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Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano head
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1319

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano head Reply with quote

Full title: Super macro to infinity spherical and orthogonic panorama and lenticular head with geared movements (or) My Setup


This started as a simple spherical panorama head with a single linear slide to adjust for the entrance pupil.http://www.tawbaware.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=3508 After buying a Hartblei tilt shift lens, I added two more linear slides in order to set the entrance pupil of the lens to the rotation points when the lens was shifted or tilted. This had the added benefit of being able to shoot landscape and portrait modes. http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3830&highlight=

Normal landscape panoramas with this setup worked well but macro panoramas were hard to do because of the narrow DOF. Focus stacking can cure the narrow DOF problem but the entrance point moves for each focus change. This makes it nearly impossible to get good results. The bellows were added to cure this problem. Each frame is focused by changing the bellows draw and the lens' entrance pupil stays at the rotation points. The bellows are also designed to allow infinity focus when Nikon lens are used. The register (flange to sensor) distance difference between Nikon and Olympus 4/3rds is 7.92mm. The metal adaptors take up about 5mm so the bellows needs to collapse inside of 3mm to get the infinity focus. None of the available adaptors are thin enough so I made the camera side adaptor. The lens holder uses just the Nikon adaptor from a Chinese Nikon to Olympus adaptor. The bellows are made of blackout cloth. It is glued to the camera adaptor to conserve space. The bellows fully extended length is 210mm.

I also discovered that manually moving the head to new positions was hard to control at macro distances. I added a single lead screw to move both the lens holder and the camera body. Split nuts allow the lead screw to move both as a single unit or each separately. The lead screw is 1/4-20. A full turn of the dial will move the slides about 1.2mm and since the dial has 96 divisions, 0.013mm movements are possible.

The turnbuckle based vertical tilt adjustment was added to help reduce vibration. By releasing the turnbuckle the camera can be rotated to be upside down which makes it right side up when the entire head is mounted upside down under the tripod. In this mode the camera can be about two inches off the ground.

The image circle of a macro lens gets larger as the magnification increases. To take advantage of this I added rise, fall, and shift movements controlled with linear slides. The lead screws for these are 10-32, so a full turn of the dials will move the slides slightly less than .8mm.

The original setup was mounted on an upside down ball head which made it really easy to get the camera into difficult positions. The only problem was the entire unit was sitting on the half inch diameter shaft of the ball head and vibration was excessive. I replaced the ball head with a geared head built in my shop. The gears were hobbed on the lathe using a threading tap. While not as easy to quickly get the camera into position, the geared head allows it to be controlled more precisely when in macro mode.

The bellows can be quickly removed and this head will function like a standard spherical pano head. I've also made one of Charles' weightlifting bases to enable using this on my desktop. http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6290





More images here: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v649/etfrench/Spherical%20Pano%20Head/?albumview=slideshow

It's still a work in progress. I need to add scales for each of the linear slides.
The addition of rear tilt and swing movements will complete the transformation into a DSLR view camera.
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rovebeetle



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That contraption looks intimidating. I am curious for first results.

Cheers
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1319

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's actually pretty easy to use. There's just a few more controls than a standard focus rail Smile

Here's a shot of it set up on the desktop:


All of the images I've posted here have been taken with this. I'm still trying to get focus stacking to work well enough to post more images.
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2530
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this. I can now convince my wife that my setup (camera, bellows, lens) is neither excessive nor complex.
So where's the camera?
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elf,

I can appreciate the design and craftsmanship that has been applied in the construction and development of this multi-functional setup, and to some degree admire its many capabilities.

It must be a pleasure to drive, especially when considering your intended purpose(s) as outlined in your specific requirements.

It is reminiscent of some of the customised, highly specialised, setups used by the BBC in some of their unique documentaries.

In your last post - is the Ott-Lite 'on' and is it being augmented with flash?

I attempted to have a look at the PhotoBucket slideshow; but could not access the images. Has the gallery been made public?

Craig
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
Thanks for this. I can now convince my wife that my setup (camera, bellows, lens) is neither excessive nor complex.
So where's the camera?


Now you'll be able to convince her that you need a complete machine shop. The camera is hiding at the top left of the laptop screen Smile

augusthouse wrote:
elf,

I can appreciate the design and craftsmanship that has been applied in the construction and development of this multi-functional setup, and to some degree admire its many capabilities.

It must be a pleasure to drive, especially when considering your intended purpose(s) as outlined in your specific requirements.

