Ulitmate M Series Pano Heads

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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosauro View Post
    I'll have to disagree. This is not the R1 series.

    This is the M1 with an upper arm that's suppose to be able to "shoot up"?
    Many NN3/5 users just shoot at 60 to 70 deg to close the zenith. Unlike R1/10, this is at the NPP.
    As I said, a Nadir Adapter will solve this probem.



    Nick



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  2. #47

    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    Right.
    But I would be more conservative in the % overlap. For about 25% overlap and a full frame camera, max focal length is 135mm in landscape orientation and 200mm in portrait orientation.
    To support longer focal length, a bigger and more fancy rotator is needed. I reserve it for M2 which will also serve as a gimbal arm for tele lenses.

    Nick
    Thanks...

    Will the M1 be upgradeable to the soon to be bigger and more fancy rotator?
  3. Some things I would do different than your pano head designs...

    #48

    First the assumption that few people shoot a straight up zenith is a very limiting assumption. For example: with a fisheye, if you shoot straight up, you get the whole sky and that can be a real good thing to do on windy, cloudy days.

    Here's some things I would change:
    1) I would make the bottom rail a vertical U (channel) beam instead of a horizontal I beam and make the pivot as small as possible and put the bottom rail on one side of the pivot -- in back of the pivot so to speak. This gives a much smaller foot print from the rotator.

    2) Like wise, I would make the vertical arm slide along the back side of the bottom rail. with the tilt rotator protruding forward and in the same plane as the rotator pivot. Vertical rail also a U beam fitted to the back of the top rotator. And the longer the vertical rail, the smaller the foot print. Make it ridiculously long or a two piece collapsing rail for transport. Think of the vertical rail as a proxy for a pole. Raising or lowering the vertical rail shouldn't have any affect on the NPP.

    3) The top rail would be also be a U beam and taper sharply at the end to fit the upper rotator. This to minimize the footprint of the upper rotator when using a very wide or full frame fisheye lens.

    4) I would emphasize the use of lens and adapter tube collars to mount cameras because they are more precise in alignment. Camera bottom plates are only precise when there is an extra pin to align the camera on the plate and usually only high end cameras have a hole for an extra alignment pin. Lower end cameras don't.

    Further, plates and quick release hardware only add complexity and weight. And I doubt that many people change lenses or cameras during a shoot enough to justify that extra complexity and weight. An allen screw with a big head is not so very difficult and much simpler and lighter. This is just my uninformed opinion.

    And all those nadir/zenith adapters and levelers could be replaced by a simple, sturdy ball head with an extra long neck on the part that moves around. And you get a much larger range of adjustment. 8 to 12 inches would be more than enough to let people flop the camera over and move the tripod for the nadir. And if you can shoot straight up, you don't need an adapter for the zenith.

    I'm talking about the NN/M series kind of pano head. Not the RX series pano head which serve different uses.

    Just my thoughts. I've said all this before.
  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbc597 View Post
    Thanks...

    Will the M1 be upgradeable to the soon to be bigger and more fancy rotator?
    Replacing the upper rotator and I call it M2. Oh, yes, M1 and 2 are just different by the upper rotators. Lower rotators, we have plenty. They are all M1 or M2.

    Nick

    PS some people show very high interest in the M2 offline. Here is some more info.
    M2 will co-exist with M1. It will be targeting people making high resolution mosaic using lenses >200mm eq. fl. It can also be used to make spherical panos. but it will have larger rotator foot prints. It is bigger, heavier and more expensive. The lower rotator will only have very fine intervals to support >200mm lens. Fisheye users will need to skip lots of stops. Well, one can use other rotators such as RD8/16 instead since it is completely modular.



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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDuck View Post
    First the assumption that few people shoot a straight up zenith is a very limiting assumption. For example: with a fisheye, if you shoot straight up, you get the whole sky and that can be a real good thing to do on windy, cloudy days.

    Here's some things I would change:
    1) I would make the bottom rail a vertical U (channel) beam instead of a horizontal I beam and make the pivot as small as possible and put the bottom rail on one side of the pivot -- in back of the pivot so to speak. This gives a much smaller foot print from the rotator.

    2) Like wise, I would make the vertical arm slide along the back side of the bottom rail. with the tilt rotator protruding forward and in the same plane as the rotator pivot. Vertical rail also a U beam fitted to the back of the top rotator. And the longer the vertical rail, the smaller the foot print. Make it ridiculously long or a two piece collapsing rail for transport. Think of the vertical rail as a proxy for a pole. Raising or lowering the vertical rail shouldn't have any affect on the NPP.

