#1  
Old 18-05-2006, 07:25 AM
iceman's Avatar
iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

iceman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,709
Getting shots "level"

Went out to do some sunrise/early dawn photography on my way to work this morning.

Just looking through the shots now in RawShooterEssentials.. some of them look pretty good, so I'm happy. Hopefully will post some later on.

But what's frustrating me, is no matter how hard I try, and even when I think it looks level through the viewfinder, around 50% of my shots are on an angle, which means rotating and cropping later on, which in most cases I'd prefer to avoid.

I'm using a 350D, which does have the 7 focus points through the viewfinder, and I try and get it level using those.. but my tripod is a fairly cheap one so it feels more difficult than it probably should to get it level.

What am I missing? Is it just more care, patience and practise?

Would a better tripod with a ball head make it easier?

Thanks for any suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18-05-2006, 08:48 AM
iceman's Avatar
iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

iceman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,709
hmm 76 shots down to 24 marked as priority 1, converting those to TIFF now.

Image processing takes too much time!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18-05-2006, 09:05 AM
RB's Avatar
RB (Andrew)
Moderator

RB is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 21,982
Unlevel horizons especially in water related shots are very distracting to the viewer, unless it's intentional.
I find a ball mount indispensable and helps tremendously.
If using a zoom lens try zooming in at max and getting the level right first then go back to your prefered FL.
The quality of the mount won't matter IMO for your levels but as I say a ball head is great.
I've also seen a small spirit level that attaches to the flash Hot Shoe which sounds like a great idea.

If all else fails, run to Photoshop.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18-05-2006, 09:30 AM
iceman's Avatar
iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

iceman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,709
Thanks RB, I might invest in a new tripod.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 18-05-2006, 09:43 AM
h0ughy's Avatar
h0ughy (David)
DOGHOUSE REBORN

h0ughy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NEWCASTLE NSW Australia
Posts: 30,660
also try a tube level on the top of the camera, might help?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18-05-2006, 08:13 PM
acropolite's Avatar
acropolite (Phil)
Registered User

acropolite is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Launceston Tasmania
Posts: 8,985
Hmm, I have a very unsatisfactory tripod as well, I was thinking a new Manfrotto, but with so many models I'm not sure of which one. Is yours a Manfrotto Andrew?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18-05-2006, 08:20 PM
RB's Avatar
RB (Andrew)
Moderator

RB is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 21,982
Manfrotto 055CLB tripod with a 141RC tilt/pan head but reacently I bought the Manfrotto 484RC2 Ball Head.

I'm very happy with them.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 18-05-2006, 08:28 PM
leon's Avatar
leon
Registered User

leon is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ballarat
Posts: 10,812
Yea manfrotto. great stuff, mine's a 128RC, very sturdy and reliable
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 18-05-2006, 08:52 PM
acropolite's Avatar
acropolite (Phil)
Registered User

acropolite is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Launceston Tasmania
Posts: 8,985
Thanks guys, there goes another 400 recession riddled buckazoids....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 18-05-2006, 09:16 PM
leon's Avatar
leon
Registered User

leon is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ballarat
Posts: 10,812
yea your probably right they aint cheap, but you'll have it forever
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 19-05-2006, 01:14 AM
Jonathan
Registered User

Jonathan is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Boy
Unlevel horizons especially in water related shots are very distracting to the viewer, unless it's intentional.
I couldn't agree more. Getting the camera level is very important in my opinion.

One thing that would help is a focusing screen with grid lines (like this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...hType=search ). I've done a bit of searching and it appears that Canon don't make one for the 350D, but I did find this one http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/item--K...prod_350D.html, but for US$150 it's a rip off.

Another thought, does your Canon view finder have superimposed grid lines on demand? I have this function on one of my Nikons (never bother using it though) but I don't know about Canon's.

I'd recommend getting lots of practice and you'll find it easier to keep the camera level. Rotating the images in Photoshop works but will also cause you to lose a little bit of quality as all the pixels are shuffled around, so it's best to avoid doing that.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 19-05-2006, 06:46 AM
[1ponders]'s Avatar
[1ponders] (Paul)
Retired, damn no pension

[1ponders] is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Obi Obi, Qld
Posts: 18,778
I'm with Andrew. I bought the Manfrotto 484RC2 for piggybacking to the scope on the G11. I put it right up there with my Star-mate as one of those indespensible astronomy accessories.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 19-05-2006, 07:03 AM
iceman's Avatar
iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

iceman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,709
hrmm, they look great Andrew. But $160 for the tilt/pan head, $100 for the ball head, and how much for the tripod?

