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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:07 AM   #16
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i used once a different setup.
you can find laser line generator (basically a laser pointer with a cylinder lens) that generates a red line.
you just mount that under the camera and make the line just off the image.
so you can easily frame without even looking at the camera.
obviously everyone will see the red line so it is not for any situation.
(in that case it was to check mic position, the microphone has a white card or a reflector that showed if it goes too low , so the guy on the stick could exactly know how low he can go)
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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #17
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a link to a cheap one
660nm 5mw Focusable Laser Line Module / Industrial/Test - eBay (item 250669491771 end time Jan-15-11 21:33:47 PST)
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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:19 AM   #18
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thanks for information
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Old December 21st, 2010, 11:05 AM   #19
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Thanks again for all the further comments -- some interesting stuff here.

Anyway, I'll readily concede that I'm overstating how difficult it usually is to use a spirit level under normal conditions (hell, I spent a decade doing architectural and interior photography with view cameras, and a million years ago I was an apprentice carpenter / builder's mate...) -- I think all I'm really saying is that there are times I could really do with a larger-scale accurate display for those times when (like me) you're standing in the middle of a road and you don't have an assistant and you have about ten seconds to set things up... in the dark :-).
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Old December 21st, 2010, 06:22 PM   #20
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If you want to learn techniques for how to properly level a tripod, find a surveyor. Ask them to teach you how they do it.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 07:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Roo View Post
If you want to learn techniques for how to properly level a tripod, find a surveyor. Ask them to teach you how they do it.
I am an engineer and have done surveys. Many modern surveying devices are self leveling. Those that aren't have three leveling screws between the leveling plate and tripod used to make very fine adjustment. And, believe it or not, we use bubbles to tell if the instrument is level.

-Garrett
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 06:08 PM   #22
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Handheld with enough practice through use, like the ENG guys you can level the cam by eye.

Cheers.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:27 PM   #23
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A common trick in confusing studio's (with a lot of angles) is to put a spirit level on the top of the lens (or another part of the camera that is level, but top of lens is easiest to see on a shoulder camera). Even for experienced cameramen it's an easy trick to make sure your camera is level while quickly making shots..
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