Rotator Decision

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  1. Rotator Decision

    #1
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Jan 2010
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Posts: 13


    I bought a R10 without rotator to use with a Nikon 10.5 mm lens last fall. I shot mostly with the lens rolled with 6 shots around which provided lots of overlap. I tried 4 around in portrait which gives almost zero overlap (or small gaps) at the horizon. 4 around rolled worked with a large sawtooth at the bottom. So I think 5 stops would be a compromise. Why do rotators skip the odd stops like 5 and 7?

    So I am trying to decide between the R-D4 and R-D8. The R-D8 needs the adapter and is slightly larger but I can skip every second stop set at 10 to give 5. The R-D4 is slightly smaller but doesn't list an install kit for the R10 (none needed?). Does the difference between 62 and 54 mm diameter make any real difference?

    Any advice?

    Kevin.
  2. Re: Rotator Decision

    #2
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,366

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
    I bought a R10 without rotator to use with a Nikon 10.5 mm lens last fall. I shot mostly with the lens rolled with 6 shots around which provided lots of overlap. I tried 4 around in portrait which gives almost zero overlap (or small gaps) at the horizon. 4 around rolled worked with a large sawtooth at the bottom. So I think 5 stops would be a compromise. Why do rotators skip the odd stops like 5 and 7?

    So I am trying to decide between the R-D4 and R-D8. The R-D8 needs the adapter and is slightly larger but I can skip every second stop set at 10 to give 5. The R-D4 is slightly smaller but doesn't list an install kit for the R10 (none needed?). Does the difference between 62 and 54 mm diameter make any real difference?

    Any advice?

    Kevin.
    We have to limit the number of detent options in the rotator before it gets too heavy and bulky. The included options are the most popular and important ones. Most people shoot 6 shots for full frame fisheye. There isn't much difference in stitching 5 shots vs 6 shots. However the extra overlap in 6 shots will give you lots of room to edit out errors in stitch or moving objects at the seam.
    The difference in diameters of RD4/8 does not make much difference in stitching if an adapter is used. Other things being constant, a larger rotator means a larger nadir footprint. But one can also raise up the lens relative to the rotator to reduce the footprint. RD4 is lighter and more compact and has a slightly smaller footprint than RD8/16 with adapter.


    Nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  3. Re: Rotator Decision

    #3
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Jan 2010
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Posts: 13


    Nick,

    I hadn't thought of the added security of an extra shot around.

    I decided to practice my trigonometry to see what the difference in obstruction would be. I estimated the center of the lens is around 130 mm above the bottom of the R10. Using the diameters of 62mm for the R-8 and 54 mm for the R-4 they would occupy 13.4 degrees and 11.7 degrees . This isn't correct since the widest point of the rotator isn't directly below the R10. Could someone measure the height between the top surface of the rotator and the widest point (with the adapter for the R-D?

    Leaning more towards the R-D4 unless anyone has recomended uses for the extra stops with a fisheye lens.

    Kevin.
  4. Re: Rotator Decision

    #4
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,733

    Hi Kevin,

    using a 10.5 nikkor lens and checking Frank van der Pol's panorama calculator - Support, camera settings, in the middle panoramacalculator - using an overlap of 25% you end up with 5.2 shots for fisheye lens and 5.8 shots with 30% overlap. Cause you can not shoot 5.2 or 5.8 shots, you can either shoot 5, which gives you an overlap of 19% - very dangerous!! - or 6 shots with an overlap of 32%. So conclusion: with a DX camera you have to go for 6 shots and then you can use the RD4 rotator. Or you own a full frame camera and cut away the lens hood of your 10.5 lens, then you can go for 5 or 4 shots.

    So just buy an RD4, it should be delivered to be ready to be mounted without any adaptor. Is that right Nick?

    One last thing Kevin, how long does it take you to take an extra shot. Compare this with the time you have to spend on the PC to stitch manually cause you have very little overlap, may be you even loose a panorama?? My R1 with RD4 is a tiny little, lightweight hardware you can take away in your pocket compared to NN5/RD16. So why to change this with a bigger and heavier solution which does not help you?

    Heinz
  5. Re: Rotator Decision

    #5
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,733

    Kevin,

    be sure to get the two "bigger black Hex screws" which fix the R10 to the RD4 rotator when you order it. Might be very handy to order as well the rotator handle, i like it, and and the external level as well. This will help you a lot. Check the e-store for photos to know what i mean.

    Heinz
  6. Re: Rotator Decision

    #6
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Jan 2010
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Posts: 13


    The e-store asks for a mount kit option for the R-D4 but only has NN3 and NN5 as options. The two holes for the "bigger black Hex screws" in the base of the R10 are threaded. How does the R-D4 and R10 join together?

    I usually have the R10 mounted on the top of a GPS antenna mast which is like a monopod with guy chains and four ridiculously precise vial levels so it is level.

    I am getting the rotator to help foolproof the system when someone else has to operate it like halfway down a cliff, or myself at the end of the day.

    Rotator and six around sounds like the reliable way to do it since I am using a D300.

    Kevin.


  7. Re: Rotator Decision

    #7
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,366

    R1/10 mounts to RD4 by 2 M5 screws. Early R1/10 without rotator does not have these screws included. Ask for the screws if you don't have.


    Nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
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