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Author Topic: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations  (Read 1151 times)

scrollop

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Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« on: August 23, 2018, 01:11:35 PM »

Hello,
  Could someone recommend a multi-row pano head to use with an A7RII (longest lens would be 24-105/F)?

I've found this one (PH-720B): PH-720B but am dubious.

Was also looking at the Nodal Ninja's (price twice as much Nodal Ninja 3), though haven't received an answer to a query I sent to that site (the only distributer in th UK).

Though I haven't done many panos in the past, rather than purchasing a simple single row pano head, I though I might as well get a multi-row to have more options.

Thank you for your help.
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Shiftworker

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 03:03:54 PM »

The problem with multi row capture is that the common rigs are just too flimsy IMO esp if you are using a big lens on a DSLR. Do you really need multi row capture? - it's mainly for 360 sphericals rather than scenic panoramas.
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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2018, 03:11:51 PM »

Hi,
I recently received that very same unit, it's quite well made and packaged for the price. I already had a nodal slide (Neewer 140mm) which I found necessary/easier to use with my L-bracket in portrait mode, you may require one as well as they only provide a small quick release plate.
I cannot comment on multi-row panos (yet), I have only shot single rows with it one time and it was easy to work with. I suspect it is geared more towards the 360/720 virtual tours crowd.
Dave
 
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scrollop

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2018, 05:34:14 PM »

Thank you.

I asked a question on Amazon and someone answered that you can use it to take multi row panos.

Is purchasing a novel slider a requirement with that one? I thought it was part of the package.

Is it quite sturdy with no sagging?
Thanks
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 05:39:02 PM by scrollop »
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elliot_n

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2018, 05:59:12 PM »

I use a Nodal Ninja 5 (now discontinued?). The pano-head at the Amazon link seems to have everything needed to shoot multi-row panoramas. If it's as good as it looks, it's amazing value.
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NancyP

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2018, 08:13:56 PM »

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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2018, 07:52:58 AM »

Thank you.

I asked a question on Amazon and someone answered that you can use it to take multi row panos.

Is purchasing a novel slider a requirement with that one? I thought it was part of the package.

Is it quite sturdy with no sagging?
Thanks

It is quite well built, although I have not used the Nodal Ninja so I can't compare it to that one. The upper arm(slider) is indexed to 30 degrees, however it does not rotate around the nodal point of the lens. I don't know if this helps you or not, I have not shot any multi rows.

I mentioned the extra slider to use with an L-plate as it seemed silly to me to use the small quick release plate they supply. In the absence of an L-plate or extra slider you can still use the supplied plate in portrait mode only because the quick release (red knob) on the top slider cannot be rotated 90 degrees.

Dave

To try and clarify, the extra slider can also be used on the top qr plate in either direction making it easier to rotate up and down around entrance pupil. Sometimes you have to "McGyver" it. Also, although fairly solid, I would not call it pro gear.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 10:29:35 AM by David Good »
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elliot_n

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2018, 05:58:27 PM »

It is quite well built, although I have not used the Nodal Ninja so I can't compare it to that one. The upper arm(slider) is indexed to 30 degrees, however it does not rotate around the nodal point of the lens.

Can you clarify what you mean? If true, it is obviously a deal-breaker.

Do you mean that the lens axis in not centred on the upper rail? What camera are you using? Is its tripod-mount centred on the lens?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 06:02:33 PM by elliot_n »
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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2018, 08:17:22 AM »

Sure, and perhaps I misspoke regarding he upper rail. The qr plate does slide along the rail but cannot be rotated 90 degrees because of the way it is attached to the rail. I added the extra rail in order to easily mount the camera in either orientation.

I am using an A7ii with an L-bracket. Hopefully I can clear things up with a couple of photos.

Dave
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elliot_n

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2018, 08:49:20 AM »

Thanks for the photos.

The problem solved is that the supplied quick release clamp is in the wrong orientation for use with an L-plate. This is good to know, as many of us have L-plates permanently attached to our cameras. (I had to hack my Nodal Ninja 5 to get it to work with my Nikon D800 L-plate - I added an RRS clamp, not a rail.)

But looking at the photos at the Amazon link, it seems to me that if you're prepared to use the supplied quick release system (rather than an L-plate), then the Andoer PH-720B should be fully capable of rotating the camera around the no-parallax point of the lens. This, after all, is the sole function of a pano-head. (If it can't do that, you may as well attempt your panos from a regular tripod head.)

