Nodal Ninja 2.9 MkII

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  1. Nodal Ninja 2.9 MkII

    #1
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Massachusetts
    Posts: 36

    I love Nodal Ninja products and own the NN3MkII and NN5. I also like my new camera, the Canon Powershot S95. It is superb for high-dynamic-range panoramas - it has high pixel count, manual mode and brackets exposures. Ten rotation stops are required in portrait mode at 28mm equivalent focal length. The camera is tiny and far smaller than the NN3MkII.

    In my home workshop I conducted major surgery on the pano head. I fabricated a new vertical rail, a custom camera plate, and shortened the upper and lower rails. The weight of the NN2.9MkII dropped to 370 from 535 grams and it fits in the palm of my hand. For a lightweight travel pano rig, this is going to serve well. As high quality cameras continue to shrink in size there may be a market for such a device. Nick...

    I just have one concern. Do you suppose I have voided the warranty on my Nodal Ninja product?
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  2. #2
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,741

    Legally, yes. You have lost the warranty.

    First point: using NN products since several years I never had to ask for warranty. With a lot of NN Products I use. R1, NN3, NN5, Ez-Leveller II.

    Second point: Just send your Info to Nick. May be he is interested. We right now have a Nadir Adaptor which was forced by DennisS. Nick is always interested in filling gaps in this market if there really is sense in doing it, which means, if there are enough people to ask for it.

    Third: coming up with a new design which needs to change the original product, I dare to say, you will get help if something goes wrong and you need spare parts. There is a background in Nodal Ninja / Fanotec philosophy...listen, and get beyond horizon.

    Great design. Well done. Thx for sharing.

    Regards,
    Heinz
  3. #3
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Massachusetts
    Posts: 36

    Heinz,

    Thanks for your note. My 'question' about warranty was tongue-in-cheek as I do not believe cutting up their product into smaller pieces makes a manufacturer inclined to honor a warranty. I agree that warranty has never been an issue with Nodal Ninja as the team is very responsive and the products are superb. I like their approach of trying to maximize compatibilty with legacy products.

    Aviator
  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    I love Nodal Ninja products and own the NN3MkII and NN5. I also like my new camera, the Canon Powershot S95. It is superb for high-dynamic-range panoramas - it has high pixel count, manual mode and brackets exposures. Ten rotation stops are required in portrait mode at 28mm equivalent focal length. The camera is tiny and far smaller than the NN3MkII.

    In my home workshop I conducted major surgery on the pano head. I fabricated a new vertical rail, a custom camera plate, and shortened the upper and lower rails. The weight of the NN2.9MkII dropped to 370 from 535 grams and it fits in the palm of my hand. For a lightweight travel pano rig, this is going to serve well. As high quality cameras continue to shrink in size there may be a market for such a device. Nick...
    Good job. This is exactly the point I've been trying to make to Bill and Nick for quite some time. Compact cameras are getting really good. If you look at the samples on DPReview, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic are making compact cameras that make images as good as older DSLRs. But an NN3/5 is way over kill and the new NN5 replacement is like driving an M1 battle tank to the market if you have a compact.

    Smaller head and more accurate way to attach the compact to the head is very much a viable product today.

    I hope Nick gives priority to the development of the mini NNX

    DD
  5. #5
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,434

    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    I love Nodal Ninja products and own the NN3MkII and NN5. I also like my new camera, the Canon Powershot S95. It is superb for high-dynamic-range panoramas - it has high pixel count, manual mode and brackets exposures. Ten rotation stops are required in portrait mode at 28mm equivalent focal length. The camera is tiny and far smaller than the NN3MkII.

    In my home workshop I conducted major surgery on the pano head. I fabricated a new vertical rail, a custom camera plate, and shortened the upper and lower rails. The weight of the NN2.9MkII dropped to 370 from 535 grams and it fits in the palm of my hand. For a lightweight travel pano rig, this is going to serve well. As high quality cameras continue to shrink in size there may be a market for such a device. Nick...

    I just have one concern. Do you suppose I have voided the warranty on my Nodal Ninja product?
    Thanks for your hint. It remind me the size of Nodal Ninja SPH-1, the first generation of NN.

    when I have more time, I can develop NN custom made (to fit angle of view of the lens) to a camera. I may even make a template for automatic stitching.


    Nick
    Last edited by nick fan; 11-30-2010 at 01:16 AM.



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  6. Starting Point

    #6
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Massachusetts
    Posts: 36

    Attached are 'before' photos which show excess arm length... therefore excess weight and size. Nick, as you suggest, the generic camera mounting plate is much heavier and bigger than a custom plate can be.
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  7. #7
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,434

    pano head requirement for P&S is complicated. when no converter lens is used, the camera is very small. when a converter is used, it can be longer than a DSLR with a prime lens. So a mini modular system is needed.

    Nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    pano head requirement for P&S is complicated. when no converter lens is used, the camera is very small. when a converter is used, it can be longer than a DSLR with a prime lens. So a mini modular system is needed.
    Nick
    Yes, that's a problem as is the offset tripod screw hole. If I use a long converter lens that makes it hard to move the lens back to the NPP, I just reverse the T-XX so that the screw hole on the T-XX is forward of the camera instead of behind the camera.

    By "mini modular" do you mean a (smaller) quick release type system like on the prototype replacement for the NN5. If so, the problem with that idea is that it adds yet more hardware and weight to the system.

    I think that an improved and lightened T-II like plate is good for cameras when there is no adapter tube and a simple lens ring system (maybe like what I described) for cameras that use an adapter tube would be better, simpler and lighter.

    The quick release system is just adds more hardware and doesn't guarantee a good alignment.

    DD
    Last edited by DemonDuck; 11-30-2010 at 09:51 AM.
  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    Thanks for your hint. It remind me the size of Nodal Ninja SPH-1, the first generation of NN.
    when I have more time, I can develop NN custom made (to fit angle of view of the lens) to a camera. I may even make a template for automatic stitching. Nick
    I use an old SPH-1 on my monopod. Works great! I took the rotator off and bolted it directly to the monopod. Then I just rotate the monopod.

    I've even made multi-row panos with it.

    http://pancyl.com/McLeodLake.html

    3@+60; 6@0; 3@-60

    Even with the SPH-1 there's still a lot of unused metal. But that would be a good starting place.

    DD
  10. #10
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Massachusetts
    Posts: 36

    DemonDuck,

    Like your comments... unused metal is just dead weight. There is still some unneeded metal left in my modifications. The base of the rotator is too heavy and could use lightening holes. The upper knob is too thick and heavy.

    Also agree quick release is not desirable for compact cameras... or maybe some big ones as well. It just adds complexity, weight and nodal point uncertainty.
  11. #11

    Compact cameras weigh less than a pound. Even the biggest converter lens only weighs about a pound (FC-E9 for example) so a mini-NN could be really spidery if Nick used carbon fiber or titanium. The arms could be not much bigger than a pencil. These heads don't have to be built like a tank.....
  12. #12
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: Hong Kong
    Posts: 2,434

    hi Aviator,

    what kind of pano are you making? spherical or just a typical multi-row wide angle pano?

    Nick



    Fanotec
    We listen. We try harder.
  13. #13
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Massachusetts
    Posts: 36

    Nick,

    “Spherical or typical multi-row”? The short answer is both but please let me give you more detail. My only other post on the forum dates to 2008 and shows a custom camera mounting plate/lens shade I built for a Nikon D3/14-24mm lens. It works well for spherical panos, but this rig weighs a ton.

    My emphasis now is on very light weight… something that can be carried in a couple of big pockets for travel. My wife and I recently toured the Amalfi Coast in Italy and I took along my new Canon Powershot S95. It is a superb little camera and I made some HDR cylindrical panos using the automatic bracketing feature in aperture mode. Since I was only carrying a tiny tabletop tripod I worked with distant scenes so nodal point was not an issue.

    I suggest there is a market for the smallest, lightest pano head feasible for a high quality point-and-shoot camera. I have fairly small size now in my modified version of your NN3MkII but it is still heavier than necessary. As suggested on this thread, carbon fiber and titanium (or unobtainium) could be used to advantage here. The goal should be a pano head so light and convenient that it could be left in place for ordinary point-and-shoot use of the camera, or double as a tripod head in non-pano use. I have a Velbon Ultra Maxi Mini tripod on the way to try with my camera/head combination.

    Now back to your question. I don’t expect to do full spherical panos with this setup because too many shots are required with the 28mm widest lens setting. 100 plus degrees vertically by 360 degrees horizontally requires two rows, 10 shots each, and each bracketed with three exposures. I would not expect to bother with the zenith or nadir for most scenic panos… or I would drag out my big rig.
  14. #14

    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    hi Aviator,

    what kind of pano are you making? spherical or just a typical multi-row wide angle pano?

    Nick
    What is a "typical multi-row wid angle pano"? Do you mean a cylindrical pano? Perhaps they are more common than I think but in the forums that I frequent, I see very few cylindrical panos. Most are full spheres. The difference in making them is so small -- if you consider setting up -- that a cylindrical seems like a job where you quit just before you finish. I think that any pano head should be designed first to be a spherical pano head. It's easy enough to do cylindrical panos with a spherical head.

    DD
  15. #15
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Massachusetts
    Posts: 36

    Agree, once you are able to pan and tilt around the nodal point, then cylindrical versus spherical is a non-issue. Perhaps Nick is thinking of a very simple pan-only mode which would be very limiting.
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