Cambo SC2 4×5 Monorail

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to use my Cambo SC2 4×5 Monorail large format camera more even though it is a pain to transport being a monorail camera and requiring the heaviest of tripods. The photos above were shot on New Year’s Day and I’m enjoying the process of Large Format.


Large format shooting checklist

My Large Format photography checklist for my Cambo SC 4×5 Monorail camera.

Loading:

  • Insert all dark slides with ‘silver’ side showing into the film holders.
  • Load film, the side with the notches goes to the upper right.
  • Make sure the dark slides are pushed back all the way.

Shooting:

  • Set up tripod, one leg towards the subject.
  • Put camera on the tripod, point it roughly to the subject.
  • Use spirit level to make sure that the camera is level and that the film plane is vertical (if desired).
  • Attach dark cloth to the camera, open the lens and focus using the loupe.
  • Move the tripod connector on the monorail if it’s not possible to focus correctly.
  • Use tilts and swings to fine-tune the focus desired and composition.
  • Close the lens.
  • Measure light and decided on exposure.
  • Take reciprocity into account.
  • Set aperture and exposure on the lens.
  • Insert film holder using the lever, release the lever again.
    (This lever may be specific to my Cambo camera)
  • Make sure the camera hasn’t moved on the tripod.
  • Pull out the dark slide.
  • Expose the negative.
  • Put back dark slide with the black side showing to indicate that this side has been exposed.

Developing:

  • The Mod54 holds 6 sheets max.
  • Align the notches of the film sheets to the top left.
  • Make sure the centre column of the tank is aligned correctly so the agitator can be used.