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Archive 2013 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds
  
 
jagsiva
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


Anyone use this in any kind of moderate wind? I tried it with a D800 on an ocean coast with 10-15 knot winds, everything tied down, bracket replaced with RRS and nodal, Gigapan on Gitzo 5 series, mounted directly. MUP, and 2 second delays between exposures as well as MUP. I also had the rigid setting "on".

There is so much play up/down/fore aft between the rotating motorized base and the unit itself that even touching causes a few seconds of vibration. Emailed GP (no phone number), and they asked for a video. In the video, just for ease, I had an RRS plate mounted to the tripod directly and the Epic Pro with the RRS dovetail on the plate. This part is super solid, but they claim this is the issue. BTW, the reason I put this clamp on was that screwing and unscrewing the GP head directly on the tripod torques against the motor, which I would think is not such a bright idea. Regardless, I used the unit directly mounted on the tripod in the shoot in question.

The rig was relatively light - D800 + Coastal Optics 60mm (maybe 500-700g).

Exposure was in the 6-12s range for various series. Images were unusable. A complete waste of an evening's worth of shooting. The motion blur is so bad that some images look like double exposures.

Has anyone used this in any sort of wind -- not a typhoon, just normal winds in the 10-15mph range with long exposures?

Here's the video I sent as asked. At some point I show the play in the unit.

https://vimeo.com/62648871

Response from GP...or so I hate BS! You can see clearly where the play is in the video.

"I had our technician view your video and he said all your settings are correct, but to eliminate the Arca mount between the Pro and tripod. There could be more stability mounting unit directly on to tripod. He did not find anything faulty about this unit.Any further assistance we can provide, please let me know."

I did have plans to use the DF/IQ180 and Arca/IQ180 (manual mode) on this, but I'm not sure this would even be possible outdoors. perhaps the Roundshot VR is the answer, should have gone with my first instinct. Will geck with Gerald.d that does have that setup.

Cheers...



Mar 26, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


I have not yet tried long exposures in wind, but the slop in the drive system of the Gigapan Epic Pro is most likely your problem. There have been many complaints posted about the issue, and I think you are just stuck with finding low wind conditions, and then doing the best you can using the programable delay to allow for enough settling time after each move occurs.

The slight slop in the Epic Pro drive system seems to be the normal condition for the design, so I doubt you would do any better after any service, or with a different unit, but it is possible. I have seen mention of people considering some form of modification to their Epic Pro to make improvements, but never yet seen details on any success. It is something I may try to look at my self self some day, but for now I use a classic all mechanical panorama head for long exposure work.

The attach of the Epic Pro to the tripod is probably rigid enough with Arca Swiss clamping. I have my unit set up with the Really Right Stuff round dovetail fitting on the Epic Pro, and a good RRS clamp on my tripod, and I have had no problems that I have noticed. But do remember that the Epic Pro is fairly large as far as wind area, so it has the potential to be affected more than just a camera and lens. You may want to try the classic photographers technique of being a human wind shield, moving your self around to try to block wind as the sequence is taken, while still staying out of the way of the shot. And if you know a particular shot was taken during a wind gust, you might try repeating that shot right away, or coming back later to get it if the subject is static enough.



Mar 26, 2013 at 06:04 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


jagsiva wrote:
Anyone use this in any kind of moderate wind? I tried it with a D800 on an ocean coast with 10-15 knot winds, everything tied down, bracket replaced with RRS and nodal, Gigapan on Gitzo 5 series, mounted directly. MUP, and 2 second delays between exposures as well as MUP. I also had the rigid setting "on".

There is so much play up/down/fore aft between the rotating motorized base and the unit itself that even touching causes a few seconds of vibration. Emailed GP (no phone number), and they asked for a video. In the video, just for ease, I
...Show more

Had a similar experience with GP Tech Support - had to fight with them to have a defective platform replaced. They wouldn't give me a RMA - and the platform was solidly jammed. In the meantime, I ordered a RRS http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=GP-CB-Pkg&type=3&eq=&desc=GP-CB-Pkg%3a-GigaPan-Clamp-Bar-%2b-MPR-CL-II&key=it and made the mistake of telling the.

I told them I would send the entire unit back to B&H and they could deal with it.

They finally agreed to replace the defective platform.

I have my Pro set up with a RRS Arca-Swiss base. Have not used it in high wind conditions, but as the other writer said, there is a substantial amount of slop.



Mar 26, 2013 at 06:25 PM
jagsiva
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


Thanks guys. I do have the RRS platform and Nodal Slide. The issue is at the base of the unit, so regardless of using a super heavy duty tripod underneath or a solid mounting base above, the middle section is sloppy.


Mar 26, 2013 at 06:48 PM
jagsiva
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


Roland W wrote:
I have not yet tried long exposures in wind, but the slop in the drive system of the Gigapan Epic Pro is most likely your problem. There have been many complaints posted about the issue, and I think you are just stuck with finding low wind conditions, and then doing the best you can using the programable delay to allow for enough settling time after each move occurs.


You are right. However, the delay setting only helps with settling the entire rig down after some movement. However, it does not help, regardless of how long you wait if the unit is wobbling in the wind.

Still cannot get to talk to anyone at GP!!



Mar 26, 2013 at 06:54 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


jagsiva wrote:
You are right. However, the delay setting only helps with settling the entire rig down after some movement. However, it does not help, regardless of how long you wait if the unit is wobbling in the wind.

Still cannot get to talk to anyone at GP!!


You might ask them to call you. My experience was they aren't crazy about talking on the phone. Also, I think CS has to get with a boss before they make any decisions. At least it seemed that way to me - and long delays in return emails.



Mar 26, 2013 at 07:53 PM
 

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jagsiva
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


I finally dialled the extension to sales and the phone was answered. Apparently I need to send the unit back. We'll see what happens.


Mar 26, 2013 at 09:18 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


More on wobble

http://vimeo.com/10513066

http://vimeo.com/10565818



Mar 26, 2013 at 09:50 PM
jagsiva
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


WTF, so this is far more common that GP would lead you to believe. I cannot believe I dragged this and 3 batteries 3000 miles!!! Are we expected to really do landscapes at 1/250??

Interestingly, there is a also a hack fix listed on vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/10593330

I'm not sure I can rely on this for what I need to do.

Thanks again for these posts.



Mar 27, 2013 at 03:16 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


jagsiva wrote:
WTF, so this is far more common that GP would lead you to believe. I cannot believe I dragged this and 3 batteries 3000 miles!!! Are we expected to really do landscapes at 1/250??

Interestingly, there is a also a hack fix listed on vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/10593330

I'm not sure I can rely on this for what I need to do.

Thanks again for these posts.


I thought you would pick up the fix at the bottom of the Vimeo page. My pleasure.

What I can say is I tried all the mechanical units except RRS (which I still have), and still think the GigaPan Pro is the best. But at $900, it ain't cheap. If you buy one, get an extra battery!



Mar 27, 2013 at 04:20 AM
jagsiva
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


I did look at the fix, but again, looks like a hack. I'm not sure that the fix in that video will give the rig enough stability to support a 10-30s exposure.

I really was hoping that this would work, I actually got 3 batteries with the damn thing

I think it's going back and I am going to just bite the bullet and order a Roundshot VR.

There is a slim chance they may end up getting it working, but I'm not sure I want to take a chance on the stuff I intended to use this for. I have already blown one trip on this. The cherry on top is the total denial of this issue....looking at these videos, they'd have to be on acid not to be aware of the problem and at least acknowledge it. You saw their email to me above. I just don't have time for this kind of support on an out of the box product. If I wanted something cheap with poor customer service, I'd have bought a knockoff of of eBay for 200bucks from you know where.



Mar 27, 2013 at 05:02 AM
jagsiva
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Gigapan Epic Pro - landscape in moderate winds


I have now tried to tighten everything down, while there is minor improvement, it is still quite wobbly.

While there is a prominent "assembled in the USA label", the build is quite cheap.

I see a couple of major design issues here:

1. The rotating base that attached to the tripod is the main gear that rotates the rig.
2. This gear is held in place with a small screw and the entire mechanism has a very high profile, about 1". So with the weight of the entire rig acting with a lot of torque on this gear, it has a lot of slop
3. The gears are all made of plastic!! The main gear doubling as the mount is not only plastic, but is also multiple pieces of plastic held together with a single screw. The fitting for this is some kind of metal spindle over which this plastic gear fits. Again, lots of room for play.

So while this main screw can be tightened, it is quite lightweight. The only piece on the entire rig that feels of any quality or rigidity is the RRS base that installed on it.

I will ask them today if I can return it. Even if I can return it, I am still out a few hundred $$ on taxes and shipping.




Mar 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM





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