June 15, 2015

Create a Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Head

SCV Heavy Duty HDR Multi-Row Panorama Head with Canon tele lens
The release of the 5/8" thick Hejnar PHOTO G15/16 Series of Multi-Purpose Rails quite a long time ago, inspired me to start studying and further improve the design of my Arca compatible Multi Row Panorama Head Ver. II .

Well, there is nothing wrong with the Ver II Panorama Head sturdiness or functionality as it is, but I wanted to push the limits farther.

This time the goal was to construct a Panorama (Panoramic) Head that would withstand even more heavy loads at an offset position, like heavy long telephoto and/or zoom lenses for HDR / Gigapixel Panoramic photography, or medium format cameras and their lenses, with the absence of any vibration.

The project passed different phases, from defining the needs, to testing and finding the limitations of rails, panoramic rotators, ball heads or leveling bases and all the links in the support chain in general.

Heavy loads positioned at an offset from a pivoting or supporting point, generate tremendous torque that makes even sturdy equipment like rails reach their torsional limits. Even tripods with otherwise high-load capacity specs, start to show a week point, like their center column hub, which in the case of a previously considered sturdy tripod, it started flexing.

My intention is not to reinvent the wheel, as there are very sturdy Panorama Heads in the market with excellent quality and behavior under heavy loads, but to offer an alternative solution that would combine the required sturdiness with a more affordable price for the cost minded serious amateur or why not a professional photographer.

Needless to mention, that once again a lot is owed to Chris Hejnar of Hejnar Photo, who is always patient and open into developing new ideas.
We came up with variations of his very sturdy Multipurpose Rails and captive quick release clamps in order to serve the purpose. On the other hand he is constantly improving and refining his products that sometimes he is difficult to catch up.

Nevertheless, we once more succeeded in coming up to a full Hejnar Photo solution (aka package) for the Heavy Duty Multi Row Panorama Head structure.

Somehow the publication of this article has been withdrawn or postponed quite a few times, either because something else was prioritized or because some of the chosen components were not up to the standards I wanted and expected when the samples came in.
I wouldn't publish something not being able to recommend it without any reservation.

I think that after a lot of testing concerning structural sturdiness and behavior under different loads, the SCV Heavy Duty HDR Multi Row Panorama Head is ready to meet the public.

Selection of Components


Although, I started building the Heavy Duty Panorama Head around the Hejnar PHOTO G15/16 Series of Multi-Purpose Rails, gradually more appropriate models came out, either by evolution or by sitting together with Chris and redesigning some stuff.

Early tests with Hejnar G15 Series rails, early Sunwayfoto Indexing Rotators and Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head used as a leveling device. All supported by Benro A-298 EX Versatile Tranforner Tripod ( Review ). However, Many things have changed since then.
Also some parts were removed from the final product, sacrificing some versatility, oh everyone that reads my reviews knows how I love versatility, but had to for the sake of stability and sturdiness. Finally the choice of the Panorama Head parts is listed below.
Each component was extensively tested and individually reviewed so you may find one or more links to the relevant and thorough articles. In this way the article is simplified, containing only the highlights but the individual reviews are always there as a reference to give you a very detailed idea why each one part was picked.

The Horizontal Rail

For the role of the horizontal rail I choose the Hejnar PHOTO G20-10 5/8 Multi Purpose Rail (Review) which has optimal characteristics for the purpose.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:G20-10
Length:254 mm (10")
Width:1.50" (254 mm)
Weight:187 gr (6.6 oz)
Metric Scales:On both sides
Tapped Holes:2 X 1/4"-20 both in front and back
Mounting Slots:3 X Captive Stylee
Mounting Holes:2 X Threaded, one 1/4"-20 and one 3/8"-16
Safety Stop Screws:2 X M3 one on each side
Material:CNC machined 6061-T6 Aluminium
Color:Black hard coat anodized
Hardware:Stainless Steel
Made in :USA

It's highlights are its length 10" (254 mm) and thickness of 5/8" (16 mm) a good size bubble level at the front end. Yet, its most important merit for the purpose is hidden at the bottom side. The G20-10 rail has two cross bars which enhance its anti-torsional strength. Minor but still important are its metric scales on both sides as well as that it comes fitted with two M3 safety stop screws at the bottom, one at each end.

Hejnar PHOTO G20-10 5/8 Multi Purpose Rail overview

The Vertical Rail

The Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 MPR/Vertical Rail (Review) was actually developed in cooperation with Chris Hejnar to fulfill exactly this role as a Vertical Arm for a heavy duty Panorama Head.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:G21-80 5/8" Vertical Rail
Length:203 mm (8")
Height:16 mm (5/8")
Width:38 mm (1.5")
Weight:143 gr (5.04 oz")
Safety Stop Screws:Two M3 one at each end
Material:6061-T6 Aluminium
Color:Black hard coat anodized
Made in:U.S.A.

Highlights, its 5/8" thick walls to enhance its torsional resistance with metric scales at both sides, its full length captive style slot and 1/4"-20 tapped holes at both ends, front and rear for mounting purposes.

Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 MPR/Vertical Rail Overview

However, in order to build a versatile vertical rail, besides the 4mm Allen Hex key that's already included with the rail, a few more components are required like the Hejnar PHOTO G103 -90 degree- Block (Review) and the Hejnar PHOTO F68 Dual Captive Slot Quick Release Clamp (Review) shown in the photo below.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:F68 Dual Captive Slot
Jaw Length:60 mm (2.375")
Mounting Screws:Two 1/4"-20 captive hex-socket
Mounting Slots:Two captive
Weight:105 gr (3.7 oz)
Material:6061-T6 Aluminium, Black hard coat anodized
Hardware:Stainless Steel
Made in:U.S.A.

Vertical Rail components G-103 Block and F68 Special clamp
Vertical Rail assembly components include G-103 90° Block and F68 Special dual captive slot clamp and four (4) 1/2" 1/4"-20 captive screws.
For detailed information about these components you may have a look in their individual reviews.

Selection of a Nodal slide rail

My choice for this presentation are the Hejnar PHOTO Updated E030-60 6" Nodal Slide Rail (Review) combined with the Hejnar PHOTO Updated F61b 1.5" Quick Release Clamp (Review) in order to save on size and wait as much as possible.

Hejnar PHOTO Updated E030-60 6" Nodal Slide Rail
Hejnar PHOTO Updated E030-60 6" Nodal Slide Rail with the Hejnar PHOTO Updated F61b 1.5" Quick Release Clamp
Manufacturer Specification:
Model:E030-60
Length:6.0" (15.24 cm)
Width:1,5" (03.81 cm)
Thickness:1/2" (01.27 cm)
Weight:3.7 oz (105 gr)
Material:CNC machined 6061-T6 Aluminium
Safety Stop Screws:2 x M3
One tapped hole:1 x 1/4"-20
Engraved Scales:Metric mm
Hardware:Stainless Steel
Color:Black hard coat anodized
Made in:USA

Since the Nodal Rail is mounted vertically on a Multi Row panorama head, the short length of the Hejna E30-60 does not allow for any flex or vibration under heavy loads.

Nonetheless, if something stronger and larger is needed you may always choose among a variety of longer and or thicker Nodal Rails from Hejnar Photo like the Hejnar PHOTO E051 Nodal/Macro Rail (5/8" thick by 6.5") or Hejnar PHOTO E050 Nodal/Macro Rail (5/8" thick by 8").

Hejnar Photo E050 + F61 6.5" Nodal Rail
Hejnar Photo E050 6.5" Long Nodal Rail combined with the older version of Hejnar F61 QR Clamp 
It's even possible to create a solution with one of the Hejnar PHOTO G16 Series Multi Purpose Rails which accept a movable ridge making them ideal for large and heavy telephoto lenses. But the latter may be the subject of another article with implementation examples, as long focal lengths may require a reverse mount rail, since the NPP may be behind the lens mount inside the camera.

Hejnar Photo G-16-60 MPR
Hejnar Photo G-16-60 6" long by 5/8" thick Multi Purpose Rail

The Index Stop Bars

Index Stop Bars are a so inexpensive and lightweight that in my opinion are a must have for the versatility they add by marking settings on a decimal scale. You'll need at least two, one for marking the vertical rail position on the horizontal rail and one for marking the lens NPP (Non Parallax Point on the Nodal Rail.
More info for their deployment in the Hejnar PHOTO Index Stop Bars page as well as at the end of this article on the specific rails.

