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E30 Level gauge isn't level

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  • E30 Level gauge isn't level

    Hello,

    I was playing with my new E30 last night, going through the manual working out how everything worked when I discovered that the level gauge isn't level. I mounted it on my tripod, which has two levels, and it was definately not level. I'd thought that the viewfinder looked slightly tilted when trying taking pictures using the viewfinder level but I wasn't entirely sure.

    Today I went out to test this. I set up my tripod, a Manfrotto 055CXPRO4, which has a level. My tripod head, a Manfrotto 460MG, also has a level and just to be sure I used a hot-shoe mounted spirit level.

    When all three said level, the camera said not level. If I adjusted the camera on the tripod head until the LCD level gauge, showing horizontal level and pitch, said level, then the levels on the tripod head and hot-shoe said not level.

    Now there is a function to calibrate the camera level, it sets the current position as the zero point. However, I'm not sure this works totally.

    I tried setting the zero point when the two tripod levels plus the spirit level said level, but when I then tried framing using liveview I still thought things look ever so slightly not level. I tried taking a picture of a building wall that had windows and looked level, but maybe it wasn't totally, either that or the tripod levels aren't precise enough for calibrating the camera.

    Indeed, as my tripod head isn't geared I found it very difficult to make very precise small movements to ensure it was totally level. The slightest amount of pressure on the camera, such as when pressing the shutter release, was also sufficient to move the camera fractionally. The net result, I'm not totally sure that my attempts to calibrate the level worked. When I looked at the pictures I took today in Lightroom I still thought that some weren't totally horizontal.

    I think the camera needs to be returned for an exchange. Really it's level gauge should work straight out of the box. Calibration only works if you're 100% sure that everything is level and I'm only 99% sure that the tripod & hot sure spirit levels are accurate enough for this purpose.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem.

    I'm also not 100% happy with the viewfinder display. It hasn't got a uniform brightness across the entire display, the aperture setting is less bright and is slightly more fuzzy.
    Cheers

    Padgreen

  • #2
    Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

    I've yet to find a tripod/head or hot shoe spirit (bubble in North America) level that's accurate enough to use.

    I've use a spirit level across the quick release clamps on my tripod heads since I started using the Arca-Swiss QR system two decades ago.
    It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it.

    David M's Photoblog

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    • #3
      Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

      There seems to be more wrong with your E30: send it back under warranty.

      Sory !

      Peter

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      • #4
        Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

        Yes, send it back. The least you can expect when you pay that much for something is that it works properly! I seem to remember there was a rogue batch of early 1Ds IIIs (I think) that had skewed viewfinders - so interesting to know if anyone else has had this problem.
        Hugh of Bardfield
        Essex, UK
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughofbardfield/
        http://hughweller-lewisphotography.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

          Originally posted by HughofBardfield View Post
          Yes, send it back. The least you can expect when you pay that much for something is that it works properly! I seem to remember there was a rogue batch of early 1Ds IIIs (I think) that had skewed viewfinders - so interesting to know if anyone else has had this problem.
          Yes that is correct, the first batch of canon eos 1ds MK3`s had this problem! & all had to be sent back

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          • #6
            Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

            I'm going to take the camera back tomorrow. However, a further set of tests today leads me to think that the viewfinder and/or the sensor isn't level or aligned properly either. If there is an alternative explanation to the following results, then please tell me.

            In my living room I put a builders spirit level on a book shelf - it showed that the shelf is dead level ie horizontal. I even checked on the top and bottom surface of the shelf, both are horizontal.

            Next I set up my tripod 60 cm from the shelf and adjusted the height so that the camera would be looking directly at the spirit level. I then set the lens to 25 mm.

            The tripod spirit level said level. The tripod head spirit level also said level. I then checked this by putting the builders spirit level on top of the tripod head and it said also said level. I then mounted the camera on the tripod and added a hot-shoe spirit level as a final check.

            Now once I was reasonable certain that the camera was level, facing at the shelf, when I looked at the shelf on live view and through the viewfinder the shelf looked like it had a slight tilt to the right.

            I took a picture to test this and the picture showed the shelf tilting to the right and it shows the spirit level showing the shelf is horizontal. So the tilt is nothing to do with the shelf, it's something to do with the camera.

            For the next picture, I used the camera's level gauge and moved the tripod head until the level gauge said level. I made adjusted both the horizontal level gauge and the vertical one on the LCD.

            For this picture, the shelf still looks like it is tilting to the right, but even more than in the first picture, and the spirit level still shows that the shelf is horizontal.

            Next, I decided to ignore the triopod head spirit level or the camera level gauge and aligned the viewfinder by eye so that the shelf looked horizontal in the viewfinder and on live view.

            The resulting picture shows a horizontal shelf. However, the camera wasn't, the tripod head spirit level shows this as did the camera's level gauge.

            The only conclusion I draw from this is not only does the camera level gauge not work but also that the viewfinder/or the sensor is not aligned properly.
            Cheers

            Padgreen

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            • #7
              Cheers

              Padgreen

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

                I must confess I hadn't noticed since the display is clean and crisp even for a specs wearer like me........however now you come to mention it.

                Yes! The f stop and PASM indicator are about 5-10% less bright than the other parts of the display, which appear to have the same degree of brightness.

                Hope this helps


                Terry

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                • #9
                  Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

                  Anne's E-30 is brighter to the left of the display. I think most displays that are backlit or in this case sidelit all look similar. Methinks you are a bit of a perfectionist. Nothing wrong in that though.
                  You will be mighty pleased with the unit - I'm an E-3 user but I'm impressed with what the E-30 produces.

                  Regards. Barr1e
                  Just like that - gone in a flash! Now in use.

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                  • #10
                    Re: E30 Level gauge isn't level

                    Ah yes, I am quilty as charged, a perfectionist! That said I'm judging my E30 relative to my E1 which had, I thought, a pretty perfect viewfinder (for the time). The viewfinder of your E3 is pretty unbeatable though in my view.

                    However, I think you are right. I like my E30 a lot, and apart from the level gauge problem (which hopefully is now resolved) am pleased with my purchase. I think it will continue to grow on me.
                    Cheers

                    Padgreen

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