Sunday, 3 June 2012

Handiwork part 2

As I have been doing more and more panoramas I thought a panoramic tripod head would be quite useful to make the stitching process a bit easier, and more accurate. Panoramic tripod heads are available to buy, but they are pretty expensive (several hundred pounds), and it would take ages to deliver here anyway. So I thought I’d have a go at making one.


I wondered about wood or aluminium, and thought that wood would be nicer, and the base mechanic said we didn’t have any aluminium. I later found some suitable aluminium, but prefer working in wood anyway.


American Ash, cut to size and planed for the appropriate pieces. I used the lens table of focal points, available online to work out the dimensions of where my camera would need to be mounted, I have a Nikon D300 and mostly use a Sigma 10-20mm lens set at 10mm for panoramas.


I used the aluminium quick release plate that I messed up in my last blog post, re-drilled it and attached it to the base piece. Having carefully cut the wood with a mitre saw I glued the base and side together using a 90 degree clamp to ensure accuracy. I reinforced the join with a piece of ash that I had shaped into a triangular fillet (which you can see in the next photo). I also drilled holes and put two screws in for good measure.


The swinging arm was attached to the upright using a nyloc nut, which I carved a recess for, so as it didn’t protrude. Rather than having to remove the quick release plate on the camera every time I made use of 2 threaded holes in it, I marked and drilled holes in the swinging arm and have 5/16 bolts in which I cut a slot into the head. These had to be accurately placed to allow 104.4mm between the swing arm pivot and the camera tripod mount. I had wanted to recess the swinging arm to accommodate the extra thickness of the quick release plate, as I hadn’t thought of doing it this way initially. Unfortunately I routered the wrong side. I chamfered the end of this mistake though, so it doesn’t look too accidental! And there was enough leeway in the base plate to not matter.


20120531-P1020210 Camera mounted and centred

Now to go and see if it works, and I can also get on with making my mid winter present!

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