360 Precision Mark II (my version)

My Articles and Babble, Uncategorized

After being sick and tired of what this head doesn’t have I decided to make a few modifications to suite my style of shooting. Welcome to the Precision Absolute Head Mark II. If you have the head (this is an achievement already as you might not get one after you pay or one that works) you will know the head has no way of adjustment in between -45, 90 and 45 degrees.

precisionhead_1So a specially crafted piece of plank works a treat. Then there is the technical placement of the canon filter cap to adjust / refine the composition. In my extensive trial and error I have found the B&W cases for my ND filters also work well.

If you are wishing to point the lens down ward …. wait for it… YES… your piece of plank can be turned vertically. Awesome hey.  Or if you are “without plank” a pro pack of Velvia 50 film also works a treat. For adjustment just remove a roll from inside the box so it collapses a little. Sorry no picture available. If you don’t shoot film, then maybe try your shoe. I have not tested this as yet.


Moving on… now after each rotation of the head to take the next pic the dents are so severe you have to wait for your tripod to stop wobbling or the whole tripod pushes into the sand a little each time, thus hurting your stitch. Solution…. get rid of the dent ring all together and save yourself valuable seconds in between shooting. It’s not like you know which ring is for what as the thing comes with no instructions anyway.

For my Mark III version I am looking at removing / grinding off the lug off that inserts into the back of the 1ds Mark II. This will allow me to then move the camera up or down and I can then put my plank into retirement. Maybe it can keep open a door or something.

Also my head is set up for the 24-70mm lens. If you want to use other lenses on the head you are meant to buy additional arms. In the shots you can see my 70-200mm f2.8 is on and it works perfectly when stitching. My image titled Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb two posts ago was taken with this set up.

These images can be clicked on to view the technical placement of the plank and lens cap in better detail.

For those interested the plank was bought from Bunnings to make my chicken coop. Was about $3.40 from memory. I’d say each plank could make about 6 Mark II adjustment pieces. Or you could even make lengths of different size. Wow ! I just thought of that then, I may have to check my wood scrap heap for more piece.

Oh the world of professional photography is a fun one.

25 thoughts on “360 Precision Mark II (my version)

  1. Have you submitted your patent Matt?

    Sounds like you really need the 360 adjuste.
    I have 4 detent rings, the one it is set on at the moment is 1 click at 40mm and 2 clicks for 17mm.

    The vertical movement on the 360 adjuste is set up so it can do 5 degrees or 15 degrees, very handy.

    So for me I am finding great results.

    I haven’ tried my 70-200mm on it yet.

  2. Nice work 🙂

    I needed a -10 degree vertical shooting position on one of my 360P heads (I have 3) so I went to a metal shop and had them cut a slot in the vertical arm where the other slots are (ie 0, 90 degrees etc)

    Cost about $30 from memory & I got exactly what I needed 🙂 I believe you can also request specific vertical slots when ordering an ‘absolute’ head.

    Regarding the detents, they are severe… but if they weren’t the head wouldn’t be ‘precise’ I have a hand on the head to turn it & a hand on the tripod to make sure it doesn’t move with each turn… both hands are putting some downward pressure on the whole rig which deadens the detent ‘shock’

    As with everything… YMMV

  3. Tom – patient is pending.

    Aaron – wow you have three of them. Gee mate are you some kind of collector. On a serious note though I do believe Matt at precision has brought out a version of the absolute that fixes the vertical tilt adjustment to include more stops. I think the dents could need easing off a bit and you lost me on the YMMV ??

    Dylan – mate I’d love it if it cost me $1000, try closer to $1400. I love bunnings.

    Merv – $10 bucks. Hey if it works it works. Some people don’t even use a panno head and their results are fantastic.

  4. HaHa.. a collector I am 😉

    Well, I have a Nikon D200 rig, a D300 rig with one of my photographers & recently got a D700 rig.

    YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary

    ie just ’cause it works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you 🙂

  5. Well you could have ordered one of the other rings for your Absolute. The standard rings we have are:

    1. 0, ±10, ±90 – mainly used with fisheye lenses
    2. 0, ±15, ±30, ±45, ±60, ±75, ±90 for standard lenses
    3. 0, ±45, ±90 – wide angle on fullframe
    4. 0, ±10, ±60, ±90 extended fisheye
    5, every 5º, for telephoto lenses.

    If you’d asked we would have been happy to swap over you existing ring for any other version free of charge. All you had to do was ask.

    From reading your comments on your site I have no idea why you even purchased an Absolute when clearly the Adjuste would have served your purposes a lot better.

    As for the strength of the detent the plunger can be adjusted up or down to change the locking strength. We can also supply weaker plungers on requested but we advise customers that they will loose some of the precision in using the weaker plunger.

    Its like buying a Porsche 911 and then complaining you can’t fit your family of seven in it.

  6. Matt no offence intended but with the flood of emails I get from your unhappy customers waiting for replacement parts on their new systems that have been delivered defective (or those still waiting for their systems some 6 months after ordering) and your communication issues I wouldnt have even attempted to contact and ask for such a thing.

