Aerial Panoramas

You are looking for the special view? High tripod panoramas are a welcome change for the RODEON Head to perfectly draw attention to it's advantages: Comfortable and reliable work flow for precise, high-resolution and particularly sensational results.

Remote-controlled precise motion sequences and full control of results

The RODEON panoramic head is not only qualified for precise panoramic shootings on the ground. Due to its control concept, it is ideally suited for the usage with high tripods and an indispensible partner for professional Aerial Image Aquisition.

NEW: The RODEON panoramic head can now be fully remote-controlled by smartphone, tablet or notebook via WLAN or LAN.

When controlling the head via laptop, the software RODEONpreview additionally allows a parallel, ground based full control of results - before, during and after the image aquisition at a dizzy height.

Aerial panoramas

for the special view




Application example Ι


Backstage video: Idyllic Tuscany Aerial Panoramas

by Enrico Cinalli


look @ this Tuscany backstage video




Application example ΙΙ


Practice report: Creating an Aerial Panorama

by Josef Ehrler

Project report: Niederbauen-Panorama

The following report should give an overview of the preparation phase and equipment used. Also the objectives of this project and the workflow of the photo session should be explained in more details.

When shooting a Multi-Rows panorama, normally you have to plan the panorama shooting. When shooting a panorama from the top of a "High Stand" and you have to control all the actions from the bottom of the stand with a notebook as: panorama head control and image control, a meticulous planning is very important.

Let's start by the objectives of the project.

In broad outlines the main points:

  • In the area of "Central Switzerland" a typically mountain/valley panorama should be photographed.
  • The horizontal field of view of the panorama should be 360° and the vertical Field of View should be large enough to secure a good relation between sky, mountain and the valleys below. The stitched images should be presented as a high resolution image in an auditorium. The resolution should be as fine to allow the viewer to see all the details on the image from a very close distance (1ft / 300dpi). The panorama should be magnified to about 8m by 1.6m.
  • Furthermore, the season (time of the year), weather forecast, expected visibility, sunset and eventually obstacles in the mid and short range are to be taken into account. The late summer 2010 was absolutely not ideal to capture the images for this project. So we had to wait till November.

In the meantime we went visiting such interesting places to be able to select the most beautiful for our project. On each location we captured images for low resolution panoramas. Therewith we were able to come to a good decision for the best location to shoot the panorama images. You would think that it should be very easy to take a panorama on the top of a mountain. Unfortunately the top of a mountain is normally not a small flat area without any obstacles. On the contrary, triangulation points, mobile antennas or close range hills are common obstacles you will find around the top of a mountain.


The selected place for the panorama was the "Niederbauen", located in the border area between the cantons "Uri" and "Nidwalden" in Switzerland high above the "Vierwaldstätter Lake". The top of the "Niederbauen" lies barely below 2000m above sea level and offers the hikers an indescribable panorama to the impressive mountain ranges, the "Vierwaldstätter Lake", the big and the small mount "Mythen", the valley in canton "Uri" and at the back the mountain "Big Bauen".

Following the result of the 360° panorama, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II / T/S 24mm. The panorama uses 20 images, arranged in 2 rows and 10 columns. This panorama was taken for evaluation purpose.



As you can see, the "summerly" day presents the sky and mountains covered in clouds. In my point of view, it was disturbing me that on the right side of the panorama, the lake and the valley below is covered by the hill right in front.


Details about the used Equipment

The panorama was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Macro lens EF 100mm f2.8L IS USM.


Panorama head:
I used the panorama head RODEONmodular from Dr. Clauss (Germany). This panorama head is one of the rare, which allows to remote control the horizontal/vertical positions for MultiRow panoramas. The horizontal and vertical parameters for the RODEONmodular are saved in a script file. The script file, I generated with my panorama calculator, special designed for this panorama head. With the script file, the RODEONmodular is controllable from a notebook via a Bluetooth link.2

The RODEONmodular admits to program the head to turn reverse to its start position when a full 360° turn is completed. This prevents that the cables to the camera, head, Bluetooth and Live View braking when interlock with the high stand.

