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Thread: Cambo Wide Compact

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    Super Duper
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    Cambo Wide Compact

    I just finished writing about this on my blog and wanted to share here as well.



    I still remember Michael Reichmann's article of the Cambo WDS which he titled "Working with the World's Most Expensive Digital Point-&-Shoot" http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...nsive-ps.shtml as this article lead me into the wonderful world of Cambo cameras. I also remember watching a later video of Mr. Reichmann leaning over the side of a rubber boat in the Artic capturing images with the WDS handheld.



    Fast-forward to the Fall of 2008 and I've just returned from a 30-day shoot in Alaska using my Mamiya 645 and Phase One P30+. I decided on this trip that I wanted/needed a better system to capture my landscape images and decided on a technical camera. I contacted my friends at Capture Integration and asked to borrow a Cambo WDS to test. Everything was going smoothly until just before they were to ship the camera, lens and a P45+ to me; the WDS was now unavailable however they had a new in box WRS so that was shipped instead. I took the WRS, a Schneider 35mm lens and P45+ to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in October of 2008 and within a matter of hours my fate was sealed. I called Capture Integration and ended up keeping the WRS and lens and trading my P30+ for a new P45+ and have never looked back. Within 6-months of buying the Cambo I sold all my Mamiya gear to include the body and all the lenses. Later on I decided to test the WDS against the WRS and was then able o do so and wrote about it here. Again after testing the two side by side I still favored the WRS. All this brings us to the Cambo Wide Compact.



    I've seen the Compact advertised on Cambo's website for sometime now however while there are page after page of information on the WDS and WRS with just as many images there is virtually nothing offered on the Compact; it's almost as if this camera was more myth than reality. This lack of information and the fact that I've not been shy about promoting Cambo lead me to want to try to get a Compact and see for myself what this camera was all about.



    WRS versus the Compact.

    WRS 6.10"x6.49" (155x165m) 1.2 kgs (42.32 ounces)
    Compact 6.49"x5.90" (165x150m) 700 grams (24.69 (ounces)

    The Compact is slightly over 1 pound lighter while being very close to the same physical size.



    There are more differences between the WRS and Compact. The WRS offers both horizontal and vertical shifts while the Compact offers none. Both camera bodies use the same lenspanels so lens with the swing-tilt fit both.

    I was very excited to test the camera and looked forward to doing so.

    I received the camera last Monday (March 21st) and immediately set about to use it with my Schneider lenses and P45+. I need to step back a moment and explain what I use to capture my landscape images. As the Phase One P45+ needs a wakeup cable to turn on the back, I use a Kapture Group One Shot Cable Release (PHA-001). The One Shot connects the lens to the back and allows me by cocking the shutter and pressing the shutter release to communicate with the P45+ to wake it up for image capture. It's very easy and I've had no problems using this system.



    The fly in the ointment is the integrated shutter release that comes with the Compact. It doesn't play well at all with the One Shot. I contacted Capture Integration and Cambo about this hoping that they have another cable that would work and today I received the following.

    "The Copal shutter actually needs only a few millimeter to be triggered. The handgrip of the compact has been designed once to be operated with an internal cable release, operated with a simple short push of an index finger, instead of the long travel of an “original” traditional cable release operated with a thumb. That is what the customer base wanted. The first design was indeed with a normal long cable release, but that is impossible to operate with an index finger, as either you have to reach high to get there first and then have lot
    of loose travel before final capture, while this way you can have instant capture, as they wished for.
    If Kapture-Group has a product that requires much more “throw” than the integrated cable release of the handgrip offers, the only solution is
    to use this cable outside of the integrated one, but as is, we can not use it internally. You can also ask Kapture Group for a cable release with a shorter throw. Sometimes designs are what they are for different reasons than applicable for others..."

    So, with this news any hopes of a meaningful test are now gone.

    All isn't lost however. The rest of the reply from Cambo included this...

