From: Mike Pellegatti, WildVisions, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, 623-516-1975
Another tip for smoother pans when zoomed in or with long lens is to use a rubber band on the tripod handle. Place the rubber band on the end of the handle and hold the other end with your fingers. The rubber band will allow smooth starts and stops and provide tension while dampening. Different thicknesses of rubber bands will provide stiffer or looser tensioning of pans.