Sigma FP meets Cambo Actus

Here we see the smallest Full Frame interchangeable lens camera attached to the smallest view camera. Actus-G_Sigma FP_02s

It’s the latest addition to the L-Alliance announced at Photokina 2018. Leica, Panasonic and Sigma made public to use the Leica L bayonet (by then known from the SL) for their new mirrorless cameras. It brought us the first full frame Panasonic and now this really compact Sigma.

L-Alliance.jpgActus-G_Sigma FP_01s.jpg

Obviously this small camera body looks neat on an Actus-G. And it makes a very portable solution without having to forgo on image quality. But it works as well on a full size view camera!

Actus-XL_Sigma FP_s

Sigma FP on the Actus-XL

Posted in General, Photokina, Studio, Technical | Tagged , , ,

More than a modern classic

Basically a view camera is nothing more or less than a flexible connection betweenSupertechna_1948_s a lens and a light sensitive medium. The latter being a glass plate, a sheet or roll of film or a digital sensor. One could easily think that view camera technology has seen more evolution than revolution since Cambo entered the market in 1946. Albeit under a different name, where this 1948 advertisement bears witness of. For obvious reasons the company’s founder soon decided to change the name to Cambo, a conjunction of the first syllables of Camera and his surname.




We’ve got a true modern classic in our program – the SC aka Super Cambo – that’s been around since 1958. The view cameras that leave our factory far more frequently nowadays, have to meet other demands. When the light sensitive medium scaled down from a generous 8 x 10” or 4×5″ to the now common 24 x 36, 33 x 44 and 40 x54mm sensors, the need for precision grew. Our current top-of-the-line view camera, the Actus-XL, may superficially resemble the vintage Cambo cameras, it’s a completely different beast.


Actus-XL with Nikon Z7

SC-2 40th AE

The 40th Anniversary SC from 1986


Speaking about evolution: The introduction of the Fuji GFX-100 urged us to redesign the Actus-XL’s rear standard. It now has the same interchangeable bayonet holder that’s one of the amenities of its smaller sibbling the Actus-G.



This makes swapping between different sensors a breeze. There’s a variety of fittings for all current camera systems, including mirrorless medium format and digital backs.

Actus-XL acc


Actus-XL_Fuji GFX-01_s

The Actus-XL is a modular view camera that will serve you for many years. Whenever you decide to change to another sensor, the Actus-XL is easy to adapt.  And for on-location photography we build some more compact solutions. Like the ones shown here.

Cambo on location

Posted in ACTUS, General, Studio, Technical | Tagged , , ,

Using strobes and ES. Is it any good?

Since a couple of months the Rodenstock Digaron lenses have been available in Aperture-Only (AO) mounts. As the era of mechanical leaf shutters is coming to an end, we need to look at other solutions to use these outstanding lenses. Using them in AO is one of the options. An option that requires a digital back with an integrated shutter (ES).

HyperFocal: 0The IQ3-100 was Phase One’s first back featuring the ES function. We’ve got high hopes that the recently announced Hasselblad CFV-II 50c will have a similar integrated shutter. Maybe faster, thanks to the smaller sensor. As it stands now, ES is not suitable for shooting fast moving objects. Not necessarily a problem to photographers using a tech cam. The ES technology has got its own merits. There are no moving parts, so no camera vibration and no wear and tear of the shutter. Shutter times are 100% dependable and the range of available speeds is much broader than a mechanical shutter could ever offer.


ES has a limitation though that does matter to those of you using tech and view cameras: It affects the use of strobes. Some may say that you can’t use strobes at all. But please draw your own conclusions, based on the facts.

As the ES is a rolling shutter, strobe sync is limited to 0.6 seconds with IIQ-L (14-bit) or 1.3 seconds with IIQ-L (16 Bit). When the back is set to these shutter times or longer it will trigger the flash. The flash is connected to the sync port of the back – by cable, Pocket Wizard or whatever you prefer . When the exposure starts, the flash will fire about halfway. In most studio situations switching of the modelling lights during exposure will do. On location use of strobes is also pretty uncomplicated, as long as no short exposure times are needed. Whether that’s a serious limitation or not, every interior photographer needs to judge for himself. HyperFocal: 0

Here’s a quick test – not the most exciting subject – for which an IQ3-100 was paired with a Cambo WRS-1600 and a Digaron-23 in AO.