    "At the other hand, we have just introduced a set of wooden handgrips for the WideRS, which make handheld shooting much more comfortable than with the original aluminium grips. These wooden grips will take the original long-throw cable release also. http://www.cambo.com/Html/products_photo/set01/english/internet/Item22479.html"

    I want to state here that if I had been shooting with a Phase One P65 or one of the newer IQ backs I'd have had no problems as neither of these backs require a wakeup and I would have just connected the cable diretly to the lens and off I'd go.

    Who do I think the Compact is best sutied for? I'd say someone who has a WDS and wanted a more compact camera and didn't need the ability of shifts.

    I want to make it perfectly clear that the Compact is a well made camera and were it not for the problem I have with it not working well with the Kapture Group I'd like even more than I already do. Then again if I had a slightly newer Phae One back I wouldn't even know this was a issue.





    I want to state here that if I had been shooting with a Phase One P65 or one of the newer IQ backs I'd have had no problems as neither of these backs require a wakeup and I would have just connected the cable diretly to the lens and off I'd go.

    Who do I think the Compact is best sutied for? I'd say someone who has a WDS and wanted a more compact camera and didn't need the ability of shifts.

    I want to make it perfectly clear that the Compact is a well made camera and were it not for the problem I have with it not working well with the Kapture Group I'd like even more than I already do. Then again if I had a slightly newer Phae One back I wouldn't even know this was a issue.







    The Compact felt very good in my hands and I really like the idea of adding a wodden grip to the WRS. I've asked if the wooden handle will be somthing we might be able to add to a current WRS so stay tuned for the answer.

    Even though I wasn't able to actually use the Compact I feel better because there now is at least more information and more images then before.
    Last edited by Don Libby; 28th March 2011 at 15:17. Reason: formatting issues
    Don Libby
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Rene Rook of Cambo recently emailed me that the Wide RS had to be ordered with the wooden hand grips. I didn't follow up, but this suggests that the grips are permanent and it is not possible to interchange them (cf. Alpa). I'd be interested to know what you find out.

    Below are images of the Wide RS with wooden hand grips, as well as the upcoming Special Edition model (featuring leather insert and wooden hand grips).

    Appearance-wise, the RS becomes a completely different camera with the wooden hand grips, but no more or less gorgeous than with the standard black grips. I love the look of the prototype grips in the fourth image, which appear to be unvarnished/unsealed. I suspect that the wooden grips may add some extra weight though.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    There was talk of being able to add wooden handles to the WRS when it was first introduced in 2008 not sure how this will all work out. Cambo's website lists the WRS1050 with the wooden handles.

    I'm told that something is being worked on for the WRS however uncertain at this time what it'll be.

    Don
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Capture Integration will be offering the wooden hand grips as an upgrade/service to existing bodies. Meaning you send us your body with metal hand grips and we'll return it to you with wooden hand grips. Cambo itself will not be offering this as a direct service. I cannot speak for other Cambo dealers.

    I do not have an exact ETA, but they are on order, so we should be talking about weeks or months and not quarters or years. I cannot say if we will offer this service to international customers as that brings about a lot of tax/customs/duties/shipping issues. I do not have an exact turn around time but I think it's safe to say it will be in the 3-10 business day range - if for some reason a loyal customer had a need for rushed service we will most likely provide it.

    Steve chimes in below to clarify the price.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Last edited by dougpeterson; 28th March 2011 at 20:05.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    [getting some details clarified prior to posting]

    I can clarify that our pricing for the handles (including installation on your camera) should be $949.

    I can say that having held our Cambo WRS Camera with the handles installed, it is possibly even lighter. The handles themselves are amazingly light weight.


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hendrix View Post
    I can say that having held our Cambo WRS Camera with the handles installed, it is possibly even lighter. The handles themselves are amazingly light weight.Steve Hendrix
    I stand corrected!

