Comparisons to other products [Archive] - Nodal Ninja Forum

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shamer
05-10-2008, 07:43 AM
Hi - I'm a professional photographer getting ready to dive into the world of HDRI for 3D for a 3D artist I work with. I've been researching different pano heads & related equipment and would just like to hear the arguments actual users might present in favor of Nodal Ninja gear over the competition. Any comments on ease of use, deflection (from weight of camera), features, etc. that you think are weak points or advantages would be greatly appreciated! I know this might seem pretty general, but I'm not looking for a comprehensive review - just pros & cons from users here.

Shawn

nick fan
05-10-2008, 09:31 AM
hi Shawn,

the answer will be easier if you list the candidates of comparison.
so what pano head do you have in mind?

nick

Terrywoodenpic
05-10-2008, 11:31 AM
I would be surprised if members of this forum, who have almost universally chosen a Nodal Ninja head,
would have done so, had they not thought .......

one... that it would serve their purpose in every respect.
two.. that it offered a better set of features than the available alternatives
Three... that their individual choice from the ninja range, had the function and qualities necessary for the work they wished to do.
Four... that there was an upgrade path should their interests and equipment change.

All in all the ninja range covers all uses where more than one camera and lens may be involved.
It does not yet include specialist heads tailored for the exclusive use of a single camera and lens.

I would maintain from my use of the equipment, that the design quality and finish of manufacture is second to none.
and at prices unmatched by similar models in the market place.

I am sure that should you chose a suitable model for your equipment and intentions., you will like us, come to respect the integrity of the Ninja range.

The choice of a Nodal Ninja is what is called a no brainer.

rjacobs
05-10-2008, 03:32 PM
... you get to try it for yourself for 30 days. :biggrin:

shamer
05-10-2008, 04:25 PM
Thanks, Nick. I am looking at everything in the market right now. Precision, Manfrotto, Really Right Stuff are some of the products I've been researching. I'm looking at the NN5L package here from Nodal Ninja.

Yes, I understand that coming onto a NN board & asking for purchasing advice will likely garnish one-sided opinions, but I participate in several boards where participants WILL offer honest advice or opinion on products that they bought or use - providing good perspective for someone looking for it.





hi Shawn,

the answer will be easier if you list the candidates of comparison.
so what pano head do you have in mind?

nick

nick fan
05-10-2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks, Nick. I am looking at everything in the market right now. Precision, Manfrotto, Really Right Stuff are some of the products I've been researching. I'm looking at the NN5L package here from Nodal Ninja.

Yes, I understand that coming onto a NN board & asking for purchasing advice will likely garnish one-sided opinions, but I participate in several boards where participants WILL offer honest advice or opinion on products that they bought or use - providing good perspective for someone looking for it.





Hi Shamer,

It depends on how much you want to pay for a pano head and how you are going to use it--whether making spherical panos or making high resolution mosaics.
360P absolute is fixed for each camera and lens. heavy and bulky. costs much more than NN5L.
360P Adjsute has detent of 15 degree in the upper rotator. no good for making high resolution mosaic. cost much more than NN5L. 360P customer support? hmm..... do a search in various forums. ;-)
Manfrotto 303 sph. bulky and heavy (twice the weight) and cost more than NN5L. Its rotator is very good. But we will have better advanced rotator for upgrade soon.
RRS is excellent and very versatile. but costs much more. It lacks detent in the rotators.

So here is the pros of NN5L.
*relatively compact, light weight.
*less expensive
*good for spherical (with detent click stops) and high resolution mosaic (2.5 fine angular marking)
*first class personal customer support. we care our customers as much as ourselves. :-) Is this an exaggeration? At least I always think from customers' perspective in product design and pricing.
*upgrade path still open, we are still developping addon accessories for NNs. They will make NN even easier to use and perform better. we are releasing NN5 in a few months. You can upgrade by just paying the difference in price. This will cost us lots of money. But it is how we can reward early support.

if money is not a concern and their features fit you, you should consider 360P or RRS. Really high quality.

nick

shamer
05-11-2008, 08:53 AM
As my employer buys gear for me, money isn't as much of concern (a factor, yes, but not a deal breaker). Yes, I realize how lucky I am in that regard, but trust me - I've spent an incredible amount of my own money on gear over the many years I've been a photographer & cinematographer. Just ask my wife :001_smile: lol

I have to say that after scouring some other boards last night I found not only a good opinion of Nodal Ninja gear, but a good opinion of the NN people as well. It's great to see NN staff on some of those boards contributing to the various communities that utilize the gear. I value that sort of stuff quite a bit.

