Automatic Tripod

Click for bigger image.

Panographers need their tripods. Period. And I wish deployment of the tripods to be faster, smoother, not hitting kids or anyone else when I am doing it and simply, just not as tiring.

For a commercial shoot, it’s generally easy with the place scouted out before the actual shoot be it a hotel, resort, exhibition hall and I go in before the business day even start. Carry around my full pano gear mounted on a fully extended tripod is not a problem.

The above picture is National Geographic’s NGET1. An “automatic” tripod that allow fast deployment of it’s legs but weighing in at 3.2Kg. It just has to be lighter (and while at it, cheaper). It’s around $554 pounds approx $1140.30 SGD. The NGET1 is actually made by tripod gurus, Manfrotto. From a day shoot (I’ve done more than 50 panoramas during a short Malaysia trip to shoot Hotair Balloons) , deploying and retracting for every single panoramas can be a real chore. One pano, 3 legs retract and 3 extends.

I would imagine fast deployment meant having some electronic acutators shooting the legs out, the faster, the more force which means it’s dangerous. Anyone inventing anything yet?

What will be ideal?

– Priced at up to SGD$1000.00
– Have a load of at least 3kg
– Multiple height designs
– As compact as can be, folded length should not exceed approx 70cm, max height to be at least 1.2 Meters
– Carbon Fibre?
– Not 3.2Kg when nothing is loaded! National Geographic videographers/ photographers sure have big arm muscles…walking in some rain forest with this will kill anyone but may be useful to ward off attacking orang utans or the local man-eating tribe?

Ready for Multiresolutions

Coming soon, to Pano2VR Version 3!

You may already have seen multi resolutions panoramas, they are mostly generated using krPano. Prices of the plugin is a high 90 Euros. Having shelf out money for your gear, a fullframe camera, a fisheye lens, some other accessories, flash triggers, umbrellas, flashes, tripods, bags…It really put a strain on photographers thinking of even starting out on panoramas.

Enter Pano2VR. You get to do virtual tours, templates, great community help and more clicking and exporting then figuring out XML files or other codings. One strong point they have is the online video tutorials.

After each (paid) assignment, we build our our gears both in hardware and software and still over the years, I come back to Pano2VR more from using FPP with Flashicator, trying out krPano or simply, exporting Quicktime panoramas from within PTGui….

For starters and the season panographers, all you need for software is still PTGui, upcoming Version 9 features the HTML5 output…think iPad, Safari AND Pano2VR (HTML5 soon too!). If one job for your panoramas does not cover these 2 software cost, you are charging too low! : )

Existing 2.x version of Pano2VR can upgrade at a cheaper rate of 20 Euros (Around $36.30, Paypal rate). New purchase is 59 Euros.