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  • Tough Decision! Any tips or ideas?

    Greetings All!

    I have been lurking for quite some time and soaking up as much information as possible. It seems as though you have a great community of enthusiasts and professionals here, thanks for sharing all the great information!

    The time has come for me to make considerations on a Nodal Ninja set up, and I was hoping for some tips and comments prior to making my purchase.

    A little background info:

    I have been shooting professionally for 11 years now, primarily focusing on fashion in the studio and large scale events on weekends. As a hobby, I enjoy photographing landscapes and interesting locations for large prints.
    Up to now, when it comes to pano shooting I have been using my tripod (Manfrotto 055) with the Nikon 70-200mm lens for single row images. Many of my images are printed for office spaces, and I do donate a bunch of prints for local charities.
    Normally, for the charity fundraisers I photograph the area in which the benefit will take place.

    I plan on using full frame Nikon bodies, and for the sake of size and weight I will use mostly D800, D750 size bodies.

    My lenses:

    Sigma 15mm FE 2.8
    Nikon 16-35 4.0
    Nikon 24mm 2.8
    Nikon 24-70 2.8
    Sigma 35mm 1.4
    Nikon 35-70 2.8
    Nikon 50mm 1.4, 1.8
    Nikon 60mm Micro 2.8
    Nikon 70-200 VRII 2.8
    Nikon 80-200 2.8
    Sigma 85mm 1.4
    Nikon 135 2.8

    My goals are to photograph more landscapes with foreground elements, as opposed to just cities from across the river. I am in NJ, and shoot quite a bit into NYC from the water front views.
    I also plan to photograph landmarks and buildings, and the occasional 360.

    I was hoping to make use of the Sigma 15mm Fish Eye, and the 50mm as well as the 85mm since the 70-200 is very large, and would require M series equipment, which is out of my budget!
    Also, the 16-35mm would be ideal, but it seems as though it is not suitable for what I had in mind...which is the NN4 model with RB16-II and nadir adapter.

    Would the NN4 suffice for my needs, or should I consider a used NN5? I have seen a few pop up locally, they seem very well built!

    I have attached my last attempt of a pano with some foreground elements. This is a single row with Nikon D800 and 70-200 set at 70mm.
    Most of my work will look along these lines, hopefully better soon!

    Thank you all in advance for any direction you may be able to provide me, I look forward to chatting with everyone!

    Kind Regards,
    Abhi

  • #2
    IMAGE LINK

    Sorry folks, I am having trouble uploading the image so I have placed it into dropbox.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NinjaTurtles View Post
      Greetings All!

      I have been lurking for quite some time and soaking up as much information as possible. It seems as though you have a great community of enthusiasts and professionals here, thanks for sharing all the great information!

      The time has come for me to make considerations on a Nodal Ninja set up, and I was hoping for some tips and comments prior to making my purchase.

      A little background info:

      I have been shooting professionally for 11 years now, primarily focusing on fashion in the studio and large scale events on weekends. As a hobby, I enjoy photographing landscapes and interesting locations for large prints.
      Up to now, when it comes to pano shooting I have been using my tripod (Manfrotto 055) with the Nikon 70-200mm lens for single row images. Many of my images are printed for office spaces, and I do donate a bunch of prints for local charities.
      Normally, for the charity fundraisers I photograph the area in which the benefit will take place.

      I plan on using full frame Nikon bodies, and for the sake of size and weight I will use mostly D800, D750 size bodies.

      My lenses:

      Sigma 15mm FE 2.8
      Nikon 16-35 4.0
      Nikon 24mm 2.8
      Nikon 24-70 2.8
      Sigma 35mm 1.4
      Nikon 35-70 2.8
      Nikon 50mm 1.4, 1.8
      Nikon 60mm Micro 2.8
      Nikon 70-200 VRII 2.8
      Nikon 80-200 2.8
      Sigma 85mm 1.4
      Nikon 135 2.8

      My goals are to photograph more landscapes with foreground elements, as opposed to just cities from across the river. I am in NJ, and shoot quite a bit into NYC from the water front views.
      I also plan to photograph landmarks and buildings, and the occasional 360.

      I was hoping to make use of the Sigma 15mm Fish Eye, and the 50mm as well as the 85mm since the 70-200 is very large, and would require M series equipment, which is out of my budget!
      Also, the 16-35mm would be ideal, but it seems as though it is not suitable for what I had in mind...which is the NN4 model with RB16-II and nadir adapter.