    I find your offer quite amusing as I look over the emails I have from your customers fighting you tooth and nail to get what they paid for. Hopefully they will read this post from you and quote it in their next email to you asking you to honor your past promises.

  7. Just to clarify a few wrong facts:

    1. No customer has ever waited 6 months for any product from 360Precision

    2. We’ve never had a single report of a head or upgrade kit that’s been delivered in a defective order.

    Even your own custom 1DsMK2 Absolute was delivered in 4 weeks. If you understood what goes into a custom head you would clearly understand why we “ALWAYS” quote 6-12 weeks.

    The procedure bascially goes like this:

    1. Source the camera and lens. We generally have to re-purchase the camera and lens as it’s simply too expensive to keep every camera and lens we support.

    2. Test for the nodal point, to get this within 0.1mm can take a while.

    3. CAD the parts needed

    4. Program the CNC machine, not always an easy task especially for the 1DsMK2 parts

    5. Machine the jigs needed to hold the blocks of ally in place to be machined.

    6. Prototype the parts

    7. Test the parts and make any changes necessary.

    8. Machine the final parts.

    As making custom parts generally requires one machine for the duration we have to wait until we have the spare machine time to fit them in.

    The average worldwide delivery time for all 360Precision products during 2008 was under 3 days from receipt of payment to the customer receiving their order. This includes all custom Absolute and Adjuste orders.

    Delivery time on standard products worldwide is roughly 36 hours. Most European deliveries are under 24 hours.


  8. Matt I think the facts are pretty accurate. I’m just going on the information (emails) I receive from people all over the world and one professional photographer who approached me in Sydney who bought off you as well (I think he worked for the Lonely Planet). Guess they all must be lairs.

    I have even been asked to provide a statement from one of your customers as they want to take you to court. But I politely declined as I really had nothing to state other than having trouble getting you to reply to my emails after buying the head.

    I am not doubting your skill in how the heads are machined. It is your communication and business practices that leave a bit to be desired from my own experience and that of many others. But I have said this before on my blog some time ago.

  9. I waited about a month to receive mine as I had a custom detent ring pressed.
    The 360 Adjuste is awesome for the work I do at both 17mm and 40mm. I have had a little rust on the 3 vertical detent stops/nuts from the salt air on the NSW coast. The thing that hurt most was the import duty from customs, pricks. But I’m glad I got it before the financial crisis at the moment. The Aussie dollar would hurt right now. I’d recommend the 360 adjuste to anyone. However stocking them in Australia would be much nicer.

  10. Funny reading about the 360precision management heads (Matt&Stu) on your website. With more than 1500 customers they should get a person able to respond gently at emails and telephone calls. My 360p Adjuste work fine, but my last piece of gear came from Agnos.

    @dan proud: Manfrotto didn’t improve the head, it’s still the same version as some years ago. Better switch to the Nodal Ninja of Nick Fan, also Reallyrightstuff has a fine product: http://reallyrightstuff.com/pano/04.html
    (…or the 360precision Adjuste).

  11. What does the number of customers have to do with anything ? You have no idea what the profit margins are. Plus 90%+ of the enquiries we receive are quite technical and finding someone with this knowledge that will work for minimum wage is impossible.

    Anyone with the experience and knowledge required to handle sales effectively is actually shooting. They certainly won’t sit behind a desk answering emails.

    It never ceases to amaze me though when people comment on subjects they know nothing about.

  12. It’s also great to see Matt was quick to point out that 360Precision shipped him a completely new Absolute Giga sidearm assembly to solve his problems after reading this thread.

    Free of charge mind you. But I would really expect any more…

    I guess this says it all.

  13. My comment was about the sometimes quite “rough” communication attitudes of Matthew Rogers. In my it’s the wrong way, and I’m probably not the first person with this opinion.

  14. Matt you make me laugh… I didn’t post anything as yet about the new arm your sent me “Free” which was appreciated as I haven’t been out shooting enough with it yet as it was over the Christmas break and I have been running my business. But since you have brought the topic up my first impressions of the new arm you sent are this:

    1. The improvement on the ability to now change angles at 5 and 10 degrees is great.
    2. The length of the new arm is to put it lightly ridiculuos, so ridiculuos that it is almost like you sent me a prototype. The new arm is that long I can no long carry it in my photo bag. Due to the arms length it is now also prone to wobbling more as well. But the ability to change 5 and 10 degree increments is a welcome improvement and my wooden plank as been retired.

  15. Hi, anyone had any communication from Matthew Rogers recently or have an email address or telephone number that will get to him. I ordered a head on the 1st of October, got an email from Matthew Rogers on the 12th after chasing up the order and he said it would be shipped that week. I’ve not had any communication from him since despite chasing by email 2 times. I’ve called the only number he has on his website and left a message. I wish I had seen this thread before ordering the head.

  16. I did say last week or this week. The parts are at the anodisers at the moment which I have no control over. I’ve only just got back into the office and you did infact call 27 minutes ago. Sorry for not replying instantly 🙁


  17. I’d recommend buying a Gigapan Epic Pro. Might fall apart in a couple of years but geez its a fun toy and does an awesome job. Couldn’t be happier with the $1250 purchase

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