View Full Version : advice on Cambo 6x9 monorail

2-Aug-2011, 14:16
I have an offer on a Cambo monorail 6x9 with 3 Rodenstock lenses, actually an ongoing auktion at a Swedish site. If I buy it I would primarily use it for color with roll film backs I would greatly appreciate advice from members of this
forum, in particular about:

1. Is it reasobably easy to use in field work?
2. Is it difficult to find accesories like bellow, lensboards, etc?
3. What is the overall reputation of the Cambo monorails? Are the sufficiently sturdy,
good precision, durable etc.

Thans in advance for your help.

Dan Fromm
2-Aug-2011, 15:56
Which Cambo? SC, SF, Ultima?

I have a 2x3 SC, see this http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/cambo_1.html for info about Super Cambos. Its a good camera, more than I usually need. Movements are not geared. Heavy. Not hard to use, but IMO hostile to short lenses, even with a bag bellows. In all, a normal ordinary monorail camera will full functionality. 4x5 SCs stood up to use by students.

Glenn Evans http://www.glennview.com/vcam.htm has an SF and some parts and accessories. The SF is much classier than the SC.

Accessories are scarce. www.skgrimes.com makes boards to fit, AFAIK all 2x3 Cambo boards and bellows will fit all 2x3 Cambos. Could be mistaken, though.

I shoot 2x3 Graphics too, sacrificed a 2x3 SC board and a 2x3 Pacemaker Graphic front standard and paid skgrimes to modify the SC board to accept 2x3 Graphic boards. This lets me use most of my lenses on my Graphics and on the SC. The exceptions/special cases are lenses too short to use on the SC (but usable on a Century Graphic) and great long lenses.

Backs are hard to find. I have bail back and international back for mine. The 2x3 international back, unlike the one for 4x5 Cambos, will not accept sheet film holders; with it, one uses 2x3 roll holders that fit Graflok backs or doesn't shoot.

The rail is 1"x1" and this size is used by many of the larger Cambos (not the SF, I think that's the major exception). So rails longer than the 2x3's standard 30 cm one are easy to find used, also 1"x1" T-slotted aluminum can be used when a really long rail is needed. Long story, I have a 48" rail for my little SC.

If the camera on offer has a good bellows and is in good order and the price isn't too high, buying it won't be a bad mistake. You should be able to resell it easily on ebay.com if it doesn't suit you.

The best supported relatively inexpensive used 6x9 view camera is probably the Plaubel Peco Junior.

I just took a look at it. SC, very nice kit. Complete kit, too, until you decide you want other focal lengths. The big questions are how much the kit will sell for and, if you don't want any of the lenses in the bundle, how much they'll sell for. To my taste 135 mm is too close to 100.