Panoramic Head


lkkang

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Jan 6, 2007
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I am intending to get a Panoramic head. Anyone has any experience on which type of head is good and stable ?

I am currently using a Medium Format camera ( film back ). Weight of camera with lens should be about 1.5Kg.

Will try to keep the price to be below $200. There are some Gimbal head that seems to be able to do the job, but the price tag seems to be over the top ( > $500 ).

Currently looking at getting a Panoramic Pivot , just a pivot, use together with an L-PLATE and a plain extension bar to achieve both the horizontal and vertical axis panning.

something like this
http://www.benro.cn/PanoramasHead.aspx

would like to seek opinion and comments on this approach if any.

many thanks in advance,
Billy.
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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With the panoramic attachment (like the one you referred to in the URL) at the base and a bar would get you to do single row panoramas. If you are thinking of multi row panos, tilting the whole setup would be important. I think when you are creating the panos that are focused on objects at infinity, there is less of a problem of requiring exact adjustment of the optical centre with the pivoting centres. You would find a more detailed explanation on Really Right Stuff's website. Nodal Ninja's site and http://www.panoguide.com/ might also provide some valuable information.

Since you are using film (MF + back) for the component images, I think the scanning alignment and exposure (while making the initial image and during the scan) would actually pose more of a challenge when assembling the final panorama.
 

lkkang

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Jan 6, 2007
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thanks for the contribution.

with an L-bracket, I should be able to do both the vertical and horizontal rotation ( still maintaining the nodal point ).

The question here is .. how stable is it?
have you used this type of pivot before ? any comments ?

thanks
Billy

With the panoramic attachment (like the one you referred to in the URL) at the base and a bar would get you to do single row panoramas. If you are thinking of multi row panos, tilting the whole setup would be important. I think when you are creating the panos that are focused on objects at infinity, there is less of a problem of requiring exact adjustment of the optical centre with the pivoting centres. You would find a more detailed explanation on Really Right Stuff's website. Nodal Ninja's site and http://www.panoguide.com/ might also provide some valuable information.

Since you are using film (MF + back) for the component images, I think the scanning alignment and exposure (while making the initial image and during the scan) would actually pose more of a challenge when assembling the final panorama.
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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If you look at RRS bars/rails (e.g. MPR series which I use), at about 1/2 inch think and 1.5 inches wide, they are pretty stiff. Properly locked together with the appropriate clamps at sensible spacings, I believe they would form a stiff combination with the camera body mounted using an Arca plate. The question would now be how stiff (or how much torque) the tripod head can take. I guess the stiffer here the better. Using my existing tripod/ballhead combination, I don't have a problem with stability (not wobbly, loose etc) supporting about 2.5 to 3 kgs (camera/lens/bars/rails combination).

Would you mind sharing how you using an L-bracket with an extension bar would give vertical and horizontal rotation while still maintaining the nodal point? My guess is that you would zero the "nodal point" above the centre of the panning head/clamp to allow for horizontal panning. This would be done before adjusting the L-bracket on the extension bar, and the extension bar on the panning head/clamp. For vertical direction, would you be using the ballhead to adjust the tilt? Or is it through some other means that the above configuration?
 

lkkang

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Jan 6, 2007
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thanks for the info again.

I have not purchase the pivot. Basically, I will be using the ball head's panning pivot for the horizontal panning and using the extra pivot ( mounted onto an L-bracket ) to do the vertical panning.

It is very very confusing if I start to put the construction in words..
will try to post some shots of the construction when I get the pivot :)

If you look at RRS bars/rails (e.g. MPR series which I use), at about 1/2 inch think and 1.5 inches wide, they are pretty stiff. Properly locked together with the appropriate clamps at sensible spacings, I believe they would form a stiff combination with the camera body mounted using an Arca plate. The question would now be how stiff (or how much torque) the tripod head can take. I guess the stiffer here the better. Using my existing tripod/ballhead combination, I don't have a problem with stability (not wobbly, loose etc) supporting about 2.5 to 3 kgs (camera/lens/bars/rails combination).

Would you mind sharing how you using an L-bracket with an extension bar would give vertical and horizontal rotation while still maintaining the nodal point? My guess is that you would zero the "nodal point" above the centre of the panning head/clamp to allow for horizontal panning. This would be done before adjusting the L-bracket on the extension bar, and the extension bar on the panning head/clamp. For vertical direction, would you be using the ballhead to adjust the tilt? Or is it through some other means that the above configuration?
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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I believe I understand what you mean. If you are using 2 panning clamps, then you would achieve the horizontal and vertical panning as you have intended.

BTW, where would you get the Benro PC1 or PC0? Any idea of the prices?
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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One more point from what you described. If you are using the ball head's panning pivot and if that panning pivot is at the base of the ballhead, you've got to be careful to level the tripod. This is to ensure that the horizontal panning is level.
 

lkkang

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Jan 6, 2007
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I believe I understand what you mean. If you are using 2 panning clamps, then you would achieve the horizontal and vertical panning as you have intended.

BTW, where would you get the Benro PC1 or PC0? Any idea of the prices?
I cannot remember exactly what is the price.
something like S$130+ for the smaller one and S$150+ for the bigger pivot.


One more point from what you described. If you are using the ball head's panning pivot and if that panning pivot is at the base of the ballhead, you've got to be careful to level the tripod. This is to ensure that the horizontal panning is level.
you are good.. :thumbsup:
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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nice thread billy.

i was actually chatting with asterixsg regarding my interest in the Benro pano head to be placed above a levelled ballhead for easier stitching of ( telephoto ) panoramas

Ryan
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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S$150 is a good price for the big one. Equivalent Novoflex and RRS parts are expensive. Which shop in Singapore would you be buying them from?

I cannot remember exactly what is the price.
something like S$130+ for the smaller one and S$150+ for the bigger pivot.




you are good.. :thumbsup:
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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Not sure if you would agree, my observation is that stitching is not a big challenge with the current crop of panoramic software. Even if shot handheld, I was able to obtain a good stitch of the component images. It's when the horizon is not completely horizontal that more work has to be done via Photoshop and with that one possibly lose more pixels after stitching due to the image leveling/rotation needed.

nice thread billy.

i was actually chatting with asterixsg regarding my interest in the Benro pano head to be placed above a levelled ballhead for easier stitching of ( telephoto ) panoramas

Ryan
 

lkkang

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S$150 is a good price for the big one. Equivalent Novoflex and RRS parts are expensive. Which shop in Singapore would you be buying them from?
I think the shop is at #01-17 of Peninsular shopping center , one shop away from P&G camera shop. The shop is selling lots of Benro tripods and accessories.
 

chgoh

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Jan 25, 2003
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I think the shop is at #01-17 of Peninsular shopping center , one shop away from P&G camera shop. The shop is selling lots of Benro tripods and accessories.
Thanks.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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Not sure if you would agree, my observation is that stitching is not a big challenge with the current crop of panoramic software. Even if shot handheld, I was able to obtain a good stitch of the component images. It's when the horizon is not completely horizontal that more work has to be done via Photoshop and with that one possibly lose more pixels after stitching due to the image leveling/rotation needed.
Agreed.

The only reason why i was looking for a rotation above the ballhead is to have an easier leveled stitch. Not infrequently, the tripod may not sit levelled on uneven terrains to allow rotation stitching when the rotation point is at the base of the tripod.

( While i have a simple solution for wide pano stitching myself ), i do hate the excessive cropping that results from my panoramas i do with longer teles when i realise that my guesstimate stitching was off by a degree or two on the field and i need to rotate slightly to correct.

Ryan
 

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