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Author Topic: 7d Panoramics  (Read 12299 times)
LukeH
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« on: January 09, 2011, 03:23:46 AM »
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I'm getting out and about with my 7d and I'm finding my panoramic aren't photo merging properly, like they're 'tiling' along, or my tripod is sitting square and level but my horizon is curving away at one end. Any tips?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 07:22:16 AM »
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Try stitching the same images with Autopano Pro.

http://www.autopano.net/en/

Cheers,
Bernard
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Sussex Landscapes
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 11:37:14 AM »
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whilst i am an avid user of APP above, good technique will improve your results. you msut ensure that the tripod is level, forget the head at this stage, the tripod, as that is the rotating part. when you mount the camera also make sure that is level on a left right plane.
so now when you spin your tripod head it will rotate without the tilting you describe.
there are many methods for panos and fancy heads etc. though out of all the panos ive ever done, ive never used a pano head.

simon
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 12:13:55 PM »
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… my panoramic aren't photo merging properly, like they're 'tiling' along, or my tripod is sitting square and level but my horizon is curving away at one end. Any tips?

Your problem is hardware related, but do not worry, there is an "app" for that Smiley

It is typically known as "tripod leveler", or "leveling base head" or something similar, and comes between your tripod and your regular (or panoramic) tripod head. You can see an example here, on Amazon
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 03:49:49 PM »
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Having a level tripod head is a great idea and one I've used most often, but I've made many panoramas handheld by simply rotating my camera on my finger or by placing a coin on the ground and rotating the camera around that point on the ground.  It depends on your subject and how far away it is.  Make sure you're getting sufficient overlap between each image, as programs like Autopano use control points on each image as the starting point for linking them together.  Curved horizons can also be an issue when using a wide angle lens, and this can be corrected in Autopano to some degree.

Mike.
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 04:33:07 PM »
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+1
That said, some subjects are difficult, like sky and water that don't have a lot of clear and constant pattern to use for alignment.

Best regards
Erik
Try stitching the same images with Autopano Pro.

http://www.autopano.net/en/

Cheers,
Bernard

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LukeH
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 08:03:39 PM »
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Thanks for your help lads, now my problem is after two weeks of taking panoramics, my photoshop now tells me that they can't align some of my images, despite the fact it was working fine the previous two weeks, and it does it on every pano.

Can anybody help??
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gsman
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 10:42:52 PM »
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make sure the nodal point of your lens is directly over the pivot point of the tripod head.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 05:50:34 PM »
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Thanks for your help lads, now my problem is after two weeks of taking panoramics, my photoshop now tells me that they can't align some of my images, despite the fact it was working fine the previous two weeks, and it does it on every pano.

Can anybody help??

Along with centering the nodal point or exit pupil of the lens over the rotation point it also helps to have a great deal of overlap between adjacent frames.

When you say 'my photoshop now tells me that they can't align some of my images, despite the fact it was working fine the previous two weeks, and it does it on every pan." Does this also hold true for panoramic you made back then or just new ones?

While some here have been advocating a head leveler that will go underneath your tripod head, I think that is redundant. Any really good tripod head (i.e. one that doesn't shift or creep) is an excellent leveling device.

What you do need is a rotating clamp ,  like the Really Right Stuff PCL-1,  that goes on top of your  tripod head. There is a knock off of the PCL-1 from Sunway Photo but having worked with both it and an RRS PCL-1 , I can't recommend it.
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Ellis Vener
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 06:01:11 PM »
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... While some here have been advocating a head leveler that will go underneath your tripod head, I think that is redundant. Any really good tripod head (i.e. one that doesn't shift or creep) is an excellent leveling device...

Sorry for being so blunt, but this is a sheer nonsense.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 06:03:09 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 08:11:31 PM »
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Sorry for being so blunt, but this is a sheer nonsense.

Prove it. If your goal is simply to make a level base to pan from a good tripod head is perfectly adequate - if you have a panning device on top of the head.  I don't know what your background in making pans is but I make very high resolution single and  multi row panoramics regularly . High resolution captures as in Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and Phase One cameras and backs and large out as in as in  8 x  24 foot long  @ 225dpi prints successfully without the use of a leveling device under my tripod head.  I use Arca-Swiss B1, B2, p0 and P1 heads as well as the  Foba ASMIA head.  My current panning gear is a Really Right Stuff PG-02VA, and CB-10 rail set up with a PCL-1 clamp on the tripod head.  You  can ask Dave Gallagher at Capture Integration about the quality of my work. I stitch using PTGui Pro 9.x software.

If you want forego using a tripod heads altogether than yes it is essential that you use a leveling device.  If my dissent from the mainstream view that a leveling device under the tripod head  is necessary and would help me work faster and yield qualitatively better results and not just add one more thing to fiddle with (and add more links to the chain of connections that might potentially flex where one component connects with another) bothers you, you should know this:  I'd hop on that band wagon faster than  a chicken on a Junebug. 

