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A "run and gun" setup for quick VR panos

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  • A "run and gun" setup for quick VR panos

    Not earth shattering, but I thought this might be helpful to someone else. . .

    I've been wanting to try event coverage with VR panoramas and I think I've finally found the right gear to do it. I tested it successfully this past weekend at an outdoor festival so I thought I'd share the setup.

    I'm shooting with a Nikon D800e/Rokinon 8mm (mounted in portrait orientation) on a Nodal Ninja R1 with RD5, advanced rotator handle and EZ leveler II.The R1 connects to the rotator with a quick release.

    To that basic kit I've added a small RF remote:

    and a footed monopod:

    The Sirui monopod raises the camera to almost 7' fully extended, and the bottom ball joint above the feet locks with a twist down collar. It's light, solid and feels very well made. The feet are wide enough to support the setup on their own (although I always have a hand on it). The grip section has a lockable swivel function that could conceivably be used in lieu of a rotator to save weight if you didn't need click stops.

    Once everything is assembled (1 minute or so), I extend the bottom section of the monopod and fold down the feet. After pre-metering the area, I can get to a chosen spot, drop the top 2 sections of the monopod, shoot 4 roundshots and be moving again in roughly 15 seconds. Add another 2 or 3 seconds if I take a handheld nadir before I move.


    This was my first outing with this kit - I expect to get faster.

    I could actually cover the roundshots with 3 frames, but the extra overlap gives a lot of room to mask moving people in post.

    The EZ leveler is probably overkill. I leave it in the setup because I also use it, the quick connect and the RD5 with my RS-1 and am too lazy to take it out each time.

    The rotator handle helps with turning everything since I'm reaching over my head to do it.

  • #2
    I agree with your four shots round instead of the "recommended" three to give more overlap so you can mask out people moving between shots.
    With lots of people milling around in hospitality suits and the like there is always movement between shots, even if it's just someone picking up their drink.