How many different interchangeable lenses do you have?

Started 2 months ago | Polls thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 6,887
Re: Birds Eye lenses

ProfHankD wrote:

fferreres wrote:

Bosun Higgs wrote:

Back in the late 90's when Prof. Helmut Dersch released his Panorama Tools there was an explosion of people creating full spherical VR panoramas for the first time.

Actually, most of the credit for popularizing the idea belongs to IPIX -- which was an "evil" company in that they charged per-image fees and aggressively protected lens transformations that many of us believed should never have been patentable. Helmut's software, first released in 1998, was a beautifully done open source project, which got into trouble because it allowed people to work around IPIX. Suffice to say that now IPIX is gone and Panorama Tools is the core of many wildly used tools.

It was so ahead of its time. I remember things weren't actually so complicated, and IPIX wasn't even a better product.

We used Helmut's math for things like the 360-degree interactive pan+zoom live video we showed at IEEE/ACM Supercomputing 1999, which had an autonomous wheeled vehicle capture back-to-back 185-degree image pairs from tethered Nikon 950s....

The Coolpix 950 was really awesome. it had this titling body that allowed us to make gorgeous photography of all the cars we tested. It was so much fun, and I also learned a lot of things running a start up. I think I took it too seriously that we couldn't continue to wait 4 years for the car market to recover.

We had even developed very advanced management tools that i had coded directly with PHP. This was 2000/2001 and I already used LAMP stack (I started with PHP version 1 to give some idea, and the first version of MySQL way before it was acquired by Oracle).

We used ImageMagik, and a group of photographers used a web interface to upload images, that would be corrected, cropped, resized and enhanced and stored automatically into different fit sizes. This was so because in addition to a huge car catalog that had all models for the past 10 years, we covered all the major car racing events. people loved it, the photographer was in the racetrack and could upload things very quickly in a batch or one by one, annotate comments, and it'd immediately turn into gorgeous libraries. It was a "cloud" photo management system. The thumbnails resided within the MySQL instance (later cluster) on a single Linux 1U which was at average 10% capacity., peak hoovering 50%. I had become an expert in how to optimize MySQL, and served 120,000 unique visitors per month. The image database was not huge, maybe about 50,000 images.

Because the server was hosted in a data center in the US and we were literally 9000 miles away, having never seen it, we had an admin that was next to brilliant. He created a test instance locally, and simulated the hardware to test remote upgrade of the kernel by some tools that could inject directly to a live kernel (can't remember the name). Only once we had to completely reinstall as a mayor kernel upgrade was needed and usertools. He set it up so the system backed up itself, created a second image, compiled submodules, then would make a huge lot of upgrades, including upgrading and changing grub via script, select the new instance, and come alive, with a mode to go back to the old instance without the remote person having to know anything if things went bad. When that happened out U1 server had had 700 days of uptime without a single reboot but was always instantly patched if a vulnerability was found (via kernel injection). I really loved Slackware's simplicity and being straightforward.

We also had a system, which only much much later become used by others, now even Apple, in which each ticket (quote request) would automatically generate an email address specific to that quote, so the person requesting the quote could directly interact with our sales agencies by responding to the email, everything was tracked and driven by the same database instead of savings sendmail SMT files, etc. So it afforded privacy while enabling direct communication, in addition to enabling us make sure the sales person where communicating in a timely manner.

We really did a huge number of cool stuff we only later realized was ahead of their time and and for us it felt almost trivial. I think we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

... We used a Coolpix camera which was quite nice at the time (this was 1999 or 2000).

Probably the Nikon 950 and FC-E8 fisheye converter -- that's what I used. In fact, I still have one tethered and mounted on the ceiling of my supercomputer machine room.

That! I remember I bought the camera after researching it in DPReview actually, and bought it on a trip to the USA, along with the fish eye. We also had another adapter, I can't recall if it was for wide angle.

I loved the camera. I was very suprised to see the image quality was way ahead of all the other pocket cameras. It literally made great photos albeit lower res than we have now.

I saw one macro panorama created using this method that was taken with the ball inside a running shoe, giving a 360 degree ant's-eye view of the whole interior, very surreal at the time.

Just tried it with a modern $3 USB endoscope camera. Not great....

I remember the excitement of making nodal point rotation mounts from scratch to be able to take sphericals back then (on film). Now, you can buy ready made kits complete with lens, and nearly every real estate website has 360 VRs.

Can't really do spherical stitch using film. There were a lot of alternatives. For example, there were various cylindrical pan cameras that used geared rotating slit exposure systems....

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