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  1. #1

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    Weight of Cambo SCX vs. Cambo SC/Calumet NX

    Hi,
    I'm in the market for a used monorail and have found a very good deal on the Cambo SCX but I was wondering how much heavier it is than the SC/NX series cameras. I have done extensive internet searching and have found nothing.

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    My NX is pretty hefty but since it's not a field camera to me the point is moot. If the weight is a problem maybe you should get something like a Sherpa Cart when you take it out for a walk.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3

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    I'd love to get a field camera but I can't really afford a decent one. I have a Crown Graphic at the moment and hate it. I'm more concerned for tripod steadiness reasons.

  4. #4
    glbeas's Avatar
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    You might wind up hating the monorail for the extreme bulkiness of the camera when shooting outdoors. Unless you can find a model that folds flat they mostly are all angles and protuberances when toting. I have a carry case for mine that holds it upside down across the dividers but the thing is as big as a large beer cooler. Not much good for hiking. I use my Ebony much more as I like to shoot landscape and nature shots.
    Gary Beasley

  5. #5
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    I have lugged around my Cambo SC quite a bit. It's not as difficult as one would imagine, you just have to have arms like The Hulk is all. I can only walk like a 1/10 of a mile before having to set it down for a minute or two or shift hands as it starts pulling the arm out of the socket if you keep on going. Man you can get every movement possible with a Cambo even the ones that are impossible (ever seen on on an eBay ad?) but they really make lousy field cameras. The SCX seems nice with the geared movements but man, geared movements won't make you any happier when your arms have been ripped out of your shoulder.

    On the other hand, if you're going for a nice long hike, disassemble the Cambo and it will get down to folding flat space. Heck you fit your entire Cambo in one massive backpack and still have room for a stick of gum. In that same backpack I can carry my entire Mamiya RB 67 with three lenses, two backs, filters, and three viewfinders including that massive heavy prism and still more. But by golly, my Cambo will fit in there too with everything ripped out and using it as a large single cavity. Sure, you can fit it in there. Take 10 minutes to set up is all. If this is how you shoot every scene already, then you're going to love this approach. Otherwise you're going to be where I am, which is wishing that I didn't buy this that and the other and just focus on the one thing I wanted which is one of the technical field cameras like the Toyo, or Wista, or a Linhoff. A Speed or Crown Graphic isn't good enough. I understand the hate. You need the rear movements for most of the landscape work that I do.

    But there is also the best of all worlds. If you don't ever need to hand hold your 4x5, then you don't need a Toyo, Wista or Linhoff, instead you can consider one of the (very pricey) Horsemans or the new Linhoff monorails that fold nearly flat and are very compact and you don't need to fully disassemble down to the front and rear standards and bellows and rail and tripod support in separate packages. They are very pricey though. Certainly more than the Cambo SCX. Cambo might be making one of these new ultra-compact "monorails" now too for all I know, but I can tell you this, they are pricey!
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  6. #6

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    I'd look at SINAR F-1's if you are considering carrying a monorail camera on your back. They will give you all the movement that your lenses can provide, they weigh about as much (if not a bit less than) a Technika, and they assemble and disassemble quickly and solidly; they pack up very nicely and neatly for monorail cameras. They are also cheap as dirt now, especially considering what they cost when new.

    This being said, you could probably get most of the movement you need in "the field" from a $300 Super Graphic, and have a nice folding package to boot. They are basically the poor man's Technika. I'd highly recommend doing some research on them.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    ....you could probably get most of the movement you need in "the field" from a $300 Super Graphic, and have a nice folding package to boot.
    When someone suggests the Speed, Crown or Super Graphic road I get this knee jerk and I just can't shut up about it. I rarely ever need front standard movements for landscape. I almost always require rear standard movements though. Speed Graphics are just not up to par with my kind of landscape work for that reason alone. I would wager the OP feels the same way.
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Way View Post
    When someone suggests the Speed, Crown or Super Graphic road I get this knee jerk and I just can't shut up about it. I rarely ever need front standard movements for landscape. I almost always require rear standard movements though. Speed Graphics are just not up to par with my kind of landscape work for that reason alone. I would wager the OP feels the same way.
    First of all, a Super Speed is a far different animal than a Speed or Crown, and should not be lumped with the latter two in most descriptions. While based on these, it is far closer to a Technika. It has a rotating back, more extensive front movements ( including swings), and a cammed rangefinder.

