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My homemade spherical panoramic head design (w/ pics)

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Thread started 17 Apr 2009 (Friday) 13:35   
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scot079
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Where do I buy one of these :lol:

Great work!

Post #46, Apr 21, 2009 18:59:25


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jreimer19
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You had said that you added a bubble level to it where did you insert it don't see it in pictures.

Post #47, Apr 21, 2009 21:37:21 as a reply to scot079's post 2 hours earlier.




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5teve
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jreimer19 wrote in post #7778419external link
You had said that you added a bubble level to it where did you insert it don't see it in pictures.

The bubble level is round and looks like a bulls eye (its actually called a bulls eye level). You can see it in the pictures. It is in the middle of the horizontal arm directly over where the arm rotates.

Post #48, Apr 21, 2009 21:45:52


5D2 | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 100-400 f/4-5.6 L | 50 f/1.4 | 580EXII | 2x 430EXII | S95

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jreimer19
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Sorry Steve I just found out when lookingat the documents again.

Thanks Again

Post #49, Apr 22, 2009 07:27:05 as a reply to 5teve's post 9 hours earlier.




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[CaliGirl]
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Really impressive. Way to take an idea (even if just improving on another) and see it to the end....

Post #50, Apr 23, 2009 00:15:22


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tomd
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how did you ease the edges so smooth and consistently?

Very nice work!

Post #51, Apr 23, 2009 08:47:55


.
=======>>> play W.A.I.N. :D

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5teve
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tomd wrote in post #7787697external link
how did you ease the edges so smooth and consistently?

Very nice work!

I rough cut the edges round corners using a hack saw, and then just used a file to round them over. I placed the file on my jig at a 90 degree angle and then slid my part against the file to round the corner. This setup guaranteed that my edges would be at 90 degrees. I matched the corner radius to be the same as the base. It actually did not turn out to be as difficult as I thought it would be.

Post #52, Apr 23, 2009 10:45:13


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sparkin
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5teve wrote in post #7768585external link
Here is a picture of the finished head. So far I've only taken a quick 360x180 panoramic shot of my living room, and the head seems to work exactly as expected. No stitching errors :).

Nice work 5teve, but this looks a *whole* lot like a copy of a device I made a few years ago, especially the rotator, so your use of the words "my design" is inappropriate - there's not much original work there - but the detents have potential. Excellent craftsmanship aside, well, you know the old saying ? ... Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Here's a picture of the one I made a few years ago:

IMAGE: http://xray.uky.edu/people/parkin/panohead/IMG_5351.jpg


Just for the record (for everyone else), here's the url of my build (below). The description has been up several years, just Google "homemade panoramic head" and click "I'm feeling lucky".

http://xray.uky.edu ...in/panohead/panohea​d.htmlexternal link

Cheers, Sean

Dr. Sean Parkin
Director, X-Ray Laboratory
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY, 40502.

Post #53, Apr 27, 2009 21:37:26




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5teve
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Sean, I've gone through and edited my previous posts to give you credit where due. You definitely have a great deal of information on your site.

Post #54, Apr 27, 2009 22:02:56


5D2 | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 100-400 f/4-5.6 L | 50 f/1.4 | 580EXII | 2x 430EXII | S95

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fitzhughsmith
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Great design, I'm going to try to build one using the 8020.net aluuminum tslot stuff. Luckily McMaster Carr is only about 10 miles from me and I use it like my local Home Depot.

Post #55, Apr 28, 2009 07:40:43


Mark III, 5D, 70-200 f2.8 IS

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sparkin
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5teve wrote in post #7816183external link
Sean, I did come across your site when I was researching my design and definitely used some of the ideas from your site for my inspiration. Thanks for all the great information on your site as well.

Yes, I could tell ;)

I have since made a second one, smaller and much lighter (about 1 pound - the bulkiest part is the Manfrotto quick release). This new one is fully adjustable for different lenses/cameras, and collapses down easily and reproducibly. It has a rotation mechanism that fits completely within the centre column of my backpacking tripod (a small Manfrotto). This is similar in principle, but very different in design, to Michel Thoby's slim rotator (http://michel.thoby.fr​ee.fr/Nadir/Slim/Slim_​rotator.htmlexternal link). This means that there is very little at all on the nadir of a full 360° pano.

