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Author Topic: Acratech 1165 - How Does It Work?  (Read 636 times)
RFPhotography
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« on: May 28, 2013, 08:18:34 AM »
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I'm researching and looking for a pano head.  Of the various products out there, this one is a bit of a mystery.... at least to me.  I'm not sure I can see how it would be overly effective.

I get the multi-row aspect of it, but other than that.....

It appears the camera mounts in landscape orientation.  I guess if you had an L-bracket on the camera you could get into portrait orientation.  But if you're going to do that, might as well buy a more 'traditional' pano head setup.  Many pano heads will work in both orientations but it's generally recommended to work in portrait for horizontal panos to minimise lens distortions in the stitch through the centre of the image where most of the important stuff is.  It also allows you more room for cropping after the stitch.  I also don't see how this head allows the camera to be moved backward/forward to the entrance pupil point of the lens which will mean that foreground detail will likely suffer from parallax problems.

Am I missing something? 

Thanks.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 10:19:35 AM »
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I'm researching and looking for a pano head.  Of the various products out there, this one is a bit of a mystery.... at least to me.  I'm not sure I can see how it would be overly effective.

Hi Bob,

It also beats me how this is going to help for panoramas? The horizontal rotation is at the base, instead of at the clamp level where it should be, and as shown it rolls around an axis that is not aligned with the optical axis, although once level you'll probably leave it alone, which defeats the use of degree markers.

A mystery.

Cheers,
Bart
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 10:27:30 AM »
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I'm not so fussed about where it rotates.  That's not going to make a huge difference.  But yeah, the rest just doesn't make sense.  Thanks for the confirmation.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 02:01:27 PM »
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Got a message from Acratech.  The head works with their L-Bracket and Nodal Rail in combination to give the proper setup.  Presumably the QR on the L-Bracket can be positioned into the horizontal orientation to allow the Nodal Rail to slide back and forth.  It'd be nice if the page on the head mentioned that.  If that's the case, then I'd think one would be just as well off using the more compact Leveling Head than the big and bulky 1165.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 06:00:34 PM »
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Presumably the QR on the L-Bracket can be positioned into the horizontal orientation to allow the Nodal Rail to slide back and forth.  It'd be nice if the page on the head mentioned that.  If that's the case, then I'd think one would be just as well off using the more compact Leveling Head than the big and bulky 1165.

Hi Bob,

Indeed, and a much more compact (=lower) profile with a lower center of gravity.

For those who are looking for really practical pano solutions, I prefer the EZ leveler II (also available in a version with case). This has the benefit of allowing a very precise and controlled leveling (in combination with my digital level I can quickly achieve 0.05 degree accuracy without problems), even with the weight of the camera on top. It's lightweight, holds an impressive load, and its modest height preserves a low center of gravity.

The other 'non-geared' leveling bases are very cumbersome to level, because the added weight of the camera will make it flop out of position (usually it's already off-balance when a NPP slide is used) once the locking mechanism is somewhat relaxed. That makes it very hard to get perfectly level alignment, tapping with your fingers against the camera to nudge it somewhat into position.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 06:04:43 PM by BartvanderWolf » Logged
RFPhotography
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 06:34:19 PM »
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The other option, albeit not quite as good, is simply to use an existing head with an Arca-type QR.  My ball head has it so the Acratech l-bracket would fit in that.  My Nikons have a built-in level.  Not quite as good as a levelling base but good enough in most circumstances.  Stitching software is good enough now that it can deal with some off-level shots.
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