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Keep It Level

Overlapping images for single-row panoramas are typically shot from left to right in a single row, keeping the camera perfectly level while panning. Keeping the camera level helps maintain alignment of vertical and horizontal objects during stitching. For ballhead users, that means leveling in two places: the tripod legs and the clamp. When you level the tripod legs, you're ensuring that the built-in panning base of your ballhead remains level throughout the pan. And when you then level out your quick-release clamp, you ensure that your camera remains parallel to the panning axis throughout the pan.

Canon 5D Mark III with 16-35mm lens. Camera fitted with the B5D3-LA plate; mounted on MPR-CL nodal slide & PC-LR panning clamp. Note how nodal slide has been used to shift camera backwards so that optical center of lens can sit atop the axis of rotation (in this case, the center of the panning clamp).

The Easiest Solution: RRS Panning Clamps

Instead of fussing with your tripod legs, simplify your life and buy either of our patented panning clamps featuring a 1.5" Dovetail Standard clamp with spirit level + precision panning base and dovetailed mount. With this clamp mounted on your ballhead, the leveling process becomes a quick 10 second task. Just loosen the ball and adjust the clamp until its spirit level indicates the clamp is level; lock the ball into position. No need for bulky leveling bases or panorama-specific heads. Leveling is now quick and painless.

Our panning clamps can be installed on any ballhead. Spin it on any industry standard ¼"-20 or 3/8"-16 threaded stud ( ¼"-20 stud requires a bushing). Or if your head has a female threaded socket, install our panning clamps with a 1-inch long cap-head screw (included). Of course, our panning clamps work great with any Really Right Stuff ballhead!

PC-Pro In Action

When you use a Really Right Stuff panning clamp, your tripod legs don't need to be level. Just level the panning clamp! The image to the left shows our BH-55 ballhead with the PC-Pro panning clamp installed.

Panning Clamp Key Features

• Integral dovetail base fits all Arca-Swiss/Really Right Stuff-style clamps.
• Precision panning base laser-engraved at 2.5° increments from 0° to 360°; no click stops.
RRS quick-release clamp (screw-knob or lever release).
• Unique drum & perimeter band brake design for positive pan locking.
• Built-in circular level.
• Comes in its own protective neoprene pouch (our OpTech-Small).

Panning Clamp Key Features

If you already own a Really Right Stuff-style clamp, then you can mount your RRS panning clamp part-time by using the built in dovetail. This allows you to drop either of our panning clamps into your existing clamp for only those times when you want to shoot panos. Very convenient! And when you're done shooting, just slip the panning clamp back into its custom neoprene pouch and drop it in your camera bag.