Trading wood for metal, a difficult decision made.

Trading wood for metal, a difficult decision made.


Richard is a  landscape photographer based in the wonderful scenery and industrial landscape of the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire. He specialises in producing high quality images using a Large Format film camera and also digital equipment. Since starting out in 2004 his work has been published in books and the photographic press and also for a wide variety of marketing uses with clients including Ordnance Survey, Marine Resource Centre, Visit Scotland and National Geographic Magazine.

Below is an un-edited blog written by Richard about his experience of using the Cambo Actus and Sony A7 series camera.

Trading wood for metal, a difficult decision made.

After nearly a year of agonising and constant changes of mind I have finally made the decision (for now) to place both feet firmly in the digital photography camp. I’ve been fighting it but to be honest I have found myself shooting less and less film since investing in my Sony A7r and now I have the means to make my digital photography as enjoyable and engaging as Large Format has been over the last fourteen years.

During that time I have shot about 16,000 sheets of film, the emulsion (mostly Velvia) and the cameras (Ebony RSW45, Ebony 45su, Shen Hao and Chamonix 045F-1) whipping me into shape as a photographer throughout that time. I still want my photography to challenge me but I also need to be returning with usable images wherever I go and my Sony, now married up to Pentax 645 lenses via a beautifully made Cambo Actus view camera, is very much fulfilling these needs (and most importantly, making me very happy).

Cambo Actus

Cambo Actus

The signs have been there for a while. Last year I only shot 31 sheets of film, in 2016 I shot around 90. I process my own film and whereas I used to get through a five litre E6 kit every two months (therefore wasting none) I have in recent years had to throw away fifty percent of the 2.5 litre kits as it had exceeded its twenty or so week usable life.

So why didn’t I just hold on to all of my 400+ sheets of frozen film and use them when I feel the urge? Going back to the chemistry issue I could simply send the few I take off to a lab for processing but for the last ten years I have had complete control of my workflow from capture, through processing, post processing, printing and finally framing and I don’t intend to let go of any of these important elements. I don’t want to be pouring away wasted chemistry and I’m not really in the position to be able to invest in the 1200 sheets per year at current prices to be making images as I used to. I also get relatively few days out on my own with a camera anyway and have really appreciated in the last few years the ability to be making images when previously I had really struggled and often come back with nothing.

The comparison test.

Doesn’t the same image shot side by side with a sheet of Velvia look better compared with it’s Sony equivalent? Well, yes but I’ve only done it once and have been delighted with pretty much everything I’ve shot on both cameras over the last year. I’m not trying to recreate a Velvia look with my digital images (although looking back through my images as I save them to cloud storage I love the depth of colour in the shadows that my favoured emulsion provided) but simply carry on doing as I have always done and create dynamic images in camera that I can make relatively small adjustments to work well in print. I’m certainly able to make sharper images with my Sony now that I need to wear reading glasses to focus (being able to check focus before and after the act of making an image has proven incredibly useful, something I have always struggled with on the ground glass itself). Can’t you print bigger from your 5×4 scans? Yes, but I have very few customers who need anything larger than the 24×30 inch images that I have been printing from both my scans and my digitally captured files. I always scanned my transparencies at 1800dpi which gave me a 315mb 16bit file. Converting to 8 bit for print provided me with a 157mb file to work with and having now tried out a couple of successful stitched files with my A7r2 on the platform provided by my Cambo I’ve created 157mb files from two images stitched horizontally and 210mb files when I stitch vertically (vertical stitching allowing me more use of the lens’ image circle without vignetting). These files are ample for my needs and I can’t really envisage needing much more.

I think the most critical question has to be; Is photography as enjoyable as it was when I shot film and used my large format camera? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s not better, it’s just different. There are things that I miss; the ritual of setting up, the delayed gratification when first viewing your images days or weeks after their making, the feel of a wooden camera. There are certainly things I don’t miss; struggling under a dark cloth in a side wind when the ground glass and my glasses were both misting up having climbed to a location, those near misses that occurred because I just couldn’t set up fast enough, midges inside the camera! Much of what I loved about LF I have tried to carry over to digital although there is the inevitable increased use of my computer, a necessary evil albeit one that I am coming to appreciate more as I improve my Lightroom workflow for my Raw files (I’m even reworking many of my scans in this software as they seem far more malleable to a point where I feel like they have a wider latitude).

