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Author Topic: Pano Rig Component Set Recommendations  (Read 2729 times)
bill t.
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2013, 05:02:26 PM »
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The advantage of a nodal rail with just a single hole for your camera is pure simplicity, excellent if you use only one lens/camera combo.

Nancy, you underestimate my design!   Smiley

Notice the sophisticated series of precision holes, allowing a multiplicity of camera locations to accommodate a wide variety of lenses.  That and a little nudging and shifting with the re-purposed tripod movements and I'm home free in the mis-named nodal department.

All you need to make those barndoors is a screwdriver, drill, a bottle o'Titebond Glue, and that most wonderful of all woodworking ever devised...the Japanese Saw!  Hint...you pull it towards you to make the cut.  Other than that, while the hardware sections down at Lowes and Home Depot are now a pale shadow of what they used to be, all the parts you need for a barndoor tracker are there and shouldn't add up to more than about 5 bucks.  Be courageous!
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FredBGG
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2013, 02:57:50 AM »
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GigaPan EPIC Pro

Set top left and bottom right and the motorized head does the rest. Also allows for HDR bracketting
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NancyP
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2013, 02:39:56 PM »
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Hmm. Japanese saws - not familiar with them. Are these the ones you mean? I take it that they do straight cuts only.
http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/tools/archive/2008/09/01/Japanese-Dozuki-Saws.aspx
 I will have to give it a try. I love Japanese tools in general.

I didn't intend to diss your DIY pano rig, simple is a great thing.  I didn't see the multiple holes. It is still pleasantly simple. No peering at tiny markings, just stick the camera/lens combo on the correct hole.

The barn door tracker I am thinking about making has a high torque motor driving geared nut along a curved screw as shown in the following article, but maybe I will just stick with the crank-it-yourself model for now.
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2705562354/building-using-a-tracking-mount-for-astrophotography
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2013, 10:21:49 PM »
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+1 on the Japanese saw, but I prefer the ones without the spine on the back. They are pull saws and so if you are doing the stoke properly, it can only be straight. They make a very narrow kerf.
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bill t.
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2013, 10:53:49 PM »
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Well that's a pretty sophisticated barn door tracker.  I was thinking something more along these lines, which is towards the down and dirty side of the many variations you can find on the web...

http://www.astropix.com/BGDA/SAMPLE2/SAMPLE2.HTM

It's the sort that will get you up into the 5 or so minute total exposures needed for relatively clean skies.  The trick to astrophotography of this type is that you are best off taking a large number of sequential exposures, then "stacking" them in PS or one of many image averaging programs available.  "Stacking" averages several different exposures.  It has the advantage of removing a lot of the noise that creeps into long exposure digital photos. And you can just throw away exposures with unexpected airplane trails.  It also means that you can advance the crank on the barn doors only between say 15 or 30 second exposures if you want, which might be good if your setup is kind of wobbly.  But technically it would be best to slowly creep the crank it you can.  Don't want to make it sound too easy, the success or failure of hand advanced barn doors has a lot to do with getting the distance from the hinge to the screw just right relative to the the screw pitch so the rate of rotation of the screw has some sane relationship to a clock's second hand.

FWIW, I just looked on my local Craigslist.com and found a small telescope with a motor driven equatorial mount for very cheap.  That would probably be a good way to go as well, just somehow attach the camera to the mount and away you go.  And for about $380 you can buy a brand new Celestron CG-4 equatorial mount with the optional motor drive.  Had one a long time ago.  It was a beautifully made unit that could run unattended for hours with tracking good enough for a normal focal length lens, once you got it tweaked in on the rate control.

If I could spare gobs of time I'd be out there shooting stars beginning when the gorgeous summer Milky Way gets high in the sky at reasonable hours starting about mid July.  What a sight!  In a truly dark sky location is just takes your breath away.

