Mounting the Camera and Setting the NPP
If you are going to use the Orion TeleTrack for high
gigapixel images of far away objects parallax won’t be as crucial an
issue. I hope to take pictures of closer objects with a wide angle
lens, so I have to get things lined up as well as possible. My first
thought was to attach my Really Right Stuff hardware. I use a
MPR-192 multi purpose rail
and mini clamps for manual single row panos and macro photography.
can see that it
didn’t quite line up with the axis of rotation of the head. I tried a
couple of other things, and finally mounted the camera directly to the
It clamps securely enough, but I will probably look into making a
dedicated mount once I have a better idea of my needs. I used a manual
method of NPP determination with tape on a
window, versus a
house, and was ready to go.
Taking a Panorama with Papywizard
The Orion TeleTrack head gets its power from 8 x 1.5V AA batteries, or
an external 12V power source. Reportedly it will also run on as low
9 volts. A future project will be creating an external battery
Here is my checklist for taking a panorama:
- Orion batteries charged and installed
- Camera battery charged and memory installed
- Nokia batteries charged
- Tripod leveled
- Camera in NPP for lens
- Wired remote plugged in
- Orion turned on
- Camera turned on
- Nokia turned on
- Nokia bluetooth turned on
- Papywizard started
- Confirm that correct camera and lens are in Papywizard
- Papywizard connected to BT device
- Set starting position in Papywizard
- Set finish position in Papywizard
- Start shooting
I really do have to use this list right now, as I have forgotten each
one of those points, except 16.
I may write up something specific on Papywizard, but for now, I suggest
you rely on the official documentation. I currently use the mosaic
mode, where the software calculates the number and position of the
pictures based on the lens, start and stop points, and selected
overlap. The most awkward part of the experience is having to move the
head to set the start and stop points. It is a slow process. However,
we can save our settings as presets for use in the future. I plan on
saving a single row 360 panorama for each of the lenses I use. I can
then set up the head at the starting point and pause or cancel when I
get to whatever stopping point I feel is appropriate. This will be
faster than programming for example, a 220 degree sweep.
Still, the device is great. I was able to take several panos of 30 to
50 pictures while standing around talking to a friend. They stitched
without difficulty in AutopanoPro, allowing me to zoom and zoom into
the detail. I’d have to say that this is a very useful,
affordable platform that will only improve as it matures. My heartfelt
thanks to the folks who helped move this project to a point where even
those like me who are functionally illiterate in electronics and
computers could pull it off. For those who are even more timid than me
about taking up a soldering iron, there is hope, as a turnkey
controller is under development.
UPDATE: (November 18) The next stable version of Papywizard should let you choose your start and stop points without panning the head. You just make sure that you have set an appropriate “home” position, and go.
- Big Ben’s Panorama Tutorials has general background information
- The Autopano Pro forums have a dedicated area for this project
- Internet Tablet Talk is a great place to get information on issues and hacks.
- If you are like me, and have a fondness for those old Palm OS applications, there is a way to run them on your Nokia tablet. It’s called Garnet VM.