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Author Topic: need pano head suggestion  (Read 5165 times)
routlaw
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« on: April 07, 2007, 08:50:23 AM »
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There has been much talk of the various programs available for stitching images together, but from my searches there does not seem to be nearly as much discussion regarding the panoramic tripod heads on the market that help reduce or eliminate parallax errors. Prices, availability and quality seem to vary considerably.

I use the Nikon D2x, and the goal for me is not panoramic images so much as combining 3 to 4 shots to create higher resolution and larger file size. This camera due to its weight eliminates a few of the heads due to their lighter weight construction. Ones like the Nodal Ninja come to mind for lighter weight construction, otherwise it  looks like a good solution.

Anyone care to join in on a discussion of the attributes for the pano heads available, and experiences you have had with each.

Thanks in advance.

Rob
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2007, 09:34:35 AM »
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Thought about one of the nikon (are there any?) or russian tilt shift lenses?
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routlaw
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2007, 09:41:01 AM »
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Thought about one of the nikon (are there any?) or russian tilt shift lenses?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111143\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have no knowledge of any Russian TS lenses, but even with the Nikons this is less than an optimum solution. I have the Nikon 85 macro TS and have used it many times in a studio environment to stitch images together for an approximately 60 to 70 mb file. It works  but not without lots of PP effort, not the least of which is that you shift the front lens element rather than the camera itself. Using a pano head depending upon the lens should render much better results plus allowing one to create even larger files sizes.

Thanks
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Paul Kay
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 05:34:01 AM »
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I'm building up a 'mechano' set of RRS bits and pieces! By carefully looking at their product range you can find that there are various routeways to building a panoramic or 'nodal point' pivot. I use a 1DS so have a similarly weighted system and find no problems with RRS components in terms of stability or rigidity. The downside is, of course, that they are not cheap. I do mix their parts with various other brands too (Kirk, etc) with no problem in terms of fit.
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augg
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 06:58:13 AM »
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Kaidan, http://www.kaidan.com/ , make excellent pano gear. Its all about rotating at the nodal point of the lens for easy stitching. The ts lens you're referring to are the Hartblei super rotator lenses available from the Ukraine but also available in the usa. There is a review on this web site.

dan
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francois
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 07:03:53 AM »
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Bernard Languillier (card) is using a D2X on a RRS panoramic head (on top of a BH-55 BH). He has done outstanding panoramas with this setup.
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Francois
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2007, 10:09:11 AM »
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There has been much talk of the various programs available for stitching images together, but from my searches there does not seem to be nearly as much discussion regarding the panoramic tripod heads on the market that help reduce or eliminate parallax errors. Prices, availability and quality seem to vary considerably.

I use the Nikon D2x, and the goal for me is not panoramic images so much as combining 3 to 4 shots to create higher resolution and larger file size. This camera due to its weight eliminates a few of the heads due to their lighter weight construction. Ones like the Nodal Ninja come to mind for lighter weight construction, otherwise it looks like a good solution.

Anyone care to join in on a discussion of the attributes for the pano heads available, and experiences you have had with each.

Thanks in advance.

Rob
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've been using this head:

[a href=\"http://services.manfrotto.com/303SPH/]http://services.manfrotto.com/303SPH/[/url]

Its well constructed, reasonable in price and works very well. I've just started shooting QTVR's with this head, an 8mm Sigma and either a 5D or 10D.

Here are my first two attempts

http://www.infocusinc.net/Rinker330d/330d.mov

http://www.infocusinc.net/Jaycotest/JFlight31.mov

I've also done some multirow panos with good success as well.

The key is spending the time finding the nodal pont in all three axis.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2007, 10:11:16 AM by infocusinc » Logged

Craig Lamson Photo
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routlaw
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2007, 10:19:15 AM »
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I'm building up a 'mechano' set of RRS bits and pieces! By carefully looking at their product range you can find that there are various routeways to building a panoramic or 'nodal point' pivot. I use a 1DS so have a similarly weighted system and find no problems with RRS components in terms of stability or rigidity. The downside is, of course, that they are not cheap. I do mix their parts with various other brands too (Kirk, etc) with no problem in terms of fit.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111285\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks Paul, like you I am also leaning toward the RSS components, however the Cambo X2 with some of the Schnieder Digitar lenses also seem interesting as well. No doubt one would have to do some rigging with this setup, but the potential seems interesting.

Rob
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routlaw
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 10:24:13 AM »
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I've been using this head:

http://services.manfrotto.com/303SPH/

Its well constructed, reasonable in price and works very well. I've just started shooting QTVR's with this head, an 8mm Sigma and either a 5D or 10D.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111315\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Nice work with those QTVR's! Pretty cool stuff. Thanks for the info.
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francois
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2007, 11:49:49 AM »
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Thanks Paul, like you I am also leaning toward the RSS components, however the Cambo X2 with some of the Schnieder Digitar lenses also seem interesting as well. No doubt one would have to do some rigging with this setup, but the potential seems interesting.

Rob
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111318\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm also using RRS pano head and accessories and I'm fully satisfied...  
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Francois
aaykay
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2007, 01:33:59 PM »
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The new Arca Swiss P1D ("D" = double pan) and the Z1D ballheads, are supposed to be custom built for panoramic shooting.  They have 2 indexed panning mechanisms - one on the top and one at the bottom.  

