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Thread: New to LF photography but not to photography in general

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Beautiful downtown Canoga Park, a great place to live, work, and shop

    New to LF photography but not to photography in general

    A couple of months ago I got inspired to purchase a LF camera and picked up a Calumet monorail camera w/case off eBay for well under $100 and figured I could find a Copal 0 lens for a reasonable price, pick up some film holders and be ready to go. Silly me. Those lenses can get expensive!

    Yesterday I picked up a Cambo in excellent condition for $140 - complete with a custom wood case, Schneider-Kruznach 1:5.6/150, 1:12/265 lens from a forum member.

    I've got some film holders on order so soon, I should be able to try my hand at this.

    I still occasionally shoot with my old Hasselblad and Olympus OM systems as well as my Canon DSLR and the point and shoot I carry on the motorcycle with me at all times.

    I'm looking forward to learning and exploring.


  2. #2
    David Schaller
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Williamstown, MA

    Re: New to LF photography but not to photography in general

    Welcome John! You will see the beauty of large format when you scan or print. I've even packed a Crown Graphic in my saddle bags. Today was probably the last motorcycle ride of the year here in Western Massachusetts. I'm not as fanatic as I used to be. I filled the tank with fresh gas, put in the fuel stabilizer and plugged in the trickle charger. Sigh.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2010
    St. Louis, Mo.

    Re: New to LF photography but not to photography in general

    Welcome to the forum, John. It sounds like you got a real bargain on your Cambo. A 150mm lens is highly recommended to start with. A 265mm is also quite useful. Maybe add a 90mm later and you will have a nice well rounded kit.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

    Re: New to LF photography but not to photography in general


    Welcome to the forum. I, too am a Cambo user, I have two SC models and a Legend.

    If you have any questions about using your Cambo, ask or send me a PM.

    Tips: since Cambo lens boards are so large (and I have a Crown Graphic, too) I mount most of my lenses on Crown lens boards then have one Cambo lens board that has an adapter that accepts Crown boards. Doing this means that I can easily use the lenses on both cameras but even if I didn't have a Crown it is far easier to pack and transport lenses due to the smaller boards.

    The only lenses I did not mount on Crown boards are lenses that I would not use on a Crown such as my 75mm f/6.8 & 90mm f/5.6 wide angles that are on recessed boards. Also a large heavy 300mm f/5.6 Rodenstock Sironar-N which likely wouldn't fit on a Crown board and needs a lot of bellows draw.

    Keep your eyes out for lens boards on eBay. If you are not in a rush you can find some excellent deals from time to time. I have paid anywhere from $5 to $20 for new and used boards. The same for Cambo accessories and sheet film holders.

    May I suggest before you head out to photograph anything important to test your camera bellows. Take the camera into a darkened room. Then put a bright light inside the bellows. Move the light and bellows to see if you can discover any pinholes. If there are, they need to be repaired before you take any photos otherwise your film will be fogged.

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