    Since you gentlemen have actually handled a WRS with the wooden grips, what did you think ergonomics-wise? More/less comfortable, easier/harder to handhold, too bulky, no difference etc? Your personal preference?
    Last edited by cng; 29th March 2011 at 04:57.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by cng View Post
    I stand corrected!

    Since you gentlemen have actually handled a WRS with the wooden grips, what did you think ergonomics-wise? More/less comfortable, easier/harder to handhold, too bulky, no difference etc? Your personal preference?
    We like them enough to order them in a batch, paying up front for them as inventory. In other words we put our money where our eyes were. :-)

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Hand grips are nice, but what about High Precision Focus ring for Cambo ?
    Alpa and Arca have them but I would love to spare the extra cash in buying a WRS with HPF rather than an Alpa.
    Anyone having infos about that ?

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Gawd---I really don't need to see this right now.

    Cambo WRS with wood grips would also be an acceptable ransom for Doug...

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    I could feel the weight difference in the Compact in my hands with lens and back installed. While the wooden handle makes it look larger it still is very near the same physical size of the WRS and is lighter.

    I agree the new WRS1050 looks good however I can count on one hand the number of times I've shot it off tripod which isn't to say I would have done more it if felt differently with different handles.

    I very firmly believe that tech camera belong on a tripod. That said I'll be contacting Dave G. to discuss the handle swap.

    And here I was thinking I was writing about the Cambo Compact...

    Don

    Just had another thought - having slightly larger handles on the WRS will make it a little better when using gloves in cold weather.
    Last edited by Don Libby; 29th March 2011 at 07:57.
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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    How much is the compact? ... as someone who's beginning to backpack, I'm always interested in a tech cam (but can't afford alpa!), I'd be interested in what these things cost.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    i'd like to have 1 wooden grip on the right side of the WRS but no grip at all on the the left side ... but the grip should be user exchangable per application :-) ...

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    How much is the compact? ... as someone who's beginning to backpack, I'm always interested in a tech cam (but can't afford alpa!), I'd be interested in what these things cost.
    Shelby
    To give you an idea on pricing:

    Cambo Wide Compact DS Body w/ Mamiya 645 Afd Mount (no lens) will run about $1599

    Cambo Wide Compact w/ 35mm and Mamiya 645 Afd Mount wil run about $5199

    L
    LANCE SCHAD - Digital Transitions - Phase One,Mamiya | Leaf,Arca-Swiss,Cambo, Profoto
    direct/cell:610-496-5586 office:877-367-8537x224
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    i'd like to have 1 wooden grip on the right side of the WRS but no grip at all on the the left side ... but the grip should be user exchangable per application :-) ...
    I too agree with that...

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Cambo's website lists the WRS1050 with the wooden handles.
    Don, I finally realised what you were referring to with the WRS1050, having only just seen that Cambo's listed the wooden grip WRS on their website.

    Here I was thinking that I was letting everyone in on a big scoop by posting those images!

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    How much is the compact? ... as someone who's beginning to backpack, I'm always interested in a tech cam (but can't afford alpa!), I'd be interested in what these things cost.
    Shelby,

    I liked the feel of the Compact however I wouldn't own one.

    The main reason to own a technical camera is the extra ability it offers you such as rise and fall and shifts right and left. Add a swing/tilt lenspanel and there's little you can't do. Technical cameras are expensive however the lenses for them are even that much more; then again the image quality is superior.

    Let me speak from the experience of using a Cambo..

    Were it me starting out in the realm of technical cameras I would look for what would offer me the ability to obtain decent movements for as little cash as possible. The lenses that fit the first body will most likely fit the upgraded body as well.

    Take a look at the WDS. The physical size of the WDS compared to the WRS is larger and weighs approximately 1 pound more (I believe I wrote about the different sizes and weights when I compared the two). The WDS does everything the WRS does in a slightly larger package costing several thousand dollars less. Of course if you can afford it go directly to the WRS and never look back.

    The WRS and Compact are closely related in physical size with the WRS weighing 1 pound more. Of course it appears that with the removal of the metal handles and replacing them with wood the weight difference might be even less. I see the WRS has a Compact on steroids. By this I mean small size little overall weight plus the ability for movements - something lacking in the Compact.

    If you decided to begin with the WRS you're still okay as any lens you pick up will work on all three bodies (the Compact will not accept a longer than 72mm lens).

    I would contact Capture Integration to see what type of deal they can offer on both the WRS and the WDS and also speak to them about lens selection. My feeling is that the niche for the Compact is that of a person who has a WDS and wants something smaller and doesn't need the movements but wants to use the same lenses. I can't see using a Compact as a stand alone technical camera - but that's my opinion.

    One last opinion of mine - the proper place for a technical camera is on top of a tripod. The very nature of shooting with a technical camera demands that tripod. This isn't saying that their aren't some circumstances where you need to shoot handheld such as in the middle of a street or hanging off a cliff. I've been using my WRS for well over 30 months and still count the number of times I've had to handhold on one hand.

    Hope this helps.

    Don
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by cng View Post
    Don, I finally realised what you were referring to with the WRS1050, having only just seen that Cambo's listed the wooden grip WRS on their website.

    Here I was thinking that I was letting everyone in on a big scoop by posting those images!
    No worries!
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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by cng View Post
    I stand corrected!

    Since you gentlemen have actually handled a WRS with the wooden grips, what did you think ergonomics-wise? More/less comfortable, easier/harder to handhold, too bulky, no difference etc? Your personal preference?

    It's an extremely smooth and pleasurable feeling finish. If you have very non-skinny fingers, they might not fit all the way down into the finger notches, but there will still be enough of an indent to have a good grip. If you're using a wide lens that has the protection bars in horizontal orientation, you'll probably want to remove them, it's a bit tight otherwise. Very nicely done, I'd say. What stays with me the most is the nice, light, soft, and smooth feel of the wood finish - very different (in a positive) way from the handles of the WDS and Compact.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Thanks for the visual Steve. I'm having my RS done with the thought of better gripping in cold weather and gloves.
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  20. #20
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Thanks Don for the great thoughts.

    I've struggled with whether I actually need shift or not.... as an (ex) architect, I have an inclination, but I actually never shoot architecture. It's the small form factor and excellent lenses that I'm so very interested in (ie... alpa TC). Especially in prep for an ounce-counting session before backpacking.

    Hmmm... that RS sure does fit the bill for maximal functionality with less weight than some of the other shift-enabled tech cams.

    Glad I'm still in savings mode after buying my last camera, lol.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Shelby,
    Some say I have a bias for Cambo and they'd be correct!

    The WRS might not be the very best out there however it does offer a heck of a lot in its money class and I've never had a problem recommending it.

    I used to have a tilt/shift lens when I was shooting landscape with a DSLR however I found I didn't use it as much as I thought I would. Then since switching to MF I had a T/S with the Mamiya 645 and again didn't use it as much. Since going to the technical camera I have not owned nor used, nor missed the ability to tilt/shift however I am a very firm believer in the rise/fall and lateral shift movements the WRS offers me. I can take my 120mm lens and use the movements to the far extremes and get beautiful images and that is the primary reason I would never have just one technical camera if it didn't offer movements.

    I recommend saving for what you really want instead of jumping the gun and ending up spending more. I've seen used WRSs coming up on the second hand market now where just a year ago you couldn't find one. Then again you might luck out and get a demo from that place in Atlanta GA....
    Don Libby
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    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Hi Cambo Fans and Users

    Well yesterday was my birthday (really) and I bought myself a Cambo WDS with a 35mm lens and a P65+ back, which will be upgraded to an IQ160 when they arrive.

