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Will it work with a tilt/shift?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by SqueamishOssifrage, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Stitching with T/S lenses is always problematic. it is far easier with a normal lens, however there is nothing stopping you using one, set with everything to zero.
    The picture shown below was taken hand held in a very small court yard with my back to a wall, I could get neither the full height not width in a single shot, so I took four shots , two high and two wide and stitched them with my usual program. I use PTAssembler but just about any pan program will cope with a simple two row pan.
    Un like trying to stitck a set of T/S images, a pan program assembles the images on the surface of a sphere. but outputs them to what ever projection that you choose. during this process you can correct for the position of the horizon and straighten the image, as in my example.

    Corner house 6.JPG
    daft_biker likes this.
  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Actually levelling a tripod with the legs is easy as sin. here is a simple method to do it.
    1] shorten all legs by a couple of inches or so.
    2] look at bubble and tip the tripod on two of the legs to level the bubble as best as you can.
    3] let out the lifted leg to the ground and lock it.
    4] Repeat the operation with the second pair of legs, you are now almost certainly level
    5] if not repeat for the the last pair of legs ( it is rare that I need to do that)

    Lever lock legs are easier and quicker to set than ones with twist locks.

    I have a Nodal Ninja Leveller but never use it, as I find levelling the legs far quicker and equally accurate.

    The accuracy of the level is only important in as much as it saves cropping chunks out of the image if you have to level the horizon.
    Out of level images stitch equally well. in fact when doing 360x180 VR images it makes no difference to the stitcher at all, and you can place the horizontal and center direction anywhere you like.
    The biggest problem when stitching, especially hand helds, is parallax, this can be avoided to a large extent by taking extra images in the direction of closer objects so that stitching lines do not have to fall through those areas.
  3. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    For anyone who's really keen on panoramas and similar, LCE are (as at 10:50am) offering a used GigaPan Epic Pro. It's a bit pricey for me as I already have too many tripod-style gadgets.
    Terrywoodenpic likes this.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    There are rather too many automated pieces of Pan kit made for the number of users out there. Giga pans are amazing to look at, but with a very limited actual use.
    But the resultant giant wall sixed images can be viewed at extremes close up and still show fine detail.
    Panoramic Photography seems to have reach its saturation point and even those doing it for Google seem to have slowed down or lost interest.
    It is perhaps an excellent time to buy pan kit though, as the competition for the relatively few buyers is driving prices down. and second hand kit is only a fraction of the new price.

    However, and as I said before, panoramic photography of all kinds is relatively uninteresting to a majority of photographers, and as witnessed on this and other Forums.

    Just like all other branches of photography, most peoples domestic needs are cover by sweep pans made on their smart phones.

    That LCE price is about 30% of the new price.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  5. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Bowl heads can be good for this. A bit big sometimes as the video tripods are bigger, but saves much hair pulling
    Terrywoodenpic likes this.
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Video style bowl heads are excellent, however they usually cover only a few degrees, so you still have to get the legs reasonably right. The real video ones rarely allow a centered column vertical adjustment at all. Adjusting legs on the go, is an art well worth acquiring, and should not need any fiddling or thinking about.
  7. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Yes - a bowl head was my first purchase for doing panoramas back in the film days, but I found it very hard to use, as it was usually jamming and moving very jerkily. With my various film cameras it was fine, but once I went FF DSLR with VG and modern fast lenses*, the problems started.

    * My original Minolta 50mm f:1.4 weighed 220gms, the current Sigma Art is 810gms. :eek:
  8. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I have a UniqBall head; concentric balls, the outer one can be locked level according to its spirit level, then the inner one will only pan and tilt, and can't tip sideways. I’ve never stitched shots together, but with a conventional ball head I used to find keeping the camera from tilting sideways while placing the focal point where I wanted it a real struggle.

  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Yes the Rotation should be at the top of the ball not the bottom, or both.
    I have one of these medium small low profile Chinese ones, that do just that, on the way to me, to use on my Manfrotto 190 xpro L legs.
    by the look of it the ball should lock up solid. with a max load of 24KG it will be more than man enough for my Fujis. any way at the punt it is worth a punt.
    Though I have never seen this one before.
  10. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    That looks a rather different device to the UniqBall heads; without reading the information, it looks as though once the ball is locked, it can rotate but not tilt. I suppose preventing tilt would be an advantage for panoramas (unless you wanted two rows of shots), but I value the UniqBall's two-dimensional movement for lining up my single shots.

