5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

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D2RSURVEY
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5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by D2RSURVEY » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:12 pm

Hello

I use a 5010, for the majority of projects I do not need colour but like the facility. I do have the M-Cam which isn't worth the hassle nor the Z+F camera rig. I believe the Nodal Ninja is the way to go. Does anyone have experience of using one of these and which is currently the best rig to purchase. Also though Nodal market a kit including camera I wish to use a later camera. Can I use any suitable camera or are there special requirements and software required.

Thanks

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by jorgenspetz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:56 am

Hi Wayne,

With our 5010 (still doing the job) we have been using the nodal ninja along with a Canon 700 (with HDR). And of course a fish-eye. Stitching it to a panorama with PTGUI and export as cube faces. Then put it all together in Cyclone. Have not tried it in LC.
The end result is nice if you put some effort in the camera shooting/stitching procedure. Works if you do not have to many setups. Now we only use the built in camera since we have younger scanners. Time and effort is far less.

/J Spetz

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by steves01x » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:10 am

I had a quick look in to the Ninja but it appears your stuck using a cropped sensor camera plus the issues of having to move the camera to take more photos so the light may change - would it not be easier with the iStar?

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by paranoiahasu » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:13 pm

I'm totally agree with Steve, iStar is a better and faster solution. However, there is huge cost difference between ninja set and iStar.
I was using nodal ninja for 5006 and 5010 with canon 300D + fisheye. It's not that easy to use but it's possible =)

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by steves01x » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:07 am

paranoiahasu wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:13 pm
I'm totally agree with Steve, iStar is a better and faster solution. However, there is huge cost difference between ninja set and iStar.
I was using nodal ninja for 5006 and 5010 with canon 300D + fisheye. It's not that easy to use but it's possible =)
Im a bit of a camera snob so i was pricing it up using a 5D mk4 or S/R version plus an L series lens but as i said i dont think the full frame works properly for some reason.

I suppose the iStar price difference would soon pay for its self if you were cutting down field time by at least 25%!

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by jedfrechette » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:36 pm

steves01x wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:07 am
i dont think the full frame works properly for some reason.
Nodal Ninja's work just fine with full frame cameras. They're about the simplest piece of kit you could imagine and should work just fine with anything that has a lens, a sensor, and a threaded hole for mounting on a tripod.
Jed

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by steves01x » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:28 pm

jedfrechette wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:36 pm
steves01x wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:07 am
i dont think the full frame works properly for some reason.
Nodal Ninja's work just fine with full frame cameras. They're about the simplest piece of kit you could imagine and should work just fine with anything that has a lens, a sensor, and a threaded hole for mounting on a tripod.
For example would a 5D still need a fish eye or would it be able to use a prime L series lens such as the 14mm f2.8? Once the images are merged is it fairly smooth process in cyclone? ( i have only ever tried sample data/scan form iStar to colorize)

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by jedfrechette » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:58 am

I can't speak to the integration with Cyclone, since I've only ever used the panoramas for other purposes. You can certainly use longer focal lengths if you want, it just means you'll need to take more photos to cover a given a field of view. For example, while you would only need 3 x 8mm photos to cover a full 360 you would need at least 12 with a 14 mm.

http://www.hdrlabs.com/tools/panocalc.html

Of course the 14 mm pano would also be much higher resolution.
Jed

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by Jamesrye » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:33 am

We used to use the nodal ninja, but gave up on it when the istar came out.

The problems we had with it were:

1. Incorrect stitching with Ptgui
2. Parallax issues meant application of the imagery to the point cloud took ages and was rarely perfect.
3. Bulky in the field compared to istar, slower to use.

The advantages over the istar:

1. Higher resolution panos
2. Ability to mask
3. We used a Nikon DSLR, which didn't have an auto HDR mode, but in general found that it was easy to edit the imagery to bring up detail in the shadows. Color reproduction was also excellent. Having said that, the low light performance of the istar is great and the HDR is all done automatically.

We see a huge time saving with the istar, especially with the application of images to the point cloud.
Nodal Ninja's work just fine with full frame cameras. They're about the simplest piece of kit you could imagine and should work just fine with anything that has a lens, a sensor, and a threaded hole for mounting on a tripod.
This is true, but I remember that there was an issue with using different lenses, it had to do with getting the centre of the lens exactly at the nodal point. We also had problems to set some lenses to 'infinity'.

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Re: 5010 Nodal Ninja Rig

Post by Formula1982 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:45 pm

Jamesrye wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:33 am
We used to use the nodal ninja, but gave up on it when the istar came out.

The problems we had with it were:

1. Incorrect stitching with Ptgui
2. Parallax issues meant application of the imagery to the point cloud took ages and was rarely perfect.
3. Bulky in the field compared to istar, slower to use.

The advantages over the istar:

1. Higher resolution panos
2. Ability to mask
3. We used a Nikon DSLR, which didn't have an auto HDR mode, but in general found that it was easy to edit the imagery to bring up detail in the shadows. Color reproduction was also excellent. Having said that, the low light performance of the istar is great and the HDR is all done automatically.

We see a huge time saving with the istar, especially with the application of images to the point cloud.
Nodal Ninja's work just fine with full frame cameras. They're about the simplest piece of kit you could imagine and should work just fine with anything that has a lens, a sensor, and a threaded hole for mounting on a tripod.
This is true, but I remember that there was an issue with using different lenses, it had to do with getting the centre of the lens exactly at the nodal point. We also had problems to set some lenses to 'infinity'.
It's interesting...we have used Ninja kits for a decade, and also looked at the iStar. We decided we couldnt make it work for us, even though it was undoubtedly a fantastic piece of kit. What's interesting is...our reasons for not going forward with the iStar is because our pro/con list are mostly the exact opposite of what you have.

For us:

Pro's of iStar
Neat system, easier to use than Ninja
HDR automatic

Con's of iStar
More expensive
Lower resolution panos
Parallax issues with objects that are closer than 1m to the scanner (applies to 80% of our scans).

We never get parallax or stitch issues from our Ninja derived images. I would suggest the issue may be with incorrect settings used on the ninja brackets. And since HDR, stitching of images and now stitching of panoramics to the point cloud can all be done automatically from ninja derived pano images, we don't see much time could be saved by going to the iStar.

That all said, we were always very impressed with the iStar, and thought it was very well priced. We just couldn't make it work for our uses, where Ninja output was better and cheaper.

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