Will I ever shoot film again? Probably. I’ve kept my Gnassgear dark cloth which was the one piece of equipment I would have struggled to replace. I have a habit of stopping and restarting hobbies and I feel that Large Format would very much be a hobby activity in the future since it would be difficult to compete commercially with such an expensive method of making images. After all, an image library would pay me the same pittance for use of a photograph no matter what I’d taken it with.

My Comment;

To see more of Richards work click here or if you’re passing why not pop in to his gallery: Richard Childs Gallery Maws Craft Centre, Unit B1, Ferry Rd, Jackfield TF8 7LS

For further advice about the Actus and range of lens options contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales. You can also check out the Cambo website.

Posted in ACTUS, Landscape | Tagged , ,

Cambo Panoramic and Levelling head WRS334

Cambo Panoramic and Levelling head WRS334

Cambo have introduced a new panoramic and levelling head WRS334 which is compatible with the complete range of Actus technical cameras and WRS cameras with the Arca mount.

Cambo WRS334 Levelling and Panoramic Head

Cambo WRS334 Levelling and Panoramic Head

The WRS-334 features:

  • Fine-tuned levelling over 3 knobs within 5 degrees in any direction
  • 360 degrees panning of the camera with zero-position click
  • Full 360 degree scale for indication of panoramic settings
  • Rotation with click stops at 2, 12 or 16 increments
  • Includes a camera plate with 1/4″ mount or
  • Any camera with an ARCA type plate

For any cameras without an Arca mount you can adapt to the WRS-334 using the QR-7 plate which has a 1/4″ whitworth camera thread.

Cambo WRS334 and QR7 Plate

Cambo WRS334 and QR7 Plate


  • Additional weight 690 gram w/o plate
  • Additional height: 75mm
  • Footprint to stand: 54mm diameter
  • Size: 99x78x87mm incl. plate
  • Weight 740 gram incl. plate
  • Rotation 360 degrees with scale indicator
  • Click stops at each 180, or each 30, or each 22.5 degree

Since introducing the Arca style tripod mount to Cambo camera systems it made sense to add this fitting to the new WRS-334.

Cambo WRS1600 and WRS334

Cambo WRS1600 and WRS334

For photographers that already own a Cambo camera and are looking to add the WRS334 to their kitbag, here is what you will need;

  • WRS-1600 – ARCA fitting Integrated
  • WRS-7250 – ARCA fitting Integrated
  • WRS-1200 Add Cambo ARCA plate WRS-145
  • WRC-400  Add Cambo ARCA plate WRC-A70
  • WRS-1250 Add Cambo ARCA plate WRS-145
  • WRS-5000 Add Cambo ARCA plate WRS-145
  • WRS-5005 Add Cambo ARCA plate WRS-145

note: All new WRS/WRC models come complete with an Arca dovetail.

Cambo WRS-145

Cambo WRS-145

Cambo WRC-A70

Cambo WRC-A70

Cambo ACTUS cameras have an Arca style rail, all models will fit to the WRS334.



For camera systems without an Arca mount, there are two options available from Cambo. The QR-7 and QR-XL plate. Both are ideal for Medium format and DSLR camera systems as well as for using on the RPS copy stand system.

Quick Release QR-7

Quick Release QR-7

Cambo QR-XL plate

Cambo QR-XL plate

For further advice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales. You can also check out the Cambo website.

Posted in Tripod | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Future of Digital Photography

The Future of Digital Photography

In 2016 we interviewed Barry Grossman and published a number of his images that were captured using the Cambo Wide RS-5000. He uses a variety of lenses such as Rodenstock: 23mm HR Digaron-S, 32mm HR Digaron-W, WTS40mm HR Digaron-W and WTS70mm HR Digaron-W.

Barry is striving to obtain the best image quality and has added a Phase One camera, IQ3-100 Trichromatic digital back to his kit list. Of course the Cambo WRS camera system he has is compatible with the whole range of Phase One digital backs, by simply exchanging the SLW plate to the SLW-83. This is why Cambo is a good future investment.

The following article has been submitted by Barry and is un-edited;

Four years ago, I ended my blog post contemplating the future. “Let’s see what they think of next,” I queried.

This, of course, referring to how technology would bring to the photographic industry higher quality standards across all platforms. Admittedly, what I was truly pondering was what would Phase One dream up and be able to create? How could their flagship camera for interior architecture become even better? Their answer has proven to be a miraculous, yet completely expected one.

