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.