R1 with D300s and battery pack

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  1. R1 with D300s and battery pack

    #1
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2010
    Location: East Lothian Scotland
    Posts: 4

    Hi
    I hope someone can reassure me that I am about to purchase the correct piece of kit. I want a simpler (and lighter!) rig than I have currently and am seriously considering the R1. My setup is Nikon D300s with the battery pack installed and a Sigma 8mm f3.5 lens. My concerns are whether the R1 would be able to take the additional weight of this camera and battery pack and whether all the weight on the lens barrel will cause any long term problems. My full time work is photographing property for let and sale and will be used almost daily so would have to stand up to professional use.
    All your comments are welcome. My final choice will be between the R1 or the NN5, though single row at +5° would cover most of my needs. Oh and one more thing. I would like to be up and running asap. How tricky is finding the NNP and keeping it accurate?
    Thank you all in advance for your assistance.
    Williee
  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by williee View Post
    Hi
    I hope someone can reassure me that I am about to purchase the correct piece of kit. I want a simpler (and lighter!) rig than I have currently and am seriously considering the R1. My setup is Nikon D300s with the battery pack installed and a Sigma 8mm f3.5 lens. My concerns are whether the R1 would be able to take the additional weight of this camera and battery pack and whether all the weight on the lens barrel will cause any long term problems. My full time work is photographing property for let and sale and will be used almost daily so would have to stand up to professional use.
    All your comments are welcome. My final choice will be between the R1 or the NN5, though single row at +5° would cover most of my needs. Oh and one more thing. I would like to be up and running asap. How tricky is finding the NNP and keeping it accurate?
    Thank you all in advance for your assistance.
    Williee
    Hi Willie,
    Welcome to our forum.
    Yes the R1 is perfect solution for you. The NN5 series is good if you are shooting at different focal lengths or swapping lens. But if you primarily shot with the 8mm the R1 is excellent choice and VERY durable. It's also lighter and smaller than the NN5 series and easy and fast to setup and use. For resellers in your region please visit: http://nodalninja.com/resellers.html
    Cheers,
    Bill
  3. #3
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,364

    Buy a rotator handle to reduce stress on the lens barrel.
    http://store.nodalninja.com/products...or-Handle.html

    if you don't drop/ bump into the camera, the stress on less is no problem.

    Nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  4. #4
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,733

    Willie,

    R1 will be a good solution for your purpose. I use NN products since some years without gear problems. Good quality.

    But you cannot use the battery grip on R1 and I would recommend not to use it at all. The body of the D300s plus the grip might bump into the detend plunger knobs in zenith position because of the added length to the camera body. I had to add 3.5cm cylinder between upper and lower part to my R1 to be used with D3.

    A battery grip adds extra weight and on NN3 NN5 extra torque to the upper rail. The plastic battery grip is not stiff enough to prevent camera from bending down out of the vertical. Take an extra charged battery and a quick CF card with 60/90 mbps to be quick to save the pics.

    No problems to keep NPP because of good marks on lens ring foot and clamp.

    Regards,

    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 08-22-2010 at 12:02 AM.
  5. #5
    Users Country Flag badders's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: East Kilbride, Scotland
    Posts: 349

    Hi Williee,

    Remove the battery pack. It's not needed at all for the kind of photography you want to do and adds extra weight to your setup, something you are trying to reduce.

    Without the battery pack the R1 will be perfect for your needs. I see you are in East Lothian? So why not come over to our offices in East Kilbride where you can "try before you buy"? I'd be happy to demonstrate the R1 to you and heck, I will even throw in a free coffee!



    Badders
  6. #6
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2010
    Location: East Lothian Scotland
    Posts: 4

    Quote Originally Posted by badders View Post
    Hi Williee,

    I see you are in East Lothian? So why not come over to our offices in East Kilbride where you can "try before you buy"? I'd be happy to demonstrate the R1 to you and heck, I will even throw in a free coffee!
    Hi everyone,
    Thank you all for your comments and advice. It was much appreciated.
    Thanks for introducing your self Andrew. I will take you up on the offer of that cup of coffee. I should be contacting your office early next week.

    Thanks again,
    Willie
  7. #7

    Hi Nick

    Just to let you know that after all the testing with different lenses and cameras and brackets the best solution is the following giving the best quality enabling full Zenith stitch automatically.

