Ultima Camera System

From Camera-wiki.org
Jump to: navigation, search

Cambo's Ultima is a monorail camera system, sold in several versions for 4x5-inch film, roll film, MF digital backs and 35 mm DSLR camera bodies. These are just different sets of modules mounted on the same base, incorporating the rail and controls for focusing and tilt and shift movements.[1] A 2008 brochure described the configurations available:[2]

  • Ultima 45, for 4x5-inch film: supplied with pleated bellows, a rail extension (30 cm rail + 15 cm extension[3]) and a focusing screen.
  • Ultima 45D, for MF digital backs and scanning backs: supplied with bag bellows and 30 cm rail.
  • Ultima 23, for roll film backs with Graflok fitting: as the 45, but with smaller standards.
  • Ultima 23D, for MF digital backs: supplied with bag bellows and 30 cm rail.
  • Ultima 35, for use with 35 mm DSLR body (Canon EOS 5D or EOS-1Ds; Nikon D4, D3 or D800) as the back: supplied with a special bag bellows, incorporating a bayonet for the appropriate DSLR.

Accessories available for the system include a sliding back, for rapid change between a digital back and focusing screen, rail and bellows extensions, standard compendium hood and (for the 4x5 camera only) de luxe compendium hood with a filter holder and sliding blinds, and reflex viewers, including a binocular one for the 4x5-inch camera. Because of the modular assembly of the camera, conversion kits are available which turn one option into another.


  1. Dutch Patent 1009399, Camera's alsmede kantelmechanisme (roughly, 'Camera and tilt mechanism'; the official English title is however Photographic camera with separately alignable lens holder and film holder assemblies, involves use of tiltable lens holder and film holder to achieve special effects), filed 15 June 1998 and granted 1 February 2000 to Cambo Fotografische Industrie BV, describing the Ultima rail unit. Archived at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office; text in Dutch, with beautiful diagrams of the unit.
  2. Ultima brochure (PDF) at Cambo.
  3. As at October 2015, the information at Cambo describes the Ultima 45 as having a 42 cm rail, suggesting it is supplied as one piece, not a standard rail and extension.


Cameras at Cambo: