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Forums » General Gigapanning » Quick question re: Gigapan Pro and Tripods

Quick question re: Gigapan Pro and Tripods
Socialeventshots Socialeventshot...
Total Posts: 5

Hello there,

I’m very new to the gigapan community and have a quick question.

I hope to purchase the gigapan Pro over the weekend and was wondering how it works in relation to a tripod. On the site it states that I need a mounting plate – does this come with the gigapan?

Can I mount the gigapan pro directly on a tripod, or do i also need a head?

Sorry, these questions are probably very basic for most of you! As the gigapan is so expensive, I’m trying to minimize costs when it comes to tripods/mounting accessories etc.

Thanks very much!

Terry Foss Terry Foss
Total Posts: 16


While you can attach the Gigapan Pro directly to a tripod, some kind of a head makes it MUCH easier to level the unit. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but you really want one.

The mounting plate they mention is for the camera to the gigapan unit. One comes with the gigapan, I believe.

Best, Terry

MediaPila MediaPila
Total Posts: 30

Yes, you can… but.
Nivelate the tripod will be a hard work. If you dont want the head of the tripod, you can use a nivelator plate like this: Manfrotto 438 3/8 Ball Camera Leveler.
You will have a lot of problems if you try to nivelate the tripod if you dont have this.

Hope this help.


Neil Pedersen Neil Pedersen
Total Posts: 2

When sizing out tripods and heads, make sure you pick one with a high enough weight capacity. ( Gigapan+camera body+biggest lense you will use )

You can get away with a lighter one, but it isn’t nearly as stable.

John Opie John Opie
Total Posts: 25

Hi -

As someone also working on a budget, I understand your cost concerns, but scrimping on your tripod will generally leave you very frustrated, as your gigapans will suffer considerably!

I use the Manfrotto 028B for my Gigapan Pro work and while it is not small or light, it is extremely robust and sturdy, as well as extending up over 6 feet to get the best perspective when needed. I’m using an old Manfrotto ball head from my medium format days.

You may want to check your local photo shops to see if you can get a used tripod or at least a used ball head for working with the Gigapan Pro. Gitzo is also a very good quality, albeit heavy, alternative, with their older Studex line of tripods. I use one of theirs when I am backpacking and don’t want to carry the 15 pounds of Manfrotto 028b+ball head combo (which doesn’t strap well to a backpack!

For a rule of thumb with the Gigapan Pro, I calculate Gigapan + battery + camera + heaviest lens + battery for the total weight, then would recommend a tripod that is rated for at least 50% more weight to ensure stability in wind.

The Gigapanographer Currently Known as "Kilgore661" The Gigapanogra...
Total Posts: 108

I recommend you get the Arca Swiss mounting plate thing. I agree with John about not scrimping on the tripod. I also recommend that you get the heaviest tripod you can cope with because you want your shooting platform to be completely rigid and stable. You can always get a lightweight tripod and then mess around with buckets of rocks or bags of plastic bottles filled with water to hang off the tripod I suppose, but in the end, given all the other things you have to bear in mind when shooting gigapans, worrying about the tripod is the last thing you want.

I use a Manfrotto 55B which is made from cast iron by the feel of it, but even that is not great when you put a Gigapan Pro with 10lb of camera and lens on it because the mounting plate is not designed for so much weight. Hence the Arca Swiss plate.

sgartner sgartner
Total Posts: 1

I realize that this is an old thread, but for anyone else like me searching I found this thread and thought that the idea of using the Manfrotto 438 was a great idea, but it turned out that it has a 3/8" male connection on the top that is too short to attach to the Gigapan (which has an abnormally deep 3/8" hole on the bottom and due to this won’t attach directly to several of my tripods). However, I was able to open the 438 up easily and substitute a slightly longer 1.5" bolt (purchased at my local hardware store) and now it works terrific as a leveling base for the Gigapan. FYI

Forums» General Gigapanning » Quick question re: Gigapan Pro and Tripods