Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cambo RS1000 & Phase One P45+

I've had the RS for six months now and have been thinking of sharing a few thoughts.

Using a technical camera can be both rewarding and frustrating; however the rewards outweigh the frustration everyday. There I said it! This will be the most negative thing I'll say about the setup, besides the frustration is mainly due to me and nothing Cambo has done. Simple put, I love working with the RS and have no intentions of doing anything else.

I normally shoot landscape images - actually I'd have to say that 99.9999% of my images are nothing but landscape. Here's the "however" to that last statement; I will occasionally shoot wildlife and living in the Southwest I like to capture lightning. So the gear I use for that .0001% is either a Canon 1Ds II or Canon 1Ds III (only if Sandy lets me).

Up till six months ago my primary landscape kit was first a Mamiya AFD II or Phase AFD III along with a lot of Mamiya lens that included a 28mm all the way up to the 300mm. That changed shortly after speaking to a good friend and my Phase One dealer, Chris Lawery of Capture Integration. The conversation centered around my notion that I wanted to try a camera system that would allow me to use more movements and shifts while keeping the lens in a stationary position; thus my introduction to the Cambo line of camera bodies. I was fortunate enough to test a body that Cambo had just recently released that was made specifically for digital application and it was lust at first sight.

It's now six months and several trips later having gone to the South Rim in December, Redwoods in January, Monterey and Carmel in February, Monument Valley in March and Canyon de Chelly in April. I've used the RS1000 in cold, wet, sandy, windy conditions without any problems. I've changed lens (currently 35 and 72mm) as well as changed the orientation of my Phase One P45+ with little to no problems. And I've captured stunning images.

I've used my Phase One AFD III so little in that past six months that I'm now thinking of selling the gear and buying more lens for the RS1000 as well as maybe another body!
There's a lot of "information" of the web recently regarding photographic gear and obtaining stunning images. I believe there's a partnership between the gear and the photographer; I've found that if I keep my part of the bargain the Cambo RS1000/P45+ will come through for me. I'm no longer interested in obtaining "great" images I'm only after truly "stunning" images. Look at the sample below and make your own mind up. These images were all captured with the Cambo RS1000 and Phase One P45+ digital back using either a 35 or 72mm lens; the images were processed using a combination of Capture One and CS4.
California Redwoods

Mittens, Monument Valley

Near the Biosphere, Tucson AZ

Slot Canyon somewhere in Canyon de Chelly

I'll be writing more later on the technical aspects of working with a technical camera so stay tuned.
Thanks for letting me share...
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