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Panoramic Heads

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Coming back to panorama photography again, I found some interesting DIY pano heads: First a wooden one by arodrix, then a just as cheap metal rod based by Peter Loud, and finally “bone” head by Matteo Cominetti. All of them interesting in that they full-fill what they set out to achieve by very simple means. At this point, it is probably worth nothing what that is: PanoHelp explains why the pivot point should be changed when taking pictures for stitching.

If you don’t want to build yourself, there are some reasonably priced options from DealExtrme. (The two first look exactly the same, even if they are different names slapped on top)

My end goal is something like the Gigapanbot, mentioned earlier, so maybe some simple brackets might also do, plus a battery. More about that later.

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Strahov Library 40 Gigapixels

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Jeffrey Martin, founder of 360Cites, recently released a 40 GP indoor panorama of the Strahov Library in Prague. It claims to be the world’s largest indoor panorama. It consists of 2947 shots, which combine to the 280,000 x 140,000 pixels, and 280 GB image.

You can view it here, but be aware that the Flash application and pictures can take quite some time to load. I also have the Flash crash several times.

The TC article mentions the he used a Canon 550D and a 200mm lens. It is also covered by Wired, and from their picture of the setup, it seems to be a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM. The Canon 550D is a 18 MP camera, which means 2947 input images gives a total of 53 GP raw data. Furthermore, he uses RAW files, at around 20 – 25 MB echo, so that would take up 59 to 73 GB on the card. (Thus, the 280 GB number above seems a bit strange).

Furthermore, it intersecting to note hat he uses the GigaPanBot by T. Emrich from Germany. I wrote about his project in November last year, and got the impression it was more of a hobby project. It seems he has made a nice niche business for himself.

In the Wired article, they mention that the camera does not always get focus, so Jeffrey has to jump up, pause the robot, fix the focus, and continue. It also says that on the first day, he managed to finish about 20% of the job before the library closed at 5 pm. It doesn’t say how long it took to complete, but at that rate it would take a week! After that, it took 111 hours to stitch everything together, and about 10 hours of work to fix misaligned images.

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