Leica External Camera Kit

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vector
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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by vector » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:54 pm

Hello All,
My company has just purchased Canon 70D for Leica C10 scanner. I am having difficulties calibrating the camera with External Camera Setup Wizard.

I've setup the calibration field using the laser beam's pointing function (+/- 1cm). I used original 6" and 3" HDS Targets. The scanning part runs successfully - all 11 targets are properly fitted into the point cloud. The problem starts when the targets are being extracted from photographs - numerous targets are either inaccurately fitted, detected more than once or remain not found - due to this fact the calibration cannot be accomplished. The lighting conditions are fine - images are sharp and well exposed. In External Camera Setup Wizard, during "Review" part of the workflow, I am able to manually set the cross-pointer on it's proper position, although it seems to me it cannot be saved.

Another issue is that I am trying to calibrate the camera equipped with Samyang 8mm Fisheye. Most parameters of this lens are the same as recommended Sigma's, although I've noticed that its field of view doesn't cover whole angular range of the scanner (-45 to 45 degrees) - everything over the scanner is visible but some area on the ground (which can be scanned) cannot be photographed.

Do you have any idea/advice on how to solve this problem? Has anyone successfully used other than Sigma lens in such application?

Thanks

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Chris06 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:37 pm

Our Leica rep mentioned he has had numerous Sigma lenses fail the calibration procedure as they have minor manufacturing errors and must be sent back for re-calibration. In addition, he has also seen a camera body fail due to slight defects in the sensor. Although this probably doesn't help you it seems to indicate that there is a good chance you may run into the same problems with the Samyang or the specified Sigma lens.

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Formula1982 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:20 am

Slewis33 wrote:Thanks for the reply.
I'm not too excited about iStar as then I have to have a second set of legs to carry around and will have to leapfrog setup to setup. I want to setup...scan...and go
I'm all about targetless registration and fast efficiency in the field. Although sometimes I use targets if I need to setup on control.

I have heard bad things about the ninja but have not heard many comments on the external camera at all.

Hi Sean. We use cameras extensively with our scanning.
First, the workflow with the iStar is that after each scan when you remove the scanner from the tribrach, you pop the iStar on, press 'go' and it takes your images very quickly. You don't carry around a second set of legs. It's one of the quickest ways to generate photos - and they will be in exactly the right position, no parallax issues and the processing is automatic.

We use Canon cameras on ninja brackets also, have been doing for around 6 years now - its the cheapest way to get quality results, but you need to put a bit more time into the stitching since its not automatic. You get reliable results since you can manually see each photo as its taken, and re take if necessary - so no more problems of someone wandering into your shot and you not realizing until you get back to the office.
Plus as you can buy a very good Canon camera comparatively cheaply, you can potentially get the highest quality images from a ninja setup. The danger is you need your surveyor to knowing exactly what settings to use - but this just comes with good practice and a bit of training.

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by gusrios » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:34 pm

Rikore wrote:Using the Cannon 70D the worst I have seen in parallax was about 1.5 cm. The scanner was in between library shelves at about 2 feet distance. Time wise, it takes about 30 seconds for the six photos and maybe a minute to setup the camera. One note is the camera does block overhead views like the handle would. What I like about the external is I can take a second or third set and before importing I can swap photos around.

Bruce,

You posted a reply to me on December 8/9 that you only had to do the camera calibration only once in the field and have not had to use the Cam Ori or Pose Editor. Is that correct? I have had issues trying to line up the photos especially when removing and reattaching the camera.

Any tips?

Thanks,

Gus

The Parallax is an annoyance.

Thanks,

Gus R.

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by vector » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:05 pm

Chris06 wrote:Our Leica rep mentioned he has had numerous Sigma lenses fail the calibration procedure as they have minor manufacturing errors and must be sent back for re-calibration. In addition, he has also seen a camera body fail due to slight defects in the sensor. Although this probably doesn't help you it seems to indicate that there is a good chance you may run into the same problems with the Samyang or the specified Sigma lens.
Chris, thank you for your reply.
Our Leica representative claims External Camera feature works only with Sigma lenses. He also told us, Sigma has some detachable "ring", which widens the field of view (180 degrees on APS-C CCD sensor) - did I understand it right?

We are going to rent/buy a Sigma lens soon. I'll inform if this solved the issue

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Rikore » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:38 pm

Gus,
The only issue with the camera calibration we had was we couldn't use the vinyl targets and had to print paper ones. We have not had any issues with removing the camera and reattaching it. Only issue is the parallax at close range. I have it calibrated also with our C10. I have not had to use Pose Editor or Cam Ori. I would check to make sure all the brackets to the camera are tight. It's the only thing I can think of. Also do you attach the camera prior to scan or after the scan? I tried to scan first and then attach the camera and take photos. I did find that did not work as well, a bit more parallax. I didn't want the camera to block the scanning so I tried it.
Bruce

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Slewis33 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:31 pm

These are the types of responses I was looking for, thank you. So the iStar attaches to the tribrach after you scan? How long does it take for the image process? Additional steps in the office? I believe the new scanner firmware and Cyclone software automatically bring in the external camera images.

What I don't want is to carry around an extra set of legs for the iStar.

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Chris06 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:45 am

The latest update in cyclone has made our experience of the external camera kit a whole lot nicer. The new Cyclone update automatically fits the photography to the scan so that the camera orientation calibration does not have to be carried out, and the camera can be taken on and off between scans.

From what I had seen/read on these forums I was thinking the iStar would be the best method for collecting decent photography quickly, but with the new cyclone update I really think you'd be hard pressed to beat the external camera kit for value for money and ease of use...

Still a few occasional errors in bringing the photos/scans into cyclone but for the most part it works great!

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Jamesrye » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:03 am

So the iStar attaches to the tribrach after you scan? How long does it take for the image process? Additional steps in the office
Yes, put the istar on after you've scanned - the time taken to photograph varies (depending on your HDR settings). Capture time is between 5 and 30 seconds. Regarding additional steps in the office - you either have to export the scans and colourise in color cloud, or import the scans one by one into Cyclone. Colorising is very fast and uses some clever depth mapping technology. You don't see parallax issues - the stitching it almost always perfect. We save time in the field by photographing the next location whilst the scan is taking place.

We used to use a DSLR to colourise our scan data, but we always had parallax problems. The auto HDR is darned impressive too, unfortunately I cant share the images, but we did some work at night recently and the camera did a great job.

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Re: Leica External Camera Kit

Post by Slewis33 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:01 pm

Again, thanks all for the replies.
So I have been going through the process of calibrating the external camera with no success. I have followed the calibration procedures from Leica and just keep coming up with a failed calibration.
Any secrets out there that are not mentioned in the calibration method supplied by Leica?
I have followed Leica's recommendation to a T and also tried some other tactics. Spoke to a few Leica reps with little success.

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