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  #31  
Old April 28th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Default Bush-league panoramic work with the Manfrotto 410

Those who are intersted in experimenting with multi-image panoramic photography but are not yet ready to spring for a genuine panoramic head setup (we'll see a picture of a nice one later), but who have a Manfrotto 410 (or 405) geared head will find that, in some situations, quite practical panoramic work can be done with it alone (and even better with the addition of a two-axis macro focusing rail).

If our situation involves only "far-field" objects (as in much true landscape panoramic work), and thus we can essentially ignore the matter of parallax caused by use of an inappropriate axis of rotation, the 410 or 405 head can be used alone.

Indexing between shots can be readily done using the yaw angle movement. On the 410, one "tooth position" (when we have released the worm) corresponds to an increment of 7.2 (precisely 1/50 of a circle). On the 405, the increment is about 6.545 (precisely 1/55 of a circle - go figure).

Any desired incremental angle can be easily attained by counting turns of the knob (or even fractions - on the 410, the knob has four flutes around its perimeter, handy for that).

For multi-row panoramic arrays, the pitch angle movement has the same setup.

If our scene will include "near-field" elements, so that we must be concerned with parallax, a convenient accessory to the 410 or 405 head is a two-axis macro focusing rail (such as the Adorama model you may have seen earlier in this series). We see this setup here (with a 410):


The lateral movement of the rail allows us to get the lens axis over the yaw angle axis of the head. The longitudinal ("focusing") movement allows us to get the entrance pupil of the lens over the yaw angle axis of the head, with this caveat:

Unlike the situation with a bona fide panoramic head, in this rig, the pitch angle axis does not pass through the lens axis (it is about 7" "below"). Thus, the ideal pivot situation for single-row panoramas (regarding the location of the entrance pupil) is disrupted by pitch angle movement. That means that precise adjustment of the longitudinal slide needs to be made after the pitch attitude to be used is determined and set. And for multi-row images, rigorous maintenance of the ideal panoramic axis is impractical.

As I suggested earlier, these difficulties may be of little or no practical importance unless there are near-field objects in the scene.

Those who carefully look for anomalies in pictures (aha! note the prop department item sticker on the bottom of that Western Electric 500D telephone set!) may note that the Adorama rail in the picture above is configured differently than in the prior picture. There are four ways this rig can be assembled, so as to make the camera platform extend either "inboard" or "outboard", and to control which side the "focusing" knob lies (on one side or another, it may interfere with whatever is below).

I normally keep mine in a configuration different from "factory". For this setup, I had to use a different "non-factory" configuration yet.

The reconfiguration is easily done.

For clarity, in this picture, the camera was mounted directly to the camera platform of the Adorama rail unit (no quick disconnect rig being used there - I normally have a Manfrotto "RC2-style" quick disconnect assembly there).

The careful observer may also note, atop the yaw angle axis scale plate, a small circular spirit level (an addition here). It allows me to be certain that the head "base" is level. (The Manfrotto 405 has such built in.)

By the way, for fanciers of the Adorama two-axis rail (an admirable item, in my estimation), I note that the price has now risen to $179.95. Adorama now carries a "lite/budget" version, at a price of $79.95. I don't know anything about it, except that from the pictures it seems to have about the same configuration.

Now, before whoever it is here that always tells me "you can't be a professional photographer without professional equipment" (and I certainly do not pose as a professional photographer, so I'm not sure of his point) get his knickers in a twist (that's the golfing pants), lets look at a real panoramic head, the Really Right Stuff "full boat":


This in fact allows us to arrange for both yaw angle and pitch angle axes to pass through the entrance pupil of the lens (or through the camera serial number plate, if we heard somewhere that's where they ought to go).

As seen in the picture, the "list" price of that rig is about $955. It looks really nice.

Now if you had one of those, plus a Manfrotto 410, plus an Adorama two-axis rail, plus a really nice tripod, you'd be ready for a lot of different projects.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #32  
Old April 28th, 2010, 09:55 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Tomorrow: How to keep calcium deposits off your shower door with a Manfrotto 410 geared head. (There will be a special appendix for the butlers of Manfrotto 405 owners.)

Best regards,

Doug
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  #33  
Old April 29th, 2010, 02:47 PM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Just for the record, Doug...

