View Full Version : Help with Calumet 540(?) screw replacement

12-Mar-2017, 17:46
I recently received a calumet view camera as a gift that is almost ready to use. The clip on the front standard (that holds the lens in place) was broken off. The screw heads were broken and the studs still remained stuck. I removed the studs but now I am at a loss for how to determine the size of the screws to order a replacement. They are tiny so I do not believe home depot/lowes would have these in store. If anyone has any ideas it would be much appreciated!

20-Mar-2017, 08:58
Without a picture of the screw I can only speculate, but it's probably a type of machine screw. I was able to match a screw from a 60 year old Graflex back at Fastenal a few years ago. Their online catalog is extensive:


Jim Jones
20-Mar-2017, 10:21
Some cameras are notorious for using odd screw shapes and threads. My Kodak Master View (predecessor to the Calumet) appears to have a shoulder screw with No. 2 thread, 64 t.p.i The shoulder is about .108" in diameter and .075" long. The Fastenal https://www.fastenal.com/products?r=~|categoryl1:"600000 Fasteners"|~ ~|categoryl2:"600051 Screws"|~ ~|categoryl3:"600059 Machine Screws"|~ ~|sattr01:^"Imperial (Inch)"$|~ ~|sattr11:^"Machine Screw"$|~ ~|sattr02:^5pound2-64$|~ has the right thread, but would have to be cut down in length, and it doesn't have the essential shoulder. A master machinist could make one, but should have a correct screw for a sample. My measurements aren't precise enough to go by. Perhaps a No. 2 64 t.p.i. screw of appropriate length and held in place by Loctite would serve as a temporary substitute. Hardware stores usually don't carry such small screws, but hobby shops or model railroad stores might.

David Lindquist
20-Mar-2017, 10:53
Another consideration is the country of origin, the 540 sorta looks to me like the Cambo (Dutch-made) in which case its screws are apt to be metric.


Jon Shiu
20-Mar-2017, 10:54
Probably faster to find some small screws and just drill the holes to fit them, epoxy in etc.

20-Mar-2017, 17:59
Thank you all for the input! I used calipers to measure the diameter of the existing screw threading and ordered a couple different sizes from metricscrews.us and I was able to find a match! It ended up being a m2x8 machine screw. Definitely metric(!) so that was a great piece of information David! There is some great information about determining types of screws and their sizes so I was able to narrow down to a couple different options.

Here is some of the information I found:
https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/Type-Chart.aspx this is a chart to determine what type of fastener you will need. I originally thought it was a very slim sex bolt that I needed before I determined the heads were broken off.

https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/Measuring/Measure-Length.aspx#ms This is for measurement of length.

https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/Measuring/Measure-Diameter.aspx same for diameter.

The site I ordered the screws from had the best information. http://www.metricscrews.us/index.php?main_page=page&id=3

21-Mar-2017, 04:02
ended up being a m2x8 machine screw. Definitely metric(!)]
Could you please clarify your solution.
I've a Calumet CC400 which uses shoulder screws to hold the lens board in position. The lens board clamping bar (which has elongated slots allowing it to slide off the lens board) is in fact sprung by the felt(??) material onto which the lens board rests. Also the threads on my camera are all imperial (Whitworth) and the screws in question most probably 9 BA thread - which is close to 2mm diameter.

However, do I understand that instead of a shoulder screw you have used plain machine screws - which means you have to unscrew them to release the lens board??


21-Mar-2017, 06:04
I always thought the male/female designation for fittings was a bit crude, but those are actually called sex bolts? I had no idea!

Jim Jones
21-Mar-2017, 06:20
Tony -- Yes, you could use a plain machine screw and loosen them whenever you change lenses. If you rarely change lenses, this might not be too much of a bother. You might also build up a shoulder on a plain screw. My first thought about this is to use a long screw, build up an oversize shoulder, chuck the screw by its threads in a drill, and turn the shoulder down to size. Perhaps a nut could be epoxied onto a screw and turned down to size.

22-Mar-2017, 16:06
Hey y'all,

I'm back and I took a couple pictures to clarify what part of the camera I was fixing. I am not sure of the proper formatting for this forum so please let me know if I need to change the links to the images

http://imgur.com/a/JyIS7 This is the part that holds the bellows and the lens. You push the button in and slide it to the left to release the bellows and slide it to the right to release the lens.
http://imgur.com/a/8OqjR This is one of the screws that I used to replace the broken one.
http://imgur.com/a/JX3Qs As you can see if the screw doesn't sit flush, the mechanism will not slide back and forth.
The original screws had the heads broken off so all that was left was the threading. The button is spring loaded so it would not stay on the camera. (Front standard maybe?) I'm not sure of the proper terms.
http://imgur.com/a/Y0ato Here are the three parts of the mechanism.
http://imgur.com/a/jymSa Here are the two pieces put together.

I'm not sure if this is helpful but I figured I would post it anyway.

http://www.metricscrews.us/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_5_30&products_id=51To clarify the size of the screws here is the link to the exact screws I bought

M2 is the thickness and 8mm is the length. With calipers, the existing screw thread was about 1.7-1.8mm thick (diameter) and close to 9mm long. The measuring tips that I linked in a previous post said that your measurement wont be exact so I guessed and went up to m2 which is supposedly 2mm. They are very cheap and the shipping was fast, so I ordered 4 different kinds. I ordered a wafer head screw as well in case the head didn't fit into the bevel (which allows the mechanism to slide over it.) I figure the original screws were 10mm long but the site didn't have any m2x10 screws. I used an extra m2 screw to reattach the level to the back standard(?) so all the threading on the body of my camera was m2.

If I can clarify further, please let me know!