View Full Version : Calumet CC-400

Tyler Anastasi
17-Mar-2009, 17:58
I recently was given a Calumet CC-400 from a local photographer for free. I couldn't be more excited, but the camera has a few problems. First off, it is missing a few of the knobs to control and lock in the amount of tilt, as well as the whole bottom rail missing all of the knobs that allow you to lock it into place. Otherwise it is fine.

I have thought about possibly trying to find a junky camera to use the rail on mine, but I'm not sure how easy that would be. I am on a tight budget (not great for LF, i realize ;)). The only reason I'm even able to shoot 4x5 is because I got this for free (im 17 and already am spread between my DSLR, 6x6, 6x7 and 35mm rangefinders) I am also getting a lens, lens board, ground glass and film holders (hopefully) for free as well.

So I have two questions, where are the best places to find parts for cameras like this? I contacted calumet, but they didnt seem very optimistic about the parts. They want me to send a picture of the camera so they can see what parts they have to fix it. Or, does anyone on here have a junk CC-400 (or one of the 402, 403's) they would be willing to let go for relatively cheap.

Here is a picture of the camera.

Thanks in advance,

17-Mar-2009, 18:26
I think that Calumet is still stocking a good many of the parts you need. Contact their repair department at 1-800-calumet.

17-Mar-2009, 18:57
The stock parts are wing nuts. Just go to a hardware store and get some nuts and washers. A fair amount of LF stuff is just common hardware store type nuts and bolts.

Tyler Anastasi
17-Mar-2009, 19:34
I have already done that for some parts, but the bottom rail cannot be solved so simply. As it is right now, the camera cannot be locked straight up and down. When sitting on the rail, it spins around. I need some way to lock it in, and cannot currently do that due to the missing parts. It is supposed to look like this. I will look for DIY solution though.

Those black knobs on the bottom rail are what allow you to lock the camera in an upright position. It is more complicated than just a wing-nut and some other parts. It has a wheel on the bottom that is also missing that helps lock the camera into position. Hard to see in these pictures though.

Kirk Fry
17-Mar-2009, 21:26
These things routinely sell for ~ $100 on ebay in great shape. Poke at Calumet some more but don't spend much on it. Great camera by the way. I have 8 view cameras and it is still my favorite back of a Arca Swiss and a Crown. It is not the cost of the View camera that is going to kill you. What about all the other falderall. (lens, dark cloth, loupe, film holders, developing tanks, enlarger or scanner, tripod, light meter, filters, film, etc, etc, etc.). K

Tyler Anastasi
18-Mar-2009, 03:07
I understand what you are saying about the cost. The main reason I'm being able to shoot this is I will be saving a lot of money on the actual camera so I can then spend it on film and developing. Only things I still need are the lens, lens board, ground glass, film holders (all of that is gonna be given to me for free as well) and a loupe. The fact I got all that for free is gonna allow me to shoot it, essentially. I am gonna be shooting mostly b/w and developing at home.

Thanks to all. I'll be trying to get in touch with calumet again and see what the prices are if they have the part.

Frank Petronio
18-Mar-2009, 04:24
If it is only the front that can't be locked then you're OK. Simply fix the front with duct tape or wire or drill a hole and bolt it down... and do all your focusing with the rear. The down side, besides the cosmetics and ridicule you may absorb, is that the rail may poke you in the eye because you'll want to have extend to the rear. If that bothers you, determine how much rail you can live with and take a hacksaw to it.

If it is both standards and you are really desparate, then spring loaded "A" clamps and small "C" clamps could probably be rigged.

Why spend $50 on parts when you can buy a perfect version of this camera for $75-$100 shipped? Heck make an appeal here because there are several nice folks who might help you out.

On the plus side, it is an idea camera to spongepaint the bellows. You wouldn't do that with a $4000 Ebony.

James E Galvin
18-Mar-2009, 08:14
Over the years I have accumulated half a dozen or so CC-400 parts cameras, far more than I will ever need. I can give you any parts you want, except for bellows (still available from Calumet). Let me know exactly what is required and I'll send them to you. Some pics might be good. What is a CC-403? I have CC-400, 401, 402.

