Acratech Panoramic Head

Acratech Panoramic Head

Acratech Panoramic Head

B&H # ACPH MFR # 1165
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Product Highlights

  • For Multi-Row Stitched Panoramic Imagery
  • Use with Lenses Up to 600mm f/4.0
  • Arca-Style Quick-Release Clamp
  • Laser-Etched Markings for Pan & Tilt
  • Separate Control for Tension
  • Precision CNC-Machined Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel Hardware
  • Supports Loads Up to 25 lb
  • Top Centering Marks, Weighs 0.94 lb
  • Made in USA
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You Pay: $379.95

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  • 1Description

The Acratech Panoramic Head is designed to facilitate precise panoramic photography with DSLR cameras and lenses as long as 600mm f/4.0. With laser-etched degree markers in both the pan and tilt dimensions, the Panoramic Head is suitable for multi-row stitched imagery, facilitating the broadest views possible. The head has separate controls for pan and tilt, of course, and there's also fully adjustable tension control.

Sturdy construction is a hallmark of the Panoramic Head – it's based on Acratech's Long Lens Head so heavy lenses will be well served. The head is composed of CNC-machined aluminum, which is anodized for a black-satin finish. Hardware is made of long-lasting stainless steel, and all knobs are secured so that they can't vibrate loose and fall off.

Use your existing Arca-style camera plate – the quick-release clamp is compatible with plates from several manufacturers (plate sold separately). The clamp not removable but is indexable, and it locks in at 90° increments.