It is reminiscent of some of the customised, highly specialised, setups used by the BBC in some of their unique documentaries.

In your last post - is the Ott-Lite 'on' and is it being augmented with flash?

I attempted to have a look at the PhotoBucket slideshow; but could not access the images. Has the gallery been made public?

Craig


I'm finally reaching the point where I can concentrate on taking pictures instead of how to make it possible.

Do you have any links showing the BBC equipment?

The Ott-Lite is on and I don't have a flash. A twin flash setup is on the shopping list.

The slideshow album was set to private. It should be accessible now.
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like an impressive piece of kit Elf, certainly has a cool name! Smile

I wish I had the ingenuity/skills to put something like that together! I'm fine when all I have to do is screw stuff to a chunk of wood, but give me a bit of metal and I'm lost!
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Joseph S. Wisniewski



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano h Reply with quote

Interesting. That gives me a clearer picture of how you were getting to infinity with Nikon lenses, Oly cameras, and a bellows.

A few questions and comments, if you don't mind.

elf wrote:
Full title: Super macro to infinity spherical and orthogonic panorama and lenticular head with geared movements (or) My Setup


Do you shoot lenticulars? What software and overlay material do you use?

Orthographic? There's two ways to interpret that. Orthographic perspective (which we'll get to in just a second) and orthographic stitching (normally either a huge movement or a very small slice technique).

elf wrote:

Normal landscape panoramas with this setup worked well but macro panoramas were hard to do because of the narrow DOF. Focus stacking can cure the narrow DOF problem but the entrance point moves for each focus change. This makes it nearly impossible to get good results. The bellows were added to cure this problem. Each frame is focused by changing the bellows draw and the lens' entrance pupil stays at the rotation points.

I take it you're using fairly low magnifications. The field size change from trying to change focal planes at higher mags could drive you up the wall. As well as the non-linearity of the rear standard movement.

Which brings us back to "orthographic." Racking the whole system (lens, bellows, and camera) together produces an "orthographic" perspective, the plane of focus is always at the same magnification, so there is no change in the image size with distance.

It sounds like you're using the exact opposite of orthographic perspective, and you're not doing an orthographic stitch. So I'm confused about what is "orthographic".
elf wrote:

The original setup was mounted on an upside down ball head which made it really easy to get the camera into difficult positions. The only problem was the entire unit was sitting on the half inch diameter shaft of the ball head and vibration was excessive. I replaced the ball head with a geared head built in my shop. The gears were hobbed on the lathe using a threading tap. While not as easy to quickly get the camera into position, the geared head allows it to be controlled more precisely when in macro mode.


Have you considered a mechanism that lets you withdraw the drive gear from the driven gear? On some gears I built for moving a telescope, I had two bearings on the worm, and added a mechanism so that the rear bearing could swivel, and the front (near the knob) one could unlatch and lift about 1/4 inch.

elf wrote:

The bellows can be quickly removed and this head will function like a standard spherical pano head.


First off, I'm not very familiar with bag bellows. What keeps the bag bulging out, instead of collapsing into the optic path?

elf wrote:

It's still a work in progress. I need to add scales for each of the linear slides.


That will be interesting. The rear focusing motion is a little ugly, the object side focal plane displacement is not linear with the image side movement of the standard.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano h Reply with quote

Quote:
Racking the whole system (lens, bellows, and camera) together produces an "orthographic" perspective, the plane of focus is always at the same magnification, so there is no change in the image size with distance.

As a dedicated stacker, I have to point out that "orthographic" usually isn't a good description of this case either.

It's true that the plane of focus is always at the same magnification. But there is still change in image size with distance. Different depths within the in-focus slab are scaled larger or smaller than the focus plane, in proportion to their distance from the entrance pupil.

If you ignore this effect while stacking, the resulting composite image will have true orthographic perspective, but it is likely to show radial streaking or "echo" artifacts because slightly OOF features will not be lined up properly. When the DOF is very shallow (e.g. 10X NA 0.30 and above), then scale change within the DOF slab is very small and ignoring it works OK. But at lower magnifications and smaller apertures typical of macro work, the echoing due to scale change will be unacceptable.

The way that stacking software avoids radial echoing is to explicitly detect scale change and compensate for it by rescaling images so that details line up correctly. The resulting perspective is generally not orthographic but instead is very close to the ordinary perspective that would be seen from some "average" position of the entrance pupil.

To get true orthographic perspective, there is really no substitute for using optics that are telecentric on the subject side. Perfect telecentricity is not required; all you need is to reduce scale change within the in-focus slab to a value that is small enough to avoid visible echoing.

