Blog Tag: fish eye lens

RTV Setup on Lens Questions

Dear Setup,

I have that super wide angle lens (12-24 MM) being delivered Friday.
If I want to use it for 360’s of smaller areas do I need to have it calibrated to my camera as I had to do when I became a provider? Or do you not recommend it for 360’s? Could it be too wide?

Dear Tour Builder,

That is a good question. I use that same lens on my Canon Rebel XSi for 360° panoramas because it allows me to see more of the ceiling and floor in a standard room and it allows me to shoot a full panorama in a smaller room and still see some of the ceiling and the floor. The lens should work just fine on your camera as well for the 360° pans since your camera is very similar to mine. Of course the final result is always subject to your opinion. Remember to adjust your camera to the proper placement on the rotator for you new lens and make sure to select the correct camera and lens combination in the software for stitching the pictures from your new lens. To select the proper lens for stitching you will need to click on the setup button in the Tour Builder software and click on ‘Get current lensfiles from the web’ to update your camera list. After the update has finished click on the setup button again and click ‘Set default camera’. The camera list will open and you will click your camera to select it and then click the done button below. This will set your camera as the default camera for stitching.


PS. Don’t forget about our next FREE webinar all on how to use photoshop entitled It’s Magic

RTV Setup
Ben Knorr
RTV Lens Engineer
Order a virtual tour! 877-941-8687

V360i is Here to Stay

In today’s times I’m seeing businesses coming and going. That includes the companies out there doing Virtual Tours.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Don McMullen, owner and operator of Virtual 360 Images based out of Southwest Florida. I started this business 6 years ago when we moved here from up north.

When I started Virtual 360 Images I contracted with a national company called Real Tour Vision. They are the largest and best virtual tour providers out there and that’s why I went with them. I’m a photographer that takes all of the pictures myself, I create the virtual tours, and if you have a problem, you call me. I have copies of everything I’ve ever done for my clients.

We specialize in panoramic virtual tour web solutions for the real estate market, resorts, condominium communities and commercial businesses.

I don’t know if you are using anyone now for your virtual tours, but I would like you to take a minute to look at and see why we are one of the best virtual tour companies in the business.

Compare our virtual tours with those you’re using today and see what we have to offer for the same money or less. With our virtual tours you will NEVER see: Curved walls and ceilings, or unbalanced lighting in our 360’s. You will see a much sharper picture, larger viewing screen and several more features than what our competitors offer.

We believe at Virtual 360 Images, showcasing your property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week will provide your customers with what they need to choose your business. Each virtual tour can be customized for you, the client.

I have a number of samples tours on my web site . Please take a few minutes to look at them. We are also affiliated with most of the local realtor associations.

Don McMullen
Virtual 360 Images
Southwest Florida Virtual Tours
Order a Virtual Tour – (239) 851-7227

St. Augustine Welcomes Listing Solutions Virtual Tours

It is no secret that we are in a tough market. Everyone can pick up a newspaper or tune in to their favorite news channel and get the gruesome details. This is a great opportunity for virtual tour providers. Why? Have you checked into local newspaper advertising lately? I am in a small market and the local newspaper here, charges around $56.00 for a four line advertisement, per week.

Local television and radio advertisements are quite a bit more than that. How can we differentiate ourselves from these competitors, other than price? We can be the good news! We can talk about the statistics. According to a recent profile of home buyers and sellers conducted by the National Association of Realtors®, 80% of current buyers use the internet when searching for a home.

We can talk about how we support their industry and promote them and their properties in a positive manner. Why would anyone in their right mind, pay someone to print negative advertisements and articles about them and their industry? It doesn’t make sense to me either. I am new to the virtual tour industry.

However, I am and have been in the real estate market for several years. Realtors build their business the same way that we as virtual tour providers build ours, Business Partners and Referrals. I don’t have a business partner that speaks in a negative manner about me or my product. Why do they pay their hard earned money to people who do this? It is mostly in part to a lack of knowledge.

Most realtors don’t know how many places that Real Tour Vision sends their virtual tours to. We can effectively educate them on the benefits of using a Real Tour Vision Certified Full Service provider, while at the same time differentiating ourselves from some of their other choices. Statistically, WE ROCK! There are more people using the internet than ever before. We should focus on the positives and play more of a supporting role with our clients.

I “paint the picture” for a prospective realtor. I talk to them about the things that most of their customers are interested in: Confidence in the Realtor that they choose and results. I walk them through the scenario of giving a listing presentation and how impressive it is, to bring the virtual tour up during the initial visit. It shows a commitment on the Realtor’s part. The results part is easy. I live in Florida, where 67% of home buyers here come from outside of the state. That is an impossible market for someone to penetrate using local advertising and a yard sign. (They are looking for what I have. They just don’t know it yet). Finally, I share my experience with starting a new business and why I chose Real Tour Vision to be one of MY business partners.

