Advice sought on pano head for use with Nikon 10.5mm fullframe fisheye  

In the panorama field, hardware is also part of the success. You can discuss here about it: camera, computer, pano head, anything
no avatar
mediavets
Moderator
 
Topic author
Posts: 16415
Likes: 2 posts
Liked in: 130 posts
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Isleham, Cambridgeshire, UK.
Info

Advice sought on pano head for use with Nikon 10.5mm fullframe fisheye

by mediavets » Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:20 pm

I need advice on choosing a pano head for use with the Nikon 10.5mm fullframe fisheye lens to create both 360x180 (6 shots around and one up plus ,optionally, one/two down) and cylindrical panos (no up/down shots). I want to do as little post-production editing as possible, I'm not too bothered about the nadir.

My old Coolpix 995/5000, WC-E63/WC-E68/FC-E8 and Kaidan 995 setup is OK for what it is (and was once not so very many years ago state of the art) but it is just not capable of achieving the results I seek now - fullscreen 360-180 panos - so I am making the leap (considerable for me in terms of relearning and cost) to a DSLR based setup which I hope to enhance incrementally with better camera bodies and additional lenses over the next few years.

If possible I would prefer to choose a pano head (or head system) that can 'grow' with me rather than having to be replaced regularly with all the additional cost and learning curve that would involve.

Agno's offers several possibilities - the MRotatorTCP (for 360x180) or RingT (for cylindrical panos) seem like they might be good choices. However I don't quite see the point of the rather expensive combination of the two with the ring lens mount on the vertical swing arm. RingT alone limits use of Nikon 10.5 fisheye to cylindrical panos with is too restrictive for my plans.

But the new Nodal Ninja 5 lite is less expensive and looks competent and with the add-on adapter for cameras with offset tripod connections I think I could also use it with my old Coolpix 5000 camera and WC-E68 wide and FC-E8 fisheye adapters (currently used with an old Kaidan Kiwi 995 pano head limited to horizontal rotation only).

Neither of these offers indexing on the vertical swing ram - although the Nodal Ninja should be upgradable at low cost later this year - is this a major drawback?

Perhaps others will suggest other/better alternatives?

I may add or switch to alternative fisheye lenses in future - Sigma or Tokina - so I would like to choose a pano head (or head system) that offers scope for change of camera and/or lenses at relatively low cost (or better still no cost).

I would not want to leave the camera on the head all the time nor to dedicate the camera to pano shooting only so it is important to be able to take the camera on and off the head easily and to replace rprecisely without recalibrating every time. Likewise I may wish to use differnt camera bodies so easy reconfiguration would be a plus.

Weight and size not that much of an issue as I don't intend to carry the gear far - initial plans are for 360x180 fullscreen panos of interiors of old churches; no long hikes or treks involved - but small and light is always attractive everything else being equal.

I don't want to spnd any more than I need to but equally I want a system that is robust, quick and easy to setup/breakdown and reliable.

Looking forward to your expert advice and opinions.

Regards,

Andrew
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

User avatar
klausesser
Member
 
Posts: 8836
Likes: 5 posts
Liked in: 63 posts
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 12:18 am
Location: Duesseldorf, Germany
Info

by klausesser » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:11 pm

Hi Andrew!

My suggestion is a Manfrotto klick-stop-adapter 300N or a 303 for fisheye-cubical an cylindrical panos.
Later you can add parts to build up a full spherical head 303SPH use with other than fisheye lenses. For example to make highres-stitches with 200mm lenses or so.

http://www.24traders.net/oxid.php/sid/b3957905426dabf212a820ce9a84f704/cl/alist/cnid/fe246c9f0f57a0317.57210132

to start with the 300N and a 90deg. ankle would also be a way.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

no avatar
hankkarl
Member
 
Posts: 1284
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 0 post
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Connecticut, USA
Info

by hankkarl » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:59 pm

Check out Really Right Stuff also.

Most (if not all) DSLRs have the tripod screw centered under the lens. So you only really need two adjustments.

I'm thinking about replacing the "third rail" (the rail that connects to the camera) on my 303SPH with a quick release, either the Manfrotto RC0 hex plate or the Manfrotto 384 dove tail. (BTW, does anyone know the advantages of one over the other?) This means that I will not have to adjust the center position of the camera when I take it off the head and put it back on.

no avatar
GURL
Member
 
Posts: 2943
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 0 post
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:57 pm
Location: Grenoble
Info

by GURL » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:47 pm

mediavets wrote:I'm not too bothered about the nadir.

Caution : you could change your mind (as I did.)

mediavets wrote:But the new Nodal Ninja 5 lite is less expensive and looks competent and with the add-on adapter for cameras with offset tripod connections I think I could also use it with my old Coolpix 5000 camera and WC-E68 wide and FC-E8 fisheye adapters (currently used with an old Kaidan Kiwi 995 pano head limited to horizontal rotation only).

I would predict you will not use your Coolpix and FC-E8 for 360° panos any more. I did not sold mines, did not use them, donated them...

mediavets wrote:Neither of these offers indexing on the vertical swing ram - although the Nodal Ninja should be upgradable at low cost later this year - is this a major drawback?

Nodal Ninja have a precise up-down (pitch) graduation which I use without any problem.

mediavets wrote:I would not want to leave the camera on the head all the time nor to dedicate the camera to pano shooting only so it is important to be able to take the camera on and off the head easily and to replace rprecisely without recalibrating every time.

This was the most significant NN3 drawback (I often leave the camera mounted and use my NN3 as a handle !) but this problem is now solved : "Rail Stops - locks in your camera and lens in same position with each mounting" (both for NN3 and NN5). You could use a Quick Release Adapter between the camera and the arm, too.

Most Nodal Ninja users like them : good stuff.
Georges


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron