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elliot_n
11-06-2010, 04:08 PM
Hi

I'm currently awaiting delivery of a NN5/RD16. In the meantime I'm testing out stitching with a friend's Manfrotto 303.

My intention is to make high res rectilinear images - no panoramas, or 360VR tours. Software: PTGui Pro.

After testing for a few days I've established a nice workflow for shooting portrait format images. Camera (D700) mounted vertically. Shoot a reference frame (to establish crop) with a 24mm lens. Swap 24mm lens for a 50mm, shoot centre frame, then 8 around - so a grid of 9 images (3x3).

I'd like to use the exact same workflow for shooting landscape format images, but this would require mounting the camera in landscape orientation. I know the NN5 is not intended to be used like this, but could it be adapted in some way? I'm looking at the Kirk L-plate on my D700 - the plate is on the wrong side of the camera for the NN5, but maybe I could mount the camera upside down?

Note - I fully understand that stitched landscape format images can be shot with the camera in it's default vertical position. But I'm curious to see if I can get my workflow identical (3x3 grid) for portrait and landscape images. (Capturing a decent single frame reference image, prior to shooting the stitched components, is important for me - at least whilst I'm learning the intricacies of PTGui.) I also realise that if I can get this working, the NN5 settings will be different for vertical and horizontal camera orientations.

Thanks

Elliot

hindenhaag
11-06-2010, 05:21 PM
Elliot,

Sorry to say, it makes no sense for me to use the NN5 in landscape mode. Normally we shoot in portrait mode.

Anyway...yes, you can give the NN5 a set up in landscape mode by just using the lower rail for landscape orientation. Do not mount the vertical rail.

May you can use this L plate visa versa turned around to the right side. Check the rim.

http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.aspx?code=BodyMCL&key=cat

Check if it is long enough to mount it to the camera mount screw. When you use this arca style L-bracket, you have to use the NN Arca style quick release clamp on the upper rail of NN5 instead of CP-2. Check the length of the lower rail for this construction. Normal LRS = Lower Rail Setting for D700 is 61.

Regards,
Heinz

elliot_n
11-12-2010, 08:52 AM
Hi

Now that I have a NN5 in my hands, it seems to me that it is possible (though perhaps not desirable) to mount the camera in landscape orientation on the upper arm. I have this Kirk L-plate for the Nikon D700 + grip:

http://www.kirkphoto.com/L-Bracket_for_the_D700_with_MB-D10.html

To mount the camera in landscape orientation, the NN upper arm needs to be orientated to the left of the camera. I've tried this out with a Kirk clamp attatched to the arm. This doesn't work well, as the Kirk screw gets in the way of the arm. But I think it would work with the NN Arca-style clamp.

Notes:

- there's no point using the D700's battery grip with this setup (adds unnecessary torque), so I think it would be better to get an L-plate designed for the D700 body only.
- the Kirk plates do not have any reference lines marked on them to get the plate centred in the clamp. I think RRS L-plates have this line, so they would be a better option.
- the introduction of an L-plate does add a bit of undesirable flex to the system.
- the NN rails will have to be re-adjusted for NPP as the camera is flipped from vertical to horizontal.

Why bother? When the desired final stitched image will be in landscape orientation, this setup makes it possible to get a sharp, single-frame reference shot, taken at the exact same position as the final stitched image.

Thoughts?

Elliot

elliot_n
11-12-2010, 09:04 AM
The RRS L-plate I have in mind, with markings to align with centre of lens:

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=BD700-L&type=0&eq=BD700L-001&desc=BD700-L%3a-L-plate-for-Nikon-D700-w%2fo-grip&key=ait

elliot_n
11-13-2010, 09:15 AM
Would the RRS L-plate I linked to in the preceding post work with the NN Arca style clamp? I'm thinking that it would fit, but that it wouldn't allow any stop plates to be used - so visually align, then tighten well, otherwise camera will drop to ground! I already have the NN QR clamp for Manfrotto style plates, but in my experience Manfrotto plates twist over time. The Arca style plates from Kirk, RSS etc. (whether L-plates or not) are designed for specific camera bodies and are therefore anti-twist. The lack of anti-twist with the Manfrotto plates seems like a potential weak point...

nick fan
11-13-2010, 09:37 AM
Would the RRS L-plate I linked to in the preceding post work with the NN Arca style clamp? I'm thinking that it would fit, but that it wouldn't allow any stop plates to be used - so visually align, then tighten well, otherwise camera will drop to ground! I already have the NN QR clamp for Manfrotto style plates, but in my experience Manfrotto plates twist over time. The Arca style plates from Kirk, RSS etc. (whether L-plates or not) are designed for specific camera bodies and are therefore anti-twist. The lack of anti-twist with the Manfrotto plates seems like a potential weak point...

why not buy a RRS lever clamp? You can mount it to the camera mounting plate.
BTW, I have some prototypes of new QR clamp for the Ultimate lines for sales. It has center line and safety pin.
Maybe I should list them in the store.

