OddCameras.com                                       Cambo Wide 470

The Cambo Wide 470 is a special purpose 4x5 inch camera with an ultra wide lens and the possibility of limited shift in a ultra compact body without bellows. The back accepts standard 4x5 attachments. I use it for 9x12 cm panoramic wide street and landscape views and for wide angle Polaroid/Fuji Instant photos.

Focal length: 47mm Ultra Wide Angle Schneider Super Angulon, closest focus less than 40cm (!)
Shutter: B, 1 - 1/500, B and X synchro, self-timer
Aperture: F 5.6 - F 32
Size: 16 x 21.5 x 14 cm (including protection bars and backwards protruding tripod fixation, so standard attachments would fall within this measure)
Weight: 1200gr. body including lens, 1430gr. with screen, 1530gr. with polaroid back

Camera front. Shift set to 0, the "P" mark is for standard, non centered Polaroid backs. The viewfinder is a custom made 6x12 finder for street photography.

Camera back, nothing attached. Standard Graflok mount with sliding bars. The hole in the grip accepts a standard cable release, very handy for street photography.

Camera front dismounted, it is held by 2 sliding bars. There are other focal length lens units available.

Lens unit turned 90° for up/down shift for pespective correction of falling lines if you photograph buildings.

Camera seen from top. 2 bubble levels, accessory shoe, 2nd accessory shoe, e.g. for keeping a small light meter.

Seen from bottom. The tripod plate is shaped to slide as well into a special Cambo tripod ball head.

Ground glass/spring back attached. Please note that this is not standard. It is difficult to find if it's absend on your camera, as it was on mine.

There is enough room to slide a Grafmatic under the glass.

A grafmatic directly attached.

A Polaroid holder 405 directly attached.

The famous Sinar Vario back attached. It can handle all standard formats from 4.5x6 to 6x12.

Seen from the front. It's huge, but film advance is completely automatic for any format.

I have had different 6x12 backs, this is by far the best. It weighs 925gr. The dark slide is integrated, so there is nothing to pull. As it is a very interesting back, some more pictures of this little wonder.

The Sinar Vario back. Towards the top: film counter window.
Seen from below, dark slide shut. Note the little silver pin next to the bar that slides into the groove of a standard 4x5 fixation. It's automatically pushed in when the back is firmly attached and releases the slide opener.

Slide open.

Back open. There are instructions how to lead the film, easy to follow. The spools unit can be lifted completely, the wind spool is in the upper part, the film spool under it. Note the arrow marks near the hinge to the right. The film leader has to be pulled out until the arrow on the leader matches the marks.

Pressure plate open.

The main commands. Film advance via the lever. The knob in the axis of the lever has to be pulled and turned 90° if you want to take out the film roll unit. The big knob chooses the format. The switch has to be in load position to load the film. The knob in the axis of the switch is the reset button, it has to be pushed to unblock the advance lever while loading the film. When the loading is done and the back closed, it has to be pushed again. The advance will then go to the first photo. Then the lever has to be put into exposure position. Now the advance system is ready for the chosen format for the following photos. The film counter window is automatically set.

Dark slide opener. It can only be turned if the back is firmly attached.

The Cambo Wide 470 is a fantastic workhorse for wide angle photography. The Schneider lens is beyond doubt, it covers 4x5 with a wide margin for shift. The camera can be easily carried around via its handle, it's relatively light. It feels smaller than my Mamiya Universal and is at least as handy as a Mamiya C series. It's wonderful for 6x12 panoramic format, with the Sinar back it's easy to handle. With 400 ISO film you can shoot hand-held. It's one of my favorites. If you still have a stock of Fuji Instant film, it's much fun, there are no carry-around wide angle alternatives as far as I know. For the moment I'm set to testing Direct Positive Paper in a Grafmatic Holder. That might be fun as well. But it needs a tripod, so that might be a major snag.