View Full Version : New Camera...stumped

18-Mar-2013, 16:15
I'm new to 4x5 and am in the process of acquiring gear. Camera, enlarger, film, paper, etc..

I found a camera on ebay, a Cambo SC in nice condition, and mounted a Schneider Symmar S 135mm on it. I don't have all my gear yet, but am fiddling around with the camera mounted on the tripod and pointing it out the window at some trees (it's COLD outside here in Michigan today).
I put a black t-shirt on the camera for a dark cloth and attempted to focus an image on ground glass. Aperture's wide open at 5.6, and the ground glass is being illuminated, BUT...I can't get the image in focus. I get close to being in focus, but end up with the front and rear standards so close together on the rail that I run out of space between the standards before I get objects 50 feet away to come into focus.

What really basic thing am I missing here? My photo background is in medium format (retired pro protrait photographer) and 35mm.

18-Mar-2013, 16:22
Seems strange that a 135mm lens won't focus to infinity on your camera but you may need a wide angle bellows for it.

Oren Grad
18-Mar-2013, 16:23
Sounds as though you may need a bag bellows to achieve infinity focus with that lens on that camera. That's not unheard of with 135's on 4x5 monorails. What is the distance between the front and rear standards when you've compressed the bellows as much as you can?

18-Mar-2013, 16:26
For infinity focus, the lens aperture needs to be 135mm away from the film plane. Can you measure the minimum distance you can achieve? Maybe one of the lens standards got reversed at some point--can you post some photos?

18-Mar-2013, 16:44
It might be that you have one or more of the standards reversed - the mount flanges (that hold the bellow/GG/etc.) are not symmetric about the part that goes on the rail. I do know that a 135mm lens will focus on a Cambo SCII (which is an SC with zero detents). Are the standards mounted with the movement knobs towards the front? You might see if you need to put both standards on one end of the rail, so the tripod mount is not between the standards.

18-Mar-2013, 16:52
Yup, sure enough, the front standard was reversed. I fixed it, got under my black t-shirt dark cloth, and brought the image into focus. Woohoo! Thanks for the quick and useful replies.