problem assembling NN4
I can not assemble my nodal ninja 4. When I try to attach the upper arm to the base (sorry I don't know the proper names of the parts) in the very first step of the quick reference guide, the screw with the large black knob will not screw in enough to tighten it down. When I looked inside the threaded hole it was full of gray sand-like grit. At first I thought it was metal shavings from when the piece was machined, but I can't tell what it is for sure. The screw goes into the hole perfectly straight, so the threads seem to be ok, at least part of the way in. I've cleaned as much of the grit out as I can, but the screw doesn't want to go in all the way and I don't want to damage the threads by forcing it. In case I'm not being clear about which parts I'm talking about- I can't attach the horizontal arm which rotates on the tripod to the vertical "elbow" arm which holds the camera. Thanks for any advice
Edit to my original post:
I just came across a previous thread about washers being mistakenly left out during assembly. I had been thinking that one or two washers would fix my problem, but I wanted to be sure I'm using everything as intended. I'll try adding some from the plastic bag included with the unit.
One more edit:
That seems to have fixed the problem! I hope I did that right. Other than all this, it seems to be a very solid piece of equipment and I'm looking forward to using it!
The fix I found was in this thread:
Sorry to hear the issue. I will ask people in the factory to pay attention.
Sometimes, some paint can get into the thread. Forcing in the thread and cleaning the grit will solve the problem.
Did you have metal washer under the knob that holds the vertical rail?
Thank you for responding :) There was only a plastic washer on the knob when I received it. I added a metal washer and then another plastic washer. I have to tighten the knob quite a bit to get it tight, so I may add one more washer to see if that makes it easier to use. But I may not even need to disassemble the head once I have it set up the way I want it, so it probably won't be much of an issue. I plan on putting the nn4 head and a video fluid head in a dedicated bag for my work and would prefer not to have to take the nn4 apart at all.
I just thought I'd follow up and say the nn4 is working great. I've been using it for the past 2 weeks and it's given really nice results. Re-configuring it for different lenses is easy and this afternoon I did my first spherical panoramas with it. So easy to use! There are a few quirks (don't turn the head counter clock-wise if you accidentally skip past a detent, turning it backwards releases pressure on the main axis and basically the head starts to take itself apart) but once you use it a bit you'll get the hang of it. I'm using a nikon D800 and 14-24mm 2.8 lens and I think the ridiculous weight of the lens makes it difficult to get the whole setup leveled, but with most software these days leveling isn't really an issue. It just works and I'm really happy with the nn4. I'd recommend it to anyone thinking about buying one.
Hey we are happy to hear that you are quite confident with your new equipment.
Don't bother about the weight of your equipment. NN4 is similar to old NN5 besides upper rotator and shorter rails. I use my old NN5 even with 70-200mm lenses besides 14-24mm 24-70mm et al with D3 for example.
It is hard to level once the camera is mounted. After having leveled my tripod, I use a small dental mirror to look at the bubble at 45° from different directions. Then only level the first shot. Then take your shots around without looking to the bubble which will move around as well. In case you use a nadir adapter and swing it out for the second shot, then you should re level because of the weight of 14-24mm combination. This is quite easy using an EZ-Leveler II. In case your tripod legs fall out easily, you can do it without. I prefer to use it below all my rotators.
Because it might loosen all the connections, tripod - rotator or leveler - tripod etc, we recommend to shoot clockwise. But sometimes you need to shoot the other way round when people move clockwise for example. To prevent to get a lot of ghosts you should try to shoot against the main direction of movements. Otherwise you will follow them walking further on.
To fix your rotator, close the fixing knob and the detend knobs as well and then fix your rotator to the tripod or whatever. Do not touch the lower ring with detend marks on it, otherwise it might move a little bit and the 0° might be out of line with the mark on rotator body. On RD16 etc you can re align it with the smallest tiny hex-key that came with your basket. Small screw at 90° and 180°.
To take your shots around, you should "fine tune" your detend knob by turning in and out untill you feel and see it definitely centers in the detend stop = centered to the mark of the lower ring. If it is too loose, it moves around the stop a little bit. If it is fixed too hard, it needs too much power to go to the next stop. Just look for a definite centered stop with a nice smooth move around. This will avoid to un srew your equipment turning anti clockwise.
Enjoy your new equipment,
feel free to ask,