I have been a Phase One camera owner since 2003, and I had utilized four different systems until 2014, when at that time , I upgraded to the state-of-the-art medium format camera system, the IQ260, complete with a beautiful technical camera built by Cambo Photography. As I had noted in our admittedly lonely blog post in 2014, the synergy of my workflow with that equipment was immediate, passionate, and I had definitely found the best “tools of the trade” for me. Flash-forward to 2017 and Phase One has done it once more with the introduction of the IQ3 100 Trichromatic digital back… again, I have changed how I think about my photography.

I had vacillated for months after the announcement of Phase One’s new technology, contemplating the business of interiors and architecture photography, my working methodology, what made sense financially… did I truly need to offer my clients more than 60 megapixels? Is 100 megapixels the Holy Grail for digital photography? When the Trichromatic was introduced, with a unique sensor which captures the most pure, accurate color of any camera manufactured today, my level of intrigue gripped me like powerful vise. Still, I held off, uncertain… holding fast to my IQ260, a digital back which I truly loved and one which I had come to rely upon for my signature “look.” It took months of contemplation and research, before I gave the IQ3 100 Trichromatic a test drive… and am I glad I did.

Privé Condominium, Miami Florida

My first shoot with the Trichromatic, this gorgeous lobby pictured above, was made possible by Capture Integration and Phase One. Chris Snipes has been my support and product specialist since 1995 and has managed Capture Integration’s sales team for years. I was thrilled that Francis Westfield, the U.S manager of sales from Phase One, joined Chris and myself on assignment in Miami, photographing Privé. Interior and architectural photography at this luxury high-rise condominium featured designs throughout the common areas of this residential property. We ran the system through its paces and simply stated, I was floored. Shot after shot, in each and every lighting scenario, I was left speechless, smiling and completely impressed. The Trichromatic was sharper, rich with detail and clarity, more refined and more pure than I have ever seen in a digital capture. Most importantly, and I can’t state this enough, I was inspired to do my best work. That rekindling of passion for the image-making experience is the real story I hope to convey, and that embedded desire to create and share photographs of the highest quality possible has inspired me every assignment since.

The Boca Raton Resort & Spa

A few weeks later, I was thrilled and proud to be commissioned to create photographs of the interior and exterior architecture at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Spa. This would be the first real opportunity to challenge me, and more importantly allow me to solidify my relationship with the IQ3 100 Trichromatic. This assignment was a joy and for a photographer who derives inspiration from his subject matter, it was one of the most special experiences I have ever had in my career as a professional architectural photographer. The photographs at the resort were honest, with a purity of color and tone, and a simplicity of composition. It was my hope to portray the ambiance of South Florida’s most elegant and historic resort hotel with total respect to the environment and do so with my own dramatic signature style.

With our industry advancing so quickly and cameras becoming better and better, I feel it is most important to be at the forefront of technology… and as far into the future as possible. For me, working with the camera which is most effectively positioned to achieve the highest quality results, does ensure that I am creating work with the greatest potential for lasting value. This, above all, is “soul-satisfying,” a smart business decision, and allows me to feel like I am representing the best of the subject matter with my photographs. I will often say to my clients when asked about our Phase One camera system, that one of the main reasons I shoot with this camera is I want their work to have the longevity and lasting value it deserves. Each and every project. Each and every photograph.

I ended my last blog four years ago pondering the future of photography in terms of equipment, aesthetics, technical advantages, and thinking deeply about color depth, dynamic range, and the ability to shoot long exposures at dawn. I think where I am today is perhaps more metaphysical and contemplative in the sense that I am starting to question what the future holds as it pertains to photographic reproduction, the experience of image creation, and how framing and sharing “life as it happens” is so ubiquitous in our culture.
Again, I ponder the art and commerce of architectural and interiors photography. I am very proud to be able to create work which matters not only in the short term, but my hope… for a lifetime.

My comment;

The IQ3-100MP digital back is based at 35ISO, its limited to 12,800ISO as the system is designed to produce fine quality and colour. The Tricolour RGB is separated instead of using near neighbouring pixelling which is a great improvement. Customised filtration produces the correct colour and density thus avoiding unwanted signal collected at the sensor level.

Phase One have updated the white balance and both UV and IR levels are improved so when capturing blue skies and greenery it is pure without loss of quality.

