panorama software,virtual tour software
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2007-09-15
#1

CP 8800 & FC-E9 Problems

Hi all,
Im using a CP 8800 & FCE9 and am having a hell of a time trying to get the results I want.. Im about ready to say screw it and go get a sigma 8mm & canon D20 which is what easypano suggests.

But before I go spend a load of money I would like to know if its my equipment or me? Can anyone with experience using this lens throw some advice my way?

I have tried:
- Bracketing photos on manual mode with and without the fisheye lens selected
- using the panorama scene mode with and with out the fisheye lens selected

The problems I am experiencing are as follows:
- Lack of uniform lighting, I have tried taking my first shot in the brightest, darkest, and most mid light area in panorama scene mode, I've tried bracketing and AE/AF lock in manual mode and I still often (not always) end up with different colors, particularly on ceilings.
-I also am having problems with light sources, both windows & light fixtures light fixtures are not visible all you see is a giant blob of light and windows are the same, you cannot see out them at all instead all I get is a rectangle of bright light penetrating in and masking out walls, drapes etc. There are not clear lines surrounding windows or light fixtures.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Nikon Coolpix 8800
Nikon FC-E9 Fisheye Lens
Mrotator bracket

Ryan, Frustrated!
rvandermoor@bugboy.ca
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2007-09-15
#2

Hi Ryan

I have - untill recently - used a 8700 and fc-e9 and all the panoramas you see at my web page www.wideeyes.dk have been made with this setup including these 2:

http://www.wideeyes.dk/tours/fullscreen/poolsilkeborg.html 

http://www.wideeyes.dk/temp/politikken/folketinget.swf

It is possible to produce fairly good panoramas with my set up, and it should also be possible with your current set up.

I am no expert in this area, but I think that you should focus on improving your skills before buying new equipment. From what I read - with your problems with dark and bright areas and blown out windows - it will not improve very much by investing in new equipment.

It is hard to help you improve when we can't see any of your examples and when we do not know much about your workflow.

When you bracket - how many shots do you take? It sounds like you only take a few. Personally I often take 8-10 bracketed shots with 6 underexposed and 3 overexposed - all depending on the light in the rooms. I then combine the images in photomatix and finally stitch.

Hope this helps.

 


Best regards

Morten Andersen
- a newbie trying to improve
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2007-09-16
#3
Thanks Wide-Eyes,
I have seen your images and they are decent... better than what I get with my set-up. I will post some examples later (Im at work now) Photomatix looks like an interesting program and it does produce a nice light so that looks like an option.

However if the original 3 images taken to produce the panorama differ in color (I assume a combination of white balance, exposure, etc) then photomatix still does not solve my problem of uniform color.

What settings do you use? do you use manual mode? panorama assist? Do you set the camera to fisheye or no fisheye? Where do you take your first picture? brightest, darkest or most mid light area?

Like I said, I will post examples of the problems Im experiencing, mainly blown out windows/lights and lack of uniform colors between the 3 photos.

Regards.
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2007-09-16
#4

Hi Mungojeerie

I always use manual mode. My workflow on a location is more or less like this:

1) I walk around the room to determine the best place to set up the equipment.

2) I measure the light all way around (with the camera) to determine the best average setting. I also set the white balance and ISO.

3) I choose the brightest area and take a couple test shots to identify the fastest shutterspeed I'll be using.

4) I start shooting the same no. of pictures all way around.

5) I go home, run the images through photomatix and stitch. I open the final panorama in PS and adjust the levels, curves, color balance and saturation. 

I almost always use ISO 50 as a higher ISO setting produce a lot of noice with my set up. I always use manual mode, I set the white balance accordingly to the situation (you can always take a couple of test shots to determine the right setting)

I set the camera to fish eye.

I have upgraded my equipment to a canon 5D and sigma 8mm. The colors and sharpness have improved greatly in my panoramas.

You can see a fullscreen picture with my new set up here:

http://www.wideeyes.dk/tours/fullscreen/comwell_reception/comwell_reception.swf

And you can see a whole tour made with this set up here:

http://www.wideeyes.dk/tours/fullscreen/park/park.html 

Best regards

Morten


Best regards

Morten Andersen
- a newbie trying to improve
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2007-09-16
#5
Hi Morten,
Well Im not all the way there, but Im on the right path I think. I got photomatix and I set my camera on fisheye lens. I placed the camera where it should have been in the room, metered the room with the camera on auto which gave me a shutter speed of 1/8 and a Fstop of 3.2 one of the suggestions I had read on the web was to max out the Fstop and another one which pertained to my color irregularities was my camera was set to atuo white balance, and the suggestion said set it to daylight.

I set the camera to ISO 200, Wb: Daylight, fisheye lens and took 21 photos, 3 sets of 7.

At each position I took photos with an Fstop of 8 and Shutter speeds of 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/30 and 1/60 Thats 3 over and 3 under exposed photos from what the camera suggested.

I ran those images through Photomatix and stitched with the output files.

Results:
Blown out windows and light fixtures - GONE! I did however still have a difference in colors between the 3 images, however the color variance has greatly decreased.

One thing that I did experience is a very grainy looking photo.. not nice at all, however I did have an ISO of 200 and you state now that you suggest an ISO of 50 to avoid this, so I will try lowering the ISO... Also I did max out the Fstop to 8, I think when I try this with a lower ISO I will also try it with the camera suggested Fstop.

Your examples are quite nice, its a shame that the one office in the comwell reception is so messy with boxes etc. I do think that I will upgrade to a dslr and sigma lens, but I think that I will make do with this for now, and continue to play with settings.

I will continue to play tomorrow, and update you with my results.

Until then, Thank you for all of your help and suggestions, they are much appreciated!

Ryan




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2007-09-16
#6

Hi Ryan

Congratulation with the progress. It feels good when you improve your skills right?? I float on a white sky every time I figure out how to improve my images or my workflow.

You should keep you fstop at 8 to get the best DOF. You then just compensate by using longer shutterspeeds. i even go as high as 8 seconds. It is no problem when using a tripod.

To help with the noise, I can reccomend NOise Ninja from http://www.picturecode.com/ I use it on all my pictures and it really do reduce the noise. And it is easy and fast to use.

Best regards

Morten


Best regards

Morten Andersen
- a newbie trying to improve
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2007-09-18
#7
Good God Man! Finally pano's that look the way they should... alot more work though! I did 7 panos this afternoon with an ISO of 50 and for each one I took 18-48 photos combined them in Photomatix and BAM proper looking photos!

I still plan on running them through noise ninja... although I dont have my camera so I cant make a noise profile... and im anxious to get to this tonight! lol.. maybe i will make a post and someone here will have one!

thanks again for all of your invaluable help!

Ryan