Using the Nikon D800 with Cambo X2 Pro and medium format lenses

This guest post is by Laurent Thion who shares his experiences using the Nikon D800 with Cambo X2 Pro and medium format lenses (click on images for larger view).

D800 is now a great alternative to MF for studio. Nikon propose 3 Tilt and Shift lenses: 24, 45 an 85mm. The electric connection permit to use them at full aperture and with all exposure mode if the lens is not too shifted or tilted. But some movements are not allowed : tilt and shift are possible only in perpendicular direction (or parallel after transformation by specialist) and the tilt and shift range is limited.

How to use MF lenses with D800 ?

Many MF lenses have a very good resolving capabilities and all have a big image circle. And sometime, theses lenses are not used for many years collecting dust in the cupboard… Cambo X2 pro ($1,699.00) is a great solution to use MF lenses with D800. The tilt and shift precision screws are dedicated for DSLR and work very fine. Sometime, it’s possible to attach DSLR on a 4×5′ MF body but movements are not too fine for a small digital captor (but work great for la large film).

Cambo X2 pro is composed of 4 pieces – from left to right:

  • main support with two precisions screws for tilt and shift
  • universal body support
  • lens support (here with Schneider Digitar apo 90mm)
  • bellow (with Nikon mount)

How to assemble theses elements?

First, fix the main element on a big tripod and head:

then attach the lens:

the bellow:

and the D800 (in landscape or portrait position):


Tilt and shift capability

It’s possible to shift + or – 17,5mm from center in two axes:


It’s possible to tilt + or – 20° in two axes:


It’s very easy to change between landscape and portrait mode:


There is just a small problem with CF/SD door on landscape position only. It’s not possible to extract memory cards because the door cannot fully open.

But if the door is open before using in landscape mode, it’s possible to extract the memory card:

The best solution is to use D800 with USB connection and Camera Control – it’s easier to focus, tilt and shift on a big screen with Live View. In this case, no memory card is required:


You can see here some samples taken with different lenses :

  • Schneider Kreuznach apo digitar 90mm f/4.5


  • Mamiya Sekor 127mm f/3.5

  • Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8:

  • Schneider Kreuznach apo digitar 28mm f/2.8

Cambo X2-PRO specifications

Compatibility is available for DSLR cameras:

  • from Canon: 1D/1Ds-series, 5D-series, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 7D
  • from Nikon:  D4, D3, D3x, D2x, D200, D300, D700 and  the new D800
  • from Fujifilm: S3/S2 and the S5
  • from Mamiya: Mamiya AFd and ZD

The X2-PRO camera is suitable for use with Schneider ApoDigitars 28, 72, 80, 90, 100, 120 and 150; for the Rodenstock ApoSironar Digital 90, 105, 135 and 150. The body is also usable in combination with the following lens adapters: Hasselblad CF lens adapter for use of Hasselblad CF lenses Mamiya 645Pro lens adapter for use of Mamiya 645 Pro lenses Mamiya RB/RZ lens adapter for use of Mamiya RB or RZ lenses. For more information visit The price of the X2-PRO is $1,699.00.

Thank to Alain Quintin / MMF

© Text and photos : Laurent Thion

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