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Old 02-07-2007, 15:22   #1 (permalink)
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Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Nodal Ninja 3 Panoramic Head review

Having been interested in photography and in particular scenic photography for many years, the one area that I have avoided is panoramic images. Of course I have shot and printed panoramic photos but they have never been anything other than average, plus the work required to combine and process the images has been time consuming and painful. Getting all the images to line up without needing to spend hours at the computer has always put me off, ultimately this is the main reason I have allowed panoramic photography to pass me by. This all changed recently thanks to Bill Bailey at NodalNinja.com who kindly gave me the opportunity to review their Nodal Ninja 3 Panoramic tripod head.

A little about panoramic photography


Alabaster Church - Switzerland. 38 Images stitched together to make the final image.

The aim is to be able to shoot a sequence of shots, usually anything from 2 or more but typically 6 or more and then combine them in to one seamless photograph (and/or a QuickTime Virtual Reality movie QTVR or some other ‘real time’ tour) using one of the many capable software packages. To give yourself and the software the best chance of combining the shots with minimum lining up and overlap problems (called parallax) it is essential to shoot all the frames from exactly the same point, rotating camera around the entrance pupil or no parallax point of the lens. Typically you would attach the camera to a tripod using the mount at the base of the camera body, with the lens protruding out in front. You would then take a shot, rotate your camera along an axis to the next shot, take that picture and continue until you have photographed the whole scene. The problem is that as you shoot and rotate the camera to the next position for each shot in the sequence, the camera doesn’t actually move that much but crucially, it’s the lens that does. This introduces the panoramic photographer’s biggest enemy - parallax.

This is the key to those stunning panoramic photographs; it is all in the ability to rotate the camera around the entrance pupil of the lens to eliminate parallax error. For that, you are going to need more specialised equipment.

Welcome to the world of panoramic heads

With panoramic heads the aim is to offset the camera body and ensure that the entry point of the light – usually called the ‘entrance pupil’ (sometimes called ‘nodal point’ or ‘no parallax point’) is maintained perfectly for all the images. Entrance pupil This removes parallax and enables the easy and accurate combination of all your shots in to one seamless photograph. The entrance pupil varies depending on the camera and lens combination used but it is always found near the entry point of the lens (not in the camera body or sensor plane).

There are three main types of panoramic heads:-

1) Single row panoramic heads – designed to allow production of cylindrical panoramas.

2) Multi-row panoramic heads - designed to do the same as a single row but allow for a greater vertical coverage.

3) Spherical panoramic heads - designed to allow full 360 degree horizontal as well as 180 vertical up and down coverage, giving you a full spherical panorama.

It is worth noting that spherical panoramic heads can be used to shoot single or multi-row panoramas but single/multi-row heads cannot shoot true spherical images.

The Nodal Ninja 3 belongs to the last of the three - the more advanced spherical group.


Ok so now we know (a little) about the terms used and the issues we have to contend with in panoramic photography, let’s take a look at the Nodal Ninja 3’s construction, what you get in the package and how its design allows it to deal with these issues.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:23   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

What is in the package?

As you can see from the photo below, not only do you get the Nodal Ninja 3 but a whole host of extras too*. Here we can see the two main sections of the Nodal Ninja, at the top is the two part vertical section and just below is the main arm. To the right in the center is the N3T20 T-Adapter and just behind is the quick reference guide. The four ‘brass rings’ near the front are the detent plates (more on those later). Centre front are a selection of spares and the two required Hex keys to fit them or make some of the many user customisable adjustments. Finally we can see the soft padded cases that hold the Nodal Ninja 3 when not in use and for easy transportation.