Hejnar Photo Index Stop Bars

The Horizontal Indexed Rotator

I have written so extensively about the Sunwayfoto DDP-64MX+DDY-64 Panoramic Indexing Rotator in its review and even more in the Sunwayfoto DDP-64M Panoramic Indexing Rotator Updated version Review that there is no need to repeat myself here.
After the updated version came out, this became an excellent choice of an Indexed Rotator with 10 click stop options ideal for HDR (High-Dynamic Range) panoramas as well as time sensitive situations in which shooting must be completed quickly, such as shooting high resolution multi-image mosaics or shooting the same scene at different focal lengths.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model: DDP-64MX+DDY-64
Diameter:64,00 mm
Height:46,00 mm
Height w/DDY-64 QR Clamp:61,50 mm
Bottom mounting thread:3/8"-16 UNC
Top mounting stud:1/4"-20 UNC
Weight:400 gr*
Max Load capacity:10.0 kg (22 lbs)

Highlights,  compact and light weight - weighing only 400 grams, more than 10 kg (22lbs) load supported (See Torque test results in Review), Independent Lock Knobs for Top Platform and Panning Base, Lubricated bearings for smooth rotation.

Sunwayfoto DDP-64MX+DDY-64 Panoramic Indexing Rotator
Sunwayfoto DDP-64MX Panoramic Indexing Rotator bundled with DDY-64 Diskal QR Clamp and AM-01 Dovetail Base.
Click stop options

12345678910
Degrees5101520243036456090
Ckick Stops72362418151210864

Further than that the DDP-64MX version equipped with the the AM-01 Arca Mount dovetail base bundled with the DDY-64i (updated) Discal clamp, comes in a very competitive price.

The Vertical Indexed Rotator

The small size, the indexing ability and the locking strength were the merits that inspired me to test Sunwayfoto DDP-64SX Panoramic Indexing Rotator initially as a vertical rotator. It was to my great disappointment to find out that the original version had an issue with the panning scale numbering as well as with the alignment of the scale and the base or top mounting holes.
To put things straight though, Sunwayfoto engineers designed the DDP-64S having in mind a horizontal use where it had not any issue whatsoever regarding the mounting holes.

After many emails, drawings and samples going back and forth, we came up to an updated version of the Sunwayfoto DDP-64S Panoramic Indexing Rotator Updated,  with full 360° scales and changes in the mounting hole arrangement.

It really took some time, maybe a couple of years and many production batches, until a product fully compatible with the concept of both horizontal and vertical use, came out in the version of Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si Panoramic Indexing Rotator (Review) which proved even stronger.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:DDP-64SI
Diameter:64 mm
Height:25.8 mm
Bottom mounting thread:3/8"-16 UNC
Top mounting stud:1/4"-20 UNC
Weight:190 gr*
Max Load capacity:6-8 kg (13.2-17.6 lbs)

On the other hand many things may change in such a time span, like priorities, life in general and other facts that postponed and delayed the completion of the original Panoramic Head concept. But here we are.

Highlights, compact and light weight - weighing only 190 grams, far more than 6-8 kg (13.2-17.6 lbs) load supported (See Torque test results in Review), Lubricated bearings for smooth rotation. All these made this last i (=improved) version of the DDP-64S Indexed Rotator ideal for vertical use.

Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si Panoramic Indexing Rotator
Latest and updated version Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si Panoramic Indexing Rotator.
Click stop options:

New DDP-64SI1234
Degrees8121518
Click Stops45302420

Needless to say, that the Click stop options of the updated DDP-64Si are more appropriate for use with a vertical rotator than the original DDP-64S.
Furthermore, the smaller 8° index stop can serve even for a quite heavy 180 mm telephoto lens in portrait orientation.
However, I'm still in negotiations with Sunwayfoto to bring out a version with click stops every 5, 10, 15 and 45 degrees in the future, which will be compatible with even longer focal lengths.

The Vertical Quick Release Clamp

Although the DDP-64SI is equipped with a 1/4"-20 stud and 4 mounting holes on the top platform, the option of a discal clamp on top proves far more versatile for easy and faster attachment of a nodal rail or lens plate directly.
Both Sunwayfoto DDY-64i (shown below) and DDY-64iL (with long screw knob) serve the purpose.
More details about the clamp in the Sunwayfoto DDY-64i Discal Quick Release Clamp Review.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:DDY-64iDDY-64iL
Diameter:64 mm64 mm
Height:15,5 mm15,5 mm
Length:81 mm102 mm
Clamp:Screw KnobScrew Knob
Bottom mounting thread:3/8"-16 UNC3/8"-16 UNC
Weight:80 gr86 gr


Sunwayfoto DDY-64i Discal Quick Release Clamp
Sunwayfoto DDY-64i Discal Quick Release Clamp with included mounting screws and Allen hex key.
Nevertheless, extra DDY-64i or DDy-64iL as we shall see later on may be used to increase versatility in quick attachment / detachment also between other components except for the vertical rotator.

The Leveling Base

Frequent readers and followers of the site may reacall my older versions of Multi- Row Panorama Heads were based on panoramic clamps directly attached on a tripod or clamped by a Ball Head, which took the role of leveling.

However, considering the use of an Indexed Rotator and the overall increase in the load, especially the one generated by the offset weights of this new attempt, the demands from the supporting gear were tremendous. After my initial tests with a quite heavy duty and low profile ball head, I very quickly reached the conclusion that the stability of the new heavy duty panorama head would really benefit from the use of a leveling base.

My findings and torque test results are expressed in the thorough and comprehensive Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base Review which I recommend reading.

Manufacturer Specification:
Model: DYH-66i
Platform Diameter:66 mm
Base Diameter:60 mm
Height:42 mm
Bottom mounting thread:3/8"-16 UNC
Top mounting stud:1/4"-20 UNC
Weight:290 gr*
Max Load capacity:> 10.0 kg (22 lbs)

Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base
The sturdy Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base can hold more than 16.5 kg
Nevertheless, using a Leveling Base is not obligatory as long as you shoot interiors where the floor or whatever surface is level, so leveling your tripod and panoramic head is far easier.
Therefore, I recommend the inclusion of the Leveling Base in your options when you mostly shoot outdoors setting your tripod on uneven ground. Otherwise you can save some money.

The Heavy Duty Panorama Head Structure


Preparing the Vertical Rail Assmbly

As it was thoroughly described in the Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 MPR/Vertical Rail Review we should start from the assembly of our vertical rail.
First of all we need to align and secure the Hejnar PHOTO G103 -90 degree- Block on the Hejnar PHOTO F68 Dual Captive Slot Quick Release Clamp with two 1/2" long 1/4"-20 captive screws.At this stage the block should not be tightened fully yet.

Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail and G103 90° block assembly seq
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail and G103 90° block assembly step by step.
It does not matter which end of the G21-80 rail you choose to attach the 90° block since there are 1/4"-20 threaded holes at both ends. It's rather a matter of preference where the 0 point of decimal side scale should be up at the top or down.

Next comes the attachment of the F68 dual captive slot clamp, using two 1/4-20 captive screws.

Attachment of Hejnar Photo F69 duak Slot clamp seq
The clamp should be aligned and tightened with the aid of the included 4mm Allen hex key. After  tightening the clamp you can tighten well the screws that hold the G-103 block to the G21-80 rail.

Preparing the Vertical Rotator

The DDP-64SI is shown with the DDY-64i 64 mm discal quick release clamp, a couple of the matching short flat head hex screws and the appropriate Allen hex key, all included. Mounting the clamp is straight forward using the supplied hex screws and tightening with the Allen key.
Nevertheless, the existence of 4 mounting holes, offers the user a choice regarding the orientation of the discal clamp dovetail on the rotator. It can be rotated in 90° increments, where the user finds it more convenient or presenting the less destruction for nadir shots.

Sunwayfoto DDP-64SI - DDY-64i Discal QR clamp attachment sequence
Attachment sequence of the DDY-64i Discal QR clamp with short knob on Sunwayfoto DDP-64SI Indexing rotator. 

Attaching the Vertical Rotator to the Vertical Rail

To my content the release of the DDP-64SI has finally taken care of the mounting holes and panning scale misalignment issues. Further, now that there are four mounting holes on the top platform and other four relatively aligned at the base, the user has the ability to choose the appropriate ones for mounting the Indexed Rotator deciding on its orientation.

