panorama software,virtual tour software
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2009-07-02
#1

Nikon D5000 and Sigma 4.5mm

Sure, I could have just listen to all of you about trying to make my Nikon FC-E9 fisheye work, but no, I had to go and spend mouths looking at all the cameras that I *might* get to work with that lens. only to come to the conclusion that you gave me a long time ago: "Don't bother."




Well, time to get a real camera. It looks like the new Nikon D5000 will fit my needs best, replacing my antique Coolpics 5400 and also my DSLR (Sigma SD14) that I use for stills. But I just want to make sure about the tour part.. Can anyone (cough, cough, Smooth) tell me if the Sigma 4.5mm would give me 4 shot panos?

Thanks
Vince
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2009-07-02
#2

Hi Vince,

The Sigma 4.5mm is the wrong choice in my eyes. It is a full circular fisheye just like the FC-E8 and FC-E9 used on the Coolpix models. But it is not 180 degrees + so you will require 3 shots. 3 shots would obviously have enough overlap so that you used the sharpest part of the image. But it will not provide you with the best panoramas because you will waste so many pixels to black space. Don't get me wrong, the results would be far superior to anything produced with a FC-E8 or FC-E9 on a Coolpix or even a DSLR with a conversion kit. But there are better options....

OK, so if you go with the D5000 your best choice for lens will be the Nikkor 10.5mm for quality, maximum size and all round compatibility. But, this will require 6+2 shots (6+TB). Second to this will be the Tokina 10-17mm Zoom fisheye but again (6+TB), then the Sigma 10mm but also (6+TB).

Now, if you want 4 shots and a easy workflow you require a Sigma 8mm because when fitted to the small DX sensor camera you will get "Drum" images. You shoot 4 around 1 every 90 degrees and with a +5-to-7 degree tilt up to close the Zenith/Top/Ceiling hole. You then cap or clone the Nadir/Bottom/Floor or shoot a handheld Nadir shot.

The Sigma 8mm will maximize the available pixels vs the minimum shots required to cover the full 360x180.

So, forget the Sigma 4.5mm fisheye it is a waste of pixels and money.

Regards, Smooth [8D]


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2009-07-02
#3
See, I knew I could count on you! I'm looking at getting the new Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 to replace my older (and slightly abused!) Sigma 10-20 F/4.5-5.6, might this lens also work for 6+TB panos? If so, it would save me close to $900 U.S., not needing to get the Sigma 8mm. That would free up funds to upgrade my Kidan rotator.
Vince
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2009-07-03
#4
Quote: Originally posted by Vince on July-02-2009
I'm looking at getting the new Sigma 10-20 f/3.5 to replace my older (and slightly abused!) Sigma 10-20 F/4.5-5.6, might this lens also work for 6+TB panos?

Vince,

The 10-20mm Wide angle lens cannot cover a full 360x180 in 6+TB.

If you were to use this lens you have two shooting scenarios you could follow.

  • Nadir Shot -90 degrees or hand held, 6 images at 60 degree click stops with -30 degrees tilt down, 6 images at 60 degree click stops with +30 degrees tilt up, Zenith Shot +90 degrees TOTAL 14 shots.
  • Nadir Shot -90 degrees or hand held, 4 images at 90 degree click stops with -60 degrees tilt down, 8 images at 45 degrees at 0 degree pitch (level), 4 images at 90 degrees with +60 degrees tilt up, no Zenith shot is required because you have already captured it within the 4x +60 degree shots. TOTAL 17 shots.

If you were to go this way you would be best suited to a panohead with a rotator that allows you to quickly change the click stops "externally" like the Manfrotto 300N rotator, Agnos MrotatorT or NNRD-12/16.

Personally, I would be buying the Sigma 8mm (4 shots + Handheld Nadir = Job Done!)

Regards, Smooth [8D]


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2009-07-06
#5
Vince, you might also look at the Nikon D90 which also shoots HD video which is fast becoming popular in the real estate photography business.
I would have to agree with Smooth on the lens selection. If you don't want to have to upgrade again then go with the Nikon 10.5 lens. I shoot 6 around and 1 up and use a tripod cap for the Nadir.
Nikon D300, D3s, Nikon 10.5 lens, RingT105N+Footplate+MrotatorTCPs, Giottos MT9261 Tripod, Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head.

If you know the "secret" then everyday is a good day!
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2009-07-06
#6
Hi Jerry, the 4 shot with no "up" shot would work better for my style of shooting. I had considered the advantage of HD video for walk-through tours, posting on YouTube and the like, but I decided to focus on improving I currently do instead of trying to learn something new.
The upgrade may be on hold unless I can work out a issue with Photoshop. I use CS2, and I would need CS4 to work with the .nef files from the D5000. The cost on the upgrade would be too much along with all new equipment.
Vince
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2009-07-07
#7
Quote: Originally posted by Vince on July-06-2009
The upgrade may be on hold unless I can work out a issue with Photoshop. I use CS2, and I would need CS4 to work with the .nef files from the D5000.

This is not quite true and is a common misconception. You can download the FREE Adobe DNG converter and this will convert your .nef files to .dng (RAW format) without any loss and these .dng files will work with CS2 and for that matter Panoweaver.

Adobe DNG Converter Windows Download

There is a MAC version also.
Very easy to use and batch conversion makes it very simple.

Regards, Smooth
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2009-07-07
#8
The upgrade in photoshop from cs2 to cs4 is $199. Purchasing the D5000 over the D90 will save you that much.
Nikon D300, D3s, Nikon 10.5 lens, RingT105N+Footplate+MrotatorTCPs, Giottos MT9261 Tripod, Manfrotto 410 Jr geared head.

If you know the "secret" then everyday is a good day!
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2009-07-07
#9
Quote: Originally posted by realtor jerry on July-07-2009
The upgrade in photoshop from cs2 to cs4 is $199. Purchasing the D5000 over the D90 will save you that much.


It would not be so bad if I wasn't already about $500.00 short! This is really going stretch my budget, but, to quote Winston Churchill:
"Never surrender. Never surrender. Never surrender."

I tried the Adobe DNG converter and it was not working. I think I remember seeing somewhere that you need to import Nikon D5000 files a particular way (drag & drop?) for them to be fully compatible with non-Nikon software.
Vince
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2009-07-07
#10
Quote: Originally posted by Vince on July-07-2009

I tried the Adobe DNG converter and it was not working. I think I remember seeing somewhere that you need to import Nikon D5000 files a particular way (drag & drop?) for them to be fully compatible with non-Nikon software.
Vince


You must have the very latest release Version 5.4 for Nikon D5000 support.

See the Abobe DNG Converter Read Me File

I have tested the D5000 .nef file and it converted to .dng fine.

Regards, Smooth
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2009-07-07
#11
I do have Vs. 5.4, I think it has to do with the sample images I was using. I got them from dpreview.com, and I no longer see them on the d5000 review page. I wonder if others had issues with them as well. Time to see if I can find someone local that I can get some sample .nef files from.

The reason I'm a little obsessive about the file conversion is that this will also be replacing my Sigma SD14 for all my non-pano work, and I want to make sure I like the results before committing to the change. I have never been 100% happy with the Sigma's color pallet (for us old fogies, to me it's like only being able to shoot with Ektachrome) and I'm looking forward to something new.

This is the pano head I'm thinking of getting, http://store.nodalninja.com/NN3_p/u-r10-7.5.htm to use with the Sigma 8mm.

Vince