View Poll Results: Do you use a bubble level when shooting landscapes?

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  • Yes, always

    73 45.91%
  • Yes, usually

    39 24.53%
  • 50/50 or so

    16 10.06%
  • No, not usually

    14 8.81%
  • No, Never

    17 10.69%
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Thread: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

  1. #1
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    Jul 2007
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    Culver City, CA
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    for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    Just curious. My 4x5 camera has levels on it, and I find myself glancing at them just about every time I setup. My 8x10 doesn't have any levels (but does have a nice grid on the glass), and honestly I haven't really felt like I'm lacking anything with out them while I'm shooting or after I'm done and looking at the negatives. It's difficult to shoot my 4x5 with out looking at the levels, since they are already there.

    So I'm curious, how many of you use levels when shooting landscapes? Do you find that they help you compose? Or confirm your composition? Or just as an aid when you are shooting on un-level ground before you start composing?
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
    3d work: DanielBuck.net
    photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com

  2. #2
    Sheldon N's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Portland, OR
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    606

    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    They're built into the camera, so I always use them. I've found that when I frame what I think is level by looking at the ground glass, I'm often incorrect.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Abbotsford, Canada
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    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    I often use 6" carpenter's level.

    Tomaas

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    117

    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    I never use it. First I thought they must be there for the blind people who cannot judge the composition on the gg but then I realized they wouldn't see it there either, ehm. Its use probably depends on the focal length one uses - maybe the wide angles are more difficult to judge on the gg?

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Westminster, MD
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    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    And I use an angle finder to make sure the lens and the gg are square to each other, it there is no need for corrections.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    NJ
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    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    Tripod head, with built-in bubble levels, on a leveling ball.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    117

    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Calahan View Post
    And I use an angle finder to make sure the lens and the gg are square to each other, it there is no need for corrections.
    May I suggest, in all modesty, an Arca Swiss to use ? Sorry, I know , it was a bad joke

  8. #8
    Glenn Mellen
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Southlake, Texas
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    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    My camera doesn't have levels, but I use line levels and small handheld T-levels, and also level the tripod and ballhead or panhead. I prefer using gridded camera screens, but haven't equipped my 4x5 with one yet (but use them on MF cameras).

  9. #9
    Preston Birdwell
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Columbia, CA
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    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    I prefer to start with a level camera with the back and front standard plumb. This gives me a neutral starting point...

    And that's on the level.

    -PB
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,031

    Re: for landscapes, do you use a bubble level?

    My 4x5 field camera has no built-in levels, so I carry a 6" torpedo level in my bag. It gets used each time the camera is set up. IMO it helps a lot to start with the camera and all movements in a known, neutral position.

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