Nodal Ninja 2.9 MkII

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  1. #16
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    Join Date: Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDuck View Post
    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
    many people use stitching to increase the resolution. They may use a 28mm lens to take a shot with fov of a 14mm lens. This way they get much higher resolution.
    To make spherical pano, a wide angle converter is likely to be used and a zenith shot may be needed. So there is a lower limit on its vertical headroom.

    Nick



    Fanotec
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  2. Update on 'Nodal Ninja 29'

    #17
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    It has been nearly three years since I submitted photos of my heavily modified NN3 MkII. Pictures above show that the completed panoramic head fits in the palm of my hand. I've upgraded to the latest Canon Powershot S120 which has lowered the minimum focal length from 28 to 24 mm. This combined with a 4:3 aspect ratio allows a spherical panorama to be captured with 16 shots plus nadir. Also the camera will bracket three exposures, plus and minus two stops. Fixing aperture, manual focus and short self timer yields superb results. PTGui handles the bracketing effortlessly.

    The point of the exercise was to reduce the size and weight of a pano rig dramatically. The whole thing including tripod fit in a small bag that is easy on the shoulder... far more convenient than the Nikon DSLR setup I also have.
  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    It has been nearly three years since I submitted photos of my heavily modified NN3 MkII. Pictures above show that the completed panoramic head fits in the palm of my hand. I've upgraded to the latest Canon Powershot S120 which has lowered the minimum focal length from 28 to 24 mm. This combined with a 4:3 aspect ratio allows a spherical panorama to be captured with 16 shots plus nadir. Also the camera will bracket three exposures, plus and minus two stops. Fixing aperture, manual focus and short self timer yields superb results. PTGui handles the bracketing effortlessly.

    The point of the exercise was to reduce the size and weight of a pano rig dramatically. The whole thing including tripod fit in a small bag that is easy on the shoulder... far more convenient than the Nikon DSLR setup I also have.
    Probably we should introduce a new mini model. :-)



    Fanotec
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  4. #19
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    Nick,

    I agree and believe you would find a market for what I have improvised. The performance of the compact point-and-shoot cameras has improved such that panoramas made with them are comparable to a DSLR at a fraction of the size and weight. The setup described above produces 18,000 by 9,000 pixel panoramas that are nearly identical to those from my Nikon D3. The only difference is the Canon S120 is limited to plus or minus two stops in bracketing, so very high contrast scenes might wish for more. I have not found this to be a problem. It opens a new world of panoramas because people frequently have a compact camera with them rather than hauling around a heavy DSLR.

    You would need only three new pieces - shortened horizontal and vertical arms, and a simplified camera plate. For the latter I used a piece of aluminum channel, anti-skid tape and a captive 1/4-20 screw.
  5. #20
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    Location: Netherlands
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    Hi, would like to see the pics of your model.

    Cheers,
    Heinz
  6. #21
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    Heinz,

    I've made some minor changes but pictures taken three years ago are in the first message, top of the thread. By the way, ideal tripods for this setup are the Velbon Ultra Voxi L or Gitzo GT1550T, both very light weight but sturdy with this small load. Note the advantage of the Canon Powershot S120... each shot is bracketed around the exposure of that scene, eliminating the wide range of bracketing using manual mode with a DSLR.
  7. Sample Pano

    #22
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    A quick example made using this simple arrangement.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Cypress Tree on the Beaver Pond B.jpg
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Size:	154.0 KB
ID:	1064  
  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    Heinz,

    I've made some minor changes but pictures taken three years ago are in the first message, top of the thread. By the way, ideal tripods for this setup are the Velbon Ultra Voxi L or Gitzo GT1550T, both very light weight but sturdy with this small load. Note the advantage of the Canon Powershot S120... each shot is bracketed around the exposure of that scene, eliminating the wide range of bracketing using manual mode with a DSLR.
    Did you say you were using auto exposure with bracketing?

