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Panorama Strategies

Chris_L Plus
4 4.6k United Kingdom
9 Jan 2017 7:41PM
Have been experimenting with more ambitious panoramas.

Once I've set focus and exposure it's a bit of a chore to then take dozens of carefully overlapping images. Especially for 360 x 180 photosphere type panoramas which is what I want to try.

I've budgeted about 100 to help. I might spend more but only if I add a lens as it will get more use aside from panos.

To help with rotation many pano shooters swear by the Nodal Ninja RD 16 - but it's expensive at 180. I've ordered one of these instead - Poor Man's Nodal Ninja Blush

I'm stuck now on what kind of L bracket / gimbal to buy to go with that.

Am I right in thinking I need a rail in order to keep the lens' "eye" over the nodal point to avoid parallax issues. May I get away with a long Arca Swiss Type plate, which I own already?

Then if I shoot portrait, rotate left-to-right 360 degrees using the rotator and the eye is over the centre-point thanks to the long Arca Swiss Type plate I might be able to get 180 degrees (ground to sky) without moving the camera but with careful lens choice?

What I'm forgetting though is the tripod mount is on the bottom of the camera, not the side, so an L-bracket is a must anyway?

Which one though? Need something specifically aimed at panorama togs, that lets you lock the camera, in portrait mode, at an angle?

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StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
9 Jan 2017 8:50PM
I was reading an article by a very highly respected photographer, George Lepp, who writes a monthly article for the USA magazine "Outdoor Photographer," which I've been subscribing to for years; he was discussing this little gadget, The Gigapan. A bit more expensive, but you might want to look at it if you go deeper into panoramas. Check out George's website for far more info on panoramas, including the equipment you mentioned above.
Chris_L Plus
4 4.6k United Kingdom
9 Jan 2017 10:05PM
I looked at the GigaPan but couldn't justify the massive asking price that I saw, they were 900 UKP. I see from your link that there are some cheaper models, thanks for the suggestions. Will certainly look at his website as well.

I've been looking at brackets tonight specifically for panoramas. This won't break the bank but is it going to be worth waiting a month for....
Philh04 Plus
12 1.7k United Kingdom
10 Jan 2017 9:25AM
I think I am right in that you are using a Sony A7 camera... This may do the trick and may allow enough movement to set your nodal point over the centre...

Philh04 Plus
12 1.7k United Kingdom
10 Jan 2017 11:22AM
What was I thinking... the movement will be side to side so yes you could use your long Arca plate... you of course need a tripod a tripod thread on the side as well as the bottom, many of the L plates I have looked at seem to only have Arca style mounts...
sausage Plus
13 512 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2017 12:54PM
I have the Manfrotto 303 SPH panoramic head which I've had for years. Still pretty expensive but worth it.
You won't need to buy anything else to get panoramas (other than a good tripod)
Once you set it up with the camera and get it level it will give you great pano's even in a room and 360 degrees. I use a 24mm lens (24-70 actually)
It has indentations on the spin so you don't need to keep looking through the viewfinder to get the overlap.

But it you are only doing landscapes at a distance then you don't really need the nodal point setup. But which you will need if you do close ups, in a forest for instance.
Chris_L Plus
4 4.6k United Kingdom
10 Jan 2017 2:11PM
Phil, thanks for that, not sure it's a good investment. I have 3 Sony bodies now. A7S II, A7R II and A6300. I no longer have my original A7R. I'd rather buy something I can use with all three. Sausage, I might try to get one of those second-hand. Some places are charging 500 quid for them new. Some of the Gigapan models, which fully automate the panorama, are cheaper than that Manfrotto head Sad

StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
11 Jan 2017 8:58PM
One thing you can be certain of Chris, if George Lepp could have found anything better, he would have it; I've been following his articles and work for over 13 years, and he does outstanding panoramas.

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