Discussion Forum Leica S System S Lenses Nodal Point for S lenses
  • #4019

    I would like to use my S lenses to stitch multiple captures using a panoramic slide. Does anyone know how to determine the nodal point for any of the S lenses?



  • #4022
    Jack MacD

    Easy to do if you have a nodel plate.

    This is Moose Peterson’s description of how to do it:

    To find the nodal point, we’re going to need a stick, branch or some straight line about 3-5 feet in front of the camera. Then we need something in the background, anything about 30-50 feet away from the camera. What we’re going to do is look at the relationship of the stick in the foreground with the object in the background. Then we’re going to slide the nodal plate back and forth in the clamp of the tripod head so that when you pan the camera with the ballhead, the stick and object stay lined up no matter where the camera is directly pointed.
    Let’s say you have a car antenna five feet in front of the camera. In the background off in the distance you see a patio umbrella in your neighbor’s backyard. The car antenna is directly centered in front of the umbrella when you look through the lens. It needs to stay in this exact same position as you rotate/pan the camera back and forth. So if the antenna/umbrella are in the dead center of the viewfinder and lined up with each other, when you pan so they are either on the extreme left or right side of the viewfinder, they are still perfectly lined up with each other. If they are not, then you simply move the nodal plate either forward or backwards until they remained lined up when you pan. It’s really easy and takes only a few moments. If you’re using the RRS MPR-CL, D2H and 28mmPC on the BH-55 head, all you have to do is line up the grove on the end MPR-CL with the leading edge on the BH-55 clamp and you’re there. Whether by accident or design, it works every time. With your nodal point determined, you’re ready to go.

  • #4023

    Thanks so much Jack. Your explanation was great and I’ll certainly give it a try.


  • #4041

    Actually, i think it’s much easier. What one calls the nodal point is in fact the entry pupil. If you go on the leica wedsite you find for each S lens a data sheet which contains information on where the entry pupil is. For example, fo the 70 mm, it is at 26.7 cm from the bajonet.

  • #4042

    Thanks, but isn’t it measured from the first lens surface in light direction? At least that’s what they say for the M Lenses …


  • #4043

    Iceman is correct. For example the Leica Data Sheet for the Vario-Elmar S 30-90mm gives the position of the entrance pupil (from apex of 1st lens element) for two zoom positions as WA: 72.8 mm / Tele: 65.9 mm. If the way this is quoted is similar to that of the M series lenses then the entrance pupil is measured back from the apex of the front element ie. it is behind the front element.


  • #4044
    Jack MacD

    You are all correct, but the photographer still has to transfer the number onto the slide.
    The numbers on the slide do not necessarily match with bayonet distances. So to be totally sure of your accuracy, the checking procedure is worth doing. Here is another different tutorial:

  • #4046

    Indeed, most of the time it’s given as a distance from the front element but for the 70 it’s different. I did not yet tri it for the S but did for the M, and it worked. I think performing addition tests is only useful, it t all, if there objects very near to the camera. In fact, i did many handheld landscape panos.

  • #4527

    This is pretty useful for pano work… http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/s.nl/it.A/id.8872/.f

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