    3) The top rail would be also be a U beam and taper sharply at the end to fit the upper rotator. This to minimize the footprint of the upper rotator when using a very wide or full frame fisheye lens.

    4) I would emphasize the use of lens and adapter tube collars to mount cameras because they are more precise in alignment. Camera bottom plates are only precise when there is an extra pin to align the camera on the plate and usually only high end cameras have a hole for an extra alignment pin. Lower end cameras don't.

    Further, plates and quick release hardware only add complexity and weight. And I doubt that many people change lenses or cameras during a shoot enough to justify that extra complexity and weight. An allen screw with a big head is not so very difficult and much simpler and lighter. This is just my uninformed opinion.

    And all those nadir/zenith adapters and levelers could be replaced by a simple, sturdy ball head with an extra long neck on the part that moves around. And you get a much larger range of adjustment. 8 to 12 inches would be more than enough to let people flop the camera over and move the tripod for the nadir. And if you can shoot straight up, you don't need an adapter for the zenith.

    I'm talking about the NN/M series kind of pano head. Not the RX series pano head which serve different uses.

    Just my thoughts. I've said all this before.
    It seems that I need to find a time machine to take me back to the beginning 8 years ago. I need to re-read all my notes, web pages, emails etc to redefine my "Ultimate" concept. I have run all the wrong way in the past years!
    Please tell me where I can have a class on pano head design.

    Nick

    Ps finally, I got an ingenious idea. I will skip M1 and M2 and go back to M0, which should be the truely ultimate pano head to develop.
    http://www.philohome.com/tripod/shooting.htm
    Last edited by nick fan; 02-23-2011 at 12:57 PM.



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  6. #51

    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    hmm, what are the flaws? Please share them. You may save my company, my friend. :-)

    ok, there are 2 obvious ones.
    1. upper rail (210mm in photo) is too long and it will get too much into the image.
    I check the NPP database, a shorter rail (170mm) will be just fine. It will be the one which is shipped. Price is adjusted in the listing. Even with this rail, it can still be a problem for smaller fisheye like shaved Nikon 10.5mm. The QR clamp position at the end of upper rail can be adjusted slightly. It will be fine for most users who use similarly sized lenses.
    well, if a user need to use very differently sized (wide angle) lenses, it will need another rail. I know this is unacceptable for you.
    solution: one more clamp can be added under the upper rail QR clamp to slide it along the rail. Each rail has sockets for installing a stop plate at the middle. This will keep the function of integrated stop plate.

    2. the vertical head room is not enough for +90 deg zenith shots for some lenses. Right! but a "zenith" shot with smaller tilt angle is just fine. Lots of people do not take +90 deg zenith shot. Well, you can insist taking a perfect +90 deg zenith shot.
    Solution: we will have a nadir adapter very soon that will increase the head room by 30mm. I have checked my database. It should be fine for most lenses that one may want to use for spherical panos. If not enough, I can make a taller one. Nadir adapter proves to be a very helpful accessory. So it is designed to be part of the system. And it works much better than the one on NN3/5. The vertical rail is designed to work for super tele lenses >400mm fl, it is kept short to increase stability and reduce bulk.

    Are there other flaws that worth my recall of M1? You will win a demo unit by naming any flaw that I fail to consider during the past few years. :-)

    Any design has its pros and cons. The design I choose has greatest versatility and expandability.

    Nick
    You say that your shortest arm is 160mm
    Even with that one you will get the arm in the image when using Sigma 8mm on fullframe and with all shaved lenses.

    This means that you can not do 3 around. And that is with the shortest arm.
    I made a mockup for 160mm arm using the Tokina on the 5D.
    Tokina has a setting of 97mm so it will show much less than all the other lenses.


    The knob at the bottom corner will also be a problem for those who for some reasons want to use it with the arm to the left.

    Here is the Nikkor 10.5mm with same arm length.


    As far as I can see the max height with the versions you now have is 15cm over the bottom rail.
    One of them has only 14cm and because of the knob at the end you can not even shoot a 90 degree zenith with the Tokina.


    Much worse if you want to use the very good Nikkor 14-24mm on a D700 you will need the 200mm rail as it needs 134mm.
    I have no problems with that on the NN5 but unless you have a vertical arm with minimum 18 cm height you can not shoot 90 degrees, actually after my tests it may be that 76 is the max at least on the versions with 15cm height.

    And if you at the same time wants to use a 15-16mm fullframe fisheye you will need also a shorter arm for that as it appears in the image.

    There are several lenses also for the Canon with settings from 118 - 140mm.

    Michel has just published an article for using the 14mm with 6 around and 2 zenith.
    This needs you to shoot the 2 zenith at 0 and 90 degrees.
    Here is what happens if you can not shoot at 90.


    My 12-24mm has the same options and you also have the new Sigma 8-16mm for APS. From the images I will guess that it needs around 100-105mm so you can not shoot zenith on any of the versions you have now. The new Canon 8-15mm will probably be the same.

    When I buy a panohead at this price, ( the cheapest one is almost the same as the Adjuste and is not cheap) I want to be able to use it for all options without the need of different extra arms or ringmounts for some of my lenses.

    And then we have the options for the clickstops on the spherical arm. 7.5mm is only a 135mm on an APS., and the RD16 rotator has clicks for doing up to 180mm.
    There are also many lenses where I need to set the settings more precise. For my 15mm I need it at -10 to get full coverage down. This is important for shooting in very narrow areas like between the benches in churches . Even if I can shoot very precise Nadirs by my method it is difficult under this conditions and you need to get as small nadir hole as possible.

    The fact that you can not disable the click stops and just slide it with exact tension is enough for me to skip this head.
    I need that to shoot multirow from hights above my reach.

    And at last you done the same error as almost all others with the scale for the spherical arm. A scale like this should always be white with black numbers.
    White on Black is unreadable even in normal room light,

    White can be set even in the darkest environments.


    At last the lack of centre point for the rotator is very annoying.

    I do not understand why you make all these different options.

    1 single panohead with a height of 18-20 cm and with a 200mm arm that is adjustable in both ends would be perfect for all lenses
    Weight will not be much different. Maybe it ads 50gr to the smallest version.

    And production will be much cheaper and people will not need to try figure out what to buy and then discover that it can not be used when they change camera or lens.

    During the last 5-6 years I got many mails from people who have either bought or wants to buy the RealRight stuff
    I have usually warned them and sent them to NodalNinja but now you have just copied their bad design.

    Hans
    Last edited by hansnyberg; 02-23-2011 at 04:20 PM.
  7. #52

    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    It seems that I need to find a time machine to take me back to the beginning 8 years ago. I need to re-read all my notes, web pages, emails etc to redefine my "Ultimate" concept. I have run all the wrong way in the past years!
    Please tell me where I can have a class on pano head design.

    Nick

    Ps finally, I got an ingenious idea. I will skip M1 and M2 and go back to M0, which should be the truely ultimate pano head to develop.
    http://www.philohome.com/tripod/shooting.htm
    We only tell you our ideas because we like you and owe you a lot for making panoramic photography easier and more accessible to the average person.
  8. #53

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDuck View Post
    We only tell you our ideas because we like you and owe you a lot for making panoramic photography easier and more accessible to the average person.
    Customer input is invaluable for product refinement and success. I don't know of any other company that has adpoted so many changes based off continued input from end users. Keep the suggestions coming :-)

    Bill
  9. #54
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    One potentially disastified customer (who does not actually have the product in his hans) does not a reputation make.

    You cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time. If you try, you will not please anybody.

    Keep doing what you are doing.

    "Don't let the turkeys get you down".
    http://www.zazzle.com/dont_let_the_t...31208751865746
  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDuck View Post
    We only tell you our ideas because we like you and owe you a lot for making panoramic photography easier and more accessible to the average person.
    Over the years, I have heard so many requests, suggestions and design ideas. Honestly speaking, there are just a few ways to make a pano head. There is hardly any design that has not been suggested or considered.

    There is one thing that I will never handle to others, that is the judgment of what is great.

    Product development is a business adventure, a gamble using real money from my pockets. Really, I don't like people to tell me what to bet.

    The Modular Series is a system for high end photographers. Like other Arca Swiss compatible system, its value lies in its versatility and multifunction. One can use it in so many ways only limited by one's creativity. Panoramic photography is just part of its function.

    There are many great systems out there. What is special for our system is that it is optimized for panoramic photographers, created by a company that specialized in pano head design and manufacturing. There will a few models of pano heads all sharing the same (some of) rails or rotators. It has taken me many years to finalize the design because it has a huge number of components which need to be compatible with future models.


    Nick
    Last edited by nick fan; 02-23-2011 at 09:25 PM.
  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by hansnyberg View Post
    You say that your shortest arm is 160mm
    Even with that one you will get the arm in the image when using Sigma 8mm on fullframe and with all shaved lenses.

    This means that you can not do 3 around. And that is with the shortest arm.
    I am afraid the majority do not take 3 shots around.
    As I said, you only need to add one more QR clamp to solve the issue completely. Mind you the QR clamp is 55mm long. It will cause a bigger rotator footprint than NN3/5.