There are the "single pan" models like P1S and the Z1S, which only have the panning mechanism at the bottom.

However, the P1D and the Z1D are yet to be available in the market.
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naisan
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2007, 12:13:31 AM »
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with my d200 and grip, + RRS L-plate, have not had great success with the nodal ninja - recommend that you go for RRS if you need the pano head - the NN III is too weak to support that heavy a camera, not to mention that you are at the utter limits of travel for many lenses with a grip or in portrait orientation. . .
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panoak
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 10:51:51 PM »
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[span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']When I first started looking into pano gear, I went for cheap.  Don't!  Cheap flew to pieces, and provided an unwanted "drop test" for my 400D.  My response to that is here:Panoramas  I made 3 versions, and now I'm working on a 4th. that is designed for a 20 lb. capacity.
These are not intended to be used for anything but mult-row, rectilinear panoramas, where the whole point is to increase resolution by stitching with PTgui.
Read thru the whole presentation, and you'll see why I made them as they are, and how they are superior to anything available for sale in ways that apply ONLY to the designed purpose.
[/span]
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gdeliz
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2007, 12:43:59 PM »
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The Rube Goldberg design of the multirow pano heads makes them almost impossible to make rigid and stable. Panoaks' home made design looks really solid and the turnbuckle idea is a stroke of genius. Nevertheless I don't think the basic design of these heads allows for maximum stability. These heads were designed with QTVR as their primary goal and the requirements of simple stitching for high resolution images are different. The tall vertical strut necessary to accomodate zenith and nadir shots could be made about half as high and a lot more stable if only mosaics are needed.
I think that the most stable design for a mosaic head would be based on the goniometer principle as used in the Arca Swiss Cube head. The upper pivoting table on the Arca Cube might have a pivot radius great enough to accomodate a DSLR without a vertical grip but, assuming the radius is great enough, you would still almost certainly have to shim the bottom of the camera to the mounting plate  so that the center line of the lens intersects the pivot point, as it must to avoid parallex error. For use as a mosaic head the Arca  has a superfluous second pivoting platform and the darned thing  costs a small fortune. A single pivoting platform with suitable pivot radius combined with a rail for forward and backward movement should make a very stable mosaic  head. If there is enough demand for mosaic stitching, as opposed to 360 QTVR stitching, someone could make a goniometer based head with a pivot radius long enough to accomodate a number of different DSLR's if a proper shim is used under the base of the camera.  

George Deliz
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Ken R
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2007, 01:07:25 PM »
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I used a Kaidan pano head a few years ago. I used realviz stitcher. I had a tough time getting good panos. I tried my best to align the rig so that it rotated on axis with the nodal point of the lens (it takes a while to align kaidan gives some guidelines to find the nodal point). I was using a fuji s2 and a nikon 20mm afd lens. Its tough getting it right with wide angles. I guess I learned that the lens used must have very low distortions, hard to find a wide angle thats close to perfect.
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panoak
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2007, 09:20:54 PM »
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Thanks for at least looking.  The tall post is quite necessary, and in a recent pano of the new Piazzo on the strip, it was really not tall enough.  You see, I had to tilt upward, even beyond the range of the turnbuckle.  In doing so, the rotational scale was not readable from the small "window" I made for that purpose, and I had to read from the front.  The camera was in the way.  With ver. 4, I'm making these "windows" on both the the front and back of the rotating base.  Also on ver. 4, the nodal adj. arm provides a full ten inches of travel, because this is, after all, being designed to accomodate MF cameras.  Strength is not an issue at any point.  Right now, the vertical support post for ver. 4 is setting up, with the retaining stud extending an inch into the post and embedded in JB weld.  Actual capacity of the device will be determined by the tripod in use.  Remember the old ads, where Lester Bogen himself was sitting on a tripod?  You could, but watch out for that vertical post!
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amplexis
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2007, 08:09:08 AM »
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i started out in the 90's with a kaidan multirow head that cost $1600. i threw away a 2lb handle and had another 2lbs cut out of it. it was still too heavy. i made a few with 1/4" aluminum angle and a drill press that worked better but never got a really smooth way to rotate the arm. i found nodal ninja too weak and saggy.  i just tried a new kaidan multirow head but it's bulk was too much and it vibrated. plus their propritary "arca" style clamp is so poorly designed and awkward. i just ordered a 4th generation designs Mongoose M-3.5 thinking that a gimbal head for "heavy artillery" will work smooth with a 70-200 or a 400 5.6. i use a manfrotto 30001 index head under the pano head and i love how well this works. @ 200mm you set it to 5 degrees, @ 100mm you set it to 10 degrees etc. for 400mm i am making a 120:1 worm gear rotator so i can do small increments.
all the commercial stitchers i have used are lame IMHO. smoothmove and realviz and others crash where ptgui and ptassembler shine. autopano pro is astounding and easy to use and stitches 200 images without any tears.
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Christopher
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2007, 12:19:36 PM »
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As said before I tested all kind of different solutions and I think the best out there is the VR Head from Seitz. here
It is extremly well made, very solid works through storm and cold, wouldn't trade it for anything else.
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