Point and Shoot Panoramas (PSP)
A new setup ideal for light weight travelling yet hoping to get some 360 panos.
Nikon Coolpix P5100 + UR-E20 + FC-E8 on a Nodal Ninja 3. This is a very popular combination allowing as little as 2 shots to make a full 360 pano. I’ve tried with better results using 4 images (one shot every 90 degrees) + a nadir. 5 images in total to have a 360 image. Something to drool over first…
The Nikon UR-E20 is actually just a step down ring allowing you to attach a wide variety of wide angle or tele lens for Nikon’s range of compact cameras. See this guy’s arsenal of many allowable attachment here
Nikon has by far has the widest possible attachment available. The Nikon FC-E8 which is a 0.21x converter. They also have the FC-E9, a 0.2x converter. What are those? Say you have a compact camera, most compact range from 35mm to as wide as 24mm depending on brand and model. The Nikon Coolpix P5100 is a 35mm so you take 35 x 0.21 and you get 7.35mm. That’s how wide it is when the converter is attached and since it is a fisheye, the field of view (FOV) is as much as 182 degrees. Most compact cameras till today are compared to 35mm equivalent, meaning the focal length is in certain mm as compared to the older 35mm cameras of yester-years.
If you have a hard time Googling for a certain camera’s focal length, look no further than DPreview. They have a really comprehensive databases of camera, both Dslr and Compact. The P5100’s specs is here.
Nodal Ninja added to the equation
I’ve decided to have a as light rig as possible for this setup thus removed the upper rail of the Nodal Ninja 3. Yes, I am still using the non MKII NN3.
The mounting is done using the NN3 packaged T-Adaptor.
On the Nodal Ninja, quick release plate and tripod.
What I didn’t like is the fact that the UR-E20 is touching the upper knob of the Nodal Ninja 3. When rotating the setup, the UR-E20 will brush against the knob causing scratches.
An alternative is to move the FC-E8 not as close out of the lower rails as seen below but the shot taken will generate an image that captures the lower rails since the FC-E8 is really that wide.
Only the lower rail is needed for this setup. To avoid this, of course, I can mount the whole setup using the T-Adaptor to the full NN3 setup, that means with the upper rail.
With the upper rail, the whole setup is of course lighter and I am only limited by what the P5100 can do.
The final products
10 Sept 2008 – I’ll follow up with a PTGui settings article shortly on what I used to make the above. I’m still tweaking and finding the sweet spot.