Introducing the Cambo Actus MV

 In Cambo, Cambo Actus, News, Steve Hendrix
Cambo ACTUS-MV with IQ Phase One X Shutter, Cambo, Cambo Actus, Cambo Actus G, Cambo Actus XL, View Camera, Digital View Camera, Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji

I’ve been a fan of the Cambo Actus View Camera since the inception of the product line in summer of 2014.

I’ve written 6 articles on the evolution of the Actus line and one might ask why so much enthusiasm?

First, some may know that back in the early days I was a rep for SinarBron USA. When I called on studios, the majority either shot with Sinar or Cambo view cameras. And Sinar view cameras cost more than Cambo view cameras. The perception was built that Sinar produced the high end view camera. Sinar view cameras were also excellent view cameras. But today, Sinar is absent from the photographic marketplace in terms of presence and any new product development. In contrast, Cambo has thrived and had substantial success with many of their products, particularly the Cambo Actus. Cambo also manufactures very accomplished studio stands, shooting tables, video support grip solutions, and also of course technical shift cameras (a very close cousin to the view camera). 

So yes, I celebrate Cambo, I want to call them “Plucky”, even though that term does not do them justice. If you think about it, of all the companies that have manufactured view cameras in the photo industry, you could make an argument that Cambo is in the very top tier of survivors from that segment, perhaps the most successful of all of them. I believe that deserves recognition!

But plus, something about the Actus has always appealed to me, something beyond what the camera does. I don’t know if it is the form factor or … what, but some sort of gate-keeper + key-holder thing happened between me and the Actus when it was announced. I like it!

Cambo ACTUS-MV with IQ Phase One X Shutter, Cambo, Cambo Actus, Cambo Actus G, Cambo Actus XL, View Camera, Digital View Camera, Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji
Cambo ACTUS-MV with IQ Phase One X Shutter, Cambo, Cambo Actus, Cambo Actus G, Cambo Actus XL, View Camera, Digital View Camera, Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji

So now comes yet another development in the Actus line, the long awaited Cambo Actus MV. I say long awaited because we’ve had the pleasure of the Actus Mini, the Actus DB, the Actus G, and the Actus XL, and one could be forgiven if they expected these models to cover the gamut of possibility, but they have not, they have left open a small, gaping hole for a comfortably sized modern from the ground up full featured view camera. And the MV is that view camera.

First I have to share some first glance impressions because I know that everyone has them. And so, this camera seems very tall and very narrow. VERY. I don’t know how to feel about that. I guess it doesn’t really matter …. does it? I mean the Cambo PCH Head is holding onto that sucker good and tight, so it’s not like it’s going to just fall over or something. It’s just … a very different looking view camera than almost any other view camera that has come before it, because most view cameras traditionally are kind of 3/4 shaped, boxy. The MV is more like a chunky slim jim. 

Cambo ACTUS-MV with IQ Phase One X Shutter, Cambo, Cambo Actus, Cambo Actus G, Cambo Actus XL, View Camera, Digital View Camera, Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji
Cambo ACTUS-MV with IQ Phase One X Shutter, Cambo, Cambo Actus, Cambo Actus G, Cambo Actus XL, View Camera, Digital View Camera, Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji

But when you comparatively look at a Cambo Actus MV next to an Actus G and an Actus XL, you get it. It is the size of an Actus G, plus 2 blocks, one for for the front and one for the rear. And that is the primary visible and physical size difference between the Actus G and Actus MV models. While the Actus XL is a whole nother beast. It appears much larger than the 50% heavier weight over the Actus MV would indicate. It’s probably safe to say that an Actus G is a portable view camera that could also be a studio view camera and an Actus XL is very much a studio view camera that one would hope not to have to use as a portable view camera. The Actus MV clearly straddles both those worlds. It could easily replace an Actus XL in the studio, and while it is not quite as cute and cuddly as an Actus G in the field, it is very much physically put together in the same vein, from the standpoint of portability. Yes, there is some added weight, but this model now offers full movements on both front and rear standards. If you really want that, you now have a very reasonably sized view camera for field use that delivers.

Let’s look at some new features:

Expanded Movements – Amount and Placement

Front Standard

  • 20mm/20mm Horizontal Shift
  • 15/15mm Rise/Fall
  • 15mm/15mm Tilt
  • 30º/30º Swing

Rear Standard

  • 20mm/20mm Horizontal Shift
  • 15/15mm Rise/Fall
  • 15mm/15mm Tilt

All Movements Now Have Friction Control

On Actus G, tilt and swing movements could not be locked. Now they can be.

Compatibility Issues – None

Oh, there are none. Your existing lensboards, camera mounts, bellows and rails will all work with the new Actus MV. 

Telescoping Rail

The base rail now supports (2) smaller rails that can expand and contract independently of the base rail. This provides more movement than the base rail would otherwise allow without having to add a longer rail.

All Right Handed Movements

All the gearing is now on one side of the camera. Yes, we could pick a nit that they chose the right side and not the left.

Integrated Rotating Adapter for Digital Backs

There is a very nice and smooth rotating interface adapter for your digital back (presently for Phase One/Mamiya 645 and Hasselblad V interface).

Fine Focus gearing is Standard

The Fine Focus Knobs for base focus and tilt are now standard with the Actus MV.

Port for New Compendium Lens Hood

There is a new compendium lens hood that can be assembled and installed on the Actus MV independently from the lens.

Easy breakdown for convenient packing

Cambo ACTUS-MV with IQ Phase One X Shutter, Cambo, Cambo Actus, Cambo Actus G, Cambo Actus XL, View Camera, Digital View Camera, Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji

There is a pushable button that locks the telescoping rails to the base rail, but when depressed allow the top standards to slide off the base rail for easy packing. The kit also comes with a laser cut foam encasement. This can be dropped into an existing Pelican/Storm/etc, case. Dimensions are 6-1/4″ x 9″ x 12-5/8″.

In thinking through this new Cambo Actus MV, it brought me to imagine the mad scientists at Cambo and it recalled this great song from King Crimson called Indiscipline. The cool thing about the lyrics of this song is that they were based on a letter from the wife of Adrien Belew, who was a painter and was telling him of her latest work.

King Crimson: Indiscipline

Cambo Actus Knowledge Base

https://www.captureintegration.com/first-look-cambo-actus/

https://www.captureintegration.com/seeing-sideways-with-the-cambo-actus/

https://www.captureintegration.com/first-look-cambo-actus-ef-aperture-controller-for-canon/

https://www.captureintegration.com/cambo-actus-db-big-changes-for-a-tiny-view-camera/

https://www.captureintegration.com/cambo-news-one-cambo-actus-to-rule-them-all/

INTERESTED? CONTACT YOUR CI SALESMAN! 

Steve Hendrix – 404.543.8475 – Steve@Captureintegration.com

Chris Snipes – 813.335.2473 – Chris@Captureintegration.com

Dave Gallagher – 770.846.5223 – Dave@Captureintegration.com

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search