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Panoramic Heads

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Hypilein, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    286
    Mar 18, 2015
    Hi all,

    In preparation for my upcoming trip to Iceland (5 weeks to go!) I am looking at tripod solutions that are cheap, lightweight and can deal with panoramas (I'll also take any of those small 7-300mm f1.8 zooms that weigh about 300g, if anyone still has any lying around).

    Doing my research I've come up with multiple questions and possible solutions.

    My first Idea was to just add an additional panning base on top of my ball head and then attach a nodal slide to that. This comes in at about 50€ in total and is also lightweight. It would seem to be the perfect solution, but my research also tells me that this will only allow panos where the horizon is completely in the middle.

    I am intending to go through all this trouble to be able to improve my compositions by being able to add foreground elements more easily. Constricting the horizon to the middle of the frame seems counterintuitive, and cropping the precious vertical pixels when I have sooo many horizontal ones available does not seem ideal either.

    I can add another panning base and a vertical slide (about further 90€) too add a fully fledged panoramic system but would lose both cheap (it is still relatively cheap for pano heads I know) and lightweight in the process.

    Is there any other way to do single row panos that will stitch well with foreground elements? I've previously done my pano's handheld and rarely had any issues, but this time I am planning to print the whole thing big if it turns out well and I'd rather not mess it up.

    Any tips?
     
  2. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    shoot in portrait orientation. ...
     
  3. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I use a small custom built L-bracket for my portable pano rig. It allows me to level the rotator while also allowing me to tilt the camera up or down. Tilting does compromise the precision of the nodal placement, but for the usually outdoor pano even the closest foreground items are far enough away that the small error is of no consequence. There are pix of one of my rigs (I have two similar L-brackets) in this thread (#17):
    Shooting Panoramas - and a special head for µ43´tiny cameras

    My other L-bracket is a bit larger, has multiple mounting holes for different lenses, and is made from a piece of aluminum sectioned out of a 4x4 square post a local sign company scaped
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  4. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    286
    Mar 18, 2015
    Thanks for the info and the link to that thread. I hadn't found that one yet. Your custom bracket looks really interesting, but I don't think I have the capacities to create my own. I will probably just go for single rows with the horizon in the middle and crop for composition in post. Maybe it will work anyway.
     
  5. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    If you are going to use an adjustable rail between your rotator and the camera then it would be a simple matter of adding a compact tilt head or ball head between the rail and the camera. This would allow you to tilt the camera down without tilting the rotation axis. When dealing with very close foreground objects, you would need to reposition the head+camera on the rail to account for the light front to back motion of the lens nodal point.

    My plastic L-bracket doesn't allow for this adjustment, but my aluminum one does as its hole for the camera mounting screw is actually a slot running forward. I move the mounting screw to the rearmost position when the camera is level and move it forward in the slot when the camera is tilted.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    286
    Mar 18, 2015
    This is the answer that I was looking for. So if I put a levelling base under my ball head to make sure that everything is even, I can use it freely, but would have to slightly adjust the nodal slide for the distance that the camera moves when tilting it? It would probably not be as precise as a proper pano set up, but it would be a lot lighter and cheaper. Probably sufficient that I could use foreground elements in my landscape shots but maybe not for indoor architecture which is not what I am after anyways.

    Thank you for your post. Really helpful indeed!