guys for long now . . Seems i need to hang in more often =D

best, Klaus

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:27 am

Destiny wrote:There is an all new VR Drive just released..


Yes - Werner Seitz demonstrated it to me on the Photokina.
Very handy, very precise, very expensive - about 10.000.-€ - designed for photo-metrical shooting.

What really impressed me: the VR-Dolly for object-VR . . . it moves around an object and shoots object-vr.
THAT´S clever!! Designed for objects which you cannot place on a rotating table - like cars or sculptures or whatever.

see it here: http://www.roundshot.com/xml_1/internet ... 3/f364.cfm
(go to "Photokina Neuheiten")

Klaus

P.S.: as soon as it´s available here i´ll run a test for evaluating whether it really works as good as was told . . :cool:

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:46 am

Destiny wrote: . . . speed mode on my VR Drive which is just so amazingly quick..


Definitely not using a 400mm tele - or any other long tele-lens.
Aside from you like blurred images . . or you can shoot @1/10000sec. . . . :cool:

Klaus

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by gkaefer » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:34 pm

so here is my Video with the Panoneed, Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 120-400mm at 400mm indoor test with 56 Images...
not shown is selecting the start and endposition of the pano. Here the panoneed moves with up to 3 different Speeds. the Images are taken with the lowest Speed because of small angle of movement per Image. Sorry for the ugly Sound. the vibrations of my tripod lags were causing this - ist not the Panoneed ;-). I enabled the Vibration sensor, so in case of vibrations the shutter release will be automatically delayed. So I did set an delay of 2 seconds on the handcontroller to have enough time to release shutter, save the Image etc. By accident I did set the Counter for the Images per Position to 2 at the handcontroller but the promote was set to release only one shutter...

http://youtu.be/E2xVz5frrwU

Georg

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:43 am

Panoneed speed-mode using a 28mm lens - resulting in 700MPx.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhow2rk ... e=youtu.be

Klaus

P.S.:
"Speed-mode" in the Panoneed is *not* an option coming for some hundred bucks of extra cost . . . it´s already in the controller.

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by mamoo » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:36 am

Hi inMotion!

That I'm doing might be useful to you.
I was also frustrated with the movement slow Panogear in the same way as you.

PandroidWiz controls without having to slow down even a 400mm lens.

Requires Android mobile Bluetooth adapter as hardware to it.
In addition, preset generator and PandroidWiz requires software.

In my case:
Mobile ---- Nexus7 (2013) Android4.3
PandroidWiz ----- Ver 2.3
Panogear firmware ----- 020 781
Papywizard ----- 2.1.21
Bluetooth module ----- DELTAWAVE SOLUTIONS
In my case:
Mobile ---- Nexus7 (2013) Android4.3
PandroidWiz ----- Ver 2.3
Panogear firmware ----- 020 781
Papywizard ----- 2.1.21
Bluetooth module ----- DELTAWAVE SOLUTIONS
preset generator -----
http://www.photosbykev.com/wordpress/ti ... generator/
http://www.imagefitter.com/generator/ (My original Mosaic only)

XML files that have been executed:

PandroidWiz
<papywizard version="c">
<header>
<general>
<title>Start 2014.10.09 10:18:54 - End 2014.10.09 10:22:46</title>
<gps></gps>
<comment>Generated by PandroidWiz (v1.0)</comment>
</general>
<shooting mode="preset">
<headOrientation>left</headOrientation>
<cameraOrientation>portrait</cameraOrientation>
<stabilizationDelay></stabilizationDelay>
<counter>1</counter>
<startTime>2014-10-09_10h18m54s</startTime>
<endTime>2014-10-09_10h22m46s</endTime>
</shooting>
<camera>
<timeValue>0.25</timeValue>
<bracketing nbPicts="1"/>
<sensor />
</camera>
<lens><focal>0</focal></lens>
<preset name="mosaic400_7_5_B1_L" />
</header>
<shoot>
<pict id="1" bracket="1">
<time>2014-10-09_10h18m54s</time>
<position pitch="3.39" yaw="-7.49" roll="90.0" />
</pict>
<pict id="2" bracket="1">
<time>2014-10-09_10h19m01s</time>
<position pitch="3.39" yaw="-5.01" roll="90.0" />
</pict>