But until that is proven, I'll save my money.
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Ellis Vener
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 04:21:35 AM »
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Prove it. If your goal is simply to make a level base to pan from a good tripod head is perfectly adequate - if you have a panning device on top of the head.

Hi Ellis,

There is a difference between an "excellent" and an "adequate" leveling device. It's probably the "excellent" in your earlier post that triggered Slobodan's response, and I sort of agree. An excellent leveling device preforms better (saves time and maintains as much stability as possible) than an adequate one. Even good tripod heads, e.g. ball heads (even ones with friction control), are not that easy to setup with a camera mounted. They would be adequate but not excellent, given the alternatives.

Quote
If you want forego using a tripod heads altogether than yes it is essential that you use a leveling device.

Indeed, my normal setup is without a tripodhead, I use just an "EZ Leveler II" from Fanotec, and a Manfrotto click-stop rotator with a RRS screw clamp, as a basis for my RRS Omnipro pano kit. The EZ Leveler is a huge time saver, adds very little weight, has a low profile, and a high load capacity. It allows to adjust the level extremely accurately, and it takes very little time to dial to within the 0.05 degree accuracy on my digital level. For a limited (+/- 7 degrees) range of adjustments it's better than a geared head because it keeps the center of gravity almost in the same spot.

Cheers,
Bart
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 09:52:55 AM »
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Hi Ellis,
 Even good tripod heads, e.g. ball heads (even ones with friction control), are not that easy to setup with a camera mounted. They would be adequate but not excellent, given the alternatives.

Cheers,
Bart
Because of the difficulty with using ballheads -- any ballhead -- in this situation I prefer to use the heavy heavy duty Foba ASMIA head (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247458-REG/Foba_31_0118_ASMIA_Double_Pan_Tilt.html) which has two tilt axis as well as panning at the base underneath the PCL-1. The discontinued  Arca-Swiss B2 Monoball (which is a unique design for a double tilt head  and is not a ball head) is also a very good choice. Both were designed and engineered for heavy duty yet precise work  supporting  very heavy technical 8x10 monorail view cameras like a Sinar P2, Arca-Swiss Monolith or similar.  The ASMIA is in my experience, the very best panning + double tilt head every made for still photography and securely holds  heavy camera/lens combinations  or panoramic rig + heavy camera/ lens combinations even at angles no other tripod head can even reach.   

However when I have no choice but to travel light I will take an Arca-Swiss ballhead with an RRS PC-L on top.

I have considered, but not used,  the Fanotec EZ leveler II and similar. I  have some experience fro the early 1990s with the old Peace River panning platform leveling system.
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Ellis Vener
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 01:06:34 PM »
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... It's probably the "excellent" in your earlier post that triggered Slobodan's response...

Indeed. Tripod heads are neither "excellent" nor even "leveling" devices (unless they have a bubble level built-in). And even if they have a bubble level, they are leveling devices only for a single shot, not leveling devices for panoramas.

Can you get away without a special tripod-head leveling device? Of course you can. Can you get away without a special pano head? Of course you can (I do). Can you get away without even a tripod? Of course you can (I do, on occasion). But I do not proclaim pano heads or tripods "redundant" or my hands as "excellent leveling devices".

And Ellis, given your list of equipment, you ARE using a separate leveling device, except you put it on top of your tripod head, instead of under it (I am referring to PCL-1 Panning Clamp). Granted, it serves double purpose (i.e., leveling and panning), but is also three times more expensive than a standard head leveler.

Pulling your pro rank on me is not going to change the facts or the laws of geometry. I am not a pro (though I do have things published and paid for), but I did enough panos with and without a leveling device to know the difference.

The OP asked for help for a very specific problem (pano "tiling") which happens to have a very specific cause: tripod not leveled well enough. There are at least three ways to deal with it:

- the one I suggested (i.e., head leveler, under tripod head)
- the one you use (i.e., leveling device above tripod head)
- the third would be a manual leveling of the tripod


So lets see under which conditions no leveling or some manual leveling might work:

- if you are shooting from an already level ground, say a street (like it seems to be the case in your urban panoramas)
- if your tripod legs are all extended to a perfectly equal length
- if your tripod legs are all extended with the same angle (relative to the central column)
- you do not mind losing pixels at the top and bottom of the pano (in order to crop out the "tiling")

If either of the first three above is not perfect, you will need some form of leveling device (or you can continue to fiddle manually with leg extension and angle). Can you get away with none of the above? Sure you can. The price you will pay, however, would be pano "tiling".

I happen to be shooting landscape panoramas, from almost never leveled grounds, and I find a head leveler rather handy.

P.S. By the way, Ellis, I do respect your pro status and I actually enjoyed your photography, some even very much.

P.P.S. For those interested, Michael Reichmann has a short article, which among other things, explains why a leveler.