There are a couple of other factors that are influencing my purchasing decision. Weight - a bit of an issue as I like to do a lot of hiking with my gear & often already have a fair amount of glass in my pack :001_smile: Anything that won't overly contribute to that weight is a plus. The clickable stops are also a great feature which will obviously be invaluable for what I'll be doing. I noticed that it appears NN is continually updating their product line - the $50 upgrade is a great marketing tactic. It shows the company is customer-centric which factors heavily in my decision process.

I'm pretty much convinced that the NNL5L is what I'm looking for, so I guess I just need to figure out what detent ring to use, right? I have a fair amount of great lenses at my disposal, but for the purposes of spherical panos my two widest ones are a Sigma 10-20mm (rectilinear) & Pentax 10-17mm (fisheye). Obviously, the wider FOV of the fisheye will allow me to take fewer shots, so I'll be using that one mostly but I have a few more questions:

1) Which detent ring is most appropriate for a 10mm fisheye on an APS-C size sensor? I would be interested in picking up other rings, too for my other lenses - is there a cross-reference chart somewhere to help in the purchasing of these? (sorry if there is & I missed it!) Something that takes sensor size & focal length numbers & spits out which ring you need for 'x' amount of overlap would be great...

2) Can anyone point to any examples of multi-row panos done with a super-wide rectilinear like my Sigma 10-20? (just curious really as doing multirows at, say, 10 or 12mm, would provide a little more resolution - but I'm wondering about the effect that rectilinearity would have at wide angles like that.) Guess I'm having a hard time getting my head around the difference between fish-eyes & rectilinears when it comes to spherical panoramics...


Thanks again for the advice! Although I'm officially getting into this part of photography for the purposes of 3D HDRI files, as a longtime landscape photographer I've always been interested in having a go at panoramics, "little planet" images, QTVRs & such and can't wait to contribute some great art to the panography community!

Shawn

nick fan
05-11-2008, 09:36 AM
Hi Shawn,

thanks for your compliment. it is always my pleasure to serve my customers. I am lucky to find a few partners who share the same passion with me.

As a beginner, you will find these info helpful.

www.vrwave.com

http://www.vrphotography.com/data/pages/techtutorials/techtutorials.html

http://www.panoguide.com/forums/qna/4576/

If you buy the NN5L package, you get all the detent rings you need.


nick

IgoNodaLBoiNG
05-11-2008, 01:41 PM
i got two woo bloody hoo the manfrotto 303 plus with nice geared bits to find the nodal point and a nn3 mk2
the nn3 is small and light and well packaged in its rippa little box and is great for taking anywere with you in ya camera bag
the manfrotto 303 plus is to me a work of art but doesnt come with anything to store it in so if your lugging it around itsa pain and a little heavy but it works real nice for pano work though carrying the thing is a real pain in the bluurter it has bits that dig into ya all over it when in a pack ouch
i wish i hada bought manfrottos spherical one as it packs down better
but this noodal ninja 3 is a gem it dont have sum of the features of others but then others dont have the great feature of being able to take it anywere with you mines allways with me and ma camera
you sound like you would have bigger pro cameras and id suggest the nn5 as nn3 is small and you have to fiddle to get the up shot zenith zedir zebra or whatever its called but i dont mind fiddling =]
though i nearly had my d 300 fall off the other day comeing loose on the quik attach thing its early so i forgety what things are v called but i love it the nn3 get yaself 1 you will be happy though bigger is allways better for sum so the nn5 may suit ya more