www.nodalninja.com since 2004

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11 testimonials


Aaron P.  → M2 Giga w/RD8-II
M2 Giga - Total game changer.
Terry A 
Still have my sph2 but use my NN3 M2 now, I wrote to Nick about automation back when I first had it, but he had far too much on his plate, developing the Nodal Ninja systems we know today. Good to see that he has managed to follow through, and incorporate automation into his systems. - Terry A
Dave M. 
5 Stars - The M2 Giga is an excellent pano head for heavy cameras and larger telephotos. I bought it to shoot cylindrical and flat panos using focal lengths beginning at 35mm. When you mount a lens around 100mm or more, the features of the M2 really begin to stand out, including that it’s rock solid. For instance, with a 200mm lens mounted on a full frame Canon, I elevate 7.5 degrees and rotate 5 degrees, moves that are positive and easy with this head. I think the M2 is faster and easier to use than a robotic head, but I’m assuming the photog in question already has pano experience. For example, to shoot a flat pano that covers, say 120 degrees FOV, looking at the viewfinder, I figure out what exposure I should use by moving to different parts of the scene to double check my exposure estimations (easy and fast with a manual head). I then move the camera to the left, right, top, and bottom to figure out what the limits are for this picture–moves that are also fast and direct with a manual head. After focusing, depending on the DOF of the lens that’s being used, I set the scale on the rotator to 0 for left-most rotator position (this is a great feature of the M2 head). That way I only have to remember one number at my far-right stop point. Depending on the pano head you’re currently using, you may have to convert the A and B distances for this head, since the scales don’t start at 0, as they do with the NN3 or NN5. Here’s a specific example that might help. On a NN5, the correct settings for a Canon 5DS with a 24-105 lens at 105 would be: A = 58, B = 66.5. The values for the same camera and lens on the M2 Giga would be A = 128, B = 96.5. For my setup, I add 70 to convert A from NN5 to M2 Giga and add 30 to the NN5 B distance for the M2 setting (I have the upper rail of the M2 starting at the 30mm mark on the scale). Here’s an example of a 1.5 gigapixel pano taken with this head, Canon 5DS, 200mm. The panorama will auto play for a bit over 3 minutes. Furthermore, this was shot on a cloudy winter day–the subject is the new arena where the Detroit Red Wings & Pistons play and downtown Detroit. I don’t work for Nodal Ninja and would not recommend anything if I didn’t think it was good, even if I had been foolish enough to buy it. http://bigdogpanos.com/html/mtroof013018B-10.html Here’s another auto play but taken with a 105mm: http://themasonic.com/evgal_arena.php - Dave M.
NN3 pano head NN5 M2 Giga
2 Stars - Nodal Ninja Ultimate M2 Panoramic Head With RD8-II Rotator. I have one problem with this head. The literature implies there are stops on both top and bottom rotators to set minimum and maximum rotation...ie 60 degrees or 90 degrees. There are no Stops, just indicators. This is a misrepresentation in my opinion. That said, the head is solid and well machined. Very usable, but be aware that there are no physical stops on the rotators. For their misrepresentation, I give Nodal Ninja only two stars.

Admin note: We apologize for the misinterpretation. When we say "click" stops our intention is not to imply "physical" stops. Also there are no stops on upper rotator which is stated on our website. You purchased from B&H which many times will shorten a product description leaving out valuable information to consumer. A quick call or email followup and we would have helped to you to better understand the product. And all pano heads come with a 30 day return policy.

