If Rembrandt were a videographer

2019 is Year of Rembrandt, in commemoration of the Dutch master’s death, now 350 years ago. There will be numerous events and exhbitions throughout The Netherlands. You may i.e. visit The Rembrandt House, the painter’s residency and workshop, restored to its 17th Century glory. It’s located in Amsterdam’s beautiful historic city centre. Apart from its art collection, this museum gives an insight in life in the 17th century. Yes,  a tourist tip! But let’s not dwell on the topic.

Dutch photo- and videographer Gerhard Witteveen made this short video for Royal Talens. It shows the brand’s limited edition Year of Rembrandt artists’ box.

Gerhard uses the Cambo Actus-GFX, not only for his photography, but also to add something extra to his videos. Episode Six of our series of tutorials gives an idea what results you can achieve by using a view camera for your video work.Actus-GFX-02_s


Posted in CS Video Rigs, General, Video Booms, Video Pedestal | Tagged , , , , ,

Ori Livney: Taking jewellery photography to greater heights

The first time Ori Livney approached us, he needed parts for his recently acquired (pre-owned) Cambo view camera. Since that day we’ve been in touch every now and then. One thing soon became clear: Ori never runs out of ideas! Luckily, often well-founded ideas.


©Ori Livney for Gil Neuhaus

After getting his degree in Industrial  Engineering, Ori worked as a balloon artist for twenty years. He frequently appeared in Israel’s national TV shows and did projects around the globe. Working on the set of a commercial he met Yoram Aschhaim, a successful Israeli photographer. He showed Ori how much better his balloon sculptures could look, when photographed by a pro. It took him about a year of playing around with his camera and strobes to get the desired results. The images helped a lot to grow his business. And then it was time for a new challenge. Freshly-wed Ori asked the jeweller who designed the wedding rings to do a joined project. Lighting balloons isn’t easy, so it couldn’t be too hard to shoot jewellery. Well, how wrong he could be… Photographing jewellery turned out to be very challenging. And that’s what he loves about it.

Having no traditional photographic background, Ori felt the need to improve his skills. A lot of techniques can be learned from online tutorials. Photigy and Creative Live were of great help. About the latter: “The classes there are amazing, from photography to retouching and business, every class there is a gem. I highly recommend it!” Starting out in jewellery photography turned out to be “a cool puzzle”. Major challenges were mastering the light, the depth-of-field, positioning the jewelry and post-production. Flaws that aren’t visible to the naked eye, will be in a good photograph and retouching is a must.


©Ori Livney for Ari Bar Jewelry

Like most starting photographers, Ori made his first attempts with a DSLR. The lack of depth-of-field when shooting tiny objects was one of the challenges faced. Ori bought his first view camera – a used Cambo Legend – to get more control over the plane of focus. If the plane of focus is narrow, at least it should be there where you need it. The Legend is a nice view camera, but it was designed for 4×5. Ori soon decided to upgrade to a Cambo Ultima-35 with Mamiya RB lenses. From this range fine lenses can be found at very moderate prices. A couple of the superior Schneider Apo-Digitar macro lenses followed. Even with a view camera that provides the best control over the plane of focus, focus stacking is needed. Very often, the depth-of-field isn’t more than a few millimetres. To make stacking easier, Ori bought a Cognisys Stack Shot kit and attached the complete Ultima to it.

The Stack Shot turned out to be a great piece of gear, but there was still room for improvement. To get the best results, it’s crucial to leave the camera in position and move the rear standard instead. Coming from industrial engineering after all, Ori started to design a solution. The Ultima was taken from the focussing rail and the Stack Shot motor – linked by a belt – used to drive the rear standard in small increments. It resulted in a nice stack of focussed shots. The belt had a tendency to slip though. At that time Ori’s dog Kiano had an operation. The poor animal needed a bandage and when looking at it, Ori realized that it would make a perfect drive belt. And it worked! So here we had one of the Ori Livney ideas. It resulted in our mounting bracket for the Cognisys Stack Shot. By then we had replaced the dog’s bandage by a direct drive. Nowadays Ori uses the Stack Shot unit on his Cambo Ultima-35 (upgraded to an Actus-XL) with a Nikon D850 attached. The Schneider Apo-Digitar 120 Macro is his lens of choice.



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After having honed his skills, Ori started to spread the word and reached out to jewellers. From a home studio he moved his business to Tel Aviv’s jewellery district. Now working in a professional environment and very often shooting at odd angles, a good studio stand was needed.