Papywizard
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<papywizard version="c">
<header>
<general>
<title>
Smart illumination Yokohama
</title>
<gps>
Here goes the location
</gps>
<comment>
Generated by Papywizard 2.1.21
</comment>
</general>
<shooting mode="mosaic">
<headOrientation>
up
</headOrientation>
<cameraOrientation>
landscape
</cameraOrientation>
<stabilizationDelay>
0.3
</stabilizationDelay>
<counter>
792
</counter>
<startTime>
2014-10-12_10h28m49s
</startTime>
<endTime>
2014-10-12_10h36m19s
</endTime>
</shooting>
<camera>
<timeValue>
0.5
</timeValue>
<bracketing nbPicts="1"/>
<sensor coef="1.5" ratio="3:2"/>
</camera>
<lens type="rectilinear">
<focal>
400.0
</focal>
</lens>
<mosaic>
<nbPicts pitch="5" yaw="7"/>
<overlap minimum="0.25" pitch="0.25" yaw="0.25"/>
</mosaic>
</header>
<shoot>
<pict bracket="1" id="1">
<time>
2014-10-12_10h28m56s
</time>
<position pitch="3.4" roll="0.0" yaw="-7.7"/>
</pict>
<pict bracket="1" id="2">
<time>
2014-10-12_10h29m10s
</time>
<position pitch="3.4" roll="0.0" yaw="-5.2"/>
</pict>


Note:
Among my blog, is an article about the Pandroidwiz.
http://uhrp.imagefitter.com/?search=pandroidwiz

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by klausesser » Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:58 pm

mamoo wrote:That I'm doing might be useful to you.
I was also frustrated with the movement slow Panogear in the same way as you.

PandroidWiz controls without having to slow down even a 400mm lens.


From my time using the Merlin i remember that it can be made a bit faster - by using
the accu-set and the T&C controller - but with 400mm it´s a question of exactness.

Merlin/Panogear is a rather simple device - no surprise related to the price - and
lacks the more advanced head´s precision.

With tele-lenses the distance between the positions is so narrow that Merlin
works in "crawl-mode" all the time.

It never will be "fast".

Klaus

P.S.: i mean 400mm is too long for the Panogear/Merlin. The steps are too narrow - and then
there´s the weight . .

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by leifs » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:02 pm

gkaefer wrote:I would not go the gigapan road... to limited Hardware for no real cheap Price..."


I disagree for the hardware part.
I shot this 8.3 gigapixel pano with a GigaPan Epic pro two years ago.
Canon 50D Canon 100-400mm @ 400mm.
For partial panos with a long lens it worked well.
http://www.rundskuer.no/panotour/ulstei ... ltour.html

Forget it if you also want to shoot spheres.
For that reason I have moved on to Seitz VRdrive2.

Leif

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by inMotion » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:47 am

Klaus,

I'm interested to know more about the panoneed. Is there a company email address? What is the soonest you can have one available shipped to the US?

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by Destiny » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:58 am

Hey inMotion.. If you like the Panoneed.. Here are some inspirational photos of it in the field..

Destiny..
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443184920_1280.jpg
maxresdefault.jpg

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by inMotion » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:50 pm

Thanks Destiny! Did you take those photos?

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by Destiny » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:03 pm

No, I found them on Google search..

Hey... Have you researched the Claus range.. http://www.activecomp.ca/clauss/rodeon-vrhead.html
Expensive but very well made.. I guess at the end of the day, you get what you pay for or what you can afford to pay.
Cheap end would be the GigaPan Epic Pro and the Claus would be at the high end.. with a few options in-between...

Destiny...

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by inMotion » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:12 am

Yes, I have researched that. Looks pretty good...but unfortunately, the price is a bit of an issue.

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by Destiny » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:08 am

... in all honestly then.. I would go with the GigaPan Epic Pro. It has some great software and its a proven tool.. I was going to buy one before I bought my VR Drive but I really wanted a robotic head for VR Tour.. The GigaPan Epic Pro would not be any good for that.. With the GigaPan Epic Pro you can call on a community forum of like minded people for support. There is a range of parts and assessories too.

Destiny..

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by mediavets » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:17 pm

Destiny wrote:... in all honestly then.. I would go with the GigaPan Epic Pro. It has some great software and its a proven tool.. I was going to buy one before I bought my VR Drive but I really wanted a robotic head for VR Tour.. The GigaPan Epic Pro would not be any good for that.. With the GigaPan Epic Pro you can call on a community forum of like minded people for support. There is a range of parts and assessories too.

Destiny..


Except that Gigapan appears to have gone bust?

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Re: Best head option for shooting gigas with 400mm lens

by Destiny » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:52 pm

oh eeks.. That's terrible!.. So many issues in the world..
How do you know this..

Destiny...

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