Side by Side.jpgThanks to the long exposure time for this shot, there was no need to use the 14-bit mode.


Wieker Meule-top_no flash

The next shot – the interior of a Dutch Windmill – required an exposure time of 2 sec. at f8/11. The lens uses was a Digaron-32. All the ambient light was coming from behind the camera. Therefore two small strobes were hidden behind this massive wooden mill wheel.


Wieker Meule ES 2s Digaron-32 f8/11 Fill flash



Wieker Meule_ flash_s.jpg


HyperFocal: 0

This Rodenstock Digaron HR-105 Macro is optimised for a magnification range of 1:4 – 4:1. It’s not a general purpose lens, but superb results can be obtained in close-up photography. It has never been supplied with a shutter, as the lens’ construction doesn’t allow this. So for use with a digital back, the ES is needed.



HyperFocal: 0Here’s that same lens on a Phase One XT. Fitted in a Cambo helical focussing mount with 25mm of travel. As the lens can’t be equipped with the electronical leaf shutter used in other XT lenses, the ES is needed to work with it.



Posted in General

Fachkameraworkshop in Frankfurt am Main

In their new Frankfurt based store Calumet Germany will conduct a View Camera Workshop. A blog entry in German:

Calumet Deutschland veranstaltet in Frankfurt einen Workshop             Produktfotografie mit der Fachkamera. Wir werden dafür  technische Unterstützung und Demo-Apparatur zur Verfügung stellen.

Trotz aller Möglichkeiten, die Fotografen bei der Nachbearbeitung ihrer Bilder zur Verfügung stehen, lassen sich manche Ergebnisse ausschließlich mit Hilfe einer Fachkamera erzielen. Hier erfahren Sie, ob und wie die Fachkamera Ihre fotografische Praxis erweitern kann und wie Sie in Produkt-, Interieur-, Makro- und Architekturfotografie das besondere und fotografische „Etwas” hineinbringen können.

©Gerhard Witteveen

©Gerhard Witteveen

Nach einer theoretischen Einführung machen Sie sich selbst mit einer Fachkamera an die Arbeit. Vorzugsweise setzen Sie dabei die eigene Kamera als Digitalrückteil ein. Cambo wird dafür die geeignete Fachkameras und Adapter zur Verfügung stellen.

Dieser Workshop vermittelt nicht nur das für die Arbeit mit einer Fachkamera benötigte Wissen. Zweck und Ziel ist auch die Teilnehmer zu motivieren, zu inspirieren und Wege aufzuzeigen. Freuen Sie sich auf diese spannende und praxisnahe Veranstaltung und den Austausch mit Fachkollegen.

Workshopleiter ist Sacha Goerke:Sache Goerke

Sacha ist Gründer und Leiter der
Fotoakademie Westfalen. Er schult viele namenhafte Fototeams und ist darüber hinaus langjähriger Werbefotograf. Viele Tipps und Tricks aus dem beruflichen Alltag fließen in seine Workshops  mit ein.



Der Workshop findet am Freitag dem 4. Oktober in der Calumet Filiale in Frankfurt statt.

Calumet Frankfurt by Night_Address

Hier geht es zur  Anmeldung

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Teilnahme! Bitte lassen Sie uns bei der Anmeldung wissen, welche Kamera Sie während des Workshops benützen möchten. Cambo wird dafür die passende Fachkamera oder aber Adapter zur Verfügung stellen.







Posted in General, Studio, Technical | Tagged , , , , , ,

Bruce Allinson, Commercial Photographer

In 1979 Bruce Allinson followed his passion for cars and motorcycles and began hisBruce Allinson_Scott Leathers working life with an apprenticeship in a local garage. It didn’t take long before he realised that turning your hobby into a full time job isn’t necessarily a good idea. A new position at a large advertising agency in Newcastle upon Tyne was Bruce’s first introduction to commercial photography. Following a visit to Ravensworth Studios Bruce accepted a job offer, occasionally helping out in the studio but working mostly in the Lab. By looking at Bruce’s portfolio, 30 years later, you can tell he’s still got an above average interest in motorbikes and motorsport.

