panorama software,virtual tour software
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2005-09-05
#12

Black screen (LCD) is normal yes, it will do the very same thing with the Coolpix remote until it initialises.

God Dam!!!!!!! not Got Dam!!!!!!!.

Ideas:

You must use a serial cable (purpose built) where did you get yours from?

I have not read that the Coolpix 8700 is supported. Did you get conformation that it will? On the Coolpix 5000 it is "BULB5M"

Morten,

I do understand what you are saying about not touching the camera. But believe me you don't have too using the Coolpix remote. You must set the camera into "Bracketing Mode" with the Coolpix 5000 you can choose from multiple options. 3 shots -1.0, 0.0, +1.0 etc. When in this mode you take the shots.

Stay with me here as I try to explain.

In position (1) 0 degrees on your panohead you press the shutter button and the first shot is taken at -1.0 then without moving the camera or touching it because it is set in bracketing mode you take a second shot at 0.0 then a third at +1.0. Then you would move your camera position to 120 degree and repeat the three shots and then into the third position 240 degrees.

You will end up with 9 shots in total 3 in each bracket setting all without touching the camera (unless repositioning) This works extremely well and no need for a huge bulky laptop.

Now, this example was for only 3 shots (bracketing) the option on the Coolpix 5000 is up to 5 shots. The Coolpix 8700 might have different options?

Hope this helps.

Regards, Smooth


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2005-09-05
#13

Hi Smooth

*lol* Thanks for the english lesson.

Tha cable I am using is an sc-ew 3 and I had my local camara store order it to me from Nikon.

I know that it is possible to use the auto bracketing mode, and that is very fine in some situations. But it is only possible to bracket it in 5 steps with maximum 1.0ev

It is often not enough. Was it possible to use 2 steps it would solve my problem.

I have been in contact with the developer of the program Gregory Pruden, and he says that there should be no problem using the program with my camera.

By the way. I was told that it is possible to save the settings of the panorama after stitching so I can use the same settings when I have to stitch a set of hemis with a different exposure. I can't find out where to save the settings. Can you help me? Is it in the "tools" menu?? I use panoweaver 3.01

 

Best regards

Morten andersen

- a newbie trying to improve


Best regards

Morten Andersen
- a newbie trying to improve
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2005-09-05
#14

The SC-EW cable is correct.

The Coolpix 8700 uses the correct model remote same as the Coolpix 5000 so you would think that would be correct. I must say 2 full steps seems a lot and I cannot see why you would need to jump both up and down 4 Ev steps from your base setting.

With 3.01 Pro you would just type in the exact X, Y and R values for each image/hemi as the first one stitched. Just write them down and re-enter for your next set to be stitched. You will get the same stitch.

Regards, Smooth


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2005-09-05
#15

I have been watching this thread with interest. I don't want to take away from the discussions but I have a few comments.

If you are trying to get "the force" to work just to get it to work then keep at it.

As Smooth said it is a lot of equipment and weight to be toting around and setting up. I can't see how this is cost effective when time is money. If you are shooting as a hobby then no worries but if you are shooting for paying customers time is money and the more time it takes to shoot the less money you make. Even if it did work there is still  the pain in the ass factor.

Wide-Eyes mentions he does not want to touch the camera to change the exposure for fear of effecting the images. You can in fact touch the camera to change exposure without a problem. I know becuasue I do it all the time. If you don't beleive me I can show you proof

I have the coolpix 5000. I have the corded remote as well. But I don't use it that much. I checked out the coolpix 8700 and it has a command dial on the top just like the CP 5000. This command dial is how you change the shutter speed and apiture. It is quite possible to rotate the command dial to change shutter speed without moving the camera at all. I know becuase I do it all the time.

It is not necessary to shoot bracket sets with 2 ev steps. This is quite extreme. I have tried both 1 and 2 ev steps. 1 ev step is enough. I live on the coast and have to shoot interior shots on the beach. The light is just as bright as it gets. 1 ev step is enough if you take enough shots. The only reason to do 2 ev is to take less shots. But in this case you will not get as much dynamic range as you can when shooting 1 ev step with more exposures.

Between shutter speed of 2000 to 1" you can get a max of 6 images  at 2 ev steps. In contrast shooting 1 ev step in this range you can get 12 images. If you have determined the correct midtone exposure then 3 above and 3 below at 1 step will produce a very good image.

I have to shoot a min of  7 exposures to get the dynamic range needed. I have shot as many as 10 exposures. This can not be done using the bracketing program so it is necessary to manually rotate the command dial to change the exposure when shooting this many exposures. In fact I don't even use the timer most of the time. I am just VERY careful when pressing the shutter. When shooting a 7 to 10 image bracket set using the timer is just a pain in the ass. Especially when shooting a 10 scene project. Time ....Time Time is money.

We are splitting hairs here with the issue of touching the camera. If you have a shaking problem with your hands or are handicapped in some way then this makes sense but if you are a normal individual with normal use of your hands then you can touch the camera to change exposure and even manually press the shutter button without effecting the qualityof your images.

This project was shot with the cp 5000. It consists of 30 panos that took 3 days to shoot ( I actually shot 40 scenes but only used 30). At first I was using the timer and manually changing the exposure. All the scenes were shot using 1 step for 10 exposures. On the second day I got tired of waiting on the timer for 10 shots so I just started hitting the shutter manually. You can not tell which ones were timed and which ones were not.
http://66.118.155.203/roebuck/3257_burnt_pine/virtual_tour_home.html

There is no way I could have used a laptop setup to do this project. The time necessary to setup this kind of rig would have been enormous and not cost effective at all.

This is a large project and most are not that big but it illustrates my point.

