So I have been trying my hand at some panoramic photography and after spending way to many hours making photos work together, I realized that I needed a panoramic tripod head. Problem is these things cost money… LOTS of money! I started looking around and found a couple tutorials (1,2) on how to make your own out of various materials and parts you can purchase. Mostly they looked really amateur and not very good. I did find one that was made of wood that was have way respectable so I thought what the heck I can give it a try.
I went and bought a few pieces of nice pine wood, some thumb screws, washers, t-nuts and wood glue. I took some critical measurements and started fabrication. I have to admit I miscalculated and had to rebuild the base that swivels on top of the part that attaches to the tripod but in the process of rebuilding it I improved it so that it is adjustable for different cameras/lens combinations. Basically what this thing does is put a specific point in the lens directly over the pivot point of the tripod to eliminate what is called “parallax”. Click here if you want to read more than the quick definition after the read more below. Click the link below to see the quick definition and more photos.
Parallax (Greek: παραλλαγή (parallagé) = alteration) is the change of angular position of two stationary points relative to each other as seen by an observer, due to the motion of an observer. Simply put, it is the apparent shift of an object against a background due to a change in observer position.
Here are some photos of my homemade panoramic tripod. Click any of the images to see them larger.