panorama software,virtual tour software
Alternate Text
Joined: 2005-05-15
Send Msg:
Posts: 372
2005-05-15
#1

Nikon FC-E9 vs sigma and Panoweaver 4.0

Hello,
I have been producing full 360x360 images for the past 7 years using a Nikin coolpix 950 + FC-E8

I purchased a new setup: Nikon D70s + FC-E9 + agnos MrotatorB to replace my old coolpix setup. I am also purchasing a Nikon 10.5mm + MrotatorTCPshort to take full frame fisheye pano's. My clients are asking for better quality in the images so I want to offer both spherical 360x360 and cylinder/cubic panos.

The question is:
Can I use the sigma 8mm lens + nikon D70s to produce 2 shot 360x360 in the same way I used the coolpix set up. I have been using panoweaver 2.01 for stitching.

I want to upgrade to PW 4.0 but I am confused about the sigma 8mm vs the FC-E9.

The agnos MrotatorB + bracket is very bulky and heavy plus it mates to the 18-70mm nikon lens via a foam adapter and I have to use the stock lens to adapt it and that equals less image quality as has been stated before. This set up will do the job but is very bulky. I am considering returing this setup in favor of a sigma 8mm+agnos MrotatorTAP.

 I would rather use the sigma 8mm attatched directly to the camera + agnos MrotatorTAP for 2 shot 360x360 shots.

If the client wants a full 360x360 I can do that with the 2 shot set up so I do not need to produce top and bottom shots for the cylinder/cubic set up. In the cylinder/cubic set up I am looking to produce higher quality panos using  the nikon 10.5mm with limited FOV ( no top or bottom)  although I will experiment with this as the agnos MrotatorTCPshort allows for top and bottom shots.

Ok here is my set up so far:
D70s + nikon 10.5mm + Agnos MrotatorTCPshort = 4 to 6 shot cylinder panos
D70s + nikon 18-70mm + adapter + nikon FC-E9 + agnos MrotatorB = 2 shot full 360x360
OR
D70s + sigma 8mm + agnos MrotatorTAP = 2 shot full 360x360 ====will this work???

If any one is interested this is a link to one of my projects I produced for a real estate auction company. Done with coolpix 950+FC-E8 and stitched with panoweaver 2.01 in cubic format.
http://www.northwestflorida.com/roebuck/caribbean_queen/

Thanks for your help

 

 


Alternate Text
Forum Moderator
Joined: 2002-11-23
Send Msg:
Posts: 5438
2005-05-16
#2

Hi Gen.Lee,

D70s + Nikon 18-70mm + adaptor + Nikon FC-E9 gives a very soft image and not that desirable.

D70s + Sigma will give great results but it does require a minimum of 4 shots

You cannot do two shot panoramas with a DSLR with a 1.5 or 1.6 (multiplying factor) small sensor camera (unless using the Agnos adaptor to FC-E9) these DSLR cameras do not give a full circular image. Easypano called the images "Drum" style where they are 180 degree top to bottom but 140 degree in width.

The correct Agnos panohead for the D70 and Sigma 8mm fisheye or Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye is the MrotatorTCPShort.

Regards, Smooth


Alternate Text
Joined: 2002-05-18
Send Msg:
Posts: 157
2005-05-16
#3
You can use the "MrotatorC" Mrotator per SIGMA 8mm.

With three pictures you get the whole 360. Luca Vascon has also posted some PS actions and demo pictures together with Samples for PTGui on the Agnos website to go through the whole workflow.

If you want to go with two pictures you need a fisheye with more than 180 for the overlap. There is only the old Nikon fisheye with 220, but it's nearly impossible to find this (big and heavy) lens.

To improve your picture quality try to correct for chromatic aberration and vignetting first. This can be done in PS with the Raw plugin or with PanoTools. Next step is noise correction. After the stitching process correct for the colors (iCorrect EditLab works great) and after resizing your pic to the final size you must sharpen the pic, nikSharpener or other tool in PS, the new Smart Sharpen works also fine in PS CS2.
Alternate Text
Forum Moderator
Joined: 2002-11-23
Send Msg:
Posts: 5438
2005-05-16
#4

The MrotatorC images files cannot be stitched with Panoweaver software.

Regards, Smooth


Alternate Text
Joined: 2005-05-15
Send Msg:
Posts: 372
2005-05-16
#5

Thank you for your responses.

You are saying that the FC-E9 will not produce a full circular image with a Nikon D70s???....It will only produce a "Drum" image?? Correct.

So for 2 shot 360's I will need to stick with the Coolpix series of cameras + FC-E9. Correct?

About the D70s + nikon 10.5 + MrotatorTCPshort : With this set up you can shoot 6 portrait or 4 landscape plus top and bottom to achieve a full 360x360. Or I can NOT shoot top and bottom and achieve a 360 cylinder pano with a limited FOV.

