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Thread: Wonky horizons and spirit levels

  1. #1
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Wonky horizons and spirit levels

    Horizons which are just a bit off are quite distracting for many of us. The usual advice is to use a hot shoe spirit level, or correct in pp.

    So I found 3 hot shoe levels here, and tried them on a proper spirit level;



    Not very encouraging -- two of them were considerably off the mark, the other not so bad -- but none was accurate.

    So I then tried them on the Olympus E30 -- this has an electronic level, both side-to-side and front-to-back.
    With the camera level, I got similar results -- two of them were way off, the other was a bit off

    The particular tripod/head/plate combination has no less than 4 built-in bubble levels -- the circular ones.
    I could not get all of the bubbles in the centre circle.

    You might like to try to repeat this; but it looks as if hot shoe levels are none too accurate -- more of a guide than anything else; and for accurate horizons, you need to correct in pp.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Wonky horizons and spirit levels

    I have this problem with virtually every level (6) I have. The manufacturers think that anything they throw together is acceptable and we continue to accept poor quality. Why should they try to do better? Oddly enough, its not very difficult to make an accurate level. The solution is to carefully check it before using (and return as many as necessary until one satisfies you).

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    Member dogstarnyc's Avatar
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    Re: Wonky horizons and spirit levels

    I think it has more to do with the flat surface on the level rather than the bubble, after all, physics can't be wrong but if the nylon base of the level has a small burr or if there is dirt in the hotshoe then it will throw things.

    I have two, one for my Mamiya AFDII and one for my Fuji S5 Pro, I have filed down the bases of each one so that it fits the shoe and gives me a closer but more importantly reliable point to work from, after that it's Lightroom all the way...

    If someone made a machines metal one it would be better but if there is 'play' within your hotshoe, you are still going to get anomalies.

    S

  4. #4
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Wonky horizons and spirit levels

    My main point was that these cheapo plastic hot shoe spirit levels are not very reliable.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

  5. #5
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    Bill Caulfeild-Browne's Avatar
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    Re: Wonky horizons and spirit levels

    I really prefer to use a focussing screen with gridlines and have one in each of my cameras.
    Bill

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