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Thread: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

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    Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    There's been a lot of discussions lately on technical cameras and some questions regarding the differences between the WDS and RS-1000. While I did my research into the two and choose the RS-1000 I nevertheless actually held a WDS in my hot little hands. Chris at Capture Integration was originally going to send me a DWS for testing last year however sent a RS-1000 due to s rental scheduling conflict.

    My choice of the RS-1000 had to do with several factors mainly being it was designed specifically for digital and I've stopped shooting film several years ago and in fact no longer own a film back. I also saw having the movements on the back versus being split between the back and lens beneficial to my shooting style.

    The one thing that has worked against me is that since I've never actually worked with a WDS I simply can't offer firsthand experience between the two. Until now.

    I wrote Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration about my thoughts and told him of my wild hair idea; loan me a WDS so I can write of the comparisons and differences between the WDS and RS-1000 and to my surprise he not only thought it was a good idea he also sent me a WDS to play with. [This is just another example of why finding a great dealer is worthwhile].

    The WDS is on the truck "out for delivery". Sandy & I have had a trip planned for Sedona for several months and I plan on using this trip to do the compression. I don't see this as a test as I'll be using my lens and digital back; the only difference will be the body I use. Right off the bat I know one is larger than the other and one offers a difference in movements. What I hope to accomplish is answer any questions of "so what's the difference" and to give me a much better understanding in order to share with those who want to know.

    I plan on setting up at least one shot duplicating the exact image using both bodies and the same amount of movements the comparing the two side by side. What I'd like to hear is any and all suggestions of what you'd like to find out. What is it you would do if you had both bodies? Do you want actual weight and size difference? Let me know.

    The one thing I feel badly about is that this trip had been planned prior to Jack & Guy's announcement of the Northern Arizona June 17th Workshop as I would have like to do this little experiment there.

    We'll be in Sedona June 14 to 18th so if there is anything you'd like to try between the two bodies please let me know and I'll attempt to do it. By the way, Jeffrey did an excellent initial review last year here.

    Don
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    and told him of my wild hair idea; Don



    Sorry I couldn't help myself....


    Beside the normal user comparisons---yes, include weight and dimensions, and impressions with packing the kits on a hike.....


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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post



    Sorry I couldn't help myself....


    Beside the normal user comparisons---yes, include weight and dimensions, and impressions with packing the kits on a hike.....

    Here's another idea - how 'bout loaning me that P65?
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    There's been a lot of discussions lately on technical cameras and some questions regarding the differences between the WDS and RS-1000. While I did my research into the two and choose the RS-1000 I nevertheless actually held a WDS in my hot little hands. Chris at Capture Integration was originally going to send me a DWS for testing last year however sent a RS-1000 due to s rental scheduling conflict.

    My choice of the RS-1000 had to do with several factors mainly being it was designed specifically for digital and I've stopped shooting film several years ago and in fact no longer own a film back. I also saw having the movements on the back versus being split between the back and lens beneficial to my shooting style.

    The one thing that has worked against me is that since I've never actually worked with a WDS I simply can't offer firsthand experience between the two. Until now.

    I wrote Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration about my thoughts and told him of my wild hair idea; loan me a WDS so I can write of the comparisons and differences between the WDS and RS-1000 and to my surprise he not only thought it was a good idea he also sent me a WDS to play with. [This is just another example of why finding a great dealer is worthwhile].

    The WDS is on the truck "out for delivery". Sandy & I have had a trip planned for Sedona for several months and I plan on using this trip to do the compression. I don't see this as a test as I'll be using my lens and digital back; the only difference will be the body I use. Right off the bat I know one is larger than the other and one offers a difference in movements. What I hope to accomplish is answer any questions of "so what's the difference" and to give me a much better understanding in order to share with those who want to know.

    I plan on setting up at least one shot duplicating the exact image using both bodies and the same amount of movements the comparing the two side by side. What I'd like to hear is any and all suggestions of what you'd like to find out. What is it you would do if you had both bodies? Do you want actual weight and size difference? Let me know.

    The one thing I feel badly about is that this trip had been planned prior to Jack & Guy's announcement of the Northern Arizona June 17th Workshop as I would have like to do this little experiment there.

    We'll be in Sedona June 14 to 18th so if there is anything you'd like to try between the two bodies please let me know and I'll attempt to do it. By the way, Jeffrey did an excellent initial review last year here.

    Don
    Don on the 18th we will be in Chinle , storm brewing that day. That may get ya going. LOL

    But we will be in MV on the 19th and 20th. Not to far away bud, call me on my cell if you and Sandy decide to make the trip up for the evening.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    There's been a lot of discussions lately on technical cameras and some questions regarding the differences between the WDS and RS-1000. While I did my research into the two and choose the RS-1000 I nevertheless actually held a WDS in my hot little hands. Chris at Capture Integration was originally going to send me a DWS for testing last year however sent a RS-1000 due to s rental scheduling conflict.

    My choice of the RS-1000 had to do with several factors mainly being it was designed specifically for digital and I've stopped shooting film several years ago and in fact no longer own a film back. I also saw having the movements on the back versus being split between the back and lens beneficial to my shooting style.

    The one thing that has worked against me is that since I've never actually worked with a WDS I simply can't offer firsthand experience between the two. Until now.

    I wrote Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration about my thoughts and told him of my wild hair idea; loan me a WDS so I can write of the comparisons and differences between the WDS and RS-1000 and to my surprise he not only thought it was a good idea he also sent me a WDS to play with. [This is just another example of why finding a great dealer is worthwhile].

    The WDS is on the truck "out for delivery". Sandy & I have had a trip planned for Sedona for several months and I plan on using this trip to do the compression. I don't see this as a test as I'll be using my lens and digital back; the only difference will be the body I use. Right off the bat I know one is larger than the other and one offers a difference in movements. What I hope to accomplish is answer any questions of "so what's the difference" and to give me a much better understanding in order to share with those who want to know.

    I plan on setting up at least one shot duplicating the exact image using both bodies and the same amount of movements the comparing the two side by side. What I'd like to hear is any and all suggestions of what you'd like to find out. What is it you would do if you had both bodies? Do you want actual weight and size difference? Let me know.

    The one thing I feel badly about is that this trip had been planned prior to Jack & Guy's announcement of the Northern Arizona June 17th Workshop as I would have like to do this little experiment there.

    We'll be in Sedona June 14 to 18th so if there is anything you'd like to try between the two bodies please let me know and I'll attempt to do it. By the way, Jeffrey did an excellent initial review last year here.

    Don
    Hi Don,

    I own and have shot with both, and currently have the WDS up for sale on eBay - no point owning both and I had to choose but it really is an 'only just' decision in favour of the RS.

    Why?

    Because it's smaller and slightly lighter and because theoretically at some point the fact that the movements are split on the WDS might be inconvenient, but so far that has not yet been an issue. For standard lateral stitching they both do well.

    Should be a no-brainer, right? Not quite: as you and I have both found, it is easy to displace the rise gear on the RS because though it is geared and therefore locked unless touched, it is always 'trying' due to gravity, to go south: and the geared knob that controls rise and fall is exactly where your right hand falls when handling the camera. Which means that owing to user error, I find quite often that I have knocked the gear off central. And I am never quite sure when that happened and how many frames it has affected nor what LCC I should guess to apply.

    So I choose to keep the RS because I travel with a lot of gear and have a less than perfect back so I want smaller, lighter. But in fact the lockable displacements on the DS are better designed.

    If I had an assistant and travelled more by car than by plane I would therefore keep the WDS. In the meantime I am trying to train myself to be more careful and more vigilant. But the WDS is great, really, and much much better value out of the two...

    Be really interested to hear your findings!

    Best as ever

    Tim

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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Thanks Guy

    We're packing our lightning triggers and my old 1Ds II for the trip so if a tall shadow falls over you it's just me

    FedEx just dropped off the WDS and while I have some initial thoughts I'll save them for a little later on.

    Don

    I wonder why Ken is being so shy all of a sudden
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    The following are my somewhat subjective first thoughts on the Cambo WDS.

    Very well built but I was also expecting this. The other consideration is this body is from Capture Integration's rental fleet they've been good enough to loan me and while it's been a rental there's little if any evidence of hard use.

    I like the wooden handle (a lot). Not too sure why other than it just looks "neat" and feels very good in my hand. Cambo shows optional wooden handgrips for the RS-1000 but I've actually seen any.

    I have no proof other than watching Michael Reichmann on one of his videos however I feel you could very easily shoot this handheld. To paraphrase Mr. Reichmann, "Worlds Most Expensive Digital Point-&-Shoot".

    The thing is a beast when compared to the RS-1000. While I haven't (as yet) placed them side by side I have been working with the RS-1000 since October and have developed a feel for how it feels. The WDS is physically larger and weighs more - how much more I don't yet know but once I find out I'll tell.

    Jury is out on the lens retention; the WDS while larger only has one moveable bar while the RS-1000 though smaller has two. It appears that it would be slightly easier to change lens on a WDS because of the one bar I still believe in Murphy's Law and like the system the RS-1000 has; guess I'm a belt and suspenders guy after all.

    I don't know how the difference in movements will affect my shooting style but plan to find out shortly and will report on that.

    The WDS has very large knobs for movements; I wouldn't be surprised if these came in handy in cold weather when gloves are needed. That said I did shoot my RS-1000 in knee deep snow using gloves and had little problem with precise movements.

    Speaking of precise movements. My very first thought upon unpacking this was I did not like (as in no way in hell) what I thought was a lack of witness marks on the front for rise and fall. It wasn't until I put a lens on did I see how the little white mark on the lensboard acts as the witness mark. So now I feel better and have stepped away from the edge.

    This brings me to the final thought. Unless I missed them, I can find no witness marks on the rear of the body. The RS-1000 has these and they do come in handy. Image sitting on the edge of a 1000' drop where you want to take multiple images for a panorama or in-your-face multiple row/column image. I can (and have done just that) with the RS-1000. It "appears" that I will have to actually see the face of the WDS to ensure I have the proper amount of movement; this means I either have to turn the camera to face me each time I want to do a movement - which can be the kiss of death - or I somehow have to lean over and hope to see what I'm doing.

    So - this is my initial subjective impressions. I'll be going out shortly to start testing it in the field here near home then more in Sedona next week.

    Don

    I almost forgot to mention the tripod mount. I might have a spare plate laying around that I will think about putting on, in the meantime I need to mount this sidewise on my Novoflex this defeating it purpose of fine focusing. Just a little weird.




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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Hi Don,

    I own and have shot with both, and currently have the WDS up for sale on eBay - no point owning both and I had to choose but it really is an 'only just' decision in favour of the RS.

    Why?

    Because it's smaller and slightly lighter and because theoretically at some point the fact that the movements are split on the WDS might be inconvenient, but so far that has not yet been an issue. For standard lateral stitching they both do well.

    Should be a no-brainer, right? Not quite: as you and I have both found, it is easy to displace the rise gear on the RS because though it is geared and therefore locked unless touched, it is always 'trying' due to gravity, to go south: and the geared knob that controls rise and fall is exactly where your right hand falls when handling the camera. Which means that owing to user error, I find quite often that I have knocked the gear off central. And I am never quite sure when that happened and how many frames it has affected nor what LCC I should guess to apply.

    So I choose to keep the RS because I travel with a lot of gear and have a less than perfect back so I want smaller, lighter. But in fact the lockable displacements on the DS are better designed.

    If I had an assistant and travelled more by car than by plane I would therefore keep the WDS. In the meantime I am trying to train myself to be more careful and more vigilant. But the WDS is great, really, and much much better value out of the two...

    Be really interested to hear your findings!

    Best as ever

    Tim
    Hi Tim

    Sorry, I had completely forgotten you actually own both so please feel free to jump in and help or better yet correct my mistakes.

    What I hadn't included is my instant feelings that if one were to still shoot film the nod is in favor of the WDS; however if you shoot strictly digital the nod is in favor of the RS-1000.

    I've never had any buyers remorse over the RS-1000 and while I'm grateful for the chance to compare these two excellent bodies I still favor the RS-1000 as there's just so much more that fits my shooting; and the bottom line is that you really need to find something that suits you and not someone else. (end of )

    Good luck on the sale and I know anyone who gets your WDS will be happy.