    The knob at the bottom corner will also be a problem for those who for some reasons want to use it with the arm to the left.
    The QR for vertical rail is for set up purpose. It is not used for NPP adjustment. I can't understand why it is a problem.



    As far as I can see the max height with the versions you now have is 15cm over the bottom rail.
    One of them has only 14cm and because of the knob at the end you can not even shoot a 90 degree zenith with the Tokina.

    Much worse if you want to use the very good Nikkor 14-24mm on a D700 you will need the 200mm rail as it needs 134mm.
    I have no problems with that on the NN5 but unless you have a vertical arm with minimum 18 cm height you can not shoot 90 degrees, actually after my tests it may be that 76 is the max at least on the versions with 15cm height.
    A Nadir Adapter will solve the issue completely. Lots of customers will find it a godsend to use. It will be a unique selling point in our system.



    When I buy a panohead at this price, ( the cheapest one is almost the same as the Adjuste and is not cheap) I want to be able to use it for all options without the need of different extra arms or ringmounts for some of my lenses.
    Our M series is a versatile photographic support system that serves as a pano head. The Adjuste is a pano head only. We have 7.5 deg upper rotator with smaller footprint. Complete QR system to set up/ break down quickly. Adjust NPP and use multiple lenses and focal lengths on the fly with possibility of integrated rail stops to pre-set multiple NPPs.



    And then we have the options for the click-stops on the spherical arm. 7.5mm is only a 135mm on an APS., and the RD16 rotator has clicks for doing up to 180mm.
    Sounds a big issue to leave the 3.75deg click stop alone for you? It can still be used for ObjectVR and 3D panos where much denser interval is needed to reduce parallax in stitching each stereo pair.



    There are also many lenses where I need to set the settings more precise. For my 15mm I need it at -10 to get full coverage down. This is important for shooting in very narrow areas like between the benches in churches . Even if I can shoot very precise Nadirs by my method it is difficult under this conditions and you need to get as small nadir hole as possible.
    How different is -10 deg compared to -7.5 and -15?



    The fact that you can not disable the click stops and just slide it with exact tension is enough for me to skip this head.
    I need that to shoot multirow from hights above my reach.
    what is the scenario that a NN5 will do better for you here?



    And at last you done the same error as almost all others with the scale for the spherical arm. A scale like this should always be white with black numbers.
    White on Black is unreadable even in normal room light,

    White can be set even in the darkest environments.
    It is more costly to make a black scale on white. Honestly, I think an small LED is a better solution. The 7.5 deg stops have clicks. One should be easy to judge the angles from the number of clicks easily.



    At last the lack of centre point for the rotator is very annoying.
    what is that? for lower rotator? The extra precision will offer easier way of placing the camera at proper lower rail position.



    I do not understand why you make all these different options.

    1 single panohead with a height of 18-20 cm and with a 200mm arm that is adjustable in both ends would be perfect for all lenses
    Weight will not be much different. Maybe it ads 50gr to the smallest version.
    It has to do with features in M2 and partly a cosmetic concern. i just like this cleaner design with Nadir Adapter Add-on.



    people will not need to try figure out what to buy and then discover that it can not be used when they change camera or lens.
    You can always buy the largest M1L and one more QR clamp to have widest compatibility. But why do you want to speak for others regarding their choice for a favorite config?



    During the last 5-6 years I got many mails from people who have either bought or wants to buy the RealRight stuff
    I have usually warned them and sent them to NodalNinja but now you have just copied their bad design.
    Reallyrightstuff is a very versatile system and very popular among professional photographers in general. It is less popular as a pano head due to lack of click-stop rotators or oversight of needs of spherical panoramic photographers. The rail is not a problem. They have other rails and QR clamps that will solve the issue.

    I must emphasize that it is not my aim to make a product to serve 100% of customers. I want products optimized for a group (significantly big) of customers. You may not like that. But this has been the FANOTEC way for years.

    Last but not least, I don't care for those who potentially dislike my products. I care for those who might like and buy my products.




    Nick
    Last edited by nick fan; 02-23-2011 at 09:20 PM.



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  12. #57

    I said:

    "As far as I can see the max height with the versions you now have is 15cm over the bottom rail.
    One of them has only 14cm and because of the knob at the end you can not even shoot a 90 degree zenith with the Tokina.

    Much worse if you want to use the very good Nikkor 14-24mm on a D700 you will need the 200mm rail as it needs 134mm.
    I have no problems with that on the NN5 but unless you have a vertical arm with minimum 18 cm height you can not shoot 90 degrees, actually after my tests it may be that 76 is the max at least on the versions with 15cm height."


