Introducing the new Nodal Ninja Ring Mount Spherical Pano Head - model # NN RS-1.
Our single-row lens ring mount pano heads, Nodal Ninja Ultimate R1/ R10 have become a great success since their release. They have become the obvious choice for a ultra compact and light weight setup for users of circular or cropped circular fisheye lens which has an angle of view close to or above 180 deg vertically or horizontally. However, for full frame fisheye users, their application is restricted to scenes with easy to patch zenith (top) and nadir (down) shots, due to their single row nature. The patching also requires higher skills in stitching and post processing.
Nodal Ninja RS1 is a multi-row ring mount spherical pano head to companion R1/ R10 for lens ring mount users. It allows zenith and nadir shots at the NPP (No-Parallax-Point) and makes stitching of multi-row pano an easy job.
Lens ring mounts have NPP settings independent of the camera bodies making the sharing and verification of NPP setting a much easier task.
The NN RS-1 shares many parts and specifications of Nodal Ninja 3II. It incorporates shorter lower rail with Rotator Mini or Rotator D4/ D5 and its upper rotator incorporates an Arca-Swiss style clamp.
Rotator Mini (or Rotator D5 - added $50 cost)
Upper Rotator with Arca Style Clamp
lens ring sold separately
Posted by Ken on 1st May 2013
I purchased the RS-1 with D5 rotator and an EZ Leveler mainly as a lighter option for my other Really Right Stuff setup. With the RS-1 kit, I not only have a lightweight kit, but a head with click-stops to speed up my workflow. I imagine that this kit will be very useful when I have smaller cameras such as a rangefinder or some other mirrorless camera. Nodal Ninja is one of the few (if not only) manufacturer of click-stop rotators with wide availability.
The RS-1 can handle most of my situations including the use of a heavier/larger medium format camera. The only situation that the RS-1 cannot handle is the use of a large medium format camera where a near-subject is being stitched...this is because the RS-1 does not allow enough width to center the nodal point of the camera. You can add a nodal slide to adjust your nodal point forward and backwards, but the left-right adjustment will be limited. But this is no fault of the RS-1 as it was never intended for large cameras to begin with. If I am doing longer lens stitching with a medium format camera, I think the RS-1 would work just fine, but heavier lenses may have some stability/support issues (you really should be considering a larger pano head kit like the NN3 or 4 at this point.)
As for the build, the RS-1 is consistently well engineered and manufactured like the rest of the NN products. Operation is smooth. Locking the angle of the vertical arm can sometimes seem a bit ambiguous...at some angles, it seems to lock in cleanly, at others, I am not sure if the internal teeth are really locked in or riding in between teeth, which causes hesitation to torque the knob too tightly out of fear of stripping/flattening the internal teeth. But not providing enough torque reduces my confidence of leaving a heavy camera on the rig for too long (I believe the rotator can handle a load of 22 lbs.) The Arca-swiss mount is one of the main reasons I purchased the RS-1 kit...it allowed me to use my existing Really Right Stuff L-brackets, which live on my cameras, so setup with the RS-1 is really fast compared to having to use the traditional camera plates that come with a NN3 or NN4.
The pano kit comes with a protective case, which is great for storage; however, it would be nice to have a fold-out pouch style for more compactness.
But overall, I think this is one of the best solutions for a compact pano kit, especially if one is using a DSLR or smaller. The product description is geared for folks that intend to use wide angle lenses (hence the selection of lens rings); but my application will be with standard and longer lenses in single and multi-row applications. I will definitely appreciate that the weight of this kit will not contribute to breaking my back on long treks, while still giving me options to use a larger medium format camera.