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QuickPan Professional

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Model:

QuickPan Professional

VR Head Type:

Multi-Row Spherical Panoramic Tripod Mount

Weight:

4.94 lbs (2.24kg)

Dimensions:

(HxWxD)14*x 10*x 9*

Load Capacity:

20 lbs

Color:

Black

Material:

Aluminum

Large Bodied DSLRs / Medium Format Compatibility:

Yes

Leveling:

Bubble

Numerical Demarcations:

On rotational, lower & upper rails. (metric, inches)

Bottom Thread Attachment

3/8" & 1/4" female thread

Rotator head adjustments:

Indexing hub, various sizes.

Vertical Arm Rotation:

360

Panoramic Rotation:

360

Camera Quick Release:

No (optional)

Upper arm detent stop:

Yes

Landscape Mode:

No

Tools Required For Assembly:

No.  Only required for changing parts.

Warranty:

3 year unlimited warranty

Tools Supplied:

Yes - hex keys

Spare Parts Supplied:

Yes

Case Supplied:

No

Accessories Available:

Yes

Upgrade:

No

Customer Support:

Yes

Manual:

Yes

Price:

(US) $799.95

Web site:

http://www.kaidan.com

 


 

Features

 


 

 

The lower rotator was the first thing that caught my attention.  There is no back and forth play with every index stop.  It's rock solid.   A simply push of a spring loaded lever, rotate and let go.

 

Even with its size you can easily unlock and rotate the pan head with one hand. 

 

The index locking mechanism makes shooting panoramas enjoyable.

   

The lower base has 360 demarcations. 

 

What I like about the base is the ability to mount the pan head on a tripod without having to spin the entire head.

 

Hold the pan head over your tripod screw and grab the tripod mounting knob (in red) and turn.

 

 

Below the tripod adjustment knob is a screw that can be used to adjust the tension of the knob.

 

The bubble level is uniquely designed.  You can adjust it's position a full 360.  The bubble is huge which makes leveling easier in certain situations.

   

The upper assembly slides smoothly into the lower rail.  The lever's position can be adjusted to prevent snagging into things during rotations.

 

You can adjust the tension on how the lower support slides on the lower rail.  Sliding the lower support is smooth on the lower rail that makes precise adjustment easy.

   

Camera mount knob.

 

Threaded screw hole for the camera mount knob.  Prevents accidentally losing the knob..


 

Both lower and upper rails have millimeter and inches demarcations.

 

In case you have to remove your camera placeholders are provided to mark the position of your camera.

 


Accessories

A set of hex keys.

1/4' tripod mounting knob.  Notice the color coding between the 3/8" and 1/4".  No guess work.

The pan head came with a 60 indexing hub.  Various hubs are available such as the 45 indexing hub shown.

An offset bracket is available for camera's with an off centered tripod mount.

A spare rubber tension band was provided.  This is used for the upper indexing locking mechanism.


 

Precision

 

"Precision is  where the QuickPan Pro shines."

 

The following techniques used to measure precision are simple using ordinary measuring tools.  Meant for the non-engineer types like myself to perform.

 

How accurate are the markings?.  Well I just had to find out. 

 

A hole was cut on a white cardboard and marked out every 45.

Lines were then drawn from each mark and extended to the opposite mark.

 

Simply used a protractor to test - Perfect.

Perfect.

Upper rotator demarcations - Perfect.

Lower rail inches demarcations - Perfect.

Lower rail millimeter demarcations - Perfect.

 

Upper rail inches demarcations - Perfect.

Upper rail millimeter demarcations - Perfect.

Vertical arm 90 alignment - Perfect.

 

(Yellow tape was used for visibility.)

Lower rail level test - Perfect.

Upper rail level test - Perfect.

 

 

Rotation test - Perfect.

 

This is probably one of the most impressive results out of this test.  I did not expect the bubble to be leveled at every angle. 

 


Accommodates various sizes of lenses.

 

From left to right: 10.5mm Fisheye, 12-24mm, 17-55mm and 70-200mm.

 

 


 

My long exposure nadir technique is possible with the QuickPan Pro.  This is always one of the key capabilities I look for in a pan head.  It's also why I do not use a quick release plate.  You need the ability to slide the camera a bit further up the rail.

 


 

 

This is the nadir from a 1272x1272 cubic image.  (4000x2000 equirectangular)

 

Surprisingly a very small footprint that can be patched effortlessly.

 

 


 

 

Size comparison with other pan heads.