    And you answered:

    "A Nadir Adapter will solve the issue completely. Lots of customers will find it a godsend to use. It will be a unique selling point in our system."

    Really Nick what has the nadir adapter to do with the fact that you can not shoot a full 90 degree zenith.
    Nick you should be a politican. Your answer exactly like they do.

    Most of your other answers are the same going around the problem without solving them.

    Hans
  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by hansnyberg View Post
    I said:

    "As far as I can see the max height with the versions you now have is 15cm over the bottom rail.
    One of them has only 14cm and because of the knob at the end you can not even shoot a 90 degree zenith with the Tokina.

    Much worse if you want to use the very good Nikkor 14-24mm on a D700 you will need the 200mm rail as it needs 134mm.
    I have no problems with that on the NN5 but unless you have a vertical arm with minimum 18 cm height you can not shoot 90 degrees, actually after my tests it may be that 76 is the max at least on the versions with 15cm height."


    And you answered:

    "A Nadir Adapter will solve the issue completely. Lots of customers will find it a godsend to use. It will be a unique selling point in our system."

    Really Nick what has the nadir adapter to do with the fact that you can not shoot a full 90 degree zenith.
    Hans, have you seen our nadir adapter for NN3/5?

    Although the nadir adapter for M1 is very different in design, it has one thing in common, that is they act as spacer raising up the vertical rail. So I can change the thickness of the nadir adapter to change the vertical head room. One thing we agree is a 180mm headroom is just enough. And that can be achieved by using a nadir adapter with thickness of 30mm. Should I use 180mm head room in the first place, the vertical rail assembly will be less stable after adding the nadir adapter and far too bulky. Needless to say that the vertical rail will be less fit for people using >400mm lenses.

    BTW, I am sincerely waiting for your answers to my questions.

    There are also many lenses where I need to set the settings more precise. For my 15mm I need it at -10 to get full coverage down. This is important for shooting in very narrow areas like between the benches in churches . Even if I can shoot very precise Nadirs by my method it is difficult under this conditions and you need to get as small nadir hole as possible.
    How different is -10 deg compared to -7.5 and -15?



    The fact that you can not disable the click stops and just slide it with exact tension is enough for me to skip this head.
    I need that to shoot multirow from hights above my reach.
    what is the scenario that a NN5 will do better for you here?

    Nick
    Last edited by nick fan; 02-25-2011 at 07:02 AM.



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  14. #59
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    Nick,

    about the vertical rail height discussion: D3 NN5 without Nadir Adapter: The only nikkor lens that made problems to shoot at +90º is the 24-70mm/f2.8. Zoom settings @24 URS 147, @28 URS142, and @35 URS133 stop at the side of the lower rail.

    With the Nadir Adapter even the setting @ 24 leaves 2mm between the viewfinder and the lower rail while turning the camera into the +90º position.

    No problems at all with 14-24.

    I myself, besides a lot of other customers will use the NN nadir adapter instead of standing in the street like a ballet dancer to prevent my tripod from moving away or falling down. Plus the time to reset the tripod legs and the upper rail to shoot a Nadir in a much more difficult way.

    Because the Nadir Adapter adds height to the vertical rail, it has to be considered in the overall design. Simple as that.

    Regards,
    Heinz
    Last edited by hindenhaag; 02-24-2011 at 03:48 AM.
  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by hindenhaag View Post
    Nick,

    about the vertical rail height discussion: D3 NN5 without Nadir Adapter: The only nikkor lens that made problems to shoot at +90º is the 24-70mm/f2.8. Zoom settings @24 URS 147, @28 URS142, and @35 URS133 stop at the side of the lower rail.

    With the Nadir Adapter even the setting @ 24 leaves 2mm between the viewfinder and the lower rail while turning the camera into the +90º position.

    No problems at all with 14-24.

    I myself, besides a lot of other customers will use the NN nadir adapter instead of standing in the street like a ballet dancer to prevent my tripod from moving away or falling down. Plus the time to reset the tripod legs and the upper rail to shoot a Nadir in a much more difficult way.

    Because the Nadir Adapter adds height to the vertical rail, it has to be considered in the overall design. Simple as that.

    Regards,
    Heinz
    Hi Heinz,

    Thanks a lot for the data. It is very helpful. I think I will leave out this beast for the regular nadir adapter and only make a few extra tall ones for those who decide to use this huge and heavy lens for spherical panos.
    The Modular Series is CNC machined one by one. We have more flexibility for tailor-made accessories.

    Nick



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