Public release of new modular design 2020-202101 Jun 2021
The new modular design makes it possible to change the lens ring and add optional accessories, or attach your own parts.
Prototyping of the new design was started in 2017, and the first functional prototype was completed in 2018. Since then, there were a few revisions. For example, the current version has 12 different clicks: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 24, 32. The early version only had 10 clicks: 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 14, 18, 28, 36. The change in the number of clicks was to provide more useful and practical options. This final version is now publicly available for all to purchase on this updated website.
The panoheads for Sigma 4.5mm and Lensbaby Fisheye will still have the old Classic design, and those two will not be updated to the new modular design.
The website was offline for intermittent periods of time during the last couple of years since the middle of 2018, but it was possible for customers to continue ordering the early version of the new design directly through email and other forms of communication. I apologize for the long down-time of the website. After a lot of work in 2020 and 2021, the website has finally been updated and turned on permanently.
- Lightweight & compact (145 to 160mm height, 196 to 216g)
- 12 different click stops: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 24, 32
- Viewport for visible aperture and focus settings
- Some lenses allow adjustments to aperture & focus, please check the specifications for which lenses are possible
- Shoot single row in 3 to 8 photos, the number depends on lens & camera sensor size
- Capture the sphere including full zenith, with a minimal sized nadir hole
- 3/8"-16 tripod thread under the rotator, with a 1/4"-20 adapter included
- Dettachabe ring has a 1/4" threaded insert, & can be used stand-alone with monopod
- Ring is 3D printed with strong polyamide nylon
- Rotator shell is made from 6082-T6 aluminum & 303 stainless steel internal click cylinder
- Large circular bubble level with extra high sensitivity
- Lenses, cameras, and software are not included
- Optional modular accessories are not included (e.g. quick release clamp, plate & rails)
Although individual components can be purchased separately, I recommend buying a Set 1 with a complete pair of ring and rotator instead of purchasing the ring separately, and then adding optional accessories to the Set 1. This is because the bubble level is glued centered onto the ring while attached to a specific rotator. Rotators and clamps have up to 0.1mm of level difference from one side of the top surface to the opposite side, and the bubble level is extremely sensitive. Attaching a ring to a different rotator than the one that it was originally assembled on, or to a clamp, could cause the bubble to be appear off-centered near the edge of the black centering circle. It is still usable, but you will need to take notice of the small off-centering of the bubble.
Set 1: Standard - with lens ring and rotator. This is the minimal setup for most shooting scenarios with a single lens and camera combination.
Set 2: Quick Release (optional, not included) - with lens ring, rotator, QR plate, and QR clamp. Useful for quickly changing your setup when shooting with different lenses.
Set 3: Lens ring and QR plate (optional, not included) - Can be used without other attachments such as on a monopod, with a lens and camera combination requiring 3 to 4 shots. Or attach the ring to your own equipment.
Set 4: Rotator and QR clamp (optional, not included) - 12 different click stops 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 24, 32. Can be combine with your own equipment.
Set 5: Double Clamp (optional, not included) - 2x single clamps can be combined together in parallel or at 90° to each other. The single clamps are identical to each other, so you will need to purchase 2 single clamps to make a double clamp.
Components and Optional Accessories
A 1/4-20" brass threaded insert on the bottom of the ring (max 12.5mm depth) allows direct attachment by itself without other accessories. Use light force when threading into the insert. Do not overtighten. 32mm base diameter, with sloping front edge to minimize nadir footprint. 70g to 90g. 3D printed polyamide nylon material with SLS high resolution printer. Rings are designed to fit only one specific model of fisheye lens. Do not attempt to install different lenses.
It has a removable 1/4-20 x 1/2"screw on the top surface which can be used to attach your own equipment, which must be removed before attaching lens ring. There are also 8x M3 holes on top, spaced 45° apart and at 12mm radius from the center (max 8mm depth). The rotator also has a locking screw. The bottom has a 3/8"-16 center thread with a 1/4"-20 thread adapter. 32mm diameter x 46mm H, 126g, Aluminum body with stainless steel click cylinder.
Clamp (optional, not included):
Arca style quick release for standard 39mm wide plates & rails. For best fit and centering, it is recommended to use Tom Shot 360 plates. The bottom of a single clamp has a standard sized ball head mounting slot 5 x 18mm, and 3/8” center thread with a 1/4” thread adapter. 3 other 1/4” threaded holes on the bottom allow for alternative mounting. The front and back sides have a curved edge to minimize nadir footprint. 32 W x 53 L (+16 knob) x 14mm H (10mm inner height), 65g, Aluminum.
Plate (optional, not included):
Arca style quick release plate, 39 W x 32 L x 8mm H. Designed for mounting Tom Shot 360 lens rings. There are 2 separate safety systems: M3 screws on the bottom, front and back of the plate that fit in the safety slots of standard clamps, and an alternative M3 screw located on Tom Shot 360 clamps so that the bottom of the plate can be made flat when removing the M3 screws on the plate. This makes it possible for the plate to sit flush on a flat surface, like on a monopod. Use at least 1 of the systems. The plate can also be used for custom configurations by the 3/8” center thread and the 1/4” thread adapter, and 8x M3 through holes spaced 45° apart. The 6 holes on the left & right sides are 12mm radius from the center, while the 2 holes on front and back are 13mm from center. The front and back sides have a curved edge to minimize nadir footprint. 25g, Aluminum.
Tripod Extension (optional, not included):
If your tripod column has a large diameter, or if you need to use a ball head which has knobs and plates protruding out of the nadir hole, then the optional Tripod Extension
can be used to raise the lens by another 100mm, to make the objects that are directly below the panohead appear smaller and partially hide them inside the nadir hole. Please see the details in section below about nadir holes.