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Thread: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived

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John Houghton

Posts: 3900
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 24 Jun 2006 at 14:55 GMT
My new NN3 arrived yesterday. I have to declare it is a much appreciated gift from Nick. I have been quite impressed with it so far, using a 20D+Sigma 8mm combination. No problems setting it up and it looks very smart and neat. For anybody wondering about clearances in the straight up position, here is a shot that might be of interest:



There's about 10mm clearance above the central knob as the camera is swung into position.

Only two minor gripes so far. One is that it's difficult to screw the head onto my tripod tightly enough. There is a tendency for the head to unscrew when rotating the head counter clockwise with detents. This isn't a big deal as the head is normally rotated clockwise. The other problem concerns the visibility of the index mark against the scale on the horizontal arm. It's down in a narrrow gap between the camera and the arm and can be quite difficult to see.

Other than that, my first test pano came out well with good alignment of up and down shots. Time taken to unpack from the carrying case and assemble the head and camera on the tripod is about 90 seconds.

John
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NYCreate

Posts: 497
Location: North Yorkshire & Northern England, United Kingdom
Registered: 21 Aug 2005
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 25 Jun 2006 at 18:48 GMT
Got a couple of NN3's coming this week for new 350d set ups. Are they nice and study and stable John?
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 25 Jun 2006 at 19:19 GMT
updated: 25 Jun 2006 at 19:20 GMT
Rudders,

I've been playing with one all weekend I think you will be happy with the Nodal Ninja 3.

Still a little more testing to do in the field for me, first impressions are good.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.smooth360.com
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John Houghton

Posts: 3900
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 25 Jun 2006 at 20:19 GMT
I think the NN3 is reasonably sturdy and stable, but not perfectly so. I tried fitting a 70-200mm f/4L on to the 20D and that held its position ok. I took a test shot in the 200mm position but had to use mirror lockup to avoid camera shake blurring. Shouldn't be a problem with short focus lenses such as fisheyes, which are much more tolerant of camera shake.

John
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revmark

Posts: 50
Location: Harvey, United States
Registered: 22 Feb 2006
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 25 Jun 2006 at 20:35 GMT
Noob here. Why would you shoot at 200mm on a pano head?
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John Houghton

Posts: 3900
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 25 Jun 2006 at 20:48 GMT
Some people make high resolution stitched images using many images taken with a long focus lens. Max Lyons used a 280mm lens for his stitch of 196 images to produce his first 1 gigapixel image; Details at:
www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm

John
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NYCreate

Posts: 497
Location: North Yorkshire & Northern England, United Kingdom
Registered: 21 Aug 2005
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 26 Jun 2006 at 23:46 GMT
Got the NN3's this morn, Very happy, swapped the detent plate to the 45 degree one (which I will be using most for 4 shots) and there is very slight 'play' in the rotation, about 1/10 of a degree, and the line up markings on the arms are out by about 1/2 a degree, ie on one side its a 0 degrees but the line on the other side is say 180.5 degrees, (I never shoot that accurately anyway so doesnt make the slightest bit of difference to me)but apart from that its solid build quality and very sturdy, Very light(compared to others ive used) and its a bargain compared to others.. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 27 Jun 2006 at 3:30 GMT

rudders said:

Got the NN3's this morn, Very happy, swapped the detent plate to the 45 degree one (which I will be using most for 4 shots) and there is very slight 'play' in the rotation, about 1/10 of a degree.


Hi Rudders,
thanks for your order and recommendation. you can tighten the horizontal knob a bit. This removes the play.
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mshakeshaft

Posts: 97
Location:
Registered: 3 Mar 2006
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 27 Jun 2006 at 9:45 GMT
Mine arrived yesterday - Thanks Nick.

The new rotator does seem to be a bit of an improvement on the old one, but I am staying with the 15 degree indent plate as it allows me to go with either a 4 or 6 around without having to change anything.

Definately appears to be lighter with the use of the plastic knobs - but they appear to be very sturdy.

As mentioned the painted points are a bit off. On the bottom arm one is 4 mm further than the other.... a very minor point though.

All in all I am very happy, this product seems to get better with every realease and at the price it is definately a bargain!