    Don
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    Thanks Guy

    We're packing our lightning triggers and my old 1Ds II for the trip so if a tall shadow falls over you it's just me

    FedEx just dropped off the WDS and while I have some initial thoughts I'll save them for a little later on.

    Don

    I wonder why Ken is being so shy all of a sudden
    Been busy getting ready for Japan....and have another wedding three days prior to departure...and my reception to worry about...uh, not anymore, just buy more wine....

    Don't tempt me Don! I'd be out there with the P65+ with you in a moments notice if I could! Shooting both the P45+ and the P65+ (and Guy's new P40+ when he gets his own, oh say in a month or two...) on the Cambo RS would make for a great test.....


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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Don't tempt me Don! I'd be out there with the P65+ with you in a moments notice if I could! Shooting both the P45+ and the P65+ (and Guy's new P40+ when he gets his own, oh say in a month or two...) on the Cambo RS would make for a great test.....



    Actually I wouldn't be too surprised if Doug doesn't return with a P30 and sends Guy a bill for the balance..
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Might have to send Doug home with my car to boot. LOL

    I'm sure Dave would be real happy with a beauty marked Lexus SUV with 110k on it. LOL
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    [QUOTE=kdphotography;107104]Been busy getting ready for Japan....and have another wedding three days prior to departure...and my reception to worry about...uh, not anymore, just buy more wine....

    Since I won't be able to attend your reception.. can we get the wine and cheese Fed Exed to CI?

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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Getting back on track...

    I spent several hours today comparing the Cambo WDS to the RS-1000 and came away with more thoughts.

    The WDS really only offers one way to shoot with a digital back (at least on a Mamiya mount). While the handle provides for a secondary tripod mounting it nevertheless is far less superior or easy to use when compared to the quick release of the RS-1000. I can only speak from my experience as it relates to my style of shooting. It takes less than a couple seconds to change the orientation of the back on a RS-1000 all the while keeping the image centered. Take a look at what you'd have to do with the WDS. First off you'd need a second tripod plate either sitting on the hand grip or in you bag; the act of switching will take far longer and bring with it the possibility of changing the center of the image. Yes it can be done but if I had a choice (which I do) I favor the newer RS-1000 in this regard.



    The difference (rear view) between the two:




    This is what the RS-1000 looks like with the back in different orientations - just by unlocking the two red levers.





    The WDS with the back attached:



    I mentioned the lensboard latch difference between the WDS and RS-1000; the RS-1000 has two levers that when locked in place provide no movement. I noticed a slight movement in the same lens after I attached it to the WDS. I plan on keeping an eye on this and will report more on that later after testing more of my lens.

    I went out this morning in search of a suitable place to experiment and ended up driving up the back way to Mt Lemmon. I ran a rather unscientific experiment between the two bodies. Using the same lens (72mm) with the same settings, f/11, the same back and not moving the tripod I produced 2 images both containing 6 images (2 rows x 3 columns). I thought this would give me an idea of what if any difference there is between lens movement and back movements. I opened the images in C1 and ran the LCC then moved them over to CS4 for stitching; no other processing was none. I flatten the images dumbed them down for the web and loaded them here.

    WDS 72mm 6-image stitched:



    RS-1000 72mm 6-image stitched:



    Notice the white areas around the borders. These two images are very close however I think I see less white which mean more usable image in the RS-1000.

    I also found in shooting these images I was forced to work more in front of the camera on the WDS than the RS-1000. I needed to be in front of the WDS every time I made any movement where I could accomplish the same movements on the RS-1000 from the rear. It may not seem like much but it's a big deal for the way I shoot - especially when I'm on a canyon rim with a couple hundred feet drop in front of me. I'd have to swing the camera around each time I changed movements which can only lead to trouble,

    This will be the end of this stage of my comparison with the next stage in Sedona when I really start taking images. Part II will begin next week.

    Thought I'd throw a little camera porn in ...



    This shows how compact the RS-1000 is and how that compactness allows me to have everything in one place.

