How the iPhone Panorama Head is Built
this prototype design cost ca. $20
Why do I need a panorama head?
The main reason for having a panorama head is to assure that the camera is rotated round that special point within its lens which will assure proper alignment when the get stitched together. This point must be the center for the rotation for both horizontal and vertical movement.
To achieve this, I created an aluminum frame which runs around the iPhone. The iPhone then is hung from the inside edge of this frame, attaching along the horizontal axis of its lens via a hard shell plastic case. It is free to swing up and down, while the entire phone itself can also be rotated along the vertical axis of the lens.Parts used (prices may vary):
- 1 hardshell iPhone case : $0.25
- 1 1/4 in. x 72 in. aluminum rod : $5
- 2 plastic spacers : $0.59
- 2 picture nails : $2.39/box of many
- 1 rubber stopper, or a clip of sorts : < $3
- 1 Panamatic 12 stop rotator : $16
- 1 3/8 in. nut
The top of the aluminum frame is bent back in order to accommodate a zenith shot (the iPhone camera facing straight up), if required. I had a plastic clip that came with a venetian blind and was designed to hold the extra blade for it. It snaps on to the 1/4 in rod snugly, while able to slide up and down easily with just the right amount of resistance to hold the iPhone steady in its tilted position while the head rotates for the photos.
I modified the Panamatic rotator, so that it mounts right underneath its rotation center with a standard 3/8 in. nut. Most of my camera support equipment uses that thread for accepting equipment, yours may be different, so you use whatever thread you need.