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Old Sep 5, 2010, 4:02 AM   #1
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Default Questions about GigaPan Epic 100

I have my Canon T2i mounted onto an Epic 100.
So far, my review has been mixed, and I'm wondering if anyone knows any solutions to the problems I've been having.

Now, first of all, the reason why I didn't buy the Epic Pro is its size. I simply can't put it in my camera back-pack and climb to a place where I could actually use it. My bag is just small enough to be a carry-on and I don't want to throw thousands of dollars in camera equipment into the bottom of a plane, so I can't buy a bigger back-pack.

I've been having two main issues with the Epic 100:

1. Since I've been forced to use an intervalometer, I bought a 120$ wireless one.
The problem is, I can't seem to align the shutter release with the 'time per pic' on the GigaPan. If I set it to 3 seconds between shots, I have to tell the GigaPan to move ever 2.1-2.2 seconds. But that's where the problem lies.
At 2.1, it pans too quickly causing the shot to be taken closer and closer to the beginning of the cycle, eventually lining right up with the panning which of course creates a total blur.
At 2.2, it pans too slowly causing the shot to be taking closer and closer to the end of the cycle, eventually coming to the same end with an identical blurry image.
Since I take 2000+ images and stitch them together, it's annoying to spend so much on a machine that forces me to stop it every ~30-60 shots and start is up again.
So, if it were possible to set 2.15 seconds, I think it would be perfect. Or at the very least, it would give me a few hundred shots before having to re-tune.
The reason I bring this up, is because I can't see how everyone else isn't having this problem. We all have to use intervalometers with dSLR's on the Epic 100, and my 3 seconds are just as long as yours.
And btw, yes, my exposure is set. That was the first thing I knocked off my list.

2. I am, at the moment, stuck at 300mm. I bought the Sigma 70-300mm lens. It was cheap since I didn't need IS, and it's fantastically sharp even at f/8.
I have done all the research that I could about this.
The only options I have are:
Buy the Epic Pro and be able to use good-quality 400mm+ lenses or,
Buy a cheap Mirror-Lens with horrible quality.. and I'm not even sure if it will work well enough with the GigaPan.. especially putting into play the tens-of-thousands of photos it would have to take without even adjusting the focus.
To that effect, I went out and bought the Vivitar 800 @ f/8. At first, it seemed like a good idea. It looks amazing, and it's gigantic while not being too long, which is excellent for the nodal point.
However, upon closer inspection and review, I found the lens impossible to focus and aim without tremendous blur. I have yet to try using a separate mono-pod with it. But even if I were able to create something to replace IS in the lens, I do still believe the focus would remain soft and not the least bit sharp. In fact, it looks only mildly better at optimal conditions than the 300mm cropped out to 800mm.
Oh, and not to mention that the 800mm cannot be used on the Epic 100. Unfortunately, it is too heavy.
So.. I figured I'd get the 500mm f/6.3. A shorter zoom, maybe with better image quality that can be used with the Epic 100. I also found that the 800mm lens, with the 2x teleconverter that only cost 30$, at 1600mm did not look any bit worse than at 800mm, except that it was even harder to focus. So much so that I couldn't get a single non-blurry image. So, I'm not really what I can hope for with the 500 x 2 = 1000mm f/12 lens I'll buy tomorrow.. and most likely return as well.
Any advice on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

3. This correlates into #2, but I thought I'd write it down separately.
I am wondering if I could find a tutorial on how to mod the Epic 100 to support extra weight. In my book, it's a win-win. Money and portability. I've seen it done, but only in low quality Youtube vids. I am thinking the support structure would have to be complex to accommodate the range of motion, which might be too difficult for me to build without a workshop. But on the off-chance that it's not as hard as I think.. I'll definitely do it.
If anyone can give me any information, it would be a phenomenal help.

And thanks in advance to anyone who's willing to put input into my lacks of knowledge.
I hope to upload my first Giapixels soon.
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Old Sep 7, 2010, 9:52 AM   #2
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I had though about the Gigapan and your first item was the one thing that had me walking away. I know that there are several electronic interfaces across the various camera bodies (Canon and Nikon are the same), but the lack of this capability, just had me walking away. Especially if you wanted to do bracketing, which would just hose things up even worse with the sync problem. The physical size issue is another aspect. I believe that Gigapan needs to figure out just how their customer base intends to use the product, rather than making assumptions. I know they had a fairly long beta period, but it was aimed more at the P&S, and I would have thought that the sync problem would have been identified and resolved.

For your second issue, I just stopped consideration at 100mm, thinking that anything over this would be just too many images and would take an eternity to capture.

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Old Sep 8, 2010, 5:05 PM   #3
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Yeah, but it's worth it to me. Imagine a 100 Gigapixel image.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Default How to use the t2i with the Gigapan 100

I actually have managed to use a valometer with it by telling the camera to take 3 photos rather than one - then I don't have to worry about the camera being synched with the robot - I set the robot at about 6 seconds between pics and the camera fires away - I get way too many pics and lots of pics that are blurrywhen the camera moves but then I use Google's Picasa to view and delete all the unwanted files and I am good to go.

Unlike with film cameras you don't have to worry so much about complete synching of robot and camera since the extra digital images can just be pitched out.
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