I explain how I spent month after exhausting month, of researching my new endeavor and how Real Tour Vision has helped me achieve my goals. I tell them that Real Tour Vision has the largest provider network in the industry and I tell them, “No Fisheye lens”! I let them know that I want to be one of their business partners. I explain how I bring value to them and that my success is dependent on their success. With the strength of the nation’s largest provider network in the industry and the distribution partners that they have in place, it’s an easy choice. The only other question is, “would you like a 2D or 3D floor plan with your tour”?  Be the light in your market and leave the doom and gloom to those other guys. We at Listing Solutions, wish you all the very best of luck this year.

Dave Hall
Marketing Director
Listing Solutions, Inc.
St. Augustine Virtual Tour Provider
Order a Virtual Tour 904-540-9962

Virtual Tour Lens Pitfalls

Have you given any thought to using a Virtual Tour Camera Lens? If you have you should do a bit more research!! Having shot both single-shot panoramas with the voyager 360 lens and stitched panoramas, it amazes me that any professional virtual tour business would offer a single-shot panorama to their clients. The quality produced from a virtual tour camera / single shot lens is far inferior – even at best – to a stitched panorama that was created from multiple images.

With a single-shot panorama, you have no light control since you have only one exposure setting for the entire 0-360 sweep – no flash is possible. Before you shoot a single-shot panorama, you have to set the camera’s timer and duck behind a couch or get out of the room before the timer goes off – this makes outside panoramas almost impossible unless you can crouch down below the lens’ field of vision. The resulting photo generated from a single-shot panorama lens requires special un-warping software that never completely removes the inherent distortion from this set-up and the end result panoramic images are NOT PRINTABLE!!!

Shooting through a normal quality lens, using several shots stitched to produce a panorama is the optimal set-up to provide a quality panorama. If you use a higher megapixel setting for your camera, your stitched panorama will allow maximum enlargement before pixelation is noticeable.

Single-shot panoramas are a novelty to play with, not a professional product to offer to clients. Your clients deserve the best you can give them.

Paul Deines
A Virtual Tour Provider

Quality Virtual Tours Do Sell Homes

For all my fellow REALTORS(r) – and specifically listing agents:

Interesting thing happened to me on my way to show some homes. As I perused our local MLS searching for listings to show my buyers, I came to the realization that 360 virtual tours actually do sell homes. Perhaps, I should qualify that – QUALITY virtual tours actually do sell homes (funky virtual tours and slide shows do a listing an injustice.

O.K, granted, I didn’t have quite the epiphany I describe above, since I must admit I have come to this realization before. Moreover, I understand, too, that once you know that I’m a real estate agent as well as a virtual tour provider you may think my positive view towards virtual tours a rather biased one. I’d need to stop you right there, though. Providing a virtual tour for each one of your listings is a no-brainer. When you look at the sheer numbers, and I swear it seems to go up a percentage point each month, there’s no disputing the fact that more buyers start their home search on-line than not. The actual figure was way past 70% at last glance. That’s a phenomenal amount of prospective buyers out there in cyberspace searching in earnest for their next home. I know this to be true since I work with buyers on a daily basis; they are extremely tech-savvy and ever searching.

So, here’s the deal – with my market experiencing a buyer’s market, there is entirely too much inventory to focus my searches on listings with no pictures, let alone no 360 virtual tour. And interesting thing is, my buyers feel the same way. The fact is that houses with the most pictures will generate the most interest and will get the most showings while those listings that have no pictures will get placed at the very bottom of the “to see” list at warp speed.

Case in point – on a recent weekend, I showed 31 houses to a buyer who was only in town (from Japan, I kid you not) for an extended weekend. There was absolutely no interest on his part in seeing anything without pictures (and believe it or not, there were many). Imagine if your picture-less listing was on our list and, therefore, at the bottom of the 54 that met his search parameters. What’s the likelihood of him seeing your listing? You don’t think he would’ve found his dream home among the previous 53? (His better half was searching homes from Japan on the internet and directed us to physically see the home they actually closed on last month. BTW, I just happened to do the virtual tour on it! I didn’t tell them until settlement, though.)

All that to say, the buyers market that we are experiencing right now will absolutely separate the wheat from the chaff. It’s time for you to be the best listing agent you can be, pull out your bag of tricks, rev up your marketing, call your virtual tour provider, and get your listings sold. Spend the marketing dollars necessary to get your listings in front of all those web-browsing buyers, then experience the return on your investment many-fold.

Lanette Branch
Lanette Branch Virtual Tours