Nick

elliot_n
11-13-2010, 09:48 AM
I already have a Kirk screw clamp that I think I could attach to the NN camera mounting plate. But looking at the shapes of both the Kirk and RRS clamps, I don't think it would be possible to use the lip on the NN camera mounting plate for its anti-twist purpose. Kirk or RSS custom camera plate + NN arca clamp would seem to provide a better anti-twist mechanism (?)

nick fan
11-13-2010, 07:34 PM
I already have a Kirk screw clamp that I think I could attach to the NN camera mounting plate. But looking at the shapes of both the Kirk and RRS clamps, I don't think it would be possible to use the lip on the NN camera mounting plate for its anti-twist purpose. Kirk or RSS custom camera plate + NN arca clamp would seem to provide a better anti-twist mechanism (?)
you don't need the anti-twisting feature. You can mount the clamp to the camera mounting plate without touching the lip. You can use a screw driver to tighten the screw. If you QR clamp has countersink for installing a 1/4" screw, you can use a hex screw to mount the clamp to the camera mounting plate very strongly.
eg. http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-LLR-II&type=0&eq=&desc=B2-LLR-II%3a-80mm-LR-clamp-w%2f-dual-mount

This is how you can do that:
1. remove the anti-twisting plate by removing the fixing screw.
2. remove the camera mounting (brass) screw at the base.
3. mount the QR clamp to the socket from which the camera mounting screw was removed.

Nick

elliot_n
03-23-2011, 10:15 AM
Hi, whilst I'm here updating another thread, I'd like to resolve this one.

I definitely want to try shooting my D700 in landscape mode with the NN5/RD16 (for 3x3 mosaics).

I'll be ordering an L-plate for my D700 (no battery grip) from RRS.

Which of these RRS QR lever clamps is the most suitable (the one Nick recommended in the previous post is sold out)? Do I need to buy just the clamp, or additional screws/glue etc?

http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.aspx?code=ClampsLR&key=cat

Is it important that I also get this plate from Nodal Ninja?

http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Rail-Plate-1%7B47%7D4-inch.html

Thanks for any help.

Elliot

hindenhaag
03-24-2011, 02:00 PM
Hi Elliot,

to get me on the riding horse, you already own or think to gat an L-Brackett for D700:

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=BD700-L&type=0&eq=BD700L-001&desc=BD700-L%3a-L-plate-for-Nikon-D700-w%2fo-grip&key=ait

Right?

The only thing to fix the camera in landscape mode is the NN Arca Style Clamp.

http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Arca-Style-Quick-Release-Clamp.html

Mount it to take the left side of your bracket in vertical direction to lip in the rail. You have to change the whole NN5 system to the left, - vertical rail - and having done his, turn over the upper rail 180 to the back to face you. Than mount your camera to the NN Arca Style Clamp in landscape mode using the left side of your L-Brackett looking through the viewfinder. Simply as that. This way you can use the upper rail and NPP in normal use, at 0, tilt up or down if needed. Otherwise you only have to use the lower rail not being able to tilt. This will ask the other clamps.

Did I understand you in the right way?

Regards,
Heinz

elliot_n
03-25-2011, 06:17 AM
Hi Heinz

Thanks for getting back to me.

I think you've understood what I want to do. For shots with the camera in landscape format, I'll spin the RD16 180 degrees, flip the top rail 180 degrees, reset the the NPP on the lower rail, and attach the camera in landscape orientation.

I already have a Kirk L-plate and Kirk screw clamp for my D700, so in theory I should be good to go.

However:

- My Kirk L-plate is for the D700 with battery grip. For use on the NN5 I'd prefer to forgo the battery grip (unnecessary weight/torque).
- My Kirk L-plate does not have any lens index marks, so would be hard to align accurately.
- My Kirk screw clamp is fiddly to operate on the NN5, as the screw is close to the NN5 upper rail. I need to be confident that the clamp has really clamped, as otherwise the camera will drop to the ground!

I think the answer to the above concerns is:

- an RRS L-plate for Nikon D700 without battery grip. The RRS plate has lens index marks.
- an RRS lever clamp.

