We've had a Cambo Actus prototype in our hands for a week or so and recorded our observations in the below blog post:
We've had a Cambo Actus prototype in our hands for a week or so and recorded our observations in the below blog post:
The original prototype article has now been updated to reflect the first shipping version of the Cambo Actus.
Also, we're now featuring a $3,990 Cambo Actus/Sony A7R Special Bundle available through August 31.
I have been following some of the comments and questions - mostly surrounding lensboard options, like Bronica, Pentax, etc. Cambo is considering additional boards, but it depends upon demand. In the meantime, blank lensboards can be ordered for the enterprising...
looks nice; not sure i understand the part about "rear standard compatible with HR32, etc" shouldn't that be front standard or lens plate? or is there arear lens extension interference taht gets addressed? and if so, would it still be compatible with more typical SLR lenses?
and will my current Cambo WRS mount MF lenses fit it?
I really like the idea of a small, solid, bellows-based camera optimized for front tilt/swing and rear rise/shift. What are the odds that Cambo will allow mounting an IQ medium-format back? That combined with my stash of view camera lenses that could be mounted on relatively inexpensive lens boards would be very exciting. Any one else find this interesting?
Steve - help an old guy out here understanding something...
If I get the ACTUS-B6 and a AC210 as well as an AC780 then all I would need to have is a Canon lens to use this on my A7r IR converted body. Of course I'd need glass that works/plays well in IR.
Thinking about a 135mm range....
Do I need anything else (besides permission from Sandy)?
Listen young man, your age is only a number. Your actual age is directly related to how many generations your smartphone is from the current generation (2x generations back is roughly equivalent to +1 decade to your actual age).
Ok then, to the matter at hand. Let's break those part numbers down:
ACTUS-B6: Black Actus with Sony A7 Bayonet
AC210: Standard Bellows
AC780: Canon Bayonet Kit
First off, the standard bellows is included with ACTUS-B6, so deduct the cost of the bellows from the equation. From there, based on your list, you're left with an Actus camera with a Sony A7 camera mount and a Canon EOS camera mount. Did you mistake the Canon Bayonet for a Canon lensboard? There is no Canon lensboard as of yet available for the Actus. But for a lens in the 135mm range, there's plenty of low cost options, like this one:
Sinar 150mm F 5 6 Sinaron s Lens with Copal 0 Shutter Dealer Demo | eBay
Good look on the permission factor. How deep in the hole are you on honeydoos?
I don't want to attach a DF+, just an IQ back. That can't be any bigger or heavier than a full frame Sony mirrorless body. Is there a problem with the sensor size being too large? Seems like a great market opportunity for Cambo as there are no other small view cameras like that. With leaf shutter view camera lenses, it should interface to the IQ back just like a tech camera. What is the obstacle?
The same issue applies to Jim's question about WRS lenspanels. For the majority of lenses, the depth of the lenspanel will prevent infinity focus. Perhaps some longer lenses (90? 120? 150?) might be able to attain focus, but the lenspanel is bigger than the Actus camera itself anyway.
Same situation with mounting just a digital back. Either a WRS Lenspanel or a Digital Back would require a whole re-think on the camera - wider bellows, some sort of wider separate mounting apparatus for the camera and the lensboard.
It's not that this could not be achieved. It's that Cambo did not design this camera for that. It is designed for smaller format cameras. It is not designed to also accommodate digital backs, larger cameras, lenspanels, etc.
Perhaps there's a slightly larger version on the drawing board somewhere being designed for fulfilling these desires (I have no such knowledge, but would like to see one). But designing the Actus to do so really creates a different product than their original intention.
Hi Steven (Hendrix that is... )
First of all,great that you are here to answer questions that we have! Since this product is absolutely new on the market (I was dreaming about something like that for a long time!) and so versatile I guess everyone has very special needs and questions at hand.
For me,this will be the cheapest way to get high quality results with movements for the first time ever. I was always very keen about trying out Tilt/Shift lenses at least,or even better,movements. But just getting a T/S lens for one of the systems I had was too expenive so far,there have always been other investments that had to be made before that. Now with the cambo,high resolution,and a big field of view with movements come in reach!
