panorama software,virtual tour software
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2006-07-07
#1

What do I need to get started?

I have a Panasonic Lumix FZ20.  I am hoping to purchase Panoweaver 4.00.  Is my camera suitable and if so what other equipment (recommended models) will I need.  Hope you can help.  Many thanks.

Thanks for great advice.  I appreciate you taking the time to help.  Will keep you updated.   j. 

PS Keep the advice coming.


j
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2006-07-07
#2
Sent you a Message..
Regards.
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2006-07-07
#3

Hi James,

Your camera is not really suited to panorama work and isn't compatible with a quality 180 degree fisheye lens.

You are best off buying a DSLR and avoiding compact and point 'n' shoot cameras. These days the quality you will desire within a very short time of learning and developing panoramas will have you wanting and wishing you started with a DSLR camera.

A very good get it point would be a Canon 350D (Rebel XT) and a Sigma 8mm Fisheye mated to an Agnos MrotatorTCPS www.agnos.com if your budget is tight then you could even run with a Peleng 8mm fisheye lens and a Nodal Ninja 3 www.nodalninja.com panorama head.

Do your research before buying and ask others for working examples and advise.

Regards, Smooth  


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2006-07-07
#4

A small word about the Peleng 8mm lens.  It is a manual lens.  The lens does not have an onboard cpu like the Sigma 8mm.  The Peleng then can not exchange f-stop, focusing or shutter speed information with the Canon 350d. That information can not be displayed on the 350d's LCD.   Essentially the 350d does not know the Peleng is mounted on the camera. 

Having said that... It is possible to manually set the f-Stop [F8] and focus distance [oxo] infinity on the Peleng.  Then on the 350d use the Tv shutter speed priority mode and manually set the shutter speed dependent on the existing light.  OR you can set the 350d to Av Aperature (already set manually on the lens) mode and let the camera determine the light meter readings.

Using the Peleng is a bit more difficult to use. HINT -> The User Manual is written in Russian.  No English translation available in the box or on their website.

Sigma 8 is fully compatible with the Canon 350d (Rebel XT) and has English [+more languages] and far less work.

I would strongly suggest using the Agno's Mrotator TCPshort with the 360d and Sigma 8.  Click to see TCPshort

Using a Fisheye lens then will let you go ahead and use Panoweaver 4 to stitch your 4 images at 90 degrees on a PC.


/s/
Dave
Forum Moderator for
EasyPano - Panoweaver
Pano2VR


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2006-07-07
#5

Hey James,

We're are the same point except that I don't have any camera and that choosing is not easy considering the number of advices I got from everywhere. I finally choose the Nikon D50 with a Sigma 8mm Lense, as the fisheye has become useless these days (try to find a coolpix 8400 and 8700 and I'll buy you a pint of beer, Nikon has stopped the production and it has become impossible to find a new one on the web (at least in France)). So I have no other choice than spending about 600Euros (416GBP, 720USD) on the camera and bloody 700Euros (485GBP, 820USD) on the lense.

For the head, I have choose the Ninal Nodal 3 for 141EUR (98GBP, 180USD), it seems to do as good as magnos and manfrotto good but expensive heads.

With a good tripod and Panoweaver only, I reach the limit of my 2000EUR budget

I have decided to skip Tourweaver, because so far it seems that Easypano haven't decided yet the price of the future release in October, and apparently it will be more expensive than version 1.30 (this info I hope is subject to change).

It hurts to spend more thant what I planned, but I think I will be happy with the D50 and the sigma. Good luck and let us know your next move.

Alexandre


Alexandre G.
MSN: agagnaire@chablinet.com
Nikon D50 - Nikkor 10.5mm - NN3 - Manfrotto055CLB - Panoweaver 4.0 - Tourweaver 2.0
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2006-07-07
#6
One more thing: do not forget to add the 17,5% of VAT that apply to UK, or have a friend in the US or where the VAT rule does not apply to send you the CD/Software
Alexandre G.
MSN: agagnaire@chablinet.com
Nikon D50 - Nikkor 10.5mm - NN3 - Manfrotto055CLB - Panoweaver 4.0 - Tourweaver 2.0
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2006-07-07
#7
James,

I have been creating panos at my work for almost a year with a Canon 350D (Rebel XT) and Kaidan QuickPan system with Spherical Bracket using a different software application (not Panoweaver). At work I recently got a Sigma 8 mm and started using Panoweaer - and I'm impressed with the ease of use and speed of the application.

I have decided to buy my own equipment to do some freelance work. I spent a lot of time reserching and pricing things out. For my budget this is what I decided on. Your budget and needs may differ.

