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Coming soon: the new affordable Nodal Ninja 4

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  • Coming soon: the new affordable Nodal Ninja 4

    Here comes the new affordable spherical panoramic tripod head from FANOTEC, the Nodal Ninja 4. It features a precise upper rotator with 15 degree stops, a design borrowed from the new Ultimate M1. It supports a wide range of lenses from ultra wide angles to 100mm (35mm equivalent focal length and 25% overlap) telephotos. Besides, the upper rotator can be installed with an offset of +/- 5, 7.5, or 10 degree from the horizon, making it perfect for single row spherical panoramas with various fisheye lenses.

    The Nodal Ninja 4 can support up to 7.7lbs (3.5kg) large DSLR cameras and supports the advanced rotators RD8, RD16, and RD3L. Starting at $349.95, the NN4 is an affordable spherical panorama head that will take your photography to new heights.
    The NN4 will be available for order in April. We are accepting pre-orders at
    Last edited by nick fan; March 29, 2011, 08:10 PM.
    We listen. We try harder.

  • #2
    Nodal Ninja 4 vs Nodal Ninja 5
    • Slightly shorter vertical and upper rails than NN5.
    • Easier to use upper rotator with 15 degree positive stops
    • Support offset of +/- 5, 7.5, or 10 degree from the horizon
    • Support use of FANOTEC lens rings with new QR clamp (coming soon)
    • More affordable than NN5
    • Same load rating to support up to 7.7lbs (3.5kg)
    • Limit to 100mm focal length only (35mm equivalent and 25% overlap)

    NN4 will use all accessories from NN3 and 5 series.
    Last edited by nick fan; March 29, 2011, 08:25 PM.
    We listen. We try harder.


    • #3
      Hi Nick,

      Thx for additional infos. Small add on: the Camera Plate included is the CP-2.

      Last edited by hindenhaag; March 29, 2011, 09:24 PM.


      • #4
        is this plate Larger than the one provided with NN5 ?


        • #5
          It is the same plate.



          • #6
            Does the NN4 use the same detent rings as the NN5?


            • #7
              Originally posted by ckmcdonald View Post
              Does the NN4 use the same detent rings as the NN5?
              yep exactly the same :)

              Retired Nodal Ninja Distributor


              • #8
                Shipping date?
                I ordered and am anxious! ;)


                • #9
                  The E-Store says: estimated shipping date 18th April.



                  My be you can use the time to be prepaired when it arrives.

                  What camera lens are you going to use?

                  Last edited by hindenhaag; April 6, 2011, 11:19 AM.


                  • #10
                    Thanks Heinz. I was aware it wasn't shipping yet but I missed seeing the shipping date on the e-store site. I suppose I can stand to wait a couple of weeks.

                    Thanks for the parallax references, one of the two I hadn't seen before. I'm not totally new to spherical panos (but definitely a beginner), I'm just getting to the point that my lower quality half home-made pano-head isn't cutting it. I shoot a D200 with a 18-200mm lens (locked @ 18mm) and this combo is a bit heavy for my present head. Not the most ideal pano lens I know but until I can decide what lens I want to fork $700+ dollars for I'm making it do. (I'm torn between the convenience of a supper wide angle vs the image quality of a narrower lens)

                    I'm mostly looking forward to a the sturdier head and both the vert/horz placement accuracy. I believe the NN4 comes with a 10/12 degree ring. If I figure correctly this will cover (with detents):

                    10: 36pics, 18pics, 12pics, 9pics, 6pics, 4pics
                    12: 30pics, 15pics, 10pics, 6pics, 5pics, 3pics

                    For my 18mm (48 degree HFOV) 10pics, 12pics or 15pics would work fine.

                    I'm new to NN. Anything I'm overlooking, accessories?


                    • #11

                      So you shoot D200 18-200. Am I right? Just to give basic advice. As an overview, you have the choice to standard rotator, add detend rings, or choose for RD8/Rd16 rotator. A "low budget but very good lens is Samyang 8mm". Around 300€ in EU. A manual lens. Very good optical results. For me beyond Sigma 8mm/f3.5. And I have tested on DX/FX with 10.5, Sigma 8, Samyang 8, 16mm.

                      If you like to change to an FX body, just shave the lens hood and feel happy to use 4 shots around.

