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Archive 2011 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!
  
 
Zichar
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


Arghhhh, I could have sworn I read something in here before
Was trying to setup my camera with the 45mm TS on to take a simple shift pano
Looking at the all levelers I have, they never agree with each other and the photo comes out tilted:
(i) Acratech leveling base
(ii) Leveler on ballhead
(iii) In-cam virtual horizon
(iv) Hotshoe leveler
Oddly, following (3) seems to give me the most accurate 'reading'
Can bubbles in liquid be wrong?



Dec 27, 2011 at 01:25 PM
JimboCin
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


The bubbles are not wrong but the markings on the level vials can be (and often are) slightly off.

A way to test for this is to put the bubble level on a relatively flat surface, then rotate it 180 degrees. It should "read" the same in both positions. If it does not, that shows you twice the error of the level. The true reading is half-way between the two bubble readings.

Generally these are off by only a fraction of a degree or so.

If your photos come out slightly tilted, why do you care about this? It is so easy to fix it in post-processing.




Dec 27, 2011 at 01:39 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


What Jim said and I think you'll also see an 'improvement' by getting the level farther from the tilt axis. Those levels are not the ultimate in precision in any form. You could use something like an RRS (or other) MPR rail w/ level even if it's only the bubble itself that is hanging out in space. Or something like this miniature digital unit...

http://www.micromark.com/miniature-digital-level,9409.html



That said, a reasonably careful setup should yield an easily fixable (in PP) image w/ minor loss.



Dec 27, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Zichar
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


Thanks for the replies guys
Was frustrated because I couldn't get them to 'agree' with each other
Think the skewed horizon looks more pronounced because it's a pano?
I'm gonna try the bubble level on a flat surface, and that digital level seems really cool though probably overkill ... but tempting



Dec 28, 2011 at 01:31 AM
K.R. Allison
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


Howard has it right with this gadget:

http://www.micromark.com/miniature-digital-level,9409.html

Chuck the rest of that junk. I have never used any that stuff myself. in fact all you really need besides your trusty eyeballs is maybe In-cam virtual horizon.



Dec 28, 2011 at 01:32 AM
robstein
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


One of the best things about the newer bodies is that electronic level.... reminds me of playing flight sim but it's a nice obvious addition to cameras..... sorry not sure what body you have or if it's available so prob not going to help you right now.


Dec 28, 2011 at 02:23 AM
 

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HerbChong
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


yes. this is one reason i use Autopano Pro for panorama stitching, even with shift panoramas. it almost always finds the correct horizon on its own, even if it has to rotate each image to compensate for a capture tilt. sure the other programs can stitch something like that just as well but automatic horizon finding is pretty useful. when it's not right, adjusting the horizon to be correct isn't hard either. in later versions of Photoshop you can drag a line in the image that is supposed to be the horizon and it will rotate the right amount for you.

Herb...

Zichar wrote:
Was frustrated because I couldn't get them to 'agree' with each other
Think the skewed horizon looks more pronounced because it's a pano?




Dec 28, 2011 at 09:00 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


I just checked my plastic shoe mount level on 2 cameras. It is actually correct in both planes. It cost all of a couple bucks on evilbay.


Dec 31, 2011 at 06:30 AM
Colin Giersberg
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


The electronic level still has to be zeroed out on a level surface prior to using it to level a camera. Until that is done, your camera will still be level to whatever surface was used in the first place to zero out the level.


Dec 31, 2011 at 08:15 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


most of them (esp. the smaller ones) do not require calibration or at least there is no facility to do that. I know on the larger 'torpedo' types, you can.

Let's not try to go fly hunting w/a bazooka. Millions of pano's have been made w/ bubble levels and we dont need a laser interferometer.



Dec 31, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Colin Giersberg
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


In my statement above, I mentioned that the level had to be zeroed out. I based that on a similar level that I have, but it does not have some of the features found on the one featured from Micromark. Micromark does say that their level needs to be zeroed out in essence in the third bullet of their instructions below. The "sea level" and "% Grade" features are not on my level made by Wixey. Wixey simply measures vertical angles. If I confused anyone, then please accept my apologies.

Regards, Colin


Micromark's instructions:

Press On/Off to turn on the gauge. Note that LEVEL is indicated in the
upper left corner of the display, meaning current readings are based on
Sea Level (important for model railroad track grade measurements).
To switch between degrees and percent grade, press %-.
For machinery set up, you'll want to know the relative angle between
machine parts, such as table and blade. Attach the level to the machine,
press Relative Zero (LEVEL will disappear) and adjust the machine
components the desired amount.
To switch back to sea level, press and hold the On/Off button (about 3
seconds) until LEVEL reappears in the upper left corner of the display.
To retain a reading, press the Hold button. You can now move the gauge
for easier viewing. Press Hold again to restore normal operation.
To change the battery (9v), use the included mini screwdriver to remove
the rear cover. Be sure to reinstall any card spacers that keep the battery
in good contact with the electrical connections.
To turn off the gauge, press the On/Off button while LEVEL is displayed.



Jan 01, 2012 at 09:26 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nothin's level it's driving me nuts!


Quote

Micromark does say that their level needs to be zeroed out in essence in the third bullet of their instructions below


Not to be overly pedantic but the zero'd out statement is in context of doing a simple *relative* measurement to find the angle between two planes



Jan 03, 2012 at 12:35 PM





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