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Old June 21st, 2006, 07:48 PM   #1
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Panoramic Tripod Head

Hello everybody,

I was looking around on BH Photo&Video, and came across a tripod accessory that I had never seen before. It was a "Panoramic Tripod Head". What I am wondering is if anyone has experience with these, and if so, what do they do? The object was a tubular shape, and you put it on the tripod underneath the fluid head. Are these just for photography? I'll give you an example of the product: (from B&H)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

It's called a "Novoflex Universal Panorama Plate"

THanks for any help,

Clint Grant
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Old June 21st, 2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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They're used to shoot.... panoramic photos! :-) Seriously, the idea is that you put your still camera on this gizmo then shoot a series of overlapping images which you stitch together later in photoshop or other applications. They're calibrated in degrees so you can make consistent overlaps.

Panoramas are a lot of fun - I've played with them a lot myself. You don't even need one of these heads - a regular tripod will do, or you can even shoot handheld stills if you plan a little.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 03:35 AM   #3
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Hi Clint - We used to work with pano and virtual tour shots a great deal - from revloving models, car interiors and hotel/house interors etc etc... Back then (6 - 8 years ago) we used the more complex Manfrotto unit and Apple Studio Pro software and others for stitching - we would add hot spots so you could go through an open door in the photograph taking you to another room (virtual tour), add floor plans/maps, music and sound effects. Like Boyd said, with today's software, you can now do this with a normal tripod or even hand held if your careful. You can see some examples of pano shots on our website under Photography and QTVR. I say we used to... we still do them, just not as many, as with many things - website companies and estate agents and the like offer these services cheap and do it themselves, the quality is often poor as they are not professional photographers and they have no understanding of lighting. While QTVRs still have uses, video will begin to take over as bandwidth increases.

Another area overlaped stitched shots are very useful, is when you want to create a photograhic image that is otherwise impossible. We use this type of imagery in Showhouses when we can't get the angle or perspective regardless of what lens is used... so we will stitch/composite a number of shots together. Client always looks amazed when they see the finished shots.

Regards: Stu...
www.studioscotland.co.uk
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 07:48 AM   #4
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Here's a cool example of Quicktime VR used for a panorama. I'm not sure how this was created, but I suspect it involved more than just using a simple panorama head :-)

http://www.panoramas.dk/new-year-2006/times-square.html

Lots of other impressive photos on that same site.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Here's a cool example of Quicktime VR used for a panorama. I'm not sure how this was created, but I suspect it involved more than just using a simple panorama head :-)

http://www.panoramas.dk/new-year-2006/times-square.html

Lots of other impressive photos on that same site.

That Times Square QTVR is a spherical or cubic QTVR, that is..you can look straight up and straight down. The old qtvr is basically one row.

I'm starting to get into this hobby and I'm shooting about 4 to 6 photos with a fisheye lens handheld and using PTMac[which is a nice front end to the complex Panorama Tools] to stitch the photos together and to generate the final panorama. [Of course, best results are from using a tripod and qtvr head.]

Check out:

http://www.kekus.com/

It's interesting that an immersive photo does some things that video cannot do.

It really gives the viewer a good idea of a space and the viewer decides where they want to look.

With video--the videographer decides what the viewer sees.

Hey, I just described interactivity!
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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I see, thank you for the input everyone. I just wasn't sure if they coudl be used for video or not (thought maybe it would restrict the head's ability to pan, so the panning would be smoother??) and now I understand that it is primarily for photography. Yes, panoramas are quite interesting. Thanks,

Clint Grant
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 03:36 PM   #7
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unfortunately this is only a part of the necessary stuff to make panoramic pictures and at that price you can get the full gear here
http://www.nodalninja.com/
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Old June 24th, 2006, 09:46 PM   #8
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Zoom in and out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Here's a cool example of Quicktime VR used for a panorama. I'm not sure how this was created, but I suspect it involved more than just using a simple panorama head :-)

http://www.panoramas.dk/new-year-2006/times-square.html
You can zoom in and out (on the PC, it's <Shift> and <Ctrl>) to examine any items of interest up close, like the Steadicam/camera unit or uh...Dick Clark.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #9
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Coming late to this but it's a fun subject...

[You can zoom in and out (on the PC, it's <Shift> and <Ctrl>)]

And on the Mac it's... <Shift> and <Ctrl> !

QTVR's are very cool and the New Year's example above is a nice Cubic. How miserable must be that one downhearted production assistant?

Spherical involves two hemispheres, like iPix's format. (Terrible business model, that.) The New Year's piece would require, let's see, 12 lower, 12 middle, and 12 top row, plus zenith and nadir shots, to complete the kit.

Then you need something like RealViz Stitcher Express or Pro-- both excellent, Google 'em -- to put it together. I've done plenty of Panos, I'm tryng to perfect the Cubic-- without expensive equipment, and it's a bear. Level tripod is utterly critical.

- Loren
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