Will the NN4 support a 5D MkII and 24-70 lens? [Archive] - Nodal Ninja Forum

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neeko1979
06-15-2011, 10:28 PM
HI guys... Im putting together a proposal for work to do some panoramas. We've got a Canon 5D MkII body and a 24-70 EF L series lens, and I'm having a hard time deciding if the NN4 or the M1L is the way to go...

I like the idea of a few accessories as well- specifically the arca plate and quick release, and the Nadir adapter. Looks like the Nadir adapter would be compatible with the NN4 only..

any suggestions for the ultimate pano head setup for a Canon 5D MkII/ 24-70mm combo would be really appreciated! Pretend you could just put together a christmas wishlist of nodal ninja products

In my personal time, Im a NN3 user and I absolutely love the product. so, I'd really love to stick with NN for this work proposal.. Any help would be really appreciated! I'd love to get the proposal in and get approval as soon as possible :)
Cheers

nick fan
06-16-2011, 03:12 AM
HI guys... Im putting together a proposal for work to do some panoramas. We've got a Canon 5D MkII body and a 24-70 EF L series lens, and I'm having a hard time deciding if the NN4 or the M1L is the way to go...

I like the idea of a few accessories as well- specifically the arca plate and quick release, and the Nadir adapter. Looks like the Nadir adapter would be compatible with the NN4 only..

any suggestions for the ultimate pano head setup for a Canon 5D MkII/ 24-70mm combo would be really appreciated! Pretend you could just put together a christmas wishlist of nodal ninja products

In my personal time, Im a NN3 user and I absolutely love the product. so, I'd really love to stick with NN for this work proposal.. Any help would be really appreciated! I'd love to get the proposal in and get approval as soon as possible :)
Cheers

The upper rail may not support 24-70mm at 24mm. for this breast, M1L is the way to go. You may want to use MFR-210 for the upper rail. if you use battery grip, you need 2 MFR-210.

Nick

hindenhaag
06-16-2011, 03:33 AM
Hi,

The problem I see is your 24-70mm lens. I am Nikonian, the Nikkor 24-70 mm lens with D3 has an upper rail setting @ zoom 24 at 147 on the upper rail. I do not know about NPP of the canon lens. I used the nikkor on NN5 without problems, but NN4 rails are shorter. So this models steps down from NN5. Because of this it got the name NN4. Great panohead. To be free for the future, I would go for the M1-L Pre Production + RD16, I got one, it is a great panohead. Special price right now on the M1-L Pre. I am testing settings right now for Nikon equipment, nothing wrong with quality or anything else. Very good design and I feel it will fit to your needs better than NN4. Cause I own NN3 MKII, NN5, NN4, R1, M1-L tested with Nikon FX and DX bodies from fisheye lenses to the big boys 14-24, 70-200, I fell I can give you an advice based on experience.

There will be a special Nadir Adapter for M1 as well in the near future. I would add an EZ-Leveller II cause not all of the tripods have legs that "fall out on it's own" once the leg clips are opened. Specially when you use Nadir Adapters, this is the easiest way to re level the panohead because of added torque forces.

Hope this helps a little bit,
Heinz

Ups, Nick was quicker.....:thumbup1: but in total he mentioned the same problem....

Nick is right, for nikkor 24-70 the length of the normal upper rail is too short cause the upper rail set needed for Nikkor 24-70 nearly glides out of the clamp for the upper rail, behind the middle of the clamp and behind the safety pin. I will order a MRF210 to test it.

This is what Nick means: http://store.nodalninja.com/products/M1-Lower-Rail-210mm.html

Because it is a modular system, you can use the rails at any place.

@Nick and Bill: using the shop site, I do not find the code "MRF 210". Only on the link site itself you can see the "SKU". Might be good to change the name to M1-Lower/Upper-Rail-210mm. May be some more lenses need a longer rail. I will let you when my Nikon tests are complete.

Valent
06-16-2011, 05:36 AM
The upper rail may not support 24-70mm at 24mm. for this breast, M1L is the way to go. You may want to use MFR-210 for the upper rail. if you use battery grip, you need 2 MFR-210.

Nick

I think, this is not true. If you want to use Canon 24-70 at 24mm you mast have 24-26sm upper (aka nodal) rail. The exact size depends from size of tilt clamp and size of connector from upper rail to camera (double clamp, for example). But 21 sm it isn't enough.
I use 30sm rail:
http://s42.radikal.ru/i097/1106/8b/0f363a553c6at.jpg (http://radikal.ru/F/s42.radikal.ru/i097/1106/8b/0f363a553c6a.jpg.html)

neeko1979
06-16-2011, 02:09 PM
thanks guys for the quick responses!!
Ok, this makes sense.. the problem i thought I might have is with the 24-70, which actually extends to its longest at the widest (24mm) focal length. plus its heavy as

I guess I've got to spend a little time looking at the M1L shop page, because i didnt ralize you could order different upper rails.. but i guess it makes sense, its called "modular" (yes, i just looked up that word on dictionary dot com)

I dont have the lens in front of me, but Im pretty sure its already at 99mm at 70mm focal length, so it could very nearly double in size at its widest. in which case, I may need a longer upper rail.. I may just have to order both rails if approved!

neeko1979
06-16-2011, 02:12 PM
hey, just a quick second question... I dont see "MFR-210" availabel from the online store... should i be looking somewhere else?

neeko1979
06-16-2011, 02:15 PM
ok, so im guessing you mean to use the 210mm "LOWER" rail in the UPPER rail position... perhaps?

nick fan
06-17-2011, 03:55 AM
Valent,
Thx for your input. if your NPP is correct. Then MFR-210 should fit snugly.

neeko,
yes, MFR-210 can be used as the upper or lower rail. If you don't use a battery grip, you just need to use the MFR-170 as the lower rail and use the MFR-210 as the upper rail. To use the max length of the rail you will need to mount the QRC-40A via 2 holes at the end of rail. This give you extra 10mm. You should request QRC-65 for the upper rotator clamp too. We use it for some of pre-production units. but it will be revert to QRC-55 when stock is depleted. if it turns out that you need longer rail, we will be making them for stereo photography too.


Nick

Frankster
06-18-2011, 01:17 PM
Hi,

The problem I see is your 24-70mm lens. I am Nikonian, the Nikkor 24-70 mm lens with D3 has an upper rail setting @ zoom 24 at 147 on the upper rail. I do not know about NPP of the canon lens. I used the nikkor on NN5 without problems, but NN4 rails are shorter. So this models steps down from NN5. Because of this it got the name NN4. Great panohead. To be free for the future, I would go for the M1-L Pre Production + RD16, I got one, it is a great panohead. Special price right now on the M1-L Pre. I am testing settings right now for Nikon equipment, nothing wrong with quality or anything else. Very good design and I feel it will fit to your needs better than NN4. Cause I own NN3 MKII, NN5, NN4, R1, M1-L tested with Nikon FX and DX bodies from fisheye lenses to the big boys 14-24, 70-200, I fell I can give you an advice based on experience.

There will be a special Nadir Adapter for M1 as well in the near future. I would add an EZ-Leveller II cause not all of the tripods have legs that "fall out on it's own" once the leg clips are opened. Specially when you use Nadir Adapters, this is the easiest way to re level the panohead because of added torque forces.

Hope this helps a little bit,
Heinz

Ups, Nick was quicker.....:thumbup1: but in total he mentioned the same problem....

Nick is right, for nikkor 24-70 the length of the normal upper rail is too short cause the upper rail set needed for Nikkor 24-70 nearly glides out of the clamp for the upper rail, behind the middle of the clamp and behind the safety pin. I will order a MRF210 to test it.

This is what Nick means: http://store.nodalninja.com/products/M1-Lower-Rail-210mm.html

Because it is a modular system, you can use the rails at any place.

@Nick and Bill: using the shop site, I do not find the code "MRF 210". Only on the link site itself you can see the "SKU". Might be good to change the name to M1-Lower/Upper-Rail-210mm. May be some more lenses need a longer rail. I will let you when my Nikon tests are complete.

Would this also apply to a Nikon D700 w/Nikor 24-70 f2.8 lens, thus making it a poor candidate for a NN4? Not looking to shoot 360 degree panos, just multi-row mosaics to get more megapixels. I've been looking at a NN4 w/RD16 but after reading this thread I have doubts.

I don't use the optional battery grip, however I do use a Really Right Stuff L-plate on the camera and would like to continue using it with a NN4 or M1. Is that possible?

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
06-18-2011, 11:47 PM
Hi Frankster and welcome to the forum,

Delicate question cause we are talking about the far end rail settings. No problem on NN5, but NN4 upper rail is shorter. Nikkor 24-70mm/f2.8 lens is the only lens I have tested so far up to 70-200mm that asks this far end setting. In combination with your L-Plate I have to check if there is enough room to reach the 147 URS = upper rail setting for D3. So I will check the D700 24-70mm/f2.8 settings this afternoon for you. I will let you know and then we will know which is the right panohead for you. You can use the L-Plate with both of the systems.

Regards,
Heinz

Frankster
06-19-2011, 04:46 AM
Hi Heinz,

Thank you for looking into this for me. It seems my camera/lens combination is a borderline case. Never having used a panohead before, I'm wondering if the URS you mentioned becomes more critical as the focal length for this zoom lens becomes shorter, which in turn causes the physical length of the lens to become longer. For example, at a 24mm focal length the physical length of this lens is 15mm longer than when it's set at the 35mm focal length.

