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Thread: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

  1. #1

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    Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    This week I obtained an unusual item: a Cambo TWR54, which is a 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex. It's a very rare bird that hardly ever surfaces. A nice Gowlandflex is hard to find, but the Cambo is even more so. It was very well made (in Holland), and this one is in real nice shape. I look forward to taking some portraits with it.

    I am looking for the original side mounted hand grip w/cable release that was available for it when it was introduced in the early '70s. I know its a long shot, but if anyone out there has a grip, or knows of a suitable alternative, please let me know. The grip attaches to one of two tripod sockets that are on either the side of the camera, not the bottom, so regular L-shaped grips won't do.

    Did I mention the serial number of this beauty? 00003. Third one ever made!

    Anybody using these for portraits? I would love to hear your experiences.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cambo2.jpg   cambo1.jpg  

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    That looks like a mighty beast.

    Was it made for portrait studios?

    You did not show the back so let me ask, can you take vertical compositions with it?

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    Moved to appropriate forum.

    Rick "who was shown a Gowlandflex by Peter Gowland in 1979, and thought it needed its own trailer--this one looks heavier!" Denney

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    It was made primarily for hand held shooting in and out of the studio. The lenses are interchangeable, and three three sets were offered by Cambo: 150mm, 210mm, and 270mm (mine is 150mm), but you could customize with your own lens. There's a removable cam that automatically adjusts for parallax. In theory you should have a specific cam for different focal lengths.

    I attached a picture of the back for you to see. It has a rotating reflex finder which allows vertical shots just buy turning the camera like an slr. You then rotate the finder so the eyepiece points up. Pretty cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaTerry View Post
    That looks like a mighty beast.

    Was it made for portrait studios?

    You did not show the back so let me ask, can you take vertical compositions with it?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cambo5.jpg   cambo6.jpg  

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    The Cambo is actually not as big and heavy as it looks. It weighs in at 7-1/2 lbs (with lens and film holder) which is lighter than the Gowlandflex (I have one of those too). The Gowlandflex is taller, and a full pound heavier without a hood. Buy the way, I could use a hand grip and hood for my Gowlandflex, in case anyone has one.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Moved to appropriate forum.

    Rick "who was shown a Gowlandflex by Peter Gowland in 1979, and thought it needed its own trailer--this one looks heavier!" Denney
    Last edited by Dustyman; 22-Mar-2014 at 08:25. Reason: Typo

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    OK, that is incredible! I want one!
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

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    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    Really nice, I wanted the MACVAN REFLEX TLR 5x7 camera that was recently on eBay, but my funds are insufficient.

    Maybe I can build one...

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    The interesting thing is, I wasn't even looking for one of these. I went to look at a Burke and James 8x10 that was for sale and the gentleman had the Cambo *and* the Gowlandflex for sale as well, very reasonably priced in my opinion. I always wanted a Gowlandflex and, frankly, never even heard of this Cambo model until last Wednesday. I did a bit of quick research and decided it was a really interesting camera. I suckered under and bought all three.
    Really, you never find these things when you are actually looking for them. Or if you did, you pay the price.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    Really nice, I wanted the MACVAN REFLEX TLR 5x7 camera that was recently on eBay, but my funds are insufficient.

    Maybe I can build one...

  9. #9
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    Very nice.

    If the grip just mounts to the tripod socket on either side, I'd make two of them out of something like a pair of wooden tool handles cut to length (about 4-5 inches) and each to fit the curve of your hand in the position you'll be supporting the camera, drilling and countersinking a hole in each one for a 1/4"-20 bolt and a washer, offsetting them from the camera with a spacer a comfortable distance for maneuvering the focus knobs. Then you could drill another hole on whichever side you prefer to thread a cable release that you could operate with your thumb (like on a Linhof grip) or index finger (like a pistol grip).

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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    David, I like that DYI idea, and that's the route I'm probably going to take. I knew the odds were almost nil that a) somebody actually had the original grip and that b) they would even consider parting with it. The original is kind of pretty though. Here are some pix I found on the web that include the grip...Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Very nice.

    If the grip just mounts to the tripod socket on either side, I'd make two of them out of something like a pair of wooden tool handles cut to length (about 4-5 inches) and each to fit the curve of your hand in the position you'll be supporting the camera, drilling and countersinking a hole in each one for a 1/4"-20 bolt and a washer, offsetting them from the camera with a spacer a comfortable distance for maneuvering the focus knobs. Then you could drill another hole on whichever side you prefer to thread a cable release that you could operate with your thumb (like on a Linhof grip) or index finger (like a pistol grip).

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