Intro: DIY Pano-Head / Vertical Mount for Digital Camera
The purpose of this instructable is to illustrate an idea of the cheapest panoramic tripod head / vertical camera mount that works for a small P&S camera and could be easily make at home without a lot of time and tools invested.
The dimensions of this example are geared towards my Canon S3 IS digital camera with the nodal point being "relatively" close. So, please understand adjustments will be needed for your particular camera in order to clear the tilling and setting on the nodal point more accurately.
*** I strongly suggest anyone to research about the working of a pano-head and the nodal point of your camera before making one of your own. There are lots of info on the web regarding these topics and examples of more complex pano-head, which would be more professional looking, as well as giving more accurate panoramic shots. ***
Anyway, for my version, the set up should be pretty self-explanatory and below is a list of material.
1) Metal corner brace (4"x4"x1" in this case)
2) Circular (bullseye) spirit level (optional)
3) 1/4" dia. bolt (3" long in this example)
4) 1/4" wing nut (x2)
5) Washer (optional)
I just used the pre-drilled holes on the metal brace, which worked good enough for me. However, I did had to do some minor filing of the hole, before they are large enough for the threads of the ¼” bolt.
Please note the spirit level is used since my tripod doesn't come with any level and I just like the look of the bullseye. The level is the most expensive part at ~$3 and you may find something smaller and cheaper.
The total cost will vary, especially if you already have some of the material handy. Mine cost ~$5 in total which is about all I wanted to spend for now.
*Important tips on taking panoramic shots:
1) Use manual mode and make sure setting is consistent between shots. You will thank me later.
2) Takes lots and lots of shots (sky, ground & sideway) so you have enough coverage of the scenery you want. You don't want to find out later that you'll need "more" to complete a panorama photo. (See my pano sample with not quite enough shots).