Calumet/Cambo Cadet 4 x 5 view large format camera

Discussion in 'Talk About Large Format Gear' started by Garry Macdonald, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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    Hi all, I was browsing the web for some tutorials on setting up LF cameras, when I came across one of these for sale. Does anyone know anything about them? It's on ebay just now at what seems like a very low price (sitting at £40 with 4days to go). It comes with a Caltar 11-E 1:6:3 f 150mm lens. I wasn't really looking to buy, but this does seem very good value. I guess it is a generic build that Calumet have branded. Any thoughts?

    Thanks-in-advance,

    Garry
     
  2. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

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    Cambo is the manufacturer. I think they are from the Netherlands, but I may be wrong. I haven't used one, but they seem to be a well respected company. The lenses are also meant to be good. If you got it for £40, that would seem like a good deal. You would need to check that it was complete. If it's a monorail, it should have the rail with a tripod fitting attached underneath, a front standard with lens board and lens, a rear standard with ground glass screen and bellows in between. You might also expect to get at least one film holder, although these can be bought separately. Monorails aren't so good for going out and about. They can be heavy and difficult to transport on foot. If you're planning on carrying the camera a lot to locations, a folding field camera might be a better bet. Having said that, at £40 it could be a great introduction to large format work.
    Alex.
    PS if you do a Google search for Cambo Cadet there are several reviews of the camera.

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  3. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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    Thanks very much for the reply Alex. I did have a look on line for reviews, and they did seem quite favourable. I am completely, and I mean COMPLETELY!, new to large format, and have no idea what is needed to even get an image! I know I need a camera and film, but what other equipment is required is as yet unknown to me. What you have written makes sense, and they are questions I can ask. This is the camera I am looking at

    Calumet/Cambo Cadet 4 x 5 view large format camera

    Many thanks again Alex,

    Garry
     
  4. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

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    That camera comes with the carrying case, and may include film holders. It looks in good condition, and also quite light for a monorail. Other than film holders and film, you would only need a dark cloth, which can be improvised, and perhaps a loupe, or high strength reading glasses for critical focussing. A tripod would be needed, of course, but you may already have one, and a standard cable release. There have been several bids already, so it's likely to fetch a bit more than £40. There's another Cambo (not a Cadet) on for £60 that might be worth a look. It's not in as nice condition, but seems complete.
    Alex.


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  5. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Alex. I'll keep an eye on the Cadet, although I like the look of the other Cambo you mention too. It also has a Canon plate, which I assume would take FD mount lenses possibly. As you say, not as good condition, but, looks like a good clean would take it a long way forward. I don't want to rush in to a purchase, and, think I will do a bit more research first so I am a better informed. I know what I am like though, so may have a LF camera soon!! Then the questions will come thick and fast!

    Thanks again,
    Garry
     
  6. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

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    The Canon adapter goes on the back in place of the screen. It allows you to mount a Canon DSLR body, and allows use of the view cameras lens and movements. One issue with the Cadet might be the availability, and therefore price, of parts and accessories. I think it may be easier to get parts for the other model. Lenses are pretty much universal, and usually come mounted in a shutter. You then mount the lens on a lens board suited to your camera. The lensboard needs to have a hole of the correct size for your shutter. A lens with a Copal #1 size shutter needs a board with a #1 size hole, etc. The boards need to be the right type for your camera. I use a Horseman camera which can use bellows and lens boards made for Horseman or Sinar monorails. This is useful because there are loads of Sinar bits around, but not so many Horseman. I bought the Horseman because it was a good deal, and it's a great camera. Starting again, however, I might go for a Sinar F or P series camera as there are loads of spares and accessories around. The P series cameras tend to be quite expensive.
    Alex


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  7. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    I assume that a Canon mounting plate is going to be a tripod quick release plate (from a quick Google search). Canon FD lenses aren't going to have enough coverage to handle a 5x4 film as they are only designed for 35mm (or a little larger if shift lenses). Lenses are designed to give an image circle just big enough for the format they're intended for (meaning that the image will be sharp enough to use over that format size, but will deteriorate or fade into black as you move further away from the centre). Large format lenses generally are designed with a built in extra to allow for camera movements, and usually cover more than one size of film.

    The other problem with 35mm lenses especially is that they are short focal lengths; infinity focus means that the distance between the fron the rear standards of the camera will have to be small as well.
     
  8. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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    I am being well schooled today! I have been at photography long enough that I should know this stuff, but there you go! At least I know now. The Canon plate is definitely a lens mount of some sort. This is the listing if you're interested? I'll keep looking and learning.

    Thanks again,

    Garry
     
  9. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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    Just saw your reply Alex. Okay, that's what the mount is for. Interesting stuff. And I've now learned about different parts on the camera too. Learning lots today.
    Thanks Alex
     
  10. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera New Member

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  11. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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