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Thread: Is this a good buy?

  1. #1

    Is this a good buy?

    Hi everyone,

    I’m looking to switch from MF to LF, and thus have been searching for a first camera. Would this be a good buy:

    https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...489928209.html

    What do you think of the body and these lenses? I read that these two lenses might not have enough coverage to do much of the movements? Thanks for any input!

    Best,
    Justin

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    Probably not. That is a very old camera. What are you trying to get and what do you want to spend. There are a lot of resources on the FAQ section of this forum. I'd look for something more recent. L
    Last edited by Luis-F-S; 21-Feb-2018 at 15:42.

  3. #3
    multi format
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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    the lenses alone might be worth 250$ .. the film holders are about 5-15$ each
    dark cloth depends what kind, some are pricy .. camera ... probably in good condition
    would cost about 150-200 and the case except for the foam deteriorating is useful .. foam is cheap

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    For many of us the first LF camera was the wrong LF camera.

    Calumet CC40x cameras -- the one on offer is a -400 or -401, the only difference is that the -401 has a longer rail -- are good basic monorail cameras with full movements. They've served many photographers very well. There are lighter and more compact monorail cameras. There are more modern monorail cameras that are modular, accept bag bellows so can be used with shorter lenses than a Calumet and have Graflok backs so accept a wider range of roll holders.

    The lenses offered with it aren't the lastest more better, don't have as much coverage so won't allow as much movements.

    You could make a worse mistake, especially if you can haggle the price down a bit

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    IMHO it can be good for experimenting, I think that a monorail is a good choice to learn movements, more than a field camera.

    In LA I'd prefer this by a large margin: https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sf...488551491.html

    The SCX is a pleasure to start with it.

    For the glass I would start with a Symmar 150mm convertible to 265, it can be found cheap: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...+150+&_sacat=0

    ...and it's a very capable lens http://www.kenrockwell.com/schneider/150.htm

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    1,026

    Re: Is this a good buy?

    it's only an ok deal. You can find as good or better deals on ebay, for that price, a more modern cambo monorail and more modern lens. IMHO, keep looking.

  7. #7

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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    I like the camera Pere found. And it won’t be your last!
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  8. #8
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    2 things. Buy perfect bellows, meaning light tight, go in a closet with a small LED flashlight and check for pinholes, do this with the seller. Shine the light inside the bellows, look for leaks outside. Take your time.

    Then check the shutter, try it on 1/50th a few times, then at 1 second. I second should be obvious. Again, do this with the seller.

    Almost no LF beginner wants to replace bellows or fix a shutter. I didn't and still don't. Even if the glass is horrible, you have a good shutter and glass can work with many defects.

    As others have said, you will buy a second and third camera/lens if you like the sport.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is this a good buy?

    For inexpensive monorails look at later Cambo or Calumet models like the Cambo that Pere showed you or look at Toyo. Any of the three would be fine. With the later models Cambo and Calumet were made by the same company so lens boards and bellows will interchange. Toyo is a separate company but their monorails were just as good.

    I'd look for lenses in modern Copal shutters for your first lenses. Many monorails come with a 210mm lens which is slightly longer than a normal focal length. Either a 210mm or normal 150mm or 180mm focal lengths will be great to start with.

    To add to Randy's great advice, stretch the bellows all the way to the end of the rail. Pinholes usually develop in the corners of the pleats and show up real well with the flashlight method.

  10. #10

    Re: Is this a good buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    IMHO it can be good for experimenting, I think that a monorail is a good choice to learn movements, more than a field camera.

    In LA I'd prefer this by a large margin: https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sf...488551491.html

    The SCX is a pleasure to start with it.

    For the glass I would start with a Symmar 150mm convertible to 265, it can be found cheap: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...+150+&_sacat=0

    ...and it's a very capable lens http://www.kenrockwell.com/schneider/150.htm
    Okay nice, I saw that one as well, might be a good option. Thanks for the advice on the lens, that's really helpful.

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