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Thread: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

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    Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    As I shoot on beaches a lot, levelling is always a challenge. I am using a Cube and RRS L Bracket. As I also use the GIL on my H4D, the L bracket extends to the side of the camera. I have just realised that, after levelling the Cube that the whole rig is not level in portrait. I am travelling every week at the moment and haven't had the time to work out where it is coming unstuck.

    Has anyone else found an issue using this setup?
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    I confess that I have similar issues using the cube and/or level in the hot shoe of my D3x. Only eyeballing through the viewfinder or horizon live view work accurately for me.

    The RRS plates and L bracket are true precision items and I trust their accuracy implicitly. The level on the cube is inserted into a small gap and only needs to be a tiny bit off to be inaccurate at the sensor.

    I recall at least one person here sending their cube back for adjustment of the level or mechanism to get it more accurate.

    More often than not I compensate by framing slightly wider to leave room for adjustment in post production. It is annoying though.

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    Graham, thanks. Oddly enough, I would expect the Cube to be accurate. Spirit levels that aren't are most annoying. I think that I will contact my dealer and make it his problem to fix.

    I just checked my Cube with another spirit level sitting on top of it. The Cube is off level. I just checked the forum and discovered that this has been discussed before. Whoops.
    Last edited by Jeffg53; 26th June 2010 at 20:48.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    Mine isn't level - but then again neither is the artificial horizon in my p65+... or the various ones on my Wide RS. Ironically the best I have so far is to use the Y axis of my Wide RS and the Z axis of my Cambo hotshoe mounted level. The trouble is, anything even a tiny bit away from 'true' will make a 'flat sea' horizon tilted... I have also heard from others that the seating of the levels in the cube is often slightly off...

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    Can't help you as my Phase's RRS L-bracket is less than half a degree off -- call it 15 minutes off -- on my Cube. Close enough for most everything I do -- but by no means "perfect." In fact, since bubble levels have a "range" between the lines of about 20 minutes of arc, I suspect it's going to be difficult to find any camera or head with a perfect set to their bubbles. With architectural shots, I do run the ruler in CS pretty regularly just to make sure it's perfect, and often need a 1/4 and occasionally a 1/2 degree rotation plus or minus.

    For me, I've always found the hot-shoe type bubble to be consistently unreliable, but clearly other's experiences differ. As for the level on my P65+ back, it jives with my Cube, so maybe I'm twice lucky. Or perhaps they're both off by the same amount in which case I'm twice unlucky...
    Jack
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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    One of the levels in mine is slightly off too, the other one being perfect. I have been told that this is a minor annoyance one should accept, the as the top clamp of the cube isn't 100% plain/level. I was thinking about trying to fix it myself.

    --chris

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    Thanks one and all. I don't know that I will bother trying to get it fixed based on your feedback. Thank heavens for the grid screen.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    By the way, Acratech sells a very useful level that can be used both to calibrate (and correct) the Cube's levels and to pre-set for anything else. I've carried one in my pocket for several years.

    Dave.

    http://acratech.net/product.php?prod...5&cat=4&page=1

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    That's a fascinating little device. I suspect that it would drive me nuts having to take the camera off every time I move to re-level it. I tend to move around a fair bit when I am shooting. It might be worth buying so that I could use it to work out which Cube level was off and then mark it on the level.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    Quote Originally Posted by delled View Post
    By the way, Acratech sells a very useful level that can be used both to calibrate (and correct) the Cube's levels and to pre-set for anything else. I've carried one in my pocket for several years.
    if i understood the arca-people correctly, the problem is that the milling of the top clamp of the cube doesn't guarantee that an attached camera is level if the cube's spirit levels say it's level. the cube's built-in levels allow for a close approximation but the ultimate point of reference should be levels in the camera (and they say, probably referring to the RM3d, that the camera's levels are 10x more accurate).

    when using the cube i simply attach a RRS quick release clamp with a spirit level to the cube's top clamp.

    --chris

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    Quote Originally Posted by cly View Post
    if i understood the arca-people correctly, the problem is that the milling of the top clamp of the cube doesn't guarantee that an attached camera is level if the cube's spirit levels say it's level. the cube's built-in levels allow for a close approximation but the ultimate point of reference should be levels in the camera (and they say, probably referring to the RM3d, that the camera's levels are 10x more accurate).

    when using the cube i simply attach a RRS quick release clamp with a spirit level to the cube's top clamp.

    --chris
    IMHO, that is just bizarre. If I understand what you said. Arca know they have a problem, know how they could fix it, but choose not to. I could also fix it by ripping off the Arca clamp and replacing it with an RRS one.

    Beam me up Scotty.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    for my purposes, I want the camera to be level AND the plane of the top turntable to be level with a true plumb rotation axis this is a machining and registration issue in the cube and clamp. Only If this is the case will your pano rotations will be in a level plane.

    it is assumed that the cube levels relate to to absolute level but it ain't necessarily so

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    I've never had any real problems with the Cube however will admit I rely more on the levels on the WRS than the Cube itself. I make certain the camera is level then do a fast right to left to right movement to ensure the level stays level. I'll also admit the only camera I really used on the Cube is my WRS as I sold my Phase 645 shortly after I brought the Cube.

    I have used the M9 on the Cube however I'm waiting till I get the new RRS bracket to really try it out.

    I've always figured that it anything was absolutely perfect (a) it cost too darn much and (b) I'd end up breaking it anyway. The Cube is as close to perfect as I want for me.

    Don

    I also feel that no 2-levels are going to ever agree as there's too much room for manufacturing error.

    As always just my 2
    Don Libby
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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    "the ultimate point of reference should be levels in the camera (and they say, probably referring to the RM3d, that the camera's levels are 10x more accurate)."

    even with the Rm3D, i think that the only way to be perfectly levelled is to use a level on the MFDB itself... please leaf, ad levels next time !

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    Re: Cube and L Bracket aren't level

    the problem with leveling is you need a reference surface that is a true level plane. generally the camera base is your best shot, as you can level that left right, fore and aft. using the rim of the lens will allow fore and aft, but not left-right. my digital back has even less for a reference.
    of course grid lines and a true horizon or true vertical will be even better.
    my point is if you want to pano, not only does the camera need to be level, but also the rotation plane

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