Hi can I use the kaidan 900/950 bracket with the Nikon Coolpix 4500
eeerrrrr, NOT true. I use a Kaidan Kiwi rotator with a 950 and the 8mm fisheye every day. All is needed is to find the nodal and mark the spot for next time. I think Dave at www.360texas.com has a tutorial on finding lens nodals
Here's an example: www.burgerdesign.com.au and hit the Virtual Tour link...
The people who answer phone calls at kaidan are for taking orders not answering questions. At least they haven't answered any of my questions accurately or they just say they don't know. They told me also that there was no way I could use the fish with the 900/950 bracket.
Ian had told me how to modify the 900/950 bracket to use with a fish. You just have to remove a small part of the bracket with a saw so it does not show up in the pictures and it works perfectly.
I don't have a 950 anymore but still have my 950 bracket if anyone wants it.
Jim Anders from Kaidan said they are working on an adapter that will allow you to use the 4500 with the 990 bracket but last time I checked it was not available yet.
I think the lens/ bracket confusion comes with when the lens is at the proper nodal point position, that part of the bracket edge protrudes into the lens view.
Its not that the lens/bracket won't work because by sliding the camera along in the slotted hole... to the lens nodal point position... its because at that position.. the bracket sticks to far out and obsures part of the lens view. Hence "It won't work attitude".
I had this issue with the 950/Fisheye lens using the Kiwi+ bracket. click on the side view 950/FE and Kiwi+ [the one with the wood wall behind] when you visit : http://360texas.com/tips/15.htm .
You can see the top edge of the vertical bracket sticking out ahead of the fisheye lens. Aso notice the red vertical line on the picture denoting the nodal point associated with lens position and head point of rotation.
Permanent solution was to use a metal cutting hacksaw to remove the offending edge piece. I filed down the rough edges and used black magic marker ink pen to cover up the cut mark areas. Rather wished I didn't have cut off that piece, because it rendered the head unsellable.
While trying to make the head work - I decided to build from scratch 2 pan heads. They worked great.. and the image results with home built heads was enough for us to realise that the kiwi990 head was a good direction to go.. so we bought 2 kiwi990' heads, levelers etc. We get really great results with this arrangement.
To follow up on this issue. I just purchased a CP 4500 today and was confident that, regardless the scope of the project, I could use my already modified 950 bracket with the new camera. I am getting close to having the nodal point position pinpointed (taking a break at the moment) and am finding that the fit of the 4500 is not much different than the 950. I have preexisting issues with the construction of the 950 however, for the price, it is a fine product (not to mention that it was never made to work with the FC-E8). One issue is that the bottom right corner extends into the image circle by a considerable distance. This issue is no worse and no better using the 4500. I have hacked this corner off sometime ago and it is not an issue at this point.
The 950 bracket does not have any method of keeping the camera from rotating around the mounting bolt and the small, plastic attachments that ship with the 950 bracket do not fit anywhere on the bracket (anywhere that is useful at least) when the 4500 is mounted. I just got the camera this afernoon and am using a piece of wood with foam padding, wedged under the camera, to keep it level while I attempt to find the best nodal position. I am thinking about better solutions however, I haven't thought of a better one yet.
My verdict: the 950 bracket works just as well for the 4500 as it does for the 950 with the exception of positioning braces. With some creative engineering, this isn't a major consideration. Please keep in mind that this is not advice, just my personal observations and opinions. I came at this with the attitude that I am working with a spectacularly well-suited 90 degree piece of metal and NOT a premanufactured solution that would easily work for my camera. I also accepted long ago that this bracket would not be considered a liquidatable asset at anytime in the future.
Okay, after a tedious few hours of finding the nodal point (yes, a few hours...well, it is a new camera and I'm not that proficient with it yet), I think I've come as close as I can. Really, it looks to be damn-near the same spot that I used with my 950. Unfortunately, I used positioning blocks to correctly mount my 950 instead of marking the spot. I wish now that I had marked the spot before I removed the positioning blocks because I am not able to compare the old nodal with the new.
FWIW, the Kaidan 950 pano head seems to be exactly 10cm wide. My nodal position for the 4500 (shooting objects in the 3-15 foot range) is at app. 3.35-3.40 cm from the REAR edge. Like I said, it appears to be the approximate spot at which my 950 was positioned.
Also, I am going to try a "U" shaped bracket as a vertical positioner for the camera. I have removed the level that comes attached to the bottom of the pano head which leaves those two screw holes vacant and available for use for this type of thing (the position of that level was useless with the camera attached and I prefer circular levels for more accuracy anyway).
Sure, I just finished it. Still a couple more finishing touches but, it is operational now. Rather than explain what I did, I'll take your suggestion and post a photo. I'll put it up tomorrow and post here when I do.
Absolutely, do not use the measurements that I posted above. Turns out the ruler that I used is very inaccurate.