    So where is the first image you ask. Well the sad story is that the sync cable was not included in the box. So at the moment waiting on my dealer to supply the cable and also it will be easier to use when the viewfinder arrives which is on back order.

    So thank you to those of you who have posted regarding your technical cameras which has helped me move to my first.

    I really enjoy seeing your images so here is one I took with my Canon 5D Mk2 with the TSe24mm lens using the shift function. iso 100, 1/160 sec at f16.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Happy birthday and well done.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Shelby,

    I have two of the mamiya 50mm F4 shift lenses and after a hesitant start could not be happier with them. I'm selling one soon as the newer one I bought recently is an absolute, never been used, still in the original box, 'minter'.

    Both have been to mamiya, both are 'tip top' and if you want to know a little more about them, this is the site for it.

    Guy and I think Jack both have one.

    I suffered at first trying to shoot beyond F16 and expecting the hyperfocal technique to be spot on (they aren't). But after some good advice on here I'm really happy and as many owners of this lens will tell you, it's the lens I use most.

    It's much cheaper than a (wonderful) cambo set up however the Cambo has I think 20mm of shift, the mamiya holds it's own pretty well at 13mm and 16mm respectively.

    just my 2C, hope you are enjoying your MFDB... and the trumpet.

    Steve

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    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Well my dealer sent up the missing sync cable, Thanks Richard, and today I ducked into our back garden to try it out.

    Here is my first Cambo image taken with the P65+ back at 100iso.
    Taken on a tripod, 1/250 at F8. Focus set at 4 metres.

    No view finder yet and no laptop, so just pointed camera in general direction and took and educated guess at the exposure.

    I am looking forward to getting out and about and giving it a good run.

    Keep on shooting.

    Mal



  26. #26
    Jim2
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Don, thanks for the AMAZING photos of Cambo. They are exquisite!

    Question: how would you compare Cambo vs Arca rm3d(i)?

    One thing that I noticed is that Cambo's Tilt/swing solution allows for simultaneous tilt and swing.

    Maybe Arca needs to come up with rm4d to offer both tilt and swing - I'm not sure how tricky it would be to create the mechanism but that would be awesome.

    Just from looking at the photos... Cambo seems quite 'rough' in terms of the latches and the little things whereas the Arca and alpa seem to be more well made / designed.

  27. #27
    Super Duper
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    Don, thanks for the AMAZING photos of Cambo. They are exquisite!

    Question: how would you compare Cambo vs Arca rm3d(i)?

    One thing that I noticed is that Cambo's Tilt/swing solution allows for simultaneous tilt and swing.

    Maybe Arca needs to come up with rm4d to offer both tilt and swing - I'm not sure how tricky it would be to create the mechanism but that would be awesome.

    Just from looking at the photos... Cambo seems quite 'rough' in terms of the latches and the little things whereas the Arca and alpa seem to be more well made / designed.
    Hi Jim. I'm very pleased with the images of the Compact and glad to have them posted in order to add more than the sparse product images. I really don't understand why Cambo is hiding this camera as it did look and feel great in my hands.

    I've been extremely pleased with the fit and finish of my WRS and feel the WDS and Compact both come in just as well. Cambo offers a system that allows for very user friendly swapping of lenses; the WRS has two leavers while the WDS and Compact has the one. In all three cases I found the fit of the lenses to be very tight with no play whatsoever.

    I also agree that Cambo has a winning solution in their tilt/swing thus adding even more movements to an already good design. You thoughts on the "roughness" between the Cambo and maybe another might be important only if you what the system to look good however I've tested the three cameras and have never found a fault with them. Plus consider the cost savings which allow for more glass...

    I've skirted the issue until now - you asked my opinion regarding the Cambo vs Arca re3d(I). I can not offer an opinion as I've never actually used or held the Arca. I will admit the Arca looks sexy however I ask myself do I want a pug that I know will put out for me or do I want a sexy thing that might require additional upkeep. And that's my opinion - which I might change if I ever actually held/used an Arca however I have no desire to.

