View Full Version : Calumet 45NX Kit Used Prices

21-Mar-2005, 21:38
I'm planning to get into LF photography, and after narrowing down my search to a new Toyo 45C/CX, I just came across an offer for a used Calumet 45NX Kit which includes the following for US$550 :

Standard bellows, standard rail, focusing cloth, 2 film holders, 210mm F6.8 Caltar lens, Calumet carrying case

Everything's still in mint condition according to the owner.

I don't know much about used prices for these stuff, so any comments from you guys would be greatly appreciated. I've read up as much as I could regarding this set-up, and it's been rather encouraging so far, with it's popularity and wide-spread use.

22-Mar-2005, 00:40
I recently purchased a minty 45NX (no accessories) for $275 on ebay. My guess would be that the value of the kit depends largely on the construction, coating, and mintiness of the lens: I have a near-mint 210mm 5.6 Caltar II-N (Rodenstock version, #10553657) that I bought for ~$300 used. I considered both pretty good deals. The 45NX is a bulky unit that resisted several efforts to cram it into a generic case, and fitted cases seem to go for nearly $100 used (!). I'd basically find out as much as possible about the condition of the lens, who made it (Rodenstock or Schneider), and when. Then find out what the going rate is for that lens online. Unless the construction/coatings of the lens and the weight/bulk of the camera are less than adequate for what you're planning on doing, the whole offer sounds pretty good to me. I'm really enjoying mine!

David Karp
22-Mar-2005, 09:52

I have not been watching prices lately (I have been trying to stay out of the buying market). The price Kerey gave for a good 45NX sounds about right. The 210mm Caltar II-E is made by Rodenstock and is equal to their Geronar series. The lens is a multicoated triplet design. It is sharp and contrasty, but has a smaller image circle than the more expensive Caltar II-N (which is a Rodenstock APO-Sironar-N) or other similar lenses. Still, the Caltar II-E will cover 5x7. It is also small and lightweight. I have one and like it more than I ever thought I would. It was my first lens, and the only one I ever bought new. This lens costs over $500 new! I don't know what the lenses go for used, but you can check E-Bay to get an idea. People sell these and other view camera lenses all the time. In fact, check E-Bay and the completed auctions section. You should get a good idea of the value of the kit based on how things are selling today.

Overall, the kit sounds like a pretty good deal. Calumet sells several carrying cases, made of plastic, padded nylon, and older ones that were made of fiberboard. None are cheap.

The 45NX is a good camera, and you can adapt it to carrying in the field. If prices are what they were about 6 months ago, you should be able to sell the camera for what you paid for it. Not sure about the lens though, since I am not current on prices.

23-Mar-2005, 07:51
Thanks Dave and Kerey for all the info.

I'm not sure which version of the Caltar 210mm is being included, but going by the aperture, it should be the E.

Well...looks like I'll go for it then... :-D

Stay tuned for more LF newbie questions! Gotta consult all the masters here...

tor kviljo
25-Mar-2005, 05:39
For a long time Calumet have been selling, often slightly simplified (i.e. plastic knobs instead of metal & other less important detail) Cambo monorails under the Calumet-label. I belive the NX is a version of the basic Cambo monorail. This is thus a very good basic camera to start with, as it can be expanded upwards all the way to 8"x10" using cambo rails & accessories. By the way - as these cameras still (at least the SC-family of Cambo's did) rely on a flexible roller-friction on surface of rail, you can make your own rails using 1"x1" square-alu-tubing thus saving some money when needing long rail or a short one. "Only" problem with that camera is that it's troublesome to backpack with, being big/U-standard design & having to remove standards from rail for compact packaging + the spring-tensioned focussing roller making re-entering on rail less easy than on monorails with focussing integrated in the tripod-block. Another thing: "most important thing" these days when buying inexpensive optics is to get a good shutter: buying that caltar (probably in a Copal 0 shutter?) , You could have your eyes open for used lenses on Sinar DB boards - top quality optics often going dirt-cheap these days, as they lack shutters. You (probably) have a nr. 0 shutters, so anything from 150/5.6 / 210/6.8 and down would remount directly into that shutter, making upgrade from that rather modest 3-element Geronar-type lens to a 6-element 150W nikkor or equivalent within reach for less than $$ 100. Just a tip. Remounting lenses: many threads in this forum.