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Rotator base recommendation?

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:07 pm
by fuzzybabybunny
I've got the Panorama Vista Bracket: http://www.panoramabrackets.com/

For the price it's sturdy and not bad, but it lacks a rotator base. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good rotator base with a bubble level right on it? The Vista Bracket will attach to the tripod/rotator base with the standard tripod screw.

I've been looking at the old Rolleiflex bases.

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:04 pm
by thepanoguy

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:34 pm
by fuzzybabybunny
This is for a Nikon D300. I don't think a plastic base would work and I don't have the tools to create any custom mountings either.

I currently use a Feisol carbon fiber tripod and a 486RC2 ballhead. I've actually been using the Vista Bracket for two months now, and it works fine with my D300+battery grip. It's just a pain in the *** to level each time I pan. It has a bubble level right on it, but because I'm on a ballhead every time I unlock to pan, I have to relevel and relock, shoot, release, pan, relevel, relock, shoot, etc. I want a rotator base so that I can just level it right at the beginning and rotate the camera throughout, not even having to look through the viewfinder even if there are good click locks.

And I don't have THAT much money to spend. The Nodal Ninja stuff are already expensive as it is.

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:43 pm
by mediavets
fuzzybabybunny wrote:And I don't have THAT much money to spend. T.

http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~productID~5402~categoryid~149.html

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 3:14 am
by fuzzybabybunny
mediavets wrote:
fuzzybabybunny wrote:And I don't have THAT much money to spend. T.

http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~productID~5402~categoryid~149.html

The review seems incredibly bad...

http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-627-Basic-Panoramic-Adapter/dp/B001E965ZK

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:32 am
by thepanoguy
The first photo is the laser level rotator. Click on the photo for a bigger picture.
You could replace the base mount with aluminium if you have a hole saw.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/hugin/discuss/72157612547458035/#comment72157612649841750

Joining the group may help.

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 1:44 am
by tived
Manfrotto 300N i think it is called

It is build like a tank, but it is also heavy, 72 rotations is the smallest i think, don't have it here

Henrik

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 7:49 pm
by bigwade

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:19 am
by tived
I have to say, the click stops are a real blessing on the Manfrotto 300N, in particular so, that you don't have to keep an eye out for when rotate it. You just feel it in your hand, and can keep an eye out for what you are shooting. Just my $.02

Henrik

I also have the RRS full pano kit which has 2 1/2 degree markers but, it is a pain in the dark, which is why I added the above

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:44 am
by mark_anderson_us
tived wrote:I have to say, the click stops are a real blessing on the Manfrotto 300N, in particular so, that you don't have to keep an eye out for when rotate it. You just feel it in your hand, and can keep an eye out for what you are shooting. Just my $.02

Henrik

I also have the RRS full pano kit which has 2 1/2 degree markers but, it is a pain in the dark, which is why I added the above

I'll second that. I have the RRS full pano and it's good (beautifully engineered), but I'd really like the clicks. Mot only does it allow you to concentrate on shooting, but I reckon I could build an XML template by hand for APG if I now the exact degree rotation between shots. I just ordered the Merlin/Orion and have the rest of my robotic kit, but when I can't take that with me, it would be great to have a fixed degree rotation for above-mentioned reasons.

Henrik, which model do you have and how do you use it with your RRS configuration?

I have the ball head with QR clamp (BH-40 LR II I think: http://reallyrightstuff.com/ballheads/02.html)

I then attach a PCL1 panning clamp (http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Itemdesc.asp?ic=PCL%2D1&eq=&Tp=)

Then I attach a rail to the PCL1.

Regards

Mark

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 3:13 am
by mark_anderson_us
The nodal ninja/fanotech rotators look pretty good (see bottom of this page: http://www.panoguide.com/forums/commercial/5350/)

Anyone ever tried batch stitching with these or maybe these http://www.360precision.com/360/360.cfm. While I like the idea of the electronics, there are limitations with nodal point alignment on the Merlin/Orion and it's a lot of extra heavy gear and eletronics to carry around.

If I could find a good manula system that allowed accurate batch stitching, I'd certainly give it serious consideration.

Regards

mark

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:45 pm
by bigwade
The NN D8 is a very fine rotator and better than the Manfrotto 300N.
It is repeatable.
The D16 is just as precise as stated by Nick Fan from Fanotec.
I have a D8 and an older version of the 300N

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:52 pm
by mark_anderson_us
bigwade wrote:I have a D8 and an older version of the 300N

Hi Bigwade

Thanks for reply. Do you use a nodal ninja head, or seomthing else?

If it's not NN, was it easy to connect your pano head/camera to the D8?

Regards

mark

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:13 am
by tived
Hi Mark,

I use a Gitzo 1548 MKII tripod with 1321 leveling base, which I have the Manfrotto 300N on, and on top of that my Arca Swiss B1, with the RRS pano head...with all this weight, it kinda defeats having a carbon set of legs, but I probably couldn't carry it if I didn't

I am looking at ways I can make this rig lighter, I will definately replace my B1 with RRS-55 head.

anyway it works for me, I would like to have a finer rotator so I can use my 300mm f/2.8, but currently I am limited to 200mm on full frame.

regards

Henrik

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:01 pm
by bigwade
mark_anderson_us wrote:
bigwade wrote:I have a D8 and an older version of the 300N

Hi Bigwade
Thanks for reply. Do you use a nodal ninja head, or seomthing else?
If it's not NN, was it easy to connect your pano head/camera to the D8?
Regards
mark

Hi Mark, the D8 and D16 have a center 1/4 female hole.
I mounted a Giottos MH-200 upside down on it and can use anything I want on it.

grtz
Frank