View Full Version : Kodak Master View Camera 4x5

Kenn Gallisdorfer
8-Sep-2004, 05:00
My aunt recently gave me my uncles old view camera, A kodak Master View 4X5.It has an f4.5 / 152mm Ektar lens and a Supermatic shutter. I'm new to LF photography and would like to know if there is any information on this camera/lens/shutter available. Is this a decent system to start with? I am also interested in taking the camera in the field and wondered how others pack it. Thanks for your replies. kenn

Mark Sampson
8-Sep-2004, 06:16
The Master View 4x5 is a pre-1956 version of the Calumet CC-400, the most common 4x5 view camera. It's a great starter camera. I used one on the job for eight or nine years. Check the bellows for light leaks (a good idea with any old view camera). Calumet still should have parts, if needed. The lens is of excellent quality- should still be able to produce professional-quality results if not scratched or foggy. The Supermatic shutter hasn't the best reputation but I have several lenses in those shutters, all still working well. These cameras usually came with a large fiber case, not comfortable for hiking, and they don't collapse very far, the only downside. But overall, you have a fine starter system, capable of many more years of photographs. Welcome to LF!

steve simmons
8-Sep-2004, 06:37
If you are new to large format may I suggest the following references

www.viewcamera.com in the Free Articles section there are several articles that will be helpful

One of these books

Using the View Camera, User's Guide to the View Camera or Large Format Nature Photography

Also, get a Polaroid 545 holder and some film (Type 54) and practice. This will give you immediate feedback on how you are doing.

steve simmons


Ernest Purdum
8-Sep-2004, 06:53
The nice thing about your camera is that it has all the view camera "movements" to let you experience just what a view camera can do for you. This makes it a fine camera to start with. Your lens makes an image circle somewhat larger than the film size so will permit moderate use of the movements.

In addition to your camera and lens, the most importatnt thing you need is a good book. If you search "books" above, you'll find references to books by Shaman, Simmons, Stone and Stroebel. Any of these will give you a good introduction to what your camera can do.