Thanks

martin
--
blog: www.docphot.org
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 27 Jun 2006 at 17:46 GMT

mshakeshaft said:

The new rotator does seem to be a bit of an improvement on the old one, but I am staying with the 15 degree indent plate as it allows me to go with either a 4 or 6 around without having to change anything.

As mentioned the painted points are a bit off. On the bottom arm one is 4 mm further than the other.... a very minor point though.

martin


We have 15 degree detent. and I plan to make more detents with different intervals. I may make a detent with 4 and 6 steps on the same face, say 4 steps at 0/90/180/270 degrees, and 6 steps at 0/60/120/180/240/300 degrees. so for your application, you don't need to change the detent. I may also make 72 degree (5 shots per row)interval detents. We have 45 (for 8 shots and 4 shots) and 60 (for 6 shots and 3 shots) degrees interval disc now. For those taking HDR panos, timing is important. one shot different per row can mean 3-5 shots difference. thanks to my customer for giving me this insight. if any of you have special need on the detents, just let me know. I am developing methods to make detent customization easier.
the problem of indexing mark being off will be solved in the coming batch and we will offer free replacement for problematic units. Actually, I am buying a laser marking system just to get better quality control. The system is very expensive!
I am learning and upgrading myself everyday, so the design and quality of the products are improving constantly. I have to thank all my customers. They make the development/ evolution possible.


Nick
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 27 Jun 2006 at 18:28 GMT
For fisheye shooting I believe you are on the right track offering 4 - 5 and 6 position stop detents. These (sets) could be nominated at the time of order vs the other set of detents for multi-row shooting/stitching.

Also a ^ point at exact centre of the central screw or a detent/hole would help with finding the "exact" centreline to position the entrance (nodal) pupil over. Finding the exact centre with such a large screwdriver slot is not as easy as it could be.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.smooth360.com
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 28 Jun 2006 at 1:08 GMT

Smooth said:

Also a ^ point at exact centre of the central screw or a detent/hole would help with finding the "exact" centreline to position the entrance (nodal) pupil over. Finding the exact centre with such a large screwdriver slot is not as easy as it could be.


Hmm, there is a circle at the centre of view finder in many cameras. you can align it to the circle of the central screw. for DC, there should be gride lines to help composition. they can be used for alignment. I am not sure if the viewfinder of each camera is in accurate position, so you can adjust the horizontal position by trial and error to get more reliable result. after all, alignment needs to be done just once.


nick
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Smooth

Posts: 4261
Location: Mount Panorama, Australia
Registered: 21 Jul 2004
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 28 Jun 2006 at 6:52 GMT
updated: 28 Jun 2006 at 6:54 GMT
Hi Nick,

True enough, but the markings inside the view finder are not as accurate as a plumb bob with a point. Looking through a view finder you can make the angle different just by moving your eye ever so slightly. Adding a central hole or a ^ point would be no big deal. It could even be like a tyre valve where it would depress when the screw driver is inserted. Surely this would value add to the NN and cost very little to implement.

Only a suggestion.

Come to think of it a "Phillips" head screw would be most likely enough.

Regards, Smooth cool
www.smooth360.com
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John Houghton

Posts: 3900
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 28 Jun 2006 at 8:42 GMT
Another way to centre the entrance pupil laterally is to use a plumb line. I used a needle and thread like this:


It is reassuring to be able to see what you are actually trying to measure. Best done after setting the front to back adjustment and with everything levelled, of course.

John
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: Nodal Ninja 3 has arrived
Posted: 28 Jun 2006 at 9:01 GMT
Thanks a lot for Smooth and John for the insight! I didn't know this method before. I have to confess that while I spend a lot of time in developing pano brackets, I don't spend much time in taking panos. laugh
oh, maybe I can tell why I send John a NN3 as a gift. I feel very honoured to receive John's order. I am really surprised to see John's name in the paypal transaction. I have learnt a lot from his tutorials and replies in forums. I decided to send a NN3 out as a gift. I am honoured John accepted the offer.
oh, I also learn a lot from Smooths replies. but I am more interested in affordable solutions. smile


Nick
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