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Thread: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

  1. #1
    Member marktomaras's Avatar
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    Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Hello All,

    I have a Cambo WRS AE, mounted to an Arca Swiss D4, with an IQ160 on the back. Each of these items have bubble levels integrated, the Phase back has electronic levels of course.

    When I level the Cambo's bubbles, the Arca & Phase show less than perfect level. When I level the Arca's bubbles, the Cambo & Phase show less than perfect level. When I level the Phase back's electronic levels, the Arca & Cambo bubbles show less than perfect level. What gives?! This is high precision equipment, I would be much happier if each piece of gear confirmed that the other's level measurements are precise.

    Am I the only one? If not, who's levels do I follow? Is it possible that my digital back's electronic level is out of whack? Even if that is the case, the Cambo and and the Arca are still not in agreement.

    Who can you trust? What should I do?

    Thanks!
    Mark

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    The digital levels need to be calibrated, no?
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    probably more than you want to know here:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...light=leveling
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Thanks JLM, you are correct... that covers it! I think I will try to stick with the Cambo WRS levels and see how I do.

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    probably more than you want to know here:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...light=leveling
    Crap! Forgot all about this thread....
    Don Libby
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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    it all came back to me when i just overhauled my cube...i now have the little deuce coupe of cubes

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Shoot a horizon with the different levels and see which are level. Or leveler...

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    i love that word: leveler!
    thanks all. if i do a nerd test, I'll write my results here...

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    I'm lucky in that to the north-east of my home I have a lake (Georgian Bay, over 40 kms of open water). The horizon is by definition absolutely level!

    I simply line up my camera using the IQ180 level and shoot. I then look at the view on the back with the grid lines to see if it's level and adjust the electronic level so they agree.

    However, I do think it drifts because occasionally I have to reset the electronic level.

    Cheers,
    Bill

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    I use a Starrett machinist level as reference standard.

    Steve

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    what do you set the level on? and does it stay level when you rotate, as if doing a pano?

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    How about this? http://www.acratech.net/leveling-pro...-release-plate

    Not as precise as a machinist's level, but if you're a true gearhead, you'll love the design. Mine mostly sits on my desk.

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    slightly more useful than the level app on my cell phone...

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by marktomaras View Post
    Hello All,

    I have a Cambo WRS AE, mounted to an Arca Swiss D4, with an IQ160 on the back. Each of these items have bubble levels integrated, the Phase back has electronic levels of course.

    When I level the Cambo's bubbles, the Arca & Phase show less than perfect level. When I level the Arca's bubbles, the Cambo & Phase show less than perfect level. When I level the Phase back's electronic levels, the Arca & Cambo bubbles show less than perfect level. What gives?! This is high precision equipment, I would be much happier if each piece of gear confirmed that the other's level measurements are precise.

    Am I the only one? If not, who's levels do I follow? Is it possible that my digital back's electronic level is out of whack? Even if that is the case, the Cambo and and the Arca are still not in agreement.

    Who can you trust? What should I do?

    Thanks!
    Mark
    The levels at the top or highest point are always the most accurate. Errors in setting a level at the top of the head, which may be hardly visible, of only seconds or minutes of error on a degree scale, are multiplied the further you travel above this lower level on top of a head for instance.
    The angle you are viewing the level can make a substantial difference.
    So I always recommend leveling the camera platform on the head, then if possible use a camera level on the camera or at the highest possible place on the camera that is flat, for final adjustment.
    On a DSLR or MF camera, that may be a shoe level, or an electronic one. The electronic levels, while neat, are subject to drift due to electronic interference, so check them often against an accurate standard.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    The levels incorporated in the H5D50 back is NOT accurate. The bubble level on top of my R3mdi is extremely accurate.
    Stanley

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    suggest all read the linked post about levels; useful info

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Jim
    In a prior post you refer to a calibrated cube
    How did you calibrate the cube?
    Stanley

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    long story short:
    i wanted the top rotation plane of the cube and the camera mounting plane to stay level when rotated and when the cube levels indicated level both ways. not as easy as you might think. i had to machine the camera mount surface, as it was not perpendicular to the rotation axis.

    shown here, post 48 and following
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...light=leveling

    since then i have replaced those crummy knobs and eased the arc bearing fit as well

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Definitely suggest top down. You may also want to make sure you check your electronic level occasionally, as it can drift.
    Chris Valites
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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    Levels are self-calibrating.

    Place it on a flat level surface and note the reading.
    Then rotate it 180 degrees about the vertical axis and note the reading.
    The two should be identical, although they do not need to read "0".

    The problem with virtually all "consumer" grade levels is they do not have adequate resolution.
    All of the levels you find on cameras are "consumer" grade, regardless of how much you paid for them.

    The 15" long Starrett 199Z Master Precision Level is the industry standard, with an accuracy of 0.0005"/foot. It costs $900.00.
    The 18" long Starrett 98 Machinist's Level is its cheap cousin with 1/10th the accuracy (0.005"/foot). It costs $450.00.

    If you want to investigate decent professional levels, many of which are suitable for photographic use, go to
    www.mcmaster.com
    and enter level in the search box at upper left.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    go to the link in post #3

    went over this before

  22. #22
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    Re: Which Bubble Level Do You Trust?

    The one in the photoshop crop setting for leveling the horizon. The rest, not so much.

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