    Don
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  28. #28
    Jim2
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Hi Jim. I'm very pleased with the images of the Compact and glad to have them posted in order to add more than the sparse product images. I really don't understand why Cambo is hiding this camera as it did look and feel great in my hands.

    I've been extremely pleased with the fit and finish of my WRS and feel the WDS and Compact both come in just as well. Cambo offers a system that allows for very user friendly swapping of lenses; the WRS has two leavers while the WDS and Compact has the one. In all three cases I found the fit of the lenses to be very tight with no play whatsoever.

    I also agree that Cambo has a winning solution in their tilt/swing thus adding even more movements to an already good design. You thoughts on the "roughness" between the Cambo and maybe another might be important only if you what the system to look good however I've tested the three cameras and have never found a fault with them. Plus consider the cost savings which allow for more glass...

    I've skirted the issue until now - you asked my opinion regarding the Cambo vs Arca re3d(I). I can not offer an opinion as I've never actually used or held the Arca. I will admit the Arca looks sexy however I ask myself do I want a pug that I know will put out for me or do I want a sexy thing that might require additional upkeep. And that's my opinion - which I might change if I ever actually held/used an Arca however I have no desire to.

    Don
    Don, thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to hear that the lens fittings on the Cambo is solid. It seems that the lenses on the Cambo are generally heavier (and bigger) than Arca's because Arca's lenses don't need to have the helical focusing ring on each lens. Also those little side 'arms' on the lenses would both add weight and take up more space in the bag? Are they meant to 'protect' the lenses during transport?

    On the cost savings side of things.... how much does the WRS cost? and what about the individual lenses.. are they actually cheaper than Arca's lenses (curious since each of cambo's lenses has to include extra focusing mechanism)

  29. #29
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    The side arms are detachable. I had at first thought of removing the "bumpers" to reduce the footprint however I very quickly found they serve a purpose - easy to pick up and hol on to, protects the lens, in a way they just look good..

    It's been many years since I bought my WRS and lenses which should tell ya how pleased I am with this setup - I think I'll replace my back (P45+) way before I change my system.

    I'm no salesperson and don't want to be so take the following with a grain of salt. I made a very fast visit to Calumet and did a search on Cambo lenses. It looks like a 35mm (WDS-552) runs around $4,400, a 72mm (WDS-566) $3,100, and a 150mm $3,300. Calumet also shows $2,800 for a WRS body with the interface plate running between $430 and $520. These prices get you inside the ballpark. You need to contact a dealer (mine's Capture Integration) and work with them to get a better price. My experience is that places like Calumet is unwilling or unable to offer the same level of deals or after sales experience that a smaller dealer can.

    Once you find a dealer that treats you like you feel they should don't let go of them no matter what. I've been with CI for over 3-years and feel fortunate that I found them.

    Don
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  30. #30
    Jim2
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Thanks for the price info. The lenses seem to cost almost the same as Arca's. The body about 3K cheaper, and the plate is slightly cheaper also. But overall there isn't that much of a difference I think, since the body / plate are a one off thing.

    A separate question: Would you use your WRS and the Phase back in a light rain situation where your camera will get some light rain drops? Or Would you shoot at the Antelope canyons (you know how dusty it is), or zebra slot (very sandy)?

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    i have the WRS and two T/S cambo lenses, 43 and 70. the T/S lenses are in the 4k range, pretty close to the Arca lenses, however:

    I have two axes of shift with the Cambo body (arca has one)
    I have T/S with each lens, (Arca has none)
    There is absolutely no problem with fit and finish, the camera has levels all over it, the cameras and lenses are much more available than Arca

    Arca lenses each need to be fitted with the special bayonet mount, which tends to offset the cost savings for no helicoid with each lens. The Arca body is more $ however since it has the high precision helicoid. I'm sure fit and finish is excellent.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    I've shot in blowing sand and snow in temps from well above 105 to well below 32 and in one case near 0.