    Nick



    Fanotec
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  9. #24
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    Yes, auto exposure with subtle differences. First set the camera to Av (Aperture variable) mode and adjust aperture to f8. This fixes the aperture, ensures good sharpness and excellent depth of field. Next set bracketing to three shots, one properly exposed, one two stops under and one two stops over. Also set shooting such that all three shots are made when the shutter button is depressed. Bracketing will be accomplished now by automatically changing shutter speed only. Allow me to digress with the rationale on ISO setting. With shutter speeds as the only variable, the camera has a dynamic range of 12 stops - from 1 to 1/2500 second. We want to place the 'normal' exposure in the middle of this, at 1/50 second, to make maximum use of the dynamic range to fill in shadows and attenuate highlights. Set ISO as required to get about 1/50 second exposure on a representative scene, typically 100 to 200 on a sunny day, then set white balance for conditions. Next set manual focus for 10 feet, about the hyperfocal distance for a 24 mm equivalent lens, ensuring very good depth of field. Fixing focus also ensures the NPP will not move, and the scenes will all look the same to the stitcher. Finally set the self timer for a couple second delay to allow camera shake from the button push to damp out. So to recap, each of the individual shots will be optimized for that scene and will vary widely from sky to deep shadow. But each is captured optimally, plus the brackets high and low. On a typical outdoor panorama PTGui will show 20 to 25 different exposures ranging from 1/4 to 1/2000 second. The program will warn you not to expect the same good results as bracketing at identical exposures but the results are excellent. For low light situations you could use a wider aperture or run up the ISO...maximum for the Canon S120 is 6400. I haven't tried fully automated exposure where the camera varies both aperture and shutter speed but suspect this would work okay. It would provide a much wider dynamic range which I have not needed yet. Again the point of this is capturing very nice panoramas with a camera/pano head combination that will fit in your coat pocket.
    Last edited by aviator; 10-30-2013 at 07:49 PM.
  10. #25

    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    The program will warn you not to expect the same good results as bracketing at identical exposures but the results are excellent.
    Judging by the sample image you provided in the earlier post, the program is right. The image has a very unnatural look as a result of subverting the standard HDR process, so I would not agree that the results are excellent. But this is a subjective matter and not everybody is aiming for a naturalistic rendering. The results please you and that's the important thing; there's no arguing with that.

    John
  11. #26
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    John, Thanks for your comment. I should have qualified saying...excellent results for a palm-size solution. Note that I am still tinkering with settings on the just-released Canon S120, and would now turn off the Vivid color setting used in the example. 'My other car' is a Nikon D3/14-24/NN4RD16 setup and it does a better job with HDR using true bracketing.
  12. Pano Example for 'NN2.9'

    #27
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    Although not intended to compete with a heavy DSLR and full HDR, attached is today's panoramic example. The modified NN3, Canon S120 and Gitzo GT1550T combination weighs only 1615 grams complete and fits in a small nylon bag. The stitched photo comprises 24 images each bracketed plus/minus two stops. Dynamic range in this case was 9 stops and the closest object was 300 mm away. Of course results would improve with a lower contrast scene, such as indoors.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	deCordova Sculpture Park.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	1.26 MB
ID:	1081  
  13. #28
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    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
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    I can say that Nick does listen when a garage machinst creates something that the Pano community would be interested in.
    .
    I show Nick my ideas all the time (at least when I have spare time to create something new and/or interesting).
    .
    It took about a year of pestering to get him to finally make the Nadir adapter.
    .
    This pano head helped inspire the latest pano heads for small cameras. I used it for monopod panos when I wanted to swivel the camera up in order to handle lens flare.
    .

    .
    It is possible to go smaller and lighter, but I have started using a different rig.
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    We emailed back and forth with ideas. He finalized his design and released the final product to the public.
    .
    Keep making stuff and sharing it with Nick. Fanotec does in fact listen.
  14. #29
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    chances are you will see smaller models in 2014.
    :-)

    Nick



    Fanotec
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  15. #30
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    Posts: 37

    "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan."
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