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Thread: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

  1. #61

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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    So basically what you’re saying is you can’t help me out with my laser depth gauge lens board-ground glass alignment idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    John - the real deal levels are certified, with the certification note right in the box, just like lots of the US made Starrett precision equipment. Each piece is tested against a factory standard. They make more than precision equipment, so that's not the case with one of their own label common carpenter's square or holesaw or hacksaw blades etc. But it is routine with the pricey items. Some kinds of levels are re-adjustable, but others fixed, and basically unalterable unless the machined housing itself corrodes to the degree that it is not longer perfectly flat. That can happen. For instance, I once sold a person a custom especially long precision Starrett straightedge, accurate along the whole length to about .0002 inch. He waited six months for delivery, but didn't pay attention to the instructions, and then just stuffed it unboxed in a closet in this salt air climate. He didn't realize that the kind of steel involved requires routine oiling to prevent rust. When he took it out a few months later, that $800 straightedge was no more accurate than a $10 one because the edge was pitted. But for a nominal fee, he sent it back and they re-machined the critical edge, and had to wait a few months more in order to have it on hand.

    That was back when I was selling mainly to machinists and mechanics. Much later, at a different business, I was dealing with very high-end ($$$$) cabinet shops and custom furniture makers. The Starrett tools they used comprised many of the same model numbers as back when Starrett first began in the latter part of the 19th C - combination squares, wing dividers, etc. But things were so well machined and standardized all along that someone could come in with a combination square head made in 1905, and I could order a blade made a 110 years later, and it would fit perfectly. Happened rather frequently in fact. The only real difference is that a modern blade has a satin chrome finish, easier to read, plus metric options if one wishes. I keep both metric and inch blades on hand. Another thing one notices is that once you tighten the knob to a Starrett combination square, everything ends up perfectly square every time. That simply doesn't happen with ordinary hardware store combination squares; you have to check each time if the application is critical.

    Remember, generations of machinists have relied on the reputation of companies like Starrett and Brown & Sharpe, Mitutoyo, etc. It isn't like what one encounters in Cheapo Depot where tens of thousands or even millions of a particular tool item gets outsources, shipped, and marketed without even a single one of them ever being tested, not even the prototype. Happens all the time in those kinds of venues. Whole different ballgame. Just like I hinted in the preceding paragraph, the serious level models in question have are time tested for at least a hundred years. If you find a clean one in your grandfather's toolbox, it will probably be just as precise today. Otherwise, there are ways of testing.

    The same outfit I last worked for, and served as buyer for in a number of categories, was also by far the largest Stabila level dealer in the country. No, not machinist quality, but certainly a cut above most other options. Even the bubble position black markings were physical and inside the vial, rather than painted or a decal outside it. There was a distinct reason for that, even though it required a certain amount of fussy hand-tuning every instance. Lifetime warranties were involved; but there were always a certain number of dummies who mistook a level for a crowbar, so each complaint had to go through a distinct inspection protocol before replacement. Some of their models were readjustable, others permanently fixed in epoxy and especially stable box extrusions, with one true machined edge. Basically, you get what you pay for. The Chinese can clone the look of darn near anything, but not the quality.

  2. #62
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    16,808

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    I use cheapest iPhone SE2 and always update asap, Bought new for $200, now $250!

    https://www.walmart.com/cp/total-wir...0Wireless%20FC

    Been using Total prepaid for years, it runs on Verizon, only service that handles my area.

    and Walmart is far cheaper than Verizon, for some stupid reason


    and I always guess exposure first, then meter! What if it fails!

    In studio with strobes, I use my L758 Sekonic and second guess never.

    Bought new 2008 well before I came to LF sport.

    My strobes match exactly to that meter stop by stop
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pocket...er/id381698089



    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    I had heard that using a smart phone was not a reliable light meter.

    What model phone and which app?
    Images vastly preferred

    not game trying to


    focus


    In Time

  3. #63
    Arca-Swiss
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    May 2002
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    187

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    One of the issues is mounting shoe levels. You need to always, after inserting the level, push it to one side and all the way to the front of the shoe. This Squares the level with the camera and makes leveling easier as well.

    A small angle fonder used against the ground glass and the lens board, if possible, is also a great way for, fore and aft, checking.

    Rod
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International
    480-755-3364


    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

  4. #64
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Klukas View Post
    One of the issues is mounting shoe levels. You need to always, after inserting the level, push it to one side and all the way to the front of the shoe. This Squares the level with the camera and makes leveling easier as well.

    A small angle fonder used against the ground glass and the lens board, if possible, is also a great way for, fore and aft, checking.

    Rod
    Are shoe mounts really parallel to the film and camera? I lay my three-axis level on top of the wooden standards figuring that's closest to the sheet film holder on my 4x5.

  5. #65

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,417

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    All that only to discover what is being images is not level to the camera location.

    Levels are at best rough estimates for camera set up. Use the GG grid for better results.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Are shoe mounts really parallel to the film and camera? I lay my three-axis level on top of the wooden standards figuring that's closest to the sheet film holder on my 4x5.

  6. #66
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    I use a flash shoe mount for my Nikon and other cameras on the copy stand, which is itself precise and fully adjustable. Once any camera is installed, the bubble level attached to the hot shoe is adjusted to a reference level on the film plane itself. I rarely pull out a Starrett true machinist's level to do that, because it would amount to overkill. But behind every level in my shop there is indeed a better one, and yet a still better one behind that one. I don't take anything for granted, quality-wise.

    Michael, I dont know what you're whining about. What specifically more do you need to know? Just like anything else, there are toy lasers and serious ones. Lasers cost everything from ten bucks to ten billion. Somewhere in between, nearer the bottom of that price list, but with at least one more zero behind it, is where you need to look. I'd personally add two more zeros, in other words, a thousand bucks or more; but since I had access to all kinds of them for sake of testing, didn't really need to spend a even a cent. I do have on hand a sample of an exceptionally good fully machined laser torpedo level, but have gotten more use out of it in the long-haul as dot-chasing toy for the cat than in actual shop applications. I can't think of anything equivalent today, of equal quality or precision within a very simple, non-programmable product. Now every compact laser level is plastic with a bunch of buttons on it. But overall, for sake of small surface leveling, I'd far rather have just a well made vial torpedo level with a true machined base than any cheapo version of a self-leveling laser.

    What I think you have in mind, however, is more of a relatively precise laser distance measuring device. You'd have to come up with quite a bit of money and precise mounting positions to even begin to replace a common metric tape ruler. The ancient Egyptians and Maya precisely squared up their pyramids with just some string length and shadow tricks. No lasers back then, at least if other than aliens built the pyramids! Equalized lengths of ordinary piano wire has been used in many small scale projects.

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