Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 66

Thread: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    15,377

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    All those camera shop branded ones are utter toys. So is all that Amazon crap. But admittedly, most folks aren't wiling to pay for anything of serious machinist quality, but that's the kind of source where you'd look. A decent torpedo level has a strong casting and a machined prime edge. Stabila is a good brand at reasonable price, well below machinist pricing. Stanley and other home center brands usually aren't reliable enough for the scarecrow of the Wizard of Oz. I've seen em all sectioned in half in order to sort marketing BS from fact. Quite a bit goes into a good level, even a tiny one. Or for an assortment of basic options, go to the appropriate page of the McMaster online catalog. If you need cheap, a gravity pendulum angle finder will be way more accurate than any inexpensive level. I always kept one of those in my architectural shooting kit.

    Any serious small twin-vial level like the Starrett cross-test bubble level is designed to be so precise that you'd go nuts trying to level it on any camera or tripod surface anyway. A simple single-tube Starrett pocket level is more realistic, and won't cost you a hundred bucks. If you want a little acrylic cube level, I again recommend Stabila, but won't go into the "why" of it here. Let's just say that for every level you've ever seen, I've probably sold a thousand professional ones, and know the fine details of manufacturing which make a real difference.

    But unless your purpose is for sake of stitching exposures, any architectural nitpickiness falls apart due to the fact that film seldom sits precisely square in the holder itself, and buildings are seldom truly level and plumb. True squaring should be done during the printing step. The newest, tallest, and most expensive highrise building in SF is fully 18 inches out of plumb top to bottom, and the error can be seen with the naked eye, especially in relation to adjacent tall buildings. No camera level can cure that; even the engineers are having a hard time figuring out how to correct it. But lawyers are sure having a happy field day over it.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    5,109

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Double-check affordable bubbles. I recently replaced the bubble level on my tripod. Although I bought it from an “authorized parts vendor” it appears to be a cheaply-made Chinese product. Looks right; fits right. But is 2 degrees off from center.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    756

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    for horizontal flat surfaces a turntable bubble level is fairly accurate. Usually less than $30 . you can get some larger center bubble spirit levels with degree markings.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  4. #14
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
    Posts
    7,917

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Unless you can adjust them all to a single reference, camera bubble levels rarely agree.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  5. #15
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    16,776

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    How accurately can you level your camera? 2008

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...r-camera/page2
    NO WORDS No Questions until 2022 Images Only

  6. #16
    Alan Klein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    New Jersey was NYC
    Posts
    1,186

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Barrett View Post
    The broader the base of a spirit level, the greater the accuracy. I don't place much stock in shoe mounted levels. In 25+ years of shooting architecture for a living, I've always relied on a "torpedo" level... placed along the groundglass for plumb and on the top of the format frame for level.

    My two cents.
    With my 4x5, I just lay it flat along the top of the standards to check the levels. I don;t bother inserting it in any of the "shoes". Frankly, my eye works best for the most part.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    27

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Only Linhof could ask $90.00 for a $9.00 made-in-China level and get people to buy it. Gotta love them.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,378

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    To "needle" Drew, checkout this EDA precision level with a spec of 0.0001" per 10". It is used to set up machine tools.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	EDA level, 0.0001%22 : 10%22.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	61.4 KB 
ID:	216006

    Examples of good levels can be found here at the Geiger & Bluhm web page:
    https://www.geier-bluhm.com

    Level# 3-0507, 7mm dia X 16mm long works for replacement levels for Sinar.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Geier & Bluhm levels.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	38.7 KB 
ID:	216007

    Circular levels often work better than two axis levels for setting up the camera for apron level. That said, better to use the GG grid lines to "square up" the image to be made as leveling alone is often a coarse set up only approximation due to the reality most buildings and such are seldom absolute level to the ground. This along with a long list of other factors renders levels on cameras with moderate usefulness.

    What is a good thing to do, level the tripod or similar camera support or the image will shift in odd ways if the camera is panned to adjust the GG image.



    Bernice

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    15,377

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    That looks like a wonderful source, Bernice! I got hooked on Starrett selling it to machinists and mechanics starting when I was only 22 years old, back when all their business transactions were still hand written with paper and ink. I worked alongside an older fellow who had previously been a NASA optical machinist for satellite programs, who really knew his stuff. But I acquired my own levels much later when selling Starrett simply as a minor accessory line to cabinetmakers. If you want a square to check if other squares are really square on not (they seldom are), that's what you use. I've been using my Starrett squares and center punches this whole past two weeks on a project. And during that same era we were by far the largest Stabila dealer in the country, and I got free samples from them, and even better free samples from manufacturers now long gone. Mepro was another well-machined level brand, made in Israel. Most people nowadays don't even understand what a machined level is; everything is squirrely anodized extrusions with uneven paint layers.

    One old trick I'd use in buildings was to bring along a marble or ball bearing and see which way it would roll on a smooth floor. All a level does on a camera standard - if even that is precisely set - is tell you just how rare truly square and plumb rooms and buildings are. That's what sneaky back swings and tilts are for! Now for picture hanging purposes, I have an adjustable story pole attached to a portable handtruck with a laser platform on it, for my self-leveling crosshair laser - again, a serious domestic brand and not a Chinese knockoff. But if a prominent linear moulding or ceiling line or window line is adjacent, and not itself level, then I have to offset the pictures themselves to match that, or they'll get blamed for not being level. For serious stuff I use linear cleats, not nails and picture wire.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,378

    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    G&B is a good source for levels and such. There is SO much of these levels made in Asia today, it would not be surprising to discover they all are made in the same factory in Asia some where.

    Starrett has been one of the industry standard measuring instrument suppliers for decades. Mostly good precision and really well made stuff that is reliable and last. They make a GOOD automatic or spring powered center punch that just ~works~ and works and works.

    More of a Etalon (internal bore gauges), Mahr (specialty), Mitutoyo(most all are good and good values), Compact(dial indicators), Kafer(dial indicators) or EU centric measuring instrument fan.


    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    That looks like a wonderful source, Bernice! I got hooked on Starrett selling it to machinists and mechanics starting when I was only 22 years old, back when all their business transactions were still hand written with paper and ink. I worked alongside an older fellow who had previously been a NASA optical machinist for satellite programs, who really knew his stuff. But I acquired my own levels much later when selling Starrett simply as a minor accessory line to cabinetmakers. If you want a square to check if other squares are really square on not (they seldom are), that's what you use. I've been using my Starrett squares and center punches this whole past two weeks on a project. And during that same era we were by far the largest Stabila dealer in the country, and I got free samples from them, and even better free samples from manufacturers now long gone. Mepro was another well-machined level brand.

Similar Threads

  1. Spirit and Bubble Levels Source
    By bulrich in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 9-Feb-2009, 12:29
  2. Adhesive Spirit Levels
    By Michael Graves in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 18-Jul-2008, 20:05
  3. Spirit Level
    By Thomasbroening in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2007, 07:45
  4. Attaching spirit level
    By Ben R in forum Gear
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 21-Jul-2007, 19:09

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •