Sigma new lenses

Targetted at DSLR users. The 4.5mm, it got me really excited! 180 FOV! 2 shots or 4 shots for a full 360 pano? Could well be possible!

See the specs here, the 4.5mm F2.8 EX DC Circular Fisheye HSM.

sigma45mm_hsm.jpg

P&S 360 Pano

Wanna take a 360 pano with a point and shoot camera? Nodal Ninja is, of course, capable of doing just that. See the article here.

We use a Canon Powershot A95 and the Nodal Ninja 3 with a T Adaptor.

NN3 and Panosaurus

A short article comparing the Nodal Ninja 3 and the Panosaurus

Thanks Greg for sending us a demo production piece. The next outing for us will be fixed soon. You’ll get a chance to see how it looks like and how it fair compared to other pano heads you may have.

Check out the article here.

Olympus still doesn’t know?

It seems Olympus is out of touch?

olympus_migrateyouradplease_words.jpg

I have a Canon 40D and “live view” in case they have not heard or know what is it. View this (forward to 1 min 28 secs if you can’t wait).

We all know they thought they had a good selling point with their E-510 but please! It’s time to pull that ad which appeared in PC Magazine (Dec 4 2007). Both Canon and Nikon’s upcoming D300 has this function already.

Their full ad is below. Click for bigger image.

olympus_migrateyouradplease.jpg

Check out the E-510 here.

What cams are capable of LiveView?

Canon 1DsMKIII40D, Nikon D300

Next Please…

The next World Wide Panorama event will be a double event.

The Best of 2007 and the more meaningful “all shot at the same fixed time”, “Wrinkle Tribute”

Singapore is on 22 Dec 2007 at 2.08pm. Gear up! I sure hope to see more participate from Singapore. The previous event (Sustenance) had only me from Singapore (Asia, 3 from China, 1 from Hong Kong, 13 from Japan, 2 from Korea, 1 from Philippines and 1 from Taiwan). Which is here, scroll for Singapore.

Read the rules and how to participate here.

Official: Nodal Ninja 5

Coming in Mid Dec 2007.

See the announcement here.

nodalninja5_announced.jpg

Key Points:

– Will allow you to use one of those big body camera such as the Canon 1D series and Nikon D2/3 series.

– WIll allow you to use it with DSLR and grip.

– Priced at USD$399.95 (approx SGD$577)

Asia pre-orders will be up soon.

Panamatic

It’s featured in this month’s POP Photo magazine. The panamatic and I ordered one into Singapore to compare knowing yes knowingly the following:

1. There will not be any way this will be able to do any nodal point/ entrance pupil correction.

2. Users of this will most probably be stuck to be using this with a fix amount of equipment/ camera body/ lense thus, no way of re-useablity if we upgrade/change cam/ lens.

3. It’s cheap seems to be the only good point and it just about ends there. Look out for hands on tests soon.

4. Bundled software package for USD$5 more. Please skip this I would suggest. Try Hugin or the “preferred-by-many” PTGui.

5. There’s entries on the Net that has mention about the Panamatic since 2005. It has been around for a while and the pictures show it has made no improvement to the designs or anything else. One very early was dated as far back as PMA 2005, which was Feb 20 – 23 2005 (source).

It’ll be coming in from Canada and should take 2 weeks(?) to reach Singapore.

Links –http://tinyurl.com/3cjfgo

Pano 360 Meetup 01

Everyone should have gotten the email now and a small handful of us have confirm the attendance.

Do bring your own laptop if you have and load them up with the pano software that you use often or have used Hugin, PTGui, Pano2QTVR, Pleinpot or others.

I’ll show my workflow as the tutorial may be confusing for some, even the video tutorials which I know may be too small for viewing or to your liking.

The weather these few weeks has not be predictable as we all know how Singapore is like thus we’ll start morning 10am for the clear blue skies we are having for the past week, and hope it lasts through Sunday.

We’ll visit 2 places then gather for a hands-on session as I know the actual taking of the photos will be very easy after we all hae the setup “calibrated” and those with the Nodal Ninja will be even quicker! Trust me! It’s the stitching that will take up time. I’ll hunt for a good place, currently 2 places in mind, a friend’s photo studio or a LAN shop kind of setting places as we won’t want our laptops to run out of juice.

I foresee we’ll be taking and stitching at the same time too so battery life will be very much sacred. haha

Please post all comments on this meetup in this thread by click here then scroll to the bottom. Register here first if you have not done so in order to comment. It’s free, of course.

-expo-

Check out this site http://www.jenstark.com/ It’s really inspirational and “tireless”.

Check out the cool tools that’s used to make these here.

Experimental. I would be moving this site to more of experimental photography techniques that I have tried out and of course, 360 pano will still be very much a big part of it.

Deval Plugin

Just in case, if you are viewing DevalVR version of certain panos, you should be viewing them in full screens now in a small window right in the middle of your browser. If you are viewing them in a window, you do not have the plugin. Visit this direct link to have DevalVR installed.

Why HDR.

I added a short article on why HDR in the Tech section. Direct link here.

It’s essential in 360 Panos. Try it, learn it.

I’ve gotten mails at 360<nospam>@itcow.com asking on certain techniques I use and software I use. I try to reply to them all but at times, they do get flagged as spam, it’ll be a lot better that you register on this site and post your comments directly on the comment/pano/articles you have questions on, ‘ll reply there directly. This way, we share the knowledge to those who may want to ask the same thing.  A forum is an overkill for now as traffics show more viewers daily than “askers”.

Take care and happy pano-ing.

Opensource Pano-ing with Hugin

Hugin. You might have of it, the main author pronounced it (“hu” as in “Hue”) so get that right first. Here‘s the main author, Pablo d’Angelo doing a demo at the recent PanoTools Meeting. Whole list of videos are here.

I hear a few people lament about the cost of Pano hardware then when they need to stitch them up, the software costs dawn on them.

Check out Hugin. I took it for a spin. It works just the speed as compared to PTGui is, slower. I’m using the same test files used here.

Loading the images, drag and drop the same way as in PTGui.

It’ll take a while and if it’s the first time you are like me, using Hugin, you need to define where is autopano.exe . Download it here. Then tell Hugin where it i and it’ll go to work.

The result:

Optimising, i chose “Everything”. The speed is fast but I do not see much changes on the preview window.

Stitch them up.

Results, resized to 500 x 250.

Not bad at all huh. I completed the whole workflow in Pano2QTVR, Photoshop then Pleinpot and gotten ths following.

Quicktime | DevalVR

Not bad at all for an Opensource stitcher GUI front but do note that often than not, if your photos are not taken well and or with tons of Parallex errors, there’s really nothing much ANY software can help you with. Like we all hear, “Garbage in, garbage out”. So take your shots well before attempting any stitching, if not, you’re just wasting a lot of your precious time.

Hugin – http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

AutoPano – http://autopano.kolor.com/

360 Precision

360Precision has a new revamped look on it’s website. Check them out.

360precpic.jpg
Picture – www.360precision.com

For those not knowing, they produce one of the most expensive/ professional pano head money can buy. At time of writing, it is USD1195, a cool SGD1.8k! Enough for a mid range DSLR like the Canon EOS 40D. So why do people still buy them?

If you notice, most pano heads out there like the Nodal Ninja3, Kingpano, Panosauras can’t really take DSLR that are in the taller heights range, meaning the more expensive/ professional ones like the 1D series (eg MarkII, MarkIII) but the 360Precision Adjuste can take the MarkII with no problem! I can only gauge them roughly now but my old Canon 350D with grips attached is not mountable to the Kingpano or the Nodal Ninja3.

nn3withacompactcam.jpg
Picture -www.nodalninja.com, seen here with a compact/ point and shoot camera. It’s totally possible to take a full 360 pano with the NN3.

I have too complained about the price of pano heads for some time. It’s so expensive at times for the hardware wait till I start on the software. Pete L. has actually home made his own. He’s totally into this pano machining idea! Check out his handmade pano head here. It’s crude looking but it gets the job done on his 350D matched with a Sigma 10-20mm.

Software, an overview again shall we?

PTGui – 79Euros for Personal. 149Euros for a Personal Professional license.

Pano2QTVR – 30 Euros for Pro version and 130 Euros for Pro and flashpack. (You’ll need the flashpack to export your panos as flash)

Pleinpot – 25 Euros.

So yes, with these prices in place, they do make people serious in pano to be serious and people starting out to try out pano taking sometimes, away from the idea of getting started. It’s just bad especially for people in general of Asia/ Singapore. It’s hard enough to see people actually trying out this great photography technique, the prices involved shy people away.

There are alternative opensource ones like Hugin but the output and final results is just not as good as I hope for. It’s my personal view, you may have better results.

I hope, through this small site, I can bring pano to more people, introduce the fun that can be had! Thanks to all who has left comments on certain panos, registration has been flowing in quite smoothly since I enabled the user registration. Do keep the comments coming so I can better my panos.

A “Break”

I’m taking a break from pano due to a break…on my tripod!

It all happened on location pano taking at The Esparis…

I hope to have it replaced soon and almost really bought another Benro gem, the new Travel Angle Tripod that can do a back 180 degrees fold, yes just like the Gitzo Traveller series at 1/3 the price! Of course, comparing the Gitzo and the Benro is really a very unfair comparision as I tried it for myself today Gitzo’s G-Lock system, ALR (Anti Leg Rotation) and felt the weight of Gitzo’s Basalt and their carbon fibre series, it’s well worth the money for quality and strength.

In the meantime, I’m getting the tripod “repaired” tomorrow as I popped by Orient Photo in Sim Lim Square asking if it’s possible to have it repaired, spent money on accessories for my new 40D and the reply was a nice yes. Bring it down…

I hope I can be back doing Pano by the end of the week, new camera but no tripod! argh…

News section added.

I’ve added a news section to post pano related news. All other tech news or article (yes i know it’s been a long while since i wrote anything but well…) will still be at www.itcow.com

PTGui

First off, there’s a new version of PTGui (Version 7.2) . It nows support HDR “out of the box“! oh and no, my recent HDR based360 panos are not made using it. The HDR in my panos are processed using Photomatix then stitched using the usual (older) PTGui version.

3D Map

Interesting find of Google related maps. As you know, I use a map to map out all the panos I have taken around Singapore and Google Map and Google Earth always interest me a lot. Seeing this in 3D is darn interesting. It’s a map of London’s tube. Check it out here.

Anyone care to map out Singapore’s MRT?

Panos around the world

Lastly, check out the “Best of 2006” right here. There’s also the recently mentioned location, the so called New 7 Wonders of the World.

Enjoy!