Why not the NN Arca Style Clamp? If I remember correctly (the NN site is down at the moment) the NN clamp does not index marks (instead it uses a stop, but that won't work with L-plates). Also, I have the NN Universal QR clamp, and I find the spring-loaded screw quite fiddly to operate. I think the RRS lever clamp might be; quicker, more accurate, more secure (and more expensive!)

In my previous question I was hoping to tap Nick's knowledge to find out to exactly which RRS lever clamp (there are 6 of them), and NN plate (there are 2 of them), I should get.

Also further up the thread Nick said:

'why not buy a RRS lever clamp? You can mount it to the camera mounting plate.
BTW, I have some prototypes of new QR clamp for the Ultimate lines for sales. It has center line and safety pin.
Maybe I should list them in the store.'

So I'm also wondering if this new NN clamp might be appropriate to my needs, and whether it could be fitted to the the NN5?

Cheers

Elliot

hindenhaag
03-25-2011, 09:19 AM
Hi Elliot,

wo grip would be this http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=BD700-L&type=0&eq=BD700L-001&desc=BD700-L%3a-L-plate-for-Nikon-D700-w%2fo-grip&key=ait

But once again: we need to connect your camera in landscape mode, L-Plate in place, to the left side of your camera. The only thing you miss, is the connection to the upper rail. This is done by using the NN arca style clamp, mounting it "upside down" means turned by 90 so that the clamp can take an L-plate slipping in in vertical directions. The NN arca style clamp has center marks, both for you L-Plate as well on the opposite side for your upper rail setting. The silver stop plates can be moved out of the way. I already used it with normal longer wimberley and kirk plates.

I think, you should just get an NN Arca style clamp, and on you go. You can leave your kirk clamp for use on a monopod or tripod. And leave the NN clamp on the upper rail of NN5. I even dare to say you could just use the Kirk D700 L-plate you already own and give this combination a try. There should be room enough on the lower rail: NN Arca Style plate adds around 12mm plus depth of L-Bracket, LRS is 61 with my equipment. Result: a lot of money in your pocket for the L-bracket without grip? A nice meal or a EZ-Leveller II if you do not have one?

This is how I would try to solve the problem. But may be there is a mistake in my thoughts which I did not check till now. Did I explain it in a way you can understand me? I don' have a L-bracket so I can not send a picture. But I tried the procedure with my wimberley plate.

Regards,
Heinz

BTW: Just took my kirk clamp to check it on the NN5 upper rail. The screw knob is too thick to work without problems. To fix your camera to the NN Arca Style clamp, you have to fix it with the handle to the opposite side of the upper rotator. Then bring it to the far end of the rail. Now you can use its handle, lift to move the position, in a range of 180 to center and fix your camera. Then go back to URS, and feel happy.

You could replace the small silver stop plate of the NN clamp with a new self made one, which should stop the inner side of the upper frame part of the L-Bracket to the center position. An S- or L-shape for example. Moved in once you have passed the lower frame part of the L-Bracket.

nick fan
03-25-2011, 10:01 AM
Hi, whilst I'm here updating another thread, I'd like to resolve this one.

I definitely want to try shooting my D700 in landscape mode with the NN5/RD16 (for 3x3 mosaics).

I'll be ordering an L-plate for my D700 (no battery grip) from RRS.

Which of these RRS QR lever clamps is the most suitable (the one Nick recommended in the previous post is sold out)? Do I need to buy just the clamp, or additional screws/glue etc?

http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.aspx?code=ClampsLR&key=cat

Is it important that I also get this plate from Nodal Ninja?

http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Rail-Plate-1%7B47%7D4-inch.html

Thanks for any help.

Elliot

I think this is the right clamp.

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-AS-II-1/4-20&type=3&eq=&desc=B2-AS-II-clamp-with-1%2f4-20-screw&key=it

you can use a hex screw to mount the clamp to the camera mounting plate very strongly.
This is how you can do that:
1. remove the anti-twisting plate by removing the fixing screw.
2. remove the camera mounting (brass) screw at the base.
3. mount the QR clamp to the socket from which the camera mounting screw was removed.

add a piece of leather or corksheet or rubber as friction material if the clamp has the tendency to loosen.

no need to buy a 1/4" rail plate.


Nick

elliot_n
03-25-2011, 10:04 AM
Thank Heinz. You fully understand what I'm trying to do.

And it's true - I'm probably a little over eager to splash money on what I think might be the optimum QR solution. (RRS have no UK dealers, so if I order anything from them, I need to get it right.)

Over the weekend I'll do some tests with Kirk L-plate and clamp that I already own.