Photo by Rosauro Ona


*NN3 stand alone comes with the Nodal Ninja3 and the 15/18 detent ring.
NN3 Package - Includes T-Adapter (N3T20 or T-30), Detents (15/18, 20/24, 45/60, 90/120, 72/0), and the zippered bag case. This is the package shown above although the actual contents may vary from time to time depending on promotions and specials.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:23   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

First impressions

As someone venturing in to serious panoramic photography for the first time this all looked a bit daunting, so I turned to the quick reference guide looking for instructions, unfortunately I was left a little disappointed. The quick reference guide consists of one folded A4 sheet with printed diagrams on both sides. The 7 diagrams show the Nodal Ninja 3 and the various adaptors in several of their many configuration options but there are no instructions to indicate how to assemble or achieve the best settings. The instructions on the guide state that ‘For the complete Manual, tutorials, videos, and settings visit the Nodal ninja website’ and to be fair, once I did, I found everything I needed to set it up really quickly and with no trouble at all. It is actually very easy to set up (you just attach the vertical arm to the horizontal base by means of the already attached screw). I feel that a simple one page text/diagram document would have been beneficial and more than capable of guiding me through that process without the need to access the web. Many of the parts included in the package are FREE extras or ‘spares’ and they are not required unless you are using certain camera equipment, or until you wish to replace worn or damaged parts. Without knowing that, at the time of unpacking they only served to confuse things. A simple text note in the package explaining this, would have prevented me feeling a little overwhelmed by the perceived complexity of it all while at the same time, reducing the confusion.

Build quality and guarantee.

The first thing you notice as you unpack the Nodal Ninja 3 is how well it is made. The main components are made from precision machined metal, painted matt black and finished to an excellent standard. There are no rough edges, everything is smooth and fits together accurately and securely. The main knobs are either made from metal (with machined knurled edges for additional grip) or what I assume is plastic finished with a quality anti-slip type rubber (again well made). Where parts are made to glide, slide or rotate they do so smoothly and with no play. Where metal surfaces meet, there are rubber protection pads or Teflon washers. The measurement markings are all accurate and the whole product screams of quality. It is not surprising that with build and construction quality this high the Nodal Ninja comes with a full 2 year guarantee plus a 30 day money back offer in the unlikely event that you should be unhappy with it after it first arrives. As already mentioned, supplied free within the package are several ‘spares’ but after inspecting and using the product, I doubt that you will find much use for them, such is the build quality. They are still a nice addition to have though.


main arm from top


main arm from bottom


main arm detail

The NN3 comes pre-assembled however below is an exploded view to show you all parts used.


Photo by Rosauro Ona


Upper arm from the side


Upper arm open


Upper arm detail
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:24   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

For those who may not be familiar with the various panoramic heads available, the Nodal Ninja 3 is quite unique in many ways. It boasts of being one of the smallest heads available and connected with its two part design (which makes it easy and quick to assemble/disassembled and store), it is one of the lightest panoramic heads on the market. At the time of this review, it is also one of the cheapest too. In a world where panoramic heads regularly cost upwards of £500, and heads over £1000 are common, it is incredible that a product of this quality and specification costs just $199.

Compare with other---------Approx. Weight----Approx.Size Closed----Approx. Retail Price (US$)
All Metal Pano Heads:

Nodal Ninja 3----------------475 grams----------7” x 2” x 2”-----------$199.95
Peace RiverStudios 3Sixty-----3 lbs. 15oz.---------13" x 5" x 8"------------$1,236.00
360Precision (for D200)-------4lbs-----------------8.2" x 4" x 2.2”---------$990.00
Reallly Right Stuff-------------2 lbs . 9oz.----------12” x 6” x 4”------------$800
Kaidan QuickPan III------------4 lbs. 12oz.---------12" x 5.5" x 3"----------$628.90
Manfrotto 303SPH-------------4 lbs. 4 oz.----------11" x 7" x 6"-----------$517.95


Setting up and using the head

Once you know the correct settings required for the entry pupil of your camera and lens combination, setting up the Nodal Ninja 3 is a breeze. The base is designed so that both 3/8” and 1/4” screw thread tripod mounts can be used, this makes it compatible with the majority of tripod makes and models. The base plate which contains the levelling bubble, screws directly on to your trip legs (or ball mount), then on to that you attach the two piece upright section by means of a screw thread knob and finally you attach the camera on to the upper bar by means of another screw knob. All this can be done in just a few seconds and requires no tools whatsoever. All knobs are designed to be hand tightened and once in position, both the head itself and the camera are very solid and show no signs of play or movement. Once assembled and attached you simply adjust the tripod to ensure that the NN3 is perfectly level, something that can be easily achieved and confirmed with reference to the level bubble on the NN3. Then you are ready to begin your shoot.

