Cambo Wide lenses & panels : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

What alternatives are there to buying the special lenses ready-mounted in focussing mounts, on a complete front panel, for the Cambo Wide (original type)? Is it possible to do it yourself, by getting a lens in a Copal-0 shutter, buying a focussing mount (think Schneider and Rodenstock make them), buying a Cambo panel, and sticking them together? I could do with something longer to complement my 65 S.Angulon, maybe a 90 or 110, for shooting with a 6x12 RFH.

-- Anthony Harrison (, March 12, 2002


Sure, it's possible; it depends on how good you are at machining. The lens, shutter, and even helical mount aren't that hard, but so far as I know Cambo doesn't sell the lens panels separately so you'd have to make your own. Maintaining light-tightness, keeping the shift capability, and getting the four corners of the panel to be precisely the same distance from the lens plane would seem to be the biggest challenges, but again, a competent machine shop could probably put something together for you. At some point, between the cost of the complex machining and the helical mount, Cambo's prices don't look quite as exorbitant.

-- Terry (, March 12, 2002.

Hi Anthony, I have done precisely what you are thinking of doing. I bought a cambo wide panel for the 150mm for just over AUS$300.00 from a cambo distributor here in Australia. A Schneider 150mm focus mount from a Schneider distributor for just over AUS$600.00. And a second hand Sironar-N 150mm for AUS$650.00. All you need is a electric drill with 1mm drill and three screws with bolts. You should be able to buy the screws from watch/jewellry repairers for a few dollars.

The most trickiest part is making sure that it will focus to infinity. You need to make sure that the lens you are going to buy, if different from the cambo wide ie non-schneider, that it is identical or longer flange focal distance. Or else, you will have a problem in not being able to focus to infinity. Meaning the light focuses behind the GG. If you decide to buy a lens with a longer flange focal distance, then it is just a matter of adjusting the focus mount which is very easy. Email me if you wish to discuss futher.

If you want a lens that the cambo wide doesn't normally have, then you will have to make your own panel which is not easy and I cannot assist you.

Ren & Stimpy

-- dangal (, March 12, 2002.

Thanks very much for your prompt advice. Terry, I am no sort of machinist, and I take your point about the possible expense of getting a panel made up. But since Ren & Stimpy (two people? one?!) say they got a bare panel, I hope maybe the UK distributor will also be able to sell me one. Very encouraging - complete Cambo Wide panels with lenses seem pretty rare on the used market, so doing it myself could be my best option.

-- Anthony Harrison (, March 13, 2002.

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