Why do you need a levelling base? One of the golden rules for photography is that your camera is level. A wonky horizon pulls the eye and destroys the picture. In most pictures this can be achieved with the tripod head, or afterwards in post-processing with some judicious cropping.
Sometimes, though, the tripod has to be level. This is most notable in panoramas, but can also be an issue for video panning shots or in nature photography when tracking birds in flight or other moving animal. This is where a levelling base can be helpful.
Traditional methods for levelling
Most photographers will have a tripod but levelling is a problem. With most tripods designed for photography (rather than video) you adjust the legs to get the head level. This is possible with time and patience but is really inconvenient. Most video tripods mount their heads on a half-ball mechanism that makes levelling simple.
The Neewer Tripod Levelling Base solution
There are several levelling base options on the market but I chose the Neewer Tripod Levelling Base. The base has a female ⅜” connection at the bottom and a ¼” male thread on top, and comes with a ¼” to ⅜” conversion thread. So this attachment fits tripods with either a ¼” or ⅜” threads.
The levelling base attaches to your tripod legs using these connections, and then you attach your head to the base. There is a lever on the side to allow the base to move to provide a level, or to fix it in place for photography. The lever has a crank mechanism to allow it to move even if its movement clashes with another adjustment knob. That area of the tripod can get pretty crowded. The base also has an offset levelling bubble to help you find the all-important level that you need.
I was impressed by the build quality and ease of use. And the device is really effective. I have used use my device in panorama shots and it worked really well.
If you’re serious about photography and want to take panoramas, then this is a real must!