Overlapping images for single-row panoramas are typically shot from left to right in a single row, keeping the camera perfectly level while panning. Keeping the camera level helps maintain alignment of vertical and horizontal objects during stitching. For ballhead users, that means leveling in two places: the tripod legs and the clamp. When you level the tripod legs, you're ensuring that the built-in panning base of your ballhead remains level throughout the pan. And when you then level out your quick-release clamp, you ensure that your camera remains parallel to the panning axis throughout the pan.
Nikon D200 with 50mm/f1.4 lens. Camera fitted with BMBD200-L plate; mounted on MPR-CL nodal slide & PCL-1 panning clamp. Note how nodal slide has been used to shift camera backwards so that optical center of lens can sit atop the axis of rotation (in this case, the center of the panning clamp).
The Easiest Solution: our PCL-1 Panning Clamp
Instead of fussing with your tripod legs, simplify your life and buy our patented PCL-1
, our Arca-Swiss style clamp with spirit level + precision panning base. With this clamp mounted on your ballhead, the leveling process becomes a quick 10 second task. Just loosen the ball and adjust the clamp until its spirit level indicates the clamp is level; lock the ball into position. No need for bulky leveling bases or panorama-specific heads.
Leveling is now quick and painless.
Our PCL-1 panning clamp can be installed on any ballhead. Spin it on any industry standard ¼"-20 or 3/8"-16 threaded stud ( ¼"-20 stud requires a bushing). Or if your head has a female threaded socket, install the PCL-1 with a 1-inch long cap-head screw (included). Of course, the PCL-1 works great with any Really Right Stuff ballhead! At right is our BH-55 ballhead with the PCL-1 panning clamp installed.
PCL-1 in Action
When you use the Really Right Stuff panning clamp, your tripod legs don't need to be level. Just level the panning clamp! Image below shows PCL-1 fitted with PCL-DVTL mounted in BH-55 LR ballhead.
- Precision panning base laser-engraved at 2.5° increments from 0° to 360°; no click stops.
- RRS quick-release clamp (screw-knob style - no lever-release style available).
- Unique drum & perimeter band brake design for positive pan locking.
- Built-in circular level.
- Comes in its own protective neoprene pouch (our OpTech-Small).
Mount your PCL-1 Part-Time
If you already own a Really Right Stuff-style clamp, then you can mount your PCL-1 panning clamp part-time by adding our small PCL-DVTL dovetail
. This slim, custom mount allows you to drop the PCL-1into your existing clamp for only those times when you want to shoot panos. Very convenient! And when you're done shooting, just slip the panning clamp back into its custom neoprene pouch and drop it in your camera bag.