Nodal ninja 3MKII with a compact camera
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  1. Nodal ninja 3MKII with a compact camera

    #1

    Hi everyone!

    I'm Damir from Croatia, and I'm a freelance web developer. I'm starting a firm, which will offer web developing and 360 panoramas and virtual tours. So, I'm basicy starting with panoramas, and so far I managed to produce only a single row panorama. I want to shoot 360 multirow, spherical panoramas.
    Looking all the way up and down, something like this - http://krpano.com/krpano.html?pano=p...che/kirche.xml .

    I'm just about to order a NN3 MKII. But I have a dilema which one to get. With or without leverer, and what rotator.

    I went to the decision tree:

    1. I have a compact BENQ ( for start ) which tells me I defenitly need a t-adapter because of an offset between center of the lens and a mount hole.
    2. I want to shoot multirow sphereical panoramas, multiimage mosaic etc...so I need a NN3 serias

    the problem starts at the next one:
    3. CHANGING FOCAL LENGHTS rarely or frequently? What does this mean?

    My camera specifications:
    Sensor SONY 10 Mega Pixels, 1/2.3 inch CCD
    Zoom Optical: 3X
    Digital: Up to 5X(Preview) / Up to 12X(Playback)
    Lens f = 6.2 ( W ) ~ 18.6 ( T ) mm
    F= 3.0 (W) ~ 5.6 (T)
    (f = 35~105mm, 35mm equivalent)
    Focus Range Normal: W=80cm ~ Infinity Macro: W=5cm ~ 100cm
    LCD 2.7“ LCD 230k pixels
    Image Resolution 10M / 3:2 / 8M / 5M/ 3M / HD 16:9 / VGA
    Movie Mode 720 x 400 (16:9) / 640 x 480 / 320 x 240 / Web sharing 30 fps,Continuous recording with sound
    Shutter Speed 1/2000 ~ 1 sec. (Fireworks 2 sec.; Manual 15 sec.; Night Scene 8 sec.)
    ISO Auto / 50 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 (3M or lower) / 6400 (VGA and HD 16:9 only)
    Flash Auto Flash, Auto Anti Red-eye, Force On, Slow Sync, Force Off
    Power Source AA Battery x 2
    CIPA Approx 200 base on bundled batteries
    Storage Type Built-in Approx. 21.1MB 4GB SD compatible / 32GB SDHC card compatible
    Dimensions/Weight Dimensions:92.0x60.5x23.8mm


    So, will the basic package do the job, or I need a built in leverer? I assume I do need it.

    4. If I need a leverer, which rotator to get?
    NN3 w/R-D3L ( 6-8-10 )
    NN3 w/R-D3L ( 6-8-30 )
    or without leverer the NN3 w/R-D8?

    I noticed most of you guys use a 8mm fisheye, but is there someone who uses just a compact camera simmilar to mine?

    I would be thankfull if someone could help me. :blushing:
  2. #2

    Welcome Damir,

    I'll try to help you at my best, see below my answers and suggestions to help you in choice ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    1. I have a compact BENQ ( for start ) which tells me I defenitly need a t-adapter because of an offset between center of the lens and a mount hole.
    You are right !

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    2. I want to shoot multirow sphereical panoramas, multiimage mosaic etc...so I need a NN3 serias
    right also considering size of your camera, NN3 should be able to handle it easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    CHANGING FOCAL LENGHTS rarely or frequently? What does this mean?
    It means that your camera allows you to shoot between 35 and 105mm focal length. So you can shot your panoramas at 35mm, 105mm, and all values in between. When you change of focal length, nodal point moves and so it means you'll need different angle stops to setup on your Nodal Ninja 3. If you use the standard rotator included with Nodal Ninja 3 (the one with brass ring), you'll need each time you change of focal length to change ring, it's not difficult but an extra step, not alway easy to do when you are outdoor in nature ! Nodal Ninja 3 with R-D8 or R-D16 is a lot easier to setup as you just need to move a knob on the rotator (you can handle it with gloves easily :) R-D8 contains all configurations for fisheye and wide-angle focal length. R-D16 contains configurations of R-D8 plus extra for telezoom. In your case, R-D16 should be best solution.
    For info, more you increase focal length better quality of your panorama will be, but you'll need more shots, so it's a choice to do depending on situations, quality wanted....