    Nikon D3X full frame (or any full frame) with 10.5DX shaved (I shaved the lens myself and it is brilliant) at 5 deg up on an R1 or R10

    Taken 4 shots with perfect Zenith stitch in PTGui and created in Pano2VR

    The Nadir is always easy to patch in Pano2VR using photoshop, as most times the tripod is on a floor, road or on a carpet - see samples below
    and as the Zenith is much more difficult the 5deg will sort it perfectly

    see below
    Winchester Cathedral
    http://www.fashionbyvogue.com/events...inchester.html

    And to all you car lovers - The Morgan Factory
    http://www.fashionbyvogue.com/events...gan/admin.html

    Love to hear from any

    Erik Hoffman
  8. #8
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 340

    Williee,

    I use the R1 at 5 degrees with my D300 (no battery pack, too much bulk) and the Sigma lens. I have taken literally hundreds of panoramas with this set up. The anodizing is wearing off the pano head and ring mount. It has yet to let me down. Very portable. The lens locates in the exact same spot every time. I used this rig during my 3 week vacation. Never had an issue. http://www.dlsphoto.net/Europe2009/Europe2009.htm I use it so much that I do not take single pictures any more. I capture panoramas all the time and leave the standard photography to my family. I leave all my other camera gear at home, even my "standard" lenses.

    Dennis
  9. #9
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2010
    Location: East Lothian Scotland
    Posts: 4

    Hi again,
    Thanks for the continued advice and encouragement. You guys have been really open and helpful.
    Particularly to Dennis, you have some fantastic panos on your website. I hope you don't mind me asking a couple of questions about them. I assume you are shooting raw. Are you taking single exposures or HDR? Are you shooting the nadir and zennith? What size and compression are your final jpegs? Most of my work is property (real estate) and so far dont get the same dynamic range as your images. Any tips you would like to share would be appreciated.
    Willie
  10. #10
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 340

    Willie,

    Thanks for the compliments.

    I do not shoot RAW (yet).

    If the panorama is not of a building, you could probably assume it was done with the R1/Sigma combo. All building shots were done with a Nikon 10.5 and my own panorama head creation (http://www.dlsphoto.net/NadarBracket/index.htm).

    With the R1, I shoot 4 around plus two hand held Nadir shots. One is for the Nadir view and a second is to be used to remove my shadow from the first. If there is no photographer's shadow, I need only 1 Nadir shot. Since I tilt the camera up 5 degrees, no Zenith shot is needed.
    With the 10.5, I shoot 6 around, 1 Zenith, 1 Nadir and as many patch shots as it takes to get enough pictures in order to remove the tripod shadow.

    I am tending to use less compression since internet speeds are picking up. I tried to limit my earlier work to 3 megs file size. Now I am not shy about posting 10 meg images. I have been using 80% detail level in Pano2VR. You need to keep your images in as high resolution as you can for as long as you can. It is only the very last step when you want to apply any sort of compression.

    As to Dynamics range, shooting and processing RAW will give you more dynamic range. I still shoot .jpeg. Photoshop's Shadow/Highlights command is my friend. I don't know much about Photoshop. I think "curves" would server me better, but I do not know how to use curves.

    There are very few HDR panoramas on my site. Maybe 4 or 5.

    The Sigma gives me a final panorama image size of 8000x4000. I think the 10.5 is a bigger image, but it has been so long since I have shot with that lens, I cannot remember.

    Dennis
  11. #11
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2010
    Location: East Lothian Scotland
    Posts: 4

    Dennis,

    Your comments are very interesting.
    My workflow starts RAW and goes through Lightroom then exported as a TIFF for stitching and photoshopping. I then remove noise and sharpen through photoshop with the photomatix plugin. The image is resized to 7000x3500 and compressed to 50% and saved as a Jpeg. By now the final image will be about 3Mb. Comparing my images to yours, I think I may be over compressing and probibly over sharpening. Also an image of 8000x4000 would help improve things. Here is an example for you: http://www.ipan360.co.uk/logoshope/tour/index.html A property tour can consist of 5 or 6 panos plus still images and when combined the total weight (Mb) matters so have always tried to keep this to a maximum tour size of around 18Mb.
    I think I might try doing a NEF+Jpeg in camera and compare the results.

    Thanks again,
    Willie
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