How To Build A Spherical Panoramic (360) Head

With software like PTgui and Adobe’s built in CS6 photomerge stitching of almost any sequence of semi-overlapping photos into a panorama is a no brainer. That goes for hand held, and definitely for tripods. (And even for the iPhone 4S panorama feature)

How To Build A Spherical Panoramic (360) Head

But if you want a precise panorama, a “regular” tripod and head combo is not enough. If you want to get your panorama pieces perfect for stitching you have to rotate not around the camera base, but around the camera’s entrance pupil. This is where a dedicated pano-head comes into play. 

A panoramic head has calibration options so the camera rotates around the entrance pupil which depends both on lens and camera. There are dedicated pano-heads out there like the excellent panosaurus, Nodal Ninja and 360 Precision, there are some super cool DIY options out there ranging from easy through medium to complex.

5teve over at photography-on-the.net was inspired by Dr. Sean Parkin’s design and built quite an impressive DIY pano-head. Aside from being a kickass pano-head, one of the nice things about it is that it uses no “heavy” tooling and can probably be built at your garage even if you don’t have a lathe or a CNC machine at your disposal. [Read more...]

How To Build A Through-The-Window Camera Car Mount

shooting scenes through windows of moving cars is not a trivial thing. While shooting scenes through a car-window can be done with a green screen, film maker Tom Antos shows another way of doing this without getting a car in a studio. Tom builds a simple rig that can be attached to a car door, and hold a camera.

How To Build A Through-The-Window Camera Car Mount

While the rig is pretty simple to build, it is kinda scary to add acting to the many tasks you face as a driver (or to add driving to the many tasks you face as an actor). [Read more...]

Building An Automatic iPhone Panorama Maker

While getting a good panoramic image got a whole lot easier with iOS6, there is still the issue of getting the phone to move the right way to achieve a perfect panorama.

Building An Automatic iPhone Panorama Maker

Ilya Titov solved that by building a stepper based rotor motor that also controls the iPhone via the headphone socket. (kinda like Triggertrap only reversed). The bracket takes a set of 16 images to create a cylindrical panorama, but doing three sequences: Sky + Horizon + Earth can result in a full spherical panorama. [Read more...]

How to Convert A Shoulder Pod For Digital Cameras

Sigma 150-500mm OS fitted to converted Kaiser shoulder pod

Here’s another weekend project that really helps keep camera steady when using large Tele Lenses Handheld. This specific project is for Canon 350d & 400d, but a simple change of the end plug will make it work with any camera that can be operated via a trigger jack.

How many people will have seen/owned a shoulder pod over the years? They first appeared in the seventies and looking through old photography books they crop up quite often (especially the wildlife, Bird, Sport sections) they are very well made. They work by pushing a spring trigger connected to a standard cable release and usually come with a fully adjustable shoulder stock and a tripod screw thread (I use my Monopod for extra stability with Bigma on as it takes some of the weight away)

When I bought my Canon 350d I decided to convert my old Kaiser so I could use it when either my Sigma 50-500mm or Canon 75/300mm lens is attached. The first conversions I made were for the Kaiser model shoulder pods, but I have also done some conversions for some random shoulder stocks.

The conversion involves removing the cable release and installing an electronic trigger inside the grip, the finished item looks like its factory fitted and takes approx. a weekend to do. As I said before feel free to use this mod as inspiration to modify any old shoulder pod to fit any camera. [Read more...]

DIY: Make a Fashion-Passion Camera Wristlet

DIY: Make a Fasion-Passion Camera Wristlet

Elizabeth Giorgi of Being Geek Chic (God, I love this name) shares a great little tutorial that shows you how to make a fashionable camera wrist strap. The kind that is kinda like lanyard that keep cameras from finding their way to the cement pavement.

The stitching job is really easy and if you ever wanted to get into sewing (come’on I know you do) this is a great starters project, that will ease you in to the world of doubles, zig-zags and overlocks. (And you win a wonderful strap in the process). Hit the jump for a full movie tutorial. [Read more...]

Using A Motorized Yoyo As A Panning Slider

Using A Motorized Yoyo As A Panning Slider

I just love it when people use ordinary stuff to create new gear. Take a Yoyo for example. It’s built to roll and collect wire, reminds you of something? It reminded Marc Cocchio of a basic slider. And indeed a slider was build from a yoyo. Here are Marc’s rough guidelines on how to make a similar device.

(Of course, if Yoyo seems absurd to you, you can always go for a pen or a BBQ Rotisserie.

As a maker, Marc used all kinds of scrap that was lying around and a bit of trial and error, so the tutorial below is set so you can build a similar (yet not an exact copy) of the slider.

The non-cheap portion of this project is the camera, remote and tripod. It’s important to have a tripod with an “arm” that can rotate such as my Giottos MT8361. Manfrotto makes a few cool ones, too. [Read more...]