Your chosen subject, the focal range of your lens and your desired end result, a horizontal or spherical panoramic for instance and whether it is to be say a 180/240 or even a 360 degree panorama will dictate the number of shots required and the amount of movement required along the axis between shots to cover the whole scene. For the best results it is recommended to allow 20-30% overlap between every image taken so that you can align them afterwards. This is where the different detent plates that I mentioned earlier come in to play. As you rotate the NN3 it clicks into position to confirm your settings. You take the photo and then move it to the next position and due to the detent plate and pressure pin design it ‘clicks’ into place, here you then take your next photo and again rotate the NN3 around the base until you have completed the full shoot. You can confirm the amount of rotation visually by referring to the accurate markings on the main rotator or trust to the very accurate ‘clicks’ as you go along. The various detent plates allow different amounts of rotation to be set in between clicks and you would select the one that matches up with your own camera/lens combination as well as your intended shoot of the scene. For a very wide lens you might be able to attain a full 360 panorama with just four frames but for this review I was using a Canon 17-40L at 17mm on a Canon 20D camera (1.6x crop factor) so I used the detent plate which gave me 12 stops/frames for the full scene.


Detent plates - note these are double sided


The flip side of the above detent plates

Changing the detent plates, like everything else on the NN3, is straightforward and quick. You simply unscrew the main knob and lift off the horizontal bar, this gives you access to the plate underneath. Each of the detent plates has a different range on each side and so it is either a case of flipping one over or replacing it with the correct one to select the different degrees of rotation between each shot. Re-assembly is the exact same process in reverse and the final steps involve adjustment of the resistance of the rotation friction to your desired amount while ensuring no play is introduced. The large knob tightens or reduces the resistance while the centre chrome slotted section acts as a locking device which locks the desired resistance. The whole process can be done (again with no tools) in just a couple of minutes. The NN3 even allows for the adjustment of the resistance from the pin that clicks into the ‘stops’ as you rotate it. For this adjustment you will need to utilise one of the supplied Hex keys although in my experience it only needs to be done once. Set it and leave it.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:25   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Here are some photos of the NN3 being rotated through 360degrees horizontally (which would give you a cylindrical panoramic). You’ll notice that in this configuration the camera is setup in the ‘portrait’ orientation.


Canon 20D + 17-40L on NN3 from the front


rotated to the side 90 degrees


rotated 180 degrees


rotated 270

Although the above would not give a complete panorama you can clearly see for the above sequence of shots that the end of the lens (entrance pupil) stays directly over the centre of the Nodal Ninja no matter what position the camera is placed in.


If you wish to use the camera in ‘landscape’ orientation it is simply a case of unscrewing the upright section and attaching the camera directly onto the lower bar with the use of the T-adapter.


For spherical panoramas you have to utilise the vertical sections. You’ll notice from the pictures below that the joint of the upper arms allows it to rotate through 360 degrees, again just like on the main rotation section there are precise and clear markings to assist with accurately setting everything up during the shooting stage. This rotation allows for multiple passes at different angles and where required, the Nadir (down shot) and Zenith (up shot) to complete the whole shoot.

Here is a gif to show the full movement of the NN3

NN3 at various different positions

And here shown with the camera attached rotated through 360 degrees

NN3 and Canon 20D at various different positions along the horizontal axis

Detail shots of the shooting position for the Nadir and Zenith.


Canon 20D + 17-40L on NN3 to shoot the Nadir (down shot)


Canon 20D + 17-40L on NN3 to shoot the zenith (up shot)
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:25   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

N3T20 T-Adapter

The N3T20 and the larger N3T30 t-adaptors are designed to correct a couple of different issues. The first is to allow the user to align the centre of the entry pupil along the horizontal axis for cameras with ‘off centre’ tripod mounts.

Most DSLR cameras have the tripod mount point directly inline with the centre of the lens, however some compact and bridge cameras have it offset to one side which would prevent the correct alignment of the entrance pupil. By using the t-adaptor you can easily correct for these circumstances. The second use is give more ‘front to back’ offset by effectively extending the length of the arm on the NN3. This is imperative for a camera/lens combination if the lens is longer than ‘normal’ (some wide and most zoom lenses) and where for once, the small size of the NN3 actually doesn’t work in its favour.


Photo by Rosauro Ona


In my setup with a Canon 20D and 17-40L lens, due to the end of the Canon lens being quite wide and standing taller than the camera itself (forcing the camera to point upwards slightly) it was impossible to get the correct alignment without using the t-adaptor. It was used to increase the distance between the camera base and the arm of NN3 giving ample clearance for the end of the lens. This setup allowed me to attain the required perfect horizontal alignment. See picture below


Tadaptor utilised to give clearance for the wide 17-40L lens

It is also possible to use the NN3 with quick release brackets, although this is an optional extra it will obviously make both setup and break down easier and even quicker.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

How easy is the Nodal Ninja 3 to use?

First steps

After getting over my initial stumbling blocks with my incorrect perception of its complexity, I quickly became proficient with the NN3. For my first shoot (after finding and setting up the nodal point for my kit) I chose not to be too ambitious and decided to attempt a couple of ‘simple’ 180 degree single row panoramas. My chosen subjects, a path near the edge of a forest, and a separate shoot inside the forest are close to my home, offered easy access and I figured that the nature of the scenes would be a good initial test, since they would have lots of tricky detail to match up.

At the first location I had everything set up in less than 5 minutes and was surprised at the speed I was taking the shots. Once set up and levelled I attached my remote shutter release cable and proceeded to shoot the sequence of shots (6 in total). I realised by the end of this shoot that if I was sure I had everything set up correctly in the beginning, beyond the initial look, there was no need to line up each shot through the viewfinder. Trusting the accuracy of the camera’s rotation and position to the NN3 came very quickly.

For the second shoot I wandered into the forest and set up again. After the surprising ease of the first shoot I decided that I would forgo my plans to keep it simple and opted for a more challenging partial spherical panorama. Set up took me a few minutes before I was totally happy and ready to begin (made more complicated due to finding the right camera settings for the difficult light of the scene) but the whole shooting process was completed in under a minute, pretty amazing for a ‘complex’ panorama. The final panorama is made up of 16 frames (8 on each pass) and the results from a complete beginner are testament to the simplicity and accuracy of the NN3.

Both of these initial panoramas were stitched together in the panoramic software using auto settings (no manual assistance) in around 5 minutes and 10 minutes respectively. Whilst not perfect (see the end of finding my feet for why) you have to remember that these are genuinely the first two panoramas shot with the NN3 by a complete beginner.

Here is the woods path shot as a flat image.

180 degree cylindrical panorama



Finding my feet - literally

After my initial success and with much excitement and a new found enthusiasm for panoramic photography, I decided that I would spend the next day in and around Munich with the NN3. My first stop was a church, after setting up I proceeded to shoot a spherical panorama of the interior. Setting up was a breeze and within a couple of minutes I was ready to begin the shoot. All the frames where taken within a couple of minutes. Adjusting the NN3 for each of the three passes plus the vertical up shot was done with no effort and complete confidence. During this shoot I stumbled across my first major hurdle. The NN3 is designed so that it is possible to shoot the whole scene and not have your feet or the tripod visible in the down shot (nadir), however I didn’t know how to achieve that and couldn’t work it out while on location. A little frustrated and annoyed with myself for not finding out before hand, I had to accept defeat and move on. This definitely impacted on the end result and it is not what it should have been.


270x140 degree panorama

From the Church I spent the full day in and around Munich shooting different scenes with various amounts of success. You can view some of my results below.


