I'm new to panoramic shootings (with proper equipment), and I thought I'd get my hands dirty and join the club..
Top on the list is probably a NN3 (mainly budget restrictions).
I'm using a 550D, with grip and 10-22mm currently. I intend to upgrade to a fullframe/a 8mm FE, sigma or maybe canon's, but not within the year, maybe next year. I'm not sure if the NN3 supports my current equipment with grip, but I think I can lose it, so no issues there. Was asking a guy on a local forum and he says he still uses the NN3 with his 5Dmkii/iii, so.. I don't know..
Let's just say the NN3 fits my usages:
I'm keen on the ez-leveller2, it seems, well. useful..
so many combinations:
NN3 + NN3 w/RD3L 6-8-10? - most likely option?
NN3 + RD16?
NN3 + RD16 + ezleveller? - expensive option
NN4 + etc..
It is not so easy to give an advice because the decision depends on several personal future decisions and development in your interest in panoramaphotography.
Your choice would have been my personal advice to you. I just had checked some details about your equipment this morning to answer you concerning weight and the upper rail settings of your lens. This determines the length of the upper rail you need and that is different in NN3 and NN4. NN3 is shorter. The total weight can influence the decision as well. The NN3 uses the grip of plastic washers in the upper rotator to keep the equipment on upper rail in place. If it is too heavy it might slide down. NN4 has one of the new generation rotators of Fanotec like M1 as well. To keep heavier weights in place, these rotators use a "finger moves in gap" principle instead of plastic washers grip. The rails are longer than those of NN3.
RD16 gives you a lot of varieties of settings and in case you once change to M1 you can go on using it. A lot of friends use the tripod legs to level, but I prefer to use EZ-Leveller II to re level for the Nadir2 shot.
I use PTGui Pro which you can download as a trial version.
Mount your camera. Use f22 or what ever is possible with your lens at zoom 10 for example. Pitch down upper rail to -15°. Focus manually to the corner of the rotator. Then take your shots around. Import to PTGui. Align. Go to >advanced, >optimizer, use heavy and lens shift and optimize. In the tab list on top you find Control Points, > del worst control points. Go to create panorama, use file format Quick Time VR .mov and create the panorama. Check that "Panorama Settings" in advanced mode "equirectangular" is set to 360° x 180° before you create the panorama.
Open in quicktime, move down to Nadir. The rotator should be round without teeth cutting to the left or to the right. If teeth cut to the left, move the camera mm by mm to the left on lower rail. In case it cuts to the right, move to the right. Once you found your position, move 1mm to the right and left taking shots around and stitch etc. Let's say it is 50mm, 51mm set up should cut to the left, 49 mm to the right.
In advance, you have to measure H1 of your camera body explained in Entrance Pupil Database - link is in the list you see below - and add 13mm for NN offset of Camera Plate to Vertical Rail Reference Point. This is your LRS = Lower Rail Starting Point.
Then measure L1 of your camera. Use something stiff, place it across both sides the lens flange of the camerabody from top to bottom and let it stand out beyond the camera bodies bottom. Now you can measure the distance L1 of your camera. Add L2 out of the list and use this as starting point for NPP URS = upper rail setting.
Hope it helps as quick advice in between to get you on the road. In case you are not sure you can send the set of pics with www.ge.tt.
Feel free to ask.
BTW: I should remove the grip. Gives you higher torque to the system. In case you need the extra batteries take them with you apart from the grip in case you run out of power. To get slow times to write to memory card taking the pics for example several bracketing shots, use the quickest card you can get and afford. Best is 90mb/sec. It also will reduce your back up time to PC as well.
Last edited by hindenhaag; 08-08-2012 at 08:55 AM.