One issue I can see, when compared to the NN5, is that the Andoer PH-720B only has 30 degree increments marked on the upper rotator. The NN5 upper rotator has 2.5 degree increments, which are very useful when shooting multi row panos with longer lenses (35, 50, 85mm etc).... But I'm sure you could make your own marks, when you've figured out how you're going to use it.
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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2018, 09:12:11 AM »

[quote author=elliot_n link=topic=126477.msg1063668#msg1063668 date=1535201360
The problem solved is that the supplied quick release clamp is in the wrong orientation for use with an L-plate.
[/quote]

Yes, the clamp has a block underneath that keeps it oriented in that position, it can slide but not turn.
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sbay

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2018, 11:16:39 AM »

I use the RRS PG-01 with an MPR CLII nodal slide with my a7r2. I got the version without the leveling base as I thought it would be sturdier although I haven't done side-by-side comparison. The pg-01 runs about $240 and the nodal slide is $140 although you could probably use a third party option for the rail and save significant $$$.

I mostly use this setup for panoramas with the 16-35 f/4 or the 55mm. If I'm going telephoto, I have a canon 70-300L (about 2lbs) that I use just on a leveling base. Although the RRS PG-01 can support that lens, I found the full pano setup not necessary for those focal lengths.

If I'm not concerned with parallax and just want the head to help with the mechanics of shooting, I have a third setup: nodal ninja rd-10 indexed rotator and a tilt head (desmon dmh-01)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 11:20:52 AM by sbay »
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adri

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 08:06:58 AM »

considered a GigaPan?
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Joe Towner

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2018, 06:14:39 PM »

Are you looking for manual or automatic.  Let me tell you that the automatic ones are worth the time, weight and price.  There is no replacement to having those perfectly indexed images especially when stitching.  I've done 'large' images manually, but kick myself for not having purchased an automatic one earlier.

- How big of an image are you trying to create? 8 shots, 40 shots, 100 shots?

Gigapan - http://gigapan.com  First name that comes to mind.  Epic Pro V is a really nice unit I own that has done 4+GP and 360's.  The regular Epic may fit you needs due to weight.  The site is the best resource for sharing gigapixel images - doesn't matter how it was stitched or what head was used.  The gigapan.com site seems to be a CMU hosted/managed thing that still exists, but zero support or coverage if something happens.

Ioptron iPano - https://www.ioptron.com/product-p/3600.htm  Similar price as the Gigapan, but I want to play with it just because it has wifi and the ability to be controlled by an app.  Downside to the Gigapan Epic Pro V is the UI is very Arduino, and if I want to make changes it's not easy.

Dr Clauss - https://buy.dr-clauss.de/en/40-panoramic-head  German engineering meets photography - with models designed to handle super telephoto Canon lenses.

Syrp - https://syrp.co  Their Genie Mini's are great single axis heads - and much cheaper than most other options.  They have a 2 axis kit that takes 2 mini's and a pair of brackets to make a usable rig.  But at over a year, they haven't released the software update that allows for multi row panoramas, so you end up doing a panorama, switching modes to adjust the tilt, then do another row of the panorama, repeat.

Toss in using a software package like Kolor Autopano Giga and you can make some amazing things - http://gigapan.com/gigapans/211066
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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 07:28:59 PM »

The PH-720B works quite well for my purposes, here is my first multi-row pano consisting of 3 rows of 7 stitched with PTGui 11.6.
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NancyP

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 11:39:44 AM »

Lovely. Done on a perfectly still day, I assume.
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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2018, 03:09:05 PM »

Thank-you Nancy, I don't recall but it must have been calm, although I have to give credit to PTGui for stitching them so well. I did have to add some control points and if you look closely there are some errors in the trees that I didn't clean up.
Dave
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David Good

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2018, 11:17:28 AM »

And one more, this time a single-row pano shot from the dock. It consists of 19 images taken at 15 degrees increments (@ 280 deg) for those interested.

Dave
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NancyP

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2018, 11:23:30 AM »

OK now, David, you have given me a case of "wish I were there".  :)
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Chris Kern

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Re: Cheapish Multi-row Panoramic Head recommendations
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2018, 02:55:20 PM »

This is slightly off-topic, but reading this thread prompts me to ask a question that I've been wondering about for some time.

I have limited experience making panos, and have always shot them hand-held.  Perhaps I'm missing something, but when you're shooting subjects at effective infinity with no near objects to induce parallax errors, is there really any reason to use a pano head?  Does making multi-row panos require one?  (I've never tried.)

I've attached downsampled copies of two images, both stiched in Lightroom from raw files.  The first is a single-row composite of eight shots with final (cropped) pixel dimensions of 7692x3405.  The second is a single-row composite of eleven shots with final pixel dimensions of 22888x3767.

I'm unable to find any stitching errors in either of these when looking at them 1:1.  If I've missed any, they must be fairly subtle.  And I suspect they would be fixable with PTGui or similar application software.

Now I realize that as panos go these aren't gigantic images, but I don't see why the process wouldn't scale well, unless there is a particular issue involving multi-row stitches that I'm not familiar with.

I've considered buying a pano head for occasional use when I want to shoot a subject where there would be noticeable parallax and I don't mind carrying a tripod, but for casual use making pictures similar to the two I've attached, would I really be gaining anything?
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