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Hassy Spirit Levels Off


Hi, all - does anyone have experience with either the hassy QR tripod mount spirit level or the accessory-rail mounted spirit level being "off?" I have both levels installed and they don't match. Are either adjustable in some way? Using a 501CM.


Taking a long shot: is the accessory rail on the side of your 501CM firmly attached to the body? These rails are joined to the body using screws, I have seen at least one camera where the rail had come loose. I do not recall if it is easy (...) to improperly align the rail with respect to the body shell. The body shell has to come off the camera in order to (un)fasten the rail.


NB: I have a Hasselblad accessory rail spirit level for sale. In absolutely mint condition. Having built my own panoramic rigg which includes 2 big spirit levels it has become somewhat redundant. Please contact me off-list if any of the list members are interested. Prefer buyers from EURO / EU countries (no bank fees to pay).

There is a spring in the rail mounted spirit level that you may be able to adjust the tension on. My level is slightly loose on the rail.

Thanks for the feedback, Taras and Wilko. I checked and the rail is firmly attached. Maybe I just assumed it was aligned correctly since I purchased the kit as new this Spring. Sort of like having 2 precision watches that tell different times - which do you trust? Taras, I played with the spring tension a bit and it didn't really affect the alignment. I think the screw holding the spring wasn't fully seated when new because the whole assembly came apart in my hands while shooing recently in New York! Quite a surprise, but no lost parts, and it reassembled easily. I guess I'll have to go back to basic mechanics and check for true/square etc. on each part of the rig.

I have the accessory rail mounted spirit level and have never had issues with its accuracy.

BUT, the other day I was offered a H series quick release bracket with both vertical and horizontal spirit levels.

While I only have V series cameras but Hasselblad sensibly have all their cameras sharing the one bracket, I bought it because it is soooooo compact and has a wonderful "lock" that places a pin in one of the screw holes in the base of the camera - very neat design. It works a treat with the dual spirit levels just sitting proud of the left side of the camera.

So, it's a tip for V series gear owners if they are looking for a QR bracket.
I hope that they have improved the Hasselblad Quick Release tripod mount. The one I bought 10 years ago was the only piece of Hasselblad equipment that I have ever thrown in the trash can. From memory it only had one horizontal spirit level and no locking pin. The new one might be better. But, after my experience, I would test it carefully in a controlled environment (hold the camera over a bunch of soft pillows).

The previous Hasselblad Quick Release tripod mount gripped the base of the camera with a spring-loaded lever. At the wrong angle, with a heavy lens and flash unit on board, the camera could lever its way out of the mount. Happened to me once. The only thing that saved the camera was that it crash landed on the Metz flash unit which immediately shattered into a 100 pieces. That shattering must have absorbed enough of the impact to protect the camera, which is still going strong today.

For tripod mounts, the solution I ended up with is to replace the original "foot" on the bottom of the camera body with one from Clearsight ( then use any of the "arca" style ball heads. My favourite is the "Ultimate Ball Head" from Acratech ( The Clearsight foot is good because you do not need to leave a QR mount under the camera, making it better to hand-held and lets it sit flat on a table.

Interesting points Peter. I've not noticed that issue with the other Hassy QR devices before but that must be because my V series QRs all have the lever device at the back to stop the camera slipping off.

But I do prefer the H series version for its protruding pint that locks into the camera's foot.

Michael, another aspect of the accessory spirit level and your problem with it may be this: it is a very small device with a small window and the single bubble one has to centre to have the camera level. BUT, being a circular bubble that must be centred and a very small one at that, you only need it to be ever so slightly off centre to get a significantly non-level result. Think about it and I am sure you'll see what I mean - so it is not 100% reliable in that way.

But a set up like a pair of separate vertical and horizontal rectangular spirit levels is a MUCH more reliable device to use.
Re quick coupling versions:
All but the previous previous previous previous previous model have that safety locking pin.
Only the latest model has a spirit level.
Thanks, Simon. In the end, I simply compared each level with the appearance of level in the viewfinder grid - the body-mount level seemed closest to true. The comment about the single small bulls-eye is certainly true. It doesn't take much movement to cause a big apparent change. The idea of the H-series mount is interesting, but I'll stick with simplicity for now.