I tried to experiment today with turning the vertical arm of the NN3 90 degrees so that I could use the whole setup to position my camera 8 or 9 inches from the tripod center. It wouldn't be the most stable setup, but in a pinch it might be useful when a horizontal tripod column isn't available. The only problem is the foot for the vertical arm isn't square, so it doesn't fit in the lower arm sideways. It'd only take about 1/8" to make it square, though. There's a little bit of material on the outer lip of the foot, and being the outer lip I wonder if it couldn't be removed without affecting the stability. Thoughts?
Also, mine is the NN3 mk 1. Was there any significant change to the mk 2 other than the rotator and the rail stops? If my goal is to have the RD3 or RD16 as my rotator is there is any remaining benefit to upgrading to the mk 2.
I presume that is your website? If so, many thanks for the superb info! Your site has actually been recommended to me several times, but I found it on my own a few weeks ago and that is what actually got me thinking about tripods and shooting nadirs. I'm still trying to determine if I want a smaller, lighter tripod that is limited to the spread-legged and unfolded NN3 for the nadir (Feisol 3442) or the bigger, heavier tripod with a pivoting center column (Induro CX-214).
But I digress, this thread is not about tripods but about shaving down the NN3 so that it can more efficiently unfold. Any thoughts, especially from the makers?
I came up with a new solution! Actually 2 solutions that let you turn the vertical arm of the NN3 90 degrees. This increases the distance you can hold the camera away from the tripod center from about 9 to over 19cm! I imagine the NN5 could go out to 27cm. It's almost (but not quite) like getting a horizontal arm for your tripod.
Problem: the base of the vertical arm is too long to be turned sideways and still fit within the edges of the lower rail.
Solution 1: Raise the vertical arm by putting the extra square rubber camera mount beneath it. I don't use the last 3 cm of the lower rail at all so I will look to make the rubber pad a permanent feature, cutting it into the appropriate length to act as a rail stop and then securing it in some un-doable manner.
Solution 2: Remove the last 2cm of lip on the lower rail. I doubt this would damage the integrity of the rail to any substantial amount, but I'm not sure.
Seems to me that if all you want to do is mimic the capability of a convertible center column, just make one from aluminum.
Don't even use the NNx. Just drill a 3/8 hole in one end and 1/4 hole in the other and bolt stuff together. You could make it as long
as you want. 2 - 3 feet if you want. And you could even counterbalance it to compensate for the weight of the camera.
Much more straight forward.
Maybe Nick and Bill could whip up an accessory like that.
Good suggestions, both, but my goal was to see what I could do with the material available on hand. My method adds no additional weight and can be used with any tripod I own or may own, since it is based only on how you arrange your NN. Mostly I was inspired by Rosauro's method of capturing the nadir by either spreading the tripod legs wide or tilting the tripod. My method makes those techniques just a little easier by getting the camera that much further from the tripod. It's not a huge improvement, but it works.