And I'll have another look at the NN Arca clamp as soon as the NN website is up and running.

(Bottom line - I'm very happy with NN5 and RD16. Just a little frustrated configuring the additional bits (tripod, head, leveller, quick release etc). Hmm, it's a shame the NN5 is discontinued. I just read the Ultimate upper rail only rotates in 7.5 degree increments. For my purposes (3x3 mosaics with different focal lengths) I need 10, 12.5, 17.5, 20, 25 and 30 degrees upper rail rotation - all straightforward with the NN5.)

Cheers

Elliot

elliot_n
03-25-2011, 10:15 AM
Thanks Nick and Heinz. I think I have enough info now to proceed. I'll report back.

hindenhaag
03-25-2011, 10:56 AM
Just a quick shot:

http://web.me.com/hindenhaag/filechute/L-bracket%20use%20on%20NN5_NN3.zip

Cheers,
Heinz

BTW: NN5 after thousands of shots. Still working fine.

elliot_n
03-26-2011, 10:24 AM
Heinz, many thanks for taking and posting those pictures. They motivated me to see what I could achieve with the gear I already have (NN5 + Kirk L-plate for D700 with battery grip + Kirk screw clamp).

I got it all set up successfully, but I also verified that many of my initial concerns were correct.

The good news:

- the Kirk screw clamp could be mounted very securely to the base of the NN Camera Mounting Plate, just using the supplied NN brass screw. I had worried that it might twist, but it seems solid. Nick's suggestion to use a hex screw and maybe a sheet of cork/leather would allay any fears - but I'm not sure if they're necessary.

- the D700 + grip + base of CP2 + Kirk clamp + Kirk L-plate will fit the span of the lower rail. But only just when the camera is vertical. If I was going to pursue this exact set-up, I would want to get one of the thinner NN base plates. (Actually, I think I want one anyway.)

Not-so-good news:

- I think the D700 + grip is a too heavy for the NN5. There's quite a lot of flex, and levels are lost. This is partly due to the extra weight, but also the extension of the centre of gravity. I'm sure it's usable, but not ideal.
- When in landscape orientation, there is extra flex added from the L-plate
- The Kirk screw clamp is fiddly to tighten at my upper rail settings (between 36 and 80mm) - and would be even fiddlier with a thinner base plate. I think the NN Arca clamp would be similarly fiddly. I need a quick quick release!
- The Kirk clamp and L-plate have no index marks.

I think a partial solution is what I had already figured out (but it's good to test nevertheless):

- Use the D700 without grip
- Use an RRS L-plate as it has index marks
- Use an RRS lever clamp, as it's quick, secure, and has index marks
- Use a thin NN base plate, to shorten the centre of gravity.

A more thorough solution would be to replace the D700 with a smaller and lighter camera - maybe Nikon's new D7000. But I don't have the budget for that at the moment.

Cheers

Elliot

nick fan
03-26-2011, 11:23 AM
- I think the D700 + grip is a too heavy for the NN5. There's quite a lot of flex, and levels are lost. This is partly due to the extra weight, but also the extension of the centre of gravity. I'm sure it's usable, but not ideal.
- When in landscape orientation, there is extra flex added from the L-plate
- The Kirk screw clamp is fiddly to tighten at my upper rail settings (between 36 and 80mm) - and would be even fiddlier with a thinner base plate. I think the NN Arca clamp would be similarly fiddly. I need a quick quick release!
- The Kirk clamp and L-plate have no index marks.

I think a partial solution is what I had already figured out (but it's good to test nevertheless):

- Use the D700 without grip
- Use an RRS L-plate as it has index marks
- Use an RRS lever clamp, as it's quick, secure, and has index marks
- Use a thin NN base plate, to shorten the centre of gravity.

A more thorough solution would be to replace the D700 with a smaller and lighter camera - maybe Nikon's new D7000. But I don't have the budget for that at the moment.

Cheers

Elliot

Hi Elliot,

a better solution is to upgrade to the new Ultimate M1. As a NN5 customer, you get $100 discount. We are treating the first batch as pre-production units and offer 25% discount. You can reuse the RD16. so by paying a little extra, you can get a much better, stronger Arca Swiss Compatible pano head.

Nick

elliot_n
03-26-2011, 01:15 PM
I thought you'd say that! And I'm sure you're right. It looks a lot more stable.

But first I want to make my money back on the NN5.