River Isar through the center of Munich
180x120 degree panorama


Munich Center
240x140 degree panorama


Munich Hoff Garden
Full 360x180 spherical panorama


Ignoring the mistakes I made during my stitching software familiarisation stages (nothing to do with the NN3) the results above highlighted a few issues specifically connected to the NN3. These would have to be solved for the shooting stage if I was to improve. First there was the problem of getting the down shot (nadir) without having your feet or tripod in the picture, it also became apparent that there was a small amount of ‘weaving’ creeping in to my 360 degree horizontal shots (not so evident on the smaller 180 degree panoramas). In one of the panoramas (not shown here) there was a serious parallax problem, so much so that it was impossible for me to stitch it together without it looking a mess. This panorama was ultimately consigned to the recycling bin.

I contacted Bill Bailey for help and after some excellent advice, a couple of great links and some helpful critique that highlighted a couple of issues I had missed, I was confident that I could solve all the issues. I was certain that the parallax issue was down to me having set up the nodal point for my equipment incorrectly, some information from one of his links told me everything I needed to know to correct this. The nadir shot issue was a combination of a shooting technique deficiency on my part, and a software process to be used which I was previously unaware of. The weaving problem was again due to my inexperience and incorrect setup of the NN3, in particular the amount of resistance/play with the main arm rotation that I had set. A simple adjustment to the knob on the main arm solved that issue instantly.

The parallax issue that completely ruined one shoot, is also slightly evident in the first day’s results and as all the results from the second day were shot with the same settings on the NN3, it is these more thorough results that highlighted the error very clearly. This is why the first two panoramas are not perfect. The solution, as already mentioned, was simply to adjust the camera to correct the nodal point being set wrong initially.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:33   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Getting more advancedmy continued journey

Eager to try my corrections and the new techniques I was aware of after speaking with Bill, I was back into Munich later that evening for a quick test. The results of the shoot are what I consider to be my first full spherical panoramic photo of acceptable quality. Start to finish the shoot took under 3 minutes and the final result is made up from 38 individual images (3 full 360 degree passes of 12 shots each, one down shot (nadir) and one up shot (zenith) ). By this point the NN3 felt like an extension to my camera and not some ‘add on’ device to enable me to perform a task. Considering it was only my third trip out with the NN3 I really was amazed at how quickly I was getting use to it.

Below each flat image is the same shot as an interactive Quicktime Video. To use just hover your mouse over the screen and whilst pressing your left mouse button you can move it in any direction to navigate around the scene (including up and down). Also under each interactive video you should be able to see the + and - signs that allow you to zoom in and out.

Internet Explorer users may have to click in the empty space to activate the Quicktime plugin and then allow the script to run, unfortunately that’s just the way it is for you guys as its how Microsoft decided it should work. You could always change to a better browser like Firefox or Opera if it bugs you




Munich Museums
Full 360x180 spherical panorama (38 images stitched together)



Lastly, as far as examples here go, here are two more panoramas, the first I photographed while hiking in The Alps recently and the second is another inside church shoot. I really couldn’t resist seeing if I could pull everything together and produce a top quality panorama. Again whist viewing these you will hopefully remember that in total I have probably only shot 15 different panoramas using the NN3 and for the first two days I had it set up incorrectly. Can you spot the joins?


The German Alps
Full 360x180 spherical panorama (38 images stitched together)





St Pauls Church - Munich
Full 360x180 spherical panorama (38 images stitched together)

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Old 02-07-2007, 15:34   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Conclusionthe good and the bad

I was going to have a pros and cons list here but after much consideration and thinking about it carefully it would have been a little pointless, the pros would have massively outweighed the cons. Instead here are a few thoughts…

The Nodal Ninja 3 does everything it has been designed to do, and it does it with ease; it is small and light, strong and portable, it is a flexible system that copes with all the demands thrown at it, fits a whole range of different cameras and lenses and as important, is very also affordable.

