Second Generation

This next design improves the motion of the head by adding Ball Bearings. The bearings fit in a race on the camera bracket and allow it to move through the full range of motion very smoothly. This makes positioning almost effortless.

I have started using my panohead to capture much higher resolution digital images of non-panoramic subjects. The camera is used to take 9 overlapping images of a scene and then stitch them together into a planar view. This has the effect of creating a 7000x5000 pixel image. The Canon S400 works quite well for this. The procedure is to zoom out fully so the lens is in it's widest configuration. Frame the scene and then zoom in fully. The zoom range on the S400 makes it such that the zoomed out image very closely matches the image created by overlapping frames in full telephoto.

The length of the race was cut to allow for 15 degrees of rotation upward and downward. This creates just the right amount of overlap for taking nine frames; three rotated upwards, three at level and three rotated downwards.

Even though this is a simple design constructing it is not trivial. Cutting the bearing race in the bracket required very careful attention as the tolerance is quite tight. The bearings must fit in the race so that they contact one side of the race with only a few thousandths of an inch clearance to the other side. It is important that they only contact one side of the race or they will bind. If there is too much clearance then the bracket can pivot and will be sloppy. Fortunately I have a CNC Mill for cutting out these parts.

The first prototype of this design is almost complete and I will post pictures when it is finished.


Original Panorama Head click here for the original design

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