Panoramic head

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by miha, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Hi, friends
    So far I am using a panoramic head, consisting of the following Manfrotto items:
    338 Leveling Base
    300N Pan Rotating Unit
    454 Micro Positioning Plate
    357 Sliding Plate Adaptor (with plate)
    323 Rectangular Plate Adaptor
    341 Junior Elbow Bracket

    I put the gear together using items which I also use for other purposes. It was Ok for single file panoramas. Now I want to do multiple rows & sphericalapnos also.

    My question: what do I need to fix the 303 SPHUK (upgrade kit) to my 300 N Unit?
    Will this kit fit to the middle screw of the 303 N?
    Do I need the 357 Adaptor to fix the horisontal (lower) bar?
    Or - do I need the 577 Adaptor (as for the 501 plate)to fix the horisontal (lower) bar?

    Any help will be much appreciated, since I have no chance to test in a shop nearby.
    Searching the web is giving me different pictures of the kit - some with the lower bar(plate)adaptor and some without it. even the Manfrotto materoial /website, cataloques have different pictures in them.

    Best regards, Miha.
  2. Another view
  3. Hi Miha,

    Short answer: No idea, sorry.

    Longer answer: How much have you spent on this so far? How much is it carrying? Would it be worth looking into something like this instead, if it saves you effort? (I've never tried one, I've no idea how stable they are, but they're much cheaper than I expected.)

    Good luck.
  4. You are a lot farther into this than anyone else I have ever seen, so let us know how it turns out.
    All I did was buy one of these:

    Nikon Panorama Head
    And also a Nikkor PC lens

  5. @JDM:
    I just received the answer from the Manfrotto technical team. They wrote it is possible to use the Upgrade kit, since the horizontal (lower) sliding plate will fit in the 357 Sliding Plate Adaptor. So I can save a lot of money while maintaing the kit I am used to use.
    Thanks for the good wishes. I am not inclined to change the type (or the manufacturer) of the panoramic gear. I am used to my equipment, I have already done the necessary work finding the nodal point so with the Manfrotto kit I expect the learning time to be the shortest possible. I especially like the clic stops of the Pan Rotating Unit and the way the parts fit together. I also like the massive construction of the parts.
    Best regards, Miha.
  6. Below is one of my older stiched panoramic pictures I made using the shown gear. I must admit that lately I was drifting into other photographic fields (wildlife and macro) but to gain new experiences I'm into panoramic again.
    The picture is much reduced but still a lot wider as the allowed 600 pixels. So it will apear only as a link.
    Hope you'll like it.
    Regards, Miha.
  7. Nice image,
    good to hear how it turned out. Thanks.
  8. Miha - glad to hear it's all solid. While I've never actually seen the motorized head I pointed you at, I doubt it's all that rigid with large gear, so I'm certainly not going to dispute your choice! I'm glad you found a solution - best of luck with it!
  9. Except for the 338, looking at that rig I'm glad I went with a different panoramic solution, but if it works for you that's great.
  10. What are you taking panorama's of?
    Years ago I read an article on using software (RealViz Unlimited) to create panoramas. The article mentioned panorama heads so I rushed out and bought pretty much the same set you have.
    Nearly 99% of the panorama's that I shoot are outdoor - quite a distance away
    . You can see examples at :
    After years of doing this - here's what I've learned and my advice.
    1. The panohead is big, very heavy and a pain to lug around
    2. Calibrating it is simple, but if you're using it with a zoom lens, depending on the lens you might have to calibrate it for various focal lenghts
    3. If you are shooting indoor panoramas in tight spaces - they are very useful
    4. If you are shooting outdoor - distant panoramas, what I found is that they are really not necessary. Many of the panoramas I've shot are handheld, using the camera's viewfinder grid to keep things lined up.
    5. Along the way, Photoshop stitching capabilities have improved greatly. Are very good at ghost removal.
    6. I rarely need external software, unless it's a giga panorama made up of 100's of photos. Photoshop chokes on those.
    7. Bottom line, I don't take my pano head out much at all any more - I'm thinking about selling it.
    Here's an example of a handheld panorama taken from a boat out in Lake Superior :
    Here's an example of a handeld panaorama taken at a subway station:
    Another handheld panorama taken from a boat in Sydney Harbor :
    A handheld panorama taken from a helicopter :
    This one was taking from the Sky Tower in Auckland - I took one photo out each window around the entire circumference of the observation deck.

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