Were you a Meccano builder as a child? Do you enjoy Chinese wooden block puzzles? Do you like untangling coathangers in the closet? Well have we ever got the
product for you...
It's made by Sunwayfoto - one of the nicer support and clamp makers in the trade. And this time they have gone all out to give you a compact mini panorama head. It is ideal for the smaller DSLR or the mirror-less camera.
The business of panoramas used to be difficult. You had to make 2, 3, or more separate exposures and then print them up, razor the edges, glue them together, and retouch the inevitable flaws with brush and dye. No wonder it was generally reserved for professionals working to big contracts. If you elected to make just one big, wide humongous transparency, you needed a camera that cost a fortune.
Well times is changed, and you can submit separate files to editing programs in your computer, press the go button, and have thee electronics stitch, align, and retouch the whole thing in a matter of seconds. But you still have to give the computer good images to start with, and they need to be as close to the finished thing as possible.
The best bet for this is a rig that lets you turn your camera and lens around on the nodal point of the lens. You can be advised where this is or find it yourself by experiment in the field. It is rarely, if ever, exactly where the tripod socket of the camera or lens is, and if you just twirl the thing around this, you'll get pretty distorted stuff to start with. The computer will make something
out of it but it is likely that it won't be Kodak Colorama quality.
Okay. What you need is a rig that positions the camera and lens properly and then spins in a flat plane under that. That's pretty much what the Sunwayfoto rig does, with enough adjustment along the calibrated slides to take care of any configuration.
Quite frankly, it is the stuff of experimentation and you would be well advised to spend an afternoon with your tripod and the rest of the gear taking shot after shot until you get it right. You'll probably pinch a few fingers in the various angles of this rig, but what's a few blood blisters for the sake of art?