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Thread: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

  1. #1

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    Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    On an impulse recently, I bought a green monster on ebay. It has a fair amount of corrosion, mold like and some rust. I had a vague idea of stripping it down, but don't trust myself to put it back together again.

    1. I was wondering what could I use to clean the camera? I'm assuming some sort of solvent, but not sure. Figuring wire brush, rags and some chemical.

    2. I have lenses in Ebony (Linhof style) boards. Will any 6x6 adapter work or is there something special I have to get? (Found one on ebay).

    3. Currently, I put on a small Arca plate to mount to my Arca-Swiss Z2+ which is a pretty beefy head. I notice that there are two holes on the bottom for a larger and smaller screw. Does anyone know of an Arca compatible tripod plate that would be able to use those? I saw a RRS plate that was too long, though it had two screws but both were the same size. I don't see taking if far from the car so I don't want to get a new plate/head combo.

    4.The GG broke in shipping and I contacted Steve Hopf about a GG since he had made one for my Intrepid a couple years ago, but haven't heard back. Has anyone had experience with the Catlabs GG? (ordered one on ebay).

    It's not going to replace my Ebony 4x5. It's more of an adjunct camera. I got it because I want to make contact prints at home and do have some ideas for some projects I could do locally where the bulk wouldn't be a problem. A couple years ago I got the Intrepid V1 8x10 and found that camera futzy and useless. In any wind it was not stable. I've mounted the C1 and tightened it down and this camera ain't going anywhere in those situations. It just needs some TLC to get back in the game.



    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by letchhausen; 26-Aug-2020 at 11:40.

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    I highly suggest you use the 3/8-16 female tripod socket, as the 1/4-20 is often worn...

    and use a head that can support the heavy camera with a large base such as Majestic 6X7" platform head that was made to work best for this camera
    sin eater

  3. #3

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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    Well, the Z2+ that I currently own has a 132 pound load capacity. The trick is finding an AS plate with a larger base than the typical narrow plate. Maybe I'll contact RRS and see what they say. Thanks for the input!

  4. #4

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    Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    This is what I use. Works like a charm. Nice and wide, plenty support and you can install both screw sizes at two locations if your camera has them (in fact it supports 4 total but my camera has only 2 holes, one each size). The inside rail gives you flexibility on where to center it within the camera.


    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1315979-REG

  5. #5

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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    This is what I use. Works like a charm. Nice and wide, plenty support and you can install both screw sizes at two locations if your camera has them (in fact it supports 4 total but my camera has only 2 holes, one each size). The inside rail gives you flexibility on where to center it within the camera.


    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1315979-REG
    The problem with that is the base of the C1 is 6.5" x 5" and looks like so:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CalumetC1BaseSm.jpg 
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    Which is smaller than the the Kessler. I looked into a Majestic head and it's pretty cheap used. Might be the easiest route to go.

  6. #6

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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by letchhausen View Post
    The problem with that is the base of the C1 is 6.5" x 5" and looks like so:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CalumetC1BaseSm.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	49.1 KB 
ID:	207104

    Which is smaller than the the Kessler. I looked into a Majestic head and it's pretty cheap used. Might be the easiest route to go.
    I see. The flat section in the middle isn’t even that large, looks like your current plate takes most of the space anyway. There are long plates but they’re not going to support better than what you already have.

    The majestic heads are great. Heavy, but you’re not intending on hiking with this setup :-)

  7. #7

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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    I see. The flat section in the middle isn’t even that large, looks like your current plate takes most of the space anyway. There are long plates but they’re not going to support better than what you already have.

    The majestic heads are great. Heavy, but you’re not intending on hiking with this setup :-)
