Dick Schippers

Expert

GooiVechtstreek, Netherlands, Europe
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About Dick

I'm retired now and have some "inconveniences" with my health, so fast and flashy photographing is a little bit difficult, but I discovered shooting 360x180° panoramas is my cup of tea and is something I can handle with lightweight and small photo gear when I go "hunting panoramas" with my mobility scooter in my region called "Het Gooi" en Vechtstreek. It's centrally located between Amsterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort and avaried, green part of the Netherlands. You find heath, forests, lakes, rivers, polders, old towns and villages, modern architecture and it's known as the home for the rich and famous (unfortunately not me) Hope you appriciate my panos of this region.

My Pano Gear:

# Samyang 8mm F3.5 Fisheye NX-mount
# Samsung NX100 APS-C sensor 14.6 MP 
# Triopo Magnesium-Aluminium alloy Tripod model MX-1327
# Falcon Eyes Light Stand L3900GA/B for elevated panos for camera (incl. pano head) on 4,2m/14ft (despite the moderate height it gives a nice natural spatial effect)
# FLM LB60 levelling base
# Sunwayfoto DDP-64S click-stop rotator
# Pano-MAXX spherical panorama head
# Pixel RW-221 E3 wireless remote control
# Kettlebell 4kg as small counterweight 

Software:

# Samsung RAW Converter - convert RAW images to Tiffs upto ±3EV
# PhotoMatix Essentials - for Exposure Fusion and contrast control
# PTGui (standard edition) - for stitching panoramas
# pano2vr - for easy editing in flat cube faces and reconvert back to equirectangular projection
# PaintShop Pro X4  - for general editing

Tech Info:

A typical panorama shoot for the Samyang (180° FOV) consists of 6 horizon level images in portrait mode (60° sectors give convenient overlap zones). Camera a little pointed to the ground (-10°~-12°) to make a small nadir footprint (easy to edit) and 1 or 2 Zenith images tilted up to +60° above the anchor image and optional the second one in opposite direction to generate a lot of control points for stitching. In case of situations with moving objects (pedestrians, cyclists, cars, some times clouds, etc) I shoot only 4 images on horizon level and 1 zenith. Shooting 90° sectors only with the click-stop rotator for precision due to very narrow overlap zones. My distance setting for the Samyang Fisheye is 3m and aperture mostly set to F8 and this results in a DOF (depth of field) of 30/40cm~infinity with (almost) max. sharpness. Smaller apertures (F11~F22) have more DOF but lesser general sharpness by diffraction = light scattering through a particularly small aperture.