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[OM] "Easy" way for astro panos?

Subject: [OM] "Easy" way for astro panos?
From: Mike Gordon via olympus <olympus@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 00:18:48 +0000 (UTC)
Cc: usher99@xxxxxxx
I never enjoy leveling a tripod.  I have done so during the daylight  but  
always thought to get something like the below gizmo:


I never quite pulled the trigger  and sometimes just do a pano with my shift 
lens with no parallax issue. 
There are cheaper versions of the same.  Easy peasy during the day and just put 
in ball head and level and mount cam as usual.   One would have to calculate 
the degrees to rotate for X% overlap.   Almost never require a second row, but 
would be a pain (or impossible at night)  to tilt and keep parallel and plumb I 

A more elegant solution I think is a leveling base:


I have an acratech ballhead that is the perfect size for this.  Didn't want to 
chronically carry the extra bulk.  Then there are pano indexing rotors with 
indents so don't have to worry about keeping track and turning on a headlamp 


There are better made ones too.   Now that is two new gizmos.    OR--------how 
bout a mini genie II on top of the leveling base:


Controlled with phone app and set the limits of the pano, chosen overlap and it 
does the rest.  Problem is it trips the shutter but for stacked pano it has to 
wait long enough for the 4 shots and writing to card.  Has to wait longer for a 
redo for the foreground.  Still complicated.  

Or how about this set up!!!!!!!   :


Tracking is way to much a pain compared to stacking. 

I don't worry about nodal slides often but have used a MPR from RRS to do the 
same if something in foreground is very close or just use my shift lens and 
keep exit pupil in same spot.   

He says:

"When doing Milky Way panos I do not use a nodal slide. I find that it’s not 
necessary for the compositions I typically shoot. A nodal slide is only 
necessary when there are close objects in the frame that would have parallax 
error AND the object with parallax falls across a stitching seam in the 
panorama AND your stitching software cannot recover the errors."                
                      Latter statement is theoretically just not correct.   

If the parallax error occurs on something not flat the software must try to 
stich based on the foreground or background and it really CAN'T  have both 
happy.  I think PTGUI has some way to do perspective correction but not on 3D 
objects.  I suppose one can probably fudge something in PS if it can stitch 
something reasonable and no would be the wiser but it isn't rocket science 
getting close to the "nodal point."  What a rabbit hole.  

Suggestions on how to stay on the level?  I don't know if the Desmond tilt head 
is necessary as can tilt the ball head and just be sure the cam is plumb using 
the LCD display if two rows are necessary-----I think.  

No tilt, Mike
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