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Author Topic: Pano Rig Component Set Recommendations  (Read 2751 times)
brandtb
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« on: February 08, 2013, 08:12:13 AM »
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I would like to get some recommendations on complete pano rig components/component set for use with a D800 body and Nik. 24-70 lens OR similar (will most likely be using with leveling tripod) for single or multi-row. One important criteria is that it is very quick/easy to use in the field/bad outdoor terrain etc.. I like the concept of of "click detent" as well as I've seen on some of the "rotators". Note - I don't need just the manufact. name - I'm interested in all the specific components/component set that one is currently using.  Thanks much for the help
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 10:45:57 AM by brandtb » Logged

Brandt Bolding
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 09:27:57 AM »
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I would like to get some recommendations on complete pano rig components/component set for use with a D800 body and Nik. 24-70 lens OR similar (will most likely be using with leveling tripod) for single or multi-row. One important criteria is that it is very quick/easy to use in the field/bad outdoor terrain etc.. This would possible be used for I like the concept of of "click detent" as well as I've seen on some of the "rotators". Note - I don't need just the manufact. name - I'm interested in all the specific components/component set that one is currently using.  Thanks much for the help

Hi Brandt,

After a lot of experimentation, and with portability, stability, flexibility, and ease of setup in mind, I've settled for the following myself:
  • 1. Tripod of your choice
  • 2. EZ-Leveler II
  • 3. Manfrotto 300N Panoramic Rotation unit
  • 4. Really Right Stuff B2-Pro: 60mm clamp with dual mounting
  • 5. Really Right Stuff PG-02 Omni-Pivot Package
  • 6. Really Right Stuff MPR-CL II: MPR with integral clamp
  • 7. Really Right Stuff Camera L-plate for each camera body

Item 2 can be skipped if the tripod has a leveling base already. Items 2 and 3 can be swapped for the Really Right Stuff BH-55 PCL: Full-sized ballhead with Panning Clamp, when the quick precision positioning and repeatable horizontal intervals are not required. When the tripod already has a leveling base and repeatable intervals are not necessary, item 3 can be replaced by a Really Right Stuff PCL-1: Panning Clamp (without clickstops) which can also be mounted directly on the leveling plate.

Start planning for the required budget ...

Cheers,
Bart
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 10:05:25 AM »
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Really Right Stuff PG-02 Pro Omni-Pivot Package: http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=PG-02-Pro-OPP&type=3&eq=&desc=PG-02-Pro-Omni-Pivot-Package&key=it

Very fast to configure the way you want although it helps to  either mark,have notes about, or memorize  the nodal slide and lateral centering positions for your specific lens and camera combination.  I used this for camera lens packages from large and heavy (1Ds Mark III +  70-200mm f/2.8L)  down to moderate (D800 and 50mm f/1.8 AI-S).

Other attributes:
- very robust.
- easy to keep clean.
- modular, so you can use only the components you need (like just the  PCL-1 clamp)
- versatile, individually or combined the components can be used for non-panoramic work. In my case that is macros, some portraits, and studio work.
- precise.

The weak point (for my usage) is the PCL-1 - I have work one out -  but no one makes a better alternative. Supposedly, RRS has prototyped a heavier duty replacement but they have been saying that for at least a year.

Edit: for taller cameras like the EOS 1Ds and D3X I use the CB-18 camera bar instead of the CB-10 that is included in the PG-02 Pro Omni-Pivot Package. It is nice to have the longer length
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 10:08:18 AM by Ellis Vener » Logged

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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 10:31:23 AM »
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I use the Manfrotto 303sph and the leveling base.  I shoot hundreds of close quarters vr's each year this is a rock solid setup.
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brandtb
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 01:10:48 PM »
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thanks all for feedback...appreciated!
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Brandt Bolding
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OldRoy
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 04:29:20 PM »
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I'm still waiting for someone to explain why you need a levelling base when you're going to be stitching.
Roy
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 06:56:09 PM »
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I'm still waiting for someone to explain why you need a levelling base when you're going to be stitching.

Hi Roy,

To minimize cropping on wide landscape/cityscape panos.

Cheers,
Bart
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 07:54:09 PM »
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My most used setup is simply handheld.

The next is a Manfrotto Corbone One tripod with an Arca Swiss P0 head and Manfrotto macro rail as a nodal slide.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 05:16:37 AM »
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Hi Roy,

To minimize cropping on wide landscape/cityscape panos.

Cheers,
Bart
Thanks Bart, but... cropping is, er, difficult?
I've found that if you shoot slightly wider you give yourself the option to crop. Adding unintentionally un-shot portions of the scene is somewhat more problematic.
Roy
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 07:46:29 AM »
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Thanks Bart, but... cropping is, er, difficult?

Hi Roy,

No, not difficult, but why crop (=waste) pixels that could otherwise be used?

Quote
I've found that if you shoot slightly wider you give yourself the option to crop.

Shooting wider to crop later is an option but, it will take longer to process due to having more tiles, or reduce resolution if a wider angle lens is used. More tiles may not be available in a single row pano.

Cheers,
Bart
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 09:47:14 AM »
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I use a setup similar to Ellis's. The RRS stuff is really great and rock solid.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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muntanela
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 04:19:51 PM »
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My most used setup is simply handheld.

