I’m not sure where I got the itch for a 6×7 format camera, but I’ve had it for awhile. I thought seriously about buying an RB or RZ 67 camera some years ago when the prices were still cheap, and every now and again go looking at Mamiya 7s and Plaubel Makina 67s and Pentax 67s and just hang my head.

But there is one option out there where the price has actually come down… Roll Film Holders for 4×5 cameras.

A Cambo C2 roll film holder languished on my wish list for about 3 years now, long enough that I forgot about it. About two weeks ago, I was looking for 6×7 pinhole cameras (I might get a Zero Image at some point in the future) and someone on a forum somewhere mentioned roll film holders for 4x5s, so on a whim I visited eBay…

2 days later, I won the auction and paid the $28, and 2 days after that, I was the proud owner of a Cambo C2 (original version).


I let it sit for a few days, then realized it was #FP4Party shoot week, so I grabbed a roll of 120, loaded it up (without reading any instructions…), and got to shooting.

Only when I pulled the film out of the developing tank did I realize I’d made an error…

The black strip on the right is empty space. The grainy strip to the left is where the tape that held the beginning of the film to the backing paper was. The rest of the frame is the 3rd or 4th or 5th shot I took.

I loaded the film holder improperly.

To load properly, set the counter in the free zone between 20 and S. Feed the paper under the plate, dark side down, until the arrows line up in the window. Pull the paper around the roller and attach to the take-up spool, then wind on until the paper is tight. At that point, you can close the back, turn the counter to S, and wind on until you get to 1. Then you’ll be ready to shoot.

I loaded the film with the counter past S, had some trouble getting the paper to stay on the take-up spool, and then turned about 3 cranks around to get to 1. (It should take about 30 cranks, I think.)


So that was the first problem.

Problem 2 reared its head early on in the shooting… To advance frames on the Cambo C2, you push down a little button to release the lock, then turn the crank till it stops.

Well, I forgot to let go of the button until I had cranked maybe 2/3 of the way around past whatever number I should’ve stopped at, so I ended up with a nice 1/3 of a frame. :facepalm:

Thankfully it was well under exposed. Otherwise there would’ve been a 2/3rds double exposure on the next frame (see below, the one shot that came out as expected).

Then, later in the roll, before the 16″ of unexposed film, I had this sequence of images: two of my darling, adorable wife and a college mate, and one of the little American flag she got a the Citizenship Ceremony.

Thinking back, if I recall correctly, I think I left the darkslide partially inserted. Perhaps that led to a light leak or something? I have no idea, but that’s the only explanation I have for why the last three images would hav the same light leak-type pattern on them. I don’t think it’s a chemistry thing, as the film sat horizontally in the tank, any chemical lines would’ve run horizontally across, rather than vertically.

If you have any ideas, let me know. In the mean time, further tests will have to wait. I’m fairly busy for the next couple of weeks.

A couple of pictures came out, and made me just fall in love with the format… (I cropped this one a bit freely, as the left bit was completely dark

Chopping a 6×7 (really it’s more like 4×5, and I have no idea what it is in mm) out of the middle of a 4×5 frame gets the best of all of it, I think. The sharpness is there, the depth of field effects are fantastic. I think I’ll have fun with the C2 Roll Film Holder.


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