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Thread: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

  1. #51
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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    hi there,
    first of all,there is a lot of useful information here.thanks for that! since i am very interested in the cambo actus,maybe even more so. but on the other hand,the thread has gone in a direction wich has nothing to do with the actus any more (or at least not more than with any camera you can mount a digital back and large format lenses to.) and too much with not named dealers that might not be perfectly knowledgable or honest. of course there are dealers like that. but on the other hand,for everyone investing 50k into a system,getting information,and as much as possible,is not only recommended but a must. for me this whole crosstalk thing is completely new since i am not a digi-back shooter. i am using a mirorrless camera,and not even a full frame one but for me,the actus makes perfect sense. so i appreciate what you are telling us torger,but on one point specifically i have to disagree wholeheartedly: the actus does not only have the possibility to use digi-backs and lf lenses. my intended use is to use my fuji camera and m645 lenses,wich are retrofocus and go down to 35mm, for landscape with the ability to use tilt and swing in combination with the tilt and shift mostly to get more resolution and a broader angle of view. i donīt know yet how much movement will be possible,of course i hope it will be as much as the image circle allows,but just to test that i will check the combination for myself. i was contacting calumet in germany,they gave my number to their specialist for cambo and he will be visiting me at home probably next week to get the chance to try the camera out myself. i think of this as really really good service,and since there are quite some experiences with these leses and many different kinds of cameras with the use of adapters by mirex or kipon,wich offer tilt and shift as well i think and hope i will not face to many problems. maybe i can not use all movements to their extremes and still get perfect results,but this is pretty unlikely to do in every-day use anyway. what this means for me is that i am absolutely super glad that cambo decided to get the actus to the market! for me this is a dream come true. i sincerely hope that problems like crosstalk will get addressed in future digi back designs,and i really think this is mostly up to the producers of those and not to the companies wich build the cameras in between the backs and the lenses. there are so many possibilities to combine different kinds of equipment that you can always find something that will not work,they could all just as well simply stop producing anything then! but of course,if someone tells you that you could just use back x with camera y and lens z,takes 50grand and you find out yourself that the results are garbage, i would be pissed too! but as long as this has not happened,and even on the contrary,dealers are trying to help with solutions that will work,we are really not in the position to complain i think! i do hope that there will be a really good live-view capable digital back that has no problem with crosstalk,cause you never know... in the future i might be tempted to get one for the actus that if not total junk (wich i do not think it is..) i will be a proud owner in a week or two!
    lorenz
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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Sooooooooo. Tell me what you really think.....


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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    well...given the problems using wides with x50 backs and the limitation of getting a wide rodie or sk to fit, coupled wiht he crop factor of the x50; what is the resulting wide angle ability of the actus/x50?
    Last edited by jlm; 29th September 2014 at 06:08.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    The majority of the members on this forum shoot landscape and therefore are predominately interested in wide angle photography. However please note that at Photokina the Cambo Actus was shown with a Schneider 80mm lens and when I tested it it performed beautifully with the Credo 50. We (Cambo and me) had some further discussion on potential uses for this camera and what can be improved or tuned to accommodate those.
    Personally I see it as a fantastic replacement for many of the old studio view cameras, especially for shooters who now do more location work than they used to do. Think food for example and look at it as a very capable, compact and reasonably priced T/S solution. You can use your old LF lenses on a camera that is about 1/5th of the size & weight of your old P2 and that is in reality much more rigid and precise than any 4x5.
    The new Arca-Swiss is another take on this concept and it even adds electronic shutter options, both focal and leaf.

    IMO these new products offer a lot of versatility for existing and new MF users and not only for landscape photography.

    Yair
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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    I've seen people buying this for food photography and similar, ie longer lens photography and there it will be fine. Personally I don't think it's a good design to drop rear tilt/swing if it's intended for product photography. A key advantage of using a studio view camera instead of a boring DSLR setup with a tilt-shift lents is that you can keep the lens still and do movements on the back. The Actus design in terms of movements is to me suitable for landscape and architecture type of applications -- so that is how I interpreted this product, but current lens+sensor combinations does have limitations there and people still seems to be interested in it, but then for longer lens photography where I personally would choose a different design. But that's me...