Camera - Canon 350D (Rebel XT) (I paid about $640 last week - after a $100 rebate from canon)

Lens - Sigma 8mm, I pre ordered the newest lens for $629. It is due out this summer (at work I just bought a older Sigma 8 mm EX for Canon mount about 3 weeks ago). This lens is really nice - but had to find for the Canon mount right now.

Pano Head - I order the Nodal Ninja 3 for $159 on pre order. I am very impressed with the head for the price. It works great for a 350D but might not be good with all DSLRs (light bigger more professional cameras) if you wish to take an optional up shot, as the unit is small compared to other larger systems. But the quality is great for the money.

I anticipate spending another $250 - $300 for tripod setup (looking at Bogen/Manforotto 3001N legs and Bogen 322-RC2 Quick-Action Grip Ball Tripod Head).

My total budget is about $2500 and I am right at that limit once I add in the cost of Panoweaver and Tourweaver.

Like most things once you start getting into it you enjoy yourself and want to get better. You may be disappointed if you quickly out grow your equipment. I agree with Smooth - you should at least consider a DSLR and the Sigma 8 mm if you wish to use Panoweaver and have nice panos.
--Kevin

http://www.webvisiontours.com/
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2006-07-08
#8
Quote: Originally posted by 360texas on July-07-2006

A small word about the Peleng 8mm lens. It is a manual lens.



This is all true but I can't help think how people use their automatic lenses for panoramas. You will almost always set the aperture at f8, its not hard to turn an aperture ring. You will use fixed focus, normally on infinity, some people even tape the focus ring down to ensure it remains the same. At this point all they are really adjusting for shots is the shutter speed using the light meter. So how is it really that different from using a manual lens?

Of course metering for pelengs only works on canons. And the big reason to buy a sigma is less flare and slightly more sharpness. But then the peleng costs less than even the fc-e9 nikon screw on adaptors and is infinitly better than those.

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#9
"And the big reason to buy a sigma is less flare and slightly more sharpness" I have heard many reviews saying the peleng is sharper than the sigma we use the peleng with the 350.. and it is very simple to use and is very sharp...
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2006-07-08
#10

Couple of points I wish to add:

  • The Peleng quality varies greatly from batch to batch. (Some are great others are rubbish)
  • The Peleng can in some cases be a little sharper
  • The Peleng does have flare issues far greater than those of the Sigma 8mm Fisheye
  • The Nodal Ninja 3 is the best budget panohead. I have one and have tested it extensively but it is NOT at the quality of the Agnos MrotatorTCPS but if you cannot afford the Agnos the NN3 is worth buying.
  • It is quite possible to shoot with the Peleng and Sigma 8mm in manual mode on either Canon or Nikon bodies.
  • I personally wouldn't buy a Peleng over a Sigma even to save a little cash (this doesn't mean you shouldn't)
  • Buying a Canon 350D or a Nikon D50 or D70 are of equal quality and not worth arguing over (Buy what ever you can make the best on) Both Camera - Lens combo. I choose Canon because of the range of "Still" shot lenses. I would be just as happy shooting with a Nikon.
  • From what I have seen and read on the releases so far on the Sigma 8mm Fisheye various versions (Doesn't seem to make much difference) I won't be rushing to sell my older version to buy the newer release. ("Maybe" with the next version at 3.5 instead of 4.0 but not likely!)

Quite simply buying a Canon or Nikon DSLR and placing a Sigma or Peleng lens on it then wacking it on top of a Agnos MrotatorTCPS or Nodal Ninja 3 panohead you will have a successful combination (4/4+T/4+TB). If you buy a Nikon I personally would buy the Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye (6+TB).

If you want to spend up big grab a Canon 5D and mate a Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye to it with an adapter.

Any of these combinations will stitch with Panoweaver 4.0 and Panoweaver 5.0 when it is released.

Regards, Smooth


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2006-07-09
#11
Quote: Originally posted by smooth on July-08-2006

If you buy a Nikon I personally would buy the Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye (6+TB).


Hello Smooth,

Can you explain this ? Unless I have misread, the 10.5mm is a little cheaper than the 8mm lense, but sigma told me it wouldn't do full circular images. The choice is difficult to make, but it wouldn't make any difference on the result, since I will be using the great Panoweaver?

Alexandre


Alexandre G.
MSN: agagnaire@chablinet.com
Nikon D50 - Nikkor 10.5mm - NN3 - Manfrotto055CLB - Panoweaver 4.0 - Tourweaver 2.0