I ask because, unlike most people, I'm not interested in 360 degree panos. I'm more interested in taking mosaics of a scene originally framed with this particular lens, which would require using its longer focal lengths. For example, I may originally frame a scene using 24mm, but would use 35mm or a longer focal length to actually take the mosaics (depending on the megapixels I wanted in the stitched composite). IOW It's unlikely that I would ever use the 24mm setting (or even 28mm) with this lens once the camera is mounted on the panohead. Should I ever have a need to use those shorter focal lengths on the panohead, I could always use my 28mm f2.8 prime lens which is physically much shorter (appx 100mm shorter) than the 24-70 zoom.

Would this not make a notable difference in the far end rail settings you are looking into? Perhaps even the NN4 would suffice provided I limit the use of the 24-70 lens to 35mm or greater.

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
06-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Frank,

Actually this lens works down with URS while the focal length raises. @zoom 70 LRS is 122 with D3. I have to check the D700 settings for you tomorrow cause of time today. I left the map in the office.

Yes, this makes the difference. NN4 would fit not using zoom 24 or 28, with the rest well. To use the L-Plate, you have to use the NN Arca Style Clamp on the upper rail instead of the normal CP-2 camera Plate. This will change your LRS = lower rail setting round about +11mm cause it adds thickness.

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

Cause you seem to use longer focus lenses rather than fisheye lenses, I am thinking of the upper rotator intervals of NN4. This will be 15° steps. Longer focal length settings sometimes ask smaller pitch settings, +37.5° for example or a row at +5°. In this case you have to change the basic horizontal set of the upper rail from 0° to +5° for example. Then it steps in 15° intervals from this set up.

M1 has 7.5° built in upper rotator steps. If you like to be free to set up even xx.2,5° steps on the upper rotator, and be free to use lenses up to 70-200, a very good alternative would be the NN5 irr RD16 for nearly the same price as NN4.

http://store.nodalninja.com/products/NN5x-RD16-FACTORY-IRREGULAR.html

Besides your decision, I'd add an EZ-Leveller II to my order. You can do without it, but it makes life so much easier.

I'll check the D700 settings anyway for you.

Cheers,
Heinz

hindenhaag
06-20-2011, 03:19 AM
Frank,

The last URS for NN4 with CP-2 is 139mm, With NN Arca Style Clamp you need for the L-Plate is 133.5mm.

Heinz

Frankster
06-20-2011, 03:27 AM
Thanks, Heinz. You are beginning to read my mind as I've had several questions about clamping reserved for another time in another thread. I suppose now is a good time to ask them.



Yes, this makes the difference. NN4 would fit not using zoom 24 or 28, with the rest well. To use the L-Plate, you have to use the NN Arca Style Clamp on the upper rail instead of the normal CP-2 camera Plate. This will change your LRS = lower rail setting round about +11mm cause it adds thickness.

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


Could I use the RRS clamp shown below (with optional reducer bushing) instead of the one in your link?

B2 LR II: 60mm LR clamp with dual mount
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-LR-II&type=0&eq=&desc=B2-LR-II%3a-60mm-LR-clamp-with-dual-mount

Although shown on RRS's site as being 15mm thick, once mated with the L-plate dovetail it adds the same 11mm of thickness (4mm less due to dovetail fit judging from my existing RRS lever clamp). So additional thickness shouldn't be a concern.

The only reason I ask this is because I'm concerned about how well the ASQRC-2 would fit the RRS L-plate. RRS says they have no experience with that clamp and could not vouch for the fit on their L-plate. Although I wouldn't have to worry about the RRS clamp holding the RRS plate insecurely, my new worry would be how securely the RRS clamp would fasten to the NN upper rail, particularly with regard to twisting. Do you have any experience fastening that clamp to a NN upper rail? And if it does fit securely, would it fit all of the NN's discussed so far or just certain models?

You seem more confident than RRS about the ASQRC-2 and the RRS L-plate fitting securely. I don't want my camera to slip out of the clamp. In your experience do I have any "real" reason for concern? Perhaps the ASQRC-2 fits great but RRS is just trying to sell me another clamp :-)



Cause you seem to use longer focus lenses rather than fisheye lenses, I am thinking of the upper rotator intervals of NN4. This will be 15° steps. Longer focal length settings sometimes ask smaller pitch settings, +37.5° for example or a row at +5°. In this case you have to change the basic horizontal set of the upper rail from 0° to +5° for example. Then it steps in 15° intervals from this set up.


Is the offset mentioned in your product descriptions the same as the horizontal set? If so, I've never really understood it. I've assumed 15° is the default upper rotator steps for the NN4. Is this extra horizontal set adjustment a way of adding/subtracting 5° to/from the default so one could end up with a NET 10° or 20° of downward rotation as opposed to being stuck with 15° all the time? And if so, would I be correct in assuming that one would have to change both the horizontal set adjustment (offset?) as well as the rotator position each time the camera is moved downwards to the next row of images? If my thinking is correct, it would come as a pleasant surprise.



M1 has 7.5° built in upper rotator steps. If you like to be free to set up even xx.2,5° steps on the upper rotator, and be free to use lenses up to 70-200, a very good alternative would be the NN5 irr RD16 for nearly the same price as NN4.

http://store.nodalninja.com/products/NN5x-RD16-FACTORY-IRREGULAR.html

Besides your decision, I'd add an EZ-Leveller II to my order. You can do without it, but it makes life so much easier.


My plan is to use 70mm as the longest focal length, but I won't rule out trying a 100mm lens in the future. From what I gather, 15° upper rotator steps will provide around 27% overlap with a 100mm lens, but starts falling under 25% as the focal length increases. Does that sound accurate? At this time I don't foresee going any higher than 100mm.

With regard to the leveler. I plan to first try mounting the setup on my RRS ball head, which leads me to my 2nd question about clamping. RRS says the product in the below link is the correct product to fasten to the bottom of the RD16 in order to mount it to my existing RRS lever clamp. Would you agree or have an alternative to suggest?

MPR-73 3/8ths: 73mm MPR 3/8th threaded
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=MPR-73-3/8ths&type=0&eq=&desc=MPR-73-3%2F8ths%3A-73mm-MPR-3%2F8th-threaded

I look forward to your findings for the D700, and do appreciate the time you spend helping me.

Regards,
Frank

Frankster
06-20-2011, 08:09 PM
Frank,

The last URS for NN4 with CP-2 is 139mm, With NN Arca Style Clamp you need for the L-Plate is 133.5mm.

Heinz

Heinz,

Sorry that I don't understand your answer, but you lost me with all the URS and LRS numbers you've been tossing around for a D3. I've never used a NN4 so I don't know if 133.5 URS is good news or bad news for my D700.

Does it mean that my D700 with L-plate & Nikor 24-70 lens
a) will work with the lens set at 24mm or longer?
b) will only work with the lens set at 35mm or longer?
c) will not work at all?

Frank

hindenhaag
06-21-2011, 04:18 AM
Frank,

I rechecked for D700, the result will be you can use only use zoom 50 and zoom 70. This lens asks a very long rail for zoom 24 and 28. You have even problems with the normal M1 170mm upper rail which is too short. You have to go for a 210mm upper rail.

So if I would be you, I'd make a choice between NN5 RD16 +NN acra style clamp or M1-L with a 210mm upper rail.

Heinz

Frankster
06-26-2011, 03:51 PM
Heinz,

Thanks for the info. The NN4 would not be practical for use with this lens, so I'll have to choose between the NN5 and M1-L.

An earlier post I made asking about clamping was held back for a day or two by the group's moderator and as a result you may not have seen it. Since the NN4 is no longer an option, I will address any remaining questions here.

I may want to use the RRS clamp shown below (with optional reducer bushing) on the upper rail instead of the NN Arca style clamp (ASQRC-2).

B2 LR II: 60mm LR clamp with dual mount
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-LR-II&type=0&eq=&desc=B2-LR-II%3a-60mm-LR-clamp-with-dual-mount

The only reason I mention this is because I'm concerned about how well the ASQRC-2 would fit the RRS L-plate. RRS says they have no experience with your clamp and could not vouch for the quality of fit on their L-plate. Although I would not have to worry about the RRS clamp holding the camera's RRS L-plate insecurely, my new worry would be how securely the upper rail on your products would hold the RSS clamp, particularly with regard to twisting.

Question #1 -- Can that clamp be fastened securely (without fear of twisting) to the upper rail of both the NN5 and the M1-L? This is important to me as it could influence which model I choose.

Question #1a -- Should I decide to use the RRS clamp on the upper rail, can the NN5 and the M1-L be ordered without their respective camera mounting hardware (to reduce my cost)?

Question #2 -- Am I correct to assume that the NN5 already comes with a 210mm upper rail?

Question #3 -- Could the M1-L be ordered with the 210mm upper rail replacing the 170mm rail it normally comes with (a difference of $10), or would it have to be ordered separately thus increasing my cost by $75?

Question #4 -- Although an M1L RD16 is shown in your product selector, I can only find M1 units for no rotators. What is the pricing for M1-L with RD16?