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    As there's a huge subjective factor when it comes to color cast and crosstalk and a huge variation in how people shoot with their lenses (ie how much they shift), there can be a mismatch in expectations. It's a bit like asking if a lens is sharp enough to allow Xmm of shift. My "sharp enough" is not necessarily the same as the next.

    For example, from real images I've seen I would not use the IQ180 with an Rodie HR 32, too much crosstalk and microlens ripple for large shifts, but many others think it's an excellent combination, as they don't shift as much and/or have lower expectations on image quality. I think I'm a bit more picky concerning this aspect of image quality than the average MF shooter, but I do know of at least one user that actually cross-graded from IQ180 to IQ260 to improve image quality with the Rodie HR 32.

    What makes crosstalk so treacherous is that it's 1) not reversible (not with currently available algorithms at least), 2) varying depending on sensor orientation, and 3) varying depending on scene content.

    That is if you shoot with the best orientation (often horizontal) and in a scene with dull colors it can work drastically better than shooting in vertical orientation in a scene containing bright saturated colors.

    As far as I can see those points have not been particularly well-known in the community. Anyone interested in the new CMOS backs and pushing the limits with tech wides should know about it and adapt their testing protocols accordingly.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    It may be important to keep a sense of perspective here (no pun intended). Whenever a new issue or design shows up, there is a tendency to see this new issue as central and critical and all other concerns fall off the page. The new Cambo and Arca offer some very exciting opportunities - shifting, tilt, flexibility and all this in a small package. I think (?) possibly the Linhof Techno started this, and its interesting to see other camera makers get into this area. Good for all of us.

    There are major issues to be dealt with at this scale of camera (small, tech'l) including lens design, rigidity, parallelism, flexibility, and overall build quality. One discussion could be on just usable lenses of different length - matching lens quality to sensor size. Then there is a subset, a discussion about usable shift.

    For extreme shifting with wide angle lenses and certain sensors, we can now look to the crosstalk issue, which as Torger notes, varies in import by the user, the lens, the scene, the orientation, even the colors, not to mention individual taste. Its an interesting point, glad its been raised.

    However there are lots of things (many) to be done with these cameras before encountering it as a problem. Perhaps its one of, say, 30 different issues to be considered? Alls to suggest that we don't fall into the 'internet' trap of "the latest issue is the most important" and let all other concerns fall to the wayside. There's a lot of neat things happening with these new cameras.
    Last edited by Geoff; 29th September 2014 at 08:45. Reason: clarity
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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    It may be important to keep a sense of perspective here (no pun intended). Whenever a new issue or design shows up, there is a tendency to see it as central and critical and all other concerns fall off the page.

    The new Cambo and Arca offer some very exciting opportunities - shifting, tilt, flexibility and all this in a small package. I think (?) possibly the Linhof Techno started this, and its interesting to see other camera makers get into this area. Good for all of us.

    There are some major issues to be dealt with at this scale of camera (small, tech'l) including lens design, rigidity, parallelism, flexibility, and overall build quality. One area of this discussion includes usable lenses of different length. Then for the all of these, there is usable shift.

    For the combination of extreme shifting and wide angle lenses, Torger has directed attention to the crosstalk issue, which as he notes above, varies in import by each user, the lens, the scene, the orientation, the colors. Its a very interesting set of issues, however there are lots of things (many) that one can do with these cameras before encountering it. Alls to suggest that we don't fall into the 'internet' trap of "the latest issue is the most important" and all others fall to the wayside. There's a lot of neat things happening with these new cameras and many good things incorporated.
    Totally agree. Frankly I ignored and still ignore all the talk of the A7r shutter shake. Okay it has it but I just find ways around it like I do with any system. Does not make these systems anything less than what they are it just makes you have workarounds in place to apply. That has been the story with all of photography since day one. That will not change regardless of the tech involved, there will always be something to deal with. Okay I'm going to run out and shoot more of this Credo 50. I'm liking this back, I think it has some real potential in many areas of photography. Having live view and high ISO ability alone makes this very interesting. It has CMOS tendency but it also has a lot of DR to work with. I noticed it tends to have high highlight values but not losing detail either. I'll talk of this later. Typical CMOS stuff but the IQ is outstanding.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Hello all,

    Getting back to the Actus, I am doing some (Very early stage) research about a tech camera platform I could use my Credo 40 on. Wide angle capability is a must. So far,t he Arca RM3Di seems to be winning. My question is, would the Actus be able to support the same lenses for the Credo with at least as good performance? I am looking at 24/ 28mm lenses at the wide end.

    Also, if I use my M645 lenses on this camera, how would I be able to control the exposure, as the camera itself has no focal plane shutter?

    Any inputs would be welcome. Thanks!

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    The Actus should support the same lenses as the Arca RM3Di, however you won't have the same possibility to focus as precise directly by dialing in a distance. You'll focus on live view. If that's important to you or not is up to you. If you shoot closeups and product having a distance scale won't be that meaningful, it's most usable in architecture (where you have a laser distance meter to measure distances) and also useful in landscape even without a laser distance meter (the good ones work okay outdoors too though) when you can dial in things like hyperfocal distance very precisely. The RM3Di has the optical distance meter too as an accessory if you prefer that (e-module Cloud).

    The Arca RM3Di lens mount is expensive, just as Alpa's, but an added bonus should be that you get a calibration and guarantee that the lens is performing up to spec.

    As far as I know lens-board mounted lenses do not get the same treatment (they're just mounted as-is directly from Schneider/Rodenstock), on the other hand if you discover that a lens is off you can send it in to get it re-aligned. I have not needed to do that with any of my seven Digitars of which six was bought second hand. I do suspect though that my 47 is a tiny bit off and could perform a bit better if re-aligned, might send that in.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Hi Torger,

    Thanks very much for that detailed response. Indeed, it's nice to hear that the lenses I have in mind can be used on this camera (24 XL, 60 XL, one of the 120mm lenses). Primary use will be landscaping with tilt and of course shifting for panoramas and occasional rise/ fall.

    As my back is a Credo, tethered live view should make life easier for framing and focusing.

    The last piece of the puzzle is filter usage. As far as I know, the Arca has a compendium system that makes this possible. I am not sure if the Actus will allow something similar. This is a must-have for me as my landscape work involves NDs and Grads.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Concerning filters I use myself the Lee Seven5 filter system for ND grads. It's actually designed for compact range finders, but as tech lenses typically have a small filter ring as they are small aperture lenses it works well and is small and compact and you just screw it directly on the lens filter thread. Great when hiking with the gear. I know I'm not the only one that have chosen the Seven5 as filter system for a tech camera, but the larger Lee is more common of course. The quality of the smaller is just as good though. A difference is that the sharp transitions is a bit sharper than on the larger Lee (I've been told), which to me is an advantage.

    I have the Seven5 lens hood, but I don't use it nowadays, I shade with my hand or with an umbrella (which I always bring anyway in the case of rain). I think that's a good option and gives me one less thing to carry, except for that I sometimes run out of hands.

    The Seven5 will work up to 72mm filter thread which means it fits all digital tech lenses except the following: the Rodenstock Digaron-W 32 (86mm, 105mm with center filter), Rodenstock Digaron-S 23 and 28 (72mm, 95mm with center filter), Schneider Digitar 28 (95 or 112mm depending on filter ring option, and the 115mm center filter if used has no threading at all). My widest lens is the SK35 and it works on that, it does vignette a little but you get as much as 88mm vertically and 80mm horizontally which is not too bad of the 90mm image circle.

    You'll also notice that grads (which are always uncoated by the way, even if you get the expensive heavy Schneider glass ones) is hell on ultra-wides especially if already having a center filter. It's extremely reflection-prone. Using bracketing techniques instead of grads is sometimes better when shooting ultrawides. I know some prefer to even not use the center filters and bracket instead for better exposure in the corners, as the center-filters themselves can lower contrast and cause reflections in difficult light.

    A good way to start is to figure out which wide angles lenses you are going to use. Even if you don't buy them at once it's nice to have it planned in advance. It's there the big costs and compatibility issues are found. For example you can't use the full image circle of the SK28 on your Credo 40, on the other hand it might still be a better option than the Rodenstock 28 which has a hard limit on 70mm image circle.

