Slef Levelling Mount User Manual - Delta

Slef Levelling Mount User Manual - Delta
User Manual for the
Self Levelling Mount
type SLM6
Delta-T Devices Ltd
All rights reserved. Under the copyright laws, this manual may not be
copied, in whole or in part, without the written consent of Delta-T Devices
Ltd. Under the law, copying includes translation into another language.
Copyright © 2003, 2006 Delta-T Devices Limited
Design changes
Delta-T Devices Ltd reserves the right to change the designs and
specifications of its products at any time without prior notice.
John Wood, Nick Webb.
User Manual Version: 1
Dec 2005
Delta-T Devices Ltd
128 Low Road, Burwell
Cambridge CB5 0EJ
+44 1638 742922
Fax: +44 1638 743155
Self Levelling Mount, Type SLM6
Assembly Instructions
Instructions for Use
To operate
Image alignment in HemiView
Setting the Lens Equation in HemiView
Using the Nikon Coolpix 8400 Camera
Taking Hemiphotos
Image size and compression
Camera settings
Taking the Picture
Downloading images to a PC
Warranty and Service
Terms and Conditions of Sale
Service and Spares
Technical Support
Contact details:
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Contents z 3
Self Levelling Mount, Type SLM6
The self levelling mount SLM6 is intended for use with either a tripod or a
monopod. It helps keep a camera and fisheye lens aligned to the horizon
and North. This is necessary for taking hemispherical photos for use with
Delta-T’s HemiView canopy analysis software.
The SLM6 is designed for use with the Nikon Coolpix 8400 digital camera
with a Nikon FC-E9 fisheye lens and Nikon UR-E16 adaptor ring.
For ease
equipped with the following features:
of use, the mount is
Bubble level and adjustable levelling weights
Compass for North/South alignment, viewable from above or below
Markers used to align hemispherical photos in HemiView, illuminated
by the camera flashgun
Lens protective cover
4 z Features
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Inner pivot
Fig 1. SLM6 with lens cover removed
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Features z 5
Assembly Instructions
Fix the SLM6 to a tripod for stability, using the tripod socket in its
base (Fig 1).
Fit the lens into the collar. Tighten the clamping screw using the 4mm
hex driver supplied (Fig. 2). (If the lens has been supplied as part of a
HemiView system it will already have been fitted to the collar).
If the flash adapter is already fitted, go to 6. Slide the rear section of
the flash adapter (Fig. 1) onto the accessory shoe on the camera.
Release the built-in Speedlight flash unit. To do this turn the camera
on, and in auto shooting mode toggle the flash button until a flash
icon appears, then depress the shutter release button.
Screw on the front section of the flash adaptor, to cover the built in
flash. (Do not attach the alignment marker fibre optics cables at this
Screw the lens adapter onto the lens, then screw the camera onto the
threaded end of the lens adapter.
Undo the inner pivot screws a few turns (Fig. 1). Do not unscrew
them completely.
Tip the gimbals plate slightly (Fig 4) and slacken both the screws
which clamp it together.
Fit the lens, collar and camera into the gimbals plate (Fig. 3). Do not
tighten it yet.
10. Check that the lens edge is about 2mm below the alignment marker
shoulders (Fig 7), and the camera is positioned as in Fig 5.
11. Rotate camera and lens away from the balance weights as shown in
Fig 1. (It can’t be levelled in other positions).
12. Clamp the assembly by tipping the gimbals plate and tightening the
two clamping screws (Fig 4).
13. Tighten the inner pivot screws (Fig 1) until the assembly swings freely
but comes to rest quickly. Do not over tighten the pivot screws.
14. Push the two alignment marker fibre optic cables into the holes in the
flash adapter (Fig. 6).
15. Adjust the balance weights so that the bubble is within the central
circle of the bubble level. Tighten the thumbscrews to lock the
weights in position.
16. Re check the mount is level whenever you change the balance of the
camera, e.g. change the battery or flashcard, or reposition the
6 z Assembly Instructions
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Fig. 2
Fitting the lens to the collar
Fig. 3
Fitting the camera and lens to the gimbals plate
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Assembly Instructions z 7
Fig. 4
Clamping the collar to the gimbal plate
Fig. 5
Orientation of camera
8 z Assembly Instructions
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Fig. 6
Fitting the alignment marker cables to the flash unit
Fig. 7
Checking the lens alignment
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Assembly Instructions z 9
Instructions for Use
To operate
Remove the lens cover.
Level the mount using the balance weights and bubble level.
Rotate the mount so that the red end of the compass needle is between
the marks on the compass housing. If you are using the mount above your
head, make sure you know roughly which way North is, as the two ends of
the needle look the same from below.
Select appropriate camera settings, see “Camera settings” on page 13 of
this manual.
Select an appropriate exposure setting with flash enabled, see “Exposure”
on page 14 of this manual
To avoid camera wobble use the self timer or the remote control, see
“Taking the Picture” on page 15 of this manual.
Keep the mount as level as possible, otherwise parts of the mount may be
visible in the picture.
Use the review options in the camera to check the image is OK.
Replace the lens cover to protect the lens from dirt or damage.
10 z Instructions for Use
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Image alignment in HemiView
Align the horizon circle to the shoulders of the two alignment markers, with
the pointed marker at the magnetic north point, as shown below.
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Instructions for Use z 11
Setting the Lens Equation in HemiView
If the Nikon Coolpix 8400 and FC-E9 fisheye adaptor lens does not
appear in the standard list of lenses installed with HemiView, you will have
to enter the correct coefficients in HemiView.
Create a new lens with the following settings: (Settings, Lens, New)
Enter the coefficients in the Lens Properties dialog as shown below.
Field of View (deg): 183
When you exit HemiView, this lens will be saved in the HemiView
lenses.csv file.
When using HemiView, specify these lens properties for all hemiphotos
taken with the Coolpix 8400 and FC-E9 adapter lens.
12 z Instructions for Use
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Using the Nikon Coolpix 8400 Camera
Taking Hemiphotos
The Coolpix 8400 is a very capable camera, and the user has a lot of
control over the settings. This does mean that getting the right settings
can be complicated. It is well worth taking some time to learn how the
camera works before using it in the field. The following notes will point you
towards the appropriate sections of the camera manual. Page numbers
refer to the English version of the manual supplied with the camera.
Image size and compression
There is a trade-off between image quality and the number of images you
can store on a memory card. Keep image size at 3264 x 2448 for
maximum spatial resolution. We recommend using Fine image quality. At
this setting, a typical hemiphoto will take up about 4 MByte. Normal image
quality may be adequate for many canopies, particularly broad-leaved
canopies, and will double the number of images you can store. Do a trial
comparison on your site to see if the image quality makes any significant
difference. See Camera Manual p 33.
Camera settings
The optimum setting depends on the nature of the picture. We
recommend the following Shooting Menu settings as a starting point for
new users (see Camera Manual p 94 onwards):
White balance
Image Adjustment
Image sharpening
Note: the Fisheye lens setting is not recommended as it gives you a
very restricted range of settings, including disabling the flash - which
is needed for the alignment marks. On the other hand, temporarily
setting the Lens to Fisheye sets the zoom correctly to maximise the
diameter of the hemiphoto in the image. You can then change it to
“Normal” to let you take pictures using use the flash without losing the
correct zoom position.
To simplify this procedure move the lens option to the top of your “My
Settings” page. Then, with “My Menu” selected using the Menu
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Taking Hemiphotos z 13
button, change lenses with the command dial.
Use of the Normal lens setting and its default zoom position is OK,
but it wastes some resolution because the image will be smaller than
it needs to be.
Digital Tele Off
See notes above about zoom lens
Speedlight cntrl
Flash Exp Comp -2.0EV to reduce flash brightness.
Auto, Single AF
Int & Ext Active
Set the flash to “Anytime Flash” (Fill Flash) using the flash button, see
Camera Manual p 38.
These settings can be saved in one of the user settings so they can be
easily restored, see Camera Manual p 98.
Getting the exposure right can have a significant effect on how easy it is to
classify your image in HemiView, and on the accuracy of your calculations.
Your aim is to have areas of sky at the top end of the brightness range,
and areas of canopy at the lower end. You can check this on your image
by looking at the brightness graph (Camera Manual p 5 & 69).
If the image is overexposed, the sky areas will have a tendency to spread
in the final image. Underexposure is less of a problem, but will reduce the
amount of visual detail of the canopy. The camera’s automatic exposure
will tend to adjust the exposure too much for very open and very closed
canopies. We suggest two approaches to dealing with this.
Manual Exposure
With the camera in Programmed Auto exposure mode (Camera
Manual p 45), note the exposure values under a section of canopy
with about 50% sky visible. Use the command dial to select the
highest f-number consistent with a shutter speed faster than 1/60
second. This is to minimise camera shake, but use the smallest
aperture possible to give the greatest depth of field in focus.
Set the camera to manual exposure, and set the shutter speed and
aperture to these values.
Use this exposure setting for all your hemiphotos, as long as lighting
conditions remain the same. The exposure meter will indicate overexposure for open canopy, and under-exposure in closed canopies.
14 z Taking Hemiphotos
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Auto exposure
Set the camera to Programmed Auto mode (Camera Manual p 45)
and take your photos using this.
For more open canopies, over-expose using the exposure
compensation setting (p 44), up to the full +2.0EV for very open
For more closed canopies, under-expose, up to the full –2.0EV for
mostly closed canopies.
If you have sufficient memory, you can try exposure bracketing
(Camera Manual p 107) to take photos with higher and lower
exposures. Examine these when you get back to the lab, and choose
the image that gives the clearest canopy edges.
Taking the Picture
Using Timer
Press the flash button until the Anytime Flash icon shows (Camera
Manual p 37).
Select a 10 or 3 s delay for the self-timer mode by repeatedly
pressing the timer mode button. Check the flash icon is also showing.
Press the shutter release and move the camera and SLM into place,
checking it is as level as possible, and pointing to North. Hold it still
until the timer completes.
