Thanks for the explanation Terry. So is fitting the 555b a fiddly operation?
Today I was using my loaner Manfrotto 303 SPH pano head without a tripod. I was shooting a cityscape from a balcony, and I mounted the pano head to a Manfrotto Superclamp attatched to the balcony rail. A separate leveling base would have been handy.
The Manfrotto head vibrates quite a lot as I switch from one detent to the next. I need to let it settle down for at least 5 seconds before taking the next shot (with mirror lockup). I'm guessing that the NN5, being a similar design, will behave in the same way (mine arrives tomorrow, hopefully). Any tips on minimizing this vibration?
I have set up my canon 40D to use mirror lock and then fire using a radio trigger. Like you I wait five seconds between shots.
I always set the Tripod column to its base level.
The vibration from a mirror flipping, can be seen running down the legs of a tripod like an 055B
And returning about 2 seconds later to the camera.
The more rigid and heavier every thing is, the better.
But your NN5 is about as good as things get.
Vibration is and will always be some sort of problem. Partly involving all heads and attachments , including tripods and attachments.
Just keep cool man. I never had problems with vibration moving from one detend to the next. Neither with NN5 nor with NN3. Neither with D90 nor With D3. As Terry mentioned, I used my center column of Manfrotto 055ProB at its base level. I recognized vibration with manfrotto shooting in CL mode during bracketing raising the center column. With higher ISO and shorter shutter speeds no problem at all. But I think you do not need bracketing for your special purpose.
Just wait to try your new hardware. Years ago I changed from Manfrotto pano head to Nodal Ninja. A change from a TATRA lorry to Mercedes Benz. Just use your new equipment, play around, and if new questions arise, feel free to ask.
My basic feeling is to be as precise as possible. This is good for basics. But elliot, software covers a lot. No need to be precise for 1 mm or 2° in set up leveling here and there. I did not have stitching problems.
So just try your equipment. When I have to undergo an operation and try to check what might go wrong without basic experience or knowledge, I think I will get crazy.....
When I change my 555B center column from one tripod to the other, I just take off the lower part, insert into the tripod and just re-fix the handle screw. If you like to check it on your own, send a mail to manfrotto or call them.
Heinz, you're right.
My NN5/RD16 arrived this morning (thanks Andrew). I haven't fine-tuned the setup yet, but my first impressions are excellent. Compared to the Manfrotto 303 SPH, the Nodal Ninja seems lighter, more compact, better machined and more stable. The detents click into place with more precision, and the vibration as I move from one detent to the next is much much less (the Manfrotto 303 was really bouncy).
I will definitely be looking for some sort of leveling head - adjusting the legs on my beaten-up Manfrotto 055CLB is not much fun (it's easy to get pinched by the leg latches).
I think it's a shame the RD16 doesn't have a clutch - a nice feature of the Manfrotto - but no big deal.
Congrats... you will be happy with it. You are happy to have a dealer like Andrew in UK with best knowledge and experience. And personal service. I do not know if Andrew is a "real scotsman". But he fits very well in my experience with them during two tours around Scotland for 6 weeks each in 1970 and 1971: friendly, helpful, based in their country, great knowledge, and you can trust them! Against any fairytales. But I enjoyed Uk and the people as well."Sorry for being off thread"
Still dealing with your tear drops cause of missing clutch. Brainstorming this morning "to get you happy", I think I found an option for you independent from tripods: To level use an EZ-Leveller II below RD16. To clutch, use the Feisol panning base. I think this is the cheapest and most optimal solution and gives you options for the future apart from being stuck to a tripod branch. http://www.feisoluk.com/Bases/c45/p8...duct_info.html
I use EZ-Leveller II with NN3 and NN5, great accessory with Nadir Adapter to re-level.
Concerning tripods: first Manfrotto 055BPro. Manfrotto carbon version for Video. Carbon Gitzo for R1. Using the Nadir Adapter with heavy weight gear, manfrotto is moving in center column connection. Ok, no problem with software which covers a lot. But then I heard from a dutch colleague about Feisol. I really do not promote things. Let's just talk about experience.