This thread prompted me to revisit the camera/head orientation with my RZ67 Pro IID and the Manfrotto 410. With some -ahem- coaxing (and an impromptu spacer between the bottom plate and camera body) I discovered that I could maintain the "proper" orientation. I've yet to discover an advantage for my own usage but clearly some engineer (an addition to you) has given this matter some thought and placed an orientation guidance on the plate.

But I do now have to re-learn each of the three rotation knobs...no small feat.

Anyway, thank you for delving into this little corner.
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  #34  
Old April 29th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Ken,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Tanaka View Post
Just for the record, Doug...

This thread prompted me to revisit the camera/head orientation with my RZ67 Pro IID and the Manfrotto 410. With some -ahem- coaxing (and an impromptu spacer between the bottom plate and camera body) I discovered that I could maintain the "proper" orientation. I've yet to discover an advantage for my own usage but clearly some engineer (an addition to you) has given this matter some thought and placed an orientation guidance on the plate.

But I do now have to re-learn each of the three rotation knobs...no small feat.
Well, some "improvements" do that. Sorry to have screwed up what was seemingly working fine!

Best regards,

Doug
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  #35  
Old April 29th, 2010, 03:57 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Tanaka View Post
Anyway, thank you for delving into this little corner.
Agreed, and thus ditto.

Doug, thanks for reviving some (fond) memories I had about programming 3D Euler orientations in software. Order matters!

For some reason, probably the fond memories, I've used the orientations indicated on the QR-plate and have not needed to deviate as forced by platform restrictions. I do admit to occasionally rotate the camera 180 degrees on the QR-plate, when I need to exceed the 30 degree pitch up orientation (e.g. when trying to shoot things high up, like the moon).

Cheers,
Bart
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  #36  
Old April 30th, 2010, 10:24 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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There are some interesting wrinkles when using the Adorama two-axis focusing rail with a Manfrotto 410 gear head for macro work.

Here we see an example:


The subject is the shutter speed plate on a Graflex SLR (3-1/4 x 4-1/4, c. 1922).

The camera is a Canon EOS 20D, bearing a Canon EF-S 60 mm f/2.8 USM macro lens. The lens was set for closest focus (leading to an image magnification of about 1:1).

The configuration of the Adorama rail used here is the one that provides best access to the controls and a good location of the camera center of gravity.

But as you can see, with this arrangement it may be difficult to position the camera properly. The tripod may be too close to the stable, for example, when doing a "table-top" shoot. In this particular case, the tripods had to be in full missionary position.

In addition, the focusing slide itself projects well in front of the camera body, and so it can itself interfere with the subject (especially for physically-short, and short focal-length, lenses).

Here we see an alternate configuration of the Adorama unit that alleviates these problems:


One might think that to get this we just mount the whole Adorama unit reversed atop the Manfrotto head, but in fact if doing so, the focus knob interferes with the Manfrotto QR plate. Thus, it is necessary to reverse the focusing slide in the Adorama unit. This is very easy to do. The trapezoidal end stop is removed (two truss-head Phillips screws). The slide is extracted from the carrier, reversed, and replaced. (You have to pay a little attention to the proper re-engagement of the helical gear into the rack, but this is not tricky at all - you just need to be aware of it.)

If even more protuberance of the lens is needed, there is this third configuration:


Compared to the previous configuration, this additionally requires the cross-slide to be reversed in its carrier (done exactly the same way as reversal of the focusing slide).

This is an actual shot of the subject (full-frame) done with the first configuration. (This was actually done with a 40D and the same lens.)


I wasn't as careful as I should have been in getting the roll angle exactly right (I was in a bit of a time pinch when this happened).

I suspect the situation with a Manfrotto 405 gear head would be essentially the same.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #37  
Old May 5th, 2011, 08:35 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Default Mounting an Arca type of clamp on a Manfrotto geared head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
If you are speaking of the Arca-compatible clamp plate rotating on the top of the head, all that the head RC4 plate actually has is a conventional 1/4-20 or 3/6-16 tripod screw (with knurled head and coin slot).
For those with of us with a Manfrotto geared head (types 405 or 410), I recently found a better solution to avoid camera or lens twisting issues when the Arca style clamp comes loose from the quick release plate. There is a replacement plate available with an Arca style clamp which can be mounted in 90 degee intervals: Hejnar Arca Swiss conversion for Manfrotto 405/410 .

