Vibration indicator for large format cameras.

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darinwc

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Is there such thing as a small device that will measure vibrations?

I would like to have something on my LF camera that would help me select a good time to trip the shutter.
 

Photographica

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I've never seen device designed specifically for monitoring tripod vibration. Although as I think about it, I think it would have been extremely useful on several occasions.
Here is a solution for you:
look for a portable audio amp. You can find several variations on your favorite auction web site. try searching on this string:
Portable Audio Guitar Bass Mini Amplifier Clip Amp Headphone Speaker
it's less than $20 including shipping from China.
I'm sure you can find several others. Guitar players use these as a personal practice tool.
Then search for a piezo sensor or transducer. There are hundreds of these available for a few dollars to what ever you're willing to pay.
Plug that into the audio amp and you will have a vibration detector with an audible output into either a speaker or ear buds.
Depending on how handy you are, you can apply this in several ways.
Cheers,
Bill Riley
 

Vaughn

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I guess I know what the next phone app will be...
 
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You could try a plumb bob attached to the base of centre column. There is a phone app for detecting vibration — it is part of a wider suite of utility tools e.g. spirit levels, gyroscope, compass, angle finder...
 

Tom1956

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I kinda like my app better. I don't have a cell phone, TG.
 
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L Gebhardt

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Tape a laser pointer to the front standard. When the spot is still the vibrations have stopped. Put the dot in the image if you want to test how still your camera was during the exposure.
 

johnielvis

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laser is the best--with a long throw will provide the extreme amplification of the vibration needed to see when the low frequency swaying is at a minimum. You can point the laser in any direction--behind the camera even, so it doesn't show up in the picture. note there will be more than one axis of vibration and the torsional back and forth twisting (left and right) is probably the biggest problem as the general tripod construction with long thin flexy legs and a big camera with big rotational inertia on top provides a natural torsional vibration system--back and forth ("left and right") rotation about the tripod column axis. the bigger and heavier the camera, the more rotational inertia and the worse the problem--the longer the tripod legs, the more spring action and the worse the problem. A thin twisty center column will make the problem worse too--keep that column from extending.

Also, for big cameras with long extensions, you have that "up and down" vibration--when the camera is racked out the rotational inertia is increased and it bops up and down about the tripod mount--this is more the flexure of the camera itself about the tripod mount and if the column is extended up--it can be minimized by a bigger tripod plate--connection surface between the camera and the tripod and not extending the center column.

as soon as the swaying subsides--a breeze comes along and starts it all over again. The physics of the system shows that this is generally not a problem with small , lighter cameras (as long as they are on reasonably rigid tripods)--only big heavy cameras with big mass that can store keep vibrations going for a long long time.

high frequency vibrations tend to die off very quickly unless they are being driven by some outside force and are near the resonant frequency of the camera/tripod system.
 

Sirius Glass

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Take the photograph and print it really large. If there is any vibration it will show up in the print.
 

Sirius Glass

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darinwc, I am glad you you enjoyed that.
 

Ross Chambers

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Laser pointer? You'd better have a good story in many parts of Australia. Regulation insanity:

Dead Link Removed
 

Tom1956

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Laser pointer? You'd better have a good story in many parts of Australia. Regulation insanity:

Dead Link Removed

Remember--unelected legislators (bureaucrats) have nothing to do all day but sip coffee and make ridiculous new laws and sop up a comfy paycheck. You've got to figure at least one or 2 of them gathered around the coffee pot are still human enough to smile privately that you might be flagrantly breaking their little law they made up. At least you're not mounting bazookas on your camera or something.:D
 

Wayne

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No need to carry a bag of rocks, your camera bag is the bag of rocks.
 

jp80874

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One of the many reasons I bracket, even at $9 a negative. It is still cheaper than returning. That is even if the shot can be recreated another day.

Also another good reason for a big Ries wooden tripod. Supposedly wood sucks up the vibration better than the other available materials.


John Powers
 

Brook Hill

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I have found one of those little spirit levels with two bubbles at right angles which you attach to a flash bracket or just rest on the camera are quite sensetive and do show if there is any movement, the bubbles just flicker a bit with vibration such as mirror slap when the shutter is fired or wind movement. Cheap and simple.

Tony
 

johnielvis

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The idea that hanging weight will minimize vibration is a common misconception. Doing so does absolutely nothing to mitigate vibration--if anything it makes the situation worse by adding another pendulum to the system--more mass=more energy storage (both kinetic and potential energy)=MORE vibration.

All hanging weight does is make the system more resistant from being blown over by the wind--the wind will still add energy to the system when it blows--not only does the wind push a big camera bellows, that bag of whatever hanging there will catch the wind and start swaying--that gives pulls back and forth which set the camera to swaying (if it already was at rest).

Think about it. TRY it--measure the differences when you get your accelerometer.

If the camera/tripod is very light weight where the wind can push it and disturb it, that isn't a vibration problem, it's a "being blown around in the wind" problem.
 
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