panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2004-11-17
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2004-11-17
#1

Best lens and head for D70 360 panos??

I have a D70 that I would like to use to make some panoramic (QTVR) 360 images with. A couple of questions...

What is the best quality yet somewhat affordable lens for me to buy?
What rotator head is best for the recommended lens with a D70?

I am doing this as a hobby. NOT for a business. Although I would like nice full screen quality images, I dont have $1000's to spend on equipment.

Your recommendations are appreciated! Thanks!
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Joined: 2003-03-29
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2004-11-17
#2
I too have a D70; I have the $500 Sigma fisheye which, for the time being, does not allow me to make spherical images: hopefully the next version of Panoweaver (due in the spring) will remedy that shortcoming. It is reported that Panoweaver 4 will allow four photos around the axis plus one apex and one nadir image to be combined automatically. I have a pricey Kaidan rotator which allows me to use pretty much any lens, so that this will probably be a good solution for me. In the meantime I'm using my Coolpix 5000 and FC-E8 with an Agnos mRotator; it's very convenient and relatively small and portable, but the quality is not good enough for full screen images.

For someone on a limited budget (who isn't !), apparently there is a solution from Agnos which allows you to use your D70 with a Nikon 24mm lens in conjunction with the FC-E9 fisheye adapter and one of the mRotator heads... I've seen somewhere that other wide-angle lenses may be used but I can't remember where I saw that... so you'll have to do some research on our own. Be sure to look through all the messages of the past few months in this forum, they will probably help you to make the right choice for you.
Robert Jeantet
www.sav.org
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www.webalpa.net/spheres
etc...
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Joined: 2004-04-14
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2004-11-17
#3
Hi guys,

I too have a D70 with the lens kit. I use it primarily for taking regular stills. I have a dedicated Nikon 4300 and gear for pano shots.

What zoom lens do you recommend for the D70?

r,
eagle
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Joined: 2004-11-10
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2004-11-19
#4

These are the lenses and converters I would consider for spherical QTVR production on a D70, in order of price.

Peleng 8mm

  • Pros: Cheap, Sharp
  • Cons: Manual focus, Have to import, some lens flare issues, vignetting, cropped slightly

Nikon FC E9 Fisheye Converter

  • Pros: Non cropped full circular image on D70 (less photos required, big advantage)
  • Cons: Needs adapter. Not as good optically as 'proper' lens, vignetting

Sigma 8mm

  • Pros: Fully Auto, Feels more expensive than the Peleng (and is), lack of lens flare
  • Cons: maybe not quite as sharp as the Peleng, vignetting

Nikon 8mm

  • Pros: Very sharp, low disortion
  • Cons: Expensive, rare

Coastal Optical 4.88mm

  • Pros: Non cropped full circular image on D70 (less photos required, big advantage) , sharp, low distortion, low light falloff, lack of flare
  • Cons: Expensive, rare

I used a Peleng 8mm till very recently with no problems and was very satisfied with it's performance given the price(?100 on ebay brand new). I couldn't use PanoWeaver with this lens so I had to use panorama tools. In the new version of panoweaver (4.0) apparantly this is going to change. This is scheduled for release in March 2005.

I upgraded to a Coastal Optical digital fisheye lens after finding one on ebay and couldn't be happier. This lens creates a full circular fisheye image on my 1.5x multiplier D70 which allows me to use panoweaver with either 2 or 3 shots to create a full spherical panorama. This lens is very expensive to buy new, but you might get lucky, like I did.

 

Cheers, John

 


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Joined: 2002-06-12
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2004-11-20
#5

Hi John,  Thank you for this information.  It is useful.

Would you please annotate your post to include if the lens if a FULL frame (measured 180° diagonal) or FULL circular flavor information.

I think the D70 has a 1.56 crop factor when determining the 35mm equivalant focal length.

Dave


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2004-11-20
#6

Hi Dave,

Before I bought the lens I asked this same question to Coastal Optical to make sure my assumptions were correct and I wasn't wasting my money!

