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Thread: What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

  1. #1

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    What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

    I have not used my 4x5 Cambo for quite a while. Yesterday when I was using it, I was surprised how difficult it was to insert and remove sheet film holders. Not just one, but all the holders I tried. Some were fairly new and others well used so age didn't seem to make a difference.

    I was thinking that I might want to lubricate the metal areas along which the sheet film holders slide to reduce friction. The first thing that came to mind was some sort of silicone-based lubricant. Another idea was bee's wax.

    Does anyone have a suggestion? Should I also consider some of the lubricant on the sides of the film holders, too?

    The Cambo sheet film back is one that rotates but does not have a bail so therefore I have to fight the spring to insert and remove the film holders. I wonder if Cambo ever offered a rotating back with bail? Hmmm... I'll have to research that.

    Thanks,
    Terry

  2. #2
    Big Negs Rock!
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    Re: What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

    Paraffin. Be sure to remove the excess wax.
    Mark Woods

    Large Format B&W
    Cinematography Mentor at the American Film Institute
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  3. #3

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    Re: What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

    Try lubing the film holders by wiping them down with Pledge applied to a cloth.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  4. #4
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    Re: What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

    Before you put any sort of lube on the spaces where the holders go, take a hard look at the springs that hold the ground glass part of the back in place. It's not out of the question that oxidation my have occurred that is causing one or both of those to bind a bit and that using a solvent there followed by a very minimal lube, plus loosening the screws that hold those in place by just a fraction, may solve your problem. When you do this, grab hold of the business end of the part of the back and exercise it back and forth a few dozen times to break any such deposits that might have formed.

    The very last thing I would want on the areas that touch the holders would be any kind of lube which could oh so easily transfer to fingers and then to film while unloading and stay on the holders enough to do the same when reloading. You think that normal skin oils are dangerous for leaving finger prints. Just imagine how much more so any kind of petroleum or other type of lube would be!
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  5. #5

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    Re: What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

    OK, thanks. Those were some good suggestions.

    Any others?

  6. #6

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    Re: What is the best way to lubricate my Cambo where the film goes in?

    Second what Lenser suggested, I've used a product ( actually it's latest favorite ) called DeOxit, it's used to clean electronic contacts
    and I've used it on two Volute lenses and so far no problems, you could use that to hit the hinge and springs. Then flush again with
    another solvent like naptha, to get rid of any other gunk or residue that might be left behind.

    One last thing, as I recall my Cambo 4x5 rotating back with the loosey goosey flip lock is a graflock back,
    could it be one or both of the sliding locks are not fully retracted ?

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