See http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1418 and http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1472 for further discussion and illustration.

--Rik

Edit: to fix typos, "orthogonal" --> "orthographic"


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1319

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano h Reply with quote

lauriek wrote:
Looks like an impressive piece of kit Elf, certainly has a cool name! Smile

I wish I had the ingenuity/skills to put something like that together! I'm fine when all I have to do is screw stuff to a chunk of wood, but give me a bit of metal and I'm lost!


Aluminum can be worked with standard woodworking tools, so just think of it as shiny wood and you'll be able to do anything Laughing The 8020 aluminum extrusions are actually pretty easy to work with. http://www.8020.net/ has lots of examples and they also have an ebay store.

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

Do you shoot lenticulars? What software and overlay material do you use?


I haven't tried to shoot a lenticular yet so don't have any software. There seems to be quite a few online services for printing lenticulars, but I don't know how affordable it is for small quantity print runs.

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

Orthographic? There's two ways to interpret that. Orthographic perspective (which we'll get to in just a second) and orthographic stitching (normally either a huge movement or a very small slice technique).


The orthographic images are shot by moving the entire head parallel to the subject (using the lowest linear slide) without rotating the camera. As Rik points out, this really needs a telecentric lens to be effective.

The lenticular images are shot the same way except the camera is rotated toward the subject for each movement.

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

Have you considered a mechanism that lets you withdraw the drive gear from the driven gear? On some gears I built for moving a telescope, I had two bearings on the worm, and added a mechanism so that the rear bearing could swivel, and the front (near the knob) one could unlatch and lift about 1/4 inch.


Yes, I've worked on several designs to do this, but I needed to make sure that using the geared head was an improvement over the ball head before adding this. Do you have a photo of your design that you can share?

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

First off, I'm not very familiar with bag bellows. What keeps the bag bulging out, instead of collapsing into the optic path?


The first bellows I made was a sandwich of rip-stop nylon, blackout cloth, and a light cotton (black). This was actually too stiff to collapse close enough for infinity focus. The current one is just blackout cloth. The seams seem to add just enough stiffness for it to hold it's shape.

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

That will be interesting. The rear focusing motion is a little ugly, the object side focal plane displacement is not linear with the image side movement of the standard.


I'm not sure I understand. Can you elaborate?

rjlittlefield wrote:
To get true orthogonal perspective, there is really no substitute for using optics that are telecentric on the subject side. Perfect telecentricity is not required; all you need is to reduce scale change within the in-focus slab to a value that is small enough to avoid visible echoing.
--Rik


I've been shopping for a diaphram to add to the mix and will probably need a few more lens too.
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Joseph S. Wisniewski



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elf, I found someone who makes you look positively sane by comparison.

Check out this fellow's "insects in flight" rig. Multiple lasers determine when the insect is approaching the photography zone. The controller fires up the DSLR, and at the exact moment when the insect is in range, an external leaf shutter opens, the flashes fire, and the picture happens.

http://www.pbase.com/fotoopa

Pictures of the rig, pictures of how it was built, plenty of T-channel, lathes, etc. You definitely have a kindred spirit.[/url]
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's amazing.
Equally amazing is that he uses it handheld outdoors "in the field", scroll down the images.
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student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
Equally amazing is that he uses it handheld outdoors "in the field", scroll down the images.

fotoopa's system is based on "catch the moment". It's triggered by a bug passing through the convergence point of the lasers, resulting in a very short flash exposure. Slow movement of the device is not a problem, and I'm sure he gets a lot more results per hour by flying it around to wherever the bugs happen to be, than he would by waiting for them to come to him.

This system has evolved a lot over the last few years. He used to have a lot more explanation posted where it was easy to find, but I'm not sure where that's gotten to now. Anyway there's a nice summary photo at http://www.pbase.com/fotoopa/image/64246714 .

--Rik

ETA: I found the old stuff in the Internet Archives, HERE.
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Joseph S. Wisniewski



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano h Reply with quote

elf wrote:
Aluminum can be worked with standard woodworking tools, so just think of it as shiny wood and you'll be able to do anything Laughing The 8020 aluminum extrusions are actually pretty easy to work with. http://www.8020.net/ has lots of examples and they also have an ebay store.

Yes, I frequently abuse my wood cutting bandsaw by feeding it T-rails and 1/2 inch aluminum.