Question #5 -- Although I've read the NN5 will "Support high resolution mosaics or giga-pixel panos" and can use up to a 200mm lens, its upper rotator appears to be limited to 15 degree click stops. Would it be accurate to say that this is functionally the same upper rotator found on the NN4 and that only the M1-L would offer an upper rotator better suited for lenses over 100mm?

Question #6 -- Could either the NN5 or the M1-L be used with the camera mounted on the upper rail in landscape orientation (very easy with L-plate on camera)?

Sorry for all the questions.

Regards,
Frank

nick fan
06-27-2011, 12:00 AM
Question #1 -- Can that clamp be fastened securely (without fear of twisting) to the upper rail of both the NN5 and the M1-L? This is important to me as it could influence which model I choose.

Answer: The Arca Swiss is a hard solid contact. I never heard it could twist in any brand of AS compatible system.


Question #1a -- Should I decide to use the RRS clamp on the upper rail, can the NN5 and the M1-L be ordered without their respective camera mounting hardware (to reduce my cost)?

Answer: for NN5, you still need a camera plate or a thinner rail plate. you can swap the plate free of charge if the dealer have the rail plate in stock. For M1, our clamp is part of the system, you need it. RRS clamp will need more parts to fix it on our rail. You can use RRS rail and clamp instead but you lose the possibility of using integrated rail stops. the NPP settings will be different too.


Question #2 -- Am I correct to assume that the NN5 already comes with a 210mm upper rail?


Answer: upper rail is 190mm. max NPP adjustment is 148mm. Design of NN5 and M1 is different, the length are not directly comparable.


Question #3 -- Could the M1-L be ordered with the 210mm upper rail replacing the 170mm rail it normally comes with (a difference of $10), or would it have to be ordered separately thus increasing my cost by $75?


Answer: you just replace the rail with additional $10.


Question #4 -- Although an M1L RD16 is shown in your product selector, I can only find M1 units for no rotators. What is the pricing for M1-L with RD16?


Answer: we are offering 25% discount for Pre-production M1 no rotator. RD16 has normal retail price. You just buy it separately at $199.95.


Question #5 -- Although I've read the NN5 will "Support high resolution mosaics or giga-pixel panos" and can use up to a 200mm lens, its upper rotator appears to be limited to 15 degree click stops. Would it be accurate to say that this is functionally the same upper rotator found on the NN4 and that only the M1-L would offer an upper rotator better suited for lenses over 100mm?

Answer: 15 deg stops in NN5 can be disabled on the fly. you can use at any interval without the stop. NN4 15 deg stops can't be disabled/ bypassed.


Question #6 -- Could either the NN5 or the M1-L be used with the camera mounted on the upper rail in landscape orientation (very easy with L-plate on camera)?


Answer: yes, with L-plate. if you want to shift from portrait to landscape back and forth quickly, Go for M1. rail adjustment is easier and smoother for M1. Plus it can be memorized with integrated rail stop. The integrated rail stop can potentially memorize a lot more settings than stop plates in NN5.

Nick

Vincèn
06-27-2011, 12:39 AM
rail adjustment is easier and smoother for M1. Plus it can be memorized with integrated rail stop. The integrated rail stop can potentially memorize a lot more settings than stop plates in NN5.
some pictures of that rail stop for M1 rails ?

Thanks,

Vincèn

nick fan
06-27-2011, 01:59 AM
some pictures of that rail stop for M1 rails ?

Thanks,

Vincèn

soon. with the final production M1 and thr rest of accessories.

Nick

hindenhaag
06-27-2011, 03:41 AM
Hi Frank,

Thx Nick who has answered a lot of your questions already I only have an add-on: Though I know the systems very well, I re checked the Systems because of RRS comment about the twist for you: There is no problem to use RRS plates on NN Arca Style Clamps. Rock solid, no twist at all. Same with Wimberley and Kirk Plates and NN products, no twist at all. I tested my 300s RRS L-plate on NN Arca Style clamp for NN5 and the Systems integrated clamps of M1 for you. No twist at all.

Regards,
Heinz

hindenhaag
06-27-2011, 10:25 PM
Hi Frank,

Some pics may explain your questions a little bit better:

212213217215211218216214

To use the L-Plate in Landscape mode, you have to use the vertical rail on the left hand side of the rotator, normal use would be on the right side. Use on NN5 is the same set up as on NN4 NN3.

Heinz

Frankster
06-29-2011, 10:25 AM
Thank you Nick Fan & Heinz.

First I should make clear what I meant about twisting. I think you both were left with the mistaken impression that I was worried about the dovetail clamp itself twisting open.

The twisting I'm talking about would be where the clamp physically joins to the upper rail, not where the clamp's dovetail joins to the camera L-plate dovetail. IMO Twisting at the dovetail joint itself is not as likely as, for example, slippage would be. (more on that later)

As much as I've tried to get a good look at the manner in which your upper rail holds the clamp, the best I can see from the images I've viewed is that just one 1/4"-20 screw is used. I don't see anything else in the way of twist prevention, such as a set screw or a pin that would stop that single screw from becoming a potential pivot (twisting) point. When I look at an image of the bottom surface of your QRC-40A clamp for the M1 (the surface that faces and is fastened against the upper rail), I see all types of holes and reliefs unlike the top surface where only the 1/4"-20 hole is visible. I've presumed these recesses to be places into which a set screw, a pin, or something unknown to me on the rail's mating surface would fit, thus preventing the clamp from twisting by the weight of my long & heavy lens on the camera. Here's links to the QRC-40A and the RRS clamp, look at the images for the rear sides to see what I mean.

http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Quick-Release-Clamp-40mm-for-Upper-Rail.html
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-LR-II&type=0&eq=&desc=B2-LR-II%3a-60mm-LR-clamp-with-dual-mount

To sum up, it's not the dovetail itself I'm worried about twisting, it's where the clamp screws onto the upper rail with one screw.



Question #1a -- Should I decide to use the RRS clamp on the upper rail, can the NN5 and the M1-L be ordered without their respective camera mounting hardware (to reduce my cost)?

Answer: for NN5, you still need a camera plate or a thinner rail plate. you can swap the plate free of charge if the dealer have the rail plate in stock. For M1, our clamp is part of the system, you need it. RRS clamp will need more parts to fix it on our rail. You can use RRS rail and clamp instead but you lose the possibility of using integrated rail stops. the NPP settings will be different too.


With regard to the M1, this is kind of like what I was just talking about. From looking at the rear of your clamp and the RRS clamp in the links above, both have a 1/4"-20 screw hole in the center. But because I couldn't find anything on this web site that shows the upper rail "without" the clamp already attached to it, I have no idea how the two surfaces actually butt against each other. All I know is that there's 1 screw, which in my view could spell trouble without something else to prevent twist.

Question #7 -- Could you please elaborate on the parts needed to fix the RRS clamp to your rail?

I'm guessing/hoping the parts are intended to address the very same twisting issue I'm concerned about, but admit I'm still left somewhat confused. You said the clamp (QRC-40A) is part of the system and I need it.

Question #8 -- Do you mean I need to 'buy' it with the system even if it will be replaced by a RRS clamp, or do you mean I need to 'use' it with the system and adapt the RRS clamp so it will fit into your clamp?

FYI The latter is unacceptable, although I'm not thrilled about spending $50 for something that will see no use.

I really don't want to use a RRS rail, but do want the option to use their clamp because it's a lever-type clamp and because it would remove all doubt over the "quality of fit" issue they raised. Although RRS didn't elaborate over what they mean by "fit", I took them to mean there's a potential for slippage (not twisting) in the dovetail.

Note that from this point forward we're talking about slippage. I hope by the time I'm done I've given you a better understanding of a)why I might want to use the RRS clamp to avoid "slippage" at the dovetail, and b)why I'm so concerned about fastening it to your rail so as to avoid "twisting" on the 1/4"-20 screw.

Having said all that, it seems both of you have addressed twist by pointing to the dovetail fit while my concern with the dovetail fit is actually slippage:-) It seems reasonable to me not to expect you to vouch for the RRS product anymore than they would want to vouch for yours. But for me, the guy stuck in the middle, this is a real concern as it can put my camera at risk.

Another point I've considered is the greater potential for "inadvertent" slippage when a screw-type clamp is used as opposed to a positive locking lever-type clamp. Given that I don't see a lever-type clamp offered for the M1, even if the Arca clamp didn't have any slippage when the thumb screw was "sufficiently" tightened I'd still have reason to opt for the RRS clamp simply by virtue of it's lever-type clamping.

Questions #9 -- What are your thoughts on slippage with your clamp and the RRS L-plate?

Questions #10 -- Do you have a lever-type clamp for the M1 even though I saw none listed under M1 accessories?

In the end I will have to decide which clamping best addresses my concerns. And right now I'm leaning heavily toward the RRS clamp, provided it can be fixed to your upper rail without fear of twisting.


Question #5 -- Although I've read the NN5 will "Support high resolution mosaics or giga-pixel panos" and can use up to a 200mm lens, its upper rotator appears to be limited to 15 degree click stops. Would it be accurate to say that this is functionally the same upper rotator found on the NN4 and that only the M1-L would offer an upper rotator better suited for lenses over 100mm?

Answer: 15 deg stops in NN5 can be disabled on the fly. you can use at any interval without the stop. NN4 15 deg stops can't be disabled/ bypassed.


Question #11 -- I know the M1 has 7.5 degree stops, but can it be disabled like the NN5 and positioned at any interval?

