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HOW TO DO PANORAMAS > Nadir
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Full Screen 360 degree Virtual Panoramas - weekly feature presented by Hans Nyberg
How to take a perfect NADIR image for spherical panoramas without taking the camera from the panohead.

Many people use the PTGui Viewpoint method for stitching a nadir taken from a point outside the area but that is not always possible. It also will give you several problems like reflexes from lights, sun or lamps and what many people do not think of you will not get full resolution matching your other images.

The left image is taken with correct nodalpoint. To the right you see the same area as you get it if you just move the tripod out so that you can cover the full area for an image intended to use with Viewpoint.

Half of the image has to be interpolated around 135% for correct size


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To take a perfect nadir which can be stitched together with the other images you just need a couple of tools.

1. A measure tape with lock so that you can determine the height and place of your camera.

2. A support for example a monopod which is easy adjustable.

The tripod should have a center column which you can raise 10-15 cm which is what you need to get the lens at the nodalpoint (parallax free point) when you lean the tripod.

The panohead should be set at 60 -75 degrees depending on how much you lean the tripod and also on how large the rotator is.

It should have a lock knob which unfortunatelly is missing on one of the best and most expensive panoheads.

It is important that you can lock the head at a place which is parallel to the 2 legs. Otherwise the camera might turn around.


Even with a very large nadir you can use this technic.

The tripod legs are here fully extended and spread and the area marked on the floor is fully covered.

You can lock the monopod leg with a peace of duct tape or outdoor you can use a spike on it.

The camera is here adjusted to exactly -90 degree and set to -70 on the panohead.


You can use the same way without the extra support, just by leaning the tripod and extending one leg for support. Place your foot on it and hold the tripod with your hand.

As always use a remote trigger.

The image to the right shows my Monopod-Tripod which is a small tripod with the centre column exchanged with a monopod.

This is a very portable solution which gives me a max height of 2,3 meters using a Manfrotto 680B Monopod with the last extension removed.

You need a tripod with a round 25mm centre column to use the 680B this way.

Below are 3 other ideas to make a monopod slide proof. If you just take care of this, LOCK YOU ROTATOR and use you common sense it is perfectly save to lean the tripod with a support.

Kitchen Foam

Your Purse

Or just use your Foot.

Click image for large version
Using the Manfrotto 682B Monopod on top of the Manfrotto 680B Monopod gives me a total height of 3,9 meters.

The 682B has a small tripod at the bottom.

I have exchanged that with a special 3/8 tripod thread.


I use a Manfrotto 300N Rotator between them which makes it easy to rotate from below.

It all goes into a small Cavalet shoulder bag

The legs you see on the monopod to the left is actually a Manfrotto 246 Projector Holder

(in Danish Design.) for use on top of a tripod.

It can also be used as a laptop stand.


Click image for large version

This is another way of marking the exact place for the lens when you take the nadir.

These are the resulting images

As you can see on these images you can easy get shadows from the tripod legs.

This is one of the things you have to look for if you want to get perfect nadirs without retouching.


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