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Tripod, Leveler and Bubble Level Solution899

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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user



All,

As a result of giving hundreds of demos of our many We Get Around VR Showcase models, I have switched tripods and added a Leveler to lower eye-level viewing and make it easier and faster to level the Matterport Pro 3D Camera.

On our We Get Around Blog today (5 November 2015), I posted a review of the tripod and leveler solution and added these items to our Matterport Gear and Accessories shopping list.

Here is an excerpt from the blog post:

If you are about to buy the Matterport Pro 3D Camera – and are starting to look at related Matterport gear and accessories – I recommend the following Tripod, Leveler and bubble solution:

✓ Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 4 Section Aluminum Tripod ($219.99)
✓ Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level ($79.95)
✓ Stanley Shock Resistent Level ($7.76)

That is instead of the:

✓ Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 3 Section Aluminum Tripod ($219.88) that Matterport recommends and
✓ Sunwayfoto MAC-14 60mm Clamp ($39)

By pairing the 4-section tripod with the Desmond Leveler, I can:

✓ lower the Matterport Camera to a lower eye-height
✓ level the camera easier and faster without stressing the tripod legs

The 4-section tripod is a better solution than the 3-section version for optimizing height and as well as for Camera stability.

The Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level still needs the addition of a bubble level. (The tripod bubble is not the right solution for Matterport Pros. It's awkward, at best, at helping level the camera. (I use a bubble level on every scan.)

I also bought a Manfrotto 438 3/8 Ball Camera Leveler ($82.95) to compare to the Desmond DLEV-1 level.

Unfortunately, with the Manfrotto Leveler adjusting handle can not move freely with the Sunwayfoto MAC-14 60mm Clamp.

I did not test using the Clamps recommend by Matterport. (though looking at pictures I would anticipate the same problem.)

The Desmond leveling solution is simply better, easier and faster to do the adjustment and you do not need the Sunwayfoto Clamp (since the clamp is built into the Desmond DLEV-1 leveler.)

To continue reading my article, please visit this We Get Around blog post.

--

Your thoughts about tripods, levelers and bubble levels?

Thanks,

Dan







Post 1 • IP   flag post
FingFongFang private msg quote post Address this user
I use the Arca Swiss Cube. Saves lots of time calibrating the camera.
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@FingFongFang

I see that Amazon has only one Arca Swiss Cube in stock.

Did I mention that my birthday is coming up soon?

Dan

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FingFongFang private msg quote post Address this user
I swear by this...
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smcclell private msg quote post Address this user
Just a tip on the Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level . When I got mine it was a bit stiff to spin which was disappointing.

Though a screwdriver and a loosen of the screw under the bearings did the job and is very smooth now.

I use the Sunfoto with 2 washers from local hardware between the leveler because the tightening handle on the clamp hits the leveler.



I just use two little bubble levels on top of the camera or the bubble on the clamp plate.

While we are on it... I ended up getting a Vanguard case (Vanguard 46F Black w/foam case ) instead of a pelican. I recommend them, case is real sturdy and well built and like half the cost. This one is a bit larger because i wanted room for other accessories, sure you could get a cheaper smaller one.

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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@smcclell

Thanks for the tip. My Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level works straight out of the box.

The tightening handle on the clamp does NOT hits the leveler on mine. Weird.

And, thanks for the tip on the Vanguard 46F Black w/foam case.

I added it to the Buy Gear and Accessories link (the link is now below the map).

Thanks,

Dan
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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
this is what i use, repurposed from my Globuscope days. the quick release plate screws into it and it screws into the MP. good luck finding it, i have been unsuccessful except for this pix. I'll sell mine for $1000. The cube Dan posted is sweet. There is also a self-leveling head.

http://acadalus.com/products/cps-h1.html

the only minor drawback with this solution is that it is $5000. My birthday is soon as well.


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HarlanHambright private msg quote post Address this user
here is another approach i just discovered:

http://www.sliktripod.co.uk/pages/accessories.html


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Marcel private msg quote post Address this user
I use a $5 builders leveler stuck on top of my camera and use a ball head to level. From last I spoke to support at matterport they said the leveling doesn't need to be accurate as the post processing compensates for this.

My camera doesn't spin level anyway. If I level it perfect, spin it 90 degrees, its way out. So what that point of leveling? I just do it out of habit.. have never had any leveling issues.
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Mikesobay private msg quote post Address this user
I also place levelers on the top and adjust the legs of the tripod to ensure the entire structure of tripod and camera are level. As the camera is somewhat top heavy and is moving, it could be an issue, in my mind, if it were placed on a ball head or something similar, putting it out of alignment with the center of the tripod.
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Marcel @Mikesobay

Matterport Capture works best when using a level on every scan. By using a level on every scan, I have none or only a few failed scans. Additionally, I find the 3D Showcase models process faster and produce a better result: especially with railings.

Without the Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level, I had been using the bubble level and turning the Camera 90 degrees and leveling again by adjusting the legs. That takes time and stresses the tripod legs.