    The same effects one achieves with rear movements are easily achieved on cameras that do not physically have rear movements, as long as the cameras have front movements. It comes down to understanding that the only thing that matters is how the film plane lies in relation to the lens plane, both in relation to the subject. The effect on the image is the same no matter what parts of the camera you move to arrive at a certain relationship of the three. There are different sets of movements one can make that arrive at equivalent net effects on the image.

    For instance, squaring everything up, tilting the camera bed/rail upward with the tripod head, and then leveling the front and rear standards gives the same effect as simply keeping the bed/rail level to begin with, and just using a front rise movement. I would actually argue that the latter method is superior in most circumstances. It involves one movement instead of three, and keeping the bed/rail level to the ground helps me to keep track of exactly where everything on the camera is and what it is doing for the pic. I have rear movements on my Technika...but I never use them for landscape pix. I have only used them in the studio for a handful of moderately close-up still life pix, when the front movements alone were not enough to get the plane of focus where I wanted it. In a typical landscape situation, I can do everything I need to do using the front alone, and do it much more quickly and easily than by employing rear movements. The front end of a Super Speed is nearly as capable as my Tech, if not identically so.

    Even with a monorail camera used in situations that require the effects that are associated with rear movements, I will rarely move the rear itself. I keep the rail level and do all the "convergence control" using front and rear shifts.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-07-2010 at 03:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  9. #9
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    The same effects one achieves with rear movements are easily achieved on cameras that do not physically have rear movements, as long as the cameras have front movements.
    Gee I hope we aren't accused of thread hijacking, getting into another topic than the weight of a Cambo. I am curious how you go about ensuring everything is in focus both near and far without stopping down to f64 and only using front movements. I'm only 1-2 years experienced with view camera movements but it seems to me that front swing and tilt require a huge amount of swing or rise/fall to get the center of the lens image to appear centered on the film plane. For me, rear movements are the single most important function of view cameras because I want to compose the image first, get that all centered, and then adjust rear swing/tilt to bring foreground and background closer in focus so that I don't need to stop down to f64, and without applying any other skewing. Using front movements only might limit your ability to focus near/far if you don't have much in the way of shift or rise/fall.
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  10. #10

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    Perry,

    To envision what I am talking about with alternate sets of movements that arrive at the same net effect, try just eliminating all the parts of the camera from your imagination, and thinking only of where the lens and the film are in relation to each other. Then, start adding back parts of the camera, thinking of all the different ways you could arrange them in order to keep the lens and film exactly the same in relation to each other. The more you ignore where everything on the camera except the lens and film are placed, and keep only these two things in mind, the more intuitive and seamless it will be getting the ignored parts where they need to go quickly and easily. Don't let all the details of the movements distract you from the fact that all they are doing is placing the lens and film in a certain relationship to each other.

    Any camera but a monorail is limited in movements – a compromise of sorts. The Super Speeds are no different. My point is simply that they can be very effective and economical field cameras for general-purpose landscape situations. What are you shooting landscape-wise that requires so much movement?

    You are speaking of relying on rear tilts and swings in order to achieve a canted plane of focus. It makes no sense to me that you use rear tilts and swings as the primary method of canting your plane of focus, since you seemed like you really needed rear movements, which I took to mean that you really needed to control converging lines in your images. Rear movements do cant the plane of focus, but they are by far the least preferred way to do so, because doing so also alters the shape of the things in the image. Front tilts and swings cant the plane of focus without doing this. You need not alter the shape of your image in order to lay the plane of focus out across your scene. Using rear movements as the primary way of orienting your plane of focus makes convergence control frustrating, to say the least. If convergence is a concern, the position of the film should be dictated by how you want converging lines to appear. However, doing what you are doing, the position of the film is being dictated by where you want your plane of focus to appear.

    To achieve non converging lines, all you need is one thing: the film must be parallel to the plane in the scene that you want to appear flat – that you want to not appear to converge in the image. Say it is two trees growing straight up. You can angle the rail upward to get what you want in the shot, then bring the lens and film back to level. Or, you can just leave the film and lens level to begin with, and raise the front standard to get your composition. You end up with the same effect. Do you want to do one movement to get what you need, or three? Then, if you decide that you need to cant your plane of focus, why would you do it with the back when that will throw off the parallelism you just worked to achieve? You wouldn't. You would just cant the plane of focus using front swing or tilt. So, back level, front rise, then front tilt or swing. No rear movements were used at all.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)



 

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