    Don
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    I wanted to add a couple idle thoughts on both the WDS and RS-1000. They're both what I'd call dumb bodies; neither have a computer, viewfinder or batteries; therefore making them dumb. Their sole purpose in life is to be a place where a lens and a back (either film or digital) get to meet and make beautiful images; in this particular case you need all three elements to achieve that goal.

    Both bodies offer the ability of movements; one around the lens the other around the back. The WDS was originally offered as a 4x5 film camera and only later reconfigured to accept digital backs. The major thing in the WDS corner is the price. This could be an excellent choice for someone just starting out on a budget (and who isn't). Another factor in favor of the WDS is the ability to still shoot film to include 4x5.

    Cambo decided to take the WDS into the 21st Century with the introduction of the RS-1000 last year. The RS-1000 was developed for digital use only and incorporates several changes, some subtle others not so. The tripod mounting is parallel to the body making it easier to attach (my thought). They included witness marks (my term) on the rear face for movements. The movements are all on the back, thus keeping the lens in a static position. And one of the most important changes (to me) was the ability to change the orientation of the back while not disturbing the body. And there's more.

    Both bodies are excellent examples of what Cambo has to offer and should provide years of service to any photographer. My main though that has been running through my head since working with the WDS is that I am very glad that I brought the RS-1000 when I did otherwise I would be now and selling the WDS as the RS-1000 just "fits" me better.

    Don
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    And for the WRS a universal groundglass is provided whilst the WDS' groundglass is for H-interface only... AFAIK.
    As to the "many years of service to any photographer" I am a bit curiuos as on my WRS the screw for the vertical movements already gets a bit softer... and if you don't pay attention the back may move down a bit. I think this is easy to fix. Yet this is one of the differences to Alpa or Sinar which are built in extraordinary quality.
    Regards, Thomas

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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Thomas,

    I've had my RS-1000 since late October and it's been in constant use since then with little to no problems. I do feel that most of my problems center around a learning curve. So far I've remembered to double check the zero on the movements now when starting out, I'm getting better at remembering to remove the lens cap as well as cocking the shutter. The movements still feel very firm however I fully expect to have to perform some sort of PM on the body.

    I also think you're correct about the groundglass however that's something I can checkout shortly.

    If I had to nitpick anything it would be a loose screw on one of my bull bars that keep coming loose. Then again I think if we look hard enough we'll find flaws in just about anything.

    Don
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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    Don,
    no criticism... I like the WRS; or better: like to work with the WRS.
    It's the same to me - I always have a look at the scales to check that everything is accurate. That's okay. But it would be better without the need to check them, no? :-)
    But the price difference to e.g. Alpa has some reasons and is motivated.

    Then again I think if we look hard enough we'll find flaws in just about anything.
    I agree. And I don't care very much about that. There is always something to work around, hardware-wise, software-wise, skill-wise ...

    Regards, Thomas

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    Re: Comparing Cambo WDS and RS-1000

    I come from a background where you always checked and sometimes double checked your equipment before starting off so I disagree with.
    it would be better without the need to check them, no?
    That same background also taught me to train for the worse so I'd never be surprised if it happened.

    I've never owned anything that didn't have some type of quark to it no matter the cost. I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for and am willing to pay well for my tools. I could have paid more for another brand however I liked what I saw in the RS-1000 and have been very pleased with it.

    Not to go overboard here but life in general is full of compromises which is what ran through my mind as I wrote
    Then again I think if we look hard enough we'll find flaws in just about anything.
    And no I'm not a glass half-empty guy rather I think it half-full.

    I may have used literary excess when I included
    Both bodies are excellent examples of what Cambo has to offer and should provide years of service to any photographer.
    However I do believe both bodies are well made and will in fact provide a long term solution to any photographer.

    Another thought I had wanted to add however it slipped by was that the RS-1000 has been out now for very close to a year; how many used ones are on the market? I have yet to see one advertized - must mean something...

    I'm pleased this exercise has started a flow of conversation. Please let me know if there's any information you'd like to hear about that I haven't included.

    Again - these are my thoughts on the two bodies. I'm not a professional writer or reviewer which should be very obvious by now. The reason I wanted to do this was to give me a better understanding of the WDS as it compared to my RS-1000 and maybe help someone else out who may be thinking of either body.

    Cheers

    Don
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