In those days it wasn’t unusual for a larger studio to have its own laboratory. Processing films and making prints became some of Bruce’s duties at Ravensworth. It was also the first time he had to get himself acquainted with a view camera. It’s been one of his favourite photographic tools ever since. When Kevin Radcliffe started his own studio, he asked Bruce to join him as an assistant. Those ten years of working for Kevin have resulted in a life time of cooperation and collaboration.

Bruce Allinson_Product 01

While Kevin’s business was focused on commercial work he would support Bruce in his efforts to subsidise his income with some Wedding Photography. This would be his first venture as “Allinson’s Photography”. Almost ten years after starting as an assistant, Bruce made Allinson’s Photography his full-time business and moved most of its services from the social to commercial photography. While a small selection of clients decided to go with Bruce, it never led to hard feelings between Kevin and Bruce and they would continue to provide resources and support for each other. In fact, in the last couple of years they’re joining forces again on a wide range of projects and commissions.

Clients now benefit from the skills of two highly experienced photographers, Bruce’s quest for technically perfect photographic solutions can blend perfectly with Kevin’s creative and imaginative photography. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For example this gives Bruce access to a larger studio space – Kevin Radcliffe’s located in the historic Sallyport Tower in Newcastle Upon Tyne – while Bruce brings a wealth of technical equipment and the services of an in-house post-production specialist. While in the last 2 years Bruce has trained new staff to deliver basic post production services, he has never given up his processing skills and has continued to process and manipulate analogue and digital images throughout his career. From the very beginning Bruce has had his own in-house professional lab. Having full control over the final image has not just started in this digital era.

Bruce Allinson_Architecture 01

Bruce is a fierce advocate of the use of a view camera for commercial photography. Both inside and outside of the studio. It makes many complex creative applications – such as selective focus – more readily available. He still owns a Cambo Ultima-45 (for use with 4×5” sheet film) and has used this as a digital with an Ultima-35 conversion kit for many years, (the latter was used with a small format Nikon D800e and D810 as a digital back). Since a more compact Cambo Actus-GFX is added to the arsenal of equipment, the Ultima resides in the studio.

side by side

The Actus has quickly become the on-location camera of choice. “The precision control of all the movements within a fraction of a millimetre makes it an easy choice when using medium or small format cameras and digital backs. In addition we have found – unlike the many tilt shift solutions offered by the big brand camera manufactures, (who generally only support their own equipment) – the versatility of the Cambo is very appealing. Cambo always caters for our full array of camera sensors (digital backs, or digital cameras) and lenses of choice. A range of almost endless combinations are available to us with both our Cambo cameras. We can use just about everything we already own, or wish to purchase with these cameras.”

Bruce Allinson_Food 02“Finally but perhaps most importantly there is the precise control of focus and perspective that only the skilled photographer using their experience with view cameras can deliver. All this experience, skill and specialist equipment allows the photographer and art director, or chef, to choose exactly what the viewer will focus on in a final image that can deliver a powerful and complete message telling a story in a way that no other photography discipline can.”


Bruce is a commercial photographer. Versatility is a word that comes to mind when looking at his porffolio. While he’s well aware that many photographers across the UK specialise in a category of work such as food, fashion, architecture etc. it is probably a North East England thing that there is little work and photographers can’t charge the fees big corporate clients in the city are used to. It’s a case of do everything or die and you will not get enough work to live on if you look to specialise in a smaller market. “I also think that it is the need for this broad church of photography skills, styles and ability to deliver a wide range of photography that has lead us to always owning all the kit needed for almost every type of work, (I can’t remember the last time I hired a camera or lens).”Actus-XL_Fuji GFX-01_s

more about Allinson’s Photography

Posted in ACTUS, Architecture, Automotive, General, Interiors, Studio | Tagged , , , , ,

Simple things that make live easier

Due to the long barrel in some WRS lens panels the rear element of the lens is hard to access. You’ll still manage to put the lens cap on, but taking it off can be a nuisance. Photographers are creative people, so during the years we’ve seen all kind of homemade solutions for this. Like self adhesive towel hooks, strings or rubber band attached to lens caps. And it all does the job. Huisvlijt

We’d like to add our own solution. It’s this rear cover, machined out of synthetic material and called WRS-1100

HyperFocal: 0HyperFocal: 0HyperFocal: 0                                                                                                                        One good reason to add this new cover to our line of accessories is the introduction of the Rodenstock Digaron-138 floating element lens. It comes without a lens cap to protect the rear element, as it would be virtually impossible to use anyway.