Weighs less than 1 lb with quick-release clamp
Precision laser-etched degree markings on both the pan and the tilt axes
Provides easy, smooth balance for long lenses
Precision CNC-machined
Compatible with Kirk, Really Right Stuff, and many other Arca-Swiss-style quick-release plates (sold separately)
Beautiful black-satin anodized finish
Fits all standard tripods
Long-lasting stainless steel hardware
All knobs are secured so they cannot vibrate loose and fall off
Indexable quick-release clamp locks in at 90° increments
Solid, precision operation feel
Made in the U.S.
In the Box
Acratech Panoramic Head
  • Bushing: 1/4"-20
  • Limited 10-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
    Load Capacity 25 lb (11.3 kg)
    Spirit Level Not specified by manufacturer
    Pan Range 360°
    Tilt Range Not specified by manufacturer
    Tension Control Yes
    Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16 with included 1/4"-20 bushing
    Dimensions Working height: 3.60" (91.5 mm)
    Base diameter: 2.37" (60.2 mm)
    Knob to knob: 4.57" (116.2 mm)
    Weight 0.94 lb (0.42 kg)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.3 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 6.7 x 5.3 x 4.3"
    Panoramic Head is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 12.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I use this head for large format photo. I use this head not for panoramic photo but for large format photo. I set my Ebony and Linhof camera on this head and half-ball leveler (FLM's LB-60, which seems to be discontinued). This way of use is presented in Acratech's introduction of this head on YouTube. I am satisfied with this head, because this head is precise enough for those use, and it is lighter than pan-tilt head. I can understand that some people say this head is not precise enough for panoramic photo, but I think this head is the nicest tilt head in market. Light, small, precise enough, tight enough, and reasonable price. If you find advantages in these characteristics of this head, I recommend this for you.
    Date published: 2016-09-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid As Can Be I bought this item primarily as a long lens head, to replace an old ballhead which would sag noticeably with my heaviest lens and camera combination (at about 6 or 7 lbs.) even though it was rated for 60 lbs. I cannot stress enough how well built this head is. It is rigid enough to allow for crisp, repeatable 1 minute exposures at 1000 mm equivalent. No piece of equipment is replacement for decent long lens technique and weather; but this thing could probably hold very heavy setups even in a brisk crosswind without much trouble. To say that it clamps down with a death grip would be an understatement.
    Date published: 2013-10-06
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Precise? Hardly Probably the best feature of this head is that it is easier and faster to setup than a traditional system using seperate rails. Its best feature is certainly not shooting panoramas. When the head is level and not tilted, it works fine for single row panos as would any other panning device. Multi-row and spherical panos are another story. The problem is that when the head is tilted, the lens's entrance pupil (nodal point) is no longer centered over the panning axis. The greater the tilt, the greater the offset. This causes parallax errors with nearby objects in the scene. Stitching software can not properly align the images with these errors. To get an acceptable pano, much work is needed editing control points and masking misaligned areas. The extra time spent doing this more than offsets any time saved during setup. I was able to get decent spherical panos with my Samyang 8mm lens by finding the entrance pupil offset at 15 degrees tilt down. This turned out to be around plus 25mm and was at the physical limits of my Acratech nodal rail. A tilt of 30 degrees down or more would require a much longer nodal rail to correct for the offset. To effectively use this head for panos, each lens would have to be calibrated for each tilt used and adjusted for offset during shooting. But this may cause parallax errors as well. I was told by Acratech that this head was designed for multi-row panos and that parallax errors should not be a problem. It is a very poor design and should not have been marketed as a panoramic head. Acratech states that it can also be used as a long lens head. I would be uncomfortable putting anything on it longer than a 200mm. I certainly would not put my 500mm on it. I bought the Acratech leveling head to use with this. When the bubble is centered on the leveling head, the bubble on the pano head is not. I found the leveling head bubble to be accurate and ignore the pano head bubble. Panning the head is not smooth and is noisy. It sounds like parts are rubbing together. There are definately no bearings or lubrication in the head. The panning clamp does not lock down securely and the head can be rotated no matter how tight the head is clamped. The bottom line: It is not a serious tool for shooting panoramas. If you want to do single row panos, you are better off using something else. If you want to do multi-row or spherical panos, you are better off using something else. I'm thinking that with practice, even hand held panos would give better results than this head does.
    Date published: 2013-10-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Precision and Quality I visited B&H a month or two ago with my tripod and camera in hand. I asked to see the panoramic head and the gp head along with a leveling base. I wish the salesman had been a little more knowledgeable. I declined to make a purchase because when I placed either head in the 90 degree position to shoot vertically, the camera was way too far off axis. If the salesman had shown me and L bracket and the nodal rail, I would have made the purchase and saved the NYC parking fee. After extensive additional reading, I additional research, I pulled the trigger on a mail order. This stuff is SO precise and locks together SO solidly that it's virtually one solid piece (leveling base, panoramic head, nodal rail and L bracket/camera. It does exactly what I want for shooting panoramics and my D800 feels rock solid. Great stuff!
    Date published: 2016-04-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect!!! I bought this head because I do quite a bit of panoramic shots and needed a head that would make things easier. I can do multi-row and vertical panorama's now with no problems.
    Date published: 2012-02-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Engineering!!! I purchased the Acratech Panoramic Head and Acratech Large Leveling Base for doing stitched panoramas and as a general use tripod head. All Acratech products are simply exquisite in their engineering and all are extremely strong and lightweight. They are simply the best for backpacking and traveling. I already own the Acratech G2 ballhead and the Acratech Nodal rail. While these worked very well, the ballhead was harder to get level and use for panoramas. The panorama head, large leveling base and nodal rail work exactly as advertised!!! I have been able to do multi-row stitched panoramas without any issues. A previous reviewer complained about this ability, but everyone should understand that you have to have a nodal rail to minimize parallax issues. I have done parallax calibrations for 4 of my lenses and even determined multiple parallax points for my zoom lenses. It took me about 30 minutes total to get everything calibrated, but it is a simple effort that one needs to do to minimize post processing time. The Acratech is very strong and sturdy. I have no issues with the leveling or sagging of the panorama head using a Canon 5D Mark IV with battery grip and Really Right Stuff L bracket and any of my Canon L lens. I now usually use the nodal rail all the time with every setup even for general use since I can keep the center of gravity over the center of the head. It is also more that sturdy enough for use with my 500mm f4 and I have no concerns about the weight although I do not use the nodal rail with the long lenses. The movement is smooth and flawless regardless of how much weight. I now use the Acratech Panoramic Head and leveling base as my everyday tripod head. I love it and can recommend it without any hesitation!!!
    Date published: 2017-02-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really sturdy 2 way head Bought this head for use with any camera system from DSLR to large format 4x5. If you buy the special quick release plates made for your camera, it is the best system I ever had. It only turns and tilts, so a leveling base is necessary to keep the horizon straight.
    Date published: 2015-07-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I would buy this product again. This head is great. Very light weight and strong. I use it for panoramic shots and also with my Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Canon 7D Mark II body. Very stable. I also have their GP reversable ball head which is also very light and strong. These are keepers for me.
    Date published: 2015-07-15
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