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Thread: Cambo 4x5...how to know how wide you can go

  1. #21
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Ventura, California
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    233

    Re: Cambo 4x5...how to know how wide you can go

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    So notice in the side view, the two standards are butt up to each others. So I cannot get them physically closer even though the bellows still have some room to give.
    Adam, your camera has a rotating 4x5 back that adds to the distance inside the camera. If you get the non-rotating 4x5 back you'll gain a few millimeters. Bag bellows will definitely help. If you find bag bellows (soufflet ballon) in nylon (new style) it will be slightly less thick than the leather version and give you the most possible movement. There are some old Cambo lens boards that have only a 11mm recess instead of 20mm, this can help if you need a little relief but still need to get gloved fingers in the recess to set the aperture. These tips are splitting hairs but this forum post will be around for a long time and someone will probably need an extra millimeter someday.
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    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    254

    Re: Cambo 4x5...how to know how wide you can go

    Quote Originally Posted by schafphoto View Post
    Adam, your camera has a rotating 4x5 back that adds to the distance inside the camera. If you get the non-rotating 4x5 back you'll gain a few millimeters. Bag bellows will definitely help. If you find bag bellows (soufflet ballon) in nylon (new style) it will be slightly less thick than the leather version and give you the most possible movement. There are some old Cambo lens boards that have only a 11mm recess instead of 20mm, this can help if you need a little relief but still need to get gloved fingers in the recess to set the aperture. These tips are splitting hairs but this forum post will be around for a long time and someone will probably need an extra millimeter someday.
    Thank you for the tip.
    I found that even with bag bellows the limiting factor on how-wide-I-can-go was the center tripod mount. The physical stop prevents the two standards from coming closer than about 125mm or so. I found that if I moved the two standards to one side of the tripod mount, the entire camera assembly just was not particularly stable. Usable, yes, stable, not so much. Likely this has more to do with my standard DSLR tripod mounting plate and receiver head, but still, that's what I had to work with.

    To improve that meant spending more money to improve my mounting and stability AND to also need bag bellows.

    I decided it was time for an upgrade.

    I got an Arca-Swiss F-Line Classic now. I also upgraded my tripod head to the Z1. Now that rig is stable!!!!! It's been a good upgrade. But I have to say the single best reason the upgrade has been the Arca-Swiss MicroOrbix feature. This speeds up focusing by a factor of 4. It's so flippen fast to get the focus dead on in seconds when using tilt. Other than that, the other big advantage is faster setup time. I went from 4 minutes on the Cambo to about 1 minute on the F-Line. With the AS standard bellows I can get down to a 90mm and up to about 360mm easy (500 on a tele).

    Right now the Cambo sits and waits for the next convert to large format!!

    I will pass on your tip.

    Thx.
    Anything in life worth having is worth sharing.

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