Ori mentions his Cambo UBS as one of the best investments he’s ever made. “This stand allows me to move my 14kg camera setup like it’s floating in air. Precision placement and ease of use have made my whole workflow easier and much better. I really can’t imagine what I would do without it. Sure it wasn’t cheap. But hey, we only have one back and that’s both priceless and without replacement parts!”



©Ori Livney for Oliva Fine Jewelry



To see more of Ori Livney’s work check out his Instagram account!




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

Get a grip on the GH5

The rig shown in the picture below is known as the Cambo CS-GH4. The first one was made at a camera man’s request. The quality of the – at that time new – Panasonic GH4 enabled him to leave the bigger gear at home for most of his asignments. To do justice to the Panasonic’s small form factor, a compact rig was needed.

It won’t come as a surprise, that the current GH5 and GH5s fit equally well!


A unique feature of this rig is the ability to change the position of the padded shoulder support. This enables you to sit the shoulder support on and ‘inline’ with your shoulder, orCamboGH4rig03 in a ‘brace’ position pushed against the front of the chest, or positioned over and around your back.

The reach of the grip can be adjusted and swivelled into the right position. The camera can be positioned for looking directly through the viewfinder or to give enough room to add the Cambo 3x loupe.

The rig is completed with a 0.8kg CS-180 counter weight.

Cambo rigs have grooved rods. There’s a small index ball in the GH4/5 rig’s rod connector. By aligning this with one of the grooves, the camera plate will always be in the right position! No fiddly realigning to get the horizon straight.


To connect the camera, there’s a choice between standard 1/4 or an Arca style Quick release.



Posted in General, hdslr, Panasonic GH4, Panasonic GH5 | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

best studio investment you’ll ever make

Since the very beginning – in 1946 – Cambo have been building studio stands. And many of those early stands are still being used. Often our stands are passed on from one generation to the next! Like the one shown in the photo below. It’s a Cambo AST from the 1950s. Apart from some  signs of wear and tear on the surface it’s still in good shape.


So it’s safe to say, that a Cambo stand will last a lifetime. And nowadays we can offer a wide range of studio stands, to suit every photographer’s needs. Heights range from 2.10m (7ft) to 3.60m (12ft). Our compact Mono and MBX stands speed up the workflow in many retail studios. The heavy duty UST and UBS support two medium or large format cameras with ease. Modern studio stands like UBS and MBX feature cross arms on ball-bearings which rotate independently of vertical adjustments. Amenities photographers in the fifties could only dream of.

Posted in Automotive, General, portrait, portraiture, Reprographic, Studio | Tagged , , , , ,

The ever expanding Actus family

Since the introduction of the first Actus in 2014 Cambo have added many new versions, accessories and improvements. Based on input by photographers, out of a constant strive for perfection and the necessity to keep it compatible with new camera systems entering the market, like i.e. mirrorless medium format. And every now and then we hear a “I can’t see the forest for the trees” when it comes to choosing the right Actus.


The Configurator on our homepage can be of great help. The animation below gives an overview of the Actus Family.


Camera used: Actus-GFX / Zeiss Contax Distagon 3.5/35

For more information please visit our website http://www.cambo.com or meet one of our partners, they can be found here: Cambo Distributors

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Actus-G and a choice of camera mounts (bellows and lens removed for clarity)











Posted in General

Antonio Saba’s never ending quest for beauty

Chasing Beauty is the title of Antonio Saba’s latest coffee table book. And beauty is what his work is about.  Divided in three chapters – The Memory, The Journey, The Dreamlike – it shows a selection of Antonio’s most significant non-commercial work of the last few years. And as one idea often leads to another, Chasing Beauty was followed by a new project of conceptual photographs: Oneirism. It combines the best Dreamlike shots from Chasing Beauty with new work shot in Sardinia and Bangkok.

lr_ oneirism_saba_01

The photographs of the Oneirism project are fascinating. We’d also like to encourage you to have a look at some behind-the-scenes footage. It gives a hint of the massive amount of work and painstaking eye for detail that was required to create such outstanding photographs. This is what Antonio says about his sources of inspiration: “Oneirism comes from a Latin world that means dreamlike; I have always been interested in surrealism, and most of my ideas come out right after I wake up. I also look for a cinematic flavour in my shots. So basically my dreams are told in a single frame from a movie. My inspiration comes from photographers like Gregory Crewdson, Annie Leibowitz and from painters like Magritte and Caravaggio (for the light).”