In the photo below we can see that the simplest mounting option in order to reach the topmost position on the vertical rail, is to use a couple of 1/4"-20 captive screws, one longer in the center mounting hole of the Rotator via a 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 reducer bushing and a second shorter one in one of the four peripheral mounting holes.
The full length captive slot of the Hejnar G21-80 Vertical Rail allows for the adjustment of the Vertical Rotator at any desirable height on the Rail according to task.

Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si on Hejnar G21-80 Vertical Rail - rear view
Rear view of Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si attached on Hejnar Photo G21-80 Vertical Rail by two 1/4"-20 captive screws.

As mentioned above, the existence of 4 mounting holes on the base of the DDP-64SI offers a choice to the user on which side of the Rotator will face the front, top etc as it can be turned in 90° increments. In the next photo the 0 mark of the laser engraved scale is positioned on the front with the ratcheted Lock knob pointing to the top.
On the other hand, the existence of another 4 mounting holes on the top platform offers another choice regarding the orientation of the Discal clamp jaws and Screw Lock Knob.

Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si on Hejnar G21-80 Vertical Rail - front view
The Sunwayfoto DDY-64i is shown above with a perpendicular orientation to the vertical rail which enables the use of a nodal slide and with the Screw Lock Knob pointing downwards.



Mounting the Leveling Base on the Tripod

DYH-66i has the usual 3/8"-16 threaded center hole at the bottom for mounting onto an equivalent tripod stud.

Sunwayfoto DYH-66i bottom view
Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base bottom view showing 3/8"-16 thread mounting hole.
As pointed out in the Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base Review early production batches of the Leveling Base had a small issue since due to their comparatively low profile, the bottom mounting hole threads of the leveling base were only 6 mm deep.
There is no drawback whatsoever, since 6 mm of a 3/8" stud are more that adequate in holding very heavy equipment. Only caution should have been taken adjusting the height of the tripod stud (pssible on most tripods), when mounting the Leveling Base.

Although Sunwayfoto engineers in later production batches of the DYH-66i in order to address the issue, have increased the bottom mounting hole depth to 9.2 mm, I'm mentioning this in case you come across an old stock or a used product bearing a tempting price.

As we can see below DYH-66i sits very nicely on top of a 58 mm tripod mounting plate usually found on most Series 2 and 3 tripods. The max load specification of the Leveling Base matches also these max load specs of these tripod series as the Triopo GX-1328 Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod (Review) used for the tests and the illustrations herein.

Sunwayfoto DYH-66i mounting on tripod stud
Sunwayfoto DYH-66i mounting on Triopo GX-1328 CF Classic tripod directly on top plate 3/8"-16 stud

Mounting the Horizontal Panoramic Rotator
a. Directly on the Leveling Base

Since DYH-66i has an 1/4"-20 top mounting stud and DDP-64MX has a 3/8"-16 bottom mounting hole it is imperative to use an 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 conversion bushing.
Somehow, both come with a reducer bushing pre-installed. therefore one has to be removed. Since they are not exactly the same design, I preferred to keep the one pre-installed at the DDP-64MX bottom mounting hole which after some tests proved less prone to unscrew.

Sunwayfoto DYH-66i and DDP-64M+DDY-64 bottom view
Mounting the DDP-64M+DDY-64 Combo on the Sunwayfoto DYH-66i requires a 3/8"-16 bushing
After screwing by turning clockwise the DDP-64MX on top the DYH-66i and tightening until we reach a good contact, then we need to tighten with moderate force the 3 security set screws found around the perimeter of the DYH-66i top platform. Now the indexing rotator is secured without fear of twisting and/or loosening.

Sunwayfoto DYH-66i & DDP-64M+DDY-64 - security screws
DDP-64M+DDY-64 Combo is secured on Sunwayfoto DYH-66i by tightening 3 set screws

b. Via the AM-01 Arca Mount

If setup times matter a lot for you or you are just a fan of speed, then you may consider attaching a second (or third if you count the vertical rotatator) DDY-64i / 64iL QR Clamp on the leveling base.
This will allow for quick mounting the indexing rotator via its Arca Mount plate.

