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Cambo Announces Phase One X Shutter Products

Some may wonder why we are posting this as a Cambo announcement when other dealers have posted it as a Phase One announcement. Not that it really matters much. But when the XT Camera was announced, it was an announcement from Phase One. Cambo created customized oem versions of their WRS 1600 and WRS lenspanel lenses, sold them to Phase One so that Phase One could put their X Shutter inside and market a new product. Wunderbar. Now Phase One has oem'd their X Shutter to Cambo, and Cambo themselves have announced new products.

So we view this as a Cambo announcement and state it as such. That's all. Not that it really matters much.

Below is our CI article on this announcement, with some breakdown of the complexity.

https://www.captureintegration.com/cambo-announces-phase-one-x-shutter-products/

What does matter greatly - for those who can afford it - is that there is a significant expansion of available lenses that can be outfitted in X Shutter, and that many of these lenses can now incorporate tilt/swing.

The pricing is what it is. These are outsized products in terms of capability and yes, expense. But what I was truly concerned about if this came to pass was what sort of penalty in the form of a tilt/swing upgrade option this would entail from those who boldly bought into the XT system and the X lenses without tilt/swing. Fortunately, in that specific spectrum, the upgrade price for a tilt/swing fitting is not much more than what anyone updating even a standard WRS lens with a copal shutter would pay. So, at least some temperance exists.

It is a real niche , and an expensive one. You're taking the best possible capture quality with technical cameras that employ a wide range of movements and combining that with the best possible quality lenses for that pursuit, and doing so with a tremendously superior shutter mechanism to anything we've seen in the past, not to mention complete in back control of that entire lens operation, save focusing, with resulting substantially improved user experience. It's a small market at this level, and the prices tremendously reflect that.

There are lists of compatible lenses that have been published by other dealers, but those published lists we have seen are not complete and we have looked into this further. There are a few notable ommissions. Note that the Schneider 120mm ASPH lens is indeed compatible, and it is noted on the list of lenses from our above link. One note on the Schneider 60N lens, as someone has asked about and we noticed right away. Nothing wrong with that lens being on the list, although I can't imagine anyone updating a 60N, but it is the absence of the 60 XL lens that is the real eye raiser. I have inquired about this and was told that the complexity and expertise involved in producing the 60XL lens in X Shutter is not currently sufficient in reproducing a version in X Shutter that matches the optical quality of the original. (My paraphrased wording)


Steve Hendrix/CI
 
Well, some new information just arrived to me.

First, forget the Schneider 60N lens. The Schneider 60XL is the lens that should be there. The information Ireceived concerning the inability to create a Tilt/Swing version of the 60XL lens was inorrect. We will update our article to reflect the 60XL and not the 60N. The 120mm ASPH stands as correct.

Sorry for any confusion.


Steve Hendrix/CI
 
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Phase V

Member
I am missing the new 138mm Rodenstock in the list, too heavy or too expensive? (just joking).
Seriously, has Phase One that one reserved for themselves? Another point that i would like to
know, if you put a Cambo lens with cable on an XT can you still trigger the camera with the button on the body
or do you have to use the back?
 
I am missing the new 138mm Rodenstock in the list, too heavy or too expensive? (just joking).
Seriously, has Phase One that one reserved for themselves? Another point that i would like to
know, if you put a Cambo lens with cable on an XT can you still trigger the camera with the button on the body
or do you have to use the back?

The 138m is in the list. Further down the article it rshows the 138mm. But not with tilt/swing at this moment. Currently we are expecting that there will be no shift position in metadata and no shutter button active. We have not confirmed this, but it is based on the assumption that with no lens communication coming through the body, some body specific functions will be lost. In this event, could they reproduce those features in a different way, perhaps, but whether they can or will remains unknown at the moment.
 
Confirmed, shift position and shutter release will not be operational with the cabled solution. Losing the lens contacts breaks the power communication to the body.
 
