Pinnacle VR - FW: plug the holes
- Hi Everyone,
Eric and I have been having some off list conversations and, after getting
his permission to forward it, I thought the group in general might be
interested in reading through them. His most recent question, below, is
regarding the number of holes available in the base unit.
There are two concentric rings, the outer one having 36 holes for up to 10
degrees of rotation while the inner one has 8 holes for up to 45 degrees of
rotation. The outer ring covers the following combinations - 2, 3, 4, 6, 9,
12, 18, and 36 columns, while the inner ring covers 2, 4, and 8 columns.
Eric's preference would be to have a third ring with just 6 holes to match
his shooting style without needing to keep track of how many holes to skip
between columns. Technically, this could be done by taking the existing base
unit to a machine shop and having them drill a set of holes, then also
drilling a corresponding hole in the yaw base with threading to match the
spring loaded indexing pin. I wouldn't think it would be too expensive to
have done. If there is ever a second fabrication run, I might consider
adding this third ring if enough people request it.
The other option is to redesign the base unit so that on one side, you have
the existing pattern of holes, but on the other side, some of the holes
don't get drilled all the way through. That way, the outer ring on side B
could have just 6 holes, and the inner ring on side B could have just 4
Sorry for all the messages below here, but I thought some of you might be
interested in the details of our exchanges. I also summarized some of them
on the Pinnacle VR site under the FAQ section.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric O'Brien [mailto:ericob@...]
> Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 6:23 PM
> To: markdfink@...
> Subject: Re: plug the holes
> You are a fountain of ideas, aren't you! ;)
> I had thought of that. THIS solution interferes with having my cake
> and eating it too. That is, I really LIKE having the ten degree
> increments available. If I were doing a partial panorama with a long
> lens I might use each hole, or every other, or every third. I feel
> that I could keep track of the counting in that situation (maybe I'm
> fooling myself here, too!).
> I really want to be able to switch "instantly" between dedicated 6
> around shooting and ten-degree-increment shooing. I have wanted to
> do one kind immediately after the other (without even moving the
> tripod), and I can certainly imagine wanting to do that again. With
> your system (and that additional ring of index holes), it would
> simply be a matter of unscrewing the indexing pin from one of its
> "master" locations and back into a different one. (If I correctly
> understand how your system works.)
> As an aside, I hadn't heard of the Kaidan QuickPan Professional head
> until I read about it on the list yesterday. The pre-order price is
> "only" $150 higher than what you are currently asking. It is
> tempting. HOWEVER, they seem to have traded "precision" for
> flexibility. They offer additional indexing rings (up to,
> apparently, 18 degree increments) but it sure looks like you have to
> take the thing apart in order to change the rings. Ugh. "Wrong," as
> far as my preferences go.
> I also think that "precision" (really, "repeatability") is, for the
> most part, over-rated. If you are doing high volume production work,
> with short lenses and small display sizes, then it could work fine.
> If you routinely press the "Run Optimizer" button in PTGui (or
> whatever), I just don't see the point.
> By the way, I think Kaidan's "wedge" system (as near as I can tell/
> guess about it) is a pretty good approach. HOWEVER, it seems that
> you might be able to achieve very much the same result if you used a
> conical, rather than cylindrical, pin. I'm not *quite* sure this
> could be made to work (or even be worth the trouble)... seems you'd
> have to make the first hole slightly larger to accommodate what would
> be the thicker part of the pin.
> Meanwhile, bottom line: I don't want to buy yours until it has a
> dedicated 6-around ring of index holes. I don't want to buy Kaidan's
> (or whoever else's) until THAT one offers a QUICK way to SWITCH
> between "6" around and finer increments. And vice-versa.
> I may be back to building my own again. (Ugh.)
> Thanks for all your help!
> On Jan 4, 2007, at 4:48 AM, Mark D. Fink wrote:
> > How about plugging the extra holes with a piece of wood dowel? If
> > you get
> > one that is slightly snug, you could tap it into place, trim it
> > level, and
> > even sand it to make it as flush to the surface as possible. The
> > advantage
> > is that if you change your mind later, you can always tap it back
> > out again
> > from below.
> > Mark
> >>> Mark
> >> Maybe.
> >> At this point, my main hesitation is the lack of dedicated 60 (30)
> >> degree increments. When I shoot "immersive" panos they are ALL done
> >> 6 around, 1 up and two (at a 90 degree separation) down. With your
> >> current design, I would need to use the outer ring of index holes in
> >> a clumsy "use one, skip 5" procedure. In this case I can't see
> >> actually being able to keep track of where I am by count or feel, so
> >> that means adding markers to the Base, then watching it as I rotate
> >> for each shot.
> >> I'm not shooting a large number of immersive panoramas, so maybe the
> >> actual experience wouldn't be quite as unpleasant as I imagine.
> >> It also happens that one my (few) clients is a metal fabrication
> >> shop. They are not a "machine shop" however... I'm not sure they
> >> even HAVE a metal lathe or milling machine. However, if they do, I
> >> might be able to trade them something in exchange for modifying your
> >> base to include a third ring of index holes and add a third "anchor
> >> hole" on the Yaw Base.
> >> I was really hoping for "one stop shopping," so that sort of re-work
> >> is not high on my list of Attractive Things.
> >> Hmm....
> >> eo