March 31, 2014

Create a Leveled Panoramic Rotator via the SCV-Flip-Kit - Part Three

Inverted Benro B2 Ball Head w/ Desmond DNR-120 Nodal Slide
This is the third article on the Create a Leveled Panoramic Rotator via the SCV-Flip-Kit theme aiming to help with more ideas on the implementation of the Desmonf SCV-FK Flip Kit.
Therefore, this third part is an addendum to the previous two articles in order to present the use of the enhanced Desmond SCV-FK Flip Kit along with a lower budget and more common ball head like the Benro B-2. Due to the resemblances, readers of the previous articles may find some parts sounding familiar or identical.

The refined idea of an inverse mounted ball head equipped with a panning base, which automatically gives to it leveling base attributes, as well as how I arrived to designing the SCV-FK Flip-Kit is fully described and explained in the original article.
Therefore, in order to avoid repeating myself, please refer to the original article Create an Economy Leveled Panoramic Rotator via a Ball Head Flip-Kit if you find difficulty comprehending the process or the purpose.

The Enhanced Flip Kit
Pursuing the goal that "anyone" can use the Flip-Kit, the prerequisites regarding the ball heads covered by this first version of the Flip-Kit, which applied some restrictions, were almost eliminated by the release of the enhanced kit.
Now the majority of ball head types are covered and even more, with the addition of the Desmond Boss Adapter for Manfrotto 490 and 050 Series Ball Heads (sold as an extra) owners Manfrotto® ball heads can use the Flip-Kit as well.

In the first article, Create an Economy Leveled Panoramic Rotator via a Ball Head Flip-Kit I had described and illustrated the relocation of the Sunwayfoto XB-44 low profile ball head existing QR clamp at the bottom of the ball head utilizing the male 3/8"-16 to male 3/8"-16 thread adapter disk since both the ball head bottom mounting hole and the clamp center mounting hole were threaded 3/8"-16.

Further, in Create a Leveled Panoramic Rotator via the SCV-Flip-Kit - Part Two I had picked for illustration the Sunwayfoto FB-36DL Lightweight Ball Head which fits the description of a ball head with narrow ball-stem using M5 size screws for clamp attachment and an 1/4"-20 clamp center hole.

Ball Head Conversion Example III

For this example, I selected for illustration the Benro B-2 Ball Head (Review) which fits the description of a budget ball head but with enough strength to hold large camera/lens combos, and deploys an M6 screw for its clamp attachment, but the clamp features an unthreaded center hole.

Removing the QR Clamp

Benro B2 Ball Head - QR clamp removal sequence
First step is to remove the ball head quick release clamp. After locking the ball tightly via the large ball head lock-knob, we unscrew (turning counter-clockwise) the QR clamp using the 4 mm Allen hex key appropriate for the M6 screw preferably the one provided with the ball head. This key is longer, therefore exercises more torque in order to anticipate with the known Benro issue with difficult to remove clamp screws.
SCV-FK aluminium base w/ hex socket cap screw and Allen key
Then we isolate the SCV-FK Aluminium base and the appropriate hex socket cap screw from the kit, choosing the one that matches the threads of the screw removed from the QR clamp. In this case we need the M6 thread screw/bolt.

Attaching the Aluminium Base

Hand testing of hex-socket cap screw on ball head stem
It would be wise to hand test the hex-socket cap screw into the ball stem threads in order to ensure full compatibility and avoid causing damage to the threads.
SCV-FK aluminium base mounting sequence on Benro B2 BH
Next step is to invert the aluminium base on top of the ball head, taking care to align the ball head stem bosses with the relevant anti-twist groove on the base top platform (as shown on the top left photo). Then we should align the center hole with the ball head mounting hole and gently screw the hex-socket cap screw a few turns (top right photo). Then using the appropriate Allen hex key we screw all the way and tighten the base in place.

Preparing the QR Clamp with the 1/4" Screw

Preparation sequence of Benro B2 clamp w/ 1/4" screw and rubber washer
Although the Benro B2 clamp center hole does not seem to be threaded, we shall still utilize the stainless steel 1" long 1/4"-20 flat-head hex-socket screw, which we have to slowly screw-in from top all the way and tightened well on the clamp first so as it resides flush with the clamp surface (top right photo). Then on the under side we can fit the stick-on rubber washer which will play the role of an anti-twist mechanism (bottom photo).
As I had mentioned in the past the glue on the stick-on rubber washer is strong, therefore it is up to the user to decide on which side to stick it. Somehow,  the Benro B2 clamp does not have sufficient flat surface at the bottom to stick it, so the only choice here remains the ball head base. 

Attaching the QR Clamp on the Ball Head

Clamp attachment sequence via 3/8" to 1/4" bushing on Ball Head bottom
Flip and stand the Ball Head on the SCV-FK base. Either the 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 thread conversion bushing supplied with the ball head or the one supplied with the SCV-FK kit, should be screwed into the ball head's 3/8"-16 bottom mounting hole (top photos) in order to accept the 1.4"-20 screw.
All we need now is to screw into the bottom hole the prepared QR clamp with the 1/4"-20 screw and tighten it well with the included 4 mm Allen Hex key.
Inverted Benro B2 BH w/ SCV-FK Flip kit - complete
Our leveled panoramic rotator is now ready! Should I mention here once again, that the stick-on rubber washer has a dual role. Besides preventing the QR clamp from twisting it also acts as a spacer between the ball head and the QR clamp. This is a provision for ball heads, which have the panning lock-knob placed very close to the bottom, thus avoid interference between the clamp knob and the ball head knobs.

Using Your Inverted Rotator

Tripod mouting sequence of inverted Benro B2 BH via SCV-FK Flip kit
The inverted ball head is now easily mounted on a tripod top mounting plate stud, like the Benro A-298 EX (A2980F) Versatile Transformer Tripod pictured above, via the 3/8"-16 mounting hole on the bottom side of the SCV-FK Aluminium Base. (If your tripod has a non reversible 1/4"-20 stud then an extra to 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 conversion bushing should be used).
Ball head operation examples in tilted or vertical orientaton
The Flip-Kit base is both sturdy enough to hold and tall enough to permit any kind of ball head movement from slight tilting to full vertical tilting without any interference with the panning base (panning top now) or the QR clamp knobs.
Inverted Benro B2 Ball Head w/ Desmond DNR-120 Nodal Slide
Similarly as suggested in parts one and two, adding a low budget Nodal Slide like the Desmond DNR-120 pictured above...
Inverted Benro B2 BH w/ Lens Ring
Or a lens ring equipped with an Arca style foot, you may come up with a very versatile and low cost, entry level panoramic solution, yet fully Arca-Swiss® compatible.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
Design, Photos & Photosynths: © 2014 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
Introductory price of the Desmond SCV-FK Flip-Kit is US$ 24.95 9.95 and is available from Amazon and from eBay

Referenced Articles:

Benro B-2 Ball Head Review

Benro A-298 EX (A2980F) Versatile Transformer Tripod Review

New Budget Line of Nodal Slides and Multipurpose Rails from Desmond

Relevant Articles:

Create a Leveled Panoramic Rotator via the SCV-Flip-Kit - Part Two

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