Steve - when one has an XT lens, one pays the 1300 to upgrade tilt - can one then use the lens with the XT camera still with all contacts and metadata, etc.? So basically if I want to have the best of all worlds I buy native XT and add tilt functionality and then to have even more shift I buy a Cambo body with modified pins? And then one can get a bit cheaper into the system by buying Cambo X shutter native, but with no metadata option down the road?
 
Steve - when one has an XT lens, one pays the 1300 to upgrade tilt - can one then use the lens with the XT camera still with all contacts and metadata, etc.? So basically if I want to have the best of all worlds I buy native XT and add tilt functionality and then to have even more shift I buy a Cambo body with modified pins? And then one can get a bit cheaper into the system by buying Cambo X shutter native, but with no metadata option down the road?

Hi Paul - you can upgrade an existing XT lens with tilt/swing (if it is one of the compatibel lenses), and then yes, you will have tilt/swing on an XT. The penalty is that you lose the shift position in metadata, and you lose the function of the shutter button on the body.


Steve Hendrix/CI
 

ThdeDude

New member
Sounds rather complicated to add tilt capability.
Also retrofitting older lenses doesn’t look very cost-efficient ($5K!).
Wonder whether a couple of Shift/Tilt XF lenses, say, 35mm, 60mm, and 120mm (existing), wouldn’t be a better and easier solution?
 
Look Drew and the P1 sales guys just took their time over the last weeks to figure out a pricing / product feature matrix which accomplishes three things:

a) drive new XT lens sales by making old retrofit costs unattractive vs. buying new
b) make Cambo happy but still enough margin for phase and keep the top top level still for phase be leaving electrical communication to P1
c) drive Alpa out of business

The winners are XT lens buyers. Then Cambo X buyers with less money.
The losers are Alpa lens owners. Semi losers are old Cambo lens owners.

P1 gets same margins throughout. Cambo stays in business getting manufacturing, mounting and own body and lens sales fees.

This is profit maximisation.

In an ideal world however, P1 would make the pins available for all manufacturers say for 3k and sell the shutter for 4k and don't discriminate vs. themselves and other manufacturers. But they need to kill Alpa in between and become number one before Cambo, so that ideal scenario does not fly - all because that yields a bigger profit for themselves. Better to have 70% of a market long-term of the size of 100 than 30% of a market of 120 ...

And this is the story how Drew killed Alpa.
 

Phase V

Member
Woo... Drew killed Alpa? Sounds a little bit too dramatic i guess. I thought they have their Silex-shutter which can be used
with any kind of lens regardless which internal shutter it has? Not to forget their loyal Chinese fans who will never
buy something from Netherland, a country most Chinese didn´t even know it exists.
 

Mexecutioner

Active member
Look Drew and the P1 sales guys just took their time over the last weeks to figure out a pricing / product feature matrix which accomplishes three things:

a) drive new XT lens sales by making old retrofit costs unattractive vs. buying new
b) make Cambo happy but still enough margin for phase and keep the top top level still for phase be leaving electrical communication to P1
c) drive Alpa out of business

The winners are XT lens buyers. Then Cambo X buyers with less money.
The losers are Alpa lens owners. Semi losers are old Cambo lens owners.

P1 gets same margins throughout. Cambo stays in business getting manufacturing, mounting and own body and lens sales fees.

This is profit maximisation.

In an ideal world however, P1 would make the pins available for all manufacturers say for 3k and sell the shutter for 4k and don't discriminate vs. themselves and other manufacturers. But they need to kill Alpa in between and become number one before Cambo, so that ideal scenario does not fly - all because that yields a bigger profit for themselves. Better to have 70% of a market long-term of the size of 100 than 30% of a market of 120 ...

And this is the story how Drew killed Alpa.
What's wrong with a company trying to make money? Phase One developed the X Shutter, so why shouldn't they profit from it? They were the ones that brought this innovation to the technical camera arena. Nobody is preventing other from developing their own technology and marketing it.
 
