Thanks for the comments so far.
To clarify a few things, first, it's not like I went out recently and bought two cameras. I've gone back and forth between 35mm and LF over the years. In the early 90s I started working in LF for the first time, then gave it up some years later to go back to 35mm. Etc. Then recently I decided to go back to LF again, purchased what I thought would be an excellent camera (I sold the old one some years ago). I'm not trying to compare the two formats. The first LF camera I had was not great, but with a lot of extra work for each shot, and a good deal of frustration I was able to make it work. That was not enjoyable though. There was a thread on here recently in which some people made the point our tools should be extensions of ourselves, and pleasurable to use, rather than things to fight in an effort to get a shot.
Wide angle lenses demand a pretty accurate camera. I'm not saying it has to be perfect, but come on, these things should be pretty damn close for the money they cost. I do a lot of urban landscape/architecture-type work, usually under low light conditions. It would be nice to at least be able to rely on the camera being squared up properly when starting in zero/null position instead of having to fiddle for 20 minutes with bubble levels, rulers and whatever else just to get the damn thing aligned. It is not easy to do all this on the ground glass. Some help from the expensive equipment would be nice. My camera doesn't have markings or detents, but these would be useless anyway if the camera is out of alignment when they are zeroed.
I put a lot of hard, careful work into my pictures and prints. I really don't think I'm asking too much for the camera to be accurately aligned. Perhaps if I had "cheaped out", but I didn't.
What tolerance is acceptable to people? 1 degree out? 2 degrees out? Is an Arca or Technikardan that much better than a cheap Shen Hao? Or is it the luck of the draw and maybe I just always end up with the duds for some reason?
This plain sucks. Anyway if I remain this pissed, look out for great deals on some brand new gear in the classifieds.
And thanks, wildbill, for rubbing it in all the time. I do the best I can.
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 09-25-2012 at 08:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.