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Need help picking a pano head

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  • Need help picking a pano head

    I'm trying to figure out which head I need for my purposes. I'm completely new to 360 photography - really just need a 360 pro to help me understand the differences in the models offered here.

    If I'm able to use my existing camera and lenses that would be ideal. That said, please let me know if my rig is too big / heavy.

    I own a Nikon D700 and am considering the Rokinon 12mm 2.8 to use for 360 Virtual Tours of High End Real Estate. Which rig would be best for me? I would like to be able to cover the nadir and ceiling / sky above for these shoots. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Also - it is price dependent, but I am interested in motorizing this process later on. I saw on the site that some models will be compatible with this new functionality.

    Warm Regards,

  • #2
    NN3 MK3 or NN6 will be the best choice.

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    • #3
      I confirm Nick’s suggestions.
      As the D700 has an APS-C sensor you would need something like the Sigma 4.5mm to take single row panoramas so this rules out all single row heads.
      With your Rokinon 12mm 2.8 you will need multi-row head.
      Your current equipment: D700 (1Kg) + Rokinon 12mm (1/2Kg) and maximum load for NN3 = 3Kg so ideal unless you plan on using heavier gear in future.
      Nodal Ninja products are superbly engineered and last forever so if you are planning to add motorisation in future then go for the NN6 now rather than upgrade later.
      To get full coverage with your D700 and 12mm lens you will need to take images with the lens at different elevations, which is exactly what the NN3 and NN6 is designed for and enables shooting straight up to the zenith (sky/ceiling).
      To fill in the nadir I would suggest a hand held image from roughly where the camera was for the other shots than using a technique such the “Viewpoint Correction” in PTGui


      • #4
        Thanks Nick and Hugh! nick fan - I'm trying to understand the difference between the NN6 and the R or M series rigs. But being a novice, I'm feeling unsure of what the differences are / what the pros and cons might be to each rig. What differentiates the different series?

        Hugh - The Nikon D700 is a Full Frame sensor - so the 12mm shouldn't need different elevations, no?
        Last edited by Chris1221; 04-03-2018, 11:53 AM.


        • #5
          Hello Chris, Apologies, I must have been looking at the wrong specialisations for the D700.
          I use an 8mm fisheye with a D800 and this does have quite a lot of unused image area above and below the 180 degrees so I am guessing that the 12mm fisheye will still give you 180 degrees on the long side, but I would still recommend tilting up by 7.5 degrees (or maybe 5 degrees) because this will give overlap at the zenith and although it makes a hole at the nadir, this will still be smaller than the head, but you should not need more than a single row or shots.
          According to the calculator on the 12mm fisheye should give you 180 on the long side.

          To try and answer your question, the NN3 and NN6 heads are simpler and lower cost than the M series, but both provide rotation about the horizontal and vertical axis through the NPP (No Parallax Point), so is good for multirow panoramas.
          The R series allow the the vertical axis rotation around the NPP for single row panoramas, but if you tilt the lens the horizontal axis is underneath the lens so the NPP moves backwards and forwards from the vertical axis.
          The diagrams on should help explain this.

          If you plan to go motorised in future then my understanding is that Nick is working on motorising the NN6 so this would be the best choice if you do plan to go motorised, but my calculations suggest that with the FX body and 12mm fisheye that a single row at 60 degree intervals (six shots round) would work in which case an R1 would be fine, but if you plan to ever use lenses that need multirows then the flexibility that an NN3 or NN6 gives will be needed.