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
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
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
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
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
indexes for different angles required. They currently
supply 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 18 and 20 stops which supply
increments at every: 120º, 90º, 72º, 60º, 45º, 30º, 25.7º, 20º and
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
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