Since it was obviously Cambos goal to keep the package as small as possible I think exactly the right decisions have been made. Tilt and swing with the front standard and shift/rise+fall with the back. My intended use will be to have movements of course,but also to use my X-Pro 1 as a back for Mamiya 645 lenses. I can cover an area of 63,6mm by 42,6mm with the Cambo, so resolution wise this will be a big leap forward. Also it means I will use much longer focal lengths wich in my opinion lead to pictures that seem far more relaxed,without this wide-angle tension inherent in smaller format pictures. Regardless of resolution that is. For me,this is quite an investment none the less,and because of that (and because I like to get every possible piece of information of the equipment I intend to buy..) I got a few questions:
First of all,I never found that anywhere.. Is it 12mm of rise and 15mm of fall,or the other way round? doesn΄t seem very important,but since I am into landscape I will be tilting the lens downwards most of the time,wich means that the projected image circle will move upwards and if I got 15mm of fall I will loose more sensor real estate quicker. Not a big problem,but anyway..
Next question would be: In general,and because of the earlier mentioned possible problem,what do you think is better to use,Mamiya 645 or the RB/RZ lenses? I would like to use the 645 ones because they are smaller,and there is no 35mm for RZ anyway. I have no experience with neither of them. Of course the image circle projected by the 6x7 ones is much bigger,what do you think about the resolving power?
Do you think it is possible to use the whole tilt with 645 lenses,or say at least 7-8 degrees? The two standards are pretty close,and there is the bellows in between that uses some of the space I guess...
Thanks in advance!
Hi Lorenz -
The rise/fall is 15mm/12mm (in this case, rise refers to the lens rising, though in actuality, the digital back is falling).
I like the idea of 6x7 and 645 lenses - I've tried to acquire the image circle data for RZ lenses recently but was unable to come up with it. However, it certainly encompasses more than the 645 lenses. I've tested RZ lenses on 5.2 micron 80 megapixel sensors agains Schneider 645 lenses, and they're close, maybe not quite as sharp, but close enough in my book to use.
The tilt will depend on the lens focal length. On a Hasselblad 60mm lens with a Canon 6D mounted, I was able to tilt 8 degrees.
Thank you Steve,
The fact that you have been able to use 8 degrees of tilt with a Canon is a relief for me. With that mirror box of the Canon,you have to get the lens quite close to the body,wich means the two standards have to be pretty close to each other.. Sounds like I should be able to use even more than 8 degrees with my combination,wether it will be with the 645 or 6x7 lenses.
By the way,the amount of movements is only determined by the focal length when using large format lenses. The flange distance is the same with all lenses of a certain bayonet type,isn΄t it? Or did I miss something here?
I guess I will just stick to the M645 lenses and see what happens. By simply drawing the respective image areas onto a piece of paper and measuring the diagonal I was getting a minimum image circle of 72mm for 645 and 90mm for 6x7. Quite a difference,but payed accordingly with the size and weight of the 6x7s! Or maybe just the 35 in 645 and the rest in 6x7. Ahhh,decisions like that are killing me! Especially if I cannot try it out and see the result before buying anything...
Thanks again,the thing about rise and fall makes sense if I give it some thought. It΄s more likely to need more (front) rise than fall!
Apologies for a novice question. But would I be able to run my A7R as the back and pair canon L lenses with that?
Canon EF lenses have no aperture ring to work with.
Ahhh, of course, right. Thanks Guy.
Not for me then. Nice engineering though.
As with the Sinar p system:
• does turning the tilt knob clockwise result in the front standard pitching forward?
• does turning the swing knob clockwise result in the front standard turning to the right
I would really like to review this product. Need to call Dave and see if I can get my hands on one for a week or so.
Email sent but would make a nice front page article. Let's see if they have a extra unit for me to review. Looks like a ton of fun
Okay I will be doing a review on it
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
www.guymancusophotography.com4 Member(s) liked this post
I got one more question: Is the front standard moveable on the rail,I would like to be able to move it further back so I don΄t need any extension of some kind to be able to put the camera on the tripod head in a way that makes it possible to rotate around the entrance pupil of the lens. Especially with say a 210mm lens I would have to use something like that. If that is possible,it would be very easy to do cylindrical panoramics with tilt involved,and the use of the rise and fall would make it unnecessary to do multiple rows! That would be very cool indeed!
And Guy,I am looking forward to your review,information about this little gem is very scarce so far! I will be able to get an impression of this little thing during the photokina,for wich (lucky me) I won a ticket by filling out a form on the ALPA website,and since I am living in Germany,I gotta go there. Will take some pictures and report my first impressions!
so, Guy, did you get a hold of one?
Not yet waiting for a modification to be done. I'll check with Steve this week
I had read somewhere about a version of this that can take a medium format back. Is that still on the cards?
