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Author Topic: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...  (Read 12789 times)

Telecaster

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2014, 04:32:12 pm »

With all due respect, you might consider getting one lens only then use it to develop your pano technique. Having so much hardware just complicates things and distracts from what you need to learn. It puts me in mind of the people who buy a nice printer and then immediately want to get a dozen different papers to "test." No, get one good paper and work with it until you make make really excellent prints. Then and only then consider trying others.

I second this. Master the process with one lens (I'd suggest the Zeiss), then get more if you need 'em.

-Dave-
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aaron

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2014, 05:39:58 pm »

Thanks for doing the math!
I had been trying to match the FOV today with some zooms and was thinking at 85mm it was a little short (I thought it would match the 180 on the 617 vertically stitched..) so am rethinking the 85 now, the zeiss 100 makro may be more familar.

Aaron


Aaron,

The horizontal and vertical FOV of the above lenses is:

90mm = 86.7 Horizontal, 36.9 Vertical
180mm = 50.6 Horizontal, 18.9 Vertical
300mm = 31.6 Horizontal, 11.4 Vertical

A single capture using a 19mm, 38mm and 63mm focal length lens respectively will provide equal horizontal FOV on a D800 in landscape orientation.

In order to equal vertical FOV of a 617 camera by stitching a single row of portrait orientation images on a D800, a 54mm, 108mm and 180mm focal length lens respectively will be required.

The above assumes that the 617 camera negative is exactly 60x170mm (I have read that it may actually be 56x171). The sensor in the D800 is 35.9x24mm.
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aaron

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2014, 05:46:46 pm »

Thanks Dave & Peter,
Good advice no doubt, I will attempt restraint  ;D

Aaron

I second this. Master the process with one lens (I'd suggest the Zeiss), then get more if you need 'em.

-Dave-
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Chockstone

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2014, 01:02:48 am »

Bare in mind that if you intend to do a cylindrical projection or the like you give up about 10% of your fine detail when the software manipulates your files. It's a bit like the mush effect from diffraction. So spending a lot of money on a set of primes just for the last grain of detail is possibly of questionable value when a single top of the range zoom will get you the same result.

Put another way, if your lens sweet spot is F8-F11 and you live in fear of F16 because of diffraction, then you'll be reduced to tears when you see what gets thrown away after a cylindrical projection. I'm not familiar with Nikon, but if they have a 24-70 zoom that's top notch quality that would be my suggestion.

In the absence of a 3x1 viewfinder you can also do the following with a zoom:

Zoom to 35mm, hold the camera in landscape orientation and whilst looking through the view finder sweep it left to right to observe double the width of a 2x3 composition. If you like what you see, zoom to 50mm, turn the camera to portrait orientation and shoot at least 8 frames left to right with generous overlap (and mirror up, manual, remote shutter, etc).

If you think you need something a different FOV adjust the poor mans viewfinder roughly as follows:

Landscape 24mm x 2 = 35mm vertical x 8 or so
Landscape 28mm x 2 = 45mm vertical x 8 or so
Landscape 35mm x 2 = 50mm vertical x 8 or so
Landscape 50mm x 2 = 70mm vertical x 8 or so
Landscape 70mm x 2 = 100mm vertical x 8 or so
Landscape 100mm x 2 = 200mm vertical x 8 or so

However, by far the biggest issue you'll need to deal with are stitching errors, even with a nodal slide. Man made subjects, particularly those with near horizontal lines are bothersome, as are the obvious issues from moving subjects like waves, and changing intensity and colour of light between frames.

Good luck!

BernardLanguillier

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2014, 02:15:18 am »

Bare in mind that if you intend to do a cylindrical projection or the like you give up about 10% of your fine detail when the software manipulates your files. It's a bit like the mush effect from diffraction. So spending a lot of money on a set of primes just for the last grain of detail is possibly of questionable value when a single top of the range zoom will get you the same result.

That really depends on the software you are using.

With PTgui Pro 9 and using a lens correctly positioned relative to its nodal point, I typically stitch with optimization errors around 0.1 pixel, recently closer to 0.05 pixel.

The quality I get is really hard to distinguish from the individual frames I use to stitch.

By the way, I only use planar projections that keep straight lines straight.

Cheers,
Bernard

AreBee

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2014, 03:06:11 am »

Bernard,

Quote
With PTgui Pro 9 and using a lens correctly positioned relative to its nodal point, I typically stitch with optimization errors around 0.1 pixel, recently closer to 0.05 pixel.

Optimization relates to the accuracy of PTGui to warp images to obtain a perfect fit according to the control points placed. It is independent of the projection method adopted.

Quote
The quality I get is really hard to distinguish from the individual frames I use to stitch.