Posted in General, Interiors, Landscape, Technical, Wide RS | Tagged ,

Fine Ratio Gears for the Actus

We’ve started shipping the AC-380 and AC-381 fine ratio gears for the Actus. It HyperFocal: 0comes with a printed instruction manual and the required         allen key.

It’s easy to install. For your convenience we’ve uploaded  a video:

short how-to video


The new dual knob design allows for both standard and reduced gearing. The larg knob changes the settings as you’re used to, whilst the smaller knob offers a 1:5 reduction. This enables more precise focussing and tilting.

HyperFocal: 0


AC-380 is used on Actus-B’s  front and rear standard. The front standard of the Actus-G, Actus-GFX and Actus-DB2 requires AC-381. 







AC-380-381_Actus-DB2_02s.jpgBecause of the differences in tilt mechanism design, two versions of this upgrade will be offered. The AC-380 is for focus on all Actus cameras and for the tilt movements of the Actus-Mini. The AC-381 upgrades the tilt movements on the Actus-G or Actus-DB II. Both are available individually, for users that wish to upgrade one knob.

HyperFocal: 0AC-380 (white dot) and                      AC-381 (red dot)

how-to-install video

AC-380 & AC-381 installation

Posted in ACTUS, Architecture, General, Interiors, Landscape, macro, Studio | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Die Fachkamera

The following Blog entry is in German and was written in cooperation with Calumet Germany.

Trotz aller Möglichkeiten, die Fotografen bei der Nachbearbeitung ihrer Bilder zur Verfügung stehen, lassen manche Ergebnisse sich ausschließlich mit Hilfe einer Fachkamera erzielen. Nur mit einer verstellbaren Kamera hat der Fotograf die optimale  Kontrolle über den Schärfeverlauf.

Sehen wir uns hier einige Beispielbilder an.

Cambo Actus with Sony A7r and Rodenstock WA-60/4.0
No camera adjustments.

Cambo Actus Leica SLBei einer Aufnahme mit einer “normalen” Kamera, ist die Schärfenebene immer parallel zur Bildebene (=dem Sensor). Hier oben wurde die Schärfe rechts auf die Brille eingestellt. Das linke Brillenglas ist unscharf (auch bei Blende 11). Hinweis: Der Text links im Bild ist Scharf. Und da brauchen wir keine Schärfe!



Durch Schwenkung der Objektivstandarte liegt die Schärfe jetzt parallel zum Objekt. Beide Brillengläser sind scharf. Wir haben nicht mehr Schärfentiefe – die Schärfentiefe wird nur größer indem man abblendet – die Schärfe wird jedoch gezielt benützt. Und ja, der Text links ist jetzt unscharf.

Plane_of_focus_1_sWenn sich die Objekt-, Objektiv- und Bildebene in einer gemeinsamen Linie  schneiden, wird die Objektebene scharf abgebildet. So hat es der österreichische Kartograf Theodor Scheimpflug im 19. Jahrhundert bereits formuliert. Der Grundsatz gilt noch immer. Zum Glück müssen wir uns  für die Anwendung heutzutage nicht unbedingt mit großen und schweren Kameras abmühen. An einer kleinen und handlichen Fachkamera wie die Cambo Actus kann man z.B. die eigene Dslr oder Spiegellose Systemkamera als Digitalrückteil einsetzen.


Verlagerung der Schärfenebene nach Scheimpflug

Schärfe von vorn nach hinten ist nicht immer das Ziel des kreativen Fotografen. Bei Foodfotografie  z.B. wird oft mit einer sehr knappen, dafür aber gezielte Schärfe gearbeitet.


