After testing some solutions and studying their behaviour under load, I came up with some Required attributes:
Arca-Swiss® compatible rails with double dovetail and scales.
At least 20cm (8") long rails that would accommodate a Gripped DSLR (without having to remove the Grip in order to fit on the Panorama Head).
Sturdy construction and rigid bonding between parts in order to avoid any torsion under load or any resonance derived from vibration.
And last but not least keep the volume and weigh low for ease of transport.
I had already picked the Benro Panorama Clamps for the control of the vertical and horizontal motion, had also created a convenient Nodal Rail, and after a nice cooperation with Chris Hejnar of Hejnar Photo we came up with the proper rails and connector, that were rigid enough for the purpose.
Following is a step by step presentation of the assembly and realization of my idea:
The Hejnar Rails
|Hejnar Photo G010-80 Rail top view|
|Hejnar Photo G010-80 Rail bottom view|
|Two 1/4" captive screws are needed for the attachment of the modified 90 degree block. Also shown here is the M3 stop screw.|
|The Hejnar Photo G103 modified 90 degree block|
|The difference in this block from other Hejnar photo 90 degree blocks, is that it has 2 x 1/4" tapped holes on the vertical side thus taller and 1 x 1/4" tapped hole on the horizontal plain accompanied by an anti twist island.|
|Fitting of the 90 degree block on the vertical Rail first.|
|Choosing the side of the Rail with the front 1/4" tapped hole, so it will be fixed with 2 x 1/4" captive screws on each side.|
|Screws fitted but not fully tightened yet.|
|Then the horizontal (or bottom) screws are fitted one on the Block and one on the Rail.|
|The best sequence for tightening the captive screws is:|
a. First the one fitted on the 90 degree Block
b. Next the 2 on the vertical side and
c. Finally the one fitted to the Rails "front" hole.
|Panorama Rails ready.|
The Index Bars
|Time for the Index bar(s)|
|One necessary Index Bar is on the horizontal Rail to mark the lens center to match the head pivoting point.|
The Benro Panorama Clamps
After the assembly of the Panorama Rails, is time to prepare the Benro PC-0 Panorama Clamp for attachment to the vertical rail:
|An 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 converter is needed in order to use the 1/4"-20 captive screw on the rail.|
|With the base dovetail plate removed the converter is screwed...|
|... and tightened with a big flat screw driver.|
|Vertical Panorama clamp fixed in place.|
|Closer view showing the alignment of the Benro PC-0 Panorama clamp. Care should be taken so the zero (0) mark is placed at a 90 degree angle to the vertical rail before tightening the 1/4"-20 captive screw from behind.|
|Then is time for the horizontal Panorama Clamp.|
|Benro PC-1 was chosen for the base since it can hold more weigh and of the bubble level being visible when the Rail is clamped.|
Adding the Nodal Rail
A nodal rail like the one I had described earlier in Create an Economy Nodal Rail has to be attached also on the vertical Panorama clamp.
|Positioned and locked to the predetermined Nodal point by the index bar.|
|Finally the finished whole structure.|
Total weigh just 1,134 kg (or 2.5 lbs) !
In following posts I will make a full presentation of Using a Multi Row Panorama Head,
as well as Using a Panorama Head as a Gimbal.
You may find some panorama samples under the Panorama-Photos label.
Note: The Nodal Rail pictured in this post was originally prepared for my Single Row Panorama Head. I need to say that Hejnar photo has available Nodal Rails with clamp at a very competitive cost which I trust would be of equal or better quality.
Update July 2011: Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal/Macro Rail Review
Update August 2011: Hejnar Photo E031 Nodal/Macro Rail Review
Update November 2011:
Create a Multi Row Panorama Head Ver. II
Update April 2012:
As of April 2012 the Hejnar PHOTO G010-80 rail has a minor but very useful update. It has decimal scales engraved on both sides, on top, at full length.
In the photo on the right G010-80 8" rail is depicted stand alone and with the also updated G103 90° block attached.
I hope you found this idea useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2010 S.C.Vlachos
Price & Availability:
The latest versions of all Hejnar rails and components as well as the The S.C.V. Panorama Package with 6" nodal slide or an S.C.V. Panorama Package with 8" nodal slide are available at the Hejnar PHOTO Store also containing the latest version of all the products.
If you are interested in the product, do check the Recommended Sellers page for a valid Hejnar Photo discount coupon before ordering.
While the estimated cost of both the Benro PC-0 and PC-1 Panorama clamps is US $ 230.00 shipping included from eBay.com and around EU 250.00 from local European Markets.
If you are interested in the above product(s) or any other product please consider using the relevant link(s) to make your purchase and help support this site. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated.
Hejnar Photo G103 -90 degree- Block Update
Hejnar Photo Index Bars
Benro PC-0 and PC-1 Panorama (Panoramic) Clamps
Kiwi Fotos LP-169 Lens Plate
Fotopro QAL-500 5cm Quick Release Clamp
Create an Economy Nodal/Macro Rail
Create a Mini Multi-Row Panorama Head for Mirrorless Cameras
S.C.V. Heavy Duty Multi Row Panorama Head