View Full Version : Which panoramic head is right for me?
03-31-2013, 06:17 PM
I want to shoot more and better panoramic photos and looking for a good panoramic tripod head
I heard of Nodal Ninja 3. This head is described as the best travel adapter, because it is small and light.
So after I have ordered one I discovered a calculation of whether the Nodal Ninja 3 is suitable for the used camera and lens combination on a German site (http://www.pano-store.de/kaufberatung/berechnungen - and scroll down). And I was shocked, because for my Olympus E-5/E-3 with Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 2.8-3.5 and Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 2.8-4.0 SWD), the result was always the same: The Nodal Ninja 3 can not be used, the Nodal Ninja 5 is suitable.
But in some forums I have found the recommendation to other users with Olympus E-3 + Zuiko Digital 11-22mm, the Nodal Ninja can be used for this. :sad:
Of course, I am totally confused now, especially because the Nodal Ninja 5 was discontinued and replaced by the smaller Nodal Ninja 4. :confused1:
Please, can you help me and tell me what Nodal Ninja I can use with my Olympus E-5/E-3 + ZUIKO DIGITAL 11-22mm 2.8-3.5 and ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm 2.8-4.0 SWD can use: 3 Nodal Ninja or nodal Ninja 4 or neither? Unfortunately I can not try it by myself, because I have to order it on the Internet.
P.S.: Sorry for my bad English, it's not my native language.
04-01-2013, 01:33 AM
It's hard to say, because for some of your lenses the upper rail of NN4 might be too short. As far as I know Olympus gives away the NPP of their lenses. Ask them for it.
Then you have to measure H of your camera. http://wiki.panotools.org/Entrance_Pupil_Database With this you can figure out your LRS = lower rail setting. H + 13mm for offset of reference point of vertical rail on lower rail.
But ask your local reseller, some of them still have NN5 Factory irregulars. May be SKiVR in FR has one on stock? The website says there is one without rotator. Add a RD16II and off you go.
Shipping form US is expansive plus you have to pay douane and taxes as well. Where do you come form?
04-01-2013, 06:55 AM
thanks for your answer. I am from Austria, I've added the flag in my profile.
There is a table for Zuiko lenses (http://olypedia.de/Nodalpunkte_E_System - in German), but I will not really smart of it. The tripod mount height (H) for the E-5/E-3 I haven't found anywhere, so I will send an email to Olympus. Unfortunately, I could not find any dealer outside the U.S., which still has a Nodal Ninja 5 in stock. I will contact the dealer in Austria (www.thaler-design.com) and in Germany (www.pano-store.de). SKiVR in FR seems to have no more NN5.
If the NN4 is too small or too risky for my equipment, I should probably take the M1-L. The price is certainly much higher (about € 633,52), but if the NN4 does not fit, either I will shoot no or few panoramas or sooner or later I will upgrade to M1-L. That would be twice as expensive.
Or I could buy a suitable fiseye lens for the NN4. The Zuiko 8mm fisheye is more expensive than the M1-L (€ 729.99) and for FT-cameras there are only a few lenses from third party manufacturers that provide good quality. The costs of such a lens + NN4 would be as high as for the M1-L.
I think I should think about this investment nor accurate.
04-01-2013, 08:04 AM
I think that even the M1-L will not fit, because the dimensions of the rails are even shorter than in NN4
I will contact my local dealer in Austria. Then he will hopefully tell me what's right for my equipment and what he wants to sell me. :biggrin:
04-01-2013, 09:59 AM
You can measure H yourself: from the bottom of the camera to the center of the lens release button.
Add 13mm for offset of NN4.
04-01-2013, 10:11 AM
the M1-L will fit because it is send with a MFR170 = 170mm and a MFR210 = 210mm. The length of the lower rail depends on your Camera body, in most cases you can work with MFR170. I know the length of the M1-L rails are longer than those of the NN4.
@Vincen or Mauro, do you have a NN5L factory irregular in stock?
04-01-2013, 10:50 AM
thanks for your answers and your patience with me. :blush:
I measured: H = 42mm and LRS = 55mm. But what does that help me with the problem, which Nodal Ninja I need? Sorry, but I'm just more confused, because the dimensions in the picture above are wrong indeed. The more I research, the more confused I become. :sad:
Length = 98.5mm
NPP at 12mm = 112mm + 4mm (distance from sensor level to tripod screw) = 116mm
NPP at 60mm = 60mm + 4mm (distance from sensor level to tripod screw) = 64mm
Length = 92.5mm
NPP at 11mm = 113mm + 4mm (distance from sensor level to tripod screw) = 117mm
NPP at 22mm = 98mm + 4mm (distance from sensor level to tripod screw) = 102mm
Are these values important or useful for the solution of my problem?
04-01-2013, 02:12 PM
The length of the rails raise from NN3 to M1. But anyway.
For your upper rail setting you have to add L1 + L2 = URS. So you have to measure L1 of your camera body. Use a longer rectilinear hard case for example or a pencil, place it on both sides of the lens flange and the longer side has to stay out of your body. Now measure from case to middle of the tripod.
Reference point is the tripod screw and not the sensor flange.
So at least you have to add your NPP : 112mm, 60mm, 113mm, 98mm to your L1. Interesting are the longer measurements for the use of the tripod.
This is interested for you: http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/showthread.php?4990-Max-URS-Upper-Rail-settings-with-CP-2-of-NN3-NN4-discontinued-NN5&highlight=length+rail
04-01-2013, 04:41 PM
I am very glad that you are helping me so patiently. Thank you for that.
That the length of the rails raise from NN3 to M1, was clear to me until I found the graphic (inserted above) from another online retailer. According to this graphic my confusion was perfect.
Another problem for me was/is, that in many sources on the internet very different values are indicated and used for the calculations. The NPP values listed above (eg 112mm for the Zuiko 12-60mm at 12mm; source: http://olypedia.de/Nodalpunkte_E_System) are according to the sensor flange, which is 38.85mm within the camera body (measured from the lens mount). When I start to understand the issues better, this value would have to be deducted for "our" calculation: L2 (NPP) = 112 - 35.85 = 76.15 mm and the Zuiko 11-22mm L2 (NPP) = 113 - 38.85 = 77.15
The same source shows that the tripod thread is 4 mm behind the sensor flange: L1 = 38.85 mm + 4 = 42.85 mm
L1 (lens mount to tripod screw) = 42.85mm, L2 (NPP at 12mm) = 76.15mm
URS (L1 + L2) = 119.00mm
L1 (lens mount to tripod screw) = 42.85mm, L2 (NPP at 11mm) = 77.15mm
URS (L1 + L2) = 120.00mm
If this calculation is correct, NN4 and NN5 should be capable for my equipment, but not the NN3. Right? In this case, I should give the NN4 a chance. And if it does not work I'll have to send it back within the return period according to the Distance Selling Act, even though I usually don't do that.
Thanks for your help,
04-01-2013, 10:22 PM
119mm and 120mm are your measurements and say that NN4 is your favorite panohead.
To calibrate your rig use these tutorials:
04-05-2013, 04:41 AM
sorry that I have not been answered so long: Yes, I did it!!!! :biggrin:
I contacted my dealer in Austria and sent him besides informations about the camera and the lenses also the values we calculated above.
He replied, that the NN4 has minimal smaller dimensions than the NN5 and by use of the nadir adapter the NN4 will reach the same height as the NN5. Also the NN4 is the better joice because he is more suitable for fisheye lenses.
He told me that my choosen combination (NN4 + Nadir Adapter + RD16) is just right for my equipment. So I ordered on 3 April and today shipment has already arrived - I'm so happy! :clap:
Now I have to build it and then experiment diligently. Maybe later I can report the obtained data for the Entrance Pupil Database on wiki.panotools.org, because for Olympus cameras (I have the E-5 and E-3) and Zuiko lenses, there are no informations available at all.
Once again many thanks for your support!
04-05-2013, 05:00 AM
I forgot to mention that I've ordered even the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm 1:3.5 Fisheye in addition to the NN4.
Thus, panoramic photography is still the same a lot more fun. :biggrin:
04-05-2013, 09:25 AM
Pleasure and success.
04-15-2013, 01:18 PM
My joy over the still brand new NN4 is clouded during the last days by increasing frustration. :sad:
I find no solution in adapting the NN4 to my Arca-Swiss compatible system and have done so far not a single panorama. My local dealer found always more or less good or bad counter-arguments to my thoughts, why I can only use his proposed solution and should therefore buy.
Instead of the standard camera plate I want to use an Arca-style clamp, that I may use it with my Arca-style camera plate.
What are my options?
1. I can screw the clamp on to the standard camera plate, what is not ideal because the construction on the upper arm will be very bulky and heavy or
2. I unscrew the standard camera plate and attach the clamp directly to the slide in the upper arm. This solution has the disadvantage that it is not stable, and the clamp starts to rotate by the weight of the camera + lens. A rubber disc between the clamp and plate made an improvement, but the disc was too thick, so that the compound was unstable out this reason alone.
