View Full Version : 4x5 purchase

10-Mar-2005, 07:54
Hi. I was wondering if someone could help me with getting a ball park figure as to the value of a 4x5 outfit.
The camera is a Calumet; instruction manual calls it a "standard" 4x5 view camera. I saw something listed on e bay as a Calumet 400. It seems to be the exact model. It has a bail mechanism on the back, the bellows seem to be in great condition. There are two lenses: 210 Caltar ii s, and 90 Angulon 6.8 (not super angulon). The 210 seems to work fine; the shutter on the 90 sticks at 1, 1/2, 1/ 4 settings, but the others seem to function fine. If I recall, one shutter is Copal, the other is either Copal or Compur (I think Copal).
There is also a polaroid back included with the outfit, as well as about 10 plastic film holders, as well as a tripod quick release and an odd assortment of polaroid b/w, transparency and color film (out of date but apparently refridgerated.), and a dark cloth.

Everything seems to be in 8-9 condition. What would be a reasonable price to pay? What would be too much? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

steve simmons
10-Mar-2005, 08:03
The shutter on the Angulon is probably a Compur unless the lens has been remounted. I am not a fan of the Angulons except perhaps as a starter lens. By today's standards they are not very sharp and are low in contrast. The shutter will need a C&A which will add 75-125 to the price of the outfit. The 210 is fine. The camera is a monorail. Is this what you want?

If this is your first camera there are several articles on the View Camera web site I would suggest reading before you buy any camera.


and go to the Free Articles section

Here are some books that will be helpful

User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga

Using the View Camera that I wrote. Aske people here and on the following sites which one(s) they recommend

www.apug.org - not just a large format site but a good section on lf

the forum on the view camera site.

Steve Simmons

Edward (Halifax,NS)
10-Mar-2005, 08:08
The camera goes for between $100 and 200. I bought mine for $120. The lenses go for about $100-150 each. The polaroid holder about $75 and the other film holders for about $50-100. For the lot $500 would be a fair price. You might be able to get it for $400.

A couple of things to note, the camera is heavy and a pain in the butt for anything but studio work, and the Angulon barely covers 4X5 so you won't be able to use much in the way of movements.

21-Mar-2005, 05:50
Hi Percy,

This camera was my first 4x5. I bought the camera body first and put the rest together. If I had to do it over again, I would get a complete package such as you describe. They appear on ebay from time to time, and you can generally get a functional camera/lens combination for about $200. Ed's prices on the components are correct, but when all sold together they don't fetch such a good price, in my observations.

The camera and lens you describe are capable of taking great pictures. The camera can be used in the field, although it is a bit awkward to haul around. If you are just getting started in 4x5, I wouldn't pay much attention to objections to this system. The most important thing is to get out there and take a bunch of pictures and you will know whether you are going to stick with large format or not. Then you can worry about spending more money on better equipment.