New LF user (Cambo SC2) : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi guys

I'm new to LFF. I recently bought a complete Cambo SC2 in box + 3 filmholders+lens plate (for 150mm?) for what I though was a bargain (250 euro (say $230). So I decide to try it out and see if I like it and if it is really that good compared to my 80's Leica R. Now I need a lens for it, do you have any recommendations on what to buy/start with?

Also someone suggested to me to use a polaroid back because it will provide both a possitive and negative. Is that correct? Ofcourse I will use some other methode to make a final print. Might be Palladium or maybe digital (can I scan a 4x5 neg on a flatbed scanner (any tips)).

thanks Reinier

-- ReinierV (, June 07, 2002


Reinier, Polaroid makes T-55 iso 50 pos/neg film, also T-51HC pos/neg film iso 640. check the Polaroid web site


-- Bill Jefferson (, June 07, 2002.

Congratulations, and welcome to the world of LF!

The Cambo is, AFAIK, quite a bargain at 250 euro. Whether it's as good or better than your 80's Leica - well, that depends on the lens you get. Lens boards for LF cameras don't come for specific lenses, but for different shutter sizes. Most modern 150mm lenses ("normal" for 4x5) come in #0 Copal shutters, which have M32.5x0.5 thread. Older lenses can be mounted in lots of different shutters - while #0, #1 and #3 are fairly standardized, there's always a new old size to be found... The biggest I've seen is a #5 shutter, which has M87.5x0.7 threads!

I suggest you start with a basic, good quality lens somewhere in the 135-210mm range. Don't be afraid to buy used, the newest lens I have was made in 1957 and it's still excellent. After all, the Tessar construction originated in the 1890's!

We don't use "backs", we use "holders" (except for rollfilm holders, which are sometimes called backs just to confuse us). A polariod holder is, after a lens, the single most useful thing you can get. Any polaroid 4x5 sheet fits in it, as well as Fuji Quickload and Kodak Readyloads. The two latter are specially packaged ordinary film; a lot easier to use than film holders (they say; I haven't tried them).

I scan my films on an Agfa Duoscan, but any flatbed scanner with tranny hood should give useable scans - depending on your definition of "useable", of course! Since the short side of a 4x5 is more than 4 times as large as on a 35mm, you only need 1/4 the resolution to get the same quality scan - and that's before you start looking at film resolution, grain, colour bleeding, etc...

-- Ole Tjugen (, June 07, 2002.

As a newcomer to LF, do as I did: run, (do not walk) to: where 80% of any queries you have will be answered.

The other 20% will be answered here in the archives or by asking...

Also, punch LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY into google when you have a few hours to spare..

Have fun.

-- Bob (, June 07, 2002.

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