View Full Version : Converting a 4x5 Cambo to an 8x10 using a Back.

17-Jun-2005, 09:41
Hi Fellow LF'ers

I recently fell in love with the large format world, I bougt my first 4x5 camera a month ago. Its a CAMBO monorail system with a super angulon 120 that came with it.

I have taken some spectacular shots of the harbour bridge and opera house here in sydney australia with it, but when taking a portrait last weel (with a longer lens) the idea clicked in my head that if I used an 8x10 camera, id have an almost 1:1 representation of my subjects face! That idea just turned me right on.

So my question is, since i am a student on a limited budget, going out and spending more on an 8x10 is out of the question, is it possible to just buy an 8x10 back for my cambo monorail and use the same front and rail? Obviously ill need different bellows... is there anything like this available??

As i said the idea of shooting a portrait of a face on a piece of film at 1:1 rocks my boat. Any info would be appreciated.

Ernest Purdum
17-Jun-2005, 10:27
Yes, it's possible, see www.calumetphoto.com. Be aware, though, that this could be the first step of a never-ending quest for more versatility. For example, you would immediately find out that, although your 120mm Super Angulon would cover 8" X 10" when racked out to give a 1:1 portrait, you'd have weird perspective, the "big schnoz" problem.. O.K., a longer lens, oops, need a longer rail, and so on and on.

With your student's limited budget, I think spending your money on 4" X 5" film would be a good idea for the moment.

17-Jun-2005, 11:13
Odds are you can buy a whole 8x10 monorail for less then a bellows. My Cambo 8x10 cost less then a new bellows would.

But like Ernest said it's a bit of a never ending money pit. New film holders. May need different processing equipment. Etc.

17-Jun-2005, 22:04
THanks guy for your answers.

Nick, how much did your cambo 8x10 cost? I would also be looking to get a new longer lens. Maybe a 450mm for portraiture.

Ernest you raised a good point regarding film cost, I am currently buying almost expired film from ebay and other sources for a much cheaper price. However Im not too sure weather this affects my final image, would anyone know the effects of expired film?

18-Jun-2005, 05:38
Just over $200 I think. Including a large #6 Packard shutter. It needed a screw replaced in each of it's two tripod mounts and a hose&bulb for the shutter.

18-Jun-2005, 11:57
Axle, if you hunt you already have the front end! Get a bellows, a long rail and the 8x10 rear standard with the appropriate film size ground glass for your goals. I have the camera with three backs as well as a complete 5x7 and 4x5 Cambo SC. The parts are extremely modular and totally interchangable. Although I find some of the earlier Cambo SC have tighter fits with the newer Calumet branded models but not much problems in all.

I would also recommend you have two tripod clamps and use a large platform tripod head like my gitzo #5. With my 19" RD Artar the long rail needs to be really anchored well.

ps get a long shutter release cable as well!

Hope this helps,

18-Jun-2005, 12:01
. . .and important footnote. . .the front standard on the 8x10 does rise more than the front standard on the 4x5. If this is a problem you can look for another standard or replace the post on the front standard.

20-Jun-2005, 23:25
In case you're still looking, there's one on ebay: