Cambo ACTUS – London Shoot

Cambo UK will be showing the ACTUS system in London on 24-25th February.

Cambo Actus Titanium

We will have the ACTUS, Sony A7R, Schneider 80 and 120 macro lenses and lens plates for Mamiya RB/RZ, Mamiya 645Ppro, Hasselblad V, Nikon, Pentax 645, Copal #0 and #1.

Camera mounts for Canon, Nikon, Fuji-X and 4/3rd will be available. If you wish to try your own camera and lenses please let us know in advance.

You’re welcome to take images away with you captured with the A7R, please bring storage cards: ideally SanDisk Ultra SD 15MB/s and above.

When: 24-25th February 2015

Time: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 – times may vary depending on attendance and as this is an outdoor shoot is dependent on the weather!

Where: Royal Victoria Square. The square sits between the bank of Victoria Dock, is adjacent to the ExCel Exhibition Centre and close by to the IBIS Hotel.

Address:  9 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1AB (this is the IBIS address where there is outdoor parking) the square is before you get the ExCel Exhibition Centre.

Nearest Train Station: Royal Victoria DLR

Other Interests: BVE (Broadcast Video Exhibition) 24-26th February.

Camera Brochure – English

Please register your details here; 

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Cambo UK Direct

It’s coming to the end of year and there are savings to be made until 31st March 2015.

Call the office 0161 850 3590 or 07863 116150 to discover what is on offer… prices and offers will be valid for the UK only.



Don’t forget… sign up to the blog as we have more announcements coming soon…

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Cambo ACTUS Daylight studio shoot – Soni uses the Sony…

“Hi Soni I want to take some food shots with the Cambo ACTUS, can you help?” Soni is the studio manager at 51 Degrees North Studio in Ilkley, West Yorkshire in the UK and we have known each other a long time since the early days of digital scanning backs and getting to grips creating high quality digital workflows. I needed some food style images and was confident that Soni would shoot some for me.

Over the years Soni and her partner Martyn have both produced high quality food shots and images for many companies, such as Asda, Walmart, Morrisons, Waitrose and more recently Iceland Frozen Foods. They are ideal to try out the new ACTUS and give us their honest opinion.

“Okay I’ve been working on a food style project and I can set something up and see what we can do with the ACTUS and it’ll be cool to try out the Sony A7R” It was a positive response, so I arrived at the studio with the Cambo ACTUS; mini view camera, Sony A7R; mirror less digital camera and a couple of Schneider APO digital lenses; 80mm and 120mm Macro.

“We now have a daylight studio and I’d like to see what we can produce using natural light” Soni said. Hmm… I wasn’t all that impressed with the weather outside, it was blustery, raining and the light level wasn’t even on the Westonmaster scale. We were on the Moors in West Yorkshire in December! But it was an opportunity to try out the camera setup without using controlled light. The iPhone coped well taking the shot below as we were in very low light for the shoot.

Cambo ACTUS - Setting up the Fish shot ©CamboUK

Cambo ACTUS – Setting up the Fish shot ©CamboUK

I unboxed the ACTUS, attached the A7R and lens… “Wow is that it?” said Martyn. After using 8×10 and 4×5 throughout his career he was smiling a lot, as he had already experienced the downsizing of cameras to medium format and digital scanning backs to the portable single shot digital backs from Phase One & Leaf. “But how on earth do you focus it?”.

The A7R has a really good quality camera screen, its bright, sharp and has a zoom function to get close up and move to the area of interest. So focussing wasn’t that much of problem, more that we may lose the light in the daylight studio.

Studio Set Shot

It was around 2pm when we shot this image. Using the ACTUS with a Schneider 80mm APO Digitar lens at f11 and 4 second exposure. “The colour looks fantastic” said Martyn, Soni agreed the standard camera profile produced a really nice quality look and feel. It showed some really good shadow detail and when we check the blue channel, normally where noise creeps in, it was incredibly clean.

Studio Set Shot

Cambo ACTUS – Studio Set Shot ©CamboUK

As you can see the tone range is good and the here is the blue channel where there are some nice deep shadows between the lamp and the logs on the right of the table;

Screen Capture of the Blue Channel

Cambo ACTUS – Screen Capture of the Blue Channel ©CamboUK

Tiger Prawns

For the next shot Soni wanted to get closer to the Tiger Prawns and use a little movement to get the head and tails sharp. We changed the bellows from 150mm to 250mm so there was less pulling when extending the rail and using movement. The 150mm bellows would work but the 250mm was more comfortable as it gave us extra flexibility.