  11. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    This what I have now, mounted in a Manfrotto 190CX Pro, which is excellent, fast to use, and never shifts when locked.


    This is what I used to use, which became entirely unsatisfactory with heavier cameras:


    Why I struggle with levelling the tripod itself, is that good technique dictates that when you shorten a tripod's legs, you should always shorten the bottom sections, as they are the flimsiest, and most likely to cause instability. Even the Hunchback of Notre Dame would struggle using @Terrywoodenpic 's method that way - particularly as my tripod is four section!

    Do not try this at home, unless you have a trained medical practitioner on hand. :D
  12. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    It is true that when setting up or shortening a tripod you should use as little as possible of the bottom thin leg sections, and even less of the centre column. However when making minor adjustments to level the head it makes little difference which sections you use .
    On my 055pro B three section tripod All the sections are very substantial and I have. No concern when fine adjusting any of them.
    On my three section 190xpro L the bottom section is only 16 mm dia, so are adjusted to length last when setting to height, so as to use the minimum extension. In this way it makes little difference which sections are used for the final leveling.

    I believe your four section 190cxpro has even thinner bottom section legs which of course should be used only when absolutely necessary, which is one reason that I do not own four section tripods.
    However making minor leveling adjustments to higher sections would make no discernable difference.

    As to needing to be a contortionist, at 85 I am still able to make the necessary adjustments with a straight back. And have been able to do so all my professional Life.

    When using a Nodal ninja panoramic head, I fix it directly to the legs for maximum stability. So all levelling is done with the legs. This is considered best practice by a majority of professional panographers.

  13. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    You are quite correct - the bottom sections are pretty thin, but I have found that they do not add to instability provided they are always precisely the same length and at the same angle to the tripod centre column. This means it is best, or at least easiest, to have them fully extended, so your method of adjusting the top sections does make sense - except, of course, when any major length change significantly changes one leg angle.

    My reasons for four section tripods is simple - travel. The 190 fits in a standard 26 inch suitcase with head attached, and hand baggage with head removed. The small one - the predecessor of the Manfrotto BeFree series - fits in hand baggage with the head fitted - just as well, as it's not removable!

    As for a panoramic head, I built my own, custom fitted to my two Alpha 850s. It serves three purposes; panorama nodal adjustment in portrait or landscape orientation, simple centre-line portrait bracket for non-pano shots, and rack adjustment for stacking macro in portrait or landscape, all quickly changeable with QR mounts and plates. All a bit Heath-Robinson, but as solid as Cheop's tomb!
    Terrywoodenpic likes this.
  14. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    This is one area where the Benbo design shines. The bottom sections are wider than the upper sections, which has the added advantage of keeping water out when used in wet environments such as boggy ground.
    Terrywoodenpic and GeoffR like this.
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately one needs a bearer to carry the thing!
  16. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I have a granny shopping trolley for mine.

    My Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 is much more practical, is hand-carried, and gets a lot more use, but the Benbo was great on my visits to WWT Reserves; and where I used a DSLR and an EF 500mm F/4L lens. (I can recommend the 190CXPRO3 carbon fibre tripod - it's stable enough for most of my needs, and has relegated my Benbo(s) to special use only.)
  17. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    My 190XPROL is a very rare beast intended for taller photographers, and is not much shorter than the 055PROB fully extended at a maximum of 62 3/4 (no head)
    and might not suit your criterion, as it has a minimum folded length of 25 1/4 inches with out head and 24 1/4 if you remove the centre column. Though the centre column removes exceedingly easily even with head attached.

    I have both a Nodal Ninja lens ring type pan head for doing 360x180 pans with a samyang 7.5 mm fisheye MFT lens converted to FUJI mount, and a NN mk2 for normal lenses.
    Some years ago I custom made a precision wooden pano bracket for my them Canon G3 digital compact. It was small lightweight and worked extremely well, and got me into panography. To day I mostly use no bracket at all for exterior multi row shots, and take them hand held. The shot that I posted earlier in this thread was entirely hand held. However I do find that with 360x180 shots, a proper set up is needed to avoid major stitching complications.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  18. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The basic Benbo is a bit of a beast. There's always the Uni-Loc, which I use when I have to go any distance. All the features of the Benbo and roughly half the weight...

    Uniloc Tripod  GX7 P1140505.JPG
  19. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Isn't the Uni-Loc the "wrestling with an octopus beast" of infamy?
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Yes, but the big Benbo 2 is worse/better depending on your point of view.

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