The LCD on the camera has enough quality to judge your test shots. I can see using the laptop to pr


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2005-09-06
#16

Hi Gen.Lee,

Great novel mate!

Yes, 1 Ev steps I believe is plenty. Should you wish to speed things up I would set auto bracketing to 5 and use 3 shots from it 0.0, +1.0 and -2.0 and blend.

Blending 7, 8 10 images is insane!

After all this is said and done I'm NOT a huge fan of HDR images as things look fake, flat, lifeless and plastic. Window blow outs are bad but not the end of the world. Sometimes "masking" the glass and replacing the through window area produces much, much better and more realistic results.

People don't have to be sheep and follow what one person or even the majority say is best. Because most of the time you are just following someone else's "idea" of correct.

Carrying the laptop and using "the force" wouldn't really add that much to the set up as it is just one cable. The Force does not give a "Screen Preview" only camera controls. "DSLR Shutter Pro" does give both and is perfect for studio work. When shooting panoramas I use the remote or the self timer option because I don't want the risk of bumping the camera. Using the shutter release manually would see me/my shadow or at least bits of me in the shot.

Now I'm writing a novel, so I'm out of here!

Remember it's in the eye of the beholder, - people can look at things quite differently.

Regards, Smooth


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2005-09-06
#17

Yes Smooth you are right. I wasn't trying to say my way is the best or anything. Only telling how I do it.

Besides it the point of "it should work". I was not suggesting at all that Wide-Eyes just forget the laptop setup. Only relating some other thoughts on the issue of WHY or why not you  would use the laptop rig.

I am quite sure if I had a laptop to do this with I would be right here with you guys trying to make work whether I am going to use it or not.

I never thought about studio work. I sometimes do protraits for realtors and the laptop could come in handy for that kind of work. Even for stills of the interior.

Gen. Lee


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2005-09-06
#18

Gen. Lee,

I wasn't saying you or your way are wrong either. I'm just saying people are allowed to be different and have their own opinions.

Maybe it's only me who see's the flat plastic look of HDR photo's?

So long as the client is happy and pays you the cash, that is what matters most.

Regards, Smooth


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2005-09-06
#19

It is true what you say about the HDR photos. I have found that some come out real nice and others do get the plastic look. The windows will get a fade to them as well. I am really trying to find quicker way of doing "window treatments" than the old cut and paste method.

I don't suppose you could describe your "masking" tecknique? I have used a photoshop action that does layer blending but it blends all the image like photomatrix does. If I could mask the blown out window then put in a window exposure behind that that sounds like a quicker way than HDR then cut and paste.

I have tried taking 2 or 3 exposures just to get the window and window frame. Then do HDR on that image. I cut and paste the whole window frame into a properly exposed shot or sometimes I will plan to take 2 exposures that will be combined to get a good exposure and then paste in the window as above.

I find that when I take a 7 image bracket set this gives me options later. I can HDR all of them or just 2 for the interior and 2 for the windows and then cut and paste.

If I am not sure what to do or it is an important shot like the living room with the great view of the water I will do a 10 image barcket to get all the steps. Then later I can pick which ones to do HDR or just use the one image that is best of all of them. Options...Options LOL

Gen. Lee


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2005-09-09
#20

Hi Guys

It is not that I have lost interest in this thread, but the last couple of days I have been all over Denmark taking pictures for a chain of exclusive fitness centers, so it have been a lot of time taking pictures and a lot of driving.

@ Gen. Lee

My concern is not if I should use a laptop or not. My big concern is that I can't seem to get propper results when using Photomatix. My end results always get blurry. I thought that it had to be because I shake the camera when taking the pictures. Therefore I have been looking for a solution on how to take the images without having to touch the camera. The only solution I could find was TheForce. I agree with you that it is not ideal having to carry around a laptop, but if that is what it takes, I am willing to do it in order to make nice panoramas. But now I can't get TheForce to work. I think my karma is all messed up *lol*

 

@smooth

I don't get it. I do already use the exact same x, r & y values when I stitch my panos. But still when I try to generate a HDR image in photomatix it gets blurry. Any suggestions on what I am doing wrong?? Later today I will try to download the trial version of panoweaver 4, stitch a couple of panos at different exposures and then try to generate a HDR. Perhaps that will help, but I doubt it.

 

Both of you say that ev steps of 1 is enough. I use 2 because I would like not to stitch more then 5-6 panos. But perhaps I am getting it all wrong. When I have set up my equipment the first step is that I measure the light. I try to find the perfect shutter speed for all 3 hemis. At my camera that is when there is when the display says 0 (normally I use the small line to determine the shutter speed. It have to be in the middle - hope you understand what I am trying to explain?) then I take some test shots to determine the fastest shutter speed I have to use (normally this is when I get a clear bright view out of the windows) Lets say that the perfect shutter speed is at 1/2sec, and the fastest shutter speed I need is 1/125. Then I take the following shots: 1/125, 1/30, 1/8, 1/2, 1, 2, 4.  I have started only to use 1ev steps in the pictures that have to be overexposed, bucause with 2ev steps I think they get way to bright, and as far as I know they are useless if they are to overexposed. Am I right or??

 

Now I will try to download panoweaver 4 and see if that works. Hopefully I "just" have to buy this program to get perfect HDR images. I will let you know later to day.

Best regards

Morten Andersen

- a newbie trying to improve


Best regards

Morten Andersen
- a newbie trying to improve
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2005-09-09
#21

Hi Wide-eyes

I understand your reasons for the laptop. Whate ever it takes to get the shot. Same reason I sometimes take a 10 exosure set. Smooth thinks thats crazy......LOL...it is.... but like you I do whatever I can to make it work.

Could you post a link to some of the original hemis you have shot that come out blurry. I would like to experiment witht them to see if I can help you any.

Gen. Lee