Another spherical pano head

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boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:17 pm

After my first try at this, I decided to make a lighter head that could pack in my camera bag and work with my 10D with 50mm prime or 28-135mm zoom. This is what I came up with. Details are included. Cost was about $100 including the $50 quick release mount with zero rotation plate for the camera.

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Parts list for the pano head - Reid Tool Supply Co. (800)253-0421

AES – 1010 (2) 8 inch[TAB].23 per inch[TAB]Lower and vertical arms
AES – 1010 (1) 7 inch[TAB].23 per inch[TAB]Swing arm

AES – 2015 (5) endcaps[TAB] 1.08 each
AES – 3321 (8) bolt assem.[TAB].51 each
AES – 4150 (2) joining plates[TAB]6.00 each
AES – 3287 (1) triple t-nut[TAB]1.00 each Used for the pivot point
AES – 3313 (2) t-nut/setscrew 2.42 each Used to locate nodal points

RK – 5[TAB] (1) plastic knob[TAB]1.60 each
HK – 72094 (1) ¼-20 cap screw[TAB].17 each
AMS – 303 (1) threaded stud[TAB].10 each

Total approx. $45.00 with shipping and machining charges

Manfrotto #384 Quick release mount with plates - I picked this one because it was small and had an anti-rotation plate $50.00

Manfrotto 3/8" to 3/8" coupler - used to attach tripod to upside down ball head. You will also need a 3/8" to 1/4" threaded screw adapter. - $15.00

Got those items from www.bhphotovideo.com

boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:24 pm

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boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:28 pm

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boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:31 pm

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The following photo describes how to adjust the distance of the vertical arm from the tripod screw. It works very well and can be adjusted in minutes. Pointing the head with the camera mounted on it to a light source makes it even easier.

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boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:42 pm

Field use.

Head works great and is very light weight and super strong! I have no worries about mounting a heavy camera on this, in fact, it works just as well with only one joining plate holding the vertical arm.

I tried a rubber disk between the vertical and the swing arm, but it worked like crap. The metal to metal contact is much better and does not slip.

You can mount a bubble level wherever you want. I have not mounted mine yet. I just lay it on the bottom arm when adjusting and then put it back in my bag.

Having the set screw t-nuts mounted inside the swing arm allow me to set the head for two different lens and quickly be able to adjust between lens. Just loosen both the tension knob and the thumb screw and slide to either set screw. Then just tighten the thumb screw.

I use a 50mm and Sigma 28-135mm lens and have the swing arm calibrated for 50mm and 28mm. The zoom lens is much larger than the 50mm and it's nodal point is near the end of the swing arm adjustment. If you are thinking of using longer lens, you may want to experiment with the length of the swing arm. The aluminum extrusions are cheap, you could by them in different lengths or cut them yourself.

By the way, DO NOT attempt to drill the holes with a hand drill. Material is too tough and slippery. Use a good sized drill press. Also do not drill a pivot hole through the swing arm as it slides back and forth.

m210658
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:29 am
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Contact:

Post by m210658 » Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:02 pm

this is great - after playing around with aluminum bars and pieces that I acquired from "Weird Stuff" - a local surplus computer parts dealer. I had almost given up building my own head. In fact, I had also looked at the profiles that you are using, they are originally manufactured by "Futura Industries" (http://www.futuraind.com/index3.html) but I expected that you have to order a ton of them and I could not find a local dealer here in Silicon Valley ...

I guess I will just clone your design and use my Manfrotto Panohead as a base.

Thanks
Michael

boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Sat Nov 29, 2003 11:21 am

Actually, the profiles I used came from www.8020.net and are even lighter weight then the futura profiles. What is nice about this company is that you can order the parts in any quantity you want. I ordered through Reid Tool because I could get all the parts at one place. When shipped, the profiles come direct from 8020. I called in the order on Monday and it showed up Wednesday.

Forgot to mention - Calibrating the quick adjust nodal points

Assuming that you are going to calibrate for two lens, do this first with the lens that will have the shortest nodal point from the tripod socket.
Once you have the vertical arm located at the nodal point, rotate the swing arm to 90 degrees. I shot through a window so I could have an object 4ft away and an object over 100ft away in the same viewfinder. Now when you pan the camera left to right, you may see one of the objects move in relation to the other. The only tricky part of my design is that you must loosen both the tension screw and the thumb screw to adjust the nodal point. I had no problem doing this, just remember to hold your camera as you adjust. It took me about 5mins. to adjust the nodal point. Once adjusted, LOCK DOWN THE THUMB SCREW. Then loosen the tension screw and remove the swing arm from the head. STARTING AT THE CAMERA MOUNT, insert the special t-nut with the set screw and tighten it against the 3 hole t-nut. This will lock in the shortest lens.

Now put on the longer lens and adjust for nodal point. STARTING AT THE OPPOSITE END insert the special t-nut with the set screw and tighten it against the 3 hole t-nut.

If you did this right you can loosen the thumb screw and slide the 3 hole t-nut either direction and lock in at the nodal points.

If anyone has any suggestions for improvements, please post. Enjoy!

Kevin
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:31 pm

Post by Kevin » Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:33 pm

Where is the joining plates at Reid Tool (AES 4150)? I searched on the site and couldn't find them.

boomanbb
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Richmond, Va

Post by boomanbb » Sat Nov 29, 2003 12:37 pm

The aluminum parts are manufactured by www.8020.net Go there and look at their fractional catalog. Any parts in that catalog can be ordered from reid. I just added the AES to the part number in the 8020 online catalog.

m210658
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:29 am
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Contact:

Post by m210658 » Mon Dec 01, 2003 6:23 pm

Ben,
I finally made the move and ordered the parts at Reid Tools - I have taken the liberty to replace the square 1010 profiles by the slightly heavier AES-1575 profiles and I'm considering adding an angle-dial between the vertical and the swing arm (to allow for more reproducible setups).

Thanks again, your proposal has been one of the most valuable contributions to this forum - at least for me :-)

Michael

wayne_eddy
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:19 pm

Post by wayne_eddy » Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:34 pm

I'm really interested in your design and the comments made be the others in this thread.

I have a standard panning head for my Manfrotto ART.144 tripod which does no feature the orbital unit that you guy's have.

Can you tell me about any limitations this may have in my emerging panoramic work?

I haae a keen interest in panowork and would like to join horizontal and vertical units together. I use Panorama factory for this, though I have yet to get this to join verticals.

ryebrye
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:59 pm

i can haz images?

Post by ryebrye » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:07 pm

Looks like a great DIY guide, complete with parts and everything. The images are all gone now :(

Anyone have a mirror or an updated guide?

billp
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:22 pm

Post by billp » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:45 pm

The original design is by "Boomanbb" who still posts on the DPreview forum (as recently as one month ago).

If you are signed up to post on the DPR forums, you could try to contact him by email (I think his real first name is Ben). He may have saved his post with the pictures intact.

Just an idea.

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