New applications for the X-Shutter

About a year ago, Phase One introduced their XT system. A technical camera developed in close cooperation with and manufactured by Cambo. At the core of the XT is the X-shutter. It’s a robust #0 leaf shutter that can take the place of a mechanical shutter, like i.e. the Copal-0.

In the past Rollei, Sinar/Rodenstock and Schneider manufactured their own electronical leaf shutters. Unlike these earlier attempts, the X-Shutter doesn’t require an external controller. It’s powered from and operated directly at the Phase One IQ4 digital back. The downside of this: You can’t use it with any other digital back than the IQ4. The beauty of it is an ease of use that’s unprecedented for technical and view cameras. Although you’re going to miss the wonderful sound of releasing a mechanical Copal shutter set at long exposure.

The X-Shutter was first used in the XT system. November 2020 Phase One will start supplying shutters for other applications. This requires a cable, to connect the shutter to the digital back when it’s not connected via the XT’s integrated connectors. After a firmware update the IQ4 will be able to distinguish between cable connection and use on the XT and switches to the proper mode automatically.

Cambo will supply new Rodenstock Digaron lenses fitted with the X-Shutter. Not only for use on our WRS and WRC technical cameras. Lenses can also be mounted to #0 lens plates for view cameras. Here’s a Rodenstock HR-Digaron 90SW attached to a Cambo Actus-XL. When you’re using a view camera and IQ4 back in a studio environment, the X-Shutter can certainly make your workflow more efficient. All shutter and aperture settings can be controlled in Capture One. No more need to open, close, cock and release the shutter manually, as required when working with a mechanical shutter.

Existing Rodenstock Digaron lenses and a selection of Schneider Kreuznach lenses can be upgraded to the X-Shutter. Every lens added to this list requires a unique piece of firmware. It tells the shutter in which lens it is. Not only necessary to mention the lens used in the EXIF info, but – more important – to get the aperture right.

Cambo WRS lens panels fit onto the Phase One XT. If you’d like to use tilt and swing on your XT, using one of Cambo’s WTS lenses was already an option. Now these lenses will be a available with the X-Shutter as well.

And vice versa XT lens panels fit onto the Cambo WRS. Which makes sense, in case a larger shift range is needed than the XT’s 12mm.

This is a list of lenses that can be fitted with the Phase One X-Shutter:

Rodenstock Digaron:Schneider Apo-Digitar:
23 HR-S47-XL
32 HR-W60-XL
35 HR-S72-XL
40 HR-W80-M
50 HR-W90-N
60 HR-S100-N
70 HR-W120-N / Asph.
90 HR-SW120-M
100 HR-S150-N
180 HR-S180-T


To summarise the new applications of the X-Shutter:

  • XT lens panels can be used on Cambo technical cameras
  • Cambo Tilt & Swing lens panels fit onto Phase One XT cameras
  • Cambo view cameras are available with X-Shutter lenses
  • New Digaron lenses are available with X-Shutters
  • Digarons and a selection of Schneider lenses can be upgraded with X-shutters

The X-Shutter has been used in the XT camera for over a year now. It’s proven itself as robust and troublefree. Being a further development of a shutter that is build by Phase One’s Industrial division, it’s been tested and tried in i.e. aerial photography. That version, btw, has a fastest shutter speed of 1/2000 and shows outstanding longevity. The version we have at our hands now – its shutter speed being reduced to 1/1000 – will only be more durable.

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