Also the fixed 7.5 degree click stops on the upper rotator of the Ultimate are a problem for me. For different focal lengths I need a variety of degrees of vertical rotation (10, 12.5, 17.5, 20, 25, and 30 degrees). Manual rotation of the upper rotator suits me better for now.

hindenhaag
03-26-2011, 02:17 PM
I respect all answers right now having their own sense, there are "many ways to Rome".

Respecting all your aspects Elliot, I feel right now try to use your equipment and add an Ez-Leveller II to compensate the torque. Easy to use and helping a lot. May be you should change to L-Bracket without grip to reduce torque. But believe me, D3 with Big Boy lenses 14-24 on NN5 in portrait mode never ever got me into trouble. I use the brilliant NN Nadir adapter as Add ON, which sets more torque to the equipment, Ez-Leveller II, and on you go.

Just try to find the right equipment. But it really might be a great decision to change from D700 to D7000. Fx to DX. Feel free to ask and may be I can send you samples.

There is always a moment for a compromised and an optimal solution. Depending on our own money related world wide reductions, and the amount of money we like to spend on this theme. Should be always some money left to invite your girlfriend/wife/relationship for a nice dinner to enjoy life besides panography!

Use forums to sell your equipment, I am sure you will sell NN5 very soon.

Cheers,
Heinz

BTW: your experienced up to date reseller in UK:

UK Nodal Ninja Distributor
My eCommerce Store: www.360tacticalvr.com
My eBAY UK Store:http://stores.eBay.co.uk/360tacticalvr

elliot_n
03-27-2011, 08:53 AM
Heinz, I'm currently using a Manfrotto 410 geared head beneath the NN5/RD16.

I've just shot some test stitches (3x3 grid) with the camera in landscape orientation. It works well.

I use the Manfrotto 410 to level the camera (rather than the NN5/RD16) - i.e. I compensate for the slight droop from the NN5. Spirit level in camera's hotshoe is level (for the central shot in 3x3 grid). I'm not interested in the bubble level on the NN5. I use the centre shot as an anchor in PTGui, and all works out well (i.e. level).

Manfrotto 410 is not the most stable base for the NN5 (need to wait 3 seconds for vibration to die down, compared to 1.5 second when RD16 attached direct to tripod). But fine control of camera orientation is excellent.

Regarding FX vs DX, I've been looking at Canon's new 18mp EOS 600D. Very lightweight - 570g, compared to D700 at 1085g and D7000 at 780g. And it's Live View is intriguing - when you take a picture the exposure is initiated electronically (no shutter movement) - the shutter only moves to end the exposure - so effectively a great, vibration-free mirror up system.

For now though I stick with D700.

hindenhaag
03-27-2011, 09:52 AM
Elliot,

nice to know that you succeeded. Thx for letting us know.

When you think about a new tripod, have a look to www.Feisol.com

Good luck,
Heinz

elliot_n
06-17-2011, 05:24 AM
Update.

I finally got my NN5 configured to my liking.

I'm now using it on paying jobs.

I shoot 3x3 80mp stitches with my Nikon D700 in portrait and landscape orientations.

For framing, and for reference, I take a single frame shot of the scene I'm about to stitch.

The set-up requires two clamps and two plates from RRS.

From the bottom up:

Tripod: Manfrotto 55 (with long or short column)
Levelling Base: Acratech
Head: Manfrotto 410
Clamp: RRS B2 LR II (attached to the Manfrotto's QR plate - which is now redundant)
Plate: RRS TH-DVTL Round Dovetail Plate (a great fit for the NN RD16)
Rotator: NN RD16
Pano Head: NN 5
Clamp: RRS B2-40 LR
Plate: RRS BD700 L-plate for Nikon D700 without grip
Camera: Nikon D700 + 24-85 zoom and 80-200 zooms

- The RRS clamps are lever release, so quick to operate.

- The RRS L-plate is indexed in both orientations.

- To shoot in landscape orientation, the RD16 is separated from the tripod head and rotated 180 degrees. (Why not just rotate the RD-16? The click stops don't line up). The NN5 upper arm is then flipped 180 degrees.

- The second RRS clamp is attached to the NN camera plate, on the NN5 upper arm. As per Nick's suggestion, a piece of leather is used, and a hex screw. This seems like a strong enough connection.

Cheers

Elliot

hindenhaag
06-17-2011, 02:58 PM
Thx for letting us know Elliot,

You got "Really the Right Stuff", I like the clamps and rails. Just got an L-bracket for D300s for demonstration purposes and to test different set ups. But as well it is "really quite expansive". But you get something rock solid for your money.

Enjoy our work, and sucess for finding payed jobs to earn your money back.

Cheers,
Heinz