Advanced Rotators

Nodal Ninja - RD3L

EZ-Leveler II with Built in D3 Rotator

Rotator D3L (RD3L) is a state of the art design from Fanotec. It combines a precision rotator and EZ-Leveler II into one lightweight and compact package. The rotator has 3 detent options which can be changed in less than 3 seconds by simply flipping detent switches. The built-in EZ-Leveler II allows easy and smooth level adjustment. Its shape helps to minimize the nadir footprint when taking spherical panoramas. Its "Head Alignment Knob" allows a pano head with an indexed rotator to point in any direction without moving the tripod. Alternatively, it allows aligning of EZ-L II edges to the tripod legs to minimize the nadir footprint.

Package Contents of Rotator D3L

Rotator D3L
Spare Parts Qty
3/8" to 1/4" adapter 1


Rotator D3L

Installing Nodal Ninja 3/4/5 and Ultimate M1/2 on RD3L

Rotator D3L
For NN3, remove brass collar (if any) installed on the lower rail. Align and place the anti-twist plate on RD3L.
For NN4/5 and M1/2, install the custom anti-twist screws on the lower rail or QRC-55/65 quick release clamp.

Rotator D3L
Align the anti-twist plate/ sockets and place the lower rail or QRC-55/65 on RD3L. Install and tighten the M6 mounting screw using a 4mm hex key. For NN3/4/5, install the logo cap on the mounting screw. Now the Nodal Ninja with RD3L is ready for use.

Mounting Nodal Ninja with RD3L and its Level Adjustment

Rotator D3L
Install the 3/8" to 1/4" adapter if the tripod has a 1/4" thread. If tripod top plate has bare metal surface, consider adding a friction material to prevent loosening and/or scratching the base of RD3L. An optional cork sheet is available from Fanotec.

Rotator D3L
Place the tripod legs in their preferred positions. Unlock the level locks. Turn the rollers to roughly the middle of their full adjustment range. Tighten the "Head Alignment Knob" (HA Knob) of RD3L to the base. Tighten RD3L to tripod while holding the knob with fingers.

Rotator D3L
Set up the Nodal Ninja. Mount the camera. Then roughly level (bubble inside or on the circle line) it by adjusting the length of tripod legs. This prevents the leveler from going out of adjustment range.

Rotator D3L
Stand in a position so that 2 rollers (1 and 2) are horizontal in front of you. Look at the bubble from vertically above. Adjust the horizontal rollers to center the bubble horizontally.

Rotator D3L
Adjust roller 3 to center the bubble vertically. If this fails due to poor initial leveling, adjust rollers 1 and 2 simultaneously till the bubble is centered horizontally and vertically.

Rotator D3L
Confirm the accuracy of reading by ensuring the bubble is centered horizontally when viewed from the top front/back as well as from the top left/right. If not, re-adjust roller(s) to center the bubble. Lock the level locks to prevent accidental change of level. Do NOT change the level for remaining shots in the same pano sequence.

Top .:. Bottom

Using Detent Switches

Rotator D3L
Turn on/off a detent option by flipping the switch to the left/right respectively. To use a detent option, turn on its switch and turn off the others. More detent options are available by skipping one or two click stops. When transporting the tripod with Nodal Ninja RD3L mounted, rotate the RD3L to 0 degrees and turn on all the detents witches to enable stronger resistance to rotation.

Using the Head Alignment Knob (HA Knob)

In panoramic photography, one may want to include a specific view into a single image to reduce stitching errors. One may also want to set a specific viewpoint as the initial displayed view, instead of in post processing. This can be achieved by moving the tripod legs. Some situations may require the tripod legs be placed in specific positions, e.g., in very crowded places. The detent in RD3L may hinder rotation to the preferred angle. The HA Knob will allow the camera to point in any direction. Alternatively, it allows RD3L to align its edges to the tripod legs to minimize the nadir footprint.

Rotator D3L
To Align Camera Viewpoint
Set up RD3L on tripod as described previously. Loosen RD3L a bit to help loosen HA Knob. Gradually loosen HA Knob while tightening RD3L, until the camera is about to point at the desired direction. Tighten RD3L fully.