But normally, I work at entirely the other end of the spectrum. One of my other interests is flute making. In addition to "easy" woods like rock maple, cherry, plum, walnut, and apple, I keep a stock of grenadillo, several rosewoods, Osage orange, lignum vitae, and boxwood. Many of these woods work horribly with woodworking tools, but turn quite well on a metal lathe.

I once gave a demonstration at a woodworking club meeting about what a "real" hardwood was. I made a saw blade from Osage Orange, and sawed right through a block of maple with it Wink
elf wrote:

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

Do you shoot lenticulars? What software and overlay material do you use?

I haven't tried to shoot a lenticular yet so don't have any software. There seems to be quite a few online services for printing lenticulars, but I don't know how affordable it is for small quantity print runs.

Well, you're in for a treat when you do try. I'm more into getting my own materials and printing my own.
elf wrote:

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

Orthographic? There's two ways to interpret that. Orthographic perspective (which we'll get to in just a second) and orthographic stitching (normally either a huge movement or a very small slice technique).


The orthographic images are shot by moving the entire head parallel to the subject (using the lowest linear slide) without rotating the camera. As Rik points out, this really needs a telecentric lens to be effective.

It's also effective if you work in very narrow slices, so the "echos" as Rick calls them from the horizontal displacement isn't as severe. I do architectural orthographics, and telecentric lenses are not effective at architectural scales.

Then again, to do this with focus stacking would require small slices of depth and small slices horizontally, so you're looking at a very complex procedure. Square the number of slices you normally take...
elf wrote:

The lenticular images are shot the same way except the camera is rotated toward the subject for each movement.

Yes, that part I'm familiar with. It helps if you keep the radius constant, which is difficult for a stationary subject unless you've got the type of full robotic camera movement system used for model animation.

For those of us on more limited budgets, life is easier with the subject on a turntable for lenticulars, VR modeling, etc.
elf wrote:

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

Have you considered a mechanism that lets you withdraw the drive gear from the driven gear? On some gears I built for moving a telescope, I had two bearings on the worm, and added a mechanism so that the rear bearing could swivel, and the front (near the knob) one could unlatch and lift about 1/4 inch.


Yes, I've worked on several designs to do this, but I needed to make sure that using the geared head was an improvement over the ball head before adding this. Do you have a photo of your design that you can share?

Captain Picard wrote:

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot!

Unfortunately not. It's in the hands of a new owner, and astronomers tend to hibernate during Michigan winter.
elf wrote:

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

First off, I'm not very familiar with bag bellows. What keeps the bag bulging out, instead of collapsing into the optic path?


The first bellows I made was a sandwich of rip-stop nylon, blackout cloth, and a light cotton (black). This was actually too stiff to collapse close enough for infinity focus. The current one is just blackout cloth. The seams seem to add just enough stiffness for it to hold it's shape.

So I don't need to add some system of spring steel ribs inside the bag, or a collar and springs outside. Thanks.
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Joseph S. Wisniewski



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Macro to infinity spherical|orthogonic|lenticular pano h Reply with quote

elf wrote:

Joseph S. Wisniewski wrote:

That will be interesting. The rear focusing motion is a little ugly, the object side focal plane displacement is not linear with the image side movement of the standard.


I'm not sure I understand. Can you elaborate?

I can always elaborate. Verbosity is one of my few character flaws...

OK, say we're using the 63mm Luminar, on a bellows, with your four thirds camera. And we're stalking a small flower, approximately 40mm high and wide, so we need about 0.25x magnification, and start out focused at the front of the flower, 78.75mm from the subject to the front node of the lens, 315mm from the rear node to the sensor. Out flower is roughly 20mm deep. Now, to move the subject focal plane that first mm (from 78.75mm to 79.75mm) we move the rear standard forward 15.04mm, to get a rear node to sensor distance of 299.96mm.

The next slice, 80.85mm, comes a little cheaper, we only move the rear standard 13.3mm to get a 1mm front focal plane shift. By the time we reach the last slice, 97.75mm from the focal plane, we're only moving the rear standard 3.4mm to get each 1mm of front shift. So if you want uniform slices through the subject, you have to move the rear standard in a highly non-linear fashion.

We also note that the magnification has increased from 0.25x to 0.55x, so we're making an ugly crop. Which means that we should have started this sequence of computations from the back, and we have to use a different lens, because the luminar won't let us move the front focus plane 20mm forward when we start at 78.75mm. There's only 15.75mm of motion before the subject is one focal length from the front node and magnification goes infinite.
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