Not everything in the package is perfect though, I have two small niggles. The documentation issue I noted at the beginning of this review – for a complete beginner it’s a little too lightweight

I will hold my hands up now and add that I would imagine it is not very likely that a complete beginner will just buy a panoramic head without them having some knowledge of the subject. It is more reasonable to expect them to have had an interest before hand and at least have a basic understanding of the terms and processes involved, plus as already stated there is a wealth of extra information on the Nodal Ninja website. Also despite my initial reservations, unless you know what you are doing (and if so you’ll not need a basic instruction sheet anyway) getting the perfect setup for your own equipment will take more information than a simple one page sheet could provide. The easy to understand videos, photos and other information on the Nodal Ninja website cover these points in some detail. So perhaps that should be balanced against my minor complaint.

My second minor gripe is that with my continued use, I have noted that the two neoprene cases are a little tight and probably slightly too small. The NN3 will go in them but you have to stretch the cases and it is not an easy task, even in nice weather. Come winter when your hands are cold or in gloves and I can see that becoming more of an issue. These points are very minor though and will not impact on your continued enjoyment and the results attainable.

NOTE since I wrote this review and before it had been published I’ve been told a new case in the works. Although I have yet to see the revision, hopefully this will correct the issue I experienced.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:34   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Final thoughts on how good the NN3 really is

All I can say is that when I first set out to do this review I intended to spend a couple of days with the NN3, lean how it worked enough to shoot a few panoramic photos to be included in this review as examples and allow me to write a informative and fair review. I didn’t expect to become so hooked on panoramic photography that I would carry all my camera equipment and tripod with me while I hiked to the summit of a mountain in The Alps. Instead of being glad that my time with the NN3 is over I feel like I am missing out on many new opportunities and that it is being taken away from me just as I was improving and beginning to get great results. So much so that I now have made a panoramic website to show my own work and I have decided to purchase my own NN3. On top of this I also have plans to change some of my other camera equipment to better enable my future panoramic photography experiences.

I will say that while the NN3 is an amazing piece of camera equipment that makes the area of panoramic photography accessible, easy and above all enjoyable, I don’t think panoramic photography is for everyone. The initial steps require you to go through a steep learning curve of technical terms and slightly unusual techniques (nadirs, zeniths, nodal points, entry pupils etc) plus choosing and learning the correct software packages to enable you to complete your works will also need to be covered and understood. Although there is a wealth of information on the Nodal Ninja website and other sites around the web, not everyone will be willing to take the time to search out and learn those techniques. For the ones that do, the rewards and enjoyment will far outweigh the disadvantages. Of course it would be very unfair of me to blame any of that on the NN3, no matter which VR head you may chose, you’ll need to know, or be prepared to learn those very same terms, principals and techniques. If you feel you are up for the challenge I would seriously advice you to look into the Nodal Ninja 3 as your panoramic head. From my experience with it over the last few weeks, it will not disappoint.

As a final alternative view you can also keep things much simpler. The NN3 is handy for taking simple 2, 3, 4, or 5+ shot multiple images as well. If you use a simple 5MP point and shoot camera and take a landscape shot composed of 5 images, this would turn your final image into a higher resolution 25MP photo. This allows for bigger print capabilities and most point and shoot cameras come with their own basic stitching software.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:35   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Thanks, links and a free competition

I would like to personally thank Bill Bailey at Nodal Ninja for giving me the opportunity to use, abuse and review the Nodal Ninja 3. It has been nothing but a pleasure. From the time that I agreed to this review, to me receiving the NN3 (USA to Germany) was just 3 working days. Whilst reviewing the NN3 I have called on Bill several times for advice and clarification, his replies have been prompt, friendly, informative and laced with good humour. He prides himself on excellent customer service and it is apparent from my experience with him and the many testimonials on his website that he is achieving that.

I would also like to extend my thanks to Rosauro Ona for supplying some of the product shots used in this article.


This review and everything in it are my personal thoughts, findings and opinion. Bill neither had, nor sort any influence over its contents at any time.

Useful Links

Here are some useful links on the Nodal Ninja 3

NN3 Camera Compatibility
NN3 Setup
NN3 User manual (in 9 languages)
Finding your Pupil entry point
and finally...
A Informative Panoramic Site owned and run by James Riggs


The Nodal Ninja 3 is currently available as two options.