Tintype Bob
18-Mar-2009, 08:35
The rail has a slot in it and the guides that move along the rail will have a slot in them on the inside - a small shim is placed in the guide that prevents the camera from moving. you can make these shims from any 1/8th inck piece of steel. The knobs and bolts can be replaced at lowes or home depot just bring in the camera part to match the size. I have the same camera.

MIke Sherck
18-Mar-2009, 08:53
Tyler, Mr. Galvin is well known for his mechanical expertise. With his help, you'll be able to fix anything with this camera.

These are very good cameras, by the way. You should have a lot of fun with it.


Tyler Anastasi
18-Mar-2009, 14:05
I would first like to say that this forum has been great so far. This amount of help quickly is a hard thing to come by on any of the other forums I frequent. I look forward to the rest of my stay here. Thanks for all the help thus far. I really appreciate it.

James, if you could do that, that would be beyond awesome. You have no idea. I'd obviously cover shipping. I have attached pictures showing the areas that are missing parts. It should be pretty obvious what it is missing. It's missing a bit more than I originally thought, too. If you have even just a few of these parts, I'd really appreciate it.

Oh, and yeah I don't know where I got the cc-403 from. I can't wait to shoot with this camera, though. It has gotten my interest back focused on photography. Quite excited, to say the least.


Tyler Anastasi
18-Mar-2009, 14:05
last two. 4 image limit, I see.

18-Mar-2009, 14:55
Be a hawk on eBay. Look for a CC402. They often sell for much less, because people think the bellows are bad.

The CC402 is the wide angle variation. the differences are:

1) Much shorter rail

2 )Front standards reversed to put the front lens board closer to the rear standard. you can tell by the round top... both round tops face away from each other.

3) Front standard also has the lens frame sunk in to simulate a recessed lens board.
The bellows looks incredibly crumpled. Calumets cc402 wide angle bellows, instead of being a bag bellows like the competition, was a fairly routine bellows (often tan) but built without stiffeners in the folds of the bellows. So the bellows, even in excellent condition, looks terribly crumpled, but works well allowing movements to very short focal lengths.

CC402 cameras are a tiny bit more transportable because of the shorter rail. Great learning base for wide angle.

I've seen the wide angle 402 go on eBay from $100 to $200. I sold one about a year ago with a lens for $150.00. All features functioning and camera ready to use.

DO however verify a light tight bellows. As mentioned they look like crap because of the lack of stiffeners in the folds, but most often in light tight condition.

18-Mar-2009, 15:09
This page will show you some brochure pictures of the CC-400,401,402. Note particularly the short rail, the reversed front standard and if you look close, the rough look of the bellows without stiffeners. If you play around with this site in folders, you may find more variations of these brochures.


Click on the pictures on the left side for the equivalent of a user manual.


Have fun. The old Calumets are great starter camera's and do the job, which is essentially holding a lens in front of a Ground Glass or Film holder without the intervention of light until the shot is taken. The ability to change the positioning of the standards for focus and perspective is a plus, which the Calumet does quite well.

Going beyond the Calumet, you can spend HUGE amounts of money for such a box, and that's really all you get. The rest is sales hype, for the most part, until you find out you need a particular function the Calumet does not offer. You'll be a long time shooting a good Calumet before you hit that wall, in my estimation.

James E Galvin
18-Mar-2009, 15:40
Yes I have all of those parts. I'll get them off a parts camera tonight. Your camera looks to be in better shape than my parts cameras, so sending you the parts would be better than just sending the beat-up standards. I'll also send some sketches of how it goes together. Your bellows looks good, but should be checked with a flashlight inside. I'll need your address. And the postage will be too small to bother with.

Tyler Anastasi
18-Mar-2009, 16:19
Wow, thanks James. I cannot say how much I appreciate it. The photography community and its members continue to amaze me with their generosity.

I've PM'd you my address. Thanks again.