REVIEW OF NODAL NINJA NN3 AND PREVIEW OF THE NEW NN5
The panoramic head's for the rest of us.
by Marco Trezzini
VRMAG received from Nodal Ninja the NN3 Package with dual zipped hard shelled case, Including T-Adapter (T-30), Detents (15/18, 20/24, 45/60, 90/120, 72/0), quick ref. guide, 2 rail stops.
plus a little bag of misc parts like washers, screws, detent pins, hex keys etc... ($229.95 +tax/VAT*)
The NN3 base unit with 15/18 detent ring and 2 rail stops sells on their website for US$199.95.
The camera compatibility list of the NN3 is huge, it's much easier to say that it's not suited for the heavier cameras such as MKII, D2X, D3, 1Ds.
I have talked with various photographers using the NN3, which are all very satisfied.
Some are using mainly the NN3, several others including us at VRWAY, use the 360P for the professional work. When we are not willing to take heavy equipment with us, but want to be able to shoot a high quality cubic, then we take the camera, the NN3, and a super light tripod.
Panographers such as Carel Struycken who also officially endorses Nodal Ninja utilize the NN3 for their professional assignments with awesome results. In this issue you can see them in the Wired Next Fest reportage as well as in the Groninger Museum Exhibit articles.
Hiroharu Shizuya makes a more extreme use of the NN3, partially remodeling it, for his underwater photography as you can see in the article Extreme ironing underwater.
Giuseppe Pennisi, director of VRWAY's photo department, with 5'000+ VR's shot to date, shares his considerations on the NN3 after a field test with a Nikon D70:Very interesting product, key assets are: the small size, the light weight and the reasonable price.
I absolutely love the small hard shelled case which fits into my pocket. ;-)I have to recognize that the NN3 in it's simplicity is very functional, robust and well engineered.A great asset, considerably reducing post-pro time is the possibility to shoot the nadir avoiding the tripod footprint in the image, by simply unscrewing and turning the vertical element. To my knowledge the NN3 is the only head on the market having this feature.I wish the NN5 would have the same detent rings possibility on the vertical axis as on the horizontal.
VRMAG asked a few questions to Bill Bailey Director of Global Sales and Marketing of Nodal Ninja.How many VR photographers are using the NN3 and where are they geographically located ?
We like to keep the actual numbers confidential but I can say Nodal Ninja has been to sold "over" 100 countries from Iceland to Antarctica, every country in Europe, and every state in the US. We have resellers in most major regions and our distribution network is expanding.I noticed that through reseller in europe the price is much higher than buying it from you directly...
Each reseller is allowed to set their own prices. Prices in other countries are generally a bit higher due to VAT and others fees an importer must pay. However, because the consumer can always buy from the website or other resellers this forces them to keep their prices in check. The drop in value of the US dollar is also spurring added incentive for the consumer to buy direct.What about the warranty ?
We offer a full 2 year warranty on our Nodal Ninjas. Not a lot of fine print on our warranty policy you find with other companies. Our primary concern is get the customer up and running as quickly as possible. If anything breaks or problems arise of any sort we are very quick to respond and offer a fix. Our return rate on defective parts issues is less than 1% and we don't mind swapping out an entire unit if we feel the need justified.
We have come to learn over the last 4 years the panoramic community is made of basically honest folks. So this allows us to offer a much more personalized approach where we usually end up over extending ourselves beyond the scope of what would normally be expected.
Plus our customer support is second to none and the best in the industry. See the testimonials.Soon you will release a new product, the NN5 pro, can you tell us more about ?
The new NN5 Pro BETA's are being field tested now, shipping will begin on Dec 20th.
NN5 Pro is selling at a special intro price of $349. It fits "ALL" DSLR's (MKII, MKIII, D2X, D3, 1Ds medium format cameras and even some larger format cameras etc.).
NN5 Pro features include:Longer arms (about 40mm longer than NN3). This helps to accommodate larger cameras like the D3 or MK II, MK III, and cameras with battery packs. Larger lenses like 17-40mm or 70-200mm F2.8 can also easily be accommodated .Upper arm rotator with 15 degree “positive locks”. Locks can be disabled for other angular interval as small as 2.5 degrees, good for making high resolution mosaics.Supports up to 10kgs with positive locks, 5-7kgs without the locks.Very precise detent mechanism.As small as 10 degree stops in lower arm rotator are possible. Detent rings can be disabled on the fly without any tool.More precise rotator base with locking function.Angular increment of 2.5 degree in the rotators' markings, good for making high resolution mosaics.4 rail stops for "remembering" camera and lens settings.
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