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Thread: Calumet N or cambo 4x5

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Calumet N or cambo 4x5

    Can you give me feedback on the suitability of either of these cameras for a first large format? I want something with a full range of movement for studio 4x5/210mm and landscape work with a 120 roll film back/90mm. These cameras can be had for under $500 so they seem like a great way to give large format a "shot" for less than a new lens for the D90. Thanks, J

    PS. I have looked at the Cambo SC.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Frisco, Texas

    Re: Calumet N or cambo 4x5

    The same group that owns Calumet also owns Cambo.

    The Calumet N's are relatively inexpensive cameras.

    Cambo is the more expensive line of cameras.

    Which model of the Cambo are you referring to?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Indianapolis, Ind.

    Re: Calumet N or cambo 4x5

    Cambos/Calumets are great for studio use. They are inexpensive (think $250 rather than $500), adaptable and rugged. For a commercial production environment where productivity is paramount, they suffer in comparison to Sinars, Arcas and others because they will not be as fast to set up, focus and determine optimal swings & tilts. That is of far less importance to an amateur or beginner than to a working pro.

    I own three; if I could get $500 for mine, I would probably only still own 2. I was eventually moved to buy a folding field camera for use in the field. Traveling or particularly hiking with a monorail camera seems like such a hassle.

    The Calumet N and Cambo SC are not excellent for very short lenses such as a wide angle for a roll film format. With a bag bellows and a recessed lens board, I need to put the rail clamp outside of (ahead of or behind) the two standards in order to focus a 65mm lens to infinity. I am not sure that focusing a shorter lens to infinity would even be possible.

    While I have invested in roll film holders for my 4x5 cameras, they do not get a lot of use. They allow me to shoot color film and deliver it to the lab conveniently, but for B&W, I would always rather shoot sheet film to allow custom development of 2 to 6 sheets at a time.

    Good Luck - Alan

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: Calumet N or cambo 4x5

    I'm looking to sell a cambo 4x5 SCX. Would you happen to know a ball park price range I should be looking for to get out of this? Here is a gallery with the camera and some additions.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: Calumet N or cambo 4x5

    I'll second everything Alan said with only one exception: I only own one Cambo.

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