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View Full Version : Help for LF virgin - 58mm Schneider XL on Cambo Wide



spkennedy3000
22-Jul-2009, 11:07
Hi,

I have enjoyed this forum for a while, lurking about and looking at pictures for over a year. A very kind member of this forum through many emails over the last year has helped me to choose the right camera to start me off, and I now have it - a Cambo wide 580 purchased from another forum member.

I have not yet shot a single sheet, but I do have a couple of questions I was hoping someone might be able to help me with:

1. Can I use the 58mm XL wide open? I want to use if for environmental full-figure portraits, and f5.6 would be nice... I don't mind vignetting or soft corners but would hope that the middle is sharp.

2. Can I use 4cm filters, like GNDs on the lens? Is there a Lee/Cokin adapter I can get for it?

3. Is there a viewfinder I can get for it to mount on the hot shoe? The only one I can find is the Gaoersi one - is this one any good or is there another, better choice?

4. I have a custom-made dark cloth made by the previous owner that fits around the camera, is it possible to get a shade or viewer for the camera? I would like to be able to compose/focus on the ground glass but not have to cut myself off entirely from the world around me - I believe this would be useful for city work where I might get robbed (I live in East London).

If anyone can help me with any or all of these questions I would be very grateful. I hope to have some images to post soon.

Thanks a lot,

Simon

Paul O
22-Jul-2009, 13:38
1. Try it; it should be okay wide open!

2. Try a wide angle adapter (67mm I recall) from Lee and a regular Lee Holder;

3. There was a viewfinder available but they are difficult if not impossible to find seperate from the camera - keep an eye on Ebay.

4. Cambo made a number of viewfinders for their 5x4 cameras which will fit the Cambo Wide. There are straight and 45 degree finders - again check Ebay and places like Ffordes.

Sign up to the UK Large Format Group too! www.lf-photo.org.uk :)

Paul O
22-Jul-2009, 13:51
Like this?

Kirk Fry
22-Jul-2009, 22:58
Do not read another posting on this web site until you have gone and shot and developed 50 sheets of film. You cannot learn by reading us pontificate. Yes you can, go DO IT. You have to learn all 50 ways to screw up by doing it. Then you have to ask yourself, why am I doing this? After 40 years I am not sure I know the answer, I just keep doing it. I just know that that shell some guy by the name of Weston took a picture of was pretty neat. (Your really have to see a real print)

KFry

spkennedy3000
23-Jul-2009, 04:01
Paul O - Thanks very much indeed for the information - very useful.

Kirk, er thanks. But I prefer to get well informed. 50 sheets would cost me a lot of money.

ki6mf
23-Jul-2009, 04:25
If you are going to do extreme camera movements look out for vignetting this is where the round end of the lens does not project the image onto the film and on your negative you will see a round arc with no image. If the ground glass is not square and has a diagonal cut into each corner you can look through the glass to see the lens. With the aperture open so light is coming into the camera body if you can see light in the lens from all four diagonals there is no vignetting. If not make adjustments

Jiri Vasina
23-Jul-2009, 04:30
Simon, first I want to welcome you in the LF crowd.

But I have to say: sorry, but Kirk is right. There is no better way of learning than with your own mistakes. You will make them. But then, if you make your fine technically perfect, aesthetically pleasing negative (or print), the satisfaction is even more intense.

There is a limit to how much you can learn from what is written (anywhere). A guitar player has to practice too, he will not learn by reading the tabulature, not even by only listening.

And that it will cost you something? If you don't want to spend the money, then sorry, but leave the LF field (no offense meant). Because LF photography is not cheap per se. Even if you read all the information in the world, you will make mistakes. Even if you care to minimize all the known ones, you will inadvertently make your personal new ones. So you will lose some money. If you are not able to say, so what, it's worth the results, then LF is not for you.

(The 58 XL is not exactly a cheap lens, neither is the Cambo Wide. If you mind the money so much, my advice would be to buy a cheaper camera, cheaper lens and use the savings on film.

Now as you present it, it's like buying a Ferrari and then having it only in garage complaining that the fuel is expensive).

Again, no offense meant.

Jiri

eddie
23-Jul-2009, 05:01
Kirk, er thanks. But I prefer to get well informed. 50 sheets would cost me a lot of money.

har har har! maybe sell that 58mm lens and buy a few years supply of film.....:)

check out freestyle photographic. i buy a film called arista.edu.ultra. i love it. it is like $.50 per sheet......

what jiri said

spkennedy3000
23-Jul-2009, 05:13
OK well thanks everyone for all the advice.

I am new to LF but far from new to photography, I do not really need to be told about the need to learn from mistakes. I also play jazz guitar.

I asked some specific, technical questions about a specific lens that I have, and thankyou to Paul O for answering them.

spkennedy3000
23-Jul-2009, 05:21
And also to Wally Brooks.

Doug Dolde
23-Jul-2009, 08:35
That is one hell of a wide lens on 4x5. I can't imagine using one.

spkennedy3000
23-Jul-2009, 08:52
Hi Douglas,

I know it is very wide - I am hoping it is as close to the field of view as possible as my 18mm lens on 35mm.digital - the lens I use almost exclusively, for architecture and landscape (digital 35mm - sorry - please delete if against the rules.)