It is certainly the case that stitching softens an image relative to the original as a result of gross interpolation carried out when rendering the stitched image. However, the degree of softening can be mitigated somewhat by the choice of Interpolator used in the rendering parameters.

Cheers,
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2014, 04:38:05 am »

Optimization relates to the accuracy of PTGui to warp images to obtain a perfect fit according to the control points placed. It is independent of the projection method adopted.

It is certainly the case that stitching softens an image relative to the original as a result of gross interpolation carried out when rendering the stitched image. However, the degree of softening can be mitigated somewhat by the choice of Interpolator used in the rendering parameters.

OK, there are 2 effects at stake:
- Theoretical global softening of the image,
- Local softening due to inaccurate warping/overlapping in the area where the transition mask is generated. You are correct that the optimization value is relative to this second aspect.

On the first one, I certainly do not see a softening in the range of 10% with PTGui.

Cheers,
Bernard

AreBee

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2014, 05:29:38 am »

Bernard,

Quote
OK, there are 2 effects at stake...

The net effect of the two effects you listed is the same: softening as a result of interpolation.

Quote
On the first one, I certainly do not see a softening in the range of 10% with PTGui.

I never stated 10% :)
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2014, 06:08:17 am »

I never stated 10% :)

The person I was replying to did.

Cheers,
Bernard

AreBee

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2014, 07:03:31 am »

Bernard,

Quote
The person I was replying to did.

Ah, sorry, your post didn't make that clear.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2014, 08:52:45 am »

OK, there are 2 effects at stake:
- Theoretical global softening of the image,
- Local softening due to inaccurate warping/overlapping in the area where the transition mask is generated. You are correct that the optimization value is relative to this second aspect.

On the first one, I certainly do not see a softening in the range of 10% with PTGui

Hi Bernard,

As you already know, the suggested loss is mostly an issue with substandard resampling algorithms (e.g. bicubic in Photoshop). Dedicated stitching software (like PTGUI) usually offers a choice of algorithms, to best suit the subject. Lanczos windowed sinc resampling usually does very well in maintaining per pixel micro contrast (with a small risk of adding ringing artifacts).

It also depends on the selected image output dimensions. With interpolation (creating larger output than the source images) one doesn't add resolution, but when downsampling one usually gains (per pixel) resolution. With resampling (correcting for distortion, rotation, and projection), the negative effects are often very small and local. Again, Lanczos is very good at keeping micro contrast at an acceptable level, and sometimes higher than the original.

The most important equalizing benefit is of course the oversampling of the scene with a longer focal lens than needed for the FOV. Therefore, the net resolution will be higher than a single wider angle shot can deliver, even after resampling losses.

Cheers,
Bart
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Wayne Fox

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2014, 01:03:28 pm »

Certainly in the merging of files there may be a little loss of resolution and quality but the process of creating a pano creates so much detail the end result is rarely disappointing and most prints are down sampled substantially.  I've never really worried about this because the final image contains so much more detail than is possible with a single capture.

This is one reason I like the two Zeiss lenses, very sharp corner to corner with good contrast.

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Ellis Vener

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2014, 02:59:07 pm »

Thanks for the suggestions lads...

1)
I guess what i hope to do is to emulate the look of shooting a Pano 617 camera with its traditional line up of lenses - 90mm,180mm, and 300mm.

2)
To maximise image quality I would have the D800 mounted vertically, so I need lenses which when in vertical orientation will give me similar coverage as the 617 film lenses or in that ballpark, so I am not looking for an ultra wide result.

3)
Initially I thought i just need to pick up a set of nikon primes but some of them are more designed for portraiture etc.. so may not render or line up well for stitching, I know the software options may  here but why not choose the most suitable lenses to begin with.

Thanks!
Aaron

1) since you say you just want to (at least start off with) single row panoramas , use AreBee's numbers for the vertical coverage of the Fuji range of lenses.

90mm = 86.7 Horizontal, 36.9 Vertical
180mm = 50.6 Horizontal, 18.9 Vertical
300mm = 31.6 Horizontal, 11.4 Vertical

I'm pretty sure Linhof made a 6x17 Technorama camera with a 72mm Super-Angulon XL), but they ignore  ignore  my favorite ways of shooting 6x17cm format which was with a view camera type design like the V-Pan 617 camera (second favorite): the Glide camera from France(even smaller production run than the V-Pan and I only handled one once and never shot with it); and my favorite,  the Canham 6x17 cm back http://www.canhamcameras.com/Roll%20film%20back.html which could be used on any 5x7 view camera that had a Graflock type lock for film holders. The V-Pan Mark III and Canham back solutions allowed me to use any focal length lens that covered the 5x7, and also shift. With the V-Pan I also had front tilts as well both horizontal and vertical shifts (front only). with the Canham film back,   movements were determined by the body I used, a Linhof Technika III.

