In this Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base review I am going to share my personal experience which I have formed over the past months of use.
Recently, photographers have been looking for the best solutions and equipment that would ultimately bring excellent results and make our work easier during the preparations and actual photography.
My field of photography is exclusively Astro-landscape photography where I feel the best, and most important, I enjoy my work. I have also received several international recognitions, awards, and been mentioned in major global media houses.
Because Astrophotography requires high precision and high payload for the gear, we, photographers want to have the best possible equipment on the market. And this is also the reason why I chose this leveling base model for my setup.
Leveling bases are not only meant to be used to effectively avoid accidental dropping of really heavy equipment, but are also must have tool for creating big panoramas where everything needs to be in level.
In the past i have been using a lot of different kind of leveling bases, but none of them came even close to the Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base. I will tell and show you why is that so in my review.
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?
- All metal structure, T6061 aerospace-grade
- Load Capacity: 25Kg
- Adjustment Range: ±15°
- Locking Butterfly Collar
- Platform Diameter: 90mm
- Base Diameter: 78mm
- Heigh: 48mm ( without top screw )
- Weight: 420 g
- Bubble Level
- Bottom Thread: UNC3/8″-16
- Top Thread: UNC1/4″-20
- Price: 99$
MY SETUP FOR TRACKED SKY PANORAMAS USING SUNWAYFOTO LEVELING BASE LB-90:
The leveling base is a great and almost must have addition for any photographer and not only Astro-landscape. It allows you to quickly level any tripod, especially needed outside when working on uneven terrain.
Some of the tripods already have built in leveling bases, but i prefer to have it separately, because you have much more to choose from different products and thus build your dream photography setup.
First thing what i love about this leveling base is low-profile with only 48mm tail and impressive 25kg load capacity which is just perfect for some bigger setups like mine is.
Because my setup for astro-landscape photography consists of many different gears above the tripod, each centimeter and gram counts at the end. The lower you have all the equipment above the tripod, better the center of gravity will be and more solid and resistant to windy conditions your setup will be.
The leveling base is all made of metal structure, T6061 aerospace-grade which ensures it is lightweight and durbale.
The second thing that immediately caught my attention is the butterfly locking system with four ergonomic levers for fast and secure locking. As i already mention i did have quite a lot of different leveling bases in the past but they all had a problems with locking design. Some of the locking system broke after few times of usage, while some are awkward to tighten and probably you will hit the equipment with it. With Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base design i do not have any of this problem, and even after few months of using it, the locking system looks and feels like it would be new.
The platform has a bowl-shapped bottom that can be tilt up to +-15degrees in any direction. With such a high tilting degrees you are safe to place the tripod on any kind of terrain and your gear will be in level after a few second of adjusting the base. The platform diameter is 90mm, which is just perfect for my setup.
Smoothness operation is the third thing i love so much about this leveling base. In Sunwayfoto they did this with elaborately CNC machines with perfect fitting between the hemispherical base and seat.
The 1/4″ screw mount on top of the base allows for quick mounting of clamps. Included is a 3/8″ expander to mount heads onto the levelling base.
In my case I would rather have a screw mount with the size of 3/8″ instead of 1/4″. In this way i would not need an additional adapter to mount my gear on top of the leveling base, it would be more secure and firmly in place + it happens to me already that i somehow broke 3/8″ expander when i wanted to tighten my tracker on top the leveling base.
On the edge of the upper plate there is a bubble level, which helps us determining the levelness of the base and gear above it. This is also a minor weakness of this leveling base, because if you own a big gear which goes on top of the leveling base, after installing it you wont see the bubble level anymore. Of course you can put it in perfect level before installing all the photographic gear on top, but we all know that a lot of weight can drastically change the final levelness of the whole setup. That is why i would love to see this bubble level to be positioned outside the top plate with small arm sticking out of it.
The price of this leveling head is 99$ which is not the cheapest one, but also not the most expensive. You get what you paid for it, and i have to say its definitely worth it. Especially considering, that this a device, which will hold your equipment worth 10X or 100x more than leveling base is! So think again in what you really need to invest first!
As I already mentioned in the review, the usefulness of Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base is great. Practically i can’t imagine going out to take pictures without this tool.
I can set up my photography equipment very accurately, quickly and above all efficiently, without worrying about anything going wrong during my night time shooting.
Considering that photographers are always looking to improve their equipment, I intend to upgrade my Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base with a new version, which includes also a 360 degree pano rotator on top of the plate. In that way i would not need one extra horizontal rotator which i normally put above the base for easier and faster polar alignment. And again, i will save some weight and height with this combo.
You can use my referral link to purchase Sunwayfoto equipment and get additional 5% discount on all products with my coupon code: UROSFINK
REFERRAL LINK: https://sunwayfoto-store.com/?ref=urosfink
CUOPON CODE FOR 5% DISCOUNT: UROSFINK
MY SETUP FOR TRACKED SKY PANORAMAS:
PROS AND CONS:
Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base pros:
- very high load capacity 25kg
- low-profile with only 48mm heigh
- locking system ( Butterfly Collar )
- all metal structure
- big platfrom diameter 90mm
- high adjustment range of tilti ±15°
- durable and easy to operate
Sunwayfoto LB-90 Leveling Base cons:
- 1/4″ screw mount on top of the base ( would wish to have 3/8″ screw )
- bubble level position on top plate
- no panoramic rotator head above the top plate
With the Sunwayfoto LB-90 leveling base i have expirienced nothing but the best. I’ve been using it for the last few months in all kind of different conditions during my night time expeditions. At high temperatures with +30degrees, in the water, high on the mountains, on rocks, soil, on snow, in the low temperatures -10degrees and it worked like a charm, performing very good in even the toughest conditions. I haven’t had a single problem with it.
The base is very durable, smooth and sturdy. It is big enough to carry heavy equipment, and this is also the resaon why i decided for this leveling base. My setup for night sky shooting can be quite heavy, and with the help of this base, i can save a lot of time while assembling the equipment. I carry it on a tripod to save some space in my backpack for other gear.
Once again, really great product from Sunwayfoto company. I can highly recommend you to buy it for yourself!
Wish you all clear sky and stay safe!
Uroš Fink Photography