So I did not want to experiment longer and I decided to buy the F9207 plate (http://shop.nodalninja.com/rail-plate-3-8-inch-f9207/) for the top rail, screw a clamp with a scale on it and attach the specifically for the Olympus E-5 made anti-twist camera plate PO-05 (http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/PO-05.php) from Markins.
But my local dealer suggested that there is a simpler and better solution. The solution for my Olympus E-5 would be the camera plate CP-O1 (F2150) (http://shop.nodalninja.com/camera-plate-arca-swiss-style-cp-o1-f2150/) + Arca-Swiss Style Quick Release Clamp (F2105) (http://shop.nodalninja.com/arca-swiss-style-quick-release-clamp-f2105/). My favorite camera plate would be far too expensive and the eyelets for the hand strap would be below the lens and on the back below the swivel display, which would not be optimal for the handling of the camera.
Since I could not imagine that Markins has designed a such a bad solution and marketed it as special plate for the Olympus E-5, I contacted the manufacturer directly, and surprise, surprise: The statement of the dealer was totally wrong, what I have already suspected before. The dovetail guide extending in the direction of the lens and the strap attachment points towards batteries.
So I set back to my first thoughts: Markins PO-05 to the camera + Arca-style clamp + F9207 plate (http://shop.nodalninja.com/rail-plate-3-8-inch-f9207/) for the top rail of NN4.
To that the local dealer said recently:
"I do not share your opinion, because you do not know that the NN plate - if it may incur in the future with a QRC55 changer (http://shop.nodalninja.com/quick-release-clamp-55mm-for-lower-rotator-f8303/) - with a locking wheel is perfectly centered and is already assured before the screw is tight."
One consideration for the Arca-Swiss solution was that I sometimes want to borrow the NN4 to my nephew to my best friend. The counter-argument I should borrow the NN4 with the standard plate I think is very weak. Why should I each time unscrew the CP-O1 (http://shop.nodalninja.com/camera-plate-arca-swiss-style-cp-o1-f2150/) and mount the standard lens plate when my nephew my friend borrow the NN4? Why should they then have to remove their hand strap and camera plate because they have to use NN4 with the standard camera plate? :confused1:
His concern that anything could be not perfectly centered in the middle, is unfounded because there are markings on the clamp and on the camera plate and because it's my problem, if it takes longer to find the "perfect" set up for the system as with the solution proposed by the dealer. And: I am an amateur photographer and it is not a tragedy when a photo is not close to perfection.
His concern that the camera could not be saved before the screw is tight you can always have when you use clamps and plates from different manufacturers. :confused1:
What is so wrong in my thoughts or does the dealer even want to sell unnecessarily and expensive accessories (camera plate CP-01 = € 43.96, Quick Release Clamp (F2105) = € 39.95, shipping = € 12.00, that gives a total of € 95.91), even though I only need the camera plate from Markins PO-05 = € 38.17 + the F9207 for the upper arm = € 13.20 + € 12.00 shipping and handling, results in a total of € 63.37.
And: who can guarantee that the CP-O1 is compatible with my other accessories? I use a tripod with a 5-way Panhead of Induro, another one with a P0 from Arca Swiss and on the monopod a Sirui L-10. There are also clamps of various brands like Sunwayfoto, Kirk, Benro, ... And what do I do if I can not use the F2105 with these tripod heads and clamps? The Arca-Swiss style is not standardized and it can happen again and again that such some products from Novoflex can not be used with Kirk, Sunwayfoto, RRS etc...
I can not see and I can not understand what should be so wrongin my thoughts? :sad::sad::sad:
Do you have an idea how to solve the problem, so that I finally may configure my NN4 for my equipment and then can shoot the first panorama? :blush:
04-15-2013, 03:17 PM
Please excuse my excitement, but I can not understand so much of what happens in this world. Why should a dealer advise me regarding my wishes and ideas? Why should he not try to sell me his entire warehouse?
Sure, there are always better solutions. Olympus has better lenses than the ones I use. These Top-Pro-lenses are also more expensive than mine, many times. Who needs the difference in quality or wants to have it, will buy them.
I have now found a solution that I can live with quite well until further notice. Instead of the rubber plate between the slider and the Arca-clamp I've now enclosed a plate of cork with a thickness of about 1mm and now this construction holds so good that I can not even rotate the camera on purpose.
The combination of a) Slider + b) Arca-clamp + c) camera plate is now much thicker compared to the standard (31mm vs. 13mm), although I use a very thin camera plate, and using the Rail Plate with 3/8 inch (F9207) it would be noticeably thinner. But if the local dealer wants to sell me something else but not this plate, then I want to save my money for the moment.
Thanks and regards,
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