Right now I use Feisol 3372 LV with plate for normal panos, rock solid, light. And change it to center column to use it with rotator on top of it, and add the new Fanotec pole on top. With R1 and new mini Adapter System on top.
For very tricky corners you could use a Gitzo or Benro Baby tripod, rotator and pole on top, and on you go.
To cut it short: They listen, they adapt new features to the system, of course not every personal request which might only be needed by a few customers is adapted to the system. Because I have to pay for it though I do not need the function, I have to carry more weight, I fell happy with this solution. So better offer a product which serves for most clients for a good price and less weight, less vibration, smooth instead of sharp outside design, easy to use, and a good service and a good forum backstage.
Fell free to ask.
Last edited by hindenhaag; 11-13-2010 at 02:26 AM.
Thanks, Heinz, for your thoughts. The Feisol panning base looks interesting, and I should also check out their range of tripods (my Manfrotto tripod has seen better days). For the time being I'm busy calculating NPP settings for the lenses I intend to use, and I'm going to leave questions of leveling / rotating / quick release systems until I've done some proper field testing.
Unfortunately it won't work for my purposes. The base is held captive and won't rotate - it is tilt only.
I could add the Fesiol panning base that Heinz mentioned in his previous post, but I'm wary of building a tower of gizmos.
I think I'll return the FLM LB60, and try the Manfrotto 555b. (It does allow rotation, right?)
Last edited by elliot_n; 11-17-2010 at 08:00 AM.
I discounted the Manfrotto levelling column (555B), as I realised that I sometimes need to shoot mosaics from a low level and therefore require the Manfrotto short column.
I returned the FLM levelling base and replaced it with an Acratech levelling base. This one does rotate. However I discovered that rotating (to line up the central frame of a mosiac), and levelling is a tricky task to perform simultaneously. (The Acratech base seems well made, but it's too expensive here in the UK (£135), and it does creep a little when tightened.)
So Heinz's suggestion to use a Feisol panning base in combination with a levelling base is a good one.
Then it occurred to me that the functionality I'm after is equivalent to the 3-way head I already own (Manfrottto 141). So I tried putting the NN5/RD16 on that. I like it - not super stable, but very functional.
My Manfrotto 141 is knackered from years of use, so I am now considering the Manfrotto junior geared head (410) as a base for my NN5/RD16. I think it will be more stable, and more finely adjustable. (And I want one anyway for single frame shots.)
thx for sharing your info.
The other major advantage (for me) of having the NN5/RD16 on a 3 way head, is that the whole rig can be tilted up or down.
Why would I want to do that?
I'm shooting 3x3 rectilinear mosaics, to match a single frame reference image. (e.g 3x3 mosaic with a 65mm lens, to match a single frame shot with a 24mm lens.)
If the reference image is levelled, then shooting the 3x3 mosaic is straightforward. But if the reference image is pointing up or down (e.g a view of a staircase, looking up from the bottom) then things get more complicated - specifically, each row of 3 images, needs a different amount of rotation. In theory the RD16's stops could be adjusted for each row, but I regard this as impractical. Alternatively each row could be judged by looking through the viewfinder. This is something I want to avoid - I like the sense of automation that I get from the RD16. The RD16 with fixed rotation (18 degrees in this example), can be used, but it requires shooting extra frames (3 rows and 5 columns). This is inefficient, leading to a huge stitch in PTGui.
The answer, it seems to me, is to put the whole NN5/RD16 rig on a 3 way head. The 3 way head can then be tilted (looking up the staircase, in my example). With the NN5/RD16 tilted, it is now easy to create a 3x3 grid with pre-established degrees of rotation, and there's very little wastage when the stitch is performed in PTGui.
The downside of course is a potential lack of stability. But I'm finding the NN5/RD16 performs remarkably well when tilted on my Manfrotto 055 tripod. The lock knob on the RD16 can be tightened if it feels like the rig will spin away from an indentation. You wouldn't want to photograph a ceiling like this, but angles up or down at 45 degrees seem to work fine.
Does any of this make sense?!