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Thread: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

  1. #1
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    Default Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    I have noticed that although most ball heads have the ability to pan, they have no spirit levels to ensure that the ball head base is level. Few brands have the leveller which replaces the center column and has a handle sticking out from the bottom. Manfrotto and another brand (cannot remember the name) seem to be the few companies which produce leveller which can be used on all tripods (438 leveller comes to mind).

    Therefore I am wondering how you guys take panoramic shots with tripods without a leveller? I do have the Manfrotto 438 leveller but it is huge and heavy and does not go well with the Feisol 3442 tripod I intend to get. Any suggestions on how to ensure ball head base is level without a bulky leveller?

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    I have noticed that although most ball heads have the ability to pan, they have no spirit levels to ensure that the ball head base is level. Few brands have the leveller which replaces the center column and has a handle sticking out from the bottom. Manfrotto and another brand (cannot remember the name) seem to be the few companies which produce leveller which can be used on all tripods (438 leveller comes to mind).

    Therefore I am wondering how you guys take panoramic shots with tripods without a leveller? I do have the Manfrotto 438 leveller but it is huge and heavy and does not go well with the Feisol 3442 tripod I intend to get. Any suggestions on how to ensure ball head base is level without a bulky leveller?
    well, i dun shoot panos with stitch..

    but the tripod do come with a level gauge rite? then if the ball head have one as well, both in line means its a straight line...

    other than that, can put a spirit level on the camera body, like on the iso head as well... if more points are centred its likely to be straight.
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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    well, i dun shoot panos with stitch..

    but the tripod do come with a level gauge rite? then if the ball head have one as well, both in line means its a straight line...

    other than that, can put a spirit level on the camera body, like on the iso head as well... if more points are centred its likely to be straight.
    No, not many tripods come with level gauge. I know Manfrotto and Giottos have tripods that have spirit level integrated but I do not think a level tripod necessary mean a level ball head base...

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    No, not many tripods come with level gauge. I know Manfrotto and Giottos have tripods that have spirit level integrated but I do not think a level tripod necessary mean a level ball head base...
    true, but at least its somewhere there... rather than having all legs on same length on the slope not knowing how skewed it is.

    just make me wonder... if attach a 2 way spirit on the vertical column of the tripod collar, will it be useful?
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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Actually there are some heads without spirit levels.
    i DIYed two spirit levels the last time i tried to do pans for less than 10 bucks

    Why not attach it to the quick release plate of the ballhead instead?

    Ryan

  6. #6

    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    To adjust tripod legs to do levelling is kind of not recommended.

    Use a proper pano head comes with spirit level. Mount to a ballhead and use it to level the pano head.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    To adjust tripod legs to do levelling is kind of not recommended.

    Use a proper pano head comes with spirit level. Mount to a ballhead and use it to level the pano head.
    I understand that a pano head or leveller will be best but I am wondering if there are lighter and smaller alternatives? Adding 650g to a 3KG+ tripod setup is not really fun to carry around...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    I understand that a pano head or leveller will be best but I am wondering if there are lighter and smaller alternatives? Adding 650g to a 3KG+ tripod setup is not really fun to carry around...
    What is your setup ? Some pano heads are small and light like NODAL NINJA pano head.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Manfrotto 055CLB (not bought yet) + 488RC2 + 438 Leveller. I am thinking if leveling of ball head base is possible without the bulky 438, I will switch the setup to Feisol 3442 + CB50D for a much lighter setup. Nodal Ninja seems good but not within my budget.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    Manfrotto 055CLB (not bought yet) + 488RC2 + 438 Leveller. I am thinking if leveling of ball head base is possible without the bulky 438, I will switch the setup to Feisol 3442 + CB50D for a much lighter setup. Nodal Ninja seems good but not within my budget.
    I mean your camera setup. What is your camera brand and model ?
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Paiseh, Nikon D200.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    Paiseh, Nikon D200.
    I see. D200 is not very heavy.

    You should consider D200 without grip + wide angle lens + a light weight pano head for panoramic photography. For better stitching photos, you need your setup (camera + lens ) to adjust to the nodal point.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    I see. D200 is not very heavy.

    You should consider D200 without grip + wide angle lens + a light weight pano head for panoramic photography. For better stitching photos, you need your setup (camera + lens ) to adjust to the nodal point.
    What will be a good pano head? I assume the front of the lens, and not the center of body, should be taken as the nodal point for better panoramic stitching?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    What will be a good pano head? I assume the front of the lens, and not the center of body, should be taken as the nodal point for better panoramic stitching?
    You can find the answer at this link.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Thanks to bros megaweb, Del_CtrlnoAlt and giantcanopy for the advices and link.

    After reading the link, I realised I have mistaken some very important details and will need to rethink if my setup is capable of taking true panoramic without spending a hefty sum of money on pano head.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Panoramic Shots without Leveller

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    Thanks to bros megaweb, Del_CtrlnoAlt and giantcanopy for the advices and link.

    After reading the link, I realised I have mistaken some very important details and will need to rethink if my setup is capable of taking true panoramic without spending a hefty sum of money on pano head.
    Welcome.

    Below is some of my NZ panoramic photos taken by
    20D + 17-40mm
    Nodal Ninja Pano head
    Tripod + Ballhead
    Shutter Release Cable
    Manual Mode
    12 shots taken 30 degree apart
    Stitched by Panorama Factory

    @
    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=193533

    It takes time to master panoramic photography
    - type of setup
    - how to take
    - what best metering
    - stitching skill with specified software
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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