Sunwayfoto DYH-66i & DDP-64M+DDY-64 -AM-01 Mounting Seq
Mounting sequence of the DDP-64M+DDY-64 Combo on the Sunwayfoto DYH-66i via the AM-01 Arca Mount using a Quick Release Clamp
For more details in mounting the DDP-64MX via its AM-01 Arca Mount on the DYH-66i Leveling Base you may visit the full Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base Review

Attaching the Horizontal Rail On the Rotator

Since the Horizontal Rotator is by default equipped with a Quick Release Clamp, we simply need to open the QR Clamp jaws enough by unscrewing the Screw Knob in order to insert the lower dovetail of  the Horizontal Rail from top. The M3 safety screws will not allow the Rail to be slid in the clamp.
Preferably the side of the Rail with the Bubble Level should be placed on top of the Indexing Rotator covering the full length of the QR Clamp jaws for better clamping.

Just tighten then the QR Clamp well to secure the Horizontal Rail in place.


Mounting the Vertical Rail on the Horizontal Rail

As long as the Vertical Rail is equipped with a Quick Release Clamp as well, this process is straightforward but easier since there is no safety screw on the Horizontal Rail top dovetail.
You need only to open the QR Clamp jaws slightly by unscrewing the Screw Knob and slide the Vertical Arm Assembly on the upper dovetail of the Horizontal Rail.
Then lock the QR Clamp when the Vertical Arm Assembly is at the desired position and you are set.

Vertical Arm with vertical rotator mounted on Horizontal Rail
Vertical Arm with vertical rotator installed mounted on Horizontal Rail

Preparing the Nodal slide rail

Mounting the Hejnar PHOTO Updated E030-60 6" Nodal Slide Rail (Review) in line with the Hejnar PHOTO Updated E030-60 6" Nodal Slide Rail (Review) is easy. Just insert one or both of the included alignment dowel pins, aside of the 1/4"-20 mounting hole and then tighten the 1/4"-20 flat-head screw included with the QR clamp. The clamp is automatically aligned and fixed.

Hejnar PHOTO E030-60 6" and F61b QR clamp mounting seq.
Mounting sequence of  the Hejnar Photo F61b QR clamp on the Hejnar PHOTO E030-60 6" Rail in parallel orientation.
Since the whole point of having a removable QR clamp on a nodal rail, is to be able to reorient it in any direction you wish, then in order to attach it perpendicularly to the rail the alignment dowel pins have to be inserted one in front and one behind the 1/4"-20 mounting hole.
The clamp is aligned and tightened by the included 1/4"-20 flat-head screw while you can arrange that the knob faces either upwards or downwards.

Hejnar PHOTO E030-60 6" and F61b QR clamp mounting seq.II
Mounting sequence of  the Hejnar Photo F61b QR clamp on the Hejnar PHOTO E030-60 6" Rail in perpendicular orientation.

Attaching the Nodal Slide Rail on the Vertical Rotator

A Panorama Head is not complete until a Nodal Slide Rail is added. However, before attaching the Nodal slide rail, the panning Lock Knob shown on the top of  the vertical Indexing Rotator should be tightened, to immobilize the rotator.

Next unscrew the Screw Knob of the Indexing Rotator Clamp to open its jaws enough to accept the Nodal Rail from side-top. Once again the existence of M3 safety screws at the bottom of the Nodal Rail do not permit for it to be slid in.
Place the Nodal Rail to the desired position and Lock the QR Clamp Knob to secure it in place.
Your Heavy Duty Panorama Head is now almost ready.

Completed SCV Heavy Duty HDR Multi-Row Panorama Head
Completed SCV Heavy Duty HDR Multi-Row Panorama Head with short 6" Nodal Rail

Adding the Index Bars Marking Reference Points

A touch of quality and versatility would require a couple of the forementioned Index Stop Bars so we can call this Heavy Duty Panorama Head complete.

Attaching an Index Bar on the Nodal Slide Rail is quite straightforward. After we determine the NPP of our lens we can mark the position by inserting one Index Bar on the top dovetail of the Nodal Slide rail. Just tighten slightly the soft tipped set screws on the Index Bar and you are set.

Adding Index Bar on Nodal Slide Rail Sequence
Adding an Index Bar on the Nodal Slide Rail pointing a lens NPP
Same applies for marking the position of the Vertical Rail after centering your camera / lens combo above the pivoting axis of the panoramic rotator.
Here the Index Bar acts as a Stop Bar for the Vertical Rail either in front or at the rear of the QR Clamp.
Adding Index Bar on Horizontal Rail Sequence
Adding an Index Bar on the Horizontal Rail acting as Stop Bar for the Vertical Rail position.