Heinz, thanks for posing those pics. They are very helpful.

Question #12 -- I noticed in all the M1 pics that it uses an Arca clamp to mount to the RD-16. Can the M1 bottom rail be attached directly to the RD-16 without using an intermediate clamp (look at your NN5 pics to see what I mean)?

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
06-29-2011, 11:44 AM
Frank,

I believe both of us understood you that you refer to the twist of clamps to the NN hardware itself, the upper rail for example. We were not talking about a "twist inside the clamps to camera plates". So we got you.

Concerning the M1, to understand that there are several "Anti Twist Installations" just read the installation guide for Pre Production models which do not come assembled. Have a look to number 1, 8, 11, all these are anti twist screws installed in the system.

http://www.nodalninja.com/Manuals/M1L_Installation_QRG.pdf

And believe me, I have an M1 and I tested it very critically specially about "twist". It is rock solid. So once again, to use your L-plate on R1, just use the normal hardware of M1. There is no need for an RRS Clamp! I will be the last to say anything against RRS products, people who know me a little bit longer know that I recommend what is needed to reach your goal even when it needs something else than NN Products. I am a normal user, so I am free to recommend what I know and what I am experienced to, using NN as well as RRS, Wimberley or Kirk Stuff. You get my personal advice based on a long experience and a lot of equipment.

NN Arca Style Clamp for NN3 NN4 NN5 has a set of grooves at the back of the clamp, which inserts into the upper rail "U-Type" construction and serve as solid "Anti Twist" design.

I'll send a pic tomorrow. When you want to use the RRS clamp on the upper rail, you will miss these guidances cause the RRS Clamp is flat at its back. Because of this you have to add a NN camera plate to RRS to get an "Anti Twist", so you are only getting more trouble by using the RRS clamp than simply using the NN Arca Style clamp on NN3 NN4 NN5. This is why I do not recommend the RRS clamp, because there are enough "Anti Twist Mechanisms" build into system which you do not know about cause you do not know the system personally.

Q9: quality to fit, same as you place a RRS Plate to a RRS clamp. And I have tested this with own RRS equipment.

Q10: there is no lever type clamp with NN products.

Q11: No possibility to disable the 7.5° interval on M1. Only on NN5, up to 2.5°xx.

Q12: the difference between NN5 NN4 NN3 construction and M1 is that they use fixed lower and upper rails fixed to the lower and upper rotator. M1 in normal use needs the rails to slide inside the clamps to be fixed to the lower and upper rail settings.

Th clamp on top of RD16 is fixed with two Anti twist screws and a vertical M6 screw to the rotator as described in the manual.

Regards,
Heinz

Frankster
06-29-2011, 09:28 PM
Thank you Heinz, I really appreciate your help and respect your experience with these units.



Concerning the M1, to understand that there are several "Anti Twist Installations" just read the installation guide for Pre Production models which do not come assembled. Have a look to number 1, 8, 11, all these are anti twist screws installed in the system.


BINGO on the #11 M3 screw, that's the twist stopper:-) Judging from its position, its head would nest inside the slot in the rail. Is that correct?

You're probably right that there is no need for an RRS Clamp. But I have to plan my contingencies for areas of this purchase that I am uneasy with. If (presumably a big if) I don't feel good about using the Arca clamp and can't replace it with a RRS clamp, I'm sh*t outta luck. Nobody I know wants to spend $500 to $1000 and end up disappointed because they knowingly overlooked of such a detail.

At least I know that a RRS clamp could be adapted to fit, though I suspect the parts Nick Fan mentioned would be one M3 screw plus the machine work needed to drill & tap the screw hole into the clamp. At least that's the way it looks judging from the .pdf you were kind enough to provide a link for.



NN Arca Style Clamp for NN3 NN4 NN5 has a set of grooves at the back of the clamp, which inserts into the upper rail "U-Type" construction and serve as solid "Anti Twist" design.

I'll send a pic tomorrow. When you want to use the RRS clamp on the upper rail, you will miss these guidances cause the RRS Clamp is flat at its back. Because of this you have to add a NN camera plate to RRS to get an "Anti Twist", so you are only getting more trouble by using the RRS clamp than simply using the NN Arca Style clamp on NN3 NN4 NN5. This is why I do not recommend the RRS clamp, because there are enough "Anti Twist Mechanisms" build into system which you do not know about cause you do not know the system personally.

Q9: quality to fit, same as you place a RRS Plate to a RRS clamp. And I have tested this with own RRS equipment.


OK, I'll look for your pics though I'm leaning toward the M1-L. The back of the clamp for the M1 looks flat, as does the rail and the RRS clamp, and it seems the guidance is provided solely by the M3 screw head in the rail slot. I would think any competent local machine shop could accurately align, position, drill and tap a screw hole in the RRS clamp. What do you think?

If that is all that is really needed in order to use the RRS clamp then I have the contingency plan I need. However, I have an appreciation for your rounded experience with products from different manufacturers, and because of that will only consider a RRS clamp after trying the Arca style first. Both you and Nick Fan seem to be in agreement on that, I trust I won't be disappointed. But just in case I'm wrong at least I have a plan:-)



Q10: there is no lever type clamp with NN products.


I was thinking more along the lines of the clamps with levers shown in the below link.....
http://store.nodalninja.com/categories/Nodal-Ninja-5-%28Discontinued%29/Accessories-for-NN5%7B47%7D5L-series/

I realize they aren't for the M1, but one clamp on the M1 accessories page doesn't have an image or a sufficient description so I thought perhaps it might have a similar lever, or one would become available later.

But now my curiosity grows. Do those levers provide positive locking, such as having two positions - locked & unlocked? If you have an RRS lever clamp then you know what I mean, it "snaps" positively into a locked position. It occurred to me that the lever shown in the NN clamps may just be a rotary thumb screw with a handle and still need to be turned in the same manner, without actually "snapping" into a locked position.

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
06-29-2011, 10:35 PM
Frank,

have a look to NN new Rental program. You can rent hardware besides other reasons to test the equipment before you by it. May be a good idea to contact the store via phone.

http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4478-New-rental-program

Of course you can try to find a machine shop to add a M3 screw to the RRS clamp. This would be much easier when you have the hardware at home to check the fit of RRS to NN.

# 11 m3 screw: that's right.

Cheers,
Heinz

nick fan
06-30-2011, 12:30 AM
Question #7 -- Could you please elaborate on the parts needed to fix the RRS clamp to your rail?

Drill a hole and tape a M3 socket on your clamp for anti-twisting. install a M3 hex screw machined to ~4.95mm in diameter.
Or make a stop plate that match with the RRS clamp.



Question #8 -- Do you mean I need to 'buy' it with the system even if it will be replaced by a RRS clamp, or do you mean I need to 'use' it with the system and adapt the RRS clamp so it will fit into your clamp?

You can ask your reseller to add/deduct items in the package. They have prices of individual items.



Questions #9 -- What are your thoughts on slippage with your clamp and the RRS L-plate?

Given the surface area of contact, I don't think it will be a problem.



Questions #10 -- Do you have a lever-type clamp for the M1 even though I saw none listed under M1 accessories?

In the future.


Question #12 -- I noticed in all the M1 pics that it uses an Arca clamp to mount to the RD-16. Can the M1 bottom rail be attached directly to the RD-16 without using an intermediate clamp (look at your NN5 pics to see what I mean)?

not intended. But adaptable. Not pretty.



I was thinking more along the lines of the clamps with levers shown in the below link.....
http://store.nodalninja.com/categories/Nodal-Ninja-5-%28Discontinued%29/Accessories-for-NN5%7B47%7D5L-series/

I realize they aren't for the M1, but one clamp on the M1 accessories page doesn't have an image or a sufficient description so I thought perhaps it might have a similar lever, or one would become available later.

But now my curiosity grows. Do those levers provide positive locking, such as having two positions - locked & unlocked? If you have an RRS lever clamp then you know what I mean, it "snaps" positively into a locked position. It occurred to me that the lever shown in the NN clamps may just be a rotary thumb screw with a handle and still need to be turned in the same manner, without actually "snapping" into a locked position.

the lever in use is not a QR type. It just acts as a handle for the screw. A lever instead of a big knob helps to keep the clamp as thin as possible.


Nick

Frankster
07-04-2011, 08:12 AM
Thanks again to both of you for your time and patience.

The rental is certainly an option, but if my figures are correct I don't think it will be necessary.

I have only one more question to make sure I've correctly estimated the use of your products with my equipment. Since I don't want to make calculations every time I use the panohead, I've made a reference table to make life easier for myself, and to pre-visualize my use of the products.

The table contains only the focal lengths I intend to use (for the lenses I own), and only the panohead settings I will need for those focal lengths. The table may be unconventional but it is meant to be an at-a-glance reference customized for the RD-16 lower rotator and the M1-L upper rotator.

QUESTION -- Could you please look at two of the values in my table (one under the RD-16 column and another under the M1-L column) and confirm that the % overlap figures are in fact correct for the given degrees of rotation? If they are, then the others in those columns should be correct as well.

FYI When I used your calculator to compute my FOV figures, I found your "auto fill" values for the D700 sensor to be incorrect.
Your values: 34 x 24
D700 manual: 36 x 23.9 <--these are the values I used

The table was designed to answer the question.... Which Nodal Ninja detents should I use for multi-row mosaics, and what will be the resulting overlap percentages?

