Bfman sent in this handy guide on building a panoramic tripod head for \$10 – “”Stitching software and digital cameras make panoramic photos far easier than ever before. However, to get the best results, you need a special tripod head. These can cost hundreds of dollars, but making your own isn’t that hard. Even better, it’s dirt cheap.””Link.

## 8 thoughts on “HOW TO – Build a panoramic tripod head for \$10”

1. GIW says:

In the instructions for finding the pivot point it says:

“Now, let’s find a better pivot point. Put the tip of the index finger of your left hand somewhere along the bottom of the barrel of the lens. Now rotate the camera about that point. Try to hold that left hand as steady as possible … Still see a shift? Move your finger/pivot point along the lens until that shift goes away.”

I can’t make sense of this instruction, and would love a picture of what I’m supposed to be doing with my finger and lens to find this pivot point, especially since I’m not sure how he wants me to relate panning and rotating motions. Anyone else know what he’s talking about?

2. JayKominek says:

Ok, so think about how things normally move when you’re moving the camera around for a panoramic shot. You’re probably moving your whole body, thus rotating the optical axis of the camera around a point somewhere inside your body, perhaps 8 inches back from the film plane. Now imagine you’re spinning your camera around on top of your tripod. The camera’s optical axis is spinning about a point more or less on the film plane (depending on where the tripod nut in your camera is located); you’ve moved the axis of rotation forward into the camera. What the tutorial wants you to do is keep moving the axis of rotation (your finger) forward, along the optical axis, until you can’t see any parallax when rotating the camera.

Does that help, or did I make it worse?

3. captainorange says:

Don’t know about GIW, but you certainly cleared it up for me, thanks.

4. matt says:

Just wanted to update the “more” link they posted above since my site structure has changed some.

I also wanted to point out that unless you are a master wood worker the design shown in the pic above is not a very good base design. You have to have the measurement from the center of the lens to the bottom of the camera so perfect for this setup to work. That is why I made the vertical part of mine adjustable so that A.I didn’t have to be as perfect with measurements and construction. and B.So I could use this with different cameras that may or may not be the same height from the bottom of camera up to the middle of the lens.