LaserPointer systems

Here are some of the laserpointer systems I used before PanoTool became possible. There are people who manage to take excellent panoramas without needing such aids. But for me they are invaluable as they provide total reliability in part of a process where there are quite enough other things to go wrong.

I use the name HaPaLa as an abbreviation of 'handheld panorama laserpointer'.

HaPaLa 3

Hapala 1

As seen on Flickr

My most recent laser-pointer system was not a lot different from the first version below. But it's simpler and has a beefed up red laser which shows up well in the brightest sunlight. The laser has it's own on off switch conveniently at the end. I've tried a green lasers but they are far to bright and give a ghoulish green cast to the nadir.

And its a lot easier to make, especially if you use my pdf plans which can be downloaded here. I think they will fit any dslr camera body.

Also shown here is the positioning ring being used with different different kinds of targets. The positioning ring is perhaps best thing I've ever made and is the secret to fast accurate handheld panoramas.

HaPaLa 2

Hapala 2

As seen on Flickr

With two lasers this is a more compact arrangement and is easier to use. The bottom switch selects the 'up' or 'down' laser. It can then be turned on either momentarily with the push button or simply turned on and off with the upper switch.

  • The white line represents the positioning string which keeps the non paralax point point in the same place.
  • With Hapala's first laser pointing straight down the camera pitches up 15° and with the other laser it pitches down 15°.
  • These lasers also prevent camera roll thus keeping horizons straight.

HaPaLa 1

Hapala 1

As seen on Flickr

This was one of my earliest versions and uses a swing arm on which the laser is velcroed. It has an optional spirit level to replace the laser. Necessary when the sunlight is too strong to see the laser dot and useful on one occassion when I was jinxed in a graveyard and my batteries kept running out.