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

  1. #11

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustyman View Post
    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.

    Alice Gowland once told me that she and Peter had once sought-out an OEM manufacturer for their Gowlandflex. She could only remember that it was "some company in Holland", and that they (she & Peter) were eventually told something to the effect that 'the product couldn't be built cheaply enough to sell at a reasonable price'. I can only surmise that the company they contacted was Cambo. (I don't know this for a fact, and I don't mean to insinuate that Cambo 'stole' the idea... afterall, LF TWR's existed way before the Gowlandflex! Anyway, it's so long ago that I'm sure that no-one at Cambo today could confirm or deny the story).

    Anywho, what matters is --coincidentally or not-- Cambo finally did build their own 4x5 TLR camera, and a great one, too. The TWR-54 has the usual Cambo high precision and ruggedness, yet it's lightweight enough to be easily handheld and it even accepts Cambo's easy-to-find mirror-viewfinder. On the downside, the models found on the secondhand market are often missing their spring-back, grip handles and certain lens cams. To note: These cameras were once used quite a lot by the Dutch police for ID photography.

    My two cents!

    Chris

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    Chris, Thanks for the history lesson. Very interesting.

    I let a Gowland slip away 2 years ago and I really regret it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Nisperos View Post
    Alice Gowland once told me that she and Peter had once sought-out an OEM manufacturer for their Gowlandflex. She could only remember that it was "some company in Holland", and that they (she & Peter) were eventually told something to the effect that 'the product couldn't be built cheaply enough to sell at a reasonable price'. I can only surmise that the company they contacted was Cambo. (I don't know this for a fact, and I don't mean to insinuate that Cambo 'stole' the idea... afterall, LF TWR's existed way before the Gowlandflex! Anyway, it's so long ago that I'm sure that no-one at Cambo today could confirm or deny the story).

    Anywho, what matters is --coincidentally or not-- Cambo finally did build their own 4x5 TLR camera, and a great one, too. The TWR-54 has the usual Cambo high precision and ruggedness, yet it's lightweight enough to be easily handheld and it even accepts Cambo's easy-to-find mirror-viewfinder. On the downside, the models found on the secondhand market are often missing their spring-back, grip handles and certain lens cams. To note: These cameras were once used quite a lot by the Dutch police for ID photography.

    My two cents!

    Chris

  3. #13
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustyman View Post
    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.
    Will it accept left and right grips? What is the socket size, 3/8" or 1/4"?

    I ask because I have a set of left-hand and right-hand Linhof anatomical grips which are a bit unusual in that they don't use the usual Linhof mounting plate, but instead each uses a single tripod bolt. Otherwise, they adjust the same as the usual Linhof grips. This afternoon I'll look for more and get some snapshots of them.
    .

  4. #14

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Will it accept left and right grips? What is the socket size, 3/8" or 1/4"?

    I ask because I have a set of left-hand and right-hand Linhof anatomical grips which are a bit unusual in that they don't use the usual Linhof mounting plate, but instead each uses a single tripod bolt. Otherwise, they adjust the same as the usual Linhof grips. This afternoon I'll look for more and get some snapshots of them.
    .
    Yes, it accepts either 1/4 or 3/8 via a small thread adaptor collar. I would love to see the grips you have. I investigated Linhof grips but thought that modifying them would be too much of a hassle. Did you do the mods yourself?

  5. #15

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

    DANG IT


    now I must have one



    one thing.. lets say I'm not in love with the cambo supplied lens pairs... could one rig it to have..say a pair of 240mm lenses.. a heliar being a taking one..say? maybe a paragon as a viewing lens???


    DANG DANG DANG IT

  6. #16
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    Re: Cambo TWR 54 - 4x5 Twin Lens Reflex (like Gowlandflex) Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTang View Post
    could one rig it to have..say a pair of 240mm lenses.. a heliar being a taking one..say? maybe a paragon as a viewing lens???
    You need to be careful about putting mismatched lenses on these cameras. Actual focal length is often different from marked focal length, and if the lenses are too far apart in actual FL the viewing lens won't be a sufficiently accurate focus analog for the taking lens.

  7. #17

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

    But other than that, yes, - you could fit whatever lenses to it you wanted in those ranges. I want one too!

  8. #18

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    Speed TLR

    How 'bout this? Bolt them together somehow, figure out how to focus top and bottom together and you have it. With the FP shutter, you could use whatever pair of lenses the bellows would accommodate. (These are two Anniversary Graphics balanced on each other)

  9. #19

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

    Don't think I haven't thought about it before

    I'd want to use a focus hood deal though... so maybe an RB on top and crown on the bottom (feh to FPS)?


    hahahah - yeah..that wouldn't scare women and weak men away

  10. #20

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

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTang View Post
    DANG IT


    now I must have one



    one thing.. lets say I'm not in love with the cambo supplied lens pairs... could one rig it to have..say a pair of 240mm lenses.. a heliar being a taking one..say? maybe a paragon as a viewing lens???


    DANG DANG DANG IT
    I believe that the parallax cam which provides the correct spacing between the taking and viewing lenses is designed for a 210mm . . . This may only be very important at the closer focussing distances, however.

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