Foto: Gerhard Witteveen


Foto: Zip Zipsen

Die Schärfenebene verlagert man grundsätzlich durch Schwenkung oder aber Neigung der Objektivstandarte. Viele Fachkameras ermöglichen dem Fotografen auch eine Schwenkung und Neigung an der Bildstandarte. Und tatsächlich – siehe die  scheimpflugschen Regel – bewirkt auch diese Vorgehensweise eine Schärfenverlagerung. Jedoch nicht ohne Verzerrung des Objekts. In den meisten Fällen wird deswegen eine Verstellung der Objektivstandarte bevorzugt.


Beim Beispiel mit dem Zauberwürfel wurde links mit senkrechter Bildstandarte fotografiert, bei der Aufnahme des rechten Fotos war die Bildstandarte nach vorne geneigt.



Mit einer Fachkamera hat der Fotograf nicht nur die Lage der Schärfenebene im Griff, sondern auch die perfekte Perspektivkontrolle. Lebenswichtig bei der professionellen Sach- und Architekturfotografie.

Vergleich mit Actus.jpg

Bei der Aufnahme dieser Vorbilder hatten wir die Perspektive besser im Griff als das Wetter.

Beim 2. Foto des Calumet Ladens blieb die Kamera Waagerecht. Sie blickt trotzdem nach oben, indem die Bildstandarte nach unten verschoben (Tiefshift) wurde. Darüber hinaus reichte ein moderates Weitwinkelobjektiv für einen großen Bildwinkel aus, indem das Foto aus drei Aufnahmen (im Hochformat) zusammengesetzt wurde (Stitching).

Wieker Molen stitch02_s

HyperFocal: 0

Mehr über Fachkameras in diesen Videos



Posted in General

Wandering where Kit Carson explored

Talented photographers often find visual stories in the things we take for granted or pass without noticing. While driving in Northern Mexico, Peter Misfeldt noticed the numerous roadside memorials. He started to photograph them and this turned into a project called Descansos. Another example – and a work in progress – are the Navajo vending booths in Northern Arizona. After passing them numerous times, it dawned to him that there’s a story in it. Some day he will tell that story: Diné Binaalye’ Nadahniih (The Navajo Nation Vending Booths).


From the Navajo Vendor Booth project – 2019. IQ3- 100 Achromatic, Cambo WRS 1250, Digaron-40.

Peter Misfeldt started his career as a self-taught painter in the Mid-90’s. The first successes came with gallery shows in Copenhagen – his home-town at the time – and New York city. At some point he got himself a beautiful vintage brown Polaroid SX-70 and fell in love with the device. The Polaroid was used for various projects and by the beginning of the new century Peter acquired his first DSLR to document his paintings and shows.

Gradually photography started to play a more important role in his work. And at some point his camera replaced the paint and brushes completely. When looking at Peter’s current impressive portfolio, it immediately becomes clear that he has a fascination for the American Southwest. Which goes back to his childhood.


“As a child my big interest was the North American Indians (which now more correctly are known as Native Americans).  For most of my adult life that interest has been subdued, but during my first trip to the American Southwest in 2008 it all came back again. I really fell for the Southwest desert, somehow it’s magic to me. The smells, the desolation, the feeling of being very small in the grand scenes of things. And of course the history. It fascinates me that if you look you’re able to see the history in the landscape, both human and in regard to the evolution of the Earth. When you hike deep into the backcountry, you can stumble upon prehistoric dwellings, hunting blinds, stone circles, ancient paths, petroglyphs and the like. At the same time, parts of the desert in the Southwest are centres for technical evolution – giant solar farms, training for moon missions, private training for Mars missions, former nuclear tests sites, US Airforce bombing ranges, aerospace like Tesla, mysteries like Area 51 and so on. Like Robert Smithson said, ‘The American West has a prehistoric past and a science fiction future’.”

“It is not only the Southwest that catches my attention, I have also been working in parts of the Midwest, Nebraska, The Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana on a project about the battlefields of the Indian wars for some years now. It is still very much a work in progress. The historic aspect of the American West is of great interest to me. The first inhabitants came there about 10.000 years ago, so the history is old, but when you think of it it’s only a few hundred years ago where the West was more or less unknown to the Europeans. The first Europeans to cross the western portion of the United States was the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804 – 1806. Later mountain men like Kit Carson blazed trails across the Southwest to the promised land in California. His extensive travels and experience tell a story not just of one man, but of many people and cultures throughout the area of what would become the Southwestern United States. The history of both the early and general exploration of the West interests me both from the Natives and the explores/settlers point of view.”


