The Nodal Ninja 5 is considered to be one of the best panorama heads available, but Fanotek will not claim that it can be used for batch stitching. There is a good reason for this, but it is luckily easy to correct with some tape and a machinist square.
Removing the play from the camera plate/upper rail is easy. Just add some strips of tape to both the camera plate and the upper rail, add strips until the plate fits snugly into the rail.
Ordinary plastic tape turns out to be too frail, it will fray and get sticky. Here aluminium foil tape has been used, it is much sturdier, and tolerates much more wear before it has to be replaced.
The camera plate can be attached to the camera quickly and with precision using a machinst square:
The whole procedure is so quick and easy to do, that it takes longer time explaining it than to do it.
A machinist square isn't very portable in a typical photo bag, so the next logical step is to make a custom alignment tool.
This is simply a piece of wood cut precisely to the correct height to place under the camera plate. It has the added benefit of making it possible to position the camera plate more precisely sideways than can be done with the machinist square.
There is some play in the camera plate, by using this device the plate can be positioned in the same place each time. Just align it up to a feature on the bottom of the camera.
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