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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 28th April 2011
Internaut Internaut is offline
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Help Me Understand Tripods

Specifically, what kind of kit I would need to do stitched panoramas easily. I'll start by explaining where I'm coming from here....... At the moment, I have a cheapy/consumery Manfrotto tripod that's serviced its purpose fairly well over the years. There are a couple of issues with it though:

- It doesn't (I think) have a separate head thingy (though it does have a bit that detaches and fits to the bottom of the camera)

- It has a built in spirit level, but the method of fixing the position of the head (looks like a trigger) usually ends up with the head not being level at all

- It's not strong enough to hold my E-30 and Leica 14-50.

Now, I'm looking at buying a new tripod (and head) and I'm trying to understand what I need to buy. Ideally (I think for Panoramas), I need something that I can first get level on one axis, and lock into place, and then the other axis. Am I thinking straight here? What would you recommend? I have a budget in the ballpark of 200 to 250 though as I get older, I get meaner, so less is always nice .
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Old 28th April 2011
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andym andym is offline
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Re: Help Me Understand Tripods

I'm going to controversial here,I do my panos handheld.As long as you get a good overlap they seem to work just fine.

This is from the other week in the Cotswolds.



I supose if you were doing thing with lots of frames you would have to use a tripod.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 28th April 2011
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Re: Help Me Understand Tripods

PSE9 will sort out all kinds of paralax errors with it's panaramic stitch for as many frames taken as you like. So unless your shooting long exposures there's really no need.
If you are doing night scenes or manually aligning shots, steer clear of ball or pistol grip heads, you'll want to control each axis seperately.
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Old 28th April 2011
jamie allan jamie allan is offline
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Re: Help Me Understand Tripods

Like Andy I've so far only done panoramas hand held. I've got Photoshop CS3 and it does a good job of stitching them together as long as I'm reasonably stable and level in my panning.
I did buy a tripod recently from Calumet as it was on sale and complete with head a 28mm leg tripod cost 49
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Old 28th April 2011
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Re: Help Me Understand Tripods

Hand held and Microsoft ICE... dont need to spend on another tripod...unless you really want one... panoramic heads properly set up tough are useful for panos with foreground objects
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Old 29th April 2011
BobBilsland BobBilsland is offline
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Re: Help Me Understand Tripods

The choice on what you buy depends on how serious you are with wanting to shoot panoramas. If you are just looking to shoot wide panoramic views, outside with nothing too close to the lens then a good tripod with a 3 axis head will be enough. Once things get far away from the lens parallax issues aren't a problem.

Now if your interested in shooting indoors or with things closer to the lens then parallax issues are a problem. You need to get a panoramic head to correctly hold and rotate the camera around the lenes entrance pupil. Something like a Nodal Ninja 3 head (http://www.red-door.co.uk/pages/prod...-head-nn3.html) should take the weight of camera and lens combination without problem. Of course you would need to then buy a good stable tripod as well, something that won't flex and bend as you rotate the camera round.

Now when it come to putting your photos together you could try Hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/). It's free and specifically written for the task. The other automatic stitching software is fine for most tasks, but when you need to tweak things they can be limiting.

Hope this helps,

Bob.
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Old 1st May 2011
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Re: Help Me Understand Tripods

Thanks for all the replies. One thing became clear from my searching...... Proper panoramic heads are pricey beasts so a new tripod and three axis head seem to be the way to go (and maybe an update of my copy of PSE to the latest version).
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