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Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg)

B&H # MA303SPH Mfr # 303SPH
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $624.95

The Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Head Kit is a multi-row (spherical) panoramic photography head. It has two sliding plates to position the camera over the panoramic axis of rotation, plus a sliding plate which rotates around the front/back tilt axis. This allows the camera to be rotated on both horizontal and vertical axis around the camera/lens nodal point, so multi-row panoramic photo sequences (cubic VR photos) can be taken accurately and easily.

Designed for Quick Time Virtual Reality technology (which allows virtual scenes to be created by computer from panoramic digital or digitized images that are simply stitched together), this kit incorporates sliding plates to position the camera on the panoramic axis of rotation. The sliding plates provide forward, back and side adjustment for precise positioning. The system is suitable for most 35mm SLR, medium format still and digital still cameras using wide angle or standard lenses.

The kit is based around the 300N panoramic head which allows the operator to set 10 different angles of rotation; 5,10, 15, 20, 24, 30, 36, 45, 60 & 90° (respectively equivalent to 72, 36, 24, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 & 4 shots) spanning 360 degrees rotation using the engraved, graduated scale markings for reference.

The 303SPH's vertical bracket can be unlocked and rotated through 90° (then re-locked) so that the head takes up less space in transport, and so that the sliding plate mechanisms are protected against knocks and bumps.

Dimmensions:

Maximum Height
12.5"
Weight
4.4 lb

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Manfrotto303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg)
 
4.4

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (3)

Cons

  • Heavy (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (3), Pro photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)

Reviewed by 9 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-9

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3.0

Not what I expected for the price.

By Robert

from Los Angeles, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Good Stability

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

    this head is solid, but not what I expected.I overlooked and assumed the adjustments were gear driven for precise control, since it had mm markings in all the slides. But, the adjustments are done simply by loosening the bolts and sliding the plates by hand. note?: I used it on a t5i with battery grip and the camera would move since there is nothing other than one mounting screw holding the camera in position. without the battery grip the t5i was better secured and didn't seem to slide. it seems the mounting screws and plastic on the camera allows the mounting screws to hold tighter.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent Pan Head

    By jfk

    from calgary alberta canada

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Reliable

    Cons

    • A Bit heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

    Purchased this head and before i bought it i must admit i was a bit skeptical. However, it worked fabulously. It did not take long to adjust the nodal point or other fine tuning. The instructions are good. And the results were excellent, with the final image well aligned and properly stitched.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Solid and reliable

    By 360watchout

    from Udine Milano Italy

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery

      Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

      This is my third pano head from manfrotto. The first one was perfect. For the last 2 heads I had to fix some mounting problems. The vertical mark was missing and the friction of the vertical movement was blocked, so I had to deal with some mechanical issues before to use the heads.
      Manfrotto should check their production line, somebody is not doing a good job there.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Panoramic Head

      By Dracogar

      from Costa Rica

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Good Stability
      • Large Range of Motion

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Home
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Shots

      Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

      Manfrotto quality, perfect 180 - 360 images without much post-production

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent

      By Aficionado

      from Houston. Texas

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Good Stability
      • Large Range of Motion

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

        It is an excellent equipment for panoramic photograph, for my is a safe complement to the hobby that I have.

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        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Easy going

        By TJ

        from Kuwait

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy Function

        Cons

        • Adaptibility

        Best Uses

          Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

          This is a great tool, as a beginning. The manual that comes with it does elaborate enough details about calibrating the lens and taking an appropriate panorama.

          The description of the device itself is straight direct: it is for people who want to achieve QTVR panoramas.

          The device is also supplied with 2 bolts of different sizes to fit whatever screw hole size of your camera. Also, it is supplied with 2 extra short plates to meet the needs of more compact cameras, and also for those people who do not like to take extra weight when they are on the go. But be warned, these short plates are not optional. My Canon 350D + Canon Fisheye 15mm f/2.8 combination was impossible to work with short plates and I had to use the original default form of the device.

          The device is supplied with calibration lines by default. Lines that mark the centers of the plates that you will need to move later on or to align with your camera as a beginning, making it easy to fit your camera without reading the numbers on the rulers (they are there already) to compare and find the middle point.

