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13. Frequently Asked Questions

Fanotec® Spherical Panoramic Tripod Head Nodal Ninja 3 & Nodal Ninja 3 MKII - Complete Manual

The following is a partial list of the most commonly asked questions - for more FAQ's, visit our website.


  • 1) Q. Do I need a level on the camera's shoe?
    A. No, you don't. You really only need one level - the one with NN3. Using multiple levels can be very complex and difficult.


  • 2) Q. How do I know if my lens will work on NN3?
    A. It's best to simply measure it. You will get full tilt up on wide angle zoom lenses that measure 105mm (4 1/8 inches) or less from the "entrance pupil" at the focal length used to the camera mounting threads. With the use of the N3T20 T-adapter, you will get an "additional" 40mm (1 1/2 inches) of length, however this may limit the ability to get a full 90 degree rotation up. These measurements are taken off the upper rail of NN3. Also, some larger fisheye lenses, like the FC-E9, will not fit.


  • 3) Q. What are the settings for the D70 with 10.5mm Nikkor Lens?
    A. 55mm on the lower rail and 80mm (camera mount) on the upper rail.
    Camera Settings


  • 4) Q. Is it okay to apply a bit of grease to the detent plates on NN3 for smoother rotation?
    A. Hmm, don't use grease UNLESS you DON'T want to change the detent plates, the grease could get everywhere! If you do use grease, ONLY use a very minimal amount. The detents will run smoother upon use. We enclose extra detent plunger pins with every NN3, should these pins eventually wear in time. Replacement of the detent plunger pin is very easy.
    Locate the hex screw under the horizontal turntable, use the enclosed hexagon key to unscrew it and replace the plunger. Be careful not to lose the detent plunger spring when replacing the pin.


  • 5) Q. Are the click stops positive and repeatable with good precision and can I adjust the tension?
    A. The click stop tension can be tightened to the desired strength giving you good precision.
    Simply use the tightening screw on the underside of the lower rotator. This screw tightens a little internal spring, causing more tension to the ball that drops into the detent plate. Do this in concert with properly adjusting the tension on the rotator base (see FAQ #6) as well. Both these adjustments together allow for greater customization.


  • 6) Q. regarding NN3 - I noticed loose tension and a slight wobble at the rotator base in my Nodal Ninja, is this normal?
    A. No, this is not normal. Occasionally, your Nodal Ninja 3 will need proper tightening. Once properly tightened, the unit should be both secure and should not unscrew if turned counterclockwise (we recommend always turning it clockwise).
    Here is the proper procedure (does not apply to NN3 MKII):
    a.) Loosen the knob with "Nodal Ninja" marking. Then loosen the silver lock screw on the knob. Once the knob is loosened, the silver lock screw is easy to loosen. You can loosen the screw with your finger, no tool needed.
    b.) Tighten knob until you achieve the desired rotation tension or friction. You can note the amount of friction by holding the base rotator and turning the lower arm around in a "clockwise manner", as this prevents unscrewing of the base unit until locked. It doesn't take much tightening at all.
    c.) Tighten the silver lock screw with your finger. Then "lock" the tension by securely tightening the knob. Double check the tension against the click stop feel and readjust as needed.
    d.) You may need to also adjust the spring tension of the detent pin. The adjustment is located on the underside of the lower base rotator. We've enclosed a hex key with each NN3. If the unit still has a tendency to unscrew, try placing an extra Teflon washer (included with each Nodal Ninja) under the rotator knob (with Nodal Ninja markings), and repeat the above steps. Proper tightening should enable you to find a friction point that you feel comfortable with. This is actually a customizable option.


  • 7) Q. Is there a scale (of degrees) that allows you to know how much you're tilting up/down? I see a scale but does that translate into degrees?
    A. Yes there are demarcations (little lines) in 5 degree increments.


  • 8) Q. How stable is this unit in the wind (assuming a good rigid tripod)?
    A. Just as stable as any other rig. Nodal Ninja being made of metal, assures a sturdy configuration. A good sturdy tripod is essential in windy environments. Some tripods have hooks under the neck to allow you to attach backpacks or other items of weight to add to the stability.


  • 9) Q. I'm not 100% clear on how many of the white Teflon washers should be used.
    A. Just keep all Teflon washers where they were originally placed. The Knurled knob that secures the vertical arm to the lower rail uses two Teflon washers. Please refer to the Nodal Ninja 3 Parts for proper location on other washers.

NN3 & NN3 MKII Complete Manual


Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Nodal Ninja Features
Chapter 3. Nodal Ninja 3 Parts + video tutorial
Chapter 4. Basic Assembly + video tutorial
Chapter 5. Removing and Replacing Detents + video tutorial
Chapter 6. NN3 MKII Detent Plunger Adjustment
Chapter 7. Removing and Replacing Detent Springs on NN3 only
Chapter 8. Changing the NN3 Rotator to NN3 MKII Rotator + video tutorial
Chapter 9. Mounting camera in landscape mode + video tutorial
Chapter 10. Cameras with off-axis tripod mounts and T-adapters + video tutorial
Chapter 11. About Parallax
Chapter 12. Finding the Entrance Pupil of a Lens
Chapter 13. Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter 14. Warranty
Chapter 15. Returns
Chapter 16. Copyright Information
Chapter 17. Contributors

Only buy from authorized resellers. If buying new from other than an authorized reseller, no warranties or product support are included.

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Nodal Ninja


Exclusive distributors of the Fanotec product line. Fanotec develops and manufactures exclusively products to meet the needs of the panoramic photographer. We offer products such as the award winning Nodal Ninja, the CNC machined Ultimate Line, Carbon Fiber Aerial Poles, Levelers, and many more related accessories. Many of these items may also be used for general photography as well.

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