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Thread: Pano head for MFDB

  1. #1
    buzzski
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    Pano head for MFDB

    I've finally decided to purchase a pano head for interiors & exterior building photography. I've done tests using my 40mm distagon with Aptus 17 back on a standard head to compare Autopano and PTgui. (Autopano seems to work best for me) Anyway, it would seem that I am after a head that will allow me to shoot a bit over 90 degrees l-r and 3 rows top to tail. I've looked at various heads, I'm not bothered about 360 degree stuff or making quick time movies. I simply want as accurate a planar image as I can get without too much hassle on site. I was looking at the Manfrotto 303SPH - anyone have any thoughts on it? The camera will always be mounted flat on it with the back in upright position, and there's a fair weight in my set up, the 40mm alone weighs a ton! If anyone is doing any similar work please guide me. I'm not keen on spending money on something that isn't fit for purpose or is a pain in the neck to use. It would seem that most heads are more akin to 35mm cameras. Please help if you think you can!

  2. #2
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    Re: Pano head for MFDB

    Can't go wrong with the RRS pano kits... you just missed Jack's on the B&S forum but they are top notch. I use mine with MF all the time.

  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Re: Pano head for MFDB

    The head which is consistently recommended (other than the RRS head, which is similar, but generally more pricy), is the Nodal Ninja NN5. The NN3 is probably too weak for MF.

    http://www.nodalninja.com/

    This is the one I plan to buy.
    Carsten - Website

  4. #4
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Pano head for MFDB

    I have used a few of them and IMO the best bang for the buck is the RRS Ultimate-Pro Omni-Pivot package. It's rigid enough for MF, easily portable, fast to assemble and of course the pieces are cross-compatible with all the other RRS bits, and can be assembled in other configurations allowing you added functionality. For example, you have enough bits in the Ultimate-Pro kit above to make a functional X-Y macro focusing rail, or could use it all by itself on top of a tripod as an emergency head. There are a few other more refined units available, (Novoflex is very nice) but they sell for 2 to 4 times the RRS.

    PS: FWIW the only reason I sold mine is I only do panos for landscape and absolute precision in nodal point is not usually required, and since my Arca Cube tripod head has a panning top and nodal tilts it with a simple sliding rail gets me close enough without having to carry the extra RRS kit.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  5. #5
    carbonmetrictree
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    Re: Pano head for MFDB

    Great post guys. I actually was looking into a few panoramic solutions this week and also found Nodal Ninja and RRS to be my top choices. I just figured out a way to flip my Bogen 410 upside down so that the 360 axis plane is on the top of the head, and can be rotated on a level plane when the X and Y axis' are leveled.

    Any opinions on any particular system that will hold up with an Alpa 12 Max? I would love to do some massive stitching if I could shift with the camera and also shift with the panoramic unit.

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