Arca Swiss plates...

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by hjoseph7, May 4, 2022.

  1. I just checked and my Pentax K5 II does has vertical and horizontal Levels, but only in Live View. Can't remember the last time I used Live-View using the Pentax...
  2. Why would you use anything else with the camera on a tripod?
  3. I like getting my knees dirty...
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.
  4. There are several arca-Swiss style metal quick release clamps listed on EBay that have the built large horizontal/vertical levels. You may remove the quick release clamp on your ball head and replace it with the new one with the levels. All of my ball heads have a large bolt or stud holding the quick release clamp assembly and a new one can be substituted.
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
  5. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Being short-sighted / myopic / suffering Mr. Magoo syndrome, I can only see the screen in Live View sans specs. However, then I can't see anything else . . . And no, Varifocals do not work for me.
  6. Can you supply me with the name of your Ball-Head ?
  7. I was playing around today with my Slik Ball Head the one with one lock that disengages both the panoramic base and the ball-head at the same time. I found that If you hold the base with one hand, while you are adjusting the ball-head with the other hand, the base does not move. It's a little tricky, but it can be done.
  8. That still only allows the camera itself to be levelled. Any subsequent rotation of the head will most likely put a tilt on the camera.

    Also an easy way to level the whole tripod is to adjust the angle of the legs individually. Pushing a leg inward slightly will raise that side of the tripod. I've found that a much more controllable technique than unlocking a leg and trying to alter its length in sub-millimetre increments. And as long as the grips on the legs are good, a slight mismatch of leg angle makes little difference to stability.

    Here's my D800 atop the Manfrotto #303plus pano head. A beast of a thing, but if you shoot a lot of stitched panos it makes the process a whole lot quicker and easier. aaaaa-750X1000.jpg
  9. I just got my Neewer Panoramic Base in the mail. At first it seemed a little stiff, but once I attached my Ball Head and camera to it, it seems to work fine. No need to jam the panoramic base on my Slick ball head, since all I need to do is get the Ball Head level, then lock both base and head with the knob. If I need to, I can then use the external Panoramic Base which I just purchased, for any panning motion. This way I don't have keep locking and unlocking.

    The external Panoramic Base comes with one of those tiny round bubble levels. They are fine for leveling the tripod, but not so great for Horizontal/Vertical leveling in my opinion. The reason is , not only are they tiny, they are filled with water not oil . The slightest little movement and the air-bubble inside jerks back and forth like there's no tomorrow ! There is much more control with an oil filled bubble level.
  10. Both oil and water are far too sticky. They are filled with (often coloured) alcohol.
  11. Surely that just shows the circular bubble-level is more sensitive than the tubular type? A more viscous level simply slows down the time taken to get a true reading.

    The bubble on the Manfrotto 303+ shown above also dances about as the tripod is wobbled, but as long as it settles in the central circle the levelling is good enough.
  12. Mission accomplished ?!

  13. The thing is that the "Tiny toy bubble" allows the whole tripod to be levelled, which is essential for panoramic stitching. Whereas the two-axis tubular levels only allow a one-time levelling of the camera body. So as soon as you unlock the pano plate to swing the camera round, all of your careful camera levelling goes straight out the window..... unless you first level the tripod legs and pano head.... which you can only do with the "toy" bubble.
  14. If both base and head are level, you can use the base for panoramas without having to readjust the head.

    Those round levels are just as good as those tubes. Better even, because tubes are one-directional.
  15. I've seen bubble levels filled with mineral spirits, both colored and plain.
  16. Yes. Anything a lot less viscous than water.
  17. In which case you might as well just level the pano base properly, adjust the BS - sorry, B&S head to agree with it, and tighten the knob on the head 'til it shears off. Because you'll never need to use the levels on it again.
  18. You could also put the pano base on top, and level the head it sits on.
  19. The Panoramic plate I purchased recently let's you connect the Ball Head on top, or at the bottom. I tried it out in the field yesterday and it works so-so. The reason is it's a little too stiff for my tastes. Sometimes when you try to pan you are actually unscrewing the entire thing from the tripod ! Still better than nothing though... Ball Heads really have evolved, take a look at this one with Panoramic plates at the base and on the Swist Arca plate !

    Last edited: May 26, 2022
  20. Hmmm. Most decent tripods have a 3/8" bolt to attach a head or panoramic plate with. So swapping places with the camera wouldn't really be an option unless a clunky adapter insert was used.

    To be blunt; I think the main issue you have is the word "SLIK" emblazoned on the tripod and head.

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