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    So, will the basic package do the job, or I need a built in leverer? I assume I do need it.
    EZ-Leveller II will help you to level your Nodal Ninja 3 in a more easy way than using knobs on your tripod legs. If you do only spherical panoramas it's not mandatory as you can level your panorama later during stitching process. Myself I find it better to get panorama levelled at begin, avoid extra work during stitching ;)

    Hope it'll help you to decide ;)

    Cheers,

    Vincèn



    French Nodal Ninja Distributor
    Blog: http://www.skivr.com
    Online shop: http://magasin.skivr.com
    Photo gallery: http://flickr.com/skivr
    Support website: http://support.skivr.com
  3. #3

    This is what I call a fast reply. You helped me a lot, thank you Vincèn. Just a couple more questions. :)

    So, in your opinion, the best solution is a R-D16 rotator. What about the NN3 w/R-D3L ( 6-8-10 ) and NN3 w/R-D3L ( 6-8-30 ) with a built in leveller, there are configured for fish eye lenses and such? Not my best option? :D

    If i don't get a leveller, I need to to adjust the legs on tripod. This built-in bubble level on NN3 is where I control this? I dont have bubble leveller on my tripod. I'm limited financial, so sadly I can't get a R-D16 rotator and a EZ-eveller. :D
  4. #4
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Saddleworth UK
    Posts: 242

    You will find the ezleveller is not absolutely necessary ... I have one but do not use it. I can level the legs very quickly using the bubble on the NN3.
    The R-D16 is a good choice as it offers more options and is quick, and will still be useful when you change your camers (This is inevitable at some point)

    If you find you need a leveller, You could get one when you have more cash. It is certainly not essential at the start.

    I used to use a canon G6 on a NN3 I always used it with the lens at the widest setting. A camera that you can set the exposure, colour balance and focus manually is really essential to get even blending.
  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    This is what I call a fast reply. You helped me a lot, thank you Vincèn. Just a couple more questions. :)
    cool it helped you

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    So, in your opinion, the best solution is a R-D16 rotator. What about the NN3 w/R-D3L ( 6-8-10 ) and NN3 w/R-D3L ( 6-8-30 ) with a built in leveller, there are configured for fish eye lenses and such? Not my best option? :D
    Best solution is either R-D16 if you have budget, or basic model if you have not. For R-D3L, it combines both leveller and rotator, but it includes just 3 settings, so probably too restrictive for your camera !

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    If i don't get a leveller, I need to to adjust the legs on tripod. This built-in bubble level on NN3 is where I control this? I dont have bubble leveller on my tripod. I'm limited financial, so sadly I can't get a R-D16 rotator and a EZ-eveller. :D
    You are right, if you use legs of tripod to adjust level, you'll be able to check it on bubble on horizontal rail of NN3 :) You don't need bubble on your tripod, neither on your camera !

    Vincèn



    French Nodal Ninja Distributor
    Blog: http://www.skivr.com
    Online shop: http://magasin.skivr.com
    Photo gallery: http://flickr.com/skivr
    Support website: http://support.skivr.com
  6. #6

    So close to a final decision, almost there. :D

    To make sure I got everything right, here's an example:

    Lets say, the nodal ninja is set to take 3 shots every 120 degrees.

    I decide to take 15 shots every 24 degees. On the basic model I would have to change this detent plate by unscrewing the main knob and lift off the horizontal bar. On the R-D16 I simply turn the knob.

    Is this the only differnce? If so, I don't really see a good reason to buy a R-D16, expecially if you don't change focal length so often. It isn't such a problem to change this.
  7. #7
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Saddleworth UK
    Posts: 242

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    So close to a final decision, almost there. :D

    To make sure I got everything right, here's an example:

    Lets say, the nodal ninja is set to take 3 shots every 120 degrees.

    I decide to take 15 shots every 24 degees. On the basic model I would have to change this detent plate by unscrewing the main knob and lift off the horizontal bar. On the R-D16 I simply turn the knob.

    Is this the only differnce? If so, I don't really see a good reason to buy a R-D16, expecially if you don't change focal length so often. It isn't such a problem to change this.
    That is true.. You would be able to buy a rd16 later to upgrade. It is a sturdier and easier rotator. But people manage very well with the standard rotator.
    One problem you might have with your camera ( If it is the BenQ DC E1000) Is that you can not manually focus or lock the focus. This can cause problems if there are both close ard far objects as the camera will refocus between shots.
    This can cause the viw angle to change slightly and can cause stitching problrms.

    However in many situations it will not be a problem.
  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Terrywoodenpic View Post
    One problem you might have with your camera ( If it is the BenQ DC E1000) Is that you can not manually focus or lock the focus. This can cause problems if there are both close ard far objects as the camera will refocus between shots.
    This can cause the viw angle to change slightly and can cause stitching problrms.

    However in many situations it will not be a problem.
    Thank you for the warning. Yes, in a manual mode, my BENQ DC 1035 cannot lock focus. The only options are auto focus, pan focus or infinity. I shot a single row panorama with a pan or infinity option, and didn't have stiching problems so far. But i can see that the purchase of the new camera will be, as you said inevitable. :) So the money saved from not buying a R-D16 will be spent on a camera that has better manual options then this one.

    Thanks everyone, you've been very helpfull in my decission. You will probably hear from me again with new problems. :D
  9. #9

    Thenk you guys, you're really helped out.

    I'm aware I will have to soon buy a new camera. In the single row panoramas this camera turned out ok, but needs a good light.

