This is entirely possible.
I built a wooden panorama head a few years ago as a "prototype," but
never got around to the next step of refinement. Other than being
rather larger and heavier than I'd like, it works fine! :)
Since I thought I might be using different lenses or cameras (and
because I expected that my "first cut" would not be perfect), I
included fore and aft + left/right adjustment capability by including
a couple of "Manfrotto 3273 Quick Release Adapter with 2372 Plate"s
installed at right angles between the camera attachment point and the
rotating base. The 3273/3272 pair seems to be priced about $45.00-
[And GOOD LUCK finding the product on the Impossibly Awful To Use
Manfrotto site. Good Grief!!]
If you don't mind re-creating your pano head several times ("OK, now
drill the hole 1/64 inch *lower* this time"), then you don't need
Also, my camera is attached by way of a Quick Release Clamp, which
allows some vertical adjustment.
If you're using only a single camera and lens, you in theory could
get away without using such things. You might have to make several
versions before you decided that your positioning was good enough.
A very useful tool in all this: a self-leveling Laser plumb/level
It is easy to pay far too much for such a thing. Hunt around during
the "holiday/Father's Day sales" times and see what you can find.
Mine cost about $35.00 (US). The principle is astonishingly
simple... A horizontal and/or vertical laser line is projected from
an emitter that is DANGLING from an attachment inside the unit.
Dangle means pendulum means... GRAVITY is running the show. What a
deal... thank you Mr. Newton.
ASSUMING that the little tiny laser emitter was correctly calibrated/
oriented during manufacture, it will project a *very* accurate
horizontal or vertical line. Get out your string-and-weight plumb
bob or 6 foot (2 metre) construction level and challenge the results.
What this is useful for: Adjusting or Confirming that the center of
the lens is aligned with the vertical rotation axis (yaw) of the pano
head. Similarly, that the center of the lens is aligned with the
*horizontal* rotation axis (pitch) of the pano head.
That is: you can project a laser line against your pano head, and
pretty easily see how close the pivot points (holes) you've created
match up with the center of the lens axis.
On Oct 1, 2007, at 2:10 AM, paul womack wrote:
> I am just setting out to make a wooden
> pano head for my Canon a630.
> Along these lines:
> I understand about the nodal point, and
> needing to rotate about it.
> But HOW precise do I need to be in
> evaluating and building the nodal
> 1/2 a mm?
> 1 mm?
> 5 mm?