Results are limited to only those where the overlap percent falls between 25% and 49%. Any overlap percentage outside that range, it seems, would be less than desirable so I didn't include them.

The RD-16 column shows only those detents available on the RD-16 (lower) rotator, as degrees. Under the degree figure is the resulting overlap figure.

The M1-L column shows only the positions available on the M1 (upper) rotator as a "NUMBER" of click stops (NOT as degrees). Given that the M1 is limited to 7.5° increments, a number 2 would equate to 15° and so on.

Here's an example using a 70mm lens......
To pan side-to-side I have the options to set the RD-16 to 10° for a 48% overlap, or to 12° for a 38% overlap. To pan up/down I have the options to move 2 click stops (15°) on the M1 upper rotator for a 37% overlap, or 3 click stops (22.5°) for 25%.



Table for camera mounted in PORTRAIT orientation (overlap figures rounded to the nearest integer.)

RD-16 M1-L Number of Click Stops (@7.5° each)
------------------- ---------------------------------------
24mm 30° 36° 2 3
43% 32% 45% 30%

28mm 24° 30° 2 3
48% 35% 44% 30%

35mm 20° 24° 2 3
47% 36% 43% 29%

50mm 15° 18° 20° 2 3
44% 33% 26% 41% 27%

70mm 10° 12° 2 3
48% 38% 37% 25%

135mm 6° 8° 2
41% 26% 25%

200mm 4° 5° 1
45% 27% 27%

Basis for the above figures.....
Field Of View for D700 36 x 23.9 sensor
Lens mm
24mm 73.74° 52.94°
28mm 65.47° 46.22°
35mm 54.43° 37.70°
50mm 39.60° 26.88°
70mm 28.84° 19.38°
135mm 15.19° 10.12°
200mm 10.29° 6.84°


If those figures are correct I can prepare my order and place it next week. Otherwise I will have to recalculate and review them again.


You can ask your reseller to add/deduct items in the package. They have prices of individual items.

I'm located in the eastern US, any reason why I couldn't order from you instead of a reseller?

It seems the only complication is getting the unit with the 210mm upper rail instead of the standard 170mm rail. Could this be done easily with an online order, or would it be best to phone in the order?

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
07-04-2011, 10:29 AM
Hi Frank,

you are right, there is a fault in the calculator for D700 on the web site. http://www.frankvanderpol.nl/fov_pan_calc.htm This is the original version.

Concerning RD16 there is only one fault with 200mm focal length: there is no 4º set up. It would be 3.75º with 45%.

An overlap of around 30% is very good. Normally we say that 25% is enough. Overlaps >=45% may cause stitching errors, cause the program might generate too many control points. But to get to know, you should make some test shots.

As the upper rotator - M1_L - is concerned, I can not follow your thoughts. Actually you have to calculate the degree of Pitch = how many degrees you move the upper rail up or down and how many rows you have to shoot to get 180º in vertical.

@zoom 24 you would need 3 rows at +45º, 0º, -45º plus Z/N shots. Upper rotator always clicks by 7.5º per steps, so to reach a pitch of +45º, you have to click 6x.

Plus you have to calculate that using longer focal lengths and getting to 8 rows for example, you can reduce the number of shots coming closer to Zenith or Nadir.

But the upper rotator's 7.5º will be ok . I only have to recalculate my NN5 settings with its 2.5º steps for new pitch steps.

I should have received my RRS B2-LRII clamp today, but the bloody TNT post in NL does not deliver the parcel from Friday to monday, the parcel from France from Vincen took 2 days!! I will prepare it for the M1-L and send you the pics. Was interested in this question so I got one.

So long for today,
Heinz

John Houghton
07-04-2011, 10:58 AM
Frank, I checked your calculations for the percentage overlap for 70mm. The horizontal figures are ok, but the vertical ones appear to be wrong. For a pitch increment of 15°, the percentage overlap is (28.84-15)/28.84x100=48%. For a pitch increment of 22.5°, the percentage overlap is (28.84-22.5)/22.84x100=22%.

John

Frankster
07-04-2011, 10:15 PM
Concerning RD16 there is only one fault with 200mm focal length: there is no 4º set up. It would be 3.75º with 45%.

An overlap of around 30% is very good. Normally we say that 25% is enough. Overlaps >=45% may cause stitching errors, cause the program might generate too many control points. But to get to know, you should make some test shots.

As the upper rotator - M1_L - is concerned, I can not follow your thoughts. Actually you have to calculate the degree of Pitch = how many degrees you move the upper rail up or down and how many rows you have to shoot to get 180º in vertical.


Hi Heinz,

My bad with the 4° figure, thanks for pointing that out. Unfortunately degrees got rounded along with the percentage figures and I forgot to reformat them in Excel to show decimals. The underlying value was ok at 3.75, it just displayed the rounded value 4. BTW Same thing happened with the 8°, should have displayed as 7.50. They're displayed correctly below.

If overlaps >=45% may cause stitching errors, then it appears I'm going to have problems due to the 7.5° limitation with the upper rotator.

Perhaps you could not follow my thoughts on the M1-L upper rotator because of the wrong percent overlap figures that John pointed out. Or maybe it's because I used the number of click stops instead of degrees like I did in the RD-16 figures. I see where you've translated a +45° pitch to 6 clicks of the upper rotator. My thinking is not to use degrees for the upper rotator in my table because it all boils down to using click stops anyway. Yes/No? Better to keep it simple in the field and just put the click stops in the table instead. No math, no mistakes, less work.....

I've updated the overlap figures for the M1 using the formula John offered.

(FOV less pitch degrees) / FOV = % overlap

Is that the formula you would use? If so, and if the new figures look realistic to you, then the overlaps are so confining that I don't think the M1 is going to work for me. First of all, there is no acceptable overlap at all for the 135mm lens. And if I limit the results to only those where the overlap percent falls between 25% and 45% (instead of 25% and 49%) then the 70mm lens is of no use to me to either.



@zoom 24 you would need 3 rows at +45º, 0º, -45º plus Z/N shots. Upper rotator always clicks by 7.5º per steps, so to reach a pitch of +45º, you have to click 6x.

Plus you have to calculate that using longer focal lengths and getting to 8 rows for example, you can reduce the number of shots coming closer to Zenith or Nadir.

But the upper rotator's 7.5º will be ok . I only have to recalculate my NN5 settings with its 2.5º steps for new pitch steps.


I think I understand what you're saying about the number of rows and 180°. Problem is - I'm not interested in 180°. Making mosaics of scenes originally framed with a 24mm or 28mm lens is what I'm after, which would require focal lengths of 35mm and higher. The 24mm and 28mm lenses are in the table simply because I have them, not because I intend to use them for multi-row 180° panos. I do not understand how the upper rotator's 7.5° will be ok given the overlap figures shown in the table.

Perhaps I should reread this thread and look harder at the NN5.

Hope you get your clamp tomorrow.




Frank, I checked your calculations for the percentage overlap for 70mm. The horizontal figures are ok, but the vertical ones appear to be wrong. For a pitch increment of 15°, the percentage overlap is (28.84-15)/28.84x100=48%. For a pitch increment of 22.5°, the percentage overlap is (28.84-22.5)/22.84x100=22%.

John

John,

Thank for pointing that out. If one was wrong, then the whole column was wrong. I used a formula I wasn't sure about, yours is much simpler and does seem to make more sense. The updated table using your formulas is shown below. There's quite a difference though, and some limitations I didn't expect. Do these figures look more realistic? For your perusal I also included the complete table for the M1 figures, which includes all the overlap figures I didn't use that were under 25% or over 49%.

Regards,
Frank



Table for camera mounted in PORTRAIT orientation (overlap figures rounded to the nearest integer.)

RD-16 M1-L Number of Click Stops (@7.5° each)
------------------- ---------------------------------------
24mm 30° 36° 5 6 7
43% 32% 49% 39% 29%

28mm 24° 30° 5 6
48% 35% 43% 31%

35mm 20° 24° 4 5
47% 36% 45% 31%

50mm 15° 18° 20° 3
44% 33% 26% 43%

70mm 10° 12° 2
48% 38% 48% <--Smallest usable overlap ?

135mm 6° 7.50°
41% 26% <--No usable overlap ?

200mm 3.75° 5° 1
45% 27% 27%


7.5° 15.0° 22.5° 30.0° 37.5° 45.0° 52.5°
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 <--click stops
24mm 90% 80% 69% 59% 49% 39% 29%
28mm 89% 77% 66% 54% 43% 31% 20%
35mm 86% 72% 59% 45% 31% 17% 4%
50mm 81% 62% 43% 24% 5% -14% -33%
70mm 74% 48% 22% -4% -30% -56% -82%
135mm 51% 1% -48% -97% -147% -196% -246%
200mm 27% -46% -119% -192% -264% -337% -410%


Basis for the above figures.....
Field Of View for D700 36 x 23.9 sensor
Lens mm
24mm 73.74° 52.94°
28mm 65.47° 46.22°
35mm 54.43° 37.70°
50mm 39.60° 26.88°
70mm 28.84° 19.38°
135mm 15.19° 10.12°
200mm 10.29° 6.84°

John Houghton
07-05-2011, 12:17 AM
... there is no acceptable overlap at all for the 135mm lens.
It's perfectly possible to use the 135mm lens if you should want to. The guidance that Heinz offered ("Overlaps >=45% may cause stitching errors, cause the program might generate too many control points) does not clearly indicate what the actual potential problems are. You cannot merely have too many control points. In PTGui Tools->Options you can set your own limits on how many control points are generated. The trouble with excessive overlap is that you can get control points generated between non-neighbouring images. In theory, this ought not to be a problem, and often may well not be, but experience shows that restricting control points to the horizontally and vertically adjacent images generally gives the easiest trouble-free stitching. This just means that you need to exercise some control over the control points generation to ensure that you only have control points in the positions that you want.

