Ball head pano question

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by cyclone, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. cyclone

    cyclone Guest

    This is probably a silly question but I have never used a ball head and
    every shop I've been to that stocks bogen tripods only had the 141RC 3 way

    The Manfrotto 486RC2 ball head
    ( ) has
    a "single ratchet locking knob for 360° pan and a double groove for +90°-90°
    tilt movements."

    So if you want to do a pano and there is only one knob, once you loosen the
    ball how can you ensure you just pan without tilting it?

    cyclone, Jul 5, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. cyclone Guest

    Ball heads are not good for panos, it's a simple as that IMO.

    That's not to say that it can't be done, as software like PTAssembler will
    try and morph it back together if things get a little wacko.

    My ball head also has a level bubble, so when it's been the only head with
    me (I often leave the one between my ears at home also) I have managed a
    "reasonable" series of images by realigning the bubble with each move.... it
    tales extra time though and if shooting a fading sunset it becomes a real

    Now I have a ball on one tripod, a 3 way on the other and my older spare 3
    way in the boot for those times I only have the ball head with me and decide
    to do a pano.


, Jul 5, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. cyclone

    [BnH] Guest

    2nd what Russell post.

    Ball head is not a pano head. Your 3 way head is the best for pano :)
    But if you want, try looking around for a Giottos 1000. I had one similar
    til my friend claim it his :p

    [BnH], Jul 5, 2005
  4. cyclone

    Nikonf4 Guest

    There are ballheads you can use for panoramas and Manfrotto make them, but
    that is not one of them. As soon as you loosen the tension you will get a
    three axis movement.

    If you want the ballhead but with Pano you need the 468 Hydrostatic range
    starting at over $500. If you want just a pano head then I think the
    cheapest is the 300N. Abut $300 usually. They also have something called a
    Basic Panoramic Head Adapter 627. Pretty simple thing that fits any tripod
    and provides you with graduation scales and 'clicks'. I have a similar thing
    made by Minolta.

    Unless you want to spend a lot of money the easiest way is just to use the
    three way head. You might also think about buying one of those spirit levels
    that fit into the hotshoe. Hama make a double level for about $70.
    Nikonf4, Jul 5, 2005
  5. cyclone

    petal666 Guest

    That's a bit of a generalisation. Any ball head with a panning base
    works just as well as any 3 way. My markins M10 works a treat. However,
    neither the ball head or the 3 way is going to pivot the camera around
    the lens nodal point without a pano rail. If you want to do it properly
    you need a pano rail.
    petal666, Jul 5, 2005
  6. cyclone Guest

    Is the panning base built in or is that an add-on?
    That's a bit of a generalisation. Many long lenses with their own mount
    will pivot around the nodal. .....LOL just kidd'n :)

    You are correct that nodal rotation is important. I did not bother shelling
    out the bucks for the trick rail, instead I made a simple bracket that
    offsets the camera on the QR plate.

    OT: Many "simple" solutions work just as well as the expensive gear, like
    the 20c piece of tracing paper that when rolled into a tube and placed on my
    flash gives the same results as the latest Light Sphere gadget.
, Jul 5, 2005
  7. cyclone

    Henrik Tived Guest

    Hi Tony,

    First off, I like ball heads a lot, but not for pano, for my pano head I
    bought a Manfrotto 410 and add a arca swiss clamp on it to fit my
    really right pano head look under pano.

    You can get by with a lot less, but that is a choice you make! I made mine

    I found that using a ball head was too hard to level, even with a bubble on
    top. actually in this whole setup there are several level bubbles, I can
    never get them all level :) could of course just be me :) not having
    enough to drink first!

    so I went and got the manfrotto 410, which is a geared head, apparently the
    405 is suppose to be better, but at a cost, any how, the 410 is much easier
    to setup level, whereas the ball head, you really never know when it is
    truly level, if you are using its panning base (should your have that!)

    anyway, bla bla.....i was going to rant a whole lot but listen, go to the
    above link they have some awesome stuff and if you are serious about panos'
    you will get a 6x17 anyway :), or you get a good pano setup!


    some useless links :)

    and probably the best commercial software for stitching though if you have the time and
    patient, then panotools is incredible

    good luck
    Henrik Tived, Jul 5, 2005
  8. cyclone

    petal666 Guest

    petal666, Jul 5, 2005
  9. cyclone

    Rob Guest

    I have a Manfrotto #168 ball head. This is a two locking head - one for
    the ball and the other for the base rotation. You don't have to use the
    base lock to turn the camera around. Not sure if this is still made!

    The other bit to use for pans is Hama 2 Bubble Spirit Level
    Made to fit into the accessory hot shoe on your camera, this two-bubble
    level in a transparent housing allows for proper positioning of your
    camera both horizontally and vertically. This is an ideal tool when
    shooting landscapes and architecture, especially with wide-angle lenses.
    Rob, Jul 5, 2005
  10. cyclone

    cyclone Guest

    Thanks for all the useful replies guys...

    Rob, Bogen says the 486 head I asked about is a replacement for the 168 but
    I assume it is a different 168 to yours since it is described as having a
    single lever lock as well) :-

    Vanbar still list a 168..

    I am just looking for a reasonabe all purpose set up that won't weigh a ton
    and won't break the bank (I'm no pro :)

    I may end up getting a set of 190 legs, both the 141RC 3 way and the 486
    ball and a monopod...that should cover all the bases..(well my bases anyway)

    I'm travelling to the south island of NZ in a month and thought there might
    be the odd opportunity or two for some scenic panos :) but didn't want to
    carry a more bulky 3 way head if I could get away with a compact ball
    head...but I guess you can't always get what you want.

    Thanks again.
    cyclone, Jul 5, 2005
  11. cyclone

    Rob Guest

    I also have a 190 and with a 3 way head - the 3 way head is a pain to
    travel with and a ball is much preferred option.

    The larger tripod is the 055 with the 168 head. This is too heavy and
    bulky for travel.

    Still think that the 190 with a ball head the required size is a good
    option with like I did mention a spirit level. Surely your not going to
    take that many pans on your travels.

    Even when doing pans and rotate the camera, unless you set up the tripod
    exactly level, you still have to adjust the camera level.

    BTW the #168 is too big for the 190 tripod.

    Rob, Jul 6, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.