With the Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level, it is faster and easier to level the Camera with no stress to the tripod legs.

I consider a ball head a risky way to level the camera that potential could cause damage to the Camera by a less experienced photographer using this solution.

The above may simply be a "agree to disagree" ... both of you are seasoned Pros.

For someone starting out, the tripod, leveler and level I recommend will save money on gear, provide more flexibility for VR height and be easier and faster to create great Matterport 3D and VR Showcase tours.

Dan
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@HarlanHambright

The ball head + bubble will be hard to view the bubbles because the camera blocks them and the height of the tripod makes it hard to view.

I find that floors vary enough that I want to level every scan. The bubble level you are showing would only let you level the camera once.

Dan
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sshannon private msg quote post Address this user
"The Desmond leveling solution is simply better, easier and faster to do the adjustment and you do not need the Sunwayfoto Clamp (since the clamp is built into the Desmond DLEV-1 leveler.)"

Just got my Matterport and looking to go with your solution here which looks great. Could you please confirm that the Desmond DELEV-1 Leveler (seen in link below) does indeed come with a clamp? None of the photos I see on the Amazon listing or anywhere else show the clamp which seems odd to me.

Thanks!
-Sean
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@sshannon

To order the DELEV-1 Desmond leveling solution with the clamp, please use the DEVEV-1 link in the We Get Around Matterport Gear Shopping List.

Yes! It includes the clamp. In the Shopping List I also write about the tripod I use in conjunction with it (and why).

Best,

Dan
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Anyone else using the Desmond DLEV-1 level + Manfrotto MT190XPro4 4-section tripod that I recommend? (The tripod is similar but different than the one Matterport recommends ;-)

Dan
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Bauart private msg quote post Address this user
I use the MANFROTTO MH057
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JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
I recently upgraded to the Desmond DLEV-1 leveler recommended and found that even though I level it at the start of a scan, the top of the camera does not stay level as the camera cycles through the rotation. I is only level in the start/end position, which leads me to believe that the axis of rotation and the top of the camera are not orthogonal to each other. There is a slight tilt with respect to the axis of rotation. Has anyone else observed this during their scans or is there something wrong with my machine?

Thanks,
Jon
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@JonJ

To level with the Desmond DLEV-1, you need to LEVEL and then ROTATE the camera manually and LEVEL again. Then, rotate back to the 1st LEVEL position to confirm that it is still LEVEL.

While this may seem like a lot of steps, even if you are using a BUBBLE level, you need to do the same thing.

Are you only LEVELING in one Camera fixed position or following the above LEVELING steps?

For clarification, if you only set the LEVEL at the start position, it's likely that that the Camera will not be level.

Again, LEVEL in two rotations of the Camera.

Clear as mud?

Thanks,

Dan
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by @jntooker
I’m trying to figure out which tripod setup to get for my matterport. I read your notes explaining that you are now using the MT190XPRO4 with the Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler instead of the MT190XPRO3 with the Sunwayfoto clamp.

I’m new to this and I’m not sure if this is the best setup for me because I’m pretty clueless about tripods so I would like to keep it simple. Do you suggest the DLEV leveler or should I stick with a regular clamp? Or, do I still need a clamp even if I use the DLEV?

Thanks!
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@jntooker

Yes. Stick with my recommendation.

If you are new - or experienced - stick with recommendations about the tripod and leveling solution.

Matterport Essential Shopping List: 19-Items

Dan
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craigsauer private msg quote post Address this user
I just joined the Desmond DLEV-1 club, but I had to stop using it because I kept getting the wobbly camera error from the Capture app. It was too frustrating and I ended up just taking the darn thing off and levelling with the tripod legs like I've been doing.

Did I get a bum Desmond DLEV-1? Anybody else have this problem?

Other than that issue, it seemed like a pretty good method for levelling.
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@craigsauer

There are various versions of the DLEV. Are you using the exact one on my list ...

Matterport Essential Shopping List: 19-Items

I my Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level. It would eliminate or reduce the number of tripods I wear out (because I no longer need to adjust the tripod legs.)

Dan
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JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
@craigsauer, you probably just need to tighten the screws at the bottom of the level.
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
If you are buying a Matterport Camera ...

There are two Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level versions.

Either one will work and both are on the We Get Around Matterport Gear and Accessories Shopping List.

I prefer the quick release version ...

On the We Get Around Matterport Gear and Accessories Shopping List, it is called ...

Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level Plus Discal Clamp for Tripod 3/8 Precision Leveling Base ($59.95)



For $10 less, you can get the non-quick release version. It screws directly into the base of the Matterport Camera.

On our Amazon shopping list, it is called ...

Desmond DLEV-1 Leveler Level for Tripod 3/8" Stud
($49.95)




Also, since this mount add height, you'll want this 4-section tripod so that you do not exceed 60" in Camera "eye-sight" ...

Got gear and accessories that you - please start a new MUG Forum thread and share ...

Dan

P.S. We Get Around is an Amazon affiliate.
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