Since the US$ to Euro exchange rate is currently favourable for Europeans, I thought why not stimulate the US economy a bit and do myself a favor at the same time. So I ordered the item and within a few hours I got confirmation from the seller that the item had shipped, and a week later the package was delivered.

All that needs to be done is remove the original QR lever. The package comes with 3 hex keys to fit the various screwhead sizes, but I needed an additional wrench/spanner to loosen the lever. It's not too difficult to reassemble should one wish to sell the head in its original state (just don't lose the springs). The Arca style clamp is bolted onto the plate with 3 screws, and the plate is screwed on the head 'permanently' with one bolt. The plate cannot twist. I would have preferred a second screw but then, how likely is a screw in this position to break?

The Clamp construction is of reasonably good quality, only slightly (!) less refined than the RRS alternative, so I bought both instead of only the plate. This way I knew that the screw hole positions in the clamp would definitely fit with the plate, and I wouldn't have to screw my other RRS clamp on and off when I use it in a different configuration.

My gamble (you never know when buying on the web) worked out fine.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #38  
Old May 8th, 2011, 11:38 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
For those with of us with a Manfrotto geared head (types 405 or 410), I recently found a better solution to avoid camera or lens twisting issues when the Arca style clamp comes loose from the quick release plate. There is a replacement plate available with an Arca style clamp which can be mounted in 90 degee intervals: Hejnar Arca Swiss conversion for Manfrotto 405/410 .

Bart,

Thanks for updating this important thread. Let us know how the adapter stands up to your regular use. One thing to watch out for is the occurrence of Arca plates that are just a mm or so wider. This I found with larger platforms from Sunway Foto. A larger Arca clamp can hold both sizes of plate. I wonder whether this Henjar adapter is a standard width.

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; May 9th, 2011 at 07:57 AM.
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  #39  
Old May 9th, 2011, 01:59 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Bart,

Thanks for updating this important thread. Let us know how the adapter stands up to your regular use. One thing to watch out for is the occurrence of Arca plates that are just a mm or so wider. This I found with larger platforms from Sunway Foto. A larger Arca clamp can hold both sizes of plate. I wonder whether this Henjar adapter is a standard width.
Hi Asher,

The clamp is a screw knob type, not a lever type. That will allow it to adjust to any width of rails or lens/camera plate. The clamp can be opened very wide, to allow removal/insertion of the whole bar/plate. This allows bars/plates with stop screws at their bottom to be used, they can slide in the clamp when loosened a bit but not fall out, unless the clamp is opened wide. A geared head is not for fast paced work, so a screw knob clamp is a good fit IMHO, and it accomodates all sorts of manufacturing tolerances.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #40  
Old May 9th, 2011, 08:04 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Asher,

The clamp is a screw knob type, not a lever type. That will allow it to adjust to any width of rails or lens/camera plate. The clamp can be opened very wide, to allow removal/insertion of the whole bar/plate. This allows bars/plates with stop screws at their bottom to be used, they can slide in the clamp when loosened a bit but not fall out, unless the clamp is opened wide. A geared head is not for fast paced work, so a screw knob clamp is a good fit IMHO, and it accomodates all sorts of manufacturing tolerances.
This combination, then, Arca Swiss clamp and the geared head makes perfect sense for demanding work. I like the idea for large format photography where one is composing exactly as one would want to print. The precision would also be welcome for complex panoramas with many pictures. It's cost, added weight and extra length are then well justified.

Asher
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  #41  
Old May 9th, 2011, 08:52 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
This combination, then, Arca Swiss clamp and the geared head makes perfect sense for demanding work. I like the idea for large format photography where one is composing exactly as one would want to print. The precision would also be welcome for complex panoramas with many pictures. It's cost, added weight and extra length are then well justified.
Indeed, and it's very useful for table-top and especially macro photography. When shooting at 5:1 magnification, it's easy to lose the subject from the viewfinder when moving the tripod/head. The viewfinder is already very dark, and any motion is amplified. The gearing allows to make fine adjustments.

Cheers,
Bart
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