Panoramic Photography Update

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7 image stitch captured on the Olympus OMD in portrait format using my homemade panoramic kit.
7 image stitch captured on the Olympus OMD in portrait format using my homemade panoramic kit.

Recently blogged about my lightweight (and to some extent cut price) alternative to using a Panoramic head. By combining a Macro focussing rail (purchased from Amazon for an unbelievably cheap price) with an L-Bracket I was able to position my camera vertically and rotate it around the nodal point to avoid parallax error.

Parallax error occurs when objects in the distance appear to shift position in relation to foreground objects when you swing your camera in order to make exposures for stitching. If the movement is small, the stitching software you are using may be able to fix the problem. The best solution though is to avoid it. Panoramic heads fix the problem by mounting the camera so that when the camera is rotated it moves around the nodal point (actually the term is not entirely correct).

Whilst I have a couple of panoramic heads they are bulky and heavy and quite expensive. I have therefore been searching for lighter and cheaper solutions, hence my earlier post. One of the more expensive components in my solution is the L-Bracket which is a Novoflex item. This is very well built and quite light given its size. I hinted at the time that I was exploring an alternative and am now able to confirm this has arrived.

The new L-Bracket is much smaller than the Novoflex item as well as lighter. It was also around £20 including shipping which is amazing. I purchased this from ebay and here is the link.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MPU100-Universal-Quick-Release-QR-L-Plate-Bracket-For-Camera-Body-Arca-Swiss-/330947325790?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0dff6f5e

To say that I am delighted is an understatement. The only problem some people may experience is that the item is small for SLR’s and may not fit larger models. For Micro 43 users however this is the perfect size and very well made. Even if you are not thinking of shooting panoramic images, this is a great solution to being able to change the orientation of your camera without moving the tripod head.

It’s not often you find something so good for such a great price.

20 thoughts on “Panoramic Photography Update

    Tom Gross said:
    November 5, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Curious if this would fit my Panasonic G5. It took me a long time to find a QR for it. Most were too big or covered the battery compartment.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 5, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Hi Tom. Im not sure about the position of the battery cover on the G5. But this is a small bracket and could be set to the side easily. The screw that attaches to the camera can easily be removed by hand and doesn’t need a screw driver or other tool so even if it covers the batter door you can easily remove it. Regards Robin

    Jacques Cornell said:
    November 5, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Thanks for the post. This is something I’ve tried unsuccessfully to work out for myself. I already bought a cheap focusing rail. Now I just need the L bracket. I don’t see how the item you listed attached to the camera and rail. Am I correct in assuming that you also need an Arca-type quick-release foot on the rail? Could you provide a photo of the complete setup? Thanks.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 5, 2013 at 7:34 am

      I can’t at the moment as I’m away but have a look at my two previous posts as they show the elements I have been using. I think the bit you are missing is the quick release arca base. Mine is a novoflex and cost gbp 50. There are cheaper versions on eBay but I haven’t tried them so can’t recommend. The macro rail attaches to the tripod. The quick release base attaches to the macro rail and the l-bracket to the camera. The l-bracket can the slot into the quick release base. Regards Robin

    JP said:
    November 5, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for these posts. I just found all this stuff on eBay and ordered it. Looking forward to doing some panoramic stuff.

    David Aldridge said:
    November 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Hi Robin,
    I use the MPU105 version of that QR bracket with my “hiking” D3100 & was quite impressed after gluing some thin rubber to the plate to prevent movement.
    With my LX5 I’m using a really nice small QR bracket from jTec.
    http://jtec-online.com/UNIVERSAL-L-BRACKET.html

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks. That’s another new one on me. It looks like a good size for the Micro 43 camera and an excellent price.

    Abe Pacana said:
    November 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Nice to see another stitcher here! Keep them coming!

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks, but I’m not in your league. I don’t think I can count high enough to keep up with your multi-row stitching.

    maurycyharsze said:
    November 19, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Amazing contrast. Great panorama.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you. I love it when someone new finds my blog and enjoys the work. Hope to see you here again.

    Graham Ashton said:
    November 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for posting this. I bought one for my GX7 and am really happy with it. There’s just enough travel on the mounting screw to allow the vertical part of the plate to clear the side of the grip (the orientation you’d need to get to the ports on the left of the camera while the bracket is mounted).

    I’ve actually mounted the plate the other way, with the vertical palate up the side of the GX7. When using the camera handheld I can brace the plate against my face when looking through the viewfinder, providing a much better hold on the camera than I could manage with the bear camera body.

    I’m going to buy a second one for another body…

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      November 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Hi Graham, that’s great that you like this and find it useful. They are excellent value for money.

    Dave Kosiur said:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Are you using the new L-bracket on the E-M5 with the hand grip attached?

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      I have used it but I actually found myself prefering the larger L bracket from Novoflex when I have the larger grip attached. The new L bracket is smaller and I don’t feel it fits the larger two part of the EM5 quite well enough. It is however a great fit if you only want to use the smaller part of the EM5 grip. It also seems to be the perfect size for the GX1 so I have a tendency to leave it attached to that camera.

      Dave Kosiur said:
      January 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Just to be sure, you’re saying that the cheaper L-bracket is fine if I only use the horizontal portion of the E-M5 grip, not the part which has the extra battery compartment?

        thelightweightphotographer responded:
        January 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm

        In my personal opinion the L bracket from ebay is too small for the EM5 when both parts of the grip are attached. The depth of the battery pack means you can’t quite centre the lens on the tipod where you have the camera mounted vertically. If you mount it horizontally it’s fine. If you remove the battery pack portion of the grip it works fine with the camera in eitehr orientation. For this reason I use the Novoflex bracket on the EM5. The bracket from ebay I use on my GX1 where it is perfect. The drawback with the Novoflex bracket (as well as being more costly) is that it’s much bigger. Hope that helps.

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