The DIY Super-Robotic Panohead

panorama robotic headWhat’s better than Obama? An Obama Panorama, of course.

If you clicked the link above, you will find a 1,474 Megapixel image of president Obama inauguration. Yup you heard right. 1,474 MP.

This image was made possible with a cool robotic device called the GigaPan. The GigaPan is an automated robotic cradle that tilts and pans in small steps to complete huge panoramic views. It even has a little robotic arm to press the shutter release button for you. And now it is going DIY.

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DIY L-Plate / L-Bracket

DIY L-bracketIn the following article Trevis Thomas (Flickr) shows us how to make an L-bracket – A useful Tripod mod that allows you to mount your camera vertically on the tripod.

I was in the market for a new joystick style-ball head and I thought that the design of the head would be limiting if I wanted to shoot with my camera in portrait orientation. Then I remembered watching a pod cast by Scott Bourne where he showed his camera mounted to a fancy L-Bracket. I thought that that would be the perfect solution and went on the hunt for a custom bracket for my Pentax K20D.

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DIY Lens Support Bracket

The following article is a guest post by Dwight Duckstein.

I purchased a used Nikkor 70-200mm, 2.8f lens – the old style that didn’t have a tripod ring. Not wanting to spend even more money on an aftermarket ring that would interfere with the A ring, I decided to make my own. Granted, the materials cost me some change, but it is designed the way I want it, and it works. Your dimensions may vary, depending on which lens and which camera you mount it to, so I am not providing much dimension detail here.


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Let Your Camera See The World – Kite Aerial Photography

The guys over at make magazine made a pretty awesome tutorial about constructing a Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) kit.

They also have a cool video showing the process of building the rig. Killing the rig. And rebuilding a better rig. The video has been around for some time, so you might have seen it before. I managed to miss it, so if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth 6 minutes of your time.

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DIY – The Panorama Head El Cheapo!

panoramic headHow to take good panoramas? Sounds simple, right? Take some shots with some overlapping landscape, go to your favorite stitching software, and stitch them up (I like panorama tools AKA PT, and autostich AKA autostich). Right? Not exactly…

If you’ve done a panorama or two, you must have noticed those annoying vertical stitching lines. Some are caused by wide angle distortion, some due to Polarizer filter that stayed on, and some are the “software’s fault”. Allot of those annoying stitching lines are caused due to something called parallax. In layman’s terms Parallax means that your camera’s focal plan does not “sit” (or as Neo would say – is “not in one”) with rotations axis of your camera. confused? Here is a great article to explain this. So if you want to get professional panoramas you need to do something about it; This something is called Using the Nodal Point (is it me, or does this term sounds a bit weird). Curious? here is how you find your Nodal Point. Of course is not the first to find this Nodal thing. you can always get some cheap accessories for panorama at Manfrotto. Or you can try and build one yourself, just like Stefan Lindgren – DIY-er extraordiner. [Read more...]

DIY – Release Cable for Canon DSLRs

canon DIY release cableThis is a very simple diagram and instructions for building a shutter release cable for a canon DSLR.

Cable release is that thingamajig you use when you want to activate your camera, but you do not want to touch it. Why would you want t do this? I can think of two reasons: 1 – you do not want to move the camera by pressing the shutter release button. And 2 – you need to stand away from the camera. Compared with Cannon’s RS60 E3 this is a real nice deal. [Read more...]

DIY – Cheap Mini Monopod

cheap DIY mini monopodLooks like 1/4″ bolts are very useful. They have been attached to bottle caps and to wires to create several type of DIY tripods. here is another great project for an owner of 1/4″ bolts. Here is another idea by Christian Kahle:

Based on what the Pop bottle cap camera holder, I built the MiniMonoPod (MMP).

I found that it is just amazing useful when handling smaller cameras. As my Cannon XTi has little or no grip space on the left hand it made it hard to hold on to it securely, especially with cold fingers. Now with the MMP fingers are together so they stay warmer. It’s easier to hold on to the camera with a larger lens with the left hand. And right handed people can use their right hand to do stuff and still maintain a strong grip on the camera with the left hand. [Read more...]

DIY: The Super-Small Bottle-Cap Tripod

DIY bottle cap tripodWhen you are going on a field trip, you want your tripod to be small. Small and light. It would be best if it can fit in your pocket. When Ron Uriel saw the post about the wrap-able tripod, he had an idea. Why not use the 1/4″ bolts in other ways. He told me about an idea to make a small tripod from a coke bottle.

This sounded like an interesting idea so I got to work. First I got several coke bottles (you can learn allot about a person by the bottle caps he uses. In my case, the gray-silver cap suggests I drink the diet version of the bubbly beverage). I also needed a 1/4″ hex bolt, a 1/4″ hex nut, and two of those round thingies called washers. For the finishing touch I used some sand paper. (If you are not into coke or diet coke you can use the beverage to perform the Mentose and Diet Coke experiment – just make sure you retrieve the bottle) [Read more...]