It’s good to improve the quality of the digital capture device without the need to change the WRS technical camera and lenses. Cambo designed the Wide RS system with digital in mind. The lens panels attach firmly in place every time and are focus calibrated to capture the finest detail possible. This is why I stated earlier that Cambo is a good investment.

If there are any further questions about Cambo cameras, lens selection or choosing the right digital back contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales.

Posted in Architecture, Interiors, Technical, Wide RS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cambo at Photokina 2018

Cambo at Photokina 2018

Cambo Photokina 2018

Photokina 2018 will be held in the Koelnmesse, from 26th ~ 29th of September 2018.

Cambo Hall 2.1 Stand A-017

Cambo Hall 2.1 Stand A-017

Cambo will show the full range of Tech cameras, Wide RS and the updated ACTUS series, updated Studio Stands and various other Cambo products and accessories.

You can find CAMBO in Hall 2.1, Stand nr A-017

Photokina 2018
Posted in Exhibitions & Open Days | Tagged , , ,

Cambo Pedestal Bowl Head

Cambo Pedestal Bowl Head

Recently I read a question by a student about a ‘tripod ball’ fitting and didn’t know anything about the 75mm or 100mm bowl adapters for existing tripod heads. The student is a photographer and could not justify the high cost of a video ball head and wanted a mid-ranged tripod head that he could use in the studio with a pedestal.

Cambo VPS-1 Pedestal Kit

Cambo VPS-1 Pedestal Kit

It’s worth mentioning Cambo manufacture a wide range of video products, including booms and pedestals, that are supplied with a bowl head ready to accept ball fluid heads.

The Cambo VPS-1 is fitted with a bowl head that accepts professional fluid ball heads of 100mm. Ball heads are used by professional production companies that demand the best in quality, design and functionality. Miller, Sachtler, Vinten and Manfrotto are probably the best known in this field.

However if you don’t have a fluid ball head, like the Manfrotto 526 pictured below, you can adapt a wide range of video heads using the ball head adapter.


Manfrotto 526 Bowl Video Head

The pictures below show the Manfrotto MVH500AH fluid head, being fitted to the VPS-1 using the Manfrotto 500 half 100mm ball head adapter.

For further information about the VPS-1 contact your local Cambo dealer, or email  Cambo with your enquiry.

Posted in Video Pedestal | Tagged , , , , , ,

Jo Fober talks about his experiences of being an architectural photographer

Jo Fober talks about his experiences of being an architectural photographer

Jo Fober of talks about his experiences of being a photographer and how he turned to architectural photography. His work has been published and widely exhibited.

“Hi, my name is Jo Fober, 54 years old and working as a photographer for the past 15 years. I originally started as a fashion photography and gradually moved to architectural photography over the years. I didn’t study photography, this I learnt by assisting photographers and being part of TPW in Italy. This is where I worked with Andreas Bitesnich and gained far more knowledge in photography than I could have done through academic studies.”

“My first exhibition took place during Photokina 2014 in cooperation with Cologne photo scene. This was followed by a largely successful group exhibition during January 2017 at the Kaune Contemporary Gallery in Cologne, which in turn paved the way for my first solo exhibition around June 2017 called URBAN PLAYGROUNDS at the very same gallery. My work was also presented at ART Cologne in 2017 and 2018.

Since 2016, my works in architectural photography are being published periodically in Qvest magazines – the Paris, Cologne, New York City and Vienna editions so far. Three of those publications even made it to the magazine cover.

My first book by ‘Bachem Verlag’ will be released this summer.”

How did you decide that architectural photography was your passion?

“Moving over to architectural photography wasn’t actually an active decision. In 2012 The Victor Hasselblad Magazine published a number of my images and as the feedback I received was extremely positive I changed over from fashion to architectural photography.”

What made you decide to choose a Cambo camera system?

“The demands on my Hasselblad HTS based equipment quickly outgrew its capabilities, so I needed to move to a more professional camera system that would stand up to the rigours of being used regularly on-location. The final decision was made between Alpa and Cambo.

Both brands are perfectly up to the task, however the kind and flexible support received from Cambo just scored the final points. Additionally, the Phase One team based in Cologne is within close distance to me and I can get good support from them as well.”

Which camera and lenses did you choose?

“My model of choice is the WIDE RS 1200, since it’s compact and handy. In conjunction with Rodenstock objectives, I can get more shifting capability than my work actually requires. Based on the advice from both Cambo and Phase One, I chose the Rodenstock 32mm HW-W Digaron lens and 90mm lens with the Cambo Tilt/Swing panel. 