I'm sure that money could be spent on a nice sharp lens! Doh! decisions. oh, or a widefield low power eyepiece. oh, or a DMK. or a EQ6.

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 19-05-2006, 07:51 AM
RB's Avatar
RB (Andrew)
Moderator

RB is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 21,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman
hrmm, they look great Andrew. But $160 for the tilt/pan head, $100 for the ball head, and how much for the tripod?

I'm sure that money could be spent on a nice sharp lens! Doh! decisions. oh, or a widefield low power eyepiece. oh, or a DMK. or a EQ6.

There's an old Chinese proverb which says,
"All things have two prices, one price is for the foolish......."

Now those prices are RRP, but you can find them a fair bit cheaper if you know the right people.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 19-05-2006, 07:54 AM
iceman's Avatar
iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

iceman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,709
You know something/someone I don't?! Hook me up ol' buddy ol' pal
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 19-05-2006, 12:11 PM
acropolite's Avatar
acropolite (Phil)
Registered User

acropolite is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Launceston Tasmania
Posts: 8,985
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
You know something/someone I don't?! Hook me up ol' buddy ol' pal
Me too...nudge nudge...wink wink..., say no more....
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 19-05-2006, 01:00 PM
sheeny's Avatar
sheeny (Al)
Spam Hunter

sheeny is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oberon NSW
Posts: 12,686
Mike,

Another low tech solution you (and others) might like to pursue...

I take a lot of panoramas, and being level is as much a problem in a panorama as it is in a telephoto shot (arguably worse!).

I don't have a particularly expensive or sophisticated tripod.

When I set up for a panorama, I sweep the shot and watch what the verticals and horizon are doing at each extreme and centre of the planned pano field. I then adjust the legs of my tripod, not the head, so the horizon stays flat across the image, and verticals stay vertical at the extremes. With a bit of practice this can be done quite quickly. I reckon it world be rare from me to take more than a minute to level my tripod for a pano! I usually watch the view finder or camera screen while adjusting.

The same procedure could be used to level for a telephoto shot... if you are perceptively level over 180 degrees - even in a the preview screen - you are going to be very close in a single photo!

Thinking about this a bit, I think the fact that my tripod doesn't have a ball head is significant because I can get my camera square to the vertical axis of the tripod very easily.

The important part of this, I think, you should keep in mind is adjusting the legs of the tripod. A small adjustment to the leg of the tripod is an even smaller adjustment at the camera, so you can be very precise. While a ball head might be convenient, I imagine a small adjustment on the ball head results in a larger adjustment at the camera... those of you with ball head tripods feel free to correct me if I am sprouting fertilizer!

Hope this helps (even if you have a ball head tripod!)

Al.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 19-05-2006, 06:20 PM
RB's Avatar
RB (Andrew)
Moderator

RB is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 21,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman
You know something/someone I don't?! Hook me up ol' buddy ol' pal
Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolite
Me too...nudge nudge...wink wink..., say no more....
OK, well I don't have contacts inside the industry, only some good local salespeople willing to give me a great price because I'm a returning customer.
It pays to know the RRP and always keep in mind it's a buyers market.
If they see that you know what you're talking about they know they can't pull the wool over your eyes.

So if you want my list of contacts, here they are (sorry they are all local outlets Phil):

1. Domayne - West Gosford ask for Mark in Electrical.
2. Harvey Norman - Erina ask for Ernie in Electrical.
3. Camera House - Erina ask for Adrian or Brett (all the other staff charge full price, too expensive.)
4. JB Hi-Fi Erina - (The Best) ask for Stacy in the camera section.

It also helps to print out the best internet price you can find and ask them to come close. I don't expect them to match since they have overheads to deal with.

Be polite but haggle and be realistic.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 19-05-2006, 06:28 PM
mickoking's Avatar
mickoking
Vagabond

mickoking is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: China
Posts: 1,477
When I was a photographer in the RAAF we used to have little spirit levels that fitted in the hot shoe adaptor on the top of most cameras. I am sure you could probably pick one up from a good camera store.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 19-05-2006, 09:06 PM
acropolite's Avatar
acropolite (Phil)
Registered User

acropolite is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Launceston Tasmania
Posts: 8,985
http://www.centre.net.au/ has the cheapest price I have found so far on the tripod.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 02:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Celestron Australia
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement