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Re: [PanoToolsNG] Next step?

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  • Robert C. Fisher
    I used to shoot with a D200 up till a couple of years ago. My panos ended up with about the same resolution as yours i would guess. I ended up with a Canon 7D
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 12, 2013
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      I used to shoot with a D200 up till a couple of years ago. My panos ended up with about the same resolution as yours i would guess. I ended up with a Canon 7D for another project, I got an adapter for my 10.5mm Nikkor and get almost double the resolution of my D200. I currently have a 60D as a backup which I have shot some jobs with and it is just slightly superior to the 7D image wise with the same camera resolution (as the 7D). I shot some other panos this summer with a Sony A900 and 15mm Sony fisheye. The panos looked good the downside was the amount of flair I had to remove from the image. The 10.5mm under similar conditions is almost flair free. I would love to shoot some tests with the Samyang 8mm sometime. I actually did buy one 6 months ago but returned it for some focusing issues. I also have a Nikkor 14mm rectilinear which is an awesome lens, very sharp with excellent contrast that I use for higher res images. 

      In our case I think I would keep the 10.5mm and move up to a more modern camera. I went with Canon purely by accident but it ended up being the best thing. The 7D and 60D have the same resolution of about 18 megapixels. Or you could drop a huge chunk of change and get a Canon 6D (full frame as opposed to APSC) but then you would need new full frame fisheye but the 10.5mm would be useful, you could shave it and shoot panos in 4 shots plus a nadir. but I think you have reached the pinnacle of what the D90 can deliver. You could always keep it and try a 14-24mm rectilinear lens but you would go from 8-10 images shot to 30 or so with the 14mm.

      I hope this helps.

      On Jan 12, 2013, at 6:23 AM, harrypanorama wrote:

       

      Hallo,

      At the moment I do my panoramas with a Nikon D90, Samyang 8mm, NN4 + RD8.
      I want to improve the overall quality.
      My Nikkor 10.5 mm test last weekend has a little bit disappointing outcome.
      It doesn't brings me that giant step forward I was hoping for.
      It is sharper at the edges but you have to pixelpeep panoramas shoot with the Samyang or Nikkor to see the difference.

      What do you advice to make a noticeable step forward?

      Kind regards, Harry
      _,___


      Robert C. Fisher
      VR Photographer / Cinematographer
      http://www.rcfisher.com
      bob@...


    • Scott Highton
      It would help if you would define exactly what you re looking for in overall quality. Increased detail (resolution), sharpness, exposure latitude, color
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 12, 2013
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        It would help if you would define exactly what you're looking for in "overall quality."  Increased detail (resolution), sharpness, exposure latitude, color fidelity, etc.?  Each of these may require a different approach to addressing improvements for you, ranging from a different camera to a different lens choice, or even different shooting techniques, software and post production work flow.

        From my experience, it seems most photographers are looking for improved sharpness and resolution in their panoramas when they're dissatisfied with current results.  This invariably needs be remedied at the image capture level.  You generally need to capture more detail in your source images (before you stitch) to achieve this.

        This can be done most readily in two ways:
        1) Use a longer focal length lens so you're shooting with a narrower field of view (requiring more shots to cover your full 360°), and/or
        2) Use a camera with higher resolution, so you capture more detail and data with each source image



        Your Nikon D90 has a 12 megapixel DX (or APS-C) sized sensor.  Using a Samyang 8mm with this camera, you would probably shoot four images (panning every 90° between shots) to capture a full 360°X180° panorama.  Upgrading to a Nikkor 10.5mm should mean you're shooting eight images per panorama (every 60° horizontally, plus zenith and nadir shots) for the same 360°x180° coverage.  You should see a noticeable difference in your results between the to lenses.