CI showed the Actus with the IQ250 at photo expo this week it was pre-production, well past prototype, and expected to be available soon, according to the Cambo rep.
Where can one buy the Cambo Actus?
With best regards, K-H.
Hmm, I'm thinking that outside of the dealers I've probably got the embarrassment of having all of the Actus versions in my possession at the moment! Actus DB, Actus DB+ and an Actus Mini right now (temporarily at least, the Actus DB has to go back as part of a trade).
Btw, if I weren't still in lust with my Alpas and was starting again then my only technical camera would be a Cambo Actus, although that is completely predicated on having a CMOS back with great live view. I was going to get another Alpa Max but the Actus DB made that unnecessary.
Rosebud ...1 Member(s) liked this post
There is a similar conversation, although related to all "mini" view camera & mirrorless market but only the Actus, that I created and is currently running on LuLa... http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/...opic=105069.40 Rod.Klukas of Arca Swiss was kind enough to participate on it.
The discussion is currently around lens control interfaces, but there were earlier thoughts on the usefulness of the systems for pro work instead of view camera & MFDB combinations and what is generally examined is the future of the systems and their ability to provide a modernized platform that should offer lens interface communication and the ability of the user (if he so wishes) to upgrade step by step into larger sensors, yet retaining the same interface...
1 Member(s) thanked for this post
The controls are nicely damped and a world of difference to perhaps a large format camera (other than perhaps some of the fancier studio cameras - Sinar for example) where typically 'sloppy' would be an improvement over completely lacking in any friction.
Very much appreciate the reply, Graham. I was very close to pulling the trigger on one from C1 when I decided to check on lens availability from Schneider. As is widely known they are out of the LF lens business but still have some stock. The lenses I really wanted are out of stock with only the 120mm Digitar being available. That lens can be bought from B&H for $2100.00 vs the same lens, same shutter from Alpa for around $4800.00 US. That's a big difference and would normally cement the deal. Rodenstock lenses, OTOH, are priced unmounted at almost the same price as Alpa charges. That makes no sense to me...... Schneider unmounted at almost half price of Alpa and Rody unmounted at almost the same price.... This is what makes me pause.
There is some pretty good deal in France for the actus db bundle...
Actus DB+70HR+CFV50C = 13 000$
Actus DB+40HR+CFV50C = 14 000$
Actus DB+28HR+CFV50C = 16 000$
direct link: http://www.mmf-pro.com/385-actus-ts?p=2
Actually, the prices at MMF for unmounted Rody lenses are substantially less than US prices at either Adorama or B&H. I don't get it.
You probably have some kind of "import taxes"....or BH just try to make a lot of money.
In any case you can order from MMF (serious guys) .
B&H is pricey for this gear - Badger Graphic less so (e.g. R/S 40mm is ~$600 cheaper) - but still dearer than EU dealers (typically ~$800 cheaper again). I'd advise using a LF specialist like Linhof and Studio in the UK and saving a ton of money.
Sad news about Schneider - but on a positive note they can service their gear for years to come, so no one should be concerned about investing in new / used lenses etc. Still prefer the overall IQ of symmetrical designs compared to retrofocus equivalents.
Thanks much for the info..... Sure is a shame about Schneider but that's the way it goes. I have four of their lenses which pretty much covers anything I shoot ( 35mm, 60mm, 100mm, 150mm ). All in Alpa mount, so the only way an Actus makes sense is if a couple of lenses I don't currently own could be purchased reasonably - which means Schneider if purchased from B&H. I wanted the 72mm and 180mm but Schneider is out which leaves only the 120mm, which also is of interest. Those could have been purchased at half the cost of the same lens in Alpa mount. Alpa knows how to make a buck.....
looks like you can get both the 72+180mm both in copal0 for a grand total of 3800$ + shipping
I have emailed them..... Thanks again for the info....
Bummer about Schneider At some point I'd like an Alpa mount 60 XL, hopefully before the cupboard is totally bare.
Graham, Check with Linhof & Studio to see if they have stock. I just bought the 72mm and will also be getting the 120mm from them. Prices are the best I have seen and they are very responsive. The 60mm is a killer lens - one of my favorites. With my Credo-Leaf it turns into a 78mm which is a nice working focal length for me. I had Schneider tweek it for me which they did at no charge. My copy was slightly skewed..... now its about as perfect as its ever going to get.
This is great.
But this pricing is not difficult for a good US dealer to provide either. Same goes for Rodenstock.
And if you're in the USA, free ground shipping from CI (oops, sorry for the self-plug, but hey, I started the dang thread anyway!)