    One more question. Can this kind of camera produce a decent quality panorama, that can be offered to my potencial clients?
  10. #10

    With 35mm equiv focal length, you will be shooting at least 4 rows with possibly 16 images per row. Going to even longer focal length the number of images in each row will be much higher. I would recommend getting a good wide angle adapter and just stick with that configuration. So eventually, you will not be changing the focal length very often or very much. You really need to figure out one good configuration for your lens/camera combo and stick with it for a while to learn what it can do and can't do.

    I suggest getting the stock NN3 rotator because it is more flexible than the RD rotators to start with. Later on when you figure out what you need, then you can opt for a more expensive rotator that exactly fits you need.
    Last edited by DemonDuck; 08-26-2010 at 10:19 AM.
  11. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDuck View Post
    With 35mm equiv focal length, you will be shooting at least 4 rows with possibly 16 images per row. Going to even longer focal length the number of images in each row will be much higher. I would recommend getting a good wide angle adapter and just stick with that configuration. So eventually, you will not be changing the focal length very often or very much. You really need to figure out one good configuration for your lens/camera combo and stick with it for a while to learn what it can do and can't do.

    Yes, that's the plan for now. I will stick to 35mm. I'm aware I need to take whole bunch of photos with this kind of camera. :blushing: When shooting single row panorama I shot my scene with about 16-20 photos and the stiching was without any errors. I know its a lot of work when stiching so many photos.

    What about the number of rows to achive a 180 vertical view? How do I calculate this? And how do I shot nadir and zenith?

    I assume, this adapter is expensive?? Later on, I'm planning of buying slr with a 8mm lens, so I probably won't go with adapter. For now I have to manage getting a good quality panorama with this compact camera ( when on full screen clear panorama photo ).
  12. #12

    So, how many rows do I need to shot to get complete 180 vertical view?
  13. #13
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,462

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    So, how many rows do I need to shot to get complete 180 vertical view?
    you can shoot ever 30 deg vertically. zenith, 60 deg, 30deg, 0 deg, -30deg, -60deg, nadir.

    nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  14. #14

    Thank you for helping so far. Further help needed.

    Ok, so I ordered my Nodal Ninja 3 basic package ( stucked at the customs :( ). I've managed to
    save up some money for a new dslr camera. I came to conclusion
    that shoting panoramas with a compact camera ( 35-105mm or any other )
    is a lot of work - to many shots, long time to stich photos together.


    I've narrowed down the choice to folowing cameras:

    Olympus E-450/E-520/E-620 14-22mm

    Canon EOS 1000D + EF-S 18-55mm
    Canon EOS 500D + EF-S 18-55mm.


    My questions:

    1. I assume all of these models are compatible with Nodal Ninja 3? ( weight, dimensions )

    2. With Canon lenses 18-55mm I have to shot 32 times to get a complete panorama...

    Min. shots (1.6x): N, 10 images every 36° at -45° pitch, 10 images every 36° at 0° pitch,
    10 images every 36° at +45° pitch, Z


    This information is available on http://www.vrwave.com/ .

    What about the Olympus E? With a 14-22mm I would be able to shot less. The table
    on nodal ninja site tells me I have to take 6 shots every 60 degree to get a full
    360 panorama. I assume I have to shot 6 more on -45 and +45, plus N and Z?
    So, the total is 20shots? :)

    3. Which of these camera would you suggest for shoting full panoramas? Which has
    a better manual adjustment(focus, ISO...)
  15. #15
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,462

    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    Thank you for helping so far. Further help needed.

    Ok, so I ordered my Nodal Ninja 3 basic package ( stucked at the customs :( ). I've managed to
    save up some money for a new dslr camera. I came to conclusion
    that shoting panoramas with a compact camera ( 35-105mm or any other )
    is a lot of work - to many shots, long time to stich photos together.


    I've narrowed down the choice to folowing cameras:

    Olympus E-450/E-520/E-620 14-22mm

    Canon EOS 1000D + EF-S 18-55mm
    Canon EOS 500D + EF-S 18-55mm.


    My questions:

    1. I assume all of these models are compatible with Nodal Ninja 3? ( weight, dimensions )

    2. With Canon lenses 18-55mm I have to shot 32 times to get a complete panorama...

    Min. shots (1.6x): N, 10 images every 36° at -45° pitch, 10 images every 36° at 0° pitch,
    10 images every 36° at +45° pitch, Z


    This information is available on http://www.vrwave.com/ .

    What about the Olympus E? With a 14-22mm I would be able to shot less. The table
    on nodal ninja site tells me I have to take 6 shots every 60 degree to get a full
    360 panorama. I assume I have to shot 6 more on -45 and +45, plus N and Z?
    So, the total is 20shots? :)

    3. Which of these camera would you suggest for shoting full panoramas? Which has
    a better manual adjustment(focus, ISO...)

    yes, these cameras work for NN3. You can also consider buying an affordable Samyang (or in other names eg Falcon/ Bower/ Rokinon/ etc) 8mm fisheye. You can take 4-6 shots around, plus zenith and nadir shots.

    nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.

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