View Full Version : Help please on choice of fisheye for VR

11th September 2009, 05:51 PM
Hi everyone, could i please have some advice on choosing the correct lens, i want to do VR internal panoramas of buildings over here in spain, we are in construction and need to produce more detailed info for clients and prospects, i am not sure whether to go for an Olympus 8mm digital, standard OM fisheye (if i can find one) and 4/3 adaptor or a Peleng 8mm with 4/3 adaptor, i have tried looking for some examples on the OM and Peleng but cant find any taken on a e620.

I don't want to go down the one shot route with a 360 lens as i would like to use the fisheye elsewhere and i am looking for spherical panoramas rather than the ones you produce with a 360 lens option, i am using a olympus e-620 and Autopano Giga as my stitching/vr software. I want to take as few photos as possible but at the same time get high quality full 360 spherical watermarked panoramas, thanks for all your advice, Spiritburner

11th September 2009, 06:08 PM
I think you will find the 8mm digital fisheye would be the best choice! ;)

11th September 2009, 08:19 PM
You might check out my site. All panos are shot with the 8mm Zuiko.

I settled on 8 shots per pano: 6 round + zenith + nadir.
In theory you could do with 5 shots round, but I like the results with 6 better.

Don't forget to invest in a good panohead. I personally like the NodalNinja best.
I use the NN5 with my E-3, but with a E-620 you might settle with a NN3.

Any further questions? Don't hesitate to contact me.

12th September 2009, 06:40 AM
thank you i will take a look*chr

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 08:59 AM
Hi Spirit. I just recently bought the 8mm zuiko, and was not quite happy with the purple fringing it created, at first thinking it was a failure in optics/camera, but have seen images from other Zuiko 8mm owners, and it shows the same fringing. The lens delivers very clear and good images, better than most other fisheye lenses for nikons and canons etc. I did come across a site offering Peleng and Zenitar (http://www.rugift.com/photocameras/fisheye-lenses-info.htm) lenses, have spent some time locating and comparing images from those, and I am sure that I will get me a Zenitar in the near future, even if it is just for playing with it one afternoon. Only $250 including shipping, is well spent money... or spoiled in worst case scenario. It can always be sold again, and these lenses hold their value very well.

I have been told by users who had Peleng + Oly in the past, that it was a very good combo, and perfect for spherical panos.

My field of work, hobby, interest etc. is deeply rooted in the field of Panoramas, being a software developer for the panorama world (flashificator.com).

Regarding panorama heads; Yes, the best choice would be to go with Nodal Ninja 3. The customer support is excellent, the products are beyond excellent, the price is better than fair.... etc.

If you are thinking of buying a head from 360Precision, you are ABSOLUTELY ADVICED to visit the following link and horrify yourself.

When I came across the 360 Precision threads, I was stunned, completely amazed and wordless... it's so crazy that even Monty Python with John Cleese in the head rolel, could not have done a sketch reflecting this insanity in a believing (or comical) way.


After that reading (and more recent episodes) I wouldn't put a penny into their products, no matter how good they are (and they are said to be good).

On other notes, you can see the automatic panorama head I should be receiving on Tuesday, right here: http://flashificator.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1564&start=0

Have you decided on a panorama player to use?
My personal (biased) recommendation would be Flash Panorama Player (http://flashpanoramas.com) in combination with Flashificator (http://flashificator.com/forums)

Personally I use PTgui for stitching, and so does the majority of the world's professional panographers, but your choice (Autopano Giga) is on the second place... rightfully regarded as a very good stitcher.

Hoping to see your works when you have them done, and THANK YOU for not falling for the "one shot systems"... one only needs one shot to one's head to finish one's life.... and the one shot mirror systems serve as a bullet to the head in the panorama world. These are complete trash... at best.

Ah.. I did see Olympus OM fisheye lens for sale a few weeks back on Ebay (US) with a price label of $2,628 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Olympus-OM-System-Lens-2-8-8mm-Auto-Fisheye-Zuiko_W0QQitemZ230375267456QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCame ra_Lenses?hash=item35a36f9c80&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14) In comparison, Zuiko 8mm digital costs only $560-$900.

Easy choice to make between those two.

Peleng or Zuiko... there's only around $100 in difference should you get a good Zuiko offer... Zenitar or Peleng... well that's up for debate, but Peleng seems to be more used, and has a good portion of satisfied users.

Best of luck, and let us know what you decide to do.

12th September 2009, 11:16 AM
Just a word of caution on the Zenitar, as far as I am aware this is only available in 16mm, which on Four Thirds will equate to a 32mm - giving, I would think, a 90 degree angle of view which is not that wide but still with massive uncorrected distortion.

The Pelang 8mm, on the other hand, is a true circular fisheye which, with the Four Thirds crop factor, will produce linear fisheye effects with the 180 degree angle of view usually associated with 16mm fisheyes on Full Frame (i.e. 135 film) formats.

I hope this is right, please correct me if I'm wrong. :)

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 12:18 PM
You are correct... and you have exposed me as a "cheapo", having seen the price, I obviously disregarded the number 16 as some insignificant scribble...

