Instructables

Light and Cheap Wood Panohead (step-by-step)

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Picture of Light and Cheap Wood Panohead (step-by-step)
Times ago I've built a panohead with wood profiles to shoot spherical panoramas (look at www.andreabiffi.com) with my Canon EOS1D (and then my EOS40D) and Tamron 11-18mm lens. You can make a similar one (easily a better one) with a few suggestions.
After my first single image post Amanda wished to see more pictures of single parts, so I've decided to make this step-to-step guide and tell you guys about the construction. It's not a real tutorial because the panohead is already built and a lot used, as you can see from the images, and I've already painted it for the second time two years ago. Anyway it seems this tool could go through rain, snow, ice and heat wave with not much weakening :-)
 
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Step 1: Finding the plate

Picture of finding the plate
Construction is very simple. It's made mainly from wood profile and metal plates and screws for connections. Here in Italy is very difficult find screws and nuts with english thread, you only find thread measured in mm, not inches. Unfortunately (for me) the camera fasten hole is 1/4 inch diameter. So I bypassed the problem finding some construction pieces in an ordinary and very cheap tool: the little aluminium tripod we find everywhere in the world!
This little marvel has three useful telescopic metal legs, a beautiful steel bolt with spherical head and a very light aluminium nut, everything for a pair $. We don't need the telescopic legs unfortunately... but both nut and bolt has right thread for camera (obviously).

Step 2: Choosing the right material

Picture of choosing the right material
You've to choose an hard wood to avoid crack, especially when you fasten the screws. At bottom of the horizontal brace you find a plastic plate which covers the aluminium nut of the mini-tripod. This plastic plate has the function to make a planar surface to add stability at the tool when it's connected to a big tripod (not the light tripod I'll show you at the end of the Instructable).
manuelmasc4 months ago

andrea dove hai comprato il mini-tripod? non riesco più a trovare un negozio a milano che li venda

andrea biffi (author)  manuelmasc4 months ago
non li vedo in giro da anni... il mio l'avrò compato 6 anni fa... :(

ok grazie! un annetto fa li vendevano all' Auchan ad 1€ l'uno ma ora non ci sono più neanche li :S

andrea biffi (author)  manuelmasc4 months ago
però se vai in Via Bruno (parallela di Paolo Sarpi) forse qualcosa trovi, lì è pieno di negozi di gadget cinesi...

10D? I used to have one until the shutter broke down; I bought 40D with a battery grip then, and love it.

andrea biffi (author)  ElegantAndrogyne5 months ago

I also have a 40D with battery grip :-) the 10D acted as model

Hi, looks great and nice project... small question, maybe I'm missing something but my "cheap" tripod (15euro) can create all the same possitions on its own, why would I want to make this then? :)
dbbd1 year ago
It would be great if you added at least one picture of the mounted camera as well. You can probably shoot it with your cell phone :-)
andrea biffi (author)  dbbd1 year ago
I can take it with another camera if you're interested, but I prefer that readers focus on pano-head, and they should imagine it with their own camera mounted so I think it's better not to post it.
Focusing hard on the pano-head, my lousy imagination sees only a bunch of sticks.
andrea biffi (author)  dbbd1 year ago
ahah! Now you can focus to the camera, but I'm afraid the panohead seems a bunch of sticks more than before!
Thank you! But now I have more questions. I see 2 screws that seem to connect to the camera - one is obvious - to the base, but the second one (seen clearly in pictures 5 & 11) seems to connect to the side of the camera.
Perhaps there is such a connection on the cannon, (I'm a Nikon person), I guess it is useful for stabilization. But If my body does not have one, I guess I cannot use this rig?
andrea biffi (author)  dbbd1 year ago
Today I've taken some better images. Look at the last photo, you'll understand ;-)
I could see how it would help by having a picture of your camera mounted, maybe in an intro picture to begin with. Its a little hard to picture everything together without having a general idea of what the camera looks like in your head. I looked up the camera so I knew what it was beforehand. I've been thinking about making something similar, thanks for the great ideas and for a good instructable!
andrea biffi (author)  tritian1 year ago
All right so, I'll take some photos to show various camera positions (panoramic and portrait orientation and with or without battery-grip).
agis681 year ago
Really cool and usefull welldone!
Edgar1 year ago
Great project, went to my Blog:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2012/11/muahahaha-instructables-e-ideias-geniais.html
andrea biffi (author)  Edgar1 year ago
glad of that! :-)
Keep on making those. :-)