<Email Quote>

I have a Nikon D70 and am considering purchasing your Coastal Optical
Digital SLR fisheye lens.
Is this suitable and are there any issues regarding compatibility?
Also, does this produce a full circular fisheye image on this camera, or
is it cropped ?
Many thanks in advance
John Knott

</Email Quote>

and their response:

<Email Quote>

John,
The lens was designed for the Nikon digital format; there are no
compatibility issues.
It produces a circular image that is completely contained by the digital
chip (no cropping).
Sincerely,
-xxx

</Email Quote>


I received my lens today and can confirm that it produces full circular images with a 185° FOV.

IPIX also sell this lens as part of a high end digital SLR kit, but god knows the cost.

Here are some image samples somebody has posted using a Canon 300D which has an even higher multiplier than the D70 if I recall correctly.

http://www.virtual-scapes.com/Coastal%20Optical%20Sample%20Images.htm

If anyone is really interested I will post an image straight out of a D70 at some point.

Cheers, John

 


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2004-11-20
#7

ok.. I looked at this one

http://www.virtual-scapes.com/images/CRW_0257_RT8.jpg

See the blue ring 'light fall off' area typical of full circle fisheye's similar to the Nikkor FC-E8 and FC-E9 lens.  Guess that light fall off can not be helped.

I suspect the other lenses in your list are 180° full frame lenses unless you specifically called them out as 'circular'.

Dave

 


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2004-11-20
#8

Dave

Sorry, I misunderstood you.

All of the lenses are circular fisheyes. All of them on a regular 35mm camera would produce a full circular image. Due to the crop factors of most digital SLRs the Sigma, Peleng, and Nikon produce circular images with the tops and bottoms cropped (in landscape mode). The Coastal Optical and Nikon FC E9 converter produce full circular images despite the crop factor.

What I would class as a full frame fisheye is the Nikon 10.5mm for example with which the image covers the entire sensor but only provides 180° field of view across the diagonal, on a D70. There are other full frame fisheyes such as the sigma 15mm and the nikon 16mm but these only provide the full 180° on a camera without a multiplier factor.

And yeah,  you're right. There is a blue ring around the image. But I believe the CO lens does offer pretty uniform illumination round the edges, up until the last few degrees.

There is an interesting article here comparing Nikon, Sigma, and Peleng and CO fisheyes - no FC E9 unfortunately -  if you have any time to kill.

Cheers,  John


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2004-11-21
#9
I use my D70 with the 18-70mm-lens for the most photos.

For the panos I started with the 18 mm, not bad but no cubic-panos.

Now I am happy to bought the Nikkor 10,5, which is specially built for use with digital SLR.
The photos are sharp and like a fisheye with a lot of distortion, but I can stich the panos without problems.

If you want I'll send you some samples.

happy panographing


www.sirflor.ch
Rolf

Greetings from the Swiss-Alps
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2004-11-21
#10

Hi Rolf,

The D70 and Nikkor 10.5 combination. 

"The photos are sharp and like a fisheye with a lot of distortion, but I can stich the panos without problems."

How many images around?  Do you take sky and ground (zenith and nadir) images?  And what software do you stitch with ?

Its ok to mention other software here in the forum.

 

Dave


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2004-11-21
#11
Hello Dave

How many images around:
In portrait-mode 6 images are needed
Actually I do the panos without nadir and zenith images, because there are only little holes.

Stiching:
Normally I use PTMac with Enblend to a TIFF-image.
]PTMac from Kekus
(I also have QTVRAS and Photovista, wich are easy to use, when I shoot the images wit the 18mm-lens)

Converting:
To convert the TIFF to QTVR I use CubiConverter from
ClickHereDesign

Sound / Autorotate:
Some panos are more interesting with Sound and/or autorotate.
The tool I use is CubicConnetor from
ClickHereDesign


With these tools I have all I need to produce panos.


Rolf

Greetings from the Swiss-Alps