pano head M2 RD8-II
Review provided by adorama.com 
5 stars - Excellent professional level product. This is a well thought-out product manufactured to high standards - fit and finish are excellent. It comes with extra screws and bits and pieces and the manufacturer backs their product well. The M2 with either this rotator or the other one (that offers more increments if you are doing portrait oriented work or long lens work) is a work-horse. - Review provided by adorama.com
5 stars - NN M2 NO Rotator - Just Right For My Needs By rlstoz VERIFIED BUYER. The Ultimate M2 is a beautifully crafted piece of equipment and it's a joy to use. After shooting more than 100 panos and mosaics with this rig, under a variety of conditions, I am confident this is the right tool for my needs. Those needs mostly include shooting mosaics, using my best mid focal length lenses, to produce hi-res images suitable for large prints. The M2 makes that about as easy as possible. I bought the head without the RD8-II rotator because I wanted to use the RD16-II rotator instead. The RD16-II is better suited to the focal lengths I use. Shooting very long focal lengths to produce ultra hi-res images is not something I do often. I mostly use this rig for shooting mosaics using lenses in the 24mm to 100mm (EFL) range. These mosaics range from 4 shots up to 72 shots resulting in wide to ultra-wide images after stitching. Most of them stitch without problems in the most recent version of Lightroom - no need for dedicated pano software. This rig requires a solid tripod and it's quite heavy so it is not very portable (I use a much smaller pano head and tripod for the backcountry) but, once set up, it makes panos and mosaics easy to shoot. I chose the M2 specifically because it is very precise and, coupled with the rotator, allows me to shoot multi-shot images with a minimum of effort. Every adjustment on the M2 is precise and very solid. It is manufactured to extremely high standards. It is more than adequate in every way. If you are new to multi-shot panos and mosaics consider that to really take advantage of this rig you will need to make quite detailed setup notes specific to your equipment and situation. This takes more than a little time. You will need to note at least three positions on the scales of the M2 for each camera/lens combination. For zooms lenses you may want more details. If you are not willing to take the time to make and use accurate setup notes you will not gain much/any benefit from this head!
pano head M2
5 stars - NN M2 w/ RD8-II Rotator - Best design at this time By Brock. I have worked with the Really Right Stuff panorama gear and the Nodal Ninja provides more functionality and at a lower total cost. In particular the ability to set the degrees of rotation and have a click mechanism is what sets it apart. I do not need to try to find 2.5 degree increments on a scale but can instead rely on the click to tell me when to take the next shot. This saves a lot of time and makes it easier to shoot in low light settings as well. The start and end tabs of the rotators also make it easy to have multi-row shots start and end at the same place. This is a well thought out piece of equipment by people who actually shoot panoramics. Lots of refinements that are not found on other pano setups that are in this price range. A small thing perhaps but I like that they provide a very good storage case for all the parts. With Really Right Stuff I had to buy a third part neoprene case that was expensive and not all that well designed for actual use in the field.
Rob O. USA 
I am in the BFA Photography program at the University of Nevada, Reno and have been documenting the Truckee Meadows through large panoramic images for the past two and a half years. My NN5 has been a workhorse. I decided to keep it as a backup for my latest purchase, the M1 (soon to become an M2). Rob rocks: Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi. - Rob O. USA
Thomas B. Austria 
Extensive gear testing last week: Nodal Ninja M2 panorama head. 1st impression: super precise. built like a tank. manual gigapixeling at it's best! - Thomas B. Austria
Michel Thoby 
Using the M1L to M2 Upgrade kit Product: M1L to M2 upgrade with 65mm QRC (F8112) Posted By: Michel Thoby - As expected and due the accuracy and stiffness required by the smallish 2 degrees minimum intervals, the R8-II rotator drum has quite a hefty diameter. The subsequent problem is then to find a new arrangement inside the FANOTEC case that is just roomy enough to accommodate the new "bigger baby". A 55 mm Arca-Swiss clamp seems sturdy enough to hold the horizontal arm while the 60 mm clamp would probably be better. I might have preferred to find real mechanical stops instead of simple "indicators" for the starting and ending positions although the present system works as expected... except if the Advanced Rotator Handle is put in the lowest of the threaded holes on the R8-II cylinder where it then interferes with the indicator tiny blue teeth and thus screws-up all the angular pre-settings! The new upper rotator is IMO just perfect even when it is deprived of the (optional) positive stops. The ability to adjust the rotation friction is amazing and the user can feel plainly how the control on the elevation angle adjustment is both smooth and accurate. All the new components of the upgrade kit are easy to install to replace the M1 counterparts while I think some documentation would/could be "useful" to some customers.
M1L M2
Gavin Farrell 
The rotator that handles your manual gigapixel panos with ease. Product: Ultimate M2 with RD8-II Rotator (F8001) Posted By: Gavin Farrell - The circumference of this rotator provides the perfect distance between detents so when you're shooting and need those precise well marked increments/steps you'e got them. Because the detent steps are clearly marked and spaced out more then the other rotators they're EASIER TO SEE and thereby retain your position in the sequence. If you're looking to use a 300mm/400mm Telephoto lens for manually shooting a gigapixel panorama this rotator will speed up your workflow with less chance for error.
Ultimate M2 with RD8-II Rotator F8001

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