Here are a few pictures:

IMAGE: http://xray.uky.edu/people/parkin/panohead_mk2/panohead_2_1.jpg
IMAGE: http://xray.uky.edu/people/parkin/panohead_mk2/panohead_2_2.jpg
IMAGE: http://xray.uky.edu/people/parkin/panohead_mk2/panohead_2_3.jpg

Again, this was largely made with hand tools, apart from a drill press and a small bench sander. Most of it is aluminium, but the stops on the horizontal base and the camera arm are made from delrin plastic cut with a hole saw. I also made some washers and gaskets from oak veneer. A colleague at work black anodized it for me, so it looks pretty. I've since added a graduated collar for reproducible rotations. It also works well on top of a monopod. It looks to be a bit overpowered by the quick release, but the convenience of this fixture can't be overstated, and its mating plate is permanently on my camera anyway.

Here's a few panoramas taken with this Mk2 head:

http://xray.uky.edu ...oyasan_Japan/welcom​e.htmlexternal link

http://xray.uky.edu ...as/Ice_storm/welcom​e.htmlexternal link

Cheers, Sean

Post #56, Apr 28, 2009 07:45:57




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5teve
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Sean, that is an awesome second design! I now have some inspiration to work on a second revision as well :). I tried to anodize mine in black, but didn't have good luck with the color. I think next time I'll purchase some good dyes to use and try that. How thick is the aluminum you used? It looks to be less than 3/8" to me. Do you have any closeup shots of how you secure the adjustable washers? Also, how did you end up cutting the slot?

Post #57, Apr 28, 2009 10:32:40


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sparkin
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5teve wrote in post #7818933external link
Sean, that is an awesome second design! I now have some inspiration to work on a second revision as well :). I tried to anodize mine in black, but didn't have good luck with the color. I think next time I'll purchase some good dyes to use and try that. How thick is the aluminum you used? It looks to be less than 3/8" to me. Do you have any closeup shots of how you secure the adjustable washers? Also, how did you end up cutting the slot?

The aluminium (apologies for the British spelling, but I'm British) is 0.25" thick. This gives it a barely perceptible flex (my original is essentially flex free), but in practice it makes hardly any difference.

To cut the slots I used a scroll saw (so I should have added that to the list of non-hand tools) and files. I made it about 18 months ago, and the slot cutting had slipped my mind. The slot on the camera arm is a little more complicated, as it is not just one piece of 0.25" aluminium. It is two pieces of 0.125" bolted together, and one has a wider slot. I did this to allow the panhead bolt that fastens the quick release base to lie flush with the surface so that it would not get in the way as the elbow joint moves. A proper machinist could easily cut this arm from a single piece of 0.25" thick metal.

The rotation mechanism for this one is beautifully smooth. I found that in order to forgo the normal-style rotation mechanism, which in my original head was 2.5" in diameter, then to achieve truly smooth rotation the mechanism needs to be quite long. This has to do with the maximum allowable angular deviation. That is why I built it into the centre column, as I didn't want it to become unwieldy. It is difficult to describe without pictures, but basically there's a single threaded rotating rod that runs the length of the centre column with a series of bearings, belleville washers and delrin bushings. Actually, it is really half the length of the centre column, because I chopped the centre column in half so that I would also have a half-height centre column with the integrated ball head (that came with the tripod).

I guess it is time to dismantle it, photograph the parts and do a proper write-up for this one. Maybe I'll do this soon now that the semester here is about over.

Cheers, Sean

Post #58, Apr 28, 2009 12:59:48




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Freff
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5teve, great job.

Can you show a close up of the indexing pin and how you constructed it, or was it bought. Also, any info on how you anodized the parts and what's involved. Many thanks.

Post #59, Apr 30, 2009 05:34:55 as a reply to sparkin's post 1 day earlier.


Tony

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5teve
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Freff wrote in post #7830640external link
5teve, great job.

Can you show a close up of the indexing pin and how you constructed it, or was it bought. Also, any info on how you anodized the parts and what's involved. Many thanks.

The indexing pin itself I bought from McMaster-Carr. It is actually a small ball nose spring. Here is a picture from that site:

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
MIME changed to 'text/html' | Content warning: script


You can find pretty good resources for anodizing aluminum by searching on Google, but the general process is this:

1. Clean aluminum well (use Degreaser, and hot soap and water).
2. De-oxidize by dipping in strong base (sodium hydroxide or trisodium phosphate (TSP).
3. Anodize - attach 12v positive lead to part and negative lead to piece of aluminum foil dipped in a 25% sulfuric acid mix.
4. Dye parts by placing in solution of heated dye (but not too hot)
5. Seal parts by placing in boiling water.

I hope this helps.

Post #60, Apr 30, 2009 09:36:52


5D2 | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 100-400 f/4-5.6 L | 50 f/1.4 | 580EXII | 2x 430EXII | S95

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