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2075/2169682260_e3f92726be_o.jpg


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2017/2288967062_0ba992cd36_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3424/3253023290_de24d198bf_o.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3403/3327743837_590614df03_o.jpg

Archphoto
23-Jul-2009, 14:48
I have the 58XL and use it for interior photography and love it.
Want to start using it on my new Shen Hao in August for some landscapes.

@spkennedy3000: we are not so "anti-digi" as on Apug, so yes you may compare focal length with digital and so on aslong as you stay a bit on the LF and ULF track.
Great shots, it realy shows what you can do with a 58XL in landscapes.

Peter

Paul O
23-Jul-2009, 23:48
The 58XL has a look peculiar to itself and can make great images on 5x4! What's more the Cambo Wide is basically a point and shoot camera so speed of set up and time taken to take photo is minimal - great in fleeting light or bad weather!

What's more combine this set-up with a 6x12 roll film back and you've got a fine panoramic camera too!

I feel the original post was very valid too :) The question was directed at those who could help with the technicalities of this lens and not on LF photography per se. I only wish that here in the UK we could pick up sheet film as cheaply as our American cousins - cheapest black and white film here is equivalent of $1.65 per sheet (just over £1 GBP each) :eek:

Walter G
24-Jul-2009, 16:40
I am hoping it is as close to the field of view as possible as my 18mm lens on 35mm.digital

The 58mm is the jewel in the crown of the super-wide XLs in my opinion and it should be equivalent on the long side to a 19 mm on 35mm. Of course, the different aspect ratio will generate a slightly different 'feel'.

Cheers,

612tom
24-Jul-2009, 21:01
I have the 58XL and use it for interior photography and love it.


Same here - it's a great little lens, both inside and outdoors.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3448/3710424536_fa01377a72.jpg

Walter G
25-Jul-2009, 13:09
Ah, the QVB. Are you a Sydney-sider 612tom? Or simply passing through?

612tom
25-Jul-2009, 19:47
Ah, the QVB. Are you a Sydney-sider 612tom? Or simply passing through?

I am indeed a Sydneysider, living on the North Shores. What about you??

Walter G
26-Jul-2009, 18:27
Leichhardt.

Nice to meet you.

Ed Richards
26-Jul-2009, 21:19
Forget about 4x5 finders, get one for 35mm 18 and mask the edges. Better, put a sports finder on it, i.e., just a wire frame finder. Those work pretty well on wide lenses. I assume the lens is on a calibrated cone, so you can zone focus and not worry about the GG. I am not sure why 5.6 would nice for environmental portraits - you are not going to get subject isolation, just a slightly fuzzy background. Better to use a smaller aperture and then you will not have to worry about focus, just set it for the hyperfocal point. Use TMY-2 and you can still get a reasonable shutter speed.

The harder question for environmental portraits is whether you are going to get better results than with your digital - unless you are making really large prints. Weird wides really work well on FF digital because you can see what you are doing. I use 12mm a lot, almost all of the images in this book (http://www.sofobomo.org/2009/books/ed-richards/) are at 12mm on a D700. The advantages of LF and ultra wides diminish, in my view, when you include people in the pictures - If something is moving, I would rather have more frames than a little higher resolution. I gave up handheld 4x5 once I got the D700 - there just was not enough of a quality edge to offset the ability to shoot 400 frames instead of 10.

Archphoto
26-Jul-2009, 22:29
Ed, we are going off-tread a bit.
I love your shots !
The D700 is a full-frame DSLR and than 12mm is.......... realy ultra-wide.
I use a 7-14mm on my Olympus DSLR and that comes to 14mm and I love it !
Did a series in Brasilia, the holy ground of the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer, just 200 km away from Goi‚nia where I live, and made some shots of a life-time.

And you are right, 4x5 has it's restrictions at times, the shortest lens available would be the 47XL and that would come to 16mm on full-frame.

People in architecture with 4x5 has been an issue for me for the past 20 odd years, but I still love the looks and feel of a real 4x5 and wish I could use it here in Brazil.

Digital versus 4x5: 400 shots versus 25 (the maximum I have ever done on a day): I miss the deliberate way of photography in digital, despite the fact that it has become my working gear.

Peter

spiky247
29-Jul-2009, 18:08
Congratulations on your new camera! It's a great system, don't hesitate to shoot with it hand held and at full shift! Get a Graflex back and you've got yourself a 4x5 six shooter!

I always carry mine with me to shoot from hard to reach places.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/177274467_a178119f45.jpg
hand held from window cleaning harness, full upshift, f8 at 1/60s on Provia 100.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/157/351722748_d444a79456.jpg
100% crop of the roof top swimming pool from the building to the left.

iamjanco
1-Aug-2009, 21:28
hand held from window cleaning harness...

:eek: That implies that the photo was taken outside of the building. Apparently, a very tall building.

uh, uh, ain't gonna do that. No way. Before or after breakfast, it ain't gonna happen.

sgelb
1-Aug-2009, 21:45
Congratulations on your new camera! It's a great system, don't hesitate to shoot with it hand held and at full shift! Get a Graflex back and you've got yourself a 4x5 six shooter!

I always carry mine with me to shoot from hard to reach places.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/177274467_a178119f45.jpg
hand held from window cleaning harness, full upshift, f8 at 1/60s on Provia 100.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/157/351722748_d444a79456.jpg
100% crop of the roof top swimming pool from the building to the left.

very very nice work! and the balls to risk your life too!!! i like it!!