So no reason to even think about Zenitar for panos... unless doing multi rows... but then again, it could be done just as well with a kitlens 14-42mm (30+ shots).

Now that we speak lenses... and me being famous for rambling and ranting off the deep end... would it be possible to use Samyang 8mm f/3.5 fisheye with an Oly E-series camera?

Here are some sample images with that lens, mounted on a Nikon D300: http://gallery.me.com/badders#100279

What kind of an adaptor would be needed?

12th September 2009, 12:31 PM
You are correct... and you have exposed me as a "cheapo", having seen the price, I obviously disregarded the number 16 as some insignificant scribble...

So no reason to even think about Zenitar for panos... unless doing multi rows... but then again, it could be done just as well with a kitlens 14-42mm (30+ shots).

Now that we speak lenses... and me being famous for rambling and ranting off the deep end... would it be possible to use Samyang 8mm f/3.5 fisheye with an Oly E-series camera?

Here are some sample images with that lens, mounted on a Nikon D300: http://www.panoguide.com/r/?p=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F3ju6c

What kind of an adaptor would be needed?

I'm not familiar with the Samyang but see no reason why it would not work with an E Series camera. If it doesn't come in a Four Thirds mount just buy it with a Nikon mount and buy a cheap Nikon to Four Thirds adaptor off ebay.

I've got one of these adaptors and it works perfectly with my Nikkor 300mm f4.5.

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 12:49 PM
The Samyang has gotten extremely good reviews in the Panorama community, and it is consistently clear to the edge of the image, low on CA and the in-focus area is a lot better than Nikkor/Sigma glass, recent tests have shown.

It does however not perform as well as the others in regards to light/sun due to lensflare creation. But as the images show, it is quite sharp and good.

Here a couple of articles that go beyond pep-talk:


At 200 GBP for the lens, including taxes... that's cheap... being good as it is.

12th September 2009, 02:05 PM
I'm not famiiar with 360 degree panoramas. Is there a particular advantage in using fisheye lenses rather than say 7mm wide angle?

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 02:37 PM
Yes ... and no.

Yes, because with a 180 (upto 185) fisheye you can shoot 3 images only, to cover 360x180 sphere (using a FF camera with a shaven lens and circular projection).

With the Zuiko 8mm on Oly, I can get a fully spherical pano out of 5+1 image (5 around shot at -10 and one up to get the zenith, leaving only a very small footprint of the panorama head/tripod top.

With a wide angle lens you need more shots and shooting multi rows is needed. If you have a scene with moving objects or people, the fewer shots you need, the better it is. Otherwise there may be people without feet, feet without people, half cars, people with 3 arms etc. This comes from the need to overlap pictures with 25%-30%, and with the need to shoot 16 or 20 or 30 or 52 images for one panorama, all kind of crap can and will happen during the shooting, making the post processing much more time consuming and frustrating. With 6-8 images in total, one is on the safe side in post processing, time is saved, stitching is better and faster and the panographer is much happier.

The downside is of course the "lack" of pixels in the big picture, comparing a 6 photo pano to a 30 photo pano... the latter having a lot more details to offer, no CA to speak of, and therefore more future safe. But in these times, we only need panos at max 4mb online, or people won't wait for them to load. The "standard" now is between 2 and 4mb, slowly moving upwards as puters become better and connections go faster. So it is ok to shoot a panorama that has only 6 images - even if it's shot with a good 2mp camera, since the final pano will be heavily reduced in quality/size to accomodate the current technical level we are situated at.

Here you can see some very good works by one of my clients:

He keeps them at around and above 4mb My recommendation is to view all the panos :)... but to start with 3rd row, 3rd column (9th image). Notice the candles after the pano has loaded fully (6+mb)

Panography is a life-style... we are weirdo's dragging all kinds of strange stuff around to shoot panoramas of the sky and directly down to the ground... and people think we are nuts... that we probably are... but knowing the final results, other people's opinions really don't matter :)


12th September 2009, 04:21 PM
Thanks everyone so far, looks like the consensus so far is to go for the Olympus Digital fisheye and not get hang ups over possible purple fringing and as Trausti suggests take 5 or 6 for a spherical instead of the normal 30 or so, that will save some time! Thanks for all the comments Cheers Spiritburner*chr

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 04:42 PM
Me and 3 other panographers are working on an independent comparison page for the world's leading panorama players. It should be ready for the public in a few days, giving people the possibility to compare players on an equal ground. Same images used, same size window (or fullscreen if available)...
Until now we have 15 players for the test.

Maybe we will make another page where the features of the players will be comparable. It would be a bigger work to get that done, but no such work has been undertaken before.

This will enable people to see and feel how the players behave, and get basic information in a single place BEFORE they buy anything. If I had had access to such information before I started out, I would have saved a lot of money, blood, sweat and endless cursing throughout day's and nights. I will post the link here when the page goes public.

12th September 2009, 04:43 PM
Great, looking forward for the results.

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 05:21 PM
Here it comes...


You are getting the link before the panorama community in general :)

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th September 2009, 05:50 PM
Had an error in the url, now fixed.

12th September 2009, 06:02 PM
I am honoured! Thanks. *chr