In March of 2006 I purchased a Nikon D70S digital camera and dedicated Nikkor 10.5mm
fisheye lens. Again I needed a new pan head.
I had two fiends that were also interested in
making their own panoramas. One had a bunch of extruded aluminum. I used this to help
make three custome panheads for each of our camera and lens setup. Here is my setup.
My pole PanHead 1
I also need a new pan head to go on top of my Strong Arm pole. This is my
The pole is captured in the shots. It actualy takes up too much of each frame.
My pole PanHead 2
Second atempt. Camera is rotated and angeled down slightly. The corner of each shot captures the bottom of the pole. This compleatly fills in the nadir.
I usualy will fill this in with a final shot taken from the side. This leave a
bit larger zenith to fill in but with camera pointed up and two shot rotated 180 deg from each other does this pertectly. I used this set up for quit
a few of my shots on my web site.
In March of 2002 I purchased a Nikon 995 digital camera. The next week I
made this Pan head out of a piece of metal I bought at the local hardware
store. The strip of metal was $10Cnd and had enough to make three such
heads. This is the second one. The first one used washers instead
of the curved to create a space for the bolt to connect the pan head to the
camera. The small piece of metal can be changed based on the lens being
used. Or more holes drilled.
I cut it in a vise with a hack saw.
Bent it in the vise with a pair of vise grips.
Used a triangle from a drafting kit to make sure it was square.
Measured, marked and drilled the holes in the small piece that is used to
ensure the camera is rotated vertical at the center of the lens.
Drilled whole at top center of large piece of metal.
Glued a piece of rubber (from an old bicycle inner tube) to the back of the
small piece of metal.
Glued the bolt to the small piece of metal so it can be easily tightened with
the wing nut.
Measured, marked, and drilled the bottom hole to ensure the camera is rotated
at its horizontal center of the lens.
Marked 30° and 45° increments on a plastic container lid.
I filed a little V in the end of the pan head to identify angle.
The lid is fastened to a quick release mount for my tripod.
I removed the bolt for the quick release and moved it with its C-washer to
attach to pan head to the camera.
I filed a square hole into the quick release to take a stove bolt and fastened
it to the pan head with a lock nut.
QTVR Object of PanHead
Click and move the mouse to pan and tilt.
Alternatively, use the arrow keys for panning and tilting in fixed increments.
The original PanHead
I created this pan head in
1991 out of wood.
Quick release on the bottom.
Two covers to a plastic container that I have cut the lip off of and scraped in
5 deg. increments. Attached to the quick release and the bottom section where
the top one joins.
Small bubble level that I set on top to level the tripod.
The camera can pan horizontally and vertically and rotate over the nodal point
of the lens.
The top section has two holes. One when the power winder is attached and one
The slot allows to align the camera over the nodal point for different lenses.
The bottom section can be removed and the top section attached to the tripod
for portrait shooting.
In vertical picture mode I use lines drawn on the top section to roughly place
the camera over the nodal point when tilting the camera up or down.
I only took one picture of the camera pointing straight up so it looks a little
confusing. If I was to shoot a complete 360° X 180° panorama, I would only need
to shoot one picture straight up.
Composite image of some of the professional equipment for
taking VR photos.