Another possible problem with excessive overlap concerns blending. With more than 50% overlap, some blenders may completely discard the central image from three overlapping images as being surplus to requirements, since complete coverage will still be obtained with no hole left. All this means is that the possibly poorer quality image edges will be used instead of the better quality from the centre of the discarded image.

But whatever the problems, there's a simple and effective way to avoid them: just crop or mask the unwanted image areas away to give <50% overlap!

John

nick fan
07-05-2011, 08:09 AM
I'm located in the eastern US, any reason why I couldn't order from you instead of a reseller?

It seems the only complication is getting the unit with the 210mm upper rail instead of the standard 170mm rail. Could this be done easily with an online order, or would it be best to phone in the order?



you just contact the people at nodalninja.com
Live chat or phone call or email.
I don't do any retail sales. I only develop and make NNs. No time for retail sales.

Nick

Frankster
07-05-2011, 12:46 PM
John,

Thanks for your feedback. I do understand how one wouldn't want 3 adjacent images sharing the same control points, but thought that would only occur if overlap was 50% or more. This is why I've limited my overlap options to between 25% and 49%. However, I now realize we're teetering on the edge of tolerances/consistency the closer we get to the 50% mark, and that it's likely one could use what he believes to be a 48% overlap for example, but ends up with 3 images containing the same control points in spite of that.

I suspect Heinz's experience in this regard tells him to build in some "wiggle room" to avoid such borderline situations, and thus tries to limit the overlap at <=44% just for peace of mind of knowing there won't be any unanticipated surprises in the stitching program. That's worth knowing as I never thought it would be an issue, though it does narrow my options when it comes to choosing an overlap for a given focal length.

Being locked into 7.5° increments with the M1, and looking at my table, makes it clear just how limited my choices are with the M1. I like the modular concept and the M1 seems the most versatile unit, except for the upper rotator's inflexible 7.5° increment. I do use PTGui Pro and admit to being a novice at using it. Having said all that, it seems the best approach here is the same for most photography - "get it right in-camera" to avoid post-processing headaches down the road. Would you agree?

Regards,
Frank

Frankster
07-05-2011, 12:56 PM
Thanks Nick Fan. Perhaps you or Heinz could respond to this...

Originally I favored the 7.5° M1 click intervals over the 15° NN5 intervals. But now that I can pre-visualize how it works by looking at the table, it seems the 15° NN5 click intervals weren't so bad after all. Anywhere the table shows an even number of M1 click stops, I could theoretically halve that number and apply it while using the NN5. The big difference being that the NN5 gives me the option to fine tune the overlap but at the expense of losing the more convenient click stops.

Now that I've re-focused on the NN5 because of the way its upper rotator works, I have renewed interest in some of the points that were touched on earlier in this thread.

Heinz said,


M1 has 7.5° built in upper rotator steps. If you like to be free to set up even xx.2,5° steps on the upper rotator, and be free to use lenses up to 70-200, a very good alternative would be the NN5 irr RD16 for nearly the same price as NN4.


OK, sounds better this time:-) By "steps" do you mean manually adjusting the pitch by using the markings engraved on the rotator, or do you mean using actual 2.5° click stop intervals instead of the 15° stops? I've looked at the NN5 manual and didn't see anything about changing the upper rotator click stop intervals. Could you please explain or supply a link?

From one of the images Heinz posted, it appears I can get the NN5 with an Arca style clamp on the upper rail. And given what was already discussed about that clamp and the RRS L-plate, I would want to order with that clamp and try it out. However, I can't find where we ever discussed what it would take to use a RRS clamp on the NN5 as it seems we got sidetracked with the M1 overlap stuff. My apologies for any confusion this caused.

What would it take to use the RRS B2 LR II clamp on the NN5 upper rail?

Heinz, since you are about to receive this clamp and prepare it for the M1, perhaps you could also comment on fitting it to the NN5.

I think I remember seeing or reading that it can't be attached directly to the upper rail due to the NN5 rail's "U" shape. And though the NN Arca clamp appears to fit, I suspect its rear is machined to fit the same way the Camera Mounting Plate (part#NCP-1) fits, see #9 on pages 7 & 8 of the NN5 manual. If so, what parts would be needed to mount it to the rail and would the NN5 be able to tolerate the added thickness and still be used to mount the camera L-plate in both portrait and landscape orientations?

I believe the RSS clamp itself would add 11mm of thickness (after allowing for the dovetail to fit into the L-plate).

Regards,
Frank

John Houghton
07-05-2011, 01:14 PM
Having said all that, it seems the best approach here is the same for most photography - "get it right in-camera" to avoid post-processing headaches down the road. Would you agree?
Yes, I think that is sound advice, but one should also be aware of the capabilities and limitations of the software products you are using, and learn how to use them properly. PTGui has very few limitations and it's not at all difficult to stitch images with 90% overlap if you need to. In fact, I stitch images with 100% overlap from time-to-time, and also with 0% overlap too.

John

Frankster
07-05-2011, 05:58 PM
I wasn't aware PTGui gave me so much leeway. Thanks for sharing that, it will be good to know when the time comes.

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
07-06-2011, 01:14 AM
Frank,

I will receive the clamp this afternoon. Several things went wrong with the post. Anyway, I hope it will be delivered to the post office this afternoon.

Now let me tell you about some principles of NN5 upper rotator. Actually you can fix it to 2.5° pitch intervals manually using the marks engraved on the degree ring. There is no click. Additionally, you have a lever, with which you can set an extra 15° pitch set up which will move in place by using the lever. This will secure heavy weights in place and it moves in place without looking to the marks: 0°, 15°, 30° and so on. Without using the lever you can set the pitch manually by using 2.5° ring marks. Using the lever, you move the upper rotator with open rotator to for example 30°, lock the lever which moves it into place and fix the knob.

The M1 upper rotator, once opened, may be clicked by 7.5° intervals, the upper rotator of NN4 by 15° degree intervals. You cannot use intervals in between the clicks.

On NN5 you have to add the NN Arca Style Clamp on the upper rail and directly use your L-Plate with it.

Cause I felt you are more on M1, I left the NN5 discussion. I got your questions and will try to answer them later today when I got the RRS Clamp in my hands.

Regards,
Heinz

Frankster
07-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Heinz,

I've watched the NN5 video on using the upper rotator with the lever, so I have a good idea how it works. I like having the option to move the lever so I can manually set the pitch. It seems very handy for those times when 15° click stops gives me either too much or too little overlap.

I don't like the M1-L because its upper rotator is fixed at 7.5° intervals and I cannot manually set the pitch.

I don't like the NN4 because I can't make full use of all the focal lengths with my D700 and Nikor 24-70 f2.8 lens. And gathering from what you just said, it's fixed at 15° intervals and cannot be set manually - same reason I don't like the M1-L.

We'll talk more about the clamping once you have a chance to work with your new RRS clamp. I've read this thread in the NN5 forum (http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4175-Mounting-camera-in-landscape-orientation).
The equipment discussed is exactly what I've had in mind, especially the clamping. His final post (just before yours) lists all the parts, among them is the RRS clamp he attached to the NN5 upper rail. He used a B2-40 LR (http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-40-LR-1/4-20&type=3&eq=&desc=B2-40-LR-clamp-with-1%2f4-20-screw&key=it) whereas your new clamp is a B2 LR II (http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-LR-II&type=0&eq=&desc=B2-LR-II%3a-60mm-LR-clamp-with-dual-mount). In addition to yours being 10mm longer, it also has more holes drilled through it and most appear to be threaded. Do you think your B2 LR II clamp would be better suited to the NN5, or do you think the poster chose the B2-40 LR for some functional purpose that cannot be achieved with your B2 LR II clamp?

Sorry about the confusion between the M1 and NN5 in the discussion, I didn't realize 7.5° intervals would be so inflexible until I saw the actual overlap percentages for my lenses. I knew that interval would give more overlap control than 15°, but didn't expect it would still leave me wanting for more. There's so much to consider, it's hard taking it all in at one time.

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
07-07-2011, 02:57 AM
Frank,

I got you with all the needs for equipment you like to reach for personal use.

I got the RRS B2LRII lever clamp cause I needed another clamp for my own needs using different tripods, NN Hardware, and NN pole based on my personal decision. Besides this, I offered the chance to you to test it for your personal questions to use this special clamp you have been asking for use on M1.

Now you talk about NN5. I understand that it might be complicated to get to know about the different upper rotators on NN Models. This is why I try to help people. Right now suddenly you are asking for a different RRS Clamp model B2-40 LR.

The forum tries to help people to get them on the road. But it won't work, asking for different equipment within days. You have to inform yourself on the internet for example on the RRS website to think about a lever clamp that would fit your personal needs. And then ask about this model.