      Would the NN4 suffice for my needs, or should I consider a used NN5? I have seen a few pop up locally, they seem very well built!

      I have attached my last attempt of a pano with some foreground elements. This is a single row with Nikon D800 and 70-200 set at 70mm.
      Most of my work will look along these lines, hopefully better soon!

      Thank you all in advance for any direction you may be able to provide me, I look forward to chatting with everyone!

      Kind Regards,
      Abhi
      NN4 or M1L will work for you.

      Nick
      Fanotec
      We listen. We try harder.

      Comment


      • #4
        Abhi, I think you would find that an NN5 with RD16-II would meet your requirements very well. It is sufficiently versatile to permit the use of a variety of lenses, including the 70-200mm lens, as you can verify by a read of the User Manual that can be downloaded from the Nodal Ninja web site. Note that there are two versions of that head: the NN5 and the NN5L. The NN5 upper rotator has 15 degree detents at which the upper arm can be locked in position. When using long focal length lenses, the detents can be disabled by unscrewing four screws so that smaller vertical angular increments can be used. The NN5L does not have these detents.

        John

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you Nick and John,

          Nick,
          The M1L is really amazing, but it will be out of my current budget. The NN4 seems to be a great option.

          John,
          I have just emailed the NN team to see if they have any used NN5's available along with the RD16-II. This may be my best bet for using the longer lenses and longer exposures. Thank you for the details about the NN5L, which I will not consider as an option. The NN5 with the positive locks would be ideal for reducing shake or sagging.

          Let's see what is available! I am not in a immediate rush so if the NN5 would be the best for my budget, I will wait until one becomes available for purchase.

          Thanks again for your input!

          -Abhi

          Comment


          • #6
            My goodness. It is almost a year from your original post. Perhaps you have already decided what to do. If not, or this might help someone else, here are my two cents:

            I have been using two competing full frame systems for panorama photography for going on a decade. Currently I am using a rather heavy Nikon body (D810) and a much lighter rangefinder (Leica M9).

            First, the lens to use. Really, the best lens is the one you have with you. Stitching programs have gotten so good that much of the old advice is now just that. Here is my advice:

            For most everyday cylindrical panos < 120 chose whichever of these you like, in portrait orientation: Nikon 24mm 2.8 or Sigma 35mm 1.4. Unless you are taking night photos you will probably be shooting stopped down so their performance will be very similar. The 24mm might eliminate the need to take a two row pano. Anyway, choose one of these and used it for everything. For cylindrical panos I use an M9 and a 28mm f/2. The Brookside and Chino panos here are all with a 35mm: http://robertrose.photos/galleries/hdr/

            I have taken many panos with zoom lenses without using a tripod or pano head (http://robertrose.photos/galleries/h...-panorama.html and the banner at http://rosehistory.info) but they are heavier to carry, likely to change zoom setting, and on a pano head a bear to set correctly.

            A decade ago I recommended avoiding wide primes, because stitching programs had problems with their edge distortion and stitching. The new versions of standards (such as PTGui) have no problem, so now I like using wide primes. Since you are in portrait orientation and need ~20% overlap, 50mm and longer lenses will require LOTS of images. You can do this; but life is short. YRMD

            For 360 sphericals I use the Sigma 15mm FE 2.8. I love this lens. This entire album was shot with that lens: https://flic.kr/s/aHskE5cHEG For the funky equirectangular images give it a few seconds and Flickr will start them rotating. They are all 3 rows of 6 images.

            Notice that I saved the particular head recommendations for last. I have used an NN3, NN5, and now I have an NN6 with a 10 stop rotator. By far the NN6 is perfect. You want four things with a head: (1) strength to hold the body/lens in portrait mode, (2) long enough arms to position the lens over the pivot point, (3) easy detent stops for rotation, and detent row setting, and (4) easy leveling. The new style rotators are worth the money, and the EZ leveler or some other mechanical leveler is by far better than changing tripod leg length. You will want to add Quick Release plates, also. For the 15mm I use 60 rotation detents and 60 rows, 6 images per row. For the 28mm I use 36 rotation detents and 30 rows. Over ~120 the pano may get too funky, I love the NN6 and recommend it for a D800 with primes.
            Last edited by rjrose; 11-10-2016, 08:06 PM.
            Robert Rose
            Barking Deer Photography
            www.barkingdeerphotography.com
            www.robertrose.photos
            www.rosepatents.com

            Comment

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