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Thread: Panoramic mounts

  1. #1

    Panoramic mounts

    I'm looking for a mount that I can take panoramic. But why are the mounts positioned to mount the camera vertically?

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    If you shoot a pano series with your camera in the vertical position, you will get a wider top-to-bottom area of coverage. The extent of your left to right coverage is predicated on the number of images you shoot.

    However, for simple single strip panos, you really don't need a pano mount nor do you necessarily have to shoot in the vertical position.

    In fact, I can shoot a several frame pano hand held with no great problem. I shot this image of the "Birdcage" Olympic venue in Beijing in the landscape position, hand-held using a 55mm focal length...

    Panoramic mounts

    I have a Panosaurus which is a relatively inexpensive pano mount that can be used for a variety of panos, including interiors and multi strip panos.
    http://www.amazon.com/Panosaurus-2-0...rds=panosaurus

    I also use an Arca Compatible ball head for my tripod and mount the camera/lens using a Really Right Stuff L bracket. The RRS L Bracket allows the camera to be mounted in a vertical position right over the apex of the tripod and ball head. This is a far more stable way to shoot than cantilevering your camera over on its side as with a standard quick release system. Although, I did not purchase the Arca Compatible mount and RRS L bracket to shoot panos, it is just fine for single string panos and could be used for some multi string panoramas. It is also a wonderful way to mount any camera and (non-tripod ring equipped) lens. The Arca Compatible gear is a bit expensive but well worth the expense.

    If you contemplate shooting a lot of multi strip panos, a dedicated pano mount (such as the Panosaurus) is advisable...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 22nd February 2013 at 02:43 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    Try Really Right Stuff, go to their site and look for the pull down banner "be a gear expert" click on it and you will see panoramas made simple. Good article on how to do them, and the equippment needed to produce them. Main item is a l-bracket that allows the camera to be set to vertical over the centre of the axis of the tripod. Best to read it and check out their gear.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  4. #4
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    What kind of panos are you trying to do?

    If you're doing typical landscape panos where you stitch together a handful of images, chances are good you don't need a panohead at all.

    If, otoh, you're doing high-resolution panos of grids of images with a long lens and need to track precise coverage, or you're doing 360x180 panos in tight spaces and need to account for parallax, then you may need a panohead.

    And a simple L-bracket that rotates in yaw is not enough for 360x180 shooting, since you're liable to need to cover the zenith (straight up) and nadir (straight down) shots as well and you have to rotate around the no-parallax-point of the lens (which will be in the lens, not the camera body) in two axes, not just one. For me, the RSS stuff was overkill and too expensive, since I was mostly just shooting with a dRebel and a fisheye lens. But the Panosaurus was too light-duty. For me, the Nodal Ninja was the answer.

    What head you need depends on a lot on what equipment you're mounting and the type of pano you're shooting.
    Last edited by inkista; 22nd February 2013 at 02:51 AM.

  5. #5
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    All the above about maybe not needing a pano head is true, I often do hand held panos of landscapes.

    For more critical stuff I have a DIY head using some bent steel and a thrust bearing, total cost maybe $10.

  6. #6
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    It's not very difficult to make one with some basic tools and materials. I've made two, designed for my bodies. Woodworking is a second hobby so I made this one fancier than is required. The woods are cherry and walnut. It works very well and I can move the body forward and back to use different lenses but I normally use a 50mm. The lens's nodal point is over the large knob. The bubble level is used to level the head.

    Paul S

    Panoramic mounts

    Panoramic mounts

  7. #7
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    Wow, a steam punk pano head very nice.

  8. #8
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    I don't have a photo of my pano head so I knocked up a quick 3D render of it

    Panoramic mounts

    The bit on the bottom it a Wimberley quick release plate, so my $10 comment doesn't include that

    What is not shown (because I just downloaded Google Sketchup yesterday and don't know how to drive it yet) is a twist in the vertical bar that places the lens over the pivot point.

  9. #9

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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    Paul, I really admire your woodworking skills, when do you find time for photography?

  10. #10
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    FYI: I use Microsoft ICE in the video mode, for panoramic shots.
    - I have modified a wind-up music box movement to pan my camcorder.
    - I was lucky to have a movement that had a pedestal on it for rotating figurines(?), or something.
    - I made a tripod mount for the movement.
    - And fixed a deep peanut butter jar cap to the bottom of the camcorder via 1/4-20 bolt, that would fit over the pedestal.
    - It's kinda fun!
    HIOAg

  11. #11

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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    I have a very versatile mount for taking panos ... it is a human body ... in this case it is ME

  12. #12
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    I've done it without a Y-string, too.

    Panoramic mounts
    360x180 pano. XT, Sigma 8mm circular fisheye. Four shots in yaw at 90-degree intervals. handheld, using only a hotshoe bubble level.

    Interactive version

    But it sure is easier with the right panohead. Particularly in tight spaces.

  13. #13
    flechtight's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    Paul, Sweet, where was your post when I bought my RRS Gear As a woodworker myself I can really appreciate your work.

  14. #14
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic mounts

    Particularly in tight spaces.
    That's where you really need something to rotate the lens around the right point. I often do motorhome interiors or even landscapes with objects just a few inches form the lens, in this case you have to get it right.

    However if I'm out in the open with no near objects I'm just a likely to use my neck as the pivot point

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