NN3 stand alone which comes with standard 15/18 detent ring for USD $199
OR
NN3 Package - Includes T-Adapter (N3T20 or T-30), Detents (15/18, 20/24, 45/60, 90/120, 72/0), and zippered bag case all for USD $219.95 - excellent value at only $20 more that the NN3 standalone.
Obviously package contents and prices may vary so check with Bill at NN if you want to order.


As a late addition, it is worth mentioning that there are plans to release the new Nodal Ninja 5 in the very near future. This new addition is intended to hold larger camera/lens like the Nikon D2X and Canon MKII combinations and should fit the gap for the few users who would find the NN3 too small for their equipment. For ordering a NN3 or more details on the NN5, please visit the Nodal Ninja website.
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:36   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Software and Additional articles

For the curious amongst you, all the images in the examples shown here were shot using a Canon 20D & 17-40L lens at 17mm, apertures used were either F8, F11 or F16 depending on the image. All images initially taken in Canon’s RAW format, converted to .jpgs using RawShooter Professional, stitched using PTgui and converted to cubes or QuickTime VR movies using Pano2QTVR Gui.

As this article is intended as a review of the NN3 only, besides the obvious crossover points needed in explanations, I have tried to avoid getting bogged down with details of technical terms, shooting techniques, software used and the many other interesting things I learned along the way. However...it is my intention to write additional articles to cover these points giving them the detail and explanations they deserve.

Steve
(www.pixalo.com) &
(Pictualis360.com) <-my new site dedicated to my Panoramic Photography

If you liked the above QTVR movies embedded in this thread, as a special treat for the ones that managed to stay with me this far I have included links below to a couple of full screen versions (and an extra different panoramic not shown here). These are highly detailed, large file versions so you'll need to allow time for them to download fully before navigating around


Full screen pano 1 - 2.88mb
Full screen pano 2 - 1.86mb
Full screen pano 3 - 3.21mb

I hope you enjoy them

Also I have several more panoramas displayed on Pictualis360.com Homepage if I have wet your appetite. You can leave feedback and comments on the shots there if you like
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:36   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Your chance to win a Nodal Ninja 3 and accessories worth $220 USD

Thanks to Bill Bailey at Nodal Ninja and in conjunction with Pixalo, we are very pleased to announce that one lucky member has the chance to win the Nodal Ninja 3 panoramic tripod head and all the accessories as reviewed here.

For more details please see the thread below.

Nodal Ninja 3 Panoramic head Competition

Please note the competition is now closed
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:31   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Steve, that is one heck of a review! It's certainly got me itching to give panoramics a go!
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:52   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

The Quicktime versions in post here http://www.pixalo.com/community/phot...tml#post140390 are just excellent..... managed to get dizzy on a few
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Old 31-08-2007, 16:56   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Those quicktime ones are absolutely fantastic, really enjoyed playing with those.
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Old 11-06-2008, 21:48   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Since Steves review, stellar work by the way Steve, we have since updated the NN3 to the NN3 "MKII" with improved lower rotator.
MKII Nodal Ninja 3
Thanks
Bill
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:18   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

I like this, I just might get one !
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:51   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

It might be useful to illustrate this parallax error.
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Old 13-06-2008, 10:41   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangepeel View Post
It might be useful to illustrate this parallax error.
As the review and original shots were done almost 12 months ago I don't think I kept the 'duds'. I will trawl the HD for the images to be sure though. If they are there I will add them to the thread
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Old 13-06-2008, 11:03   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

If someone has a NN it'd be useful to do two panos. one with the nn and another without.
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Old 13-06-2008, 12:47   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Nodal Ninja Spherical Tripod Head review

I don't really understand what you are trying to achieve though? The whole point is that using a panoramic tripod head (such as the NN) makes it possible to do full 360 degree spherical panos, in a realistic time and needing little to no image corrections during the stitching process. I really don't understand how someone without a panoramic tripod head could manage that, let alone in a reasonable amount of time?
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