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Thread: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

  1. #1

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    Cool Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    Hey all,

    I just picked up an old Calumet 4x5 camera. It's definitely in usable condition (bellows, ground glass, tilt, swing, etc., all seem fine) However, the gear that controls the rise/fall is slipping. It works enough to get the front end into position, but then slowly droops back to the bottom.

    Is there an easy enough way to fix this? Or replace it?

    I figured there would be a little work involved when I took the plunge...I'm just out of my element when it comes to mechanical hardwaresy type stuff. I'm completely able to fix it given a solution, and conceptually I understand it...I'm just ridiculously unknowledgeable (as oppose to being inept. lol) when it comes to this sort of thing. I'd rather not dust off my brain and try to blindly macguyver it if there's a simple solution.

    Thanks for the help.

    David

    for the record...this is the type of calumet 4x5 in case it was unclear (via google images)


    also...I totally meant to put this in DIY/repair...and managed to not do that. so if this needs to be moved, feel free. cheers

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    Hi, you push it in to adjust rise/fall and then spring action is supposed to push it out to lock. You could just pull it out by hand to lock. If the mechanism isn't working, it should be simple to take it apart to see what is wrong.

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3
    Widows and Orphans Beware
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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    I believe the model is cc400, but I can't swear to it. That was my first large format camera, and still have it, though I haven't used it in a few years. I have a second, almost compatible, I think it's under the Orbit brand. Nice red bellows.

    As for your problem, you need to tighten the control to hold the front standard in its position, the gear along won't hold it. (at least that's my recollection, will look at mine this evening.)

    O just noticed that Jon posted and that jogged my memory, he's right.

    Mike

  4. #4
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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    It's been many years since I owned the black version of the Calumet 400.

    If I remember correctly, the rise/fall control knob worked by pushing in to engage the gear and pulling it out lock it.

    (Or,it was just the opposite). However, it worked as a push/pull mechanism.

  5. #5

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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    Thanks for the responses everyone, much appreciated.

    I think i've got it figured out, now that I know the knob pulls in and out. pushing in clears it of the groove so it can turn, and letting it spring back out should lock it, but it appears the little notch that holds it in place is worn or broken off.

    any idea on getting that squared away?

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    Take the cover off the back of the mechanism so you can see it better. If the little finger that keeps the gear from turning has broken off, you will have to improvise a repair to it, or create a replacement. Also, you can call Calumet parts department in Chicago to see if they have any spare parts.

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #7

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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    thanks again Jon.

    that's pretty much the issue, the little finger is worn down or broken off. i'll see if i can't jury rig something for the time being, and give calumet a call one day this week. hopefully they still have a few floating around for this poor old thing. haha.

    cheers

  8. #8

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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    That IS a CC400 if you have to go looking for parts. Pretty rugged. Take a look regularly at eBay. They used to pop up regularly in all kinds of condition. You may be able to pick up a marginal one, or a parts one cheap. If looking for a repair person... specify Calumet CC400.

    There was another model for short focal length wide angle. Visually, the front standard bracket was reversed (flat to flat.. front to back). It also had a lens board recessed into the front of the camera. Last telltale was a very funky looking bellows (usually tan) with pleats but quite floppy. That's because there were no stiffeners in the pleats. Kind of a different variation on the routine bag bellows used by other mfrs. Last visual clue... short monorail. very short. That camera designation was the CC402.

  9. #9

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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuzano View Post
    That IS a CC400 if you have to go looking for parts. Pretty rugged. Take a look regularly at eBay. They used to pop up regularly in all kinds of condition. You may be able to pick up a marginal one, or a parts one cheap. If looking for a repair person... specify Calumet CC400.

    There was another model for short focal length wide angle. Visually, the front standard bracket was reversed (flat to flat.. front to back). It also had a lens board recessed into the front of the camera. Last telltale was a very funky looking bellows (usually tan) with pleats but quite floppy. That's because there were no stiffeners in the pleats. Kind of a different variation on the routine bag bellows used by other mfrs. Last visual clue... short monorail. very short. That camera designation was the CC402.
    thanks

    i got mine via ebay...pretty much one of those marginal ones for cheap, i imagine. though apart from that gear slipping it appears to be pretty sound (could use a little tightening up, but the movements and bellows are good to go). i actually sort of stumbled upon it while obsessively searching for inexpensive functional old manual film cameras for my students to use.

    interesting, the 402...i never would've guessed such a beastie existed. lol

  10. #10

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    Re: Old Calumet 4x5 - loose gear - halp?!

    Yeah... the CC402. First time I saw it, I thought OMG what happened to that bellows. Then I got a second one... identical. I knew from the short rail and the reversed and recessed board and front standard that it was wide angle, but the sloppy bellows evaded understanding, until I realized I could get movements with a 90mm lens.

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