Cambo SC 4x5

This is a discussion on Cambo SC 4x5 within the Film Photography Equipment forums, part of the FILM PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM category; Hey there people of photoforum, This is my very first post on photoforum.com and I hope it not to be my last. I have recently ...


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Thread: Cambo SC 4x5

  1. #1

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    Hey there people of photoforum,

    This is my very first post on photoforum.com and I hope it not to be my last. I have recently came across a Cambo SC 4x5 camera, very big thanks to my uncle, and I have a couple questions about it. First, I need a clarification on the film holders. (Just the basic 4x5 holder) Are most of them universal like Toyo, and I believe Calumet third party holders? Second, I need a good fall out equation. The cameras monorail doesn't seem to have any markings of any kind to determine my focal length. And Third, (By now I hope you can see I am a rookie when it comes to view cameras) I need a clarification or perhaps a lesson in the whole, tilting of the film plane, lens, and shifting. I understand that those techniques are usually for architectural work and keeping the two planes flat with each other is for more portraiture work. I hope to take some great shots with such a great camera very soon and the sooner I can the happier I will be. I can't wait. Any comments or responses will be greatly appreciated.


    Sincerely,
    Craig K.


  • #2
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    It has been a long time since I owned a view camera, but being that this question is left unanswered, I thought I'd give it a whack:

    All modern film holders are built for the graflok standard, set out by graflex in WWII. As a general rule, all 4x5 film holder will fit all 4x5 cameras. There are also graflock roll film holders as well, which will fit any graflok back, which I am 95% sure that cambo used (I think the monorail I owned briefly was a cambo, but traded it in for a field, anyway, yeah, it had a graflok back). Even if your camera doesn't have a graflok back, I am sure it will take standard 4x5 film holders. You might have some problems with roll film holders.

    When looking into USED film holders expect there will be some light leaks to deal with. Black electrical tape will work to fix the problem, and as a general rule if they're cheap and old you'll want to tape up the hinge anyway. Leaks just kind of happen though, so I wouldn't avoid cheap, used film holders on this account. But make SURE that they are graflok and not the older graflex standard. Graflex holders will have a lip or flange on three sides, graflok backs won't and the all the edges are square and flush.

    I'd suggest getting a book or taking a class on tilt/shift. Basically when you are using a view camera you will find yourself using your t/s a lot more than you might expect, and will give you a lot of control.

    The basic thing about tilt is this: Front tilt will control DOF, you can adjust the tilt of the lens to counter the depth of field so so you can increase DOF. Tilting the other way will cause the DOF to be controlled so that the can be made selective. The important thing about front tilt is that it will have minimal effect on the magnification of the image.

    Rear tilt is good for correcting perspective where shift cannot.

    Shift should not be overlooked, either, and will let you effectively shoot from a higher vantage point. You will likely use front shift more than rear... It's easy to overlook shift because it's not as dramatic of a change.

    One important issue you will need to deal with is image circle. What lenses are you planning on using?
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...

  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinkle_turnip View Post
    ... Front tilt will control DOF, you can adjust the tilt of the lens to counter the depth of field so so you can increase DOF...
    Though it can pretty much work out to the same thing, front tilt and swing controls plane of focus, not DOF.

    Quote Originally Posted by mohicanspap View Post
    ...The cameras monorail doesn't seem to have any markings of any kind to determine my focal length...
    Um, the lens has the focal length. If you mean how to focus, the front and rear standards' right wheels move them on the rail; the left wheels lock them. It's a real good idea to use a loupe on the ground glass when you focus. As of 13 years ago, Cambo didn't an image inverter but they might now- I mention that because it's a lot easier to work when you can see rightside-up. Sinar had an inverter that a handy camera repairman could jury-rig adapt to work on a Cambo.

    I second getting a book on how to use view camera moves.

  • #4
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    yep, marionet is correct about the DOF/focal plane thing - and would be better said that "front swing/tilt affects the sharpness of near and far objects to give the appearance in increased or decreased depth of field."

    Anyway, yeah a right-side-up viewer would be nice. But I'd try using it for a few weeks and see if it's worth the expense. Some people never adjust, others do. For me it's never been an issue and over time I didn't even notice it, my brain just adapted - but sometimes when I looked away from glass, I got this weird momentary, almost "trippy" vertigo from the sudden change to the bright and rightside-up world :P
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...

  • #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mohicanspap View Post
    The cameras monorail doesn't seem to have any markings of any kind to determine my focal length.
    Set lens focus distance to infinity and adjust the standards until it looks in focus. Add your own markings with a sharpie.
    "I donít use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it. That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter." -Alfred Eisenstaedt

  • #6
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    If you really want "stops" I'd suppose something like hose clamps might work? No?
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...


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