The next is a Manfrotto Corbone One tripod with an Arca Swiss P0 head and Manfrotto macro rail as a nodal slide.

You need a L-bracket too if the camera is in portrait mode.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 04:45:09 PM »
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You need a L-bracket too if the camera is in portrait mode.

Personally, I don't as the 645D has two tripod sockets, but for a D800, you would if you wanted to do that. But a pano setup just has a built-in L bracket. But I consider what I have is one of the smallest and lightest solutions
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 04:51:00 PM by theguywitha645d » Logged
BrianWJH
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 05:49:09 PM »
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But I consider what I have is one of the smallest and lightest solutions

Is it still capable of doing multi-row with that setup?
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 10:30:17 PM »
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Is it still capable of doing multi-row with that setup?

Easy for single row, trickier for multi, but I prefer simple, light gear and I willing to put up with more work. I also don't find panos that hard and am willing to even shoot them handheld (I have a gridded screen in my viewfinder which helps with that). Others like the feeling of precision you can get from more complex setups. I need to cary my gear all day in all kinds of conditions and through all kind of terrain (and still have the energy to use it). I really only use a nodal slide when I have complex scenes with foreground and background objects like in the middle of a forest.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:34:48 PM by theguywitha645d » Logged
bill t.
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2013, 12:10:31 AM »
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Just call me a curmudgeon or an inverse gearhead snob, or whatever you like.

This is my faithful panohead of the last 8 years.  Home Depot technology at it's best, using bolts originally designed to hold together horse-drawn carriages.  Oak is the poor-man's aluminum, and has served me well on numerous devices that were quite sophisticated in function if not in appearance.

The pano head builds up from an ebay Gitzo G1270 head, which has the virtue of tilting sideways and being otherwise very rigid.  There are many other possible candidates, all of them unlovely enough to be had for a song at auction. The long camera bolt slot on the G1270 serves to support two long carriage bolts that prevent the vertical beam from rotating. Highly stable in winds up to about 40 mph.  Superb damping characteristics.  The long lever that would normally have tilted the camera now serves as a sort of rough approximation nodal point adjuster, working hand in hand with a series to pre-drilled holes on the piece of oak supporting the camera.  Note the Photoshop-created paper bands just under the Gitzo head, it's just a matter of positioning the band appropriate to the lens in use to its friction-fit near the base of the Gitzo pan axis.

I eschew sophisticated leveling devices for a tripod with easily adjustable legs, where the highest adjustment nuts are within easy reach, and which is well maintained for smooth operation.  15 minutes of practice, and who needs a leveler?  A basic problem with a simple solution not requiring additional hardware.  A simple magic marker dot on the existing Gitzo bubble level shows me where the true bubble center is, which is of course slightly away from the old factory markings.  Better to spend the weight of a leveler on an extra-rigid camera support.

Anyway, I am uncommonly pleased by ad hoc devices of this type, perhaps because of the way they allow design and engineering to leapfrog the quagmire of sophisticated fabrication and it's attendant stylistic diseases.  How's that for spin doctoring?
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K.C.
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 04:53:05 AM »
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Anyway, I am uncommonly pleased by ad hoc devices of this type, perhaps because of the way they allow design and engineering to leapfrog the quagmire of sophisticated fabrication and it's attendant stylistic diseases.  How's that for spin doctoring?

If your design and build quality are as good as your spin doctoring you're good to go!

But I do have to say that once you're used a leveling base you'll never want to work without one. I can setup and shoot with confidence quickly and efficiently.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2013, 05:23:36 AM »
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If your design and build quality are as good as your spin doctoring you're good to go!

But I do have to say that once you're used a leveling base you'll never want to work without one. I can setup and shoot with confidence quickly and efficiently.
I beg to differ. When I first started stitching I bought a Manfrotto levelling plate  (admittedly not the most convenient example of the type). I used it a couple of times before I realised it was an unnecessary additional  weight to carry and have never subsequently encountered a situation where I wished I'd had it with me.
What I do miss, from the days when I shot moving images, where levelling is vital, is the standard levelling bowl tripod/head arrangement found on all video/film legs; it makes for very rapid adjustment compared to altering leg settings - albeit at a weight penalty.
Roy
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K.C.
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2013, 02:58:59 AM »
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What I do miss, from the days when I shot moving images, where levelling is vital, is the standard levelling bowl tripod/head arrangement found on all video/film legs; it makes for very rapid adjustment compared to altering leg settings - albeit at a weight penalty.
Roy

Well I guess it's just a matter of terminology because what you're describing is exactly what I'm using and Gitzo calls it a leveling base. So that's what I called it.
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NancyP
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 03:21:59 PM »
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Nothing wrong with the do-it-yourself approach. The advantage of a nodal rail with markings is that it can be used with different lenses. The advantage of a nodal rail with just a single hole for your camera is pure simplicity, excellent if you use only one lens/camera combo.

I am looking into making a do-it-yourself barndoor equatorial mount for wide-field astrophotography. Plenty of plans out there. If I can get the two wooden flaps cut elsewhere, I should be golden (I don't own a band saw, and the one I have access to, well, yech.) . I last made stuff when I was a teenager, and have lost most of the handy implements.
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