From: From: Stephen Press, Cameragod
How to do a smoother pan on a tripod on a long lens. Thinking back to my high school physics that secret to doing a smoother pan is all to do with levers. The panhandle sticking out at the back of the tripod head is a long lever. If you pan using it your hand has to travel a long distance to make the camera move a short way, good for moving quickly but giving you more chance of wobbling the camera. If instead you put your hands on the tripod head and push it around with your thumbs, (a shorter lever) you get a much smoother pan. And the teacher thought I was sleeping.