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View Full Version : Did I get a good deal or am I missing something?



brightmatter
23-Mar-2013, 10:43
Hi everyone,
Just nabbed my first 4x5 camera on ebay today. Its a calumet monorail with an Ilex Caltar 165m f:6.3 lens & Seikosha Shutter. I got it for 73, which seems like a steal. But now i'm wondering whether this is actually a good monorail/lens combo and whether there was something in the listing that I missed because of my lack of experience (heres the listing, if you have time :D : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Calumet-4x5-Rail-Camera-w-Ilex-Caltar-165m-f-6-3-lens-Seikosha-Shutter-/171009939388?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT&nma=true&si=Ja78ZokdQrKJ8qPS2nihC4xJZ5A%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc) Any advice would be great. Thanks a lot!
brightmatter

BrianShaw
23-Mar-2013, 10:48
Why are you second guessing now? That is an old camera but if the bellows are in light-tight shape and the shutter runs reasonably accurately than you can certainly use it to take pictures.

IanG
23-Mar-2013, 10:49
For the price it's OK, it's a good functional camera, even with the postage it's probably worth a little more in the UK.

Ian

Mark Sawyer
23-Mar-2013, 10:53
I agree with Brian, it's a great little camera with generous movements at both ends, and the lens is quite nice too. As long as the basic mechanics all work and bellows is light tight, this is as capable a 4x5 as any.

Ari
23-Mar-2013, 10:56
These are great little cameras, capable of most movements and they are true workhorses.
The only disadvantage is if you want to use a Polaroid back, it won't squeeze in between the frame and GG.
Other than that, use it!

brightmatter
23-Mar-2013, 10:59
Thanks everyone! The only reason I was second guessing was because I discovered the auction with only a few minutes to go.

BrianShaw
23-Mar-2013, 11:00
Understood. You didn't go wrong with that snap judgement!

brightmatter
23-Mar-2013, 11:27
Lets hope not :) just need to get some film holders and film now.

lenser
23-Mar-2013, 12:09
This is the exact same combination that I bought for my first view camera back in the 1960's. If the bellows is light tight and if the shutter speeds are accurate, it is a big winner of a combination. Plenty of movements, the lens is sharp if a bit slow, and the rotating back is excellent for convenience. The only thing that ever went wrong with mine was a slight ding on the rail that created a very rough spot to move one of the standards through. The rail is about the only potential weak point because the tolerance is so tight that any slight bend or ding will cause that same kind of binding. A little automotive grade sand paper took care of that problem but I followed it up with removing the rail and giving it a thorough cleaning, especially in the groove, to make the drive system work easily. Great camera.

AJ Edmondson
23-Mar-2013, 12:42
Same as Tim... my first LF camera and I still have one of the wide-angle (CC403 I think) models and it remains my first choice when I need 90mm or less. They are easy to maintain and lock down tight, easy to find lens-boards for. The 165 f6.3 Caltar was a sharp little lens and had plenty of coverage. Enjoy it!!!
Joel

Michael_4514
23-Mar-2013, 12:49
This was my first view camera as well, back in 2002 or 2003, and I probably paid more back then than you paid now. It's pretty much indestructible, lots of movements, geared front rise. What's not to like about it? Well, it's heavy.

DennisD
23-Mar-2013, 12:52
Why is every one calling it a great "little" camera ?
It is a Great camera, but not so "little" unless you place it next to an 8x10.

I had one years ago. It was very serviceable and an excellent value at the time (and still is, based on your cost).

Don't expect to use a wide angle with any flexibility.

Dennis

Michael_4514
23-Mar-2013, 15:40
These are great little cameras, capable of most movements and they are true workhorses.
The only disadvantage is if you want to use a Polaroid back, it won't squeeze in between the frame and GG.
Other than that, use it!

How is that?

91854

brightmatter
31-Mar-2013, 12:55
Obviously the price was too little for the seller. She didn't send for a week and eventually I get a refund. She then immediately put up the camera again for 3x as much! Guess I gotta look again. Saw an Omega 45D with 150mm lens and a few holders for $300. Good Deal?

Tin Can
31-Mar-2013, 13:01
These prices are all cheap, you will spend far more on all the other things, like film, paper, chemicals.

I say buy the best camera, lens and shutter you can afford and then move ahead.

IanG
31-Mar-2013, 13:08
I hope you leave good negative feedback, looking at the feedback others have left this is real rogue seller. It's breaching Ebay rules to do these things.

Ian

Tin Can
31-Mar-2013, 13:15
Most people now use a 405 and they don't fit a lot of cameras.


How is that?

91854

BTMarcais
31-Mar-2013, 17:34
This was my first 4x5 camera too- AND my first lens!
It's a great combination.
As for the polaroid backs, the bail opens up wide enough you won't have a problem getting a polaroid 405/fuji pa-145 back in there at all. (I used to use mine w/ a 405 and 550 back).

And now I read the part about the seller relisting. That is just low. sorry about that, it would've been a nice starter set. :(

-Brian

IanG
1-Apr-2013, 00:48
And now I read the part about the seller relisting. That is just low. sorry about that, it would've been a nice starter set. :(

-Brian Someone did that to me about 5 years ago and when I complained they had their account closed by Ebay and they were banned. The issue here is it's a cross border transaction so UK Ebay staff have no automatic rights to ban a foreign seller.

Ian

Jerry Flynn
1-Apr-2013, 07:59
The CC-400 was my first view camera as it was, I'm sure, for a great many others. As to the back, when the 405 Polaroid back came out, Calumet offered an new set of springs and and extended bail for the the camera. I think that became the standard setup from that point, so newer (blacK) models may have had the modification as standard equipment.

The Calumet served me well until I got my first Sinar.

Tin Can
1-Apr-2013, 08:53
I knew I wasn't crazy? The 405 does not fit mine! Most likely too late the get the fix...



The CC-400 was my first view camera as it was, I'm sure, for a great many others. As to the back, when the 405 Polaroid back came out, Calumet offered an new set of springs and and extended bail for the the camera. I think that became the standard setup from that point, so newer (blacK) models may have had the modification as standard equipment.

The Calumet served me well until I got my first Sinar.