                      To be prepared for the future, the best choice would be RD16. Depends on money. But you can always change to another rotator with NN4 standard rotator.

                      Anyway, I'd add a NN Nadir Adaptor in first place and a Ez-LevellerII for easy leveling.

                      I can test the NN LRS URS settings for you for fisheye lenses and I already know 18-200. I have my D200 in case somebody asks. And a lot of DX lenses as well.

                      You will be happy with the equipment. I am sure about it cause I use NN Products since several years. Without any problem till now: NN5 RD16, R1, NN3 MKII, Nadir Adaptor NN3/NN5 or Ez-LevellerII.

                      Feel free to ask,
                      and I am just a NN customer.
                      Cheers, Heinz
                      Last edited by hindenhaag; April 7, 2011, 02:36 PM.


                      • #12
                        Thanks again for the tips Heinz.

                        Yes, I'm shooting a D200 with a 18-200mm VR-II lens. (have only used it at 18mm)

                        Thanks for pointing out the Nadir Adapter. This does seem useful. Just a question about it... it seems it doesn't offset the camera enough to get the tripod out of the nadir shot. Is the idea that the tripod is still in the picture but in a different place so it can be removed with masking?

                        Does the same Nadir Adapter fit the NN3, NN5 as well as the NN4?

                        I have my eye on a Nikkor 10.5mm. It sounds like you have one, or at least have used one. What is your opinion of it? I lean more toward image quality then I do convenience or lower picture count. I understand the image quality of the Nikkor is better than the Samyang and Sigma8. True?

                        For the Nikkor 10.5, what picture count do you use? 5 around slightly tilled up and 1N?

                        Are you saying that if the Nikkor 10.5mm is attached to an FX body that the lens hood obstructs the frame? If so, what was Nikon thinking?



                        • #13
                          Hi Calvin,

                          Now I get the benefit out of keeping my old equipment besides having done a good job for me during different Jazz Festivals. Ok, we can use the same equipment, my 18-200 is a VR-II as well.

                          D200, 18-200 VRII, NN5: LRS= Lower rail setting 60, URS= Upper rail Setting: @zoom18:103, @zoom24: 98, @zoom35: 90, @zoom50: 75, @zoom70: 52

                          The Nadir adapter fits for NN3, NN5, NN4. It is used to take Nadir shots to create open space in between the equipment to once they are stitched create a full picture of what is lying below the Tripod and Panohead.


                          Nikkor 10.5 is the best fisheye lens for Nikon DX bodies, and my opinion stands before Samyang 8mm and this one before Sigma 8mm. It will ask 6 around while you can shoot 4 around with Samyang and Sigma - better for busy places. If you go for Quality I like to shoot 6 around at 0°, +90°, 2x Nadir with Nadir Adapter. I will shoot a sequence for you with D200 at different pitches. But will take some time. I haven't done this till now cause there have not been so many questions about D200. But I will add it now to my fisheye lens comparison data.

                          Full Zenith at +90° will use the better center circle of the lens during stitching while +5/7.5° tilt will use the outer circle of the lens, which has a different quality as nearly all lenses.

                          Nikon thought we have a Nikkor 10.5 DX lens for DX Bodies as well as the Nikkor 16mm/f2.8 for our Full Frame Bodies - 6 around as well. To have the possibility to shoot 4 around on FX Bodies we shave the 10.5 to use the quality of the lens in busy places. You can still use it on FX bodies, with some little changes in lens flare and contrast which can easily be corrected in camera menu.

                          Ordering the NN4 as starter package, it should be useful to order 2 more detent rings as well: 45/60 90/120 in the "get two but pay one" option. In case you like to shoot 4 around once upon a time saving a lot of money and extra shipping costs:


                          I suppose the standard rotator is not changed from NN5 - NN4. Info about NN4 detent rings will be added soon in the e-store. I am sure, Bill or Nick can give basic info about this question.

                          So long,
                          Last edited by hindenhaag; April 8, 2011, 01:15 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nick fan View Post
                            [*]Support use of FANOTEC lens rings with new QR clamp (coming soon)
                            Any ETA for this? Or any manuals or quick start guides for NN4 yet? WOuld these be available on the 18th?



                            • #15

                              here is the Quick Start NN4: