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Beginner help - Making photospheres & choosing equipment

CameraNewbie

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Hey there guys! :05.18-flustered:

I'm thinking about making some of my own photospheres at home (360 x 180) but I'm a complete rookie when it comes to photography and DSLR/HDR camera equipment, I enjoy taking photos on my smartphone but that's as far as my knowledge stretches when it comes to photography.

I've been doing a lot of research on the internet and I'd just like to ask you guys about some of the things I couldn't find on the net - especially where equipment is concerned! I understand I need a 180 degree wide-angle fisheye lens as well as an appropriate tripod/panoramic tripod head, I'm just unsure about compatibility and actually setting all of it up, I have no idea if any of the equipment I've been considering is compatible or how I'd go about setting it all up etc...

Here's the full list of equipment I've been considering so far for the photospheres:

Camera:

Nikon D7000 Digital SLR Camera Body Only (16.2MP) 3 Inch LCD: (does 'body only' mean I can add my own lens straight out the box?)

Free Delivery Buy Nikon D7000 Body from Expeditelectronics

Lens:

Samyang 8mm f3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye CS Lens - Nikon AE Fit:

Samyang 8mm f3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye CS Lens - Nikon AE Fit

Tripod:

Pro Weifeng WF-6662A Tripod For Nikon D7000 Df D7100 D100 D70s D70 D80 Camera:

Pro Weifeng WF-6662A Tripod For Nikon D7000 Df D7100 D100 D70s D70 D80 Camera UK

Tripod Head:

Nodal Ninja 3 MKII Starter Package (F3500):

NN3 MKII Starter Package (F3500)

Would all the above parts be suitable for making photospheres? Or am I missing a few things? Also how would I know if the tripod head was compatible with the tripod above? Is there a universal industry standard when it comes to camera and tripod compatibility? Or do I need to check each item is compatible with one another before purchasing?

Also, what angular distance would you recommend in between taking photo's with a 180 degree fisheye lens? I've heard some sources say 60 degrees and others recommending slightly higher so I'm not entirely sure, is it easier to Photoshop any black circles on the north and south poles of the photosphere? Or is it better to take individual photos of the ceiling and floor and then stitch them to the rest of the photosphere so there aren't any circles on the Nodal points?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks guys! :icon_thumbsup:
 
You don't really need a fisheye lens. Here's a great tutorial: How To Turn Your Panorama Photos Into 360-Degree Little Planet Images

You can probably even do that with a smartphone camera. The only "special" piece of the puzzle you need is Photoshop.

Wrong. He's not trying to make little planet images, he wants to make full 360 panoramas. I have a few buddies who do this including one friend who does them at night and the degree of difficulty is pretty amazing. Here is a link to check out some of his stuff, if you click on a photo you can go in and look around, it's pretty crazy, Aaron Priest, panoramic photographer - 360Cities

He uses a robotic tripod head which certainly makes things a lot easier, but I always have a friend who has made some sweet 360 panos with the nodal ninja (not sure which one though). Wish I could give you some more advice, but don't listen to people saying that this is possible with a cell phone.
 
but don't listen to people saying that this is possible with a cell phone.
And when I went to see the Aaron Priest site he has an App for the iPhone to make the 360 panos.

I do partial panoramas all the time, but a 360x180 is a big jump if you are having to buy and learn all the equipment and post-processing at one time. I have not tried stitching with an ultra-wide angle lens (possible distorsion that needs correction), in any case I usually overlap each photo by about 50%.

Sounds like an interesting project.
 
I've done 360x180s with just a fisheye and a camera. Just make sure the camera is in the same point in space for all the images lest parallax errors start to show up in the stitch.

Example: Click here. Handheld D600 with a Siggy 15mm diagonal fisheye.
 
but don't listen to people saying that this is possible with a cell phone.
And when I went to see the Aaron Priest site he has an App for the iPhone to make the 360 panos.

I do partial panoramas all the time, but a 360x180 is a big jump if you are having to buy and learn all the equipment and post-processing at one time. I have not tried stitching with an ultra-wide angle lens (possible distorsion that needs correction), in any case I usually overlap each photo by about 50%.

Sounds like an interesting project.

The iPhone app is for viewing the 360 panos that he has been working on with a company for a while. It is quite a process, with lots of quirks to work out correcting distortion and the like (when he tries to talk to me about them I get confused after about two seconds), but the OP asked about making these, which are far different than little planets.
 

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