So I will try my RRS clamp on both M1 and NN5 for you and let you know about it. And then I am out of this discussion, and this is the first time since years I state this. As I recommended a time ago, you can rent both NN models, and I think you have to buy both of the RRS Clamps to try them on your own.

Regards and success,
Heinz

nick fan
07-07-2011, 07:03 AM
Sorry about the confusion between the M1 and NN5 in the discussion, I didn't realize 7.5° intervals would be so inflexible until I saw the actual overlap percentages for my lenses. I knew that interval would give more overlap control than 15°, but didn't expect it would still leave me wanting for more. There's so much to consider, it's hard taking it all in at one time.


there are lots of choice between 70 and 135mm. if you use zoom, you can use any focal length in between. Just put a small label on the lens to remember it in the future. If you use primes, there are 85, 90, 100, 105mm. Our NN Ultimate M2 will support finer intervals. so you will have more control on the overlap. But I am also sure it will introduce new problems and limitations.

NIck

Frankster
07-07-2011, 09:30 AM
Heinz,

I already did ask RRS via email which clamp to use before making my first post here, and they said to use the same B2LRII that you just got. BUT they don't know what it takes to MAKE their clamp work on NN products, such as drilling/tapping a hole for the antitwist screw on M1 for example. I always try to inform myself as much as I can before asking people on forums to spend their time answering my questions.

I think you'd agree that informing myself would include reading the NN forums. The forum thread I pointed you to seemed to contradict RRS's advice and I thought you might know if there was a good reason why the B2-40 LR was chosen over the B2LRII for the NN5. That's all I asked and I am sorry it caused you so much frustration. I already use the B2-40 LR on my ball head, it's a very common clamp. I know you have a great deal of experience, and I know you have a RRS L-plate. I just thought you might also have this common RRS clamp and would know the reason off the top your head without doing any further work. Apparently you don't have it, so again I apologize for causing you so much frustration.

But I am frustrated too. First to find that the NN4 won't work with my camera/lens, and then to find the M1 upper rotator's fixed pitch could not give acceptable overlap with my lenses. Never having used a panohead I expected it would be complicated finding a model that would work. I know the RRS panohead will work in every respect (overlap & clamping) but chose to search for a brand that has click stops because they appeal to me. I never expected click stops on the upper rotator would be such a problem. Perhaps I'd be better off getting the RRS pano head to use on a NN RD-16 rotator, but I'll wait to see what you have to say before taking that route.

I do appreciate the time you've spent and look forward to your comments about mounting the RRS B2LRII clamp on the NN5.



Nick,

Thanks for your feedback.

...or I could use the NN5 and have the options to either manually set the upper rotator OR mark the lens with tape. I prefer having that versatility.

The reason is, that above 70mm the only other option I have is 135mm. Although it does come from a 35-135 Nikon push/pull zoom, it's an older lens of the non-CPU type that doesn't record focal length in the EXIF data. There are no markings on the lens between 70 and 135mm, so I intended to use it fully extended at 135mm should I want to use it for a mosaic. That's the only way I can be certain of the focal length. Moving it anywhere between 70 and 135 without having EXIF data to confirm the focal length setting for labelling is a crap shoot, and would result in way too much guesswork both in finding the best overlap and in the stitching program that would want me to input the focal length manually because it cannot read it from EXIF data.

Frankly, I'm getting pretty worn out trying to find the right NN model from those available. To rehash the same concerns for yet another model, one that doesn't seem to be available, is a bit too much for me at the moment.

Regards,
Frank

nick fan
07-07-2011, 10:07 AM
I think you'd agree that informing myself would include reading the NN forums. The forum thread I pointed you to seemed to contradict RRS's advice and I thought you might know if there was a good reason why the B2-40 LR was chosen over the B2LRII for the NN5.
I do appreciate the time you've spent and look forward to your comments about mounting the RRS B2LRII clamp on the NN5.
what do you have? both clamps will work.



The reason is, that above 70mm the only other option I have is 135mm. Although it does come from a 35-135 Nikon push/pull zoom, it's an older lens of the non-CPU type that doesn't record focal length in the EXIF data. There are no markings on the lens between 70 and 135mm, so I intended to use it fully extended at 135mm should I want to use it for a mosaic. That's the only way I can be certain of the focal length. Moving it anywhere between 70 and 135 without having EXIF data to confirm the focal length setting for labelling is a crap shoot, and would result in way too much guesswork both in finding the best overlap and in the stitching program that would want me to input the focal length manually because it cannot read it from EXIF data.


exif data is not needed in stitching. Just put a mark on the lens which gives you desirable overlap. Then zoom the lens to this mark each time you want to make the pano.

Nick

Frankster
07-07-2011, 01:40 PM
what do you have? both clamps will work.


Nick,

I only have one clamp but that is already used on my ball head and will stay there, it's the B2-40 LR. I would need to buy another clamp for the NN.

As you probably know, the B2LRII is 10mm longer but unlike the B2-40 LR the center hole is threaded and there are other threaded holes as well.

In the NN5 manual at the top of page 15 it shows the camera mounting plate NCP1 with a screw meant to screw into the camera bottom, but in my case I suspect it would screw into the RRS clamp. This implies that the RRS clamp should be threaded like the camera is, and that the B2LRII would be suitable clamp.

In the thread I pointed Heinz to, you made this post#8 (http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4175-Mounting-camera-in-landscape-orientation&p=32269&viewfull=1#post32269) where you recommend a B2 LLR II 80mm LR clamp w/ dual mount. This clamp is virtually identical to the B2LRII in that it has threaded holes, it's just longer than the B2LRII. So far everything makes sense.

However, because the clamp you first recommended was sold out, in this post#13 (http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4175-Mounting-camera-in-landscape-orientation&p=33633&viewfull=1#post33633) you recommended the B2 AS II clamp, which does NOT have a threaded hole.

And in this final post#23 (http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4175-Mounting-camera-in-landscape-orientation&p=34415&viewfull=1#post34415) the original poster listed the clamp he ended up attaching to the camera plate on the NN5 upper arm. It was a B2-40 LR, which also does NOT have a threaded hole.

As well, the NN RP1-14 low profile rail plate was discussed in that thread, but you said it wasn't needed. And indeed it was not in OP's final list of parts.

So if you wonder why I'm confused it's because
a) I can't see how an unthreaded clamp can have a screw screwed into it. And
b) though I do see in the manual one threaded hole in the NCP1 camera plate, it's obviously used to hold the plate to the upper rail.

The only way I could see that both clamps could work, is if the hole in the camera plate meant to fasten the plate to the camera has a 3/8" threaded hole through which the 1/4" camera screw passes without using the threads.

If that is not the case, how could both clamps possibly work if one is the threaded and the other is not?



exif data is not needed in stitching. Just put a mark on the lens which gives you desirable overlap. Then zoom the lens to this mark each time you want to make the pano.

Nick

Maybe PTGui doesn't need the EXIF data but it does want to know focal length, and for that I'd have to guess.

Regards,
Frank

nick fan
07-07-2011, 11:06 PM
In the NN5 manual at the top of page 15 it shows the camera mounting plate NCP1 with a screw meant to screw into the camera bottom, but in my case I suspect it would screw into the RRS clamp. This implies that the RRS clamp should be threaded like the camera is, and that the B2LRII would be suitable clamp.

And in this final post#23 (http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4175-Mounting-camera-in-landscape-orientation&p=34415&viewfull=1#post34415) the original poster listed the clamp he ended up attaching to the camera plate on the NN5 upper arm. It was a B2-40 LR, which also does NOT have a threaded hole.

As well, the NN RP1-14 low profile rail plate was discussed in that thread, but you said it wasn't needed. And indeed it was not in OP's final list of parts.

You can remove the 1/4" screw on the NCP1/2. Then you have a 1/4" socket for mounting a QR clamp with counter sink.
But if you want to use the low profile rail plate, you need a clamp with thread at the center.





Maybe PTGui doesn't need the EXIF data but it does want to know focal length, and for that I'd have to guess.

focal length has no meaning for Ptgui. It only cares angle of view of lens which is calculated by optimization.


Nick

Frankster
07-09-2011, 12:17 AM
Thanks Nick. Perhaps you're right about PTgui. Nevertheless I prefer having the manual control I get with the NN5 upper rotator.

Paid another visit to your NN5 accessories page and found the RP1-38 rail plate (http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Rail-Plate-3%7B47%7D8-inch.html). I see in the last two thumbnail images on that page that it's shown attached to a RRS lever clamp with a 3/8" threaded hole but it's hard to tell how the plate & clamp are being held together. Is there a 1/4" screw passing through the RRS clamp and being torqued down against the threads inside the brass insert, or is the brass insert holding them together by screwing into the RRS clamp's threads? The latter doesn't seem likely, but the insert appears longer than the plate is thick where they're pictured together, that's the reason I asked.

I also noticed the other low profile plate comes with a shorter camera mounting knob. Would that not be necessary for the RP1-38 as well?

Regards,
Frank

nick fan
07-11-2011, 02:58 AM
Thanks Nick. Perhaps you're right about PTgui. Nevertheless I prefer having the manual control I get with the NN5 upper rotator.

