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Thread: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

  1. #21

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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    I have a Starrett straight edge inherited from a machinist. It’s terrific. The grinding patterns are like art.

    Rather than having precision bubble levels on my camera, which I think are basically useless, I’d much prefer some kind of miniature laser depth gauges on the rear standard facing the front standard so that I could quickly make the standards perfectly square/parallel (“zeroed”).

    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.

  2. #22
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Sinar bubble levels are adjustable. If you take the time to calibrate them, then can help speed up setup...but they are still small levels. In some ways, the old pendulum-style indicators used on old cameras would more reliable and easier to use, as even older eyes can read them quite easily.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    I have a collection somewhere of Starrett catalogs going clear back to 1905. Their actual dealer price lists clearly indicated which items are still US made in the MA plant, and which are imports. For instance, their dial and vernier calipers are still US made, but their popular electronic calipers are Chinese (not outsourced junk by any means - it's a dedicated manufacturing line - but not really equal to US product). So yeah, my own electronic caliper is Mitutoyo, made in Japan; and its distinctly better than the Starrett version (more expensive too). There's nothing worse than an imprecise "precision tool". Even my ordinary carpenters squares and try squares were checked using a Starrett machinist square first; sometimes I'd have to sort through a pile or twenty or more squares to find an actually square one! Others I'd true myself. Same goes for grunt levels.

  4. #24
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    I shoot mainly landscapes, not buildings. Just how important is leveling LF with landscapes?

  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Landscapes? - been doin' them for the past fifty years. Never once have I used the built-in levels on any of my Sinar cameras. I completely ignore them. What is important is to keep horizontal is the visual level of an ocean horizon or big lake; but one doesn't need a vial level to do that, or even grid lines on the groundglass. It's intuitive enough. A related issue is vertical pine trees. Very few of them are truly vertical, so all I aim for is a visual approximation of their verticality that will look natural on the print, which might or might not equate to actual plumb. It's all about esthetic decisions. I don't want to turn nature into a Lego toy project where everything fits in a predictable manner.

  6. #26

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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    You’re fine using your eyes. Even for architecture/urban/interior stuff I usually shoot, I haven found spirit levels very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I shoot mainly landscapes, not buildings. Just how important is leveling LF with landscapes?

  7. #27

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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Reminds me of Bob Ross haha. He would always remind the viewer when he was putting in things like water lines to make sure they are basically level and straight or else the water will run off the side of the canvas and get your floor all wet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Landscapes? - been doin' them for the past fifty years. Never once have I used the built-in levels on any of my Sinar cameras. I completely ignore them. What is important is to keep horizontal is the visual level of an ocean horizon or big lake; but one doesn't need a vial level to do that, or even grid lines on the groundglass. It's intuitive enough. A related issue is vertical pine trees. Very few of them are truly vertical, so all I aim for is a visual approximation of their verticality that will look natural on the print, which might or might not equate to actual plumb. It's all about esthetic decisions. I don't want to turn nature into a Lego toy project where everything fits in a predictable manner.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Good thing real trees never look like Bob Ross trees. You need lots of vaseline over your lens to attain that effect. Or maybe that is the way they actually look like viewing them from underwater, looking up.

  9. #29

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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Never looked at the camera level(s) for this one. Only grid lines on the GG, adjust camera as needed.

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    IMO, camera levels have limited utility.
    Bernice




    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    You’re fine using your eyes. Even for architecture/urban/interior stuff I usually shoot, I haven found spirit levels very useful.

  10. #30
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Best dual axis bubble spirit?

    Does anything have unlimited utility?
    May tomorrow be a better day.

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