For this close-up we used the Schneider 120mm Macro lens, 8 second exposure, f22, with a small amount of tilt.

Tiger Prawns ©CamboUK

Cambo ACTUS – Tiger Prawns ©CamboUK

As you can see the image is nice and sharp. “Wow, that lens is really good, it shows up all the scratches on the shell” said Soni. She also agreed that the colour was also an accurate representation of the product and the image really only needed to be resized for the print output.

Tiger Prawns Close-up

Cambo ACTUS – Screen Capture of Tiger Prawns Close-up ©CamboUK


It was getting late and the light level was extremely low. We used the same Schneider 120 Macro lens, 10 seconds exposure, tilt to control the focus of the fish head and tail. Its a sharp, clean image.


Cambo ACTUS – FISH ©CamboUK

So what’s the verdict?

“The image quality from the A7R is outstanding, the colour was right first time and the tether option to Capture One is a real bonus for us” said Martyn.

“After using medium format digital for so long its great to add some movement to give a different perspective and control the focus” said Soni, “the controls of the ACTUS is precise and its a beautifully made compact technical camera. I’m sure with all the camera and lens mount options available there will be a lot of photographers looking to buy this system”

Many thanks to Soni and Martyn not only for the loan of their studio but also their time and effort in producing some images for us. Plus the very welcoming cups of Yorkshire tea! Check out their site 51 Degrees North Studios to view their work.

You can find more information about the Sony A7R click here: Sony Website Link

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – English

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – Deutsch

For more information about purchasing the Cambo ACTUS please contact Cambo UK email: Tel: +44 (0)7863 116150

Don’t forget to register on the Cambo UK blog and be the first to receive updates

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Christmas Greeting!

Wishing you a Very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

Cambo Christmas Card


The Cambo office will close 24th December 2014 and will re-open 5th January 2015.

Posted in General

Cambo ACTUS & Fuji XT-1 Image Stitching

We invited John Grayston, Major Accounts Manager for Fuji to Cambo UK to take a look at the new Cambo ACTUS mini view camera. Armed with a case load of cameras and lenses John duly obliged to fit the Fuji XT-1 to the ACTUS and we took a series of images to show how easy it is to stitch them together.

Here you can see the XT-1 attached to the ACTUS in the landscape position, there is a lever on the ACTUS to change the XT-1 to the vertical position, so you can also stitch in this position.

Cambo ACTUS Fuji XT-1

Cambo ACTUS Fuji XT1

The XT-1 has a 16.3million pixel 23.6 x 15.5mm APS-C sensor producing a 33.6MB raw file  measuring 4896 x 3264 pixels. We used the Photoshop plug in to open the file (now 45.7MB in Photoshop CC) and there were a few adjustments made to enhance the raw data to produce an image ready for the stitch.

As you can see we upped the sharpness and made some general modifications as you would expect to do with a digital file. Here you can see the before and after file (Screen grab images)

Cambo ACTUS Fuji XT1 image2

Cambo ACTUS FujiXT1 image3

Using the shift and rise/fall on the rear of the ACTUS we are able to capture 9 images within the image circle of the lens. As you can see we are getting some vignetting but this is expected as we are moving the sensor to the edge of the lens.

Cambo ACTUS Fuji XT1 images

There are several ways to stitch images and Photoshop CS does a reasonable job of stitching up to 3 images. However, in this case we have 9 images and manual stitching gives more control. So by increasing the canvas size of the file and adding each image to a layer it was pretty easy to line up each one to produce the final file. Some tone adjustment was made to the images to ‘blend’ each one, there is no set rule here other than what the photographer accepts visually and for print.

Final Files; The layered file size is now 339.5MB, 13577 x 8740 pixels at 300 dpi. Flattening the image and with a slight crop the final file is 283.9MB, 12126 x 8183 pixels at 300 dpi.

Cambo ACTUS final

Final Image Adjustment; Normally we would remove the vignette from the raw file. I’ve colour balanced the image and for speed I have created a graduated layer of about 30% on a jpeg file to show you can remove the vignette if required. The small amount shown is acceptable as it draws your eye in, its up to you how much you apply providing the data is there.

