A Hand Made Motorized Panoramic Head (Made With An Old CD, And Handmade Gears)

Andrea Biffi is a photographer who happens to be an engineer. Good for everybody as he shares a smart totally made-at-home motorized panoramic head. (Kinda like the Gigapan systems heads, only simpler).

A Hand Made Motorized Panoramic Head

Just as a quick intro, a motorized panoramic head is what you use to take huge panoramas (like this 450 people pano taken in Germany). It takes a picture, moves the camera a few degrees, takes another picture. Rinse and repeat. Later, the individual photographs are stitched in post to create a huge, several Gigas worth of panorama.

Back to Andrea’s head. The ingenious part behind Andreas design is that it is purely mechanical. [Read more…]

Spoil Your Mamiya With A Wooden Shutter Grip

Spoiling your camera is fun. It also shows her you love here. We’ve shown how to spoil your camera with a DIY Carbon Fiber lens hood and a DIY Waxed bag, but never actually showed how you can treat that special medium format camera that means so much to you.

Shutter Grip for Your Medium Format Camera

Matt Bechberger over at Instructables has just that missing piece, a tutorial about treating your Mamiya 645 (or other medium format camera) with a custom-made wooden shutter grip. [Read more…]

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…]