Using the Infrared Remote Control
The infrared receiver is mounted on the lower front right of the camera. It
has a direct line-of sight range of up to 5m except in bright sunlight.
Use of the infrared remote control is
possible using light scattered off the
underside of the self levelling mount and
fisheye lens.
With no modification to the matt black
underside of the Self Levelling Mount we
found the range is about 1-2 m in
overcast conditions.
A simple folded piece of aluminium
kitchen foil or white paper, tucked under
the rods of the counter balance, forming
a rough 8 x 16 cm reflector, doubled the
effective range to 4 m and helped make
the self timer / shot confirmation lamp visible.
SLM6 User Manual v 1
self timer
& shot
Taking Hemiphotos z 15
Press the flash button until the Anytime Flash icon shows (Camera
Manual p 37)
Select the 3 s delay for the self-timer mode by repeatedly pressing
the timer mode button. Check the flash icon is also showing.
SLM into place, checking it is as level as possible, and pointing to
North. Hold it still and press the remote.
Downloading images to a PC
There are two ways of downloading images from the camera to a PC:
Use a compact flash card reader such as a USB flash card reader
connected to your PC USB port. The memory card will appear as a
removable drive in Windows Explorer, and the images can be copied
to your hard drive or other storage medium using Windows Explorer.
Images can be opened directly from the memory card in HemiView,
but this is not recommended, because HemiView does not store the
images themselves, only information about them, so the images will
be lost when the memory card is removed.
Adapters are also available for plugging a compact flash card directly
into a PCMCIA card slot, which works in a similar way.
Connect the camera direct to your PC USB port (see camera manual
p 76). The camera appears as a removable drive in Windows
Alternatively the images can be viewed and downloaded to your hard
drive using the supplied Nikon Picture Project software.
16 z Downloading images to a PC
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Warranty and Service
Terms and Conditions of Sale
Our Conditions of Sale (ref: COND: 1/00) set out Delta-T's legal obligations on
these matters. The following paragraphs summarise Delta-T's position but
reference should always be made to the exact terms of our Conditions of Sale,
which will prevail over the following explanation.
Delta-T warrants that the goods will be free from defects arising out of the
materials used or poor workmanship for a period of twelve months from the
date of delivery.
Delta-T shall be under no liability in respect of any defect arising from fair wear
and tear, and the warranty does not cover damage through misuse or inexpert
servicing, or other circumstances beyond our control.
If the buyer experiences problems with the goods they shall notify Delta-T (or
Delta-T’s local distributor) as soon as they become aware of such problem.
Delta-T may rectify the problem by replacing faulty parts free of charge, or by
repairing the goods free of charge at Delta-T's premises in the UK, during the
warranty period,
If Delta-T requires that goods under warranty be returned to them from overseas
for repair, Delta-T shall not be liable for the cost of carriage or for customs
clearance in respect of such goods. However, we much prefer to have such
returns discussed with us in advance, and we may, at our discretion, waive
these charges.
Delta-T shall not be liable to supply products free of charge or repair any goods
where the products or goods in question have been discontinued or have
become obsolete, although Delta-T will endeavour to remedy the buyer’s
Delta-T shall not be liable to the buyer for any consequential loss, damage or
compensation whatsoever (whether caused by the negligence of the Delta-T,
our employees or distributors or otherwise) which arise from the supply of the
goods and/or services, or their use or resale by the buyer.
Delta-T shall not be liable to the buyer by reason of any delay or failure to
perform our obligations in relation to the goods and/or services, if the delay or
failure was due to any cause beyond the Delta-T’s reasonable control.
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Terms and Conditions of Sale z 17
Service and Spares
Users in countries that have a Delta-T Distributor or Technical Representative
should contact them in the first instance.
Spare parts for our own instruments can be supplied from our works. These can
normally be despatched within a few working days of receiving an order.
Spare parts and accessories for sensors or other products not manufactured by
Delta-T, may have to be obtained from our supplier, and a certain amount of
additional delay is inevitable.
No goods or equipment should be returned to Delta-T without first obtaining the
agreement of Delta-T or our distributor.
On receipt at Delta-T, the goods will be inspected and the user informed of the
likely cost and delay. We normally expect to complete repairs within a few
working days of receiving the equipment. However, if the equipment has to be
forwarded to our original supplier for specialist repairs or recalibration, additional
delays of a few weeks may be expected.
Technical Support
Technical Support is available on Delta-T products and systems. Users in
countries that have a Delta-T Distributor or Technical Representative should
contact them in the first instance.
Technical Support questions received by Delta-T will be handled by our Tech
Support team. Your initial enquiry will be acknowledged immediately with a “T
number” and an estimate of time for a detailed reply. Make sure to quote our T
number subsequently so that we can easily trace any earlier correspondence.
In your enquiry, always quote instrument serial numbers, software version
numbers, and the approximate date and source of purchase where these are
Contact details:
Tech Support Team
Delta-T Devices Ltd
128 Low Road, Burwell, Cambridge CB5 0EJ, UK
Tel: +44 1638 742922
Fax: +44 1638 743155
18 z Service and Spares
SLM6 User Manual v 1
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF