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Beginner here looking for direction based on current gear

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  • Beginner here looking for direction based on current gear

    Hey there guys, glad to be part of these forums as I'm aiming to start a career in 360 degree virtual tours.

    I am aware of the tools that I need to do this but the only thing I seem to be missing is the pano head. Because there are so many different types out there, I was wondering if maybe someone on these forums can help me pick my purchase based on what gear I already have.

    Currently I have:

    Canon 550d (t2i)
    Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 Lens
    A Tripod
    Bubble Level
    Flash Units

    I'm currently looking at the Nodal Ninja range as it seems this would be the best to suit my budget. I've noticed that there are the starter packs and then there are the packs with a different revolver. Can someone explain what these additions do opposed to the standard starter pack?

    Also, with my tokina lens not being a fisheye and being quite large, is there a certain pano head I need to get to help with the weight/size?

    Thanks for the help guys and I really look forward to showing you some of my panos.

  • #2
    An NN4/5 will fit your gear. The optional RD8/16 allows you to change the detent intervals quickly. It is more solid and works for all NN models. if you plan to upgrade to future models, you should get it.

    We listen. We try harder.


    • #3

      I know this is the same reply I gave you over at the panoguide forum but here it is again for anyone who doesn't use that forum:

      The Nodal Ninja "R" series rotators are optional alternatives to the "starter package" units which come supplied with a standard rotator. The standard rotator uses brass detent rings to define the number of click stops for a 360 revolution. This means you need to swap out the brass ring if you need a different number of click stops. An example of this might be using your Tokina 11-16mm at both the 11mm and 16mm focal lengths. You don't need any tools to swap the rings and it's not difficult to do, but nevertheless you do have to manipulate the unit by partially dismantling the rotator.

      An alternative is therefore to use on of the "R" series rotators such as the R-D8 or R-D16 which allow the changing of click stops "on the fly" by simply re-positioning a blue knob to one of the pre-set stop position holes around the barrel of the rotator. The decision on which unit you require depends on what click stop positions you need for your current or planned lenses as the R-D16 has a far wider range of click stops than the R-D8.

      If you are considering one of the Nodal Ninja units then for you current setup you need either the new Nodal Ninja 4 unit or the Ultimate M1-S or possibly the M1-L.


      • #4
        I tend to look at things in a different way.
        Almost any pano bracket can be made to work.
        But like anything else the cheapest is not always the best value.
        Even a badly constructed bracket can produce images that a skilled operator of advanced software can persuade to make excellent panoramas.
        But how would a beginner learn anything in such a situation, should he blame the tools or his skill when he gets poor results?

        All The NN Brackets fall in to the good to superb range, and each is ideal for the cameras they will support.
        It stands to reason the stronger and more advanced the model chosen, the easier it is to get superb results in all conditions.

        I use the older NN3 mk2 and it suits my camera very well, but it is on the limit for my lens and camera. were I starting again I would get the NN4. The standard rotator is fine for me as I very rarely change detents. All NN's can be upgraded later to advance rotators, these are not only easier to change but are even more sturdy.
        Last edited by Terrywoodenpic; 08-12-2011, 03:33 AM.


        • #5
          Ok thank you everyone for your advice. I've read up quite a bit and finally decided to get the NN5 with RD8 (FIR). I hope this works out well for me as I'm really looking forward to composing these types of shots.

          Thanks guys!