        If you're not seeing this, your problem may involve something else.  The first thing you should do is to look side-by-side at source images of the same scene / panorama using both lenses.  Use the same shooting technique, lighting, shutter speed, aperture, pan head, tripod, etc. for both.  Look at these source image files at 100% resolution in Photoshop (or Lightroom), and compare the "quality" of what you're seeing in each.  If they're similar (i.e. you're not seeing much advantage with the Nikkor 10.5mm over the Peleng 8mm), then there may be a problem with your shooting technique.  Check to make sure your tripod & pan head are locked down and stable.  Make sure you're using a cable release to trip the camera's shutter.  Try locking up the mirror (using Live View mode) when shooting to avoid blur from "mirror slap" (most noticeable between 1/4 and 1/30 sec. shutter speeds).  Make sure you're using hyperfocal distances and appropriate apertures (f/8 to f/16) when focusing – and make sure your focus is set to manual so it doesn't change while shooting each panorama.

        If you DO see a noticeable difference between source images shot with the two lenses, but not in your final stitched panoramas, then your problem probably lies in your post production work flow.  Use a good stitcher (I recommend PTgui).  Sttich at high quality and high resolution.  In short, you'll need to examine every step of your post production process to see where the problem might be.  That may require doing a number of side-by-side tests with the same images to see where your results might be getting compromised.

        Often, lower overall quality is a result of lots of little shortcomings or compromises accumulating to cause an overall degradation of the final result, rather than a single major problem.



        I would recommend trying to address all the issues mentioned above before even considering further camera or lens changes.  However, if none of the above tests identify specific correctable problem areas for you, then you might consider renting a different camera and lens combination to test further.  The ultimate combination I've found so far is a Nikon D800 (36 megapixel full frame FX sensor) with 16mm Nikkor full-frame fisheye (although the 10.5 Nikkor on this camera is very good, as well)..  This combination yields stitched panoramas of almost 20,000 x 10,000 pixels, which is significant overkill for most applications.  Additionally, the D800 RAW camera files generally require that most users upgrade their computer systems, memory, storage capacity, and their Photoshop or other image editing software, so the costs for such a camera upgrade become significantly greater than that of the new camera alone.

        If you want to post actual image files of your results with your current camera and both lenses somewhere where list members could take a look, I'm sure that others here would be able to give you further feedback.

        Best of luck with your efforts.



        Scott Highton
        Author, Virtual Reality Photography
      • Robert C. Fisher
        Scott the Samyang 8mm is a full frame fisheye not a circular fisheye. ... Robert C. Fisher VR Photographer / Cinematographer http://www.rcfisher.com
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 12, 2013
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          Scott the Samyang 8mm is a full frame fisheye not a circular fisheye.

          On Jan 12, 2013, at 9:58 AM, Scott Highton wrote:
           

          Your Nikon D90 has a 12 megapixel DX (or APS-C) sized sensor.  Using a Samyang 8mm with this camera, you would probably shoot four images (panning every 90° between shots) to capture a full 360°X180° panorama.  Upgrading to a Nikkor 10.5mm should mean you're shooting eight images per panorama (every 60° horizontally, plus zenith and nadir shots) for the same 360°x180° coverage.  You should see a noticeable difference in your results between the to lenses.


          Robert C. Fisher
          VR Photographer / Cinematographer
          http://www.rcfisher.com
          bob@...


        • Uri
          ... The Nikon 10.5mm appears to be the best choice for FX type DSLR s since it delivers very good performance and lets you shoot a complete panorama with 4 or
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 12, 2013
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            --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "harrypanorama" wrote:

            > At the moment I do my panoramas with a Nikon D90, Samyang 8mm, NN4 + RD8.
            > I want to improve the overall quality.
            > My Nikkor 10.5 mm test last weekend has a little bit disappointing outcome.
            > It doesn't brings me that giant step forward I was hoping for.
            > It is sharper at the edges but you have to pixelpeep panoramas shoot with the Samyang or Nikkor to see the difference.

            The Nikon 10.5mm appears to be the best choice for FX type DSLR's since it delivers very good performance and lets you shoot a complete panorama with 4 or even 3 shots (6 shots on a DX body). It's sharpness appears to be perfectly good for panoramas that are intended for web display.

            To optimize it's performance, it will help to find it's focus "sweet spot" (mine is at f6.3 - f8) and process the image for CA removal, etc.

            To improve quality you may want to consider the Nikon 16mm fish-eye (6 shots with FX) or for the ultimate (?) try the Nikon 14-24 mm zoom lens at 14mm, 6 shots @ 30° down, plus 6 shots @ 30° up plus 1 shot to zenith and 1 shot for nadir (14 shots per pano!). That lens is insanely sharp, heavy, and quite expensive. It requires a large and solid pano head.
          • harrypanorama
            So, firstly thanks for all the overwhelming responses. I have the Nikkor 10.5mm, which I had rented for a weekend, compared with the Samyang 8mm under excact
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
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              So, firstly thanks for all the overwhelming responses.

              I have the Nikkor 10.5mm, which I had rented for a weekend, compared with the Samyang 8mm under excact same conditions.
              And as I said, I see some differences but not great.
              For example, the Nikkor 10.5mm is a bit sharper at the edges.
              But the Nikkor has significantly more CA.
              After postprocessing, the differences are not shocking.
              Nikkor yielded higher resolution result, approximately 12000x6000 vs. 10000x5000 for Samyang

              Yes indeed, I too would like to improve my sharpness and/or resolution.
              (or, if I downsample a higher resolution the result is sharper, right?)
              I would also like a higher / better dynamic range.
              Pulling details from the shadows.
              Outdoors I have to apply bracketing quite quickly.
              The bracketing capabilities of the D90 are often insufficient for indoor shots with daylight through the windows.

              The numbers on the internet make me believe that even if I downgrade to a lower class camera dynamic range will increase. less noise and more ability to pull detail out of the shadows?
              It is a pity only very expensive cameras have adequate bracketing possibilities.

              I hope this clarifies something.
              and I'm curious about your opinions.
            • Hans
              ... The Samyang 8mm has a special projection which means it is similar to a 9mm in resolution so the difference to the 10.5mm is not large. You usually shoot 6
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
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                --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "harrypanorama" wrote:
                >
                > Hallo,
                >
                > At the moment I do my panoramas with a Nikon D90, Samyang 8mm, NN4 + RD8.
                > I want to improve the overall quality.
                > My Nikkor 10.5 mm test last weekend has a little bit disappointing outcome.
                > It doesn't brings me that giant step forward I was hoping for.
                > It is sharper at the edges but you have to pixelpeep panoramas shoot with the Samyang or Nikkor to see the difference.
                >
                > What do you advice to make a noticeable step forward?


                The Samyang 8mm has a special projection which means it is similar to a 9mm in resolution so the difference to the 10.5mm is not large. You usually shoot 6 around + zenith with both but you can actually do it with just 4+1 with the Samyang on a Nikon APS size camera like yours.

                However there are some other differences to the 10.5mm which favors the 10.5.
                The Nikkor 10.5mm has practically no flare and you can shoot directly into the sun. You just get a beautiful star. You can not do this with the Samyang.

                Also you have to stop down the samyang to at least 5.6 to get usable sharpness all over.
                With the 10,5mm you can shoot at full aperture 2.8 which is a great advantage in lowlight environments.

                If you want more resolution than the 10-11000 pixels you get with the Samyang8/Nikkor 10.5 you need to get a rectilinear 18-20mm and shoot 3 rows with 10 in each for a full spherical. This will give you around 26000-30000 pixels width.

                Hans
              • harrypanorama
                So, firstly thanks for all the overwhelming responses. I have the Nikkor 10.5mm, which I had rented for a weekend, compared with the Samyang 8mm under excact
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
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                  So, firstly thanks for all the overwhelming responses.

                  I have the Nikkor 10.5mm, which I had rented for a weekend, compared with the Samyang 8mm under excact same conditions.
                  And as I said, I see some differences but not great.
                  For example, the Nikkor 10.5mm is a bit sharper at the edges.
                  But the Nikkor has significantly more CA.
                  After postprocessing, the differences are not shocking.
                  Nikkor yielded higher resolution result, approximately 12000x6000 vs. 10000x5000 for Samyang

                  Yes indeed, I too would like to improve my sharpness and/or resolution.
                  (or, if I downsample a higher resolution the result is sharper, right?)
                  I would also like a higher / better dynamic range.
                  Pulling details from the shadows.
                  Outdoors I have to apply bracketing quite quickly.
                  The bracketing capabilities of the D90 are often insufficient for indoor shots with daylight through the windows.