And the Japanese saws they sell at Lowes for about $15 are all you would need, although you can spend a lot more.  Really any saw will do, but the Japanese saws make really clean cuts that don't need much finishing.
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NancyP
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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2013, 12:41:52 PM »
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Yep, there are several plain tracker plans out there, and I will try these hand-cranked versions first. Advantage: cheap! Wood, piano hinge, bolt and nuts, polar "sighter" / guesstimator (straw laid along hinge). My first need is to get a software or firmware intervalometer, so I can sit inside the warm car...... froze my fingers and toes (not frostbite, just cooooold) Monday to get a series. Remote options include iShutter vs. the more complicated but free Magic Lantern firmware. Now to decipher the stacking software.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2013, 01:09:08 PM »
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Yep, there are several plain tracker plans out there, and I will try these hand-cranked versions first. Advantage: cheap! Wood, piano hinge, bolt and nuts, polar "sighter" / guesstimator (straw laid along hinge). My first need is to get a software or firmware intervalometer, so I can sit inside the warm car...... froze my fingers and toes (not frostbite, just cooooold) Monday to get a series. Remote options include iShutter vs. the more complicated but free Magic Lantern firmware. Now to decipher the stacking software.

Also look at the CamRanger http://www.camranger.com
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
NancyP
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2013, 05:08:54 PM »
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http://www.astrotrac.com/Default.aspx?p=tt320x-ag
This little beauty will be mine if I get really serious about astro-landscapes and star field photos, but it is a bit expensive for a beginner. It is the talk of the DSLR astrophotography fora, at ~$650.00 including polar sighting scope. There's a cheaper and lighter/smaller small-format commercial equatorial mount, Vixen Polarie, at approximately $450.00 including polar sighting scope. People tend to mount these on heavy tripods with Manfrotto 410 geared head, and add their own ball head to the top of the mount.

Another local 60D user, a pro who teaches a popular Lightroom class and other post-processing workshops, swears by Magic Lantern for intervalometer and for extended exposure bracketing. Canon 60D allows you exactly 3 exposures per bracketing. I try not to take on learning too many programs at once. Wink
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2013, 07:11:57 PM »
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The AstroTrac is a great mount--I had one. I traded it in for one of these:

http://www.vixenoptics.com/mounts/polarie.html

This is a similar tracker and a good price:

http://www.ioptron.com/index.cfm?select=productdetails&phid=6fffc3fe-5b3c-4489-9b45-e6f6fd972a55

This is a very nice mount:

http://www.toast-tech.com/en/features.html

And to round this off, you need something from Takahashi:

http://www.buytelescopes.com/Products/1733-takahashi-teegul-sky-patrol-iii-mount.aspx
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NancyP
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 02:56:51 PM »
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guywitha645d, Why did you settle on the Polarie vs the Astrotrac or one of the others mentioned? What maximum weight and focal length do you use? Have you used tripod footed telephotos on the EqMs?

I am going to build a hand-cranked one for a few bux, before committing to More Gear.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2013, 04:58:16 PM »
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I wanted the smallest, most portable package. The AstroTrac is portable, but still a bit too much for me. The max payload on the Polarie is 4KG which can carry just about any camera. I have the polar scope for the Polarie which should allow me to use my 645D with focal length up to 120mm--I am not sure the 300mm will ride nicely, mostly do to the size. But the Polarie is new to me and I have not had any really good chance to put it through its paces. The AstroTrac is a fine mount and can handle a much larger load.
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epatsellis
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« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2013, 11:27:56 PM »
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I'm pretty partial to my Gigapan Pro. When you get to multi row/ multi column stitches, it just works. Mounted on top of a set of Lisand video sticks, with a 100mm ball, leveling is trivial and doesn't add to the height of the tripod.

With the proper post capture workflow, shooting raw and processing with either Microsoft ICE for smaller stitches, or Autopano Gigapan for larger, the entire process is painless. I've shot 300 image stitches that automagically went together with little fuss.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 11:29:36 PM by epatsellis » Logged
jgbowerman
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« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2013, 09:46:49 AM »
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My preference is a tilt/shift lens with a built-in tripod clamp. In the field, it is very fast and in PP, there is almost zero loss of information. Granted, I am limited to stitching three images... right shift, left, and center.
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