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Thread: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

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    Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Hi everyone.

    I've been looking into tech cams and I have been made an offer on a cambo wds which is new ( but been on a shop shelf for almost 4 years) and comes with a sk35xl and hassy h adaptor plate but no ground glass. Not even sure if the place will include cables.

    The price was around 2900 pounds after converting the currency from UAE dirhams. I long for the arca rm3di but I am currently doing a lot of work that is urging me for tech cam quality and stitching.
    My previous experience was with an arca f line and I loved it but very difficult to shoot anything wider than the 47xl from the local rental house.

    What's the vibe regarding the price and camera?

    All advice and opinions are greatly appreciated.

    Bahr

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Cambo Wide DS is a lovely system.

    Cons:
    - It's larger and heavier than the Cambo Wide RS, RC400 or Arca RM3Di or Factum.
    - The rise mechanism is on the front panel with the lens. This means that when you go to do vertical stitching your point of view will change, making such stitching problematic. This mostly effects images in which there is subject matter near the camera. In these two vertical stitches for instance it would not make much difference.
    - There is only one lens lock arm which leaves a bit of lateral play on the lens board. It should not effect image quality (only fore-aft play would) but it is mildly disconcerting to first time users.

    Do you have an H-mount digital back? The cost of a new DS adapter plate, to use e.g. an M mount or C mount is pretty high. IIRC something like $1k.

    I'd really carefully consider which tech cam system you jump into before you buy an initial kit largely because of a lower priced initial entry. Over the next few years you're likely to spend a considerable amount on lenses and accessories, and you want that investment to be on a system you're entirely happy with. That may well be the DS (it's a lovely system) but it may be another system that better fits you.

    Finding a deal and seeing if it works for you is not a great game plan. I strongly suggest finding out what works for you and then trying to find a deal.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Hi doug, I actually inquired with Steve about the rm3di. I noticed you had an ex demo one and that really caught my attention. Only real experience was with the f line and it was just a little slow in the set up and focussing.

    I have an h4d-50 and was shooting tethered with a rented f line. I also consider available lenses on the second hand market and I see you also have quite a few in stock.

    I never buy based on job requirements but dubai is a rough place to find what you need in rentals.

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Bahr - while I'm not in a position to talk about prices I can speak about the Cambo. I've owned a WRS since 2006 and still use it today and enjoy it as much as I did when I first got it. That said, I did a comparison between the WRS and WDS and was pleased overall with the results. Both cameras are built to last and both will work well.

    There might be sexier looking systems out there however I've always felt my WRS was similar to a Jeep. It takes a beating and just keeps working. I remember dropping my WRS on a sandy beach not far from the surf. After cleaning my underwear I cleaned the cam and it continued to work as it should.

    Getting a WDS is not a bad idea as the lenses will work just as well with a WRS likewise the cables, viewfinders and groundglass (should you think you need one). The only thing I'm aware of that you need to change is the back adaptor. There's been new products and improvements released by Cambo recently and I can't tell you off the top of my head if they are interchangeable between the WDS and WRS.

    Take a peak here on the comparison I did in 2009.

    As far as I'm concerned the Cambo system has always been stellar as it meets my needs.

    So no real help with price but I can say the quality is excellent.

    Don
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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Bahr

    I own a WDS with the SK35XL lens and a IQ180 back.

    It seems that the WDS is the entry level tech camera so is perhaps not as slick as some more expensive models. The camera works fine except the 35XL is not well regarded as a lens for the high resolution digital backs so I toss around the idea of buying a second lens which would be a tilt/swing lens (so not cheap).

    I agree with Doug, really consider which camera system you jump into because it is with the lens boards where the big dollars are spent.

    I also think the focus graduations on the Cambo lens I have are far apart so focussing, even with a disto and focus mask is a little frustrating.

    Finally I have seen WDS camera bodies for sale on the internet for around the $1500US from memory, so that has discouraged me from selling - what else would I buy with so little cash?

    If I was buying again I would ceratinly be looking at the RM3di.



    Mal

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Quote Originally Posted by malmac View Post
    Finally I have seen WDS camera bodies for sale on the internet for around the $1500US from memory, so that has discouraged me from selling - what else would I buy with so little cash?
    When I've seen DS bodies come up at that price point they don't usually have an adapter plate.

    Of course there may have been a sale out there at that price with an adapter plate that I didn't see.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    I think Doug is correct on this. The one's I seen all list the adaptor plate as extra both on the WDS and the few WRS listed.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Great info guys and really appreciate it.

    I'm still considering the linhof techno but the arca rm3di is very intriguing.
    Are the lenses drastically more in cost compared to the same lens to be mounted on something like the linhof? I have Zero experience with helical focussing so I'm a little bit unsure on that side of things. I did find it a little straining focussing the 47xl on the arca f line.

    Can anyone tell me if the super wides still focus on the rm3di with the capture group sliding back?

    Bahr

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Bahr, the techno is pretty much a view camera and works along the same principals as the F-Line you tried - GG focusing.

    The cost of mounting a lens for a helical focusing system is massively more expensive. The cost to mount an Arca R mount lens is aprox 790 plus shipping where as in comparison a flat lens panel for an F or M-Line camera is aprox 90 and you can easily mount the lens yourself.

    All the super wides will focus on a RM3di but when used with a sliding back a few of the Schneiders won't focus at infinity. I know for sure the new 28mm Super Digitar won't and pretty sure the 24mm won't either. All the Rodenstocks are fine.

    My only concern is if your going tech camera as apposed to view, why are you wanting to use a sliding back to focus?

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Hi, it would mainly be for precise compositional framing.

    You know I'm still considering your mf-two.
    I have come to realise that all of the options are great cameras but as many of us feel with this kind of first time purchase (and as doug pointed out) its tricky to decide.

    The troubles of making decisions on a purchase...

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Quote Originally Posted by bahr View Post
    Hi, it would mainly be for precise compositional framing.
    The beauty of the Arca system is the VarioFinder. An optical viewfinder that is expensive but if you need precise framing its the best there is.

    IMO sliding backs are just more bulk and weight, better suited to the studio and not worth the effort on a tech camera.

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    Re: Cambo wds - price and camera quality - help

    Quote Originally Posted by bahr View Post
    I have come to realise that all of the options are great cameras but as many of us feel with this kind of first time purchase (and as doug pointed out) its tricky to decide.
    Very true and it is hard to go wrong as they are all excellent options but it is a difficult decision finding the one that fits best. The reality is the camera is just a means of attaching your digital back to very high quality lenses and not much else.
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