Tue 26-Jun-12 10:30 PM | edited Wed 27-Jun-12 01:16 AM by laddad
Virtual tours usually suggest the linkage of a series of 360 panoramas and maybe including on the webpage a floor plan or map for walk-throughs. As you have noted a 360 degree panorama unlinked is not really a virtual tour.
360 panoramas come in two versions: Cylindrical which allows viewing on the horizon (no top or bottom) or Spherical Panoramas which are actually 360 degree by 180 degrees panoramas. The later allow viewing of everything side to side and up and down, thus allowing viewing of the floor as well as the lighting fixtures. The later is most prefered.
Spherical panoramas require a special spherical panoramic head (like Nodal Ninja) and usually the usage of a fisheye lens (circular fisheye or Fullframe/Diagonal fisheyes), a sturdy tripod and specialized software. Your Tokina is not a fisheye however it may work but will most likely require more images to make a spherical panorama.
My hobby is 360 Spherical Panoramas (aka VR 360's, 360 by 180s, etc). Here are some excellent web resources:
Here is my equipment and software: Nikon D300 with Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye & Sigma 4.5mm f/2.8 fisheye (all of my recent panos are done with this set-up) Nikon D800 with Nikon 8mm f/2.8 fisheye and soon Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye (future 360 panos with this combination) Nodal Ninja 5L Spherical Panorama Head (www.nodalninja.com) PTGUi: software to merge images into equirectangular images (www.ptgui.com) Pano2VR: sofware to turn the merged equirectangular image into a sphere (http://gardengnomesoftware.com/pano2vr.php) Sturdy Tripod (mine is a Manfrotto 3021BPRO) Extra/nonessential: I also use Photoshop CS4, Photomatix and DXO. I also us a Sekonic Lightmeter, Promote Controller and Nikon MC-36 remote cord.
For fun, here is a couple of my images. Explore the images by moving the mouse cursor over the image while having the mouse button depressed.