Paid another visit to your NN5 accessories page and found the RP1-38 rail plate (http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Rail-Plate-3%7B47%7D8-inch.html). I see in the last two thumbnail images on that page that it's shown attached to a RRS lever clamp with a 3/8" threaded hole but it's hard to tell how the plate & clamp are being held together. Is there a 1/4" screw passing through the RRS clamp and being torqued down against the threads inside the brass insert, or is the brass insert holding them together by screwing into the RRS clamp's threads? The latter doesn't seem likely, but the insert appears longer than the plate is thick where they're pictured together, that's the reason I asked.

I also noticed the other low profile plate comes with a shorter camera mounting knob. Would that not be necessary for the RP1-38 as well?

Regards,
Frank

the low profile rail plate are made for NN3 which has short lower rail. Some cameras need it to work. The lower rail of NN5 is much longer and doesn't require it.
the 3/8" RP has a adapter screw with 3/8" male thread and 1/4" female thread. the 3/8" threads goes into socket on the clamp. the 1/4" thread accepts the upper rail knob. So no need to use special knob.
the QR clamp I recommend is one with 1/4" hole and countersink. Then use a hex screw to tighten the clamp to the NCP2, with or without anti-twist plate.

Nick

Frankster
07-26-2011, 08:09 AM
I am Nikonian, the Nikkor 24-70 mm lens with D3 has an upper rail setting @ zoom 24 at 147 on the upper rail. I do not know about NPP of the canon lens. I used the nikkor on NN5 without problems, but NN4 rails are shorter.




Hi Frankster and welcome to the forum,

Delicate question cause we are talking about the far end rail settings. No problem on NN5, but NN4 upper rail is shorter. Nikkor 24-70mm/f2.8 lens is the only lens I have tested so far up to 70-200mm that asks this far end setting. In combination with your L-Plate I have to check if there is enough room to reach the 147 URS = upper rail setting for D3. So I will check the D700 24-70mm/f2.8 settings this afternoon for you. I will let you know and then we will know which is the right panohead for you. You can use the L-Plate with both of the systems.

Regards,
Heinz




Frank,

I rechecked for D700, the result will be you can use only use zoom 50 and zoom 70. This lens asks a very long rail for zoom 24 and 28. You have even problems with the normal M1 170mm upper rail which is too short. You have to go for a 210mm upper rail.

So if I would be you, I'd make a choice between NN5 RD16 +NN acra style clamp or M1-L with a 210mm upper rail.

Heinz




Question #2 -- Am I correct to assume that the NN5 already comes with a 210mm upper rail?

Answer: upper rail is 190mm. max NPP adjustment is 148mm. Design of NN5 and M1 is different, the length are not directly comparable.



After double checking the specs and referring to the above quotes, I finally ordered and received a NN5/RD16.

I didn't get the NN4 because it would have crippled the capability of my Nikon 24-70 lens by limiting its use to only 50mm zoom and higher (see the 3rd quote above). For 24mm, 28mm and 35mm zoom positions it is impossible to attain NPP.

Of the two recommended choices (NN5 and M1-L) I chose not to get the M1 because its upper rotator is fixed at 7.5°.

After testing my lenses for their NPP, I was very disappointed to find the NN5 also crippled the use of my Nikon 24-70 lens to the exact same extent as the NN4. The NN5 rail is also too short, and just like the NN4 it is impossible to attain NPP for 35mm or wider focal lengths.

Why was the NN5 recommended as an alternative to the NN4?

Regards,
Frank

hindenhaag
07-26-2011, 10:40 AM
Frank,

because the NN5 has the only rotator with 2,5º manually possible upper rotator setting, plus a longer upper rail.

So at least you had to decide between the 2,5º upper rotator with limited use to the 24-70mm lens on NN5 in normal use, or an M1 with 210mm upper rail and limited 7,5º upper rotator increments.

But, there is a solution to extend the NN5 upper rail by additional 70mm for example. I use the RRS lever clamp I already mentioned, machined a 3mm thread for the anti twist screw we mentioned. The RRS Clamp is fixed to a Wimberley P-20 Lens Plate with anti twist function. The Wimberley Plate is fixed to the base plate of the normal CP-2 camera plate with anti twist function for the Cp-2 - Wimberley lens plate connection and Cp-2 to upper rail. This will change your lower rail setting by around 30mm. If this is not enough length added, just use a longer wimberley plate. The only things that has to be machined is the anti twist screw on the RRS Clamp. This will extend the upper rail to a possible 210mm setting.

I will send Pics tomorrow.

Regards,
Heinz

Frankster
07-28-2011, 11:02 AM
I will send Pics tomorrow.


In the meantime could you please tell me the ACTUAL Upper Rail Setting you needed to find the NPP with the D700 and Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens with the lens set at 24mm?

Obviously the 147URS you've given for the D3 doesn't work when that lens is on a D700.

hindenhaag
07-28-2011, 11:41 AM
The pics for NN5 Upper rail extension plus RRS B2-LRII mounted on M1:

233235239238234239228237236232230231

Frankster
07-28-2011, 06:28 PM
Please. What is the ACTUAL Upper Rail Setting you needed to find the NPP with the D700 and Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens with the lens set at 24mm? :confused1:

hindenhaag
07-29-2011, 12:33 AM
Start at 161 @zoom 24 for URS.

Heinz

Frankster
08-31-2011, 09:57 PM
Thanks for posting a workaround. After giving it much thought I do appreciate the concept but don't think much about its design. There are consequences to using this device that aren't immediately obvious, and as a result it actually creates more problems than it solves.

Here's the main things I didn't like about it....

-Because the CP2 was twisted 180° from its factory position, you are now asking me to hang my camera gear from the upper rail using the wrong CP2 screw hole. This hole has less than half the threads of the correct hole, and to make matters worse not all of them are usable due to a screw head you have sticking into the other end of the hole. The 2-3 threads available to hold the camera might be ok if this were a one-time application, but it isn't. These threads would see repeated use every time the URS is readjusted, and the torque applied by that large rubber coated knob will only add more wear & tear to the threads over time. Having my camera suddenly crash to the ground after a year or two of use is not a risk I'm willing to take, especially when it can be avoided simply by using the full-length screw hole (6-7 threads) as the NN5 designers intended.

-70mm is overkill given that only 16mm was needed to use the 24-70 lens at 24mm. IMO There's no point in making the rig less stable for naught.

-I could no longer use my 135mm lens. Its URS would now be unattainable, even with the camera position moved back just 16mm. The 16mm URS gained at the back of the rail is now lost at the front, and you give no way to readjust without replacing or disassembling parts. Changing lenses in the field is something that should be convenient by making simple rail adjustments, this turns it into a chore that defeats the conveniences built into the NN5.

-Your rail has anti-twist nubs that were never used because the rail was mounted upside down. It seems as if the whole rig was built to accommodate the M3 screw you already had in the RRS clamp so the clamp could still be used with your M1 panohead. I suspect this is the sole reason why the rail was mounted upside down and the CP2 twisted 180° away from its standard factory position.


Knowing what I didn't want, I put together the assembly shown in the illustration. Maybe it can help somebody else with the same camera/lens as mine to know what their in for before they buy a unit that doesn't live up to expectations. The extra parts (mini-clamp & rail stops) cost $85 ($140 including the RRS rail). Here are the improvements I made (the illustration explains how it works).....

-The CP2 is at its factory position so the fully threaded hole can be used to hold the camera, as the designers intended.

-The RRS rail comes with an adjustable anti-twist flange which allowed me to custom fit the rail so it wouldn't extend any farther back than necessary. It costs the same as the other brand but is more versatile. It is not mounted upside down, but if it were the anti-twist flange could still be used as it is removable and can be fastened to either side of the rail.

-The RRS sliding mini-clamp and rail stops give me the quick & easy thumb-screw adjustability needed to use ALL my lenses, and to readjust conveniently - without tools or replacing/disassembling parts. The rail stops provide positive positioning that can be performed with eyes closed.

-Anti-twist keys are built into the backs of the RRS mini and lever clamps. No need to drill & tap ANY holes - not even in the lever clamp for an M3 screw.

-The mini-clamp adds only 14mm of thickness to the assembly. Thus the D700 camera L-plate can still be used in both portrait & landscape orientations.

All the parts still fit in the case when attached to the upper rail.

With the rail stops to positively mark positions, the sliding screw-type clamp (along with the attached lever clamp) can easily be removed as a single assembly for separate storage or repurposing just by loosening the thumb screw. It could also be left on the camera so that one doesn't need to constantly realign the marks on the lever clamp with the marks on the camera L-plate each time the NN5 is put to use, just do it once then use the positive rail stops to facilitate quicker setup in the field for subsequent panos/mosaics.

Regards,
Frank

http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=279&d=1314852677

nick fan
09-01-2011, 09:16 AM
-70mm is overkill given that only 16mm was needed to use the 24-70 lens at 24mm. IMO There's no point in making the rig less stable for naught.

-I could no longer use my 135mm lens. Its URS would now be unattainable, even with the camera position moved back just 16mm. The 16mm URS gained at the back of the rail is now lost at the front, and you give no way to readjust without replacing or disassembling parts. Changing lenses in the field is something that should be convenient by making simple rail adjustments, this turns it into a chore that defeats the conveniences built into the NN5.


http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=279&d=1314852677

that is good solution.
if you however, just want to extend the URS, a T-adapter is a much cheaper option
http://store.nodalninja.com/products/T-adapter-II-with-30mm-offset.html

Nick