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Archive 2011 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic
  
 
speedmaster20d
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


I am planning to make a huge cityscape mosaic (about 100-120 images) using the Giga Pan Epic pro robotic camera mount http://gigapansystems.com/epicpro-introduction.html . The exposure will be done in twilight conditions with about 5-15 seconds exposure time for each frame. Given the geographical location there will be some wind (5-10MPH). I am using a 5DII and 70-200 MKII rig (no vertical grip). From past experience a heavy tripod and high quality pano head can hold the rig tight with no visible vibration effects. However an even good ballhead will not be able to handle this. So my question is if anyone has experience with this tool and if it is capable of holding the rig tight in the given condition. It claims to support more than 10lbs but I am not sure how solid the mount is. Since the camera will be operated remotely by the tool it is not possible to check photos after exposure and redo the bad ones, and given the limited window for ideal light it will be a one shot thing.

I appreciate any input.



Nov 22, 2011 at 09:01 PM
HerbChong
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


add up the time. the light will be completely different from the time you start until the time you stop. even at 5 seconds each, 600 seconds is 10 minutes. half an hour is going to be even more so.

Herb....



Nov 22, 2011 at 09:11 PM
GeorgeM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


speedmaster20d,

No experience with the gigapan systems but from what you've described as the image you want to create you'll have to be speedier. At 5-15 seconds per image you are looking at somewhere between 8 and 25 minutes to capture the shots. At twilight the lighting will change a lot in that time frame.

George



Nov 22, 2011 at 09:14 PM
adam613
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


Depends on how good a ballhead you're talking about...something like the RRS BH-55 should be able to handle it. But you might be better off attaching the GigaPan directly to your tripod (or to a leveling base).

As everyone else said, you're going to run into light changing issues. For 120 frames right at sunset, you're going to want a shutter speed no worse than 1 second, and even that is pushing it...I'd kick up the ISO to at least 400...maybe even 800 or 1600, since you've got a 5DII...

If you wait until about 15 minutes after astronomical sunset, the light starts changing less rapidly and is still quite beautiful for cityscapes..a very deep blue if there's not too much haze or light pollution. By then, 8-10 minutes of total exposure time is probably ok.



Nov 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM
speedmaster20d
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


HerbChong wrote:
add up the time. the light will be completely different from the time you start until the time you stop. even at 5 seconds each, 600 seconds is 10 minutes. half an hour is going to be even more so.

Herb....


Thanks, I have already taken this into account I have worked out how much light will change approx. and will program the Giga Pan to adjust exposure accordingly. there will be some residual differences but the software will take care of that


Edited on Nov 22, 2011 at 10:52 PM · View previous versions



Nov 22, 2011 at 10:47 PM
speedmaster20d
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


adam613 wrote:
Depends on how good a ballhead you're talking about...something like the RRS BH-55 should be able to handle it. But you might be better off attaching the GigaPan directly to your tripod (or to a leveling base).

As everyone else said, you're going to run into light changing issues. For 120 frames right at sunset, you're going to want a shutter speed no worse than 1 second, and even that is pushing it...I'd kick up the ISO to at least 400...maybe even 800 or 1600, since you've got a 5DII...

If you wait until about 15 minutes after astronomical sunset, the
...Show more

Thanks so the Gia Pan will be attached directly to a heavy tripod, my concern is if the Giga pan itself can hold up the 5D2 70-200 f/2.8 rig stable enough for pixel-level sharpness at these exposure times when there is random and inevitable gusts.



Nov 22, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


Have you seen the RRS clamp bar for the Gigapan? Not sure if it'll help with stability.
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=GP-CB&type=0&eq=



Nov 22, 2011 at 11:29 PM
 

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millsart
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


Make sure you have a FRESHLY charged set of batteries. My Epic would die really quickly and the battery indicator is rather worthless as it would go from full to warning messages very quickly.

The Epic Pro will hold a 5D2 and 70-200 no problems. I've seen people use a D3 and 200-400 f4 with success.

I really wouldn't bother going in the triple digits though, it really just gets to be silly resolution for the sake of resolution and makes processing take forever. Light can change so very quickly, shadows get longer etc and then all you end up with is a uber resolution shot with some glaring errors.

30-40 frames from a 5D2 can be done is a much more manageable window and will still have plenty resolution for even the largest of prints.

Another thing I had success with was after finishing one pass, changing the exposure and reshooting the first few rows to get a better exposure on the sky. Then I'd stitch that and blend with the first one. Just always seemed to work better than spending too much time bracketing shot by shot.



Nov 23, 2011 at 03:40 AM
speedmaster20d
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


Thanks guys, this is exactly what I wanted to hear. Very good points I will try to reduce the number of shots by zooming back a bit. make sure the batteries are charged.

Millsat what kind of tripod did you use to hold the Epic pro rig?



Nov 23, 2011 at 05:00 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


millsart wrote:
Make sure you have a FRESHLY charged set of batteries. My Epic would die really quickly and the battery indicator is rather worthless as it would go from full to warning messages very quickly.

The Epic Pro will hold a 5D2 and 70-200 no problems. I've seen people use a D3 and 200-400 f4 with success.

I really wouldn't bother going in the triple digits though, it really just gets to be silly resolution for the sake of resolution and makes processing take forever. Light can change so very quickly, shadows get longer etc and then all you end up with
...Show more

I use a car portable battery jumper with my Epic Pro. Eliminates the Gigapan battery going dead, and they don't last lonq as millsart noted. They are available at any of big-box or club stores cheap.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schumacher-Instant-Power-Jump-Starter/13005739

When I purchased my GigaPan, I immediately replaced the Gigapan plastic parts which didn't fit all that well with http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=GP-CB-Pkg&type=3&eq=&desc=

Lastly, I use an Induro PHQ-3 with mine.



Nov 23, 2011 at 05:27 AM
adam613
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


speedmaster20d wrote:
Thanks, I have already taken this into account I have worked out how much light will change approx. and will program the Giga Pan to adjust exposure accordingly. there will be some residual differences but the software will take care of that


It's not just a change in amount of light...the color of the sky is changing pretty rapidly at that point as well. It's possible to deal with that to a certain extent in Photoshop, but it'll be a real pain.

I'm not sure if it's possible to control whether to shoot in columns or rows on the GigaPan, but if you can shoot in short columns, you might be able to control the changing light in such a way as to make a neat horizontal effect...I did that once by accident when shooting a cityscape and was pleasantly surprised.

speedmaster20d wrote:
Thanks so the Gia Pan will be attached directly to a heavy tripod, my concern is if the Giga pan itself can hold up the 5D2 70-200 f/2.8 rig stable enough for pixel-level sharpness at these exposure times when there is random and inevitable gusts.


Easily. The GigaPan website talks about using it with a 300 f/2.8...the lightest 300 f/2.8 probably has a couple of pounds on your 70-200 f/2.8.



Nov 23, 2011 at 07:57 PM
HerbChong
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


that's why i figure all of the shots have to be completed in about 2 minutes, maybe 4 if you push your luck. if there are any moving clouds then it may be impossible.

Herb...

adam613 wrote:
It's not just a change in amount of light...the color of the sky is changing pretty rapidly at that point as well. It's possible to deal with that to a certain extent in Photoshop, but it'll be a real pain.




Nov 23, 2011 at 08:06 PM
speedmaster20d
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Making giant panoramas with Giga Pan Epic


So I thought it was possible to adjust exposure order, this way I can finish the sky which is most critical first and then do the buildings which can be adjusted in post more easily. The gradient effect can be nice but ultimately it is not suited for this particular job and client.





Nov 23, 2011 at 09:31 PM





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