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Thread: Cambo SC v SCX

  1. #1

    Cambo SC v SCX

    I am currently using an Intrepid 4x5 for field work and find it a bit fiddly and time consuming to setup. I had thought, when starting out in 4x5 photography that I would buy a cheap camera and see how I get on. Iím really enjoying it and would like to purchase something a little more refined and easier to setup. Iím also thinking of doing some studio work, especially in the cold and wet winter months.

    Iíve got the opportunity of buying a Cambo SCX, which I understand has geared movements and is heavy, so probably suitable for studio work only? Also available is a Cambo SC which Iím thinking would be better for field work but also useable in the studio? Are the Cambos easy/quick to setup in the field? Do they have stops at zero points? Iíd be interested in hearing from any members who have used both cameras and advice on whether they would be an upgrade on the Intrepid? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Thought also that a SC was easier in the terrain, but I was mistaken. It's bulkier than a field camera, I use a Linhof Technika for outdoors (90mm and 150mm).
    Much faster to set up, I never needed more shift or tilt of the SC.
    I own the gear, but those don't make masterpieces. My everyday experience.

  3. #3

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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Both the SC and the SCX are poor choices for traditional field work. Like almost all fixed monorail cameras, they are very inconvenient to move around. It's more than just a weight issue, since you need to consider how you're actually going to carry these things from place to place.

    Your Intrepid folds up into a relatively small package, and can be unfolded into a working condition relatively quickly. It can be carried easily in a backpack or soft case over long walking distance. On the other hand, a fixed monorail camera usually needs to be carried in a hard case about the size of a large picnic cooler. These can be carried for short distances, but nobody's going to want to carry these too far from a vehicle. Once they're out of the case you won't want to be moving them around too much at all.

    Field and studio are good ways of identifying this portability issue, but it shouldn't be taken literally. You can use a monorail camera in the field, but getting it there's going to require some advanced planning.

  4. #4

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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Fred Picker (who made and sold the Zone VI folding field cameras) advocated for practicing your setup procedures a hundred? times without actually making a picture. So when you had to move fast you'd know just what to do, without thinking. Excellent advice- although I don't know how many people actually did it. I've been using the same kit for decades, so whether or not I did it Fred's way, I have it more-or-less figured out now.
    Studio monorails like the Cambos are fine cameras, but not for hiking/backpacking. I'll suggest that in the field, they're best suited for shooting out of the back of a car.
    And as Brett Weston famously said, "if it's more than fifty yards from the car, it'd not photogenic". Ha!

  5. #5

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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Fixed rail monorail camera are difficult to deal with if they need to be transported to a foto location or used in a setting that is not stable. In the bigger picture, the view camera is of much lesser importance than your image making goals, needs and what optics are required to meet these needs. This is why a modular monorail view camera has many, many advantages over a fixed rail monorail camera. As your needs and abilities develop and grow using the view camera, so will the demands, expectations and needs from any given view camera ... grow. What might appear to be an ideal view camera now might become a serious limitation in the future.. This does bring up the question of interest, commitment and passion for making images with a view camera.. If there is a very real long term possibility of continuing to make images with a view camera well into your future, best to consider investing in a modular system that meets your needs today and unforeseen needs in the future.. Suggest considering the Sinar system, as previously discussed.
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ar-Norma-(4x5)

    Having used a view camera for decades under many, many, many varied conditions, image making needs and much more, the tolerance for a lesser capable modular view camera system is simply not tolerated. That said, due to a physical injury incident over a year ago, parked for now the 5x7 Sinar Norma, now using a smaller and in many ways less capable Linhof Technikardan 23s. it is a physically smaller and easier view camera to deal with. 120 roll film is smaller and easier to deal with compared to film holders. The Technikardan has full, accurate/precise camera movements front and rear, telescopic rail system is stable enough (no where near as stable as the Sinar) for the set of lenses (38mm to 500mm) and image making conditions. It lives in a case that has been adapted for ease of use, access and transport by rolling cart.. No possible way I'm going to carry a view camera and all related to making images with a view camera... any view camera. And no, light weigh field folder are not for me.. having owned and used quite a number of them over the decades...

    This is what the TK23s in case looks like..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    TK23s travels locked in the case on a modified Hasselblad quick release coupler. Flip the coupler release frees the TK23s and goes on the set up tripod. This takes seconds to accomplish. Add the lens as needed or a lens can stay on the TK23s locked in the case. The most often used accessories are held in place with an elastic band for ease of access and storage. Given how the many set up and take down cycles could happen as images are made any means to reduce setup access and storage of camera and required accessories are a very real plus in many ways.

