XE1 Panorama Setup: another possibility

Started Jan 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
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nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
XE1 Panorama Setup: another possibility

Panorama shooting comes up avery now and then. There are many ways of doing it. I thought I'd show my setup as it uses a slightly uncommon approach.

Panorama Setup

My setup consists of:

All components are compatible with the Arca-Swiss style.

My main goals for this setup were compactness, lightweight, and flexibility.

This setup allows me to use my 18-55mm and 14mm lenses with 77mm filters attached (14mm lens and B&W ND filter shown), as that does not clash with the nodal slide. The setup can be used without fuss for multi-row and single-row panoramas. In the latter case, the panorama rails stay in the bag.

Most importantly, the setup breaks down quickly. The horizontal and vertical rails have a quick disconnect that does not require any tools, one can't loose the screw as it is captive, and it does not require additional clamps or corner stabilizers as is the case with most other panorama arms. The corner stabilizers often prevent the camera to be rotated to shoot the zenith, unless beefier clamps are used on the vertical arm.

The quick connect design is the unusual part. I was in fact talking to Chris Hejnar about this design, and he was willing to produce it. So, if you have any good ideas about camera equipment, by all means, get in touch with him as he is very accommodating and easy to work with. Can't say as much about most other camera equipment manufacturers.

Note: The Novoflex Ball19P head is entirely adequate to carry the setup. Obviously, the knobs are a bit small, but compactness and weight trump that.

Potential improvements:

The nodal slide is beefier than it needs to be and cold be replaced in the future.

If weight & size are of the utmost importance, the horizontal arm could be shorter by about 2" (for this particular camera anyway), but there is no such option currently, and the vertical portion of the L-bracket could be removed (for multi-row panoramas). Depending on the lens, the vertical arm could also be shorter.

A couple notes about the L-bracket:

I was explicitly looking for a bracket without hand grip. When I use the bracket, I wouldn't need the hand grip, and when I would want to use the hand grip, I wouldn't need the bracket. I could be convinced to get a hand grip if there was one that does not require a bracket or plate. Short if DIY solutions, I am not aware of one.

This bracket has markings for the lens center axes, which was a top priority for me. If anyone is interested, the vertical lens center axis is in line with the left edge of the writing on the "DRIVE" button:

Vertical lens center axis location on X-E1

So now I just need to go on vacation somewhere nice to use the setup... If interested, check out my gallery for some of my panoramas (taken with much inferior equipment).


 nixda's gear list:nixda's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 +1 more
Fujifilm X-E1
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