To bring on the right side of the panorama the lake and the valley into the scene, I was looking around for a high stand, which is high and stable enough and light weight. For me, the Manfrotto high stand 269HDB-3U was exactly what I was looking for. I decide to place the Manfrotto high stand exactly by the triangulation point. When fully extended the height of the 269HDB-3U is about 7.3m and its weight with about 11Kg is quite heavy to bring up to the mountain - but it is still lighter than any aerial mast I know. I decided to extend the Manfrotto 269HDB-3U to 4m. This should secure to bring the above mentioned lake and valley into the scene. The haggard high stand was stable enough to carry the 5Kg RODEONmodular incl. camera and lens. To control the panorama head and the camera on the high stand, it was necessary to wire the stand from the bottom up to the head and camera. The following images show the construction to protect the cables when turning the panorama head by 360° and the installation on the top of the mountain. 



Complete configuration: Mast Photography with RODEONmodular



To control the RODEONmodular and the camera, I used the Hewlett Packard 9" Notebook hp2133. To be able to see something on the display of the Notebook, I used a sun protection shield called iCap 15". The Notebook and the protection shield, I placed onto a Manfrotto clipboard on a Manfrotto tripod 3205.


For the EOS 5D Mark II I had 3 and for the Notebook 2 batteries in my pocket. To supply the USB hub separate from the Notebook, I used a set of 4xAA batteries. The RODEONmodular, I supplied with a 7.2V/13Ah power pack from the bottom of the high stand. It is standard to supply the RODEONmodular directly by the head in the foreseen battery slot 2.1Ah. I chose the safer solution.


To control the panorama head, the shutter release, Live View and Bluetooth, the followig software was used:


  1. RODEONmodular Control Software Version 2.7: This software package allows controlling the panorama head via the script file horizontally and vertically. A sequence can be stopped, single images can be repeated or the battery can be replaced while proceed after that at the same position the panorama head was stopped.

  2. Bluetooth Software (BlueSoleil): This software package ensures the connection between the Notebook and the RODEONmodular via the Bluetooth Transceiver (Class 1 /100m). My experience with Bluetooth, when connecting the transceiver into an USB slot by the Notebook and the RODEONmodular is placed on a high stand, I will not recommend to my friends. Therefore, I used a additional USB cable from the Notebook up to the RODEONmodular. The Bluetooth transceiver, I placed close to the antenna of the RODEONmodular. So it works perfect.

  3. Live View Software: To control the start position and also the captured images on the display of the Notebook, I used the software package DSLR Remote Pro from breezesys. The software allows to set aperture, shutter speed, focus and much more directly from a Notebook.





to Panorama


Finally on the 5th of November it was that far. With 55kg photo equipment in our bags we made our way to the Niederbauen. On the top of the mountain we could setup the equipment without any problems and at about 10:00 we started with a first trial. The panoramas are captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the new Macro lens EF 100mm f2.8L USM. Usual the panorama was taken in fully manual mode (aperture, shutter speed, WB, ISO ...). The resulting middle exposure between darker areas and highlights was 1/125" by a fix aperture of f10. This combination should be a good compromise. For a landscape panorama, depth of field is always an important issue. The photographer likes to have as much as possible depth of field. This is done when the focus plain is adjusted to the hyper focal distance. The hyper focal distance depends on the sensor size of the camera (Circle of Confusion CoC), the focal length of the lens and the used value of the aperture. For the Niederbauen panorama, captured with a full format sensor, focal length 100mm and an aperture f10, the calculated hyper focal distance was about 36m. That means the image will be sharp from half of the hyper focal distance (18m) to infinity when enlarging a single image to about 10" by 8". Under these conditions the viewer of the panorama will see all the details when viewing from a distance not closer than 1 foot. When adjusting the focus plain to infinity, the depth of field starts by the hyper focal distance and ends in infinity. As you see, when adjusting the focus plain to the hyper focal distance you win a lot of additional sharpness in the near area.  On my web site, I have free offline multipurpose calculator in the download section which calculates the shutter speeds in a Bracket, the depth of field and the hyper focal distance.


Printing, bring up onto a aluminium plates, fitting:

A perfect job from printing to the final fitting at its place was supplied by:
Univers GmbH Werbetechnik, CH-6030 Ebikon, Switzerland


Panorama as wall decoration:

The Niederbauen Panorama found its place in the auditorium of Flight Simulator Centrum of the Swiss Air Force in Emmen, Switzerland.






(Text and Images: Josef Ehrler,






    +49 (0) 37754 507 77
    [email protected]


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