Equipment used; Cambo ACTUS, Fuji XT-1, Schneider Apo Digitar 80mm lens, tripod, Apple Mac and Photoshop CC.

What will it cost? The ACTUS is around £1,320, Fuji XT-1 body £750, plus the Schneider digital lens is around £800. Prices are ex.VAT.

On a Budget? You can save on the cost of the lens if you have any legacy Hasselblad V, Mamiya RB/RZ/645pro, M39 enlarger lenses, Leica R, Nikon bayonet (Canon bayonet next year) you can fit these with the correct lens plate or buy a lens off the internet for a few hundred pounds. Its up to you! As always you get what you pay for and a 30 year old lens will not be as good as a new one, but there are some very good lenses out there.

Future proofing; The bonus of using the ACTUS is that you can upgrade the camera body, so if Fuji bring a new camera to market its likely to fit the ACTUS. You also have more option for lenses; the ACTUS turns the lens, even the trusty standard Hasselblad 80mm lens into a tilt/swing/shift lens!

John from Fuji was very impressed with the set up; as I was with the quality and handling of the Fuji XT-1.

“So the ACTUS is a portable 4×5 technical camera you can carry in your bag?” he said, “Wow, it’s great not only for landscape photographers but also for product photographers.”

You can find more information about the XT-1 click here: Fuji XT-1 Website Link

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – English

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – Deutsch

For more information about Cambo please visit or you can contact Cambo UK email: Tel: +44 (0)7863 116150

Don’t forget to register on the Cambo UK blog and be the first to receive updates

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Cambo ACTUS at Calumet Open Day Manchester

The Cambo ACTUS camera system will be demonstrated at the Calumet UK open day in Manchester 13th November 2014.

We will be shooting tabletop images and portraits to show the versatility of the ACTUS. The ACTUS mini view camera will be setup with the Sony A7 and Schneider lenses.

ACTUS Selective Focus  ACTUS Front to Back focus  RichardLotteB&W

Location: Calumet Photographic Manchester, Downing Street Industrial Estate, Charlton Place, Manchester M12 6HH.

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – English

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – Deutsch

For more information about Cambo please visit or you can contact Cambo UK email: Tel: +44 (0)7863 116150

Don’t forget to register on the Cambo UK blog and be the first to receive updates

Copyright images; Tabletop ©CamboUK, Portrait ©

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Cambo ACTUS Tabletop shots

As promised we are now posting images captured on our trips to customers. The following shows you a simple setup with the control to focus the front and rear or use the selective focus to to pull your eye to the subject in the image.

The images are screen captures to show the effect of the movement and not the resolution of the camera being used – you can call your local dealer and they will gladly show you the ACTUS with a DSLR or Mirror less system. You can then judge for yourself  and experience the quality of the results produced with the ACTUS mini view camera.


Here’s a close-up of the front of the tabletop.


All digital camera systems need a little sharpening so I applied 100% to lift the image with Radius 2.0 and Threshold 3 levels. The settings worked well with these images. As you can see the detail is very fine and the colour (orange) of the original image file is smoother than shown here, as the screen captures are png files.

ACTUS Back Focus

The back of the image was also in focus and again the same settings used to ‘tweak’ the sharpness. The following image shows the same file at 50%…

ACTUS Back Focus 50%

and at 100%…

ACTUS Back Focus 100% View

The next test for our client was to show how easy it is to use selective focus with the ACTUS. Here the swing and tilt was used to select the focus area across the pan and at the same time drop the front and back products out of focus.

ACTUS Selective Focus

I used the same settings again for Unsharp Mask…

ACTUS Selective Focus Crop

At 100% the image holds up really well and the client was delighted with the results.

ACTUS Selective Focus 100% View

Tabletop Setup and Equipment List:

The lighting was very simple, we used a single diffused Elinchrom flash head with a small board over the top right to drop a small amount of light back in.

Cambo ACTUS c/w Sony E-Mount, Standard Bellows, #0 Lensplate, Schneider 80mm f4 Apo-Digitar lens, CBH-6 Ball Head and Sony A7R Mirror less camera.


Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – English

Download the Cambo ACTUS Brochure – Deutsch

More information is now available from Cambo BV website: or you can contact Cambo UK email: Tel: +44 (0)7863 116150

Don’t forget to register on the Cambo UK blog and be the first to receive updates

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