    Side note, don't skimp on the tripod. Lower weight is not better in the case of a view camera. After trying a number of Aluminum, Carbon fiber tripods for the TK23s, turns out the Berlebach 833 woodiee with a Gitzo pan/tilt head with a Hasselblad tripod coupler is best in many ways.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Back to addressing the question of Cambo SC or SCX.. it depends on your current and future needs with any view camera lesser to your image making goals as any view camera remains basically a light tight box that is flexi in the middle.


    Bernice




    Quote Originally Posted by super_claret View Post
    I am currently using an Intrepid 4x5 for field work and find it a bit fiddly and time consuming to setup. I had thought, when starting out in 4x5 photography that I would buy a cheap camera and see how I get on. I’m really enjoying it and would like to purchase something a little more refined and easier to setup. I’m also thinking of doing some studio work, especially in the cold and wet winter months.

    I’ve got the opportunity of buying a Cambo SCX, which I understand has geared movements and is heavy, so probably suitable for studio work only? Also available is a Cambo SC which I’m thinking would be better for field work but also useable in the studio? Are the Cambos easy/quick to setup in the field? Do they have stops at zero points? I’d be interested in hearing from any members who have used both cameras and advice on whether they would be an upgrade on the Intrepid? Thanks in advance.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Folks to have solutions for backpacking with monorail cameras. You might be interested in Chris Darnell's video on how he made his Toyo View back packable. Start at about 2:30

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR5Z5dOVoTI&t=598s

    Hope this helps.
    Bill Poole

    "Speak softly, but carry a big camera."

  7. #7

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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Toyo G, another modular view camera system.

    http://www.toyoview.com/Products/Acc...s/45C&Gac.html



    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Poole View Post
    Folks to have solutions for backpacking with monorail cameras. You might be interested in Chris Darnell's video on how he made his Toyo View back packable. Start at about 2:30

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR5Z5dOVoTI&t=598s

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8

    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    Thank you all for your input. I may well stick with the Intrepid for field work and buy the SCX purely to setup and leave in my spare room for still life. The SCX offered is a bargain and won’t break the bank and I already have a selection of lenses. One more question re monorail cameras…do they require servicing of the gears etc? I’ll obviously not be using it at the same rate as a busy professional studio photographer.

  9. #9
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    The Cambo SCX is a great platform, similar to the Toyo G. Some movements are geared, but at the expense of a little extra weight.
    Great studio camera, or for architectural work. Last film shooter I assisted 9-10yrs ago was still shooting 4x5 film for some projects/clients, and he had a pair of 4x5 Toyo G's that were purchased new in the early 80s. A large fleet of lenses of various vintages, all packed into hard road cases(heavy but safer for air travel). Was fun to do the film holder dance with a shot sheet to keep track of processing. Double shots for everything, mostly color negative or transparency(Ektachrome 64T or Fuji T64).

    Granted, that type of work was/is much different than carting a backpack over trails and terrain, where weight and bulk come into play.
    But the Toyo G system is rife with accessories available on the secondhand market, most notably ebay. Lots of stuff out of Japan.

    Upside, if you were to pair a folding camera with a monorail, you can interchange lenses easily, just use a lensboard adapter on your monorail.
    Best of both worlds, that way

  10. #10

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    Re: Cambo SC v SCX

    If you're handy with tinkering on precision mechanical items, monorail view camera like this should not be too complex. They are designed/made in the tradition of precision mechanical bits. Clean the metal bits with Acetone, clean plastic bits with Iso-alcohol. Expect well aged grease and oil to have turned into clay, which not only resist moment, solidified lubricants can damage mechanical parts forced to move under far excessive friction.

    Synthetic watch oil works good on cameras like this (used tiny amounts as needed), synthetic low viscosity grease as needed. Nylon or similar plastic gears typically do not need lubrication.

    Consider not "parking" or putting the camera into storage once made good, use the camera around the home and near home to make expressive images.. as this will challenge your creativity to make expressive images.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by super_claret View Post
    Thank you all for your input. I may well stick with the Intrepid for field work and buy the SCX purely to setup and leave in my spare room for still life. The SCX offered is a bargain and won’t break the bank and I already have a selection of lenses. One more question re monorail cameras…do they require servicing of the gears etc? I’ll obviously not be using it at the same rate as a busy professional studio photographer.

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