          There are, however, certain points to consider:
          1. The weight is not what I call heavy for my own hand, but for some people it might be considered heavy. I'm planning ahead on taking it with my luggage to the outside and I do have some concerns about this matter.

          2. Adaptation. My tripod is a bit old, and I had a problem fixing the SPH303 onto my tripod because the screw of my tripod was thinner than the screw hole at the base of the device. I had to take a gear piece from an older tripod with me and make it as a converter between my current tripod and the base of the device. I suggest to the manufacturer to consider adding a sort of thin plate with a hollow screw in its center to work as an adapter.

          3. After expanding the device, it comes in the shape of "L" of course, and it might, just might, be shaky for some tripods because the weight will be somehow concentrated on one side of the device (the side of the vertical line). Some weight adding might not be good in our condition here, but it might as well make more balance if added to the end of the horizontal plate (or maybe this can be done by changing the curves of the device itself).

          4. The manual is enough to give you a start ahead. But when it comes to the fact that this device can be used as a turntable for creating a VR object, as it is mentioned in the manual as well, there is no real elaboration for how to do it exactly. But the truth should be told, I was surprised that it is capable of being a turntable for VR objects because I was looking forward for this topic and needed some tools, and now I have 2 in 1.

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          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The world in 360 degrees

          By Pal

          from Norway

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fits Well
          • Improves Tripod Function
          • Solid/Sturdy

          Cons

          • Bulky

          Best Uses

          • Landscape Photography
          • Photography
          • Spherical Photography

          Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

          At our office we've always been fascinated by the world of QTVR and spherical photography. From the small rough movies we could make in the late 90s to the huge super detailed full screen panoramas of today. Our main business is not spherical photography. It is a more of a side project we have kept alive through our interest and all the projects we have been asked to do.

          Through the years we have owned several panoramic heads, but always come back to Manfrotto. This is a solid and precision crafted head. It works very well and is easy to set up and use. It allows you to shoot in every angle and create panoramas with a 360 degree view horizontally and vertically.

          If you want to shoot high quality and high res. panoramas, this is what you need. If you want to shoot scenes with lots of movement, you might be better off with a "one-shot" bowl adapter, but be prepared to show up in your own images ;)

          The 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit IS a bulky device, but it can be folded so this is not your biggest concern. Put it in a case and your set. The fantastic results you can get from it quickly puts your mind on other things.

          If you feel like it you can add a bubble level beneath it on your tripod with "micro" adjustments, but you can also use a lose one.

          We have used spherical photography in many settings. Everything from web based guided tours in theaters and museums to location scouting, happenings and documenting valuables and buildings. It never stops to amaze the audience.

          There are lots of good software out there to make it easy for you to create great spherical panoramas, but do a little research before you buy. There is also a great site for panoramas in Denmark that will tell you all you need to know. Visit it, then get this head and start working.

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          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          It may look hideous but its priceless !!

          By Karlo

          from Rijeka, Croatia

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fits Well
          • Improves Tripod Function
          • Solid/Sturdy

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape Photography
            • Long Exposures
            • Photography
            • Specialty Use
            • Stabilization

            Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

            Well I must say i am impressed ! I have tried other panoramic heads and can assure your that this is your choice if you want professionally done panoramas. Adjusting is so easy, every part of the head is numbered and has a ruler so once you get the things right if you write them down you will always get them right.The value of this item is just great, purchasing this you get 3 systems in the price of one. No hassle of buying upgrades or anything. This head and the work I have done with it have been my main source of income since the day I got it. I am a semi-pro photographer and can tell you any serious architecture or landscape photographer should think of acquiring this great piece of equipment.[...]

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            A top quality product, but heavy

            By Arturo

            from Santiago, Chile

            About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Unfolds Quickly

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Long Exposures

            Comments about Manfrotto 303SPH QTVR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit - Supports 8.8 lb (4kg):

            I using this head to do 360x180 panoramas. Very sturdy and durable quality. The only problem is that it is really heavy. Otherwise...a great product

            Share this review

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