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Thread: Level help please!!!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13
    Hello,

    I have a toyo 45II field camera,

    I have a spirit level that I have bought from my local home depot.

    Where is the best place on the camera to level it from?

    On the top section, on the horse shoe mount, in front of the lens??

    Thanks

    Hello,

    I have a toyo 45II field camera,

    I have a spirit level that I have bought from my local home depot.

    Where is the best place on the camera to level it from?

    On the top section, on the horse shoe mount, in front of the lens??

    Thanks
    Last edited by Ralph Barker; 8-Apr-2009 at 09:00.

  2. #2
    Tom Perkins
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Minden, Nevada
    Posts
    79

    Re: Level help please!!!

    You may want to start with the bed, either underneath or along the rails, where ever you can find a flat area to rest the level. It should be leveled side to side and front to back. You will also want to check the vertical on the rear standard and perhaps the front standard. The rear is more critical than the front, and it can be difficult, and not entirely necessary, to get the front exactly parallel with the rear. After some time, you will find out how your camera trues up and it will be easier for you to tell what you have to do.

  3. #3
    Octogenarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3,520

    Re: Level help please!!!

    Level the back of the camera horizontally and vertically. The front standard has detents that help keep it parallel to the back.

    What is a "horse shoe" mount?

  4. #4
    Archphoto
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Holland + Brazil
    Posts
    563

    Re: Level help please!!!

    With the Maste Techika I allways had the level in the hot-shoe mount.
    For the new Shen Hao I need to mount one, should have the parts in stock.

    Peter

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Garland, Texas
    Posts
    42

    Re: level help pleaseee!!!

    The rear standard or the horse shoe mount gets my vote. If you use swings and tilts often just be sure you camera is back to neutral before reading the bubble. I have two 4x5's, one field and one studio rail. The studio camera has a bubble on the front standard and my field camera has it on the back. I prefer the back because it's faster to check as I actively level the camera with a quick glance to the top of the rear standard bubble. Hope this helps.

    RF

  6. #6
    LJ Segil
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Highland Park, IL
    Posts
    616

    Re: Level help please!!!

    Ok, here's the stupid question. When I set the camera at a comfortable height for viewing the ground glass, I am unable to see high enough to view the spirit levels, which sit on top of the rear standard of my camera (Canham 8x10 Woody, much to my continued delight). Or should I be setting the camera lower and be a bit crouched while viewing the GG (gets pretty uncomfortable if the setup is challenging and takes a little time, which describes most setups for me). Is leveling of the tripod head (those levels I can easily see, vertically challenged as I may be) sufficient if the camera settings are neutral? Replies suggesting that I learn how to use my camera better and more quickly may be valid though not helpful, as I'm always trying to do that every time I take the camera out. So maybe I'm both vertically challenged and a slow learner, but I hope not hopelessly so.
    LJS

  7. #7
    Archphoto
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Holland + Brazil
    Posts
    563

    Re: Level help please!!!

    I was refering to a Hama double level.
    The left to right part can be seen from the rear, and the front to back part from the side.
    In that way you can have your GG at a comfortable height.

    The Hama can be slid into the hotshoe of your camera.
    I even use it when taking pictures with my DSLR.

    (My Sinar P2 4x5/8x10 has levels build into it.

    And yes, your rear standard is the most critical one, esp when you want to take pic's from architecture.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Octogenarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3,520

    Re: Level help please!!!

    I'm 5 foot six and also shoot with an 8X0 Canham Traditional.

    The camera has bubble levels mounted on both ends of the carrying handle. Difficult to see when the camera is mounted high up on the tripod.

    I carry a small clear acrylic cube-type spirit level in my kit. Use it when I can't see the levels on the camera.

  9. #9
    Drew Saunders drew.saunders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    556

    Re: Level help please!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ljsegil View Post
    Ok, here's the stupid question. When I set the camera at a comfortable height for viewing the ground glass, I am unable to see high enough to view the spirit levels, which sit on top of the rear standard of my camera (Canham 8x10 Woody, much to my continued delight).
    LJS
    You could probably use a small mirror. Something like this: http://www.ebonycamera.com/articles/special_offer.html
    You could save quite a few bucks (pounds, euros, etc.) by getting one from the cosmetics section of your local store.
    Flickriver (to avoid Flickr's annoying new format): http://http://www.flickriver.com/photos/drew_saunders/

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,786

    Re: Level help please!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ljsegil View Post
    Ok, here's the stupid question. When I set the camera at a comfortable height for viewing the ground glass, I am unable to see high enough to view the spirit levels, which sit on top of the rear standard of my camera (Canham 8x10 Woody, much to my continued delight). Or should I be setting the camera lower and be a bit crouched while viewing the GG (gets pretty uncomfortable if the setup is challenging and takes a little time, which describes most setups for me). Is leveling of the tripod head (those levels I can easily see, vertically challenged as I may be) sufficient if the camera settings are neutral? Replies suggesting that I learn how to use my camera better and more quickly may be valid though not helpful, as I'm always trying to do that every time I take the camera out. So maybe I'm both vertically challenged and a slow learner, but I hope not hopelessly so.
    LJS
    Larry,

    I'm not sure how helpful this will be but it's something I've considered. Why not order one of the rear bubble/mirror assemblies used on Ebony cameras? I've been thinking about retrofitting one to a RW45. My SV45U and 8x10 have them, and they do solve the problem. One of my physics professors always said "Look for the elegant solution".

    Cheers, Steve

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