If you're keeping score, that's a win-win-win-win.
Components of the new setup:
Thats a solid panoramic setup for $305.00 (and significantly cheaper than many pre-made pano rigs). If you don't already have an L-bracket, then you'll only be able to shoot in landscape orientation. The L-bracket gives you the option to use a portrait orientation for more vertical real estate in your pano. One limitation of this setup is that you can't shoot 360-degree spherical panoramas with it; but for standard panoramas, it works very well.
Keep in mind that there are options for swapping several of the components above. I originally purchased the Kirk QRC-1.75 Quick Release Clamp to use in my BlackRapid to Arca-Swiss Plate conversion, but found that the longer tension screw handle allowed the clamp to fit perfectly on the Sunwayfoto DDP-64M Indexing Rotator. If I were buying the compenents again, I'd probably pick up a Sunwayfoto Discal Clamp 64mm With Long Handle instead. You can also purchase a longer rail if you want to shoot with a larger lens. However, make sure that your ballhead can support the weight of a moderately heavy camera/lens combination in an offset position. You can even forgo getting the Indexing Rotator & QR plate and simply rotate the rail/bi-directional clamp via your ballhead's panning base for an especially inexpensive setup. That said, I prefer using the Indexing Rotator for easy, consistent capture.
All in all, I'm really happy with my new pano setup. The Sunwayfoto products seem well-made and durable. A few days ago I created a 360-degree panorama in a local business, The Lamp & Lighthouse (click image to view a larger version):
I shot the panarama above using a 5D Mark III and the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. I corrected the lens distortion with PTLens (although some distortion still exists), stitched the pano using Hugin and polished it up in Photoshop CC.
Tip: When leveling your setup, ignore the bubble levels on your gear. Depending on design tolerances, bubble levels can be anywhere from "pretty close" to "completely useless." Use your camera's built-in electronic level for the best results.
Uinta features an extremely comfortable yet breathable harness system. , the Uinta is perfect for day trips in the mountains or photo shoots on location. In any situation, accessing gear is easy through any of the multiple access points. In addition, when you need it, stow up to a 17” MacBook Pro in the padded interior compartment.
Available as an accessory, the Tripod & Hydration System (THS) is a unique solution for carrying a water bladder and tripod. The THS attaches to the front of the bag using durable, hard plastic buckles and can hold up to a two liter water bladder and/or tripod.
The Gura Gear Uinta bag and components will be available soon at authorized retailers. The Uinta bag will carry an MSRP of $199.00 while the optional Medium and Small Pro Modules will carry an MSRP of $89.95 and $69.95, respectively. The Tripod & Hydration System (THS) will carry an MSRP of $39.95.
B&H carries Gura Gear products.
Additional modifications to the Windows version
Additional modifications to the Macintosh version
While on the subject of Arca-Swiss ballheads, Precision Camera Works wanted me to reiterate an important point – never use lubricants, cleaners (like WD-40), acetone or alcohol on your ballhead. Doing so will damage the head and void your warranty. For more information on how to care for your monoball, check out Precision Camera Works's page titled "The Care and Feeding of Your ARCA-SWISS Monoball Head."
Also, if you decide to send in your Arca-Swiss Monoball for a QR clamp replacement or for service, be sure to include your full contact information and return shipping address on the inside the box (I almost forgot to include my own return shipping address). Failing to do so will certainly delay the usually speedy service. ;-)
What to do if your camera is subjected to a strong shock
If your camera has received a strong shock, remove the batteries immediately to prevent further problems. It is possible batteries may become hot, handle them with caution.
Free inspection / modification service
In order to ensure users' peace of mind, we will be offering a free inspection and modification service to prevent the possibility of this problem from occurring. Please contact Nikon customer support (Europe/USA) for further advice on how to return your product to a Nikon Service Center.
How to identify products that have already been inspected / modified
Products that have already been inspected and/or modified have a white identifying mark on the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera. The free inspection / modification service is not necessary or offered for products with the white mark.
Identifying mark for products already checked / modified is shown below.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this matter may cause you.
Samyang filter holder SFH-14 has been designed from scratch for the Samyang 14mm lens in standard and V-DSLR cine versions. The new filter holder solves the common problem of mounting filters on a lens that has been designed without filter threads. The holder is made of lightweight and durable ABS plastic. In order to eliminate internal reflections, its interior has been flocked giving it a velvety black color. The holder comes with two filter slots so two filters can be used simultaneously. The Samyang filter holder features a rotating mount so that filters can be used in both vertical and horizontal orientation.
Three kinds of rectangular filters will also be made available, each 161 x 139 x 3 mm in size, specially designed and manufactured by the renowned Cokin company. The three filters will include the 154 ND8, 121M ND4 and 123s. Model 154 ND8 is a neutral gray filter of ND8 opacity that will allow for slower shutter speeds thereby enabling the blurring of moving objects (e.g. clouds, water, traffic). It can also be used by filmmakers who want to achieve a shallow depth of field in strong sunlight. The graduated 121M ND4 gray filter is mainly designed for landscape photography and architecture. It allows for a reduction in contrast between light and dark portions of the frame. The third filter available, the Cokin 123S, is a graduated blue filter that can be used to obtain or accentuate a blue sky effect in the landscape photography.
Samyang SFH-14 Holder Specifications:
Cokin Filter Specifications:
Those interested in attending can register in advance for the free webinars. Attendees will be given discount codes for Spyder products and/or products from co-sponsors and automatically be entered to win a Datacolor Spyder product as well as products from co-sponsors. Guests will have the ability to interact with the speakers in a Q&A format, and get first-hand input about applying color management effectively within their workflow. Register now at spyder.datacolor.com/freewebinars.
B&H carries Datacolor products.
For all intents and purposes, the Swift Clamp looks like the most secure solution to my problem. But at $149.95, the clamp would more than twice as expensive as either of the straps it would be used on. Converting both straps using the Swift Clamp would require a $300.00 investment. To me, that seemed a bit excessive. Therefore, I looked for an alternative solution.
With a little more research, I stumbled across this YouTube video (by Lee, Enthusiast Photographer) that described using a standard Arca-Swiss style clamp affixed to the BlackRapid FastenR-3 D-ring that comes standard with all BlackRapid straps. The video also noted that you can use an OP/TECH USA Uni-Loop to connect the BlackRapid ConnectR-2 to your L-bracket for added security (shown below). If you aren't using an L-bracket but you are using a battery grip, you can also connect the Uni-Loop to the battery grip's hand strap mount.
* Note: This clamp is drilled for a 3/8"-16 screw and comes with a 1/4"-20 adapter bushing. The adapter bushing is required to fit the clamp to the BlackRapid D-ring. While I haven't noticed any problems using the adapter bushing, I'd suggest getting a clamp threaded for a 1/4"-20 screw instead (like the Kirk QRC-1, Sunwayfoto DDC-26 or possibly a larger clamp with a 1/4"-20 thread size).
For even greater security, you can use Loctite between the BlackRapid D-ring and your clamp to ensure they don't work themselves loose. So far, I've been very happy with this setup. It seems more than adequately secure (even without the Loctite) as well as being cost-effective.
Make sure all of your parts and connections are solid as these setups are used at your own risk.
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