Inspired by a tilt-shift adapters like Cambo X2 -PRO and Cambo Ultima 35 Kit with desire to have ability to use virtually any medium/large format lens but not willing to spend almost $2000 for a ready to use system, I decided to build my own version of such device. At the end I was hoping to have much heavier, but more adjustable camera system for much less money.
So, I start looking for a non-expensive used large format 4×5 view camera with full geared movements ( Sinar went off from my list at this point, as it is usually too old or too expensive ). Eventually I ended up by choosing between Horseman and Cambo , and Cambo won. I am not saying that a Horseman is not as good (it might be better, I never had one), but there was a good deal on a Cambo that time.
I’ve got Cambo Master PC 4×5 view camera in a great shape, few lens boards (including one recessed) , found an old tripod head and about 3-4 hours total to build this:
I have modified one frame, attaching the camera plate from a head the way shown on a photo (screw mount reinforced with epoxy glue). Now I can move camera any direction to cover larger sensor field of view, stitching images in one afterward.
Let me explain: Any medium format lens has not less than 60×60 millimeters field of view (usually more), but 35mm full frame has only 35×24 millimeters. So, by moving 35mm camera from side to side while making photos on each position we can cover full 6×6 frame, if needed. The resolution will be enormous as well!
Having camera mounted vertically, I would stick with side to side movements, which will be good for exterior/interior or landscape shoots, producing up to 44 Megapixel photos with up to 48×35 mm field of view with 2 exposures, and 74×35 (66 megapixel) for 3. I would think it will be more than enough for my applications. In most cases this will be too much, so I’ll be making just one photo accepting a crop factor. Here is how I’ve attached the lens, just as a temporary solution:
Now, the lens. I do not have experience with medium format equipment, so any advice would be appreciated. I need one macro lens for a studio product/food photography and one wide angle for a architecture. Any suggestions? For now I am planning to buy and use Mamiya Macro C 80mm f4 N lens for the product photography, have not found a wide angle (35mm Mamiya?) so far.
Took apart my old broken sigma 17-35mm lens (if I am not mistaken), and used a lens bayonet and corresponded part to fix bellows.
I’ve got old Bronica 150mm f3.5 lens to play with, did a several test shoots (will post them later) with it attached to a recessed Lens board.
The resolution was noticeably lower comparing to Canon 180mm f3.5 macro L lens, but considering 1.8 crop factor (35×24 v.s 60×40) it’s not bad at all. One thing I have noticed is a huge difference in the amount of light coming through Bronica lens. With the same lightning setup, same aperture number I would need to lower strobe output almost twice to match the exposure I had with 180mm Canon lens.
Here is the complete list of what I have used to build my camera:
1. Cambo master PC 4×5 view camera
2. Lens board for Cambo 4×5
3. Amvona ball head plate (can be used any other, just make sure it will fit)
4. Cambo bag Bellows.
5. Any canon EOS bayonet mount from lens, I was using my very old broken Sigma lens.
I plan to work on some improvements on this setup, will be posting updates soon. Stay tuned!
An update: I did not like the vertical camera mount, so I’ve changed it to be horizontal. Also, new Rodenstock lens is mounted:
There are few more views of this camera during the real work in a studio:
Full article about this particular shot: Tabletop photography tips and tricks: a good use of a tilt-shift adapter for DSLR
Updates and related articles: