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2-camera rig using Nikon FC-E8 circular fisheye lenses for panorama?

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Hi all,

I am trying to assemble a one-shot panorama rig using 2 Nikon FC-E8 fisheye lenses (each covering 187 degrees) attached to a Canon Point & Shot camera using step down rings/adapters.
I need to release the 2 shutters every 5 seconds.

Michel Thoby has done this using 2 Nikon P5100 cameras, but encountered various problems:
http://michel.thoby.free.fr/DuoPix/DuoPix_solution.html

He was not able to release the shutters synchronized. Which is essential for me.
Also I can not disassemble the cameras to get the pictures out or recharge the batteries, as his would force me to create new templates for stitching the 2 pictures to a pano after each disassembling/reassembing. Which is a time consuming pain.

Rebuilding his all-Nikon setup would cost app. 400 to 800 USD depending on bidding skills:
The Nikon P5100 has been sold for 100-200 USD at ebay in 10/2009.
The Nikon FC-E8 has been sold for 80-200 USD at ebay in 10/2009.

Which Canon cameras would you suggest?

- not to expensive Point & Shoot
- release shutter of 2 cameras synchronized
- power supply/charging without disassembling
- picture download without disassembling (after shooting)
- RAW

For those who are still with me, this is what this setup looks like using 2 Canon 5D with shaved Nikkor 10.5mm lenses:

Rig: http://www.mediavr.com/twinrig1.jpg
Panorama: http://www.mediavr.com/flash/twin5d1.htm
Timelaps: http://www.mediavr.com/ultimotimelapse.htm
Costs: Ca. 4500 USD.

Thanks,

Jan

P.S.:
In April 2009 I started a thread to find out how to build a multi-camera rig to take all pictures needed for a 360-degree panorama at once.

In the meanwhile I received the P-360M25 camera from Pentaone and did a lot of testing. It didn't work out. I will return it.
Details are at my website http://diystreetview.org for those who are interested.
« Last Edit: 26 / October / 2009, 04:21:42 by janmartin »
DIY-streetview.org - Do It Yourself streetview!

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Offline fbonomi

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Re: 2-camera rig using Nikon FC-E8 circular fisheye lenses for panorama?
« Reply #1 on: 26 / October / 2009, 04:04:27 »
Which Canon cameras would you suggest?
- not to expensive Point & Shoot
- release shutter of 2 cameras synchronized
- power supply/charging without disassembling
- picture download without disassembling (after shooting)
- RAW

This is feasible with most CHDK cameras, the tricky part (and the one where Idon't have any experience) is "picture download without disassembling"
Several options are available, such as:
- EyeFi wifi SD cards (it tends to crash after long shooting sessions, but you could always reboot the cameras every X photos)
- the very new / experimental ptp extension (see http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,4338.0.html and http://www.mweerden.net/chdk_ptp.html ) it's quite experimental yet, I have never played with it but it looks terrific.

Synchronized shooting is fairly trivial with CHDK, and you can achieve extremely good synchronization. There is a CHDK variant called SDM wich lacks some CHDK features but adds EXTREMELY good synch, such as the one needed for this multple-cameras shot: http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,3136.msg29249.html#msg29249


As per the camera, you probably have to cross-check the features you need with the feature of each camera. Without too much investigations, I would suggest A590s, matching a very good CHDK support with good abilities to do manual settings.

http://www.mediavr.com/ultimotimelapse.htm[/url]
NOTE TO OTHERS: The link is broken...
http://www.mediavr.com/ultimotimelapse.htm
also it takes some time to start, so be patient!


« Last Edit: 26 / October / 2009, 04:07:36 by fbonomi »

Re: 2-camera rig using Nikon FC-E8 circular fisheye lenses for panorama?
« Reply #2 on: 26 / October / 2009, 05:34:13 »
fbonomi,

thanks for your comment.
I fixed the broken link.

Picking a camera seems to be trickier than I thought.
I want at least 12MP to match the picture quality of the 12MP Nikon P5100.

However after reading http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CameraFeatures
I now also want working "wake up". After all I will  put 2 cameras on a cars rooftop, so it will be a bit complicated to switch the cameras on manually.

The 12MP SD950 is available for app. 150-250 USD on ebay.
Unfortunately there is nearly no data on the SD950 on the CameraFeatures page.
I assume "{ }" means "undetermined"?

Anyone got anything to fill in on the SD950?
RAW capability? Wake Up?

I gotta read a few more days I think. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,
Jan

P.S.:
Using free "PTGui 8.3 trial for Windows" run by Wine 1.0.1 on Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 Linux I created the following files using the circular fisheye examples and the script provided by Michel Thoby at http://michel.thoby.free.fr/DuoPix/DUOPIX_images-Script-file.zip :

Original output of PTGui, 48.3 MB:
http://www.diystreetview.org/data/DSCN1802_Panorama.tif
Saved as jpg, 7.1 MB:
http://www.diystreetview.org/data/DSCN1802_Panorama.jpg
Saved as jpg with 85% quality, no visible difference, 1.6 MB:
http://www.diystreetview.org/data/DSCN1802_Panorama_85percent.jpg


P.S.2:
There is a way to synchronize 2 Nikon P5100 using a custom-made combined remote-shutter-release cable:
http://delphys.net/d.holmes/photos/coolpix_e990/e990_usb_cable.html
But it would be a dead end, while CHDK development goes on.

P.S.3:
I couldn't find anything on the SD950 having a thread for adapters or bayonet at all?
Can anyone fill in on that?
« Last Edit: 26 / October / 2009, 05:53:54 by janmartin »
DIY-streetview.org - Do It Yourself streetview!

Re: 2-camera rig using Nikon FC-E8 circular fisheye lenses for panorama?
« Reply #3 on: 29 / October / 2009, 00:24:49 »
I also enjoy fisheye photography; there are numerous examples, mostly full-frame or remapped to panoramas using Panorama Tools, on my Pbase site.

It is worth experimenting with the FC-E8, which is an extremely high quality optic, mounted on a DSLR wideangle lens. I bought a 28mm to 52mm (admin quoted out) on eBay, jury-rigged a 52-62 adapter that gets the rear element very close to the front element of my 20/2.8 AIS Nikkor (using an empty 62mm filter mount and a 62-52 adapter screwed into the rear of it, with the 52-28 adapter then screwed into the rear of the 62-52 adaptern, now effectively the front), and have done some nice circular fisheye shots. The only problem is that the rig (admin quoted out) does not focus quite to infinity with the 20 wide open; it has to be stopped down to f/11 or 16 before objects at great distances are sharp, but the whole system is extremely sharp, coping even with the resolution requirements of the D2x. One amazing thing that can be done with this is place the camera flat on the ground pointed up, take a single shot, and use Panorama Tools (admin quoted out) to unwrap it into a 360 degree panorama. It would work even better with a 6mm fisheye, but I don't think I could justify the purchase price, sadly.

Happy fisheye-ing.


admin comment: if the the spam links were there on purpose, next will be a ban. thanks for reading.
« Last Edit: 29 / October / 2009, 04:40:34 by acseven »


Re: 2-camera rig using Nikon FC-E8 circular fisheye lenses for panorama?
« Reply #4 on: 03 / November / 2009, 23:24:28 »
1) The Powershot SD780_IS is a 12.1 MP camera.
2) It can be powered with an external power supply (Canon ACK-DC10).
3) The SDHC memory card can be read via the camera's USB port. It will work with cards up to 32GB.
4) The CHDK port for this camera is in active development.
See: http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=3995.0
5) StereoDataMaker a special CHDK port will allow the simultaneous triggering of both camera's via the USB port.
6) The camera sells for $250 at WalMart and Canon is running a special that will rebate $20 on the cost of a second one.

I own 2 myself and plan on doing stereo and time lapse. It is a delightful little camera to own and OBTW it records 720p video at 30fps. I haven't owned a camera that I've enjpyed as much as this one since my full up Nikon FTN with motor drive. :)

Hope this helps.

 

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