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Cambo tripod adapter options

mristuccia

Well-known member
I own a Cambo WDS Digital, it has a rail tripod mount which also provides a 3/8 inch screw insert.
My tripod is a Manfrotto 055 with a MHXPRO-3W head.

Until now, I've always attached the WDS to the tripod by screwing the quick release plate (200pl) into the WDS's 3/8 inch insert.
But I find this coupling too flimsy, the screw tends to loosen making the WDS rotate very easily while manoeuvring it.

So, in order to avoid any single-screw coupling, I've bought this Arca Swiss to Manfrotto 200PL adapter:

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08LX5Y7F7?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

only to discover afterwards that the rail mount of the WDS is not Arca Swiss compatible. It is indeed narrower.

Has someone of you experienced guys any ideas on how I can attach the WDS to my 055 without using a single screw coupling?
Should I replace the tripod head with a proprietary Cambo one? I don't want to lose the possibility of attaching other cameras to my tripod.

Thanks in advance

Best
Marco
 

4x5Australian

Active member
Marco, yes, the foot on the WDS was designed to fit the proprietary Cambo ball head.

I've seen a few instances of people removing the foot entirely and screwing on Arca-compatible plates, but I never went that far.

It seems that Cambo really wanted users to buy its proprietary ball head.

I used the WDS 4x5 version extensively. When photographing, I walked everywhere carrying the tripod over my shoulder (swapping shoulders every so often) with the tripod head, WDS body with a rear spacer, 4x5 rotating back and the T-20 monocular reflex viewer attached to it. I'm pretty sure the 4x5 assembly is significantly heavier than the WDS digital version. I attached the assembly to the head using a Benro brand Arca-type plate with black rubber-like inserts that was somewhat longer than the WDS foot so that the area of contact was maximised. That plate screwed onto the WDS foot using a single large screw with a hex hole in its centre. I tightened it with a right-angle hex socket key (or Allen key) that has sufficient length to provide good leverage, and kept a few identical keys hidden in different kits in case I ever needed to tighten the plate or remove it. Despite all the carrying and swinging about, often every day for weeks, that plate almost never worked loose. I did check that screw was still tight every few days.
 
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mristuccia

Well-known member
Marco, yes, the foot on the WDS was designed to fit the proprietary Cambo ball head.

I've seen a few instances of people removing the foot entirely and screwing on Arca-compatible plates, but I never went that far.

It seems that Cambo really wanted users to buy its proprietary ball head.

I used the WDS 4x5 version extensively. When photographing, I walked everywhere carrying the tripod over my shoulder (swapping shoulders every so often) with the tripod head, WDS body with a rear spacer, 4x5 rotating back and the T-20 monocular reflex viewer attached to it. I'm pretty sure the 4x5 assembly is significantly heavier than the WDS digital version. I attached the assembly to the head using a Benro brand Arca-type plate with black rubber-like inserts that was somewhat longer than the WDS foot so that the area of contact was maximised. That plate screwed onto the WDS foot using a single large screw with a hex hole in its centre. I tightened it with a right-angle hex socket key (or Allen key) that has sufficient length to provide good leverage, and kept a few identical keys hidden in different kits in case I ever needed to tighten the plate or remove it. Despite all the carrying and swinging about, often every day for weeks, that plate almost never worked loose. I did check that screw was still tight every few days.
Thanks for the hints.
I'll try with a long plate with rubber-inserts and a good screw like you suggested.
Will also investigate on the possibilities of replacing the original rail mount with an arca-type one, although I think that this implies 3D printing it.

P.S.
The image of you carrying the tripod on the shoulder made me think how far we went since then. :)
 

4x5Australian

Active member
P.S. The image of you carrying the tripod on the shoulder made me think how far we went since then. :)

It's funny to me that you should say that. Now I do the same with the smaller Cambo WRS. Yes, I'm grateful that the WRS is lighter.

Walking out of the hotel with the tripod and camera over my shoulder always gives me a sense of workman-like purpose. I am going out to create art.

Rarely do I have that sense of purpose when I'm carrying my Fuji GFX on its strap, and I have some difficulty treating that camera seriously.
 

4x5Australian

Active member
Will also investigate on the possibilities of replacing the original rail mount with an arca-type one, although I think that this implies 3D printing it.
Marco, alternatively, you could have a workshop drill a short Arca-compatible rail with two holes that match the spacing of those in the stem of the WDS body.
 

mristuccia

Well-known member
P.S. The image of you carrying the tripod on the shoulder made me think how far we went since then. :)

It's funny to me that you should say that. Now I do the same with the smaller Cambo WRS. Yes, I'm grateful that the WRS is lighter.

Walking out of the hotel with the tripod and camera over my shoulder always gives me a sense of workman-like purpose. I am going out to create art.

Rarely do I have that sense of purpose when I'm carrying my Fuji GFX on its strap, and I have some difficulty treating that camera seriously.
I prefer moving long distances with everything unmounted and put in the backpack (and the tripod in my hand).
I carry the mounted system only when moving around one or more subjects in the very same narrow area.

But I agree with you that carrying the "burden" over the shoulder feels more like craftsmanship. :)
 

4x5Australian

Active member
I prefer moving long distances with everything unmounted and put in the backpack (and the tripod in my hand).
I carry the mounted system only when moving around one or more subjects in the very same narrow area.
Yes, that method does have the advantage of placing the weight of the WDS onto the backpack and back rather than on arm and shoulder.

However, my backpack is already full of several lenses and the IQ back, so there is no room at all for the WRS body. It simply must go on the tripod. However, the WRS 1200 is delightfully lightweight, so the additional weight on the tripod is no disadvantage to me. And this method has a distinct advantage: I don't have to get the WRS out of the packpack, mount it onto the head and screw the clamp up tight every time I find a new subject to photograph.
 

mristuccia

Well-known member

dchew

Well-known member
I used to have one of these. If you cycle through the photos on the RRS site you can see what the screw looks like and the movable positioning plate:
3/8 Rail

1673609436207.png

1673609465946.png

I still have the 1/4" version, which you are welcome to have for nothing, but you would have to use a 3/8x1/4 bushing.

Dave
 

mristuccia

Well-known member
I used to have one of these. If you cycle through the photos on the RRS site you can see what the screw looks like and the movable positioning plate:
3/8 Rail

View attachment 199997

View attachment 199998

I still have the 1/4" version, which you are welcome to have for nothing, but you would have to use a 3/8x1/4 bushing.

Dave
Dave, thank you for the hint and the kind offer!
I'll evaluate the 3/8 version as a possible solution.
The fewer adaptation steps there are in the chain, the sturdier the final solution will be.
 

anyone

Well-known member
Marco,
It fitted quite well and avoided the issue of the turning quick release plate effectively. Pricy, but a solution to the issue. If I recall right, it had a hex screw head to tighten it. At the WRS, you can replace the entire tripod mount against a arca plated one, but it's quite pricy.
 
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mristuccia

Well-known member
A brief update:

I didn't manage to find a QR-8, so I went for the RRS 3/8 one suggested by @dchew, which seems pretty much the same thing to me.
I'll let you know how it works when it arrives.

I'm still exploring the possibility of having a custom arca-swiss tripod rail replacement manufactured for me by a workshop, in order to avoid the extra weight (every gram counts!) and shorten the coupling chain. But as sooner or later I'd like to move to WRS, probably going that further is not worth it.

Thanks again for all your advices!
 

anyone

Well-known member
When I had a look at my current WDS, the pre-owner solved the issue by drilling another hole and added also a thread, so two screws can be used. But the RRS plate you ordered will do the same thing.
 
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