The digital era has resulted in quite a number of casualties from among the equipment manufacturers, including some very high profile brands, but there are companies that have managed to successfully re-invent themselves. They don’t come much more traditional in origins than the Dutch company Cambo which once made mostly large format cameras and accessories such as studio stands, but has subsequently been able to turn much of its engineering expertise into digital-era products. Today Cambo markets wide-angle cameras for use with digital backs, video rigs for D-SLRs and various accessories for high-end capture systems, as well as ‘legacy’ products such as light stands and ‘S’ tables. And, yes, it still makes a classic 4x5-inch monorail camera.
However, the product which probably best illustrates Cambo’s ability to give its traditional skills 21st century relevancy is the X2-PRO. Cambo calls it a “view camera system” which, in basic terms, is pretty much what it is, but also sells the X2-PRO a bit short. It’s a curious looking contraption, but what it actually does is turn a D-SLR – in the formats from ‘APS-C’ to ‘645’ – into a view camera via the provision of movements which are applied to the lens. In traditional view camera terms, the X2-PRO combined with a D-SLR – even a medium format body – is a much more compact arrangement. And, in concert with something like Nikon’s D800 or the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, it’s also very much cheaper.
Like many of Cambo’s current products, the X2-PRO showcases the company’s metal-working skills as well as its ability for precision mechanical engineering. Here, then, is a company sticking with its core strengths and using these to provide platforms for other technologies.
The X2-PRO is very much a modern interpretation of the view camera so there’s a focusing rail (onto which is fitted the camera body), a set of bellows (but the more contemporary bag type) and a front standard to which is fitted a lens plate. However, this front standard is like nothing ever seen before thanks to Cambo’s patented ‘Cross-Gearing’ drives.
Thank-you for looking up our Cambo X2-PRO Review. This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the March / April 2013 issue.
You can download it here: Cambo X2-PRO Review.pdf