My Monopod Panorama Setup


For many years, I shot panoramas on tripods because the software was very particular. Then came Autostitch which made aligning photos much more flexible. Now, I have a Fuji X-T1 with in-camera panorama which:

  • looks fantastic
  • is quicker to do than using Autostitch

Not nearly perfect like Autostitch, but fast and I have recently found Autostitch failing where Fuji’s in-camera panorama excelling.

To get the most vertical detail in my panoramas, I like to shoot wide and with the camera turned like this:

20150825 210229 IMG_9508 G15_DCE

To do this on an X-T1, turn the drive selector to panorama, press the right thumbpad button and select upward or downward, then turn the camera.

20150825 210526 IMG_9509 G15_DCE 20150825 210229 IMG_9508 G15_DCE

(This gets you 80% there (reference to the 80/20 principal). Now we go beyond the 80%.)

The X-T1 displays a yellow line, but it isn’t the virtual horizon. To get the virtual horizon, I had to switch to a normal drive mode, then old the camera still and switch the drive to panorama. I don’t like to do this, and this doesn’t help with keeping the lens level up and down (which changes the panorama), so I bought a hot shoe bubble level off eBay.

20150825 205756 IMG_9504 G15_DCE 20150825 205934 IMG_9506 G15_DCE

Unfortunately, the cheap bubble level isn’t quite perfect so I have to remember to tilt the camera a little to the actual level (the label is for use on a monopod).

Hand held, the X-T1 takes panoramas pretty well, but I wanted to get the most out of these panoramas, but I also want to keep it simple. My solution was to use my tiny Velbon Ultrastick r40.

Velbon Ultra Stick r50 818950

But to get the camera to mount sideways for panoramas, you would normally use something like this:

ebay 360 swivel panoramic gimball bracket kit

But this is more than I wanted to deal with (but I still might get because it would better align the lens front to back), so the next option would be an L bracket like these:


But I didn’t want to spend money for something that I wouldn’t use very often, so, for now, I am using my Stroboframe Vertaflip.


So what does all this end up looking like?

20150825 205257 IMG_9493 G15_DCE 20150825 205425 IMG_9498 G15_DCE 20150825 205517 IMG_9500 G15_DCE

Like I said, I may end up buying an L bracket to reduce the size of the setup, but for now, this rig with the parts I had already is working nicely as a quick-and-practical proof-of-concept.


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