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Slobodan

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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 02:34:48 PM »
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"Ellis, given your list of equipment, you ARE using a separate leveling device, except you put it on top of your tripod head, instead of under it (I am referring to PCL-1 Panning Clamp). Granted, it serves double purpose (i.e., leveling and panning), but is also three times more expensive than a standard head leveler."

I t the Really Right Stuff  PCL-1 has no leveling functionality. It simply pans. Yes there is a small level built in to assist you with getting it level but it lacks any mechanical means to change the pitch or yaw of the plane it rotates through. Perhaps you are thinking of some other product?

"Pulling your pro rank on me is not going to change the facts or the laws of geometry. I am not a pro (though I do have things published and paid for), but I did enough panos with and without a leveling device to know the difference."

I was not "pulling rank" on you. That was not my intent and I apologize if my tone came across that way. What I was attempting to do was to establish my experience

"The OP asked for help for a very specific problem (pano "tiling") which happens to have a very specific cause: tripod not leveled well enough. There are at least three ways to deal with it:"

- the one I suggested (i.e., head leveler, under tripod head)
- the one you use (i.e., leveling device above tripod head)
- the third would be a manual leveling of the tripod


But as I stated above I am not using a leveling device above the tripod head.



"I happen to be shooting landscape panoramas, from almost never leveled grounds, and I find a head leveler rather handy. "

Most of panoramic work is of architectural structures and cityscapes. With buildings geometry is an extremely important headache.

"P.S. By the way, Ellis, I do respect your pro status and I actually enjoyed your photography, some even very much."

Thank you.








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Ellis Vener
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 02:54:07 PM »
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... I t the Really Right Stuff  PCL-1 has no leveling functionality. It simply pans. Yes there is a small level built in to assist you with getting it level but it lacks any mechanical means to change the pitch or yaw of the plane it rotates through. Perhaps you are thinking of some other product?...

At the risk of hairsplitting, yes, the built-in level AND the way it could be used together with the tripod head to achieve leveling were the reasons I considered it a leveling device (though inferior, as you rightly stated, to a proper head leveler). See the Really Right Stuff's own illustration and the accompanying text:




« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 03:05:59 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2011, 08:01:18 PM »
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Slobodon,

You aren't splitting hairs but you are just plain wrong in describing the Really Right Stuff PCL=1 rotating clamp as a 'leveling device" even if it does have a bullseye level built in. The level is to asset you with leveling the plane of the clamp. The mechanism yo use to do that with whether it is a tripod head, a dedicated leveling device, or simply adjusting the legs of the tripod if you have the PCL-1 connected directly to a tripods center post or crown  is the leveling device.

Since we started o this dialog I have obtained a leveling platform , the large one made by Manfrotto and have now worked with it a few times in place of my preferred tripod head for heavyweight work, the Foba ASMIA (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247458-REG/Foba_31_0118_ASMIA_Double_Pan_Tilt.html ) .

It does make precise leveling  a little bit easier than wit the ASMIA and best of all it is a lot lighter: ASMIA = 3.86 lbs (1.75kg)vs. 1.3 lb (600g) for the  Manfrotto 338/3416). Thank you very much Slobodon for encouraging me to more seriously consider a heavy duty leveling base. I see multiple  complaints from people in the reviews of the Manfrotto 338/3416 about how stiff the adjustments are but I must be lucky as the one I bought on eBay does not have that problem. I decided to go wit the Manfrotto over the Feisol and similar as the Manfrotto is rated for 15kg and the others for 10kg.

For panoramic work,  my rig from top to bottom is a Gitzo 410C legset, either the ASMIA head  or the Manfrotto 3416 as leveling platform, RRS PCL-1 rotating clamp, RRS CB-10 bar (horizontal displacement) , PG-02VA (vertical riser) , and an RRS MPR-CLII "nodal slide". I am thinking about replacing the PCL-1 and RRS CB-10 combination with an RRS PG-02 HB. There are no problems with either but I think , given the cameras I regularly use and the weight of the CB-10, etc. That the rotating joint in the PCL-1 isn't really isn't an ideal solution deal for that kind of torque.
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Ellis Vener
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2011, 10:10:31 PM »
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... Thank you very much Slobodan for encouraging me to more seriously consider a heavy duty leveling base...

Glad I could help. Your photography deserves the best tools.
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2011, 02:29:09 AM »
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Just switch to PTGui, Autopano or Hugin to mount your source images into a panorama. With each software you can define horizontal and vertical lines through control points and level your panorama. The right hardware helps, but it's not the solution to your problem.
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2011, 05:29:22 AM »
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The right hardware helps, but it's not the solution to your problem.

Exactly! I agree with Thomas, it's ultimately the Pitch (and Roll) parameter setting in the software that's important here. Most people working with a leveling base, also automatically take panoramas with the horizon in the middle of the frame which often leads to a sub-optimal composition. The hardware helps to get a good basis for the Yaw parameter, but the software is the key to solving curved/wavy horizons and boring compositions.

Cheers,
Bart
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