Rotator D3L
To Minimize Nadir Footprint
Set up RD3L on tripod as described previously. Loosen RD3L a bit to help loosen HA Knob. Gradually loosen HA Knob while tightening RD3L, until its edges are about to align with the tripod legs. Then tighten RD3L fully.

Note About Maximum Loading and Off-Axis Loading

Rotator D3L
EZ-L II in RD3L is designed to support 10kg (22 lb) vertical compressive loading, a typical loading type for equipment to be mounted on RD3L. For equipment with center of gravity far away from the mounting point, the load rating is reduced due to the much amplified bending torque. This is the case for long lenses and Nodal Ninja with nadir adapter in the swung out position. We recommend maximum loading of 1.5kg (3.3lb) using a nadir adapter on RD3L. There may be a slight lifting of level on the opposite side of load.

Nodal Ninja Quick Reference Guides

Nodal Ninja Anti-Twisting Camera Mounting Plate
fr - Plaque d'attache rapide anti-rotation Nodal Ninja + video tutorial
Camera Plates with Anti-twisting Flange
Camera Plate C2
Specification for Fanotec Arca Style Camera Plates
Quick Release System Mounting Instructions
fr - Manuel de la plaque de montage rapide QRS2
Nadir Adapter for NN3, NN4 and NN5
EZ-Leveler II + video tutorial
Rotator Foot Plate for Poles
Replacing Upper Rotator Knob For Nodal Ninja Ultimate M1
fr - Remplacement de la molette supérieure de la rotule Nodal Ninja Ultimate M1

Advanced Rotators
Nodal Ninja - RD8 + video tutorial
Nodal Ninja - RD16 + video tutorial
Nodal Ninja - RD3L + video tutorial
Rotator Mini

Nodal Ninja SPH-2
Nodal Ninja SPH-1

Fanotec Pole Series
Using Pole Series 1 and the Extension Unit
Using Pole Series 2 Upper and Lower Unit
Tripod Adapter (Type A) for Pole Series 1 and Series 2
Tripod Adapter (Type B) for Pole Series 1 and Series 2

Lens Ring Mounts
Lens Ring Component Build Chart

M1 Ultimate Series
Nodal Ninja Ultimate M1
Nodal Ninja Ultimate M1 - L/S
M1-S Ultimate Series
Nadir Adapter on M1L
fr - Guide d'installation de l'Adapteur Nadir pour Ultimate Modular M1-L

M2 Ultimate Series
Nodal Ninja Ultimate M2 Gimbal Pano Head With Rotator D8II or D16II

NN 180
Nodal Ninja 180 w/RD4 + video tutorial

NN3 Series
Nodal Ninja 3 MKII
Nodal Ninja 3 MKII w/RD3L + video tutorial
Nodal Ninja 3 MKII w/RD8 + video tutorial
Nodal Ninja 3 MKII w/RD12
Nodal Ninja 3 MKII w/RD16 + video tutorial

NN4 Series
Nodal Ninja 4
Nodal Ninja 4 w/RD8
Nodal Ninja 4 w/RD16 + video tutorial

NN5 Series
Nodal Ninja 5 + 5L
Nodal Ninja 5 w/RD8 + video tutorial
Nodal Ninja 5 w/RD12
Nodal Ninja 5 w/RD16 + video tutorial

Nodal Ninja Ultimate R1 - Ring Mount Pano Head
fr - Nodal Ninja Ultimate R1 - Tête pano avec anneau
GTP with R10 (Google Trusted Photographers)
GTP R10 Package for Sigma 8mm f/3.5 for Canon
GTP R10 Package for Sigma 8mm f/3.5 for Nikon
GTP R10 Package for Canon EF 8-15mm
Lens Ring for Sigma 8mm Fisheye Canon Mount
Lens Ring for Sigma 8mm Fisheye Nikon Mount
Lens Ring for Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM
R1 NPP for Sigma 8mm F3.5 Canon and Nikon
R10 NPP for Sigma 8mm F3.5 Canon and Nikon

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



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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NN3 MKII NN4 M1 R1 Poles EZ-Leveler II

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