View Full Version : Calumet Monorail Camera

Pete Watkins
28-Jan-2007, 14:09
Today I bought a Calumet Monorail camera. I don't know why, I don't need one but I'm begining to justify the purchase by convincing myself that it will be ideal for close up photography. I'm sure that it wasn't the colour that convinced me to buy it. It cost me 30 -00 UKP, I'm pleased with that. It needs a ground glass, I can make one of those but I don't know what thickness of glass to use, can anybody help with that? It also needs a few missing screws replacing. Could anybody tell me what threads are used on these cameras? The serial number is 17001, I know that it's old but can anybody tell me how old? The front rise and fall is the only geared movement on the camera, should I have to push the gear knob in to make this work?
I've read Earnest Purdum's article on cheap view cameras but useful as it is it dosn't go into Calumets in any depth.
Thanks for any help.
Best wishes,

28-Jan-2007, 14:38
Is this a CC400 type? Calumet still had some parts awhile back. They might have the screw info etc.

28-Jan-2007, 15:13
Pete, which screws? got photo's? I have a Cambo so I could measure threads with calipers for you.

As for ground glass, check robert white - call them up and ask for their cheapest ground glass... you might get lucky at about £30 for 4x5

Dave Parker
28-Jan-2007, 15:21
30 pounds for a ground glass, that is crazy!!!!

The CC400 uses a piece of glass aproximately 2mm-2.5mm thick, really thickness matter very little on most of the 4x5 cameras.

Send me a private message.

Dave Parker
Satin Snow Ground Glass

28-Jan-2007, 15:24
Dave, but it's also same-day shipping ;)

Dave Parker
28-Jan-2007, 15:29
Dave, but it's also same-day shipping ;)

I understand, Ash, but I can sometimes sqeeze an extra 4x5 in on one of my production runs for emergencies.

And Robert Whites, Often times recommends us, I know I get quite a few referrals from them..

30 pounds is currently $58.80 US, with shipping mine are only $17.90 US which is only 9.13 pounds!!! :eek: WOW


Alan Davenport
29-Jan-2007, 01:05
Thickness of the groundglass isn't important, since the ground surface of the glass goes toward the lens and is registered by the surface it mounts against. The only real restriction on thickness is the mounting paraphernalia that clamps the GG down.

29-Jan-2007, 01:31
I have an older Calumet that Dave made me two spare GG's for and they fit perfectly. You must however get the clipped corners [3/8"] from memory as the calumet back has rounded corners where the glass fits.

Dave sent mine ahead to Kevin Saitta in California when I visited in September last year from Australia.

They also fit my Shen perfectly as well. You can never have too many replacement GG. :)


29-Jan-2007, 04:01
Sorry Dave, I just thought I'd mention RW as a choice, since it seems you're bogged down with back orders. I'd hate to jump the queue and have someone else wait longer for their screen when they've been waiting for weeks already! I agree though. The price is extreme in comparison. That's why you can't keep to demand, and the other companies have too many in stock :)

Ernest Purdum
29-Jan-2007, 10:07
Regarding the front rise, yes, you do have to push the knob in so as to make the adjustment. It will then lock in place when the knob springs back out. The adjustment can be quite stiff when not used for some time.

On screws, which ones do you need? Nick's advice to check with Calumet is a good idea. They have been unusually helpful in dealing with their early products.

John O'Connell
29-Jan-2007, 11:05
As I recall, the Calumet CC-403 requires a really small machine screw size, at least on front. Something like 4-40 or 6-32, and unless you get them from some specialty supplier, you'll have to cut them down to length yourself. You'll need SAE/UTS screws, not ISO or Whitworth, by the way.

Calumet still had parts when I needed them a few years ago. You used to ask for Jose, and he would help you out.

Pete Watkins
29-Jan-2007, 11:42
Many thanks for all your help. Ernest, thanks that has solved the big problem.
The screw thread thing, well I'm a bit of an idle sod and I just wondered what type (B.A., B.S.W., Metric..........etc.) threads were used in U.S. manufacturing about 50 years ago. I've got a fair collection of various screws in the garage and some B.A. taps and dyes so I'll just have to get off me Khyber and sort something out.
Steve thanks for that tip, I would never have thought about that as none of my other cameras have rounded corners.
Dave, p.m. on the way.
Ash, don't wind the Yanks up, O.K we let them think that they won the so called "war of independence" but looking back was it really a bad decision

Dave Parker
29-Jan-2007, 11:44

Just in case, I have actually made screens for these cameras without clipped corners as well, I can round corners on glass, and normally fit just about any camera without clipping .


Pete Watkins
29-Jan-2007, 11:57
I'm happy with clipped corners, see my p.m.
Best wishes,

Ernest Purdum
29-Jan-2007, 12:30
Khyber? Cockney slang in Staffs? Be careful with those taps and all. Curiously enough. the screws used here 50 years ago are sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as "English" standard since they are based on the size of an English king's foot in the year 1487, or some such nonsense. They have only moderate correlation with Mr. Whitworth's good work, though. SAE standard is more correct. There are several good sources for small screws of whatever standard. If somebody doesn't chime in with one. I'll see about finding one for you.

Pete Watkins
29-Jan-2007, 14:29
Thanks Ernest, it's an abbreviation of Khyber Pass...........AR.E. I don't know about the kings foot thing but in the 1600's and 1700's each instrument and clock maker just made their own threads and caused total confusion for anybody trying to restore the stuff that they made to totally accurate standards today. The smaller thread sizes are pretty flexible and the B.A. thread size can be introduced as a replacement thread using a plug tap rather than a tapered tap that is used creating an original thread.
I'll see how I get on and if it all falls apart I'll scream for help.
Thanks again,

MIke Sherck
29-Jan-2007, 15:54
All you folks stop telling Dave how expensive ground glasses are from other sources! He'll raise his prices... ;)


29-Jan-2007, 15:59
I was hoping dave would bump up his price by a couple quid, everyone would boycott him 'until the price is lowered' and while there is still a boycott I'd buy up all his stock without needing to wait on back-order :D

Turner Reich
29-Jan-2007, 18:50
Going to keep the camera? Tap it out with a British tap thread unless you are a purist. Takes less time, costs less and will work just as well.