    I've used the WRS on a beach in CA (actually in the surf) in the Redwoods during a drizzle and in Yosemite in rain, snow and sleet. I've also used this in the freezing early morning shot in Jackson Hole. The only thing I haven't done is take this setup underwater.

    The Cambo is a strong camera, likewise the Phase One back. The weakest link of the three comments (lens, body, back) is in my opinion the lens - weather wise. Other than that it would be the battery - but then again I remember standing in close to 3' snow in the South Rim in December freezing my lower brains off and in the end I gave up before the battery.

    Is a tech camera weather proof? No. Is a tech camera weather resistant? To some degree it is. I will normally carry a small light-weight towel to set over the system in-between shots to help keep the accumulation of snow and rain off to a minimum. (I'll also carry a spare batter in an inside pocket).

    The is another reason I'm glad Cambo is offering the new wood handles for the RS - I see them as a way of better gripping with gloves.

    To answer your final question - I'm headed to Bluff UT next week to shoot in and around Comb Ridge, Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley - all can be very windy and dusty at times and yes I'll be using the Cambo. Likewise I'll be joining Ken Doo at Page in June where we'll be shooting Antelope and yes I'll be using the WRS there as well.

    Hope this helps

    Don
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Any one else notice that not once in any of my responses have I once mentioned the Cube? Oops guess I just did...
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  34. #34
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with WRS/Phase one. Have fun in UT and Antelope! What's with the Cube?

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    The following is my opinion so take it as is.

    A tech camera by it's very nature is "normally" used on anything other than a sturdy tripod and head. The act of using a tech camera is a cross of being just sexy and slow (as in watching the grass grow). This is not a system that you hold in your hands put up to you eye, focus and shoot. A tech camera takes a lot of deliberation. Framing the shot in you brain, setting the tripod up, setting the tech camera on top, leveling the system all the while composing and recomposing the image in you head. Once the camera is set and ready you then need to rethink what it is that you want to capture making sure it's framed correctly. Then there's the entire manual thing; manual focus, setting the f/stop, setting your shutter speed. Also remembering to cock the shutter and removing the lens cap helps. Where am I leading to?

    The Arca Swiss Cube. The Cube is mentioned in most threads within this section and there's even one or more threads solely on the subject. Like it or hate it it is simply one of the fastest, easiest, most expensive ways of assuring perfect sate of level I know of and I'm glad Jack talked me into getting one. The only thing scarcer on the aftermarket other than a WRS is a Cube.

    Don

    Edit - One point - yes you can handhold a tech camera and get decent images. However the other 99.99% of the time it'll be on a tripod.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    The following is my opinion so take it as is.

    A tech camera by it's very nature is "normally" used on anything other than a sturdy tripod and head. The act of using a tech camera is a cross of being just sexy and slow (as in watching the grass grow). This is not a system that you hold in your hands put up to you eye, focus and shoot. A tech camera takes a lot of deliberation. Framing the shot in you brain, setting the tripod up, setting the tech camera on top, leveling the system all the while composing and recomposing the image in you head. Once the camera is set and ready you then need to rethink what it is that you want to capture making sure it's framed correctly. Then there's the entire manual thing; manual focus, setting the f/stop, setting your shutter speed. Also remembering to cock the shutter and removing the lens cap helps. Where am I leading to?

    The Arca Swiss Cube. The Cube is mentioned in most threads within this section and there's even one or more threads solely on the subject. Like it or hate it it is simply one of the fastest, easiest, most expensive ways of assuring perfect sate of level I know of and I'm glad Jack talked me into getting one. The only thing scarcer on the aftermarket other than a WRS is a Cube.

    Don

    Edit - One point - yes you can handhold a tech camera and get decent images. However the other 99.99% of the time it'll be on a tripod.
    Don, on this post. It matches my experience also. I'd also add that shooting a tech camera with others shooting DSLRs can be problematic for the reasons you cite - i.e. the slow setup and more deliberate shooting that might not match the more rapid shoot & scoot off to the next location as others on a trip with you. (i.e. Something to consider if you're on a workshop ... )

    With respect to the handheld shots I'd also add that 99.99% of your sharp shots will be off the tripod too unless you're blessed with lots of light or a high ISO on your digital back.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 16th April 2011 at 11:38.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    I handheld a lot due to trekking and with aerial shots with WRS/HR28. Have done movements handheld. Certain countries ie AU, produce a tripod and you are banned (for lack of a licensing fee/permit) because you are deemed to be "pro" when seen with tripod or just banned completely! - as these things come as a surprise when you get free-range back home in Canada and US! So handheld capability is a plus.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    I sympathize on that one. When I pay family visits back to the UK I get the same kind of reaction with a tripod - pro .... Or terrorist! Utterly pathetic behavior in my view.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't be done I just saying that I feel the main purpose of a tech camera is to sit on top of a sturdy perch to do what it does best. We are most fortunate to live and shoot in North America where tripods are allowed and (for the most part) photographers are free to express themselves.

    I'll be shooting in slot canyons later this summer and will for the most part be on tripod as that is what's most suitable. I'll also be scrambling in and around a couple of cliff dwellings that I've yet to shoot and again the tripod will be used. I'll also have my M9 with me for those times when I might need an off tripod shot.

    My experience using the WRS as well as a WDS and in fact the Compact handheld left me with the feelings that yes while it can be done I needed a third hand in order to do everything correct. Getting the focus correct can be problematic as there can be a slight difference between where you set the focus, say chest height and where you then actually take the capture, normally eye level. I found I needed to focus, set the f/stop, set the shutter speed then cock the shutter all as close to where I was going to take the capture in order to keep everything within its proper perspective.

    Graham - You're correct, it can be difficult shooting with another person who is using a DSLR; Sandy who shoots a 1DsIII will often times be ready to move on to the next phase before I've even taken the first image.

    I enjoy the slow paced almost leisurely way of using a tech camera.
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  40. #40
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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    it can be difficult shooting with another person who is using a DSLR; Sandy who shoots a 1DsIII will often times be ready to move on to the next phase before I've even taken the first image.

    I enjoy the slow paced almost leisurely way of using a tech camera.
    Did the other person with 1ds3 use a tripod?

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    Did the other person with 1ds3 use a tripod?
    In my experience it doesn't matter. They're still moving on quicker than you might be when setting up and using a tech camera. I figure that I need to hang out with the large format folks now since they have a similar sense of shooting speed.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    Did the other person with 1ds3 use a tripod?
    No---she uses a bat, just like Guy's wife.


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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Yea and you need to be light on your toes too. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    If anyone has a spare 15.5k ( = US $25k), the Cambo Wide RS (65th) Anniversary Edition looks to be quite something:
    Last edited by greygrad; 23rd April 2011 at 09:16.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    Quote Originally Posted by greygrad View Post
    Cambo Wid RS (65th) Anniversary Edition looks to be quite something
    What has got me really curious is this: "A new vertical gear system has been designed on the rear of the camera to compensate for additional weight when using a digital camera back."

    1. Is this new gear system a significant change, and 2. does this mean that there will be a redesigned Wide RS II?

    Also, the spindles for operating the movements look chunkier than the current Wide RS.

    Thanks to Leica and Hasselblad for encouraging limited edition cameras. Personally, I don't get it. Having said that, the wooden grips look great. The inlays not so much.

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    Re: Cambo Wide Compact

    for $25k it does come with the schneider 43 t/s (worth $4.5k), the schneider 28, (worth $7k), the gg back, dig back adapter, loupe, handles and case; probably $17k of extras, making the camera body around $8k, instead of 4

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