 

Left to right:  QuickPan Pro, 303SPH, MK Panohead and NN5 w/ RD12

 

These pan heads can be used with the lens/camera combination shown previously.  Though the 303SPH has less weight capacity of the group.

 

 


 

 

Every part can easily be replaced for maintenance if necessary.

 


 

 

Conclusion

 

The first word that came to my mind after working with the QuickPan Pro was "impressive".  The QuickPan Pro is for the serious professional panographer.  This is a panoramic head that you take to a client's pano shoot and be confident that it'll perform.  With its professional appearance the QuickPan Pro will leave an impression with the client that you mean business.

 

It is huge.  No doubt about it.  It is heavier than most panoramic heads.  If you're a professional photographer with large bodied cameras then this is a panoramic head that will easily accommodate your needs.  It has a 20lb weight capacity!  Unless you're in some sort of physical shape the only draw back with large pano heads is it's not practical for hiking around with in the city or bushes.  Large pano heads also requires a tripod that can keep the pan head, camera and lens stable.  But if you're driving to a photo shoot then this would be the pano head to take along.

 

Kaidan does have smaller and light weight solutions that can accommodate smaller point and shoots such as their Kiwi Panoramic Tripod Head.  Other accessories are available at the web site at www.kaidan.com.

 

Even with its size the footprint of the pan head is very small as shown above.  The pan head was angled down to further reduce the size.  Adjusting the camera for the lens' entrance pupil was a breeze.  I used the "GRID" method.  This took less than 30 minutes.  Parallax free!

 

The quality, precision and workmanship of the QuickPan Pro is outstanding.  It is solid like a luxury car.    With its WedgeLockTM index mechanism every rotation stop is solid.  No play or wobble.  No searching back and forth for the "stop".  You can rotate either way and not worry about counter rotation loosening other parts.  You can be sure that every shot will be consistent.

 

The placeholders are simple yet an effective feature.  Once you've found the setting for your lens' entrance pupil use the hex keys provided to set the placeholders to mark the spot.  This allows for quick remounting of the camera.

 

Demarcations on the rotator and rails are as precise as any measuring device.  The pano head stays level during the full 360 rotation.  Silky smooth rotations are made possible by the sealed bearings.  Smoothes I've worked with so far.  Even with its weight and size one handed (more like two fingers) rotations  are possible.  It is that smooth.  I cannot stress that enough. 

 

Set up is simple.  Simply slide the upper assembly to the lower rail and tighten.  Kaidan conveniently  provides a CD with assembly manuals.   The manuals also includes basic parts replacement and maintenance.

 

The QuickPan Pro can also be adapted for landscape use with their Fisheye-Landscape Bracket.

 

I was glad to find out the QuickPan Pro was able to be configured for my long exposure technique.  This is one of the selling points that I look for with a pan head.  After all this is what full sphericals are all about.  With the popularity of HDR / LDR this is almost becoming a mandatory requirement for pan heads. 

 

I was not too keen on the "fixed stops" of the upper rotation index hub.  Personally I'd prefer to have the option of being able to adjust the upper arm at any angle.  I feel having a fixed rotating angles of 15 and 22.5 limits my options.  I do understand the reasoning for fixed index stops.  Maybe have the option of being able to click it "on and off".   However Kaidan does provide interchangeable WedgeLockTM indexes for different angles required.   They currently supply 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 18 and 20 stops which supply increments at every: 120, 90, 72, 60, 45, 30, 25.7, 20 and 18.

 

When purchasing the QuickPan Pro you are asked which index hub you prefer;  60, 45, etc.  At this level a panographer should already know their equipment and shooting technique required with their lens and camera combination.  With the Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye lens it's commonly known to shoot six shots at every 60.  So when going to a photo shoot with the QuickPan Pro the pan head should have already been setup with the correct index hub.  To change to another index hub is not "field friendly".  It takes time to change index hubs especially when time is crucial.

 

Price?  At $799.95 US it's up their with the rest of the big guns.  But with it's features, build quality and especially precision; being the key feature, the suggested retail price easily justifies its cost.

 

Another weak point I have to point out about the QuickPan Pro is the camera mounting knob.  I was surprised here.  The size of the knob is too small to properly tighten to prevent the camera from rotating due to its weight.  A simple fix that could easily be implemented would be to enlarge the grip for better leverage.  This received a low score of 6.  Kaidan is currently looking into correcting this issue. 

 

The QuickPan Pro easily scored a 9.5 average out of 10.  As mentioned above the fixed index hub on the upper rotator and small camera mounting knob were my "personal" key weak points that could have resulted in a perfect score.

 

 

Highly Recommended

 

 


 

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