View Full Version : Looking for levels to mount on my 8x10

Daniel Grenier
6-Apr-2005, 09:33
My camera (8x10 Wista) has no levels on it and that's a shortfall. I'd like to mount a couple on the rear standard (and front?) as well as the bed. Where can I find appropriate levels for this purpose along with a documented procedure to ensure trueness etc.

Any suggestions?

Scott Rosenberg
6-Apr-2005, 10:01
hey daniel...




Gem Singer
6-Apr-2005, 10:15
Hi Daniel,

I merely mounted a small chrome plated round (bulls eye) spirit level on top of my 8X10 Tachihara next to the carrying handle. It works great.

This type of spirit level is available from Edmund Scientific, and others, for a very reasonable price. Mine is permanently mounted by means of three small brass wood screws. However, double-backed tape should also work , if you don't want to put holes in the wood.

If the bulls eye type spirit level is mounted solidly on a flat surface, it will ensure trueness. I thought about it, and decided that there was no need for an additional spirit level on the front standard, since it has a zero detent and I usually tilt the front, anyway.

Matt Mengel
6-Apr-2005, 10:45
Daniel, try the cullman level http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=113844&is=REG
it mounts on a hotshoe-some Wistas have a shoe mount on top. You could mount the shoe on your camera and slide the level on and off as needed and use the level on other things as well.
it's 30 bucks though-

6-Apr-2005, 11:18
you can use a pole level which can be found at virtually any hardware store .
i have a handful of them and i think they cost me something like 25 each.

Scott Walton
6-Apr-2005, 12:52
You should have a Home Depot or Lowes near you... they have small, single tube levels about 1" long or what I use on my TecIII, is a 2 way bubble that has 2 small tubes perpendicular on a small triangular plate about 1x2".

6-Apr-2005, 13:34

Peter White
6-Apr-2005, 20:38
There's a potential problem if you use a bubble level on top of the rear standard. It won't be visible if you have the ground glass at eye level when standing up straight. You'll need something to stand up on to level the camera.

Jim Rice
6-Apr-2005, 21:43
Peter is right. You want a side view of the levels. Orient one to be viewed from the side of the rear standard and the other from the back. It should still be doable from the hardware store (or Edmonds, depending upon one's tolerences) with tube levels as opposed to bullseye ones.

Daniel Grenier
7-Apr-2005, 05:41
Thanks all for the input.

As I consistently have the camera (GG) at eye level, a bullseye level on top of the camera is impractical so I have to opt for side levels on the back standard for ease of use. I will get a bullseye for the bed to coarse-level the camera. For the back, though, I'd like a double tube level (X&Y), with a thin profile and with "sticky tape" back as opposed to screws. Still looking...


mark anderson
7-Apr-2005, 06:15
you might wan to check recreation vehicle (camper) dealers. they have several types used to level campers, usualy with 2 way tape included.

7-Apr-2005, 10:49
The smallest and nicest level I have found is made for archery bow leveling.


sight level (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jhtml?id=0020617415946a&type=product&cmCat=search&returnString=hasJS=true&_D%3AhasJS=+&QueryText=adhesive+sight+level&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jhtml.22&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=adhesive+sight+level&noImage=0&returnPage=search-results1.jhtml)
Cheaper and better than anything else I have ever found...

Ken Lee
7-Apr-2005, 11:12
Rich - Thanks for the link. I will try those archery levels on my 5x7 Kodak Master View No. 2

Several nice examples of where to place levels, can be seen in Tom Westbrook's article The Arca-Swiss F-line Field Camera (http://www.tomwestbrook.com/Photography/as_photos.html" target="_blank)

Daniel Grenier
7-Apr-2005, 11:42
Hey Rich, that's it! Archery levels! Thanks for the tip... that should work out perfectly for me.


Peter White
7-Apr-2005, 13:18

I'm not sure that leveling the bed is all that useful, unless you're using a ball head. I would suggest leveling your tripod head at the left-right pivot instead. If your tripod isn't level and you use the head to level the camera, when you want to turn the camera to the right or left, it's now no longer level. Some heads come with a built-in level, such as my Gitzo G1270. With the tripod level, you can then pivot the head and the camera stays level, provided you don't use a ball head. ;-)

I don't see much need for having a level on the camera's bed. Once the tripod is level, the camera bed will be level as well, at least side to side. Whether it's level fore/aft is inconsequential.

If you ARE using a ball head, please ignore everything above. ;-)

Brian Ellis
8-Apr-2005, 05:48
Adorama sells a two way level for about $30 that attaches with tape rather than screws. I think it's called the "Double Bubble" but I'm not sure. I'm sure other places sell them too but the one I used to have was bought from Adorama.