Battlefields project: Battle of Bone Pile Creek, 13-15 August 1865 – 2014, IQ160, Cambo WRS 1250, Digaron-40.

Not having a background as a photographer, Peter honed his skills to the current high level he’s working on by challenging himself and getting off the beaten track. Being a painter obviously helps to develop one’s abilities to visualise things. Being in the wild on your own changes your mind set and makes you more aware of what’s surrounding you. Peter has been much inspired by the photographers of the mid 1800’s American Survey Expeditions, like Timothy O’ Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, as well as by Edward S. Curtis’ early 1900’s project ‘The North American Indian’. A contemporary photographer whose work he admires is Mark Ruwedel.


From the Descansos project – 2019. IQ3- 100 Achromatic, Cambo WRS 1250, Digaron-40.

The switch to medium format somehow happened by coincidence. Around 2012 Peter had a Canon 400mm lens for sale. The buyer wanted to trade-in his Leaf Aptus and Peter accepted. It was soon complemented with a used Cambo WRS-1000 and a couple of Schneider Apo-Digitar lenses.

WRS-1250_WDS-557_sNowadays a Phase One IQ3-100 Achromatic back, Cambo WRS-1250 and several Rodenstock and Schneider lenses are in the bag. Most of the lenses are in the Cambo WRS Tilt and Swing configuration. Peter likes the fact that he can apply both shift and rise/fall simultaneously and dial in a bit of tilt and swing when necessary. When travelling, the kit is often narrowed down to a Digaron-40, Apo-Digitar-60XL and -120ASP. This makes for a compact and not too heavy kit.

Peter loves colour photography and  the work of William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and many others. However, for his own work he often finds colour a distraction. Hence the shift to an Achromatic digital back and the emphasis on black and white in his recent work. It conveys a certain feeling that needs to be in his photographs and that simply isn’t there when shot in colour.

The salt deposit in the Saline Valley is one of the purest in the world. Although first described in 1864 it was not exploited on a large scale until the early 1900s, due to the costs of transporting it to the market from this remote area.

In 1911 the Saline Valley Salt Company decided to build an aerial electric tramway that would rise 7600 feet / 2316 meters to the crest of the Inyo Range from the floor of Saline Valley, and then descend 5100 feet / 1554 meters to the narrow gauge railroad terminal at Tramway near Keeler, all within a distance of 13.5 miles / 21,5 km.Misfeldt_2

By 1914 the company shipped 9 to 15 carriages a week. It couldn’t turn to profit, so U.S. Steel, that built the tram, took over. Between 1924 and 1926 a road to Saline Valley via San Lucas Canyon was constructed. The use of trucks also proved unprofitable. In 1928 the Sierra Salt Company purchased the tram and refurbished it. Soon it was transporting salt at a rate of 60 to 100 tons per day. Financial difficulties urged the company to cease operations in 1933. Although Saline Valley salt is exceptionally pure, its monetary value was never high enough to offset the cost of transporting it to market.


From the Salt project – 2019. IQ3- 100 Achromatic, Cambo WRS 1250, Apo-Digitar 120ASP.

To see more of Peter’s work: Peter Misfeldt


Posted in General, Landscape, Wide RS | Tagged , , , ,

Support you can count on

Cambo offers an extensive line of studio stands. It’s possible to build up a stand that suits every photographer’s needs. Almost every photographer. Sometimes we’ll need to build a studio stand on request!

UST_double U4_01s

The UST-DSD at our factory

The one shown here, is a Cambo UST with two cross arms. Not just an additional cross arm. Each one has its own height adjustment. This required some custom-made parts, which enable the use of two pulley and cable assemblies and a second counter weight.

As all Cambo products are manufactured in our own factory, we’re pretty agile when it comes to fulfilling our clients’ needs. Cambo stands are not only used in many photo studios around the globe. We’ve supplied stands to the aerospace industry and for applications in i.e. meteorology. Wherever a stable yet moveable platform is needed, we can offer our support.






UST_double U4_Studio

Installed in the studio


Posted in General, Studio, Technical, Tripod | Tagged , , , , , , , ,