Since using the Rodenstock 90mm lens, I’ve also found it’s perfect for food, product and architectural detail photography.”

How do you operate and which digital camera back do you use?

“Currently I’m using the iPhone focus adapter which works very well. Although I’m interested to try the loupe system, however the live focus function on digital backs have improved, so I will be considering my options.

I shoot with a Phase One digital back. To start with I chose the IQ180 the upgraded to the IQ380 with an 80MP CCD sensor. Now I’m eager to upgrade to the 100MP CMOS sensor – this does have better live focus, so it may help with my shooting process.

Stitching shots is part of the game when shooting as an architectural photographer. This capability was paramount when choosing the right camera. The lenses I chose have a wide enough image circle so I can apply the required movement for stitching.”

So you’ve pretty much covered the main camera, lenses and components you use for architectural photography. What else do you carry in your kitbag?

“Obviously I carry the Cambo kit which I’ve had for 3 and a half years. It works just like it did on the first day – it’s a great bit of kit.

In the past, I used only medium format cameras from Hasselblad, but those are no match for the equipment I am using now. You can stitch and shift the viewing angle – this is wonderful.

I started out with Hasselblad, because I’ve used the Phase One Back on a Hasselblad camera. However, two years ago I changed over to PhaseOne XF Camera body and I love this one, too. 

Most of the time both cameras are inside my kitbag; Cambo with 2 Rodenstock lenses, 32mm and 90mm T/S. PhaseOne XF Body with IQ380, 55mm, 80mm and 120mm lenses. I also carry a range of Lee Filters, a digital rangefinder for working interiors and a laptop. Plus, one Profoto B1 flash.”

Thanks for the feedback Jo and we look forward to meeting you at your exhibition starting week.

Gallerie Kaune

Here is the English translation;

American Spirit  

In times of new, uncertain perspectives, we are looking back at a country whose culture and support have had a significant and positive influence on Western Europe over many years. A country that has shown controversial images to the world since there were photographic works, but has always been a destination that has produced and thus extensively fulfilled desires and dreams.

With the photographic works of George Holz, Mark Arbeit, Todd Hido, Peter Granser, Jo Fober and Peter Fürst, the facets of people, opinions and landscapes are mirrored.

For further advice about Cambo cameras and lens choice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales.

Posted in Architecture, Exhibitions & Open Days | Tagged , , , , , , ,

New Base Tilt for ACTUS series

New Base Tilt for ACTUS series

Cambo is expanding the ACTUS series with an optional BASE TILT Function. Having the possibility to use a tilt on the rear standard of the Actus has been a regular question. Now this is available for those photographers who want to add this.

Actus Base Tilt

Actus Base Tilt

Cambo has designed a tilting unit that can be mounted between the existing standard and the monorail. The tilt unit offers up to 15 degrees of forward and backward tilt, in increments of 5 degrees. So it is very simple to incline the monorail, and revert both front and rear standards back to perpendicular position, while keeping both standards exactly parallel, using a positive lock that slots into a grid pattern, protected against accidental movements.

Next to the extra functionality as tilt, you also receive the possibility to extend the vertical shift by using this as an indirect movement, especially useful when you use lenses with a larger image circle beyond the default rise and fall reach.

The extra focus layer on the rear standard has another additional feature: you gain 42mm more focus draw. This applies to all three versions of course.


AC-375 is the Full Base Tilt Kit.  It consists of a base tilt block for the front standard, one for the rear standard and one for the tripod mount. This combination allows for complete control of all tilt functions.

Note that the base tilt is additional to all existing movements on the Actus system.

Cambo AC-375

Cambo AC-375


AC-373 is the Dual Base Tilt Kit.  It consists of a base tilt block for the front standard and one for the rear standard. This combination allows for complete tilt control of both standards, additional to all existing movements.

Cambo AC-373

Cambo AC-373


AC-371 is the Rear Base Tilt Kit.  It consists of a base tilt block for the rear standard and comes with a matching spacer under the front standard. This combination allows for additional tilt control of the rear standard.

Also note the original tilt on the front standard remains accessible as before.

Cambo AC-371

Cambo AC-371

You can order from your local Cambo dealer. More information can be found here 

Posted in ACTUS | Tagged , , , , , , ,