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3. Nodal Ninja 3 Parts

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

Exploded view

NN3 - Exploded images by Rosauro Ona


Exploded view

NN3 MKII - Exploded images by Rosauro Ona



3.1. Upper Assembly

  • 1 - Upper Rotator Tightening Knob
  • 2 - 1/4 nut
  • 3 - Teflon Washer
  • 4 - Vertical Rail
  • 5 - Rubber Compression Washer
  • 5a - Upper Rotator Ring
  • 6 - Camera Mount Knob with plastic washer
  • 7 - Upper Rail with Rotator
  • 7a - Camera Plate
  • 7b - Rail Stops - screw types may vary
  • 7c - Upper Rotator Ring Hex Key
  • 8 - Square Plastic Washer

Note: The Camera Mounting Plate can be substituted for the square washer.



3.2. Lower Assembly

  • 9 - Rubber O ring and / or Retainer Washer
  • 10 - Vertical Rail Knob
  • 11 - Lower Rotator Friction Lock Screw

Note: NN3 MKII does not use this lock screw system.

  • 11a - Lower Rotator Tension Knob
  • 12 - Lower Rotator Friction Set Knob
  • 13 - 2 Teflon Washers

Note: Some units may only have 1 washer.

  • 14 - Lower Rail with Bubble Level
  • 14a - NN3 MKII Plastic Retainer Pins
  • 14b - NN3 MKII Lower Rotator Brass Screw
  • 15 - NN3 Reversible Brass Detent Ring

Note: NN3 uses dedicated detent rings - see store for available rings.

  • 15a - NN3 MKII Reversible Brass Detent Ring

Available detent rings for NN3 MKII:

  • 15/0 degree ring - number of stops = 24/0
  • 18/20 degree ring - number of stops = 20/18
  • 25.7/36 degree ring - number of stops = 14/10
  • 45/60 degree ring - number of stops = 8/6
  • 45/60 one side 90/120 reverse side
  • 51.4/72 degree ring - number of stops = 7/5
  • 90/120 degree ring - number of stops = 4/3
  • 16 - NN3 Lower Rotator
  • 16a - NN3 MKII Lower Rotator Base
  • 17 - 3/8" OD - 1/4" ID Adapter Screw
  • 17a - NN3 MKII ball bearing detent screw (factory set - do not adjust)
  • 18 - NN3 Detent Pin
  • 19 - NN3 Detent Spring
  • 20 - NN3 Detent Tension Hex Nut


3.3. Parts Specifications

The following specifications of dimension, weight loads, and other design information will help to determine if NN3 is compatible with your camera. We ask you to also review our website for an updated list of cameras that are compatible.

Max loading: approx 4 lbs (1800g) when mounting camera in portrait mode (vertical) on the upper rail. Some heavier cameras and lenses may require extra tightening and is not recommended.

External factors such as winds, unstable surfaces may reduce the stability of any tripod head.
We also recommend a quality tripod for better stability. Some inexpensive tripods have "wobble" in the neck and do not maintain good level when rotating the head.


3.3.1. Lower Rail Assembly

Overall dimensions of lower rail = 150mm x 35mm x 10mm (5 7/8" x 1 5/8" x 3/8").

Adjustment distances from the lower rotator center point to the upper vertical arm mounting point, minimum adjustment distance 25mm (1"), maximum distance 96mm (3 3/4"). Note the N3T30 and N3T20 T-adapter will increase the adjustment maximum distance to 127mm (5"). This would be the maximum distance from camera mount to nodal point (entrance pupil) of a particular lens.

The lower horizontal rail is used to slide the upper vertical assembly (when attached) into 1 of 2 needed no parallax points (NPP), depending on the camera and lens being used. The rail has a laser engraved scale marked in millimeters (1 mm intervals) denoting distance from the center of rotation. The grooves of the scale are filled with water resistant paint to increase clarity.

The lower rail assembly incorporates the "lower rotator assembly". A 1/4 inch non-threaded hole in the lower rail accommodates the lower rotator base assembly. The lower rotator assembly allows for 360 degree horizontal rotation. It is always suggested you rotate and shoot images in a clockwise manner. The rotator base is engraved with demarcations in 5 degree intervals, with longer tic marks at 15 degree intervals. Numerical values from 0 - 360 degrees are engraved in 30 degree intervals.

With NN3 you may need to tighten the rotator base to adjust the desired rotating tension. To set the tension, loosen the inner screw (shown below) using a coin or standard screwdriver, then hand tighten the knurled knob (with Nodal Ninja markings) to desired tension, then tighten inner screw to lock the tension.

Nodal Ninja rotator base

NN3 MKII does not require this adjustment.

The bubble level is used to level the Nodal Ninja by centering the bubble in the center ring. The bubble level is extremely sensitive - maybe too much so. It's difficult to obtain a true and exacting level, so some drift is likely. As long as the drift isn't excessive and stays within the center target ring, simply finding a happy medium with the potential drift is all that is necessary.

We discourage the use of multiple levels, as getting each to match to the other is / becomes very difficult.

Note: If you are using multiple levels in your setup (i.e. tripod level, Quick Release Plate level etc.), always rely on the Nodal Ninja level as the final level to sight and use.



3.3.2. Upper Rail Assembly

Overall dimensions of upper rail = 146mm x 35mm x 10mm (5 3/8" x 1 5/8" x 3/8").

Adjustment distances from the upper rotator center point to the upper rail camera mounting point, minimum adjustment distance 37mm (1 1/2"), maximum distance 117mm (4 1/2"). Note the N3T30 and N3T20 T-adapter will increase the adjustment maximum distance to 143mm (5 5/8"). This would be the maximum distance from camera mount to the NPP of a particular lens.

Also when using the N3T30 or N3T20 T-adapters, and if adjusted to the full out position, the upper rail assembly will not rotate to the full 90 degree position up, also known as the zenith.

The upper horizontal rail is used to slide the camera (when attached) into 2 of 2 needed NPP's, depending on the camera and lens being used. The rail has a laser engraved scale marked in millimeters (1 mm intervals). The grooves of the scale are filled with water resistant paint to increase clarity. The upper rail assembly incorporates the "upper rotator assembly". The upper rotator assembly allows for 180 degree vertical rotation. The rotator is engraved with demarcations in 5 degree intervals, with longer tic marks at 15 degree intervals, numerical values from 0 - 90 and 90 - 0 degrees on one side and -0 - -90 and -90 - -0 degrees on the other half, which are engraved in 30 degree intervals. These are handy marks when tilting the camera to do multirow panoramas and full spherical panoramas.


3.3.3. Nodal Ninja 3 MKII Starter Package

NN3 MKII Starter Package


3.3.4. Nodal Ninja 3 Package Contents



NN3 MKII Standard Package - What you get


Nodal Ninja Hard shelled case

Nodal Ninja 3 packed in the hard shelled case with suggested layout of parts.

Nodal Ninja 3 MKII Package

Nodal Ninja 3 MKII Package

The package generally comes with all of the above to include NN3 MKII, camera plate, all available detent rings, rail stops, hard case, quick reference guide and a little baggie with extra misc parts. It is important to note that package contents may vary. Resellers in various countries may also have different parts included with their package offers. Please check at time of purchase what is included with your package.

NN3 MKII NO ROTATOR is also available on website.

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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