View Full Version : great little tool
Nacio Jan Brown
Those who use field or view cameras without built-in levels may be interested in a tool I found at Reid Tool Supply Co. (800 438 1145). It's like a little machi nist's square. One leg is 3" long, the other, 2". It's 1/2" thick, with a very n ice matte finish. Each leg contains an accurate bubble level visible from the si de face of the tool. In addition, the shorter leg has a second bubble level visi ble on the end edge of the tool. It's made by Starrett, their #134. Reid's catal ogue number is STR-26040. Cost $31.97, shipped. Aligning lens and film planes to each other in all three axes is quick and easy, as is making sure the film plane is level and plumb. fwiw, njb
Further back in their catalog they also have the round bullseye levels in several different styles. They seem like pretty helpful folks on the phone.
How do you know if the the lens and film planes have zero swing relative to each other using this tool?
Nacio Jan Brown
Simple! Using the tripod head, tilt the whole camera over 90 degrees (so that what was horizontal becomes vertical), adjust lens and film planes to plumb, and then restore camera to its original position. This is the first adjustment I make. With the camera again upright, I next check lens and film planes for plumb, and last, I check the film plane for level (it doesn't matter if the lens plane is rotated a bit). I'm using a Galvin on a Tiltall tripod which has separate adjustments for tilt in two directions at 90 degrees to each other. In adjusting, I use the tripod head to plumb the first plane and the camera controls to plumb the second. If you were using a ball head you would need to use only camera controls. I can imagine tripod interference problems with this procedure if you were using a very large camera as you tilted it over and down through 90 degrees. njb
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