                  The numbers on the internet make me believe that even if I downgrade to a lower class camera dynamic range will increase. less noise and more ability to pull detail out of the shadows?
                  It is a pity only very expensive cameras have adequate bracketing possibilities.

                  I hope this clarifies something.
                  and I'm curious about your opinions.
                • Erik Krause
                  ... That was to be expected. Read Hans message. ... How do you develop your raws? I found that ACR (lightroom or PS) give far better sharpness than f.e. Canon
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
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                    Am 13.01.2013 12:46, schrieb harrypanorama:
                    > Nikkor yielded higher resolution result, approximately 12000x6000 vs. 10000x5000 for Samyang

                    That was to be expected. Read Hans' message.

                    > Yes indeed, I too would like to improve my sharpness and/or resolution.

                    How do you develop your raws? I found that ACR (lightroom or PS) give
                    far better sharpness than f.e. Canon DPP. I dont't know for nikon though...

                    > (or, if I downsample a higher resolution the result is sharper, right?)
                    > I would also like a higher / better dynamic range.

                    Well, this would require a new camera. DxO-Mark has a nice komparison of
                    camera dynamic range: http://tinyurl.com/a3jm78e

                    > The bracketing capabilities of the D90 are often insufficient for indoor shots with daylight through the windows.

                    Perhaps external bracketing control would help:
                    http://wiki.panotools.org/Extended_bracketing_control

                    --
                    Erik Krause
                    http://www.erik-krause.de
                  • harrypanorama
                    Thanks for your reply and links. My raw process: - import raw into LR4 - do general sharping and CA correction - export 16bit tiff - if bracketing, fuse
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
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                      Thanks for your reply and links.

                      My raw process:
                      - import raw into LR4
                      - do general sharping and CA correction
                      - export 16bit tiff
                      - if bracketing, fuse exposures with Photomatix Pro
                      - stitch with PTGui Pro, save as 16bit tiff
                      - overall adjustments (like WB, contrast, sharping etc.) PS
                      - export 8bit jpeg


                      --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, Erik Krause wrote:
                      >
                      > Am 13.01.2013 12:46, schrieb harrypanorama:
                      > > Nikkor yielded higher resolution result, approximately 12000x6000 vs. 10000x5000 for Samyang
                      >
                      > That was to be expected. Read Hans' message.
                      >
                      > > Yes indeed, I too would like to improve my sharpness and/or resolution.
                      >
                      > How do you develop your raws? I found that ACR (lightroom or PS) give
                      > far better sharpness than f.e. Canon DPP. I dont't know for nikon though...
                      >
                      > > (or, if I downsample a higher resolution the result is sharper, right?)
                      > > I would also like a higher / better dynamic range.
                      >
                      > Well, this would require a new camera. DxO-Mark has a nice komparison of
                      > camera dynamic range: http://tinyurl.com/a3jm78e
                      >
                      > > The bracketing capabilities of the D90 are often insufficient for indoor shots with daylight through the windows.
                      >
                      > Perhaps external bracketing control would help:
                      > http://wiki.panotools.org/Extended_bracketing_control
                      >
                      > --
                      > Erik Krause
                      > http://www.erik-krause.de
                      >
                    • Erik Krause
                      ... I found that Photomatix blurs the images slightly. Try PTGui Pro exposure fusion or enfuse / EnfuseGUI or (even better IMHO): SNS-HDR The rest of your
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 13, 2013
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                        Am 13.01.2013 17:24, schrieb harrypanorama:

                        > - if bracketing, fuse exposures with Photomatix Pro

                        I found that Photomatix blurs the images slightly. Try PTGui Pro
                        exposure fusion or enfuse / EnfuseGUI or (even better IMHO): SNS-HDR

                        The rest of your workflow seems perfect. LR4 uses ACR7 as well. Using
                        Process 2012 there seems to give better dynamic range and you can also
                        play with highlights and shadows restoration, which is pretty good.

                        --
                        Erik Krause
                        http://www.erik-krause.de
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