lr_ oneirism_saba_24

The Oneirism photographs were first exhibited at the Photographer’s Gallery in River City Bangkok. Antonio met Linda Cheng, the Gallery’s General Manager, when working on a shoot for The Peninsula magazine in Bangkok. The Gallery now represents his work in Thailand. During the last couple of years Asian Culture became a source of inspiration to Antonio. He feels that Bangkok is developing into an interesting hub for art in Southeast Asia. The 25 Oneirism Pictures have been taken on location in Dubai, Bangkok, Costa Rica, Tokyo, Tuscany, Manila, Sardinia, New York, Paris, Beijing and Rome.


Being from Italian origin, Antonio Saba nowadays has his base in Dubai. About six years ago, his commercial work first led him there. Now he shoots approximately 40% of his work in the Emirates and the rest worldwide. For him Dubai is the perfect hub, well-connected with the rest of the world and establishing a business there was not only convenient but eventually inspiring and rewarding.



As so many photographers, Antonio has a background shooting film view cameras. In 2006 he shifted to DSLR. And felt something was missing. Not only the quality of the lenses and the larger format, but also the ability to control the perspective and plane of focus and – last but not least – the rituals working with a view camera require, which lead to an almost ‘Zen-like’ experience. Martin Wessel-Tolvig of Dubai based HotCold Studio introduced the Cambo WRS system to him. Now Antonio uses Nikon cameras for his lifestyle and handheld work and the Cambo WRS-5000 – with Rodenstock lenses and a Phase One back – for his fine-art photography. The WRS cameras combine essential view camera movements with portability. Paired with the best digital backs and finest lenses, the system enables you to achieve the best possible photographic quality. And at Cambo we’re pleased to know, that one of these cameras is in Antonio’s capable hands!

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To see more of Antonio’s work www.antoniosaba.com

All behind-the-scenes footage – except Time Travellers – was produced by whatever.it

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

Berlin After Dusk: A bike tour from literature to photography

Working as a self-employed publishing sales rep in the early 90’s, Detlef Bluhm visited many bookshops in the former GDR. On his travels, during those turbulent years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he started to use his camera as a personal notebook by photographing the shop fronts of the visited bookshops. The photos ended up in his files and had been forgotten for many years. Now we can be glad that Detlef Bluhm made those pictures, showing us images of a society that has rapidly disappeared. Last summer it resulted in the exhibition »Leseland im Umbruch« in Schloss Reinberg’s Coach House. From April 15th until May 17th 2019 the photos will be exhibited in the Library of Potsdam, near Berlin.


As mentioned, Detlef Bluhm wasn’t a professional photographer in those days. By the time photography became more than a hobby to him, he already had made a career as an author and publisher. And in those roles he had been working on many books about Berlin. So it can’t come as a surprise, that his first photobook »Berlin im Glanz der Nacht«  (Berlin After Dusk) puts the spotlight on the German capital.



Literally. As all photos were made after dark. Night can add character to a place that wouldn’t even be noticed after daybreak. A couple of years ago Detlef Bluhm photographed the small village off Sandberg and shortly after that the mayor of nearby Gersfeld  commissioned him to document his town in the same manner. The idea came during a night walk, when barns and stables seemed to have an almost ominous presence, that couldn’t be felt at daytime. Those inconspicuous places, have their special attraction in the dark of night. After the Gersfeld series it only seemed obvious to Detlef Bluhm to dedicate a book to his hometown Berlin by applying the same approach. So he started to roam the city at night on his bicycle. Twenty months he worked on this book and exhibiton. The photos do not only show us the icons and well-known sites of Berlin in an unusual light or from a new perspective, some also give us access to places that usually are out of bounds at night.


For »Berlin im Glanz der Nacht« Detlef Bluhm used a Fuji GFX. He’s very happy with the camera, but gradually it became clear to him, that some scenes and perspectives couldn’t be shot in the way he intended to. Enter the Cambo Actus. A view camera small enough to accompany him on his bike tours through the city and a welcome addition to his photographic abilities. He was pleasantly surprised to see how using the Actus gave him more technical possibilities and creative freedom. “In my new photographic project (the book will be published spring 2020) I’ll use the Cambo Actus-GFX even more frequently, as it will be all about architecture.”



Posted in ACTUS, Architecture, Cityscape, General, Landscape | Tagged , , , , , ,