Index Bar on Horizontal Rail as Stop Bar detail
Index Bar on far end of Horizontal Rail marks the Vertical Rail position.


Packing the Panorama head

One of the reasons that modularity is indispensable in a Panorama head, is to be able to dismantle the head easily and have it safely packed for storage and/or transport.
As this is a custom head structure a usual method implemented also in the other versions of my Panorama Head designs is described in the Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch Set (Review)

Using the Panorama head


You may find more information and implementation instructions on this Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Head in the upcoming affiliate article: Using SCV Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Head

SCV Heavy Duty HDR Multi-Row Panorama Head with Canon tele lens
SCV Heavy Duty HDR Multi-Row Panorama Head with Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM telephoto lens

If this Panorama Head structure is large for your needs, you may find smaller and or lighter structures with their implementation instructions in the "Relevant Articles" section below.

Note: The Hejnar rails as well as the clamps presented in this article are prototype or first production units; therefore there may be some minor differences from the units currently in production as Chris Hejnar is constantly improving his line of products. For final product illustrations you may visit the "Multipurpose Rails - 5/8 Thick Rails" or the "Clamps - Special Clamps" sections in the Hejnar PHOTO online store.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2012-2016 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
Hejnar Photo obliged by creating and making available from their Hejnar Photo online store, a special package containing all the components coming from their lines i.e. Hejnar Rails, Clamps, Nodal Slide, Screws and even Allen hex keys, which are required to build the Panorama Head described here.
Hejnar S.C.V. Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Package
Hejnar Photo S.C.V. Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Package contains (from left to right) E30-80 Nodla Slide (Assembled), G21-10 Horizontal Rail, G21-80 Vertical Rail, G-103 Block and F68 special QR Clamp (Assembled), Index Stop Bars and Allen wrenches. (Photo by courtesy of Hejnar PHOTO ©Chris Hejnar)
The cost at the time of writing of the SCV Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Package is US $ 330.00 (+shipping where applicable) containing an 8" Nodal Slide. Anyone interested in a different length or thickness for the Nodal Rail (Slide) should come in contact with Chris Hejnar at Hejnar Photo prior to ordering.
As I was informed there will be no extra cost.

Individual prices of the Sunwayfoto products at the time of writing this article are as follows:
a. for the DDP-64SI is US$ 69.95.
b. for the QR clamps DDY-64i is US$ 34.95, or for DDY-64iL US$ 39,95
c. for the updated version of DDP-MX + DDY-64i (bundled with AM-01 and DDY-64i Discal QR clamp) is US$ 139.95
d .Optionally if you want a Leveling Base the DYH-66i costs US$ 79.95
As all above Sunwayfoto products are available from Amazon.com, you can estimate a further 10% discount on the cost of the Sunwayfoto Indexing Rotators and Discal Clamps Package if you buy 3 or more items sold from OEC Camera and fulfilled by Amazon.

Before any purchase, do check the Recommended Sellers page for the current valid Hejnar Photo discount coupon, and for the OEC Camera discount policy for purchases of multiple items at Amazon.com under the relevant sections.

If you are interested in the above product(s) or any other product please consider using the relevant link(s) supplied herein to make your purchase and help support this site. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated.

Referenced Articles:
Hejnar PHOTO G20-10 5/8 Multi Purpose Rail Review
Hejnar PHOTO G103 -90 degree- Block
Hejnar PHOTO F68 Dual Captive Slot Quick Release Clamp Review
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 MPR/Vertical Rail Review
Hejnar PHOTO Updated E030-60 6" Nodal Slide Rail Review
Hejnar PHOTO Updated F61b 1.5" Quick Release Clamp Review
Hejnar PHOTO Index Stop Bars

Hejnar PHOTO E051 Nodal/Macro Rail
Hejnar PHOTO E050 Nodal/Macro Rail
Hejnar PHOTO G16 Series Multi Purpose Rails

Sunwayfoto DDP-64MX+DDY-64 Panoramic Indexing Rotator Review
Sunwayfoto DDP-64Si Panoramic Indexing Rotator Review
Sunwayfoto DDY-64i Discal Quick Release Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base Review

Triopo GX-1328 Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Review
Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch Set Review

Relevant Articles:
Create a Mini Multi-Row Panorama Head for Mirrorless Cameras
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Using Multi Row Panorama Head Ver.II

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