I agree. A pole is good for 20 foot ceiling heights or definately OUTside.
Typically we do not extend our tripod to full height anyway. Only 2 of the 3 tripod leg segments are extended. This does 2 things for me (Im 5 foot 10)....I really do not use the Canon 5d's viewfinder. There is nothing I need to try to frame up on... after all its a 180deg fisheye. I pay attention to the camera's initial direction angle and LCD screen for the f/stop shutter speed. Sometimes I do get a short glimps of the recorded image in the LCD screen after I have snapped the image. Then its the same when I rotate 90 deg to the next click stop and so on. Occasionally after taking the 4 +1 up zenith, I will look back at the histograms. The second thing is before snapping the photo I can be sure to watch out for people traffic. I can wait until they have passed before taking the photo.
With the pole its about the same.. you make the camera settings... then up it goes.... visually shoot 4 at what you think is 90 degrees... listen for the click stops and shutter release sounds.
With the pole there is NO parallax points to contend with... just shoot and stitch
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EasyPano - Panoweaver