So I think you should be married more to the 1:3 aspect ratio than a particular model of camera.

2) Great idea!

3) Stuff and nonsense. The manual focus Zeiss lenses  are great  but the only thing I have found better than using Live view or a ground glass back on a view camera (with a loupe) is driving the camera, especially setting focus using autofocus lenses using the CamRanger on an iPad with a Retina screen  or if you are allergic to Apple, Inc., another similar quality tablet.  The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is great but so are the Nikkors across the range you are discussing.

For panoramic mounting gear I like the stuff from Really Right Stuff.

For stitching I use PTGui Pro.

Two things to keep in mind: A) over shoot your end points.  B) depending on your subject matter , using smaller angles of rotation between frames (i.e. increasing the amount of overlap between neighboring frames) can make a big difference if there is a lot of fine detail. For landscapes it may not matter as much.

As others have noted, having the camera mounted on a tripod with a rotator and rail makes life easier for no other reason than that it frees up your hands.
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aaron

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2014, 06:16:50 am »

Thanks Ellis,

I guess the reason I say I hope to emulate the traditional 617 camera lenses is I just find it easier to have some limitations to work with. I have a good idea what I can do with those focal lengths so at least i have a starting point when trying to pre visualise the end result, i mean pre visualise as theres no aet viewfinder with stitched panoramas...

I think if I was to set out just thinking there are no boundaries then I'd be less productive, hope that makes sense...

On you point on Nikon Lenses being good enough, I will be testing some and will be more than happy if they are. I'd like to have a set of lense from the same brand, and even better if theyre weather sealed (although the older Nikon primes are not). The idea of using a Sigma 35mm, Zeiss 50, Nikon 85, Leica ..... seems a bit of a mess but that's what most people seem to do to get the best options.

Your mention of using cam ranger and an ipad is very interesting, I had considered that but wondered if it was really worth the extra hassle, especially in the field.. Can you elaborate a litle on the advantages of how this works for you?

Thanks again,
Aaron
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Ellis Vener

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2014, 11:40:01 am »

Thanks Ellis,

1) I guess the reason I say I hope to emulate the traditional 617 camera lenses is I just find it easier to have some limitations to work with. I have a good idea what I can do with those focal lengths so at least i have a starting point when trying to pre visualise the end result, i mean pre visualise as theres no aet viewfinder with stitched panoramas...

I think if I was to set out just thinking there are no boundaries then I'd be less productive, hope that makes sense...

On you point on Nikon Lenses being good enough, I will be testing some and will be more than happy if they are. I'd like to have a set of lense from the same brand, and even better if theyre weather sealed (although the older Nikon primes are not). The idea of using a Sigma 35mm, Zeiss 50, Nikon 85, Leica ..... seems a bit of a mess but that's what most people seem to do to get the best options.

Your mention of using cam ranger and an ipad is very interesting, I had considered that but wondered if it was really worth the extra hassle, especially in the field.. Can you elaborate a litle on the advantages of how this works for you?

Thanks again,
Aaron

You are right on about setting boundaries otherwise things turn into infinite time sinks and nothing like real photography gets done.

I am, must to my dismay, a gear head so sometimes I over tech things.  How the Camranger helps me generally is by making me step back from the camera. The big screen on an iPad or similar device plus its focus adjustment 
and magnification features allow me to very precisely set where I want the primary point of focus to be. Although I don't use them often there are also user settable exposure bracketing (for extended dynamic range captures), focus point movement for focus stacking , as well as timers for intervalometer and ultra-long exposures. And of course triggering the camera and reviewing the results on something other than the camera's LCD preview screen.


I have to go back to the camera to rotate it of course but other than that once I start a panoramic, EDR or FocusStack sequence I try to keep my hands off of the cameras much as possible, whether I use a wired cable release or the wireless CamRanger.
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stevesanacore

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2014, 11:19:36 pm »


My Nikon 60mm 2.8G Micro is an excellent lens. I was shocked how sharp it is on my D800E. I was looking to buy the Zeiss 100  or 135 but after using the 60, I'm going to try the Nikon 100 Micro first and see how it compares. I would rather stick to manual focus lenses but so far I've had no problem with focus accuracy.
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Enda Cavanagh

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2014, 12:42:38 pm »

I agree with Peter and Dave. Get to know 1 or 2 lenses well. For example a wide angle for up close and a longer focal length if you plan to shoot further away. An aid in composing is the panoramic photo facility in many smart phones. I only know the iPhone personally. It doesn't give you 360 degrees but you could take a couple of panos as you turn around through the 360 and than stitch together in the phone using an app like auto stitch.

