I'm doubtful whether the Merlin head would take the EOS 500D camera and EFS 17-55 f2.8 lens
No problem: i used a 5D2 with a 300mm Nikon- and a 200mm Canon-lens.
I will not have to bring a laptop or notebook to run Papywizard. The AllView system will consume 12 Watts of power when fully operational/ all servos driven. Are you able to answer these comparison questions about the Merlin?
To use the Merlin with PapyWizard most users take a small Nokia, a Netbook or the TC. Merlin needs 12V. The TC controller is about the size of a small cigarette-pack - fits into every pocket. The TC definitely is the most comfortable solution.
What is the maximum length camera + Lens that is supported by the nodal offset bracket?[/uli][uli]What is the total camera + lens weight that may be carried?What is the typical cost of a Merlin solution complete with controller?
I would name 300mm as definitely safe and 400mm as most likely safe. You donÂ´t need to care much about the NPP when you shoot long distances using 300-400mm. Total weight . . i didnÂ´t measure it, but as said it took my 5D2/300mm without any problem. Others used longer lenses without issues.
Typical costs differ: you can buy a Merlin for around 150.-â‚¬ and the TC from Kolor (price in the list). So i guess for about 400-500.-â‚¬ you can get a solution that has proven itÂ´s reliability for years now and is backuped by a large community (thatÂ´s more important than you might thing
I'm often in remote locations (in the mountains in Greece) for several days and I don't want to bring an extra 12v battery or charger with me.
The accus that Josef provides for the Merlin would suit you best i mean. I have 4 of them inside my Panoneed - theyÂ´re good for about 3000-5000 moves/shots. So two of them in the Merlin should have power for at least 1500 shots. And theyÂ´re small enough and light enough to carry 4 or 6 as backup.
Given that I am a motorcyclist, I will be able to use the battery of my DL-650 to power the AllView rig. Nearly always, I have been able to "park" the motorcycle right next to the viewpoints I use to take my panoramas, and I have a power takeoff socket fitted. Drawing 12 Watts/ 1A from a 30 AH battery will drain the battery by 33% during 10 hours continuous photographic use, and a 1 hour journey on the motorcycle will recharge it again.
Looking at the AllView-pictures i recognize that itÂ´s definitely larger in any aspect than the Menlin. ItÂ´s vertical arm surely isnÂ´t longer than MerlinÂ´s vertical arm.
See: looking 90° up wehen shooting a sphere you most unlikely will use a lens of more then 85mm - and thatÂ´s definitely not exceeding the length the Merlin allows to use:
i did it many times using a 1,4/85mm Nikon lens on my 20D and 5D2 with the Merlin. I had the Merlin/TC and the 5D2 with 4 lenses in a Tamrac no.12 bag. No problem to carry around. The Merlin with 2 accus inside definitely doesnÂ´t weight 4,5Kg . . i guess itÂ´s around 2,5Kg - 3Kg.
IÂ´m quite sure: the AllView couldnÂ´t beat the Merlin regarding the features and the variety of controlling-devices. How much the AllViewsÂ´s conroller matches the needs of panorama-photography definitely would be interesting to know. I definitely have doubts.
I mean the AllView is not a real alternative to the Merlin - at least not in Europe, regarding the additional costs. But we will see: i hope youÂ´ll keep us informed.
best to you and good luck, Klaus
PS: i forgot to ask - does the AllView provide XML for positioning? ThatÂ´s very important for shooting large mosaics - especially outdoors!