Well firstly, there's other aspects than making money which are important; for example keeping the ecosystem alive, having a diverse community of manufacturers of camera bodies, etc. I am saying basically that you can take a less profit oriented view and a more community oriented perspective as a business valuing intangibles as well. But this aside, as we can be happily capitalistic as well, the point I am making is that P1 was not honest in the communication. When XT came out, not knowing how it would be accepted by the technical camera community, they quickly added in the initial marketing the point that existing users would not be left out of the equation by way of being able to just mount lenses.

Problem now is that they actually saw XT was selling well and then they postponed third party access to end of 2020 - saying Covid is the reason - while on top not mentioning that the contractual framework in place between P1 and Cambo included a partial time based exclusivity for Cambo. I would have appreciated at the end of 2019 to know that actually as Alpa camera user I would not be able to upgrade until mid of 2021! I thought in Jan / Feb I could just pop on an x-shutter for 2-3k ...

Since users have been switching P1 just saw the increasing opportunity to milk this and waited to price this right. You can see this even with the pricing of the 50mm vs. the 70mm. The first one came out once they saw how XT was making positive impact in the market versus Alpa et. al. I am only pissed that Phase One didn't from the beginning mention that a) Cambo would get it first and b) that the X-shutter was going to be so prohibitively expensive to retrofit that actually one should just go XT.

They won as in the end I just want a working solution, so I will buy the XT lenses because of their technical superiority. But would have been cool to know as customer what the real timeline is and that pricing would be to kick out legacy users.

Alpa as I understand only got a gentleman's agreement verbally sort of and has been super naive in just waiting for things to happen. Also they completely lost themselves in cinema lens land. Not sure Hollywood moviemakers lust after an Alpa cine lens that is some sort of rebranded alternative lens vs. a new Arri or Panavision or even Leica lens. And that foray into cinema lenses is expensive, I'd say.

In any case - ideal scenario at this stage would be for P1 to buy up Alpa's design IP to do their own cameras. But as a good viking you know you only strike when the town you want to plunder is asleep - meaning they can wait a bit until they go bankrupt / are in dire straits. Why pay 2m for a brand if you can buy it for 150k in a year or two?
 
Woo... Drew killed Alpa? Sounds a little bit too dramatic i guess. I thought they have their Silex-shutter which can be used
with any kind of lens regardless which internal shutter it has? Not to forget their loyal Chinese fans who will never
buy something from Netherland, a country most Chinese didn´t even know it exists.
Well, Silex is useless now that Sinar e-shutter is out of production. P1 owns crucial, game changing IP for this market. If you control the shutter, you control the market. Alpa basically was a lucky punch of two ex marketing people without proprietary IP all along. It took the young and bold Drew and a private equity ownership to think about market expansion and after aerial and heritage there was that white spot on the map called tech camera community that was never really contested. And China is also out. Firstly gift policy has changed so no more bribing Alpas. The China representative died. Covid hit and then they have that copycat who launched his own company.

It was a good run, but now it is game over. I mean it is fine, this is business. Still ok to be nostalgic about Kodak, you know?
 

med

Member
Buried in Steve's article was this mention...

"All aperture, shutter speed, and other controls will be available in new firmware released some time in November of 2020 "

I wonder, and hope that there will be more to this firmware update?
 
5k seems awfully expensive for just a shutter. Than again I think 2k for mounting is pretty excessive too.

Yes, it's pricey is a bit of an understatement. Remember that a copal shutter replacement from Rodenstock is over $3,000. Priced that way for perhaps different reasons, though.

FYI, we've added another article on this topic, which came in the form of some Q&A from Cambo.

https://www.captureintegration.com/cambo-x-shutter-introduction-program-qa/


Steve Hendrix/CI
 

TheDude

Member
Let's hope that there will be a more affordable priced second generation version with (option of) wireless connection to P1's DB that is also mountable by the user.
 

TheDude

Member
Buried in Steve's article was this mention...

"All aperture, shutter speed, and other controls will be available in new firmware released some time in November of 2020 "

I wonder, and hope that there will be more to this firmware update?
I wonder if the DB has all the relevant information (lens, extension, shift), can we expect at one point in time to have in-camera computational correction for any lens distortion?
 
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