As you can see from all the posters you can use pretty much any lens. It just depends on what you want to shoot. I personally use my Schneider 28mm XL on my Hasseelblad H3D/Arca Swiss RL3D combo. That's the equivalent of a 20 to 21mm in 35mm format) my 360's are mostly forest panoramics where the subject matter ranges hugely in the shotes. The nearest at times was only 1 or 2m away right up to as far as the eye can see.

I would highly recommend PT GUI for stitching because it's very advanced while easy to understand and if you take the pano correctly there is very little tweaking to be done using PTGUI. It just stitches a perfect stitch. Although there are really cool tools at correcting errors in the stitch. I find PT GUI indispensable.

Because of the proximity of the subject matter and the large depth of field I use a wide angle but very importantly a rectilinear wide angle. The 3 first panos I ever took were taken using a regular Manfrotto head, without correcting anything to locate the point of zero parallax. (I learnt how to shoot panos and what software to use AFTER I shot first 2 the scenes, both on the same trip ::)) (I also had a Cambo wide DS) The black and white image I'm attaching was very challenging to really completely remove the errors in the stitch and I learnt from my mistakes. I printed this to 2.75 meters wide so it had to be perfect.
Since than I invested in the Arca Swiss RL 3D camera and the Cube head. I also got a monorail so I could slide the camera back and forward. I located the point of zero parallax for my lenses (although I always used the 28mm so far) This is quite easy to do and there a bunch of tutorials online. It just takes 5 minutes. The RL 3D makes things very simple for panos. I just need the monorail because you can remove and rotate the back 90 degrees. You don't need to rotate the tripod head itself.
The cube head also makes my life much easier. You simply level the tripod and than you rotate the top section of the head knowing that you will always be level.
Personally I would suggest using a tilt shift wide angle lens if shooting subject matter that's up close. This way you can shoot close, keep the camera level while look upwards  without tilting in the scene so that you don't have a chunk of ground in the shot.
Since changing my technique to locating the camera at the point of zero parallax, stitching is really a doddle and I would recommend doing the same. I have printed up to 6.6m wide and you could take a microscope to the image. AND NEVER HAND HOLD THE SHOT IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT PANORAMICS!!)
I also shot a wide but not 360 of a sea scene where I managed to seamlessly show the white water. You just need to have simlar patterns in the water as you rotate and PT GUI should do a good job followed by a few tweaks in photoshop, where you may need to layer mask a few bits into the stitched image.










Here is the photo at 6.6m on acrylic



and here it is plus 1 other at 13m wide. These 2 are on vinyl so they're not fine art Lambda print.





I think someone pointed out you don't need to utilize the resolution of the D800. That is dependent on your output. If you are printing large that you do need all the pixels you can get. At these sizes you will need to size up. The less sizing up the better of course.

You can see more examples of the 260 panos here and here

Hope that helps  :)










 

aaron

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2014, 05:09:05 pm »

@ Ellis:
Camranger seems to be a very powerful tool, I am definitely going to trial the system, even if just to use it as a focus aid it sound well worth it.

@ Enda:
Thanks a mill for all the detail on your work flow Enda, you've obviously mastered what sounds like a complicated setup. I had considered MFD but as I already have a Nikon system I thought it wise to maximise its potential first. Your sample images look amazing! Your using PT GUI as most of the guys here seem to be so that knowledge alone is worth being around here for...

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and tips, I am awaiting arrival of a pano kit from RRS and will post some first attempts here when i am up and running..

Aaron
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bill t.

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2014, 01:40:41 am »

Spectacular work Enda, and what a gorgeous installation!  When you posted a few of those shots on LuLa some time ago, I said they would look incredible in exactly that kind of environment.  I was right!

I think I need to start shooting two-up rows on the D800e, which will give 300 camera pixels per inch of print at 44", 1.1m high.  Normally people would say that's crazy talk, now you've demonstrated otherwise.
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Enda Cavanagh

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Re: D800 Nodal Panoramics - lens suggestions...
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2014, 06:56:32 am »

Spectacular work Enda, and what a gorgeous installation!  When you posted a few of those shots on LuLa some time ago, I said they would look incredible in exactly that kind of environment.  I was right!

I think I need to start shooting two-up rows on the D800e, which will give 300 camera pixels per inch of print at 44", 1.1m high.  Normally people would say that's crazy talk, now you've demonstrated otherwise.

Thanks Bill. If you do the rows I would recommend a TS lens if you have one. A rectilinear stitch could look really fantastic. I have thought about it but I have enough problems shooting these. They take up to 2 hours to shoot  :D
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