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03-31-2021, 04:13 PM   #1
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Tripod leveling bases.

I have a new Feisol CT 3342 tripod and a few older Gitzos. Would primarily use the leveler on the Feisol. I'm seeing 3 basic types of leveling bases.

One replaces the center column of a tripod with a ball. A grip under the tripod locks everything down. Feisol makes this, but then the center column is lost. Sometimes I need a center column and would rather not dismantle the tripod to attach one.

The 2nd type screws onto the tripod's center column platform. There seems to be two variations of adjustment. Either a collar under the ball or a knob out to the side. This should allow me to use a center column and use it on all tripods. I'm leaning towards this. What are the advantages of a tightening collar under the ball vs. knob? Also trying to figure out why Leofoto makes 60, 65, and 70mm sizes? 5mm doesn’t seem like it would make or break this accessory.

3rd type uses 3 leveling screws and looks slow and tedious. I'll pass.

Thanks,
barondla

03-31-2021, 04:36 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I bought the cheapo Neewer leveling base with the lever clamp off to the side.https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Leveling-Cameras-Tripods-Monopods/dp/B00MVNBTDG Seems to work just fine. It's relatively compact and doesn't add all that much weight. If you carry your tripod in a bag, though, it might not fit afterward.
03-31-2021, 05:29 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I am a fan of Acratech. Their leveling bases attach to the tripod camera platform with no fuss and are are available in three versions, two with 3/8" screw top and bottom and one with 1/4"-20 top and bottom. SunwayFoto and Leofoto might be other options.


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03-31-2021, 06:19 PM - 1 Like   #4
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For my older tripods with centre columns , I used a sunnawayfoto 90mm leveling base. It worked "ok" sure, it did it's job, but, was a little fiddly to use. It screwed directly to the top of the tripod, the ballhead, or gimbal ect would then attach to it. As I said, I found it fiddly to set, the locking was via a screw on the side of the base, it was ok, but, I found it did introduce another amount of flex and vibration into the whole setup. Setting my level point I found a little bit of back and forth tilting was needed to bump it into position, and sometimes when I locked it up, I found it was slightly off where I had set it.

With my gitzo series 5, I went the bowl attachment style leveling base. it's actually a 75mm bowl, and the leveling base. and it is excellent. As you say , no centre column, but not really an issue for me, and if I am shooting with my gimbal, ( camera mounted on the gimbal with a nodal rail) I actually have used the side on the gimbal as a slight riser when doing some studio shots, it gives about 2- 2.5 inches of rise, which may not sound like much, but is very handy when framing products ect. The leveling base is solid as a rock, super easy to lock and unlock, with the screw lock underneath, and super easy to set level, or at whatever angle I need.

Feisol, induro, benro, leofoto ect ect all have the same basic design for these, bowl attachment style bases, the size of the bowl, depends on which series tripod you have.

03-31-2021, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I use an Induro GIT304L tripod and I think the best photo accessory I've ever bought was the leveling bowl for it.

It has made setting up so easy now, I wish I would've bought one years sooner.
03-31-2021, 11:57 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Some years ago I bought the Mengs DY-60-N. Good quality, reliable and not too expensive.

Some time ago I started using my ballhead Novoflex ClassicBall 3 II upside down. So I usually don‘t need a separate levelling head anymore.

But the Mengs shows to be the perfect head for heavy lenses with collar on my Monopod! Adds enough flexibility of 15° up/down, supports 360° movement horizontally and the lever acts similar a friction control.
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