    Concerning polarizers and regular NDs I use screw-in filters instead. It's a bit more cumbersome and slow to mount but you get a lot more products to choose from and you get it absolutely fool-proof light tight which is good if you would use a really dark ND. It also becomes cheaper. 72mm screw-in polarizer is a lot cheaper than a polarizer for a square filter system. I use the super-thin Kenko Zeto EX polarizer because it loses less light than most other filters, which is good as I have a back limited to 30 second exposure. With wide angles with center filters and shooting at f/11 the shutter speeds are long enough as is.

    Concerning cast the Lee grad filters will change the temperature somewhat, it becomes a bit cooler if I remember correctly. I think there's also a little bit sample-to-sample variation. If you need the most neutral you can get I think the Schneider glass filters is the answer. They are designed for pro video use, but there is a kit to buy for still photographers when it comes with a special-made Lee filter holder.
    Last edited by torger; 13th October 2014 at 03:34.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by synn View Post
    Hi Torger,

    Thanks very much for that detailed response. Indeed, it's nice to hear that the lenses I have in mind can be used on this camera (24 XL, 60 XL, one of the 120mm lenses). Primary use will be landscaping with tilt and of course shifting for panoramas and occasional rise/ fall.

    As my back is a Credo, tethered live view should make life easier for framing and focusing.

    The last piece of the puzzle is filter usage. As far as I know, the Arca has a compendium system that makes this possible. I am not sure if the Actus will allow something similar. This is a must-have for me as my landscape work involves NDs and Grads.
    I can't speak to the Cambo Aptus, but recently I use the Arca DSLR2 with the A7r extensively and it's a great solution, and the new Arca Universalis would allow the same solution, but less cost and weight. The Cambo appears to have both geared tilt and swing in the front, for some reason Arca only gave geared tilt to the Universalis, not swing. The DSLR2 has excellent gearing for both. The Unversalis will allow other non Rodenstock/Schenider lenses to be used as you can add the FS (Focal plane shutter).

    I own the rm3di so I can use all my R mount lenses on either the DSLR2 or Unversalis, takes just a few seconds to remove the tubes. I am thinking long term of moving to the A7r/Universalis since I know just how good that solution is. When Sony updates the A7r to the next gen, things will get very interesting indeed.

    Filters:

    I would consider using the Lee hood, not the Arca compendium. Unless Arca has changed the compendium, it doesn't offer a filter slot like the Cambo one.
    The Lee wide angle hood works great on all my lenses, besides the 28HR (no easy way to attach the hood with the CF on). You can use 1 filter and attach a screw in 105mm CLPL or ND in the front of the hood. With the 40mm HR-W you may catch a corner at 15mm of shift, the rest of my glass, has no problems on full shifts. You just need the Lee wide angle adapter rings for each lens. In the field I will carry the 105mm CL-PL and several solid ND's 0.3 to 6x all in the 4 x 4 size that will work with the Lee hood.

    Paul

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Paul and Torger, thanks so much for your advice! I need to do a lot more research on filter capability (And maybe a demo or two ) before I take the plunge. Basically, I often stack a grad and an ND together in my shots. Of course, i can bracket, but sun and clouds don't often wait for man.

    I will keep in mind to PM both you gentlemen as and when I have questions. Hope you won't mind!

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Unless Arca has changed the compendium, it doesn't offer a filter slot like the Cambo one.

    Paul
    Arca now does offer a 100x100 filter holder for the Compendium Hood.

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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    Arca now does offer a 100x100 filter holder for the Compendium Hood.
    Thanks for the correction, however unless Arca is putting the filter by the lens element, I don't think a 4 x 4 (100 x 100) will work on wides. The Compendium I had was the large one and it was very hard to use with the 40, 28 and 35, but was fine on 60mm and on up.

    And the price at around $650.00? or even 500, is a bit much to me, when you can use the Lee hood with so much more versatility. As it can be used on 35mm, Medium format, APC-C etc.

    Don't get me wrong, as I use all Arca with my field setup, except the hood

    They may have also totally changed the hood since I owned the large one back in early 2014. Mine was square, and thus not shaped well for wides, like the Lee hood is.

    Paul
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    Re: New Cambo Actus for Digital Backs

    This thread turned into an interesting discussion...

    I recently picked up a very nice Cambo WRS system with several lenses - one of which is the SK28mm. I noticed in the thread that the SK28 has problems with certain backs.

    I am in the market for a new back and am interested which backs (other than the IQ 150/250) that don't work well with this lens.

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