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Author Topic: Acratech Leveling Base  (Read 5635 times)
DarkPenguin
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« on: May 23, 2006, 10:31:42 PM »
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I'd been waffling forever on getting one of these.  Thanks for pushing me over the edge.
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kevraber
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2006, 01:09:10 PM »
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In Michaels story he talks about the only thing lacking is a clamping mount.  I took my Arcatech and sent it to Really right Stuff and they put their plate on it.  works great.  Michael was there to see what happened before when the Arca mount was not tight and a P25 with a Contax went tumbiling to the asphalt.  It was then i decided to use the clamp method for all my mounts.

Kevin Raber
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sergio
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2006, 02:03:40 PM »
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That is definitely the downside to the Acratech. What happens frequently to me is that when I am looking thru the viewfinder it is ver easy to confusing the ballhead knob with the plate knob because they are very similar to the touch and are very close by. I find very interesting your solution and will look for it. thanks for the tip.

Sergio
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006, 04:02:44 PM »
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Note that on the quick release there's a pin that would presumably prevent anything from sliding out.  I have the RRS Lever and my 100-400/1d2 slid right out - fortunately onto very soft sand.

If you don't already have an ACRA QR system and are planning to get one - check out the RRS pano head (screw as well) that combines the QR head with the pano rotation which eliminates the need for a separate leveling base.  I already have the RRS QR, so I bought the Acratech leveling base a couple of weeks ago and I add my endorsement.  

I also got the Kirk 6.5" rail - rather than a RRS rail since the RRS clamp on the rail won't rotate - so you can't use a collar arrangement with the rail.  Having said that, it looks like I can align the entrance pupil on the 70-200 2.8 just based on the collar and plate, so maybe I'll never need to rotate the rail clamp...
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bjnicholls
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2006, 11:21:15 PM »
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Leveling bases are heavy and slow compared to the far superior option.

The Really Right Stuff PCL-1 panning clamp lets you quickly level a ballhead using the head's controls. One step. The lightest solution available.

I personally use a Novoflex panning platform between paired with an RRS lever-action clamp. Same function, not as clean as the the PCL-1, but I'm addicted to using a real quick release.

A leveling base or column is much slower for pano stitch setup. You have two steps - leveling the panning base, then leveling the ballhead/bracket.

The PCL clamp is light enough there's no need to futz with reconfiguring your head/tripod setup to make it lighter.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2006, 06:24:12 AM »
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Quote
Leveling bases are heavy and slow compared to the far superior option.

The Really Right Stuff PCL-1 panning clamp lets you quickly level a ballhead using the head's controls. One step. The lightest solution available.

I personally use a Novoflex panning platform between paired with an RRS lever-action clamp. Same function, not as clean as the the PCL-1, but I'm addicted to using a real quick release.

A leveling base or column is much slower for pano stitch setup. You have two steps - leveling the panning base, then leveling the ballhead/bracket.

The PCL clamp is light enough there's no need to futz with reconfiguring your head/tripod setup to make it lighter.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66522\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Except that with a single RRS PCL, you have to keep the camera itself level.  You can't tilt it up or down.  So, for example, if you want to stitch a pano of the grand canyon and you're shooting from a rim looking down into the canyon, you can't have the horizon near the top of the frame ... it has to be exactly in the middle.

With a leveling base you have the freedom to tilt up/down to handle these situations.  It does take an extra step to set up but I'd rather have that for the flexibility ... otherwise all my images will have the horizon at the middle ...

Eric
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leonvick
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 05:43:10 PM »
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Note that on the quick release there's a pin that would presumably prevent anything from sliding out.  I have the RRS Lever and my 100-400/1d2 slid right out - fortunately onto very soft sand.
If you don't already have an ACRA QR system and are planning to get one - check out the RRS pano head (screw as well) that combines the QR head with the pano rotation which eliminates the need for a separate leveling base.  I already have the RRS QR, so I bought the Acratech leveling base a couple of weeks ago and I add my endorsement. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66485\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not to be iconoclastic, Tim, but one of the nicest features of the Acraech Ball Head is the capability to replace the quick-release clamp and plate with a nice Manfrotto Quick Change Rectangular Plate Adapter and universal Mounting Plate. This system is as sturdy as any other if mounted firmly and provides total, immediate compatibility with a variety of cameras, tripods and accessories.

I understand the claims for the myriad of plates and adaptors from which RSS (etc.) profits, but why pay for a hand-crafted watch when a Timex can keep better time?
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Leon
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 06:42:47 PM »
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a nice Manfrotto Quick Change Rectangular Plate Adapter and universal Mounting Plate. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66816\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How would that work with an L bracket?  I find I save more time rotating the camera with an L rather than fussing with trying to get the ball head in a good portrait position.  
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leonvick
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 12:48:02 AM »
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How would that work with an L bracket?  I find I save more time rotating the camera with an L rather than fussing with trying to get the ball head in a good portrait position.   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66819\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The Manfrotto would be pretty clumsy with an L-bracket unless they were to add dual mounting plates. Meanwhile, don't drop your camera while switching mounting positions in a gale!

In my time I think I've tried just anout every combination there is for a portable setup and have been pretty well frustrated by some aspect of all of them: cheap, clumsy, sloppy, overpriced, too heavy...

With tongue firmly planted in cheek I've no doubt that RSS probably makes the sturdiest, but have to chuckle at the sheer cost of their systems when priced piece by piece, each for a different camera, lens, etc., and all outdated when you update anything. FWIW, I also find the broad debasement of their competitor's products in the catalog I got at WPPI last month to be disappointing.

Seriously, it's sometimes hard to believe that anybody is trying to make a solid tripod head/clamp/quick release without making profit their highest priority.
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Leon
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