I have only done 2 shot 360's and have no experience with shooting 4 or 6 images with a 10.5mm lens. Is there a problem with getting the shots to expose correctly. I mostly do interior images for real estate and travel. The important thing is getting the widows to expose correctly. I currently do it the hard way - double exposure and drop the windows in photoshop after the image has been stitched in cubic format. Sometimes I fix the windows on the original hemis then stitch. Just depends on how the exposures comes out. I saw HDR mentioned and that looks cool. Better than the manual way I have been doing it.

I have seen some work posted here in the forums that looks awsome. I just wonder how hard it is to keep the 6 images close in exposre without getting one too dark ir light so that the final stitch doenst have one panel/images too dark and having seams visible.

About panoweaver:
Will panoweaver 4.0 stitch 2 hemis shot with a coolpix?
I am currently using panoweaver 2.01 and my coolpix 950+FC-E8 for this purpose.

I am asking a lot of questions here and I really appreciate all your help. I am investing several thousand dollars in new equipment and don't want to end up with the wrong setup.

Thanks


Alternate Text
Forum Moderator
Joined: 2002-11-23
Send Msg:
Posts: 5438
2005-05-16
#6

If you fit the FC-E9 to a D70 using the Agnos adaptor you CAN shoot 2 shot. The quality of the images is very poor when compared with that of the Sigma 8mm or Nikkor 10.5mm.

So the following is true:

  • Nikon D70 + FC-E9 Fisheye with Agnos adaptor (2 or 3 shot full circular images) Can be stitched with Panoweaver 4.0 No Problem
  • Nikon D70 + Sigma 8mm Fisheye (4 shots portrait minimum +T +B Optional) Panoweaver 4.0
  • Nikon D70 + Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye (6 shots rotational +T +B minimum) "Spherical" Panoweaver 4.0

Panoweaver 4.0 does not deal with cylindrical it is a spherical stitcher. (Though you can crop a sphere to cylindrical)

Panoweaver 4.0 will stitch 2 x 180 degree images 3 x 180 degree images - 4 Drum images (+2 Optional) - 6+2 full frame images and also cubic images.

Exposure (Window Blowout) has been covered many times throughout the forum. Search for "HDR"

Exposure of 6 shots is not hard (use the AE Lock) or just plain manual settings.

Regards, Smooth


Alternate Text
Joined: 2005-05-15
Send Msg:
Posts: 372
2005-05-16
#7

Hi Smooth

Again thanks for your help.

I think I am getting the picture now. LOL no pun inteneded.

However I think I am confused about the "cylindrical" vs "spherical" vs "cubic" stictching.

So panoweaver is a "spherical" stitcher. Meaning when you shoot you shoot enough images either with the nikon 10.5 or sigma 8mm (4 or 6 +top/bottom) to produce a full 360x360 pano. if you want just  a "cylinder" then you crop out the top and bottom to the FOV you want?

Currently I shoot 2 hemis using the FC-E8, stitch and output in "cubic format". I do it this way so I can then open the saved pano and drop in windows, clone out cords, and other stuff, color correct, sharpen and then save. I then open the saved image in panoweaver and out put to the desired quality. This is currently my workflow method.

What I am trying to accomplish is a better quality full 360x360 image than what I am getting from the coolpix+FC-E8 setup I have now. Most people do not actually pan(up-down)  the image. So what is at the top and bottom is not really that important unless it is a staircase or other visually interesting environment. There is not much to see of  a ceiling or floor. But it is good that the viewer can have the option to explore the entire image. But the image should offer some pan up and down to get the "whole" scene effect. Pure cylinder pano's are not that interesting and lack the "exploring" aspect.

I am not hung up on a "2 shot" situation. I just want to be able to produce both a full spherical 360 AND a better quality cropped spherical. If I am understanding this correctly I can actually do both of these with the nikon 10.5 or sigma 8mm amd the agnos MrotatorTCPshort.

I understand that the nikon 10.5mm is a better quality lens than the sigma so I am probably going to go with the nikon lens.

So in this scenario:
D70s + Nikon 10.5mm + agnos MrotatorTCPshort - Shooting 6 portrait images will give me a full spherical 360x360 image without shooting top and bottom.
OR
I shoot 4 landscape plus top and bottom and achieve the same result as above.

Do you have to shoot the top and bottom if you are shooting Portrait to get the full spherical 360 ? Hummm. If I am thinking correctly the answer is no. So here I achieve a full spherical 360 but much better quality becasue I am NOT compressing all of the image onto one frame(2 shot). Here we are using 6 frames(portrait) resulting in a better quality image. So If I wanted to crop the image to limit FOV to say 270deg vertical then I would have a full 360 horizontal and a 270 vertical image. Correct?

As for the window thing, we use HDR to compose our window shots, then end up with 6 stitchable images to create our spherical 360. I know this has been covered, I was just throwing this in to complete the scenario.

I am so close to getting my new set up....oh man I can't wait.

And thanks to easypano for making their software. It's the best there is. No doubt.

Thanks, Gen. Lee

Ps - did you look at my link? I did all the windows the hard way. Can you tell. :)

 


Alternate Text
Joined: 2005-05-15
Send Msg:
Posts: 372
2005-05-16
#8

Smooth, I looked at your work. Very Very good. Excellant!!!

Exactly what I am trying to accomplish. The quality and sharpness that your images have. If I could achieve that quality I guess it wouldn't matter about the FOV. Heck, man you can't ask for more that -- Full 360x180 in that quality. These cylinder guys I am competing with in my area wouldn't have a chance. LOL

Gen. Lee


Alternate Text
Forum Moderator
Joined: 2002-11-23
Send Msg:
Posts: 5438
2005-05-17
#9

Gen.Lee,

Mate, you can find a question! LOL

How's this?

Buy a Nikon D70 and Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye, Grab a Agnos MrotatorTCPShort and a Manfrotto #222 or similar and wack it all on your tripod - sort out the nodal point alignment and shoot 6 rotational shots and stitch with Panoweaver 4.0.

What will you get? You will get a full spherical image but when displayed it will have a black hole in both the nadir and zenith (top and bottom) quite a large black hole but still more then a cylindrical image. If you do the up and down shots you fill these holes with Panoweaver's option for 6+T or 6+B or 6+TB. The reason for the large holes is because the Nikkor 10.5mm is a full frame fisheye it does NOT shoot circular images as you see with your Coolpix.

Now, if you fitted a Sigma 8mm to the same camera you would need only 4 shots in rotation 90 degree's apart. Because the Sigma 8mm fisheye shot an almost circular image much like the Coolpix (only the sides are cropped) you can stitch these 4 images with Panoweaver 4.0 choosing "Drum" style and get a full 360 x 360 spherical image without holes in the zenith and nadir. Although there will be some small imperfections to be either capped or cloned.

I my eyes cylindrical "Neck Brace" panorama's are not desirable they tell only half a story and and don't offer a true virtual reality (the feeling of actually being there). So what if the floor and ceiling are not that interesting? It's not that interesting in the real world either! But I bet you would prefer the option of being able to walk around in real life without the limitation of wearing a neck brace!

Full spherical also gives you a great place to advertising with a tripod cap for either your business or your customer. My experience tells me most people only offer cylindrical panoramas in a virtual tour because they can't do spherical tours. This I feel reflects on the capabilities (or lack of) of the photographer/business showing the tour/work.

Gen.Lee, I did have a good look at your tours and I thought considering the equipment you are using your panorama are very nice and the window blending was also very good. The only thing is because I do panoramas all the time I could tell that these windows where modified. But the general people in the street or viewing on the web wouldn't have a clue and they are the people you are targeting! All in all your work is great and will only become better hanging out here on the Easypano forum and with the use of your new camera/lens set up.

Please note: The images created with Panoweaver 4.0 in "Spherical" format are 360 degree x 360 degree (360x360) they are displayed in the viewer as 360 degree x 180 degree (360x180) because the tilt up and down is limited to 90 degree (90,-90) If we display 360 x 360 the image can be rotated in any direction even upside down within the viewer.

Thank you for the kind comments on my site. All the small gallery panorama's were shot with either my Nikon Coolpix 4500 + FC-E8 or my Coolpix 5000 + FC-E8. My full screen work was with my Canon 10D DSLR + Sigma 8mm.

We all look forward to seeing more of your work.

Regards, Smooth


Alternate Text
Joined: 2005-05-15
Send Msg:
Posts: 372
2005-05-17
#10

I agree 100 percent on the full spherical vs cylinder issue.

One last question and I guess we can lay this thread to a rest. LOL

With your coolpix setup did you shoot 2 shot like I do or 3 shot or something else in your gallery images.?

Heck now I am thinking I might need to get a coolpix vs a DSLR. I have a lot of tricks I have learned shooting 2 shots and If I can improve the quality with a better camera and stay with the same workflow then I'm good.

Thanks for all your help. I will try to add to this thread to let others know what I pick and how it works out.

Gen. Lee

 


Alternate Text
Joined: 2002-10-08
Send Msg:
Posts: 58
2005-05-17
#11
i am not sure i have purchased the agnos mRotatorB and FC-E9 for use with my nikon D2x, as i am pretty impressed with the sample link below..

I thought the images produced is better than the FC-E8 used on my coolpix 5000 at the moment. I hope i am not making the wrong move.....

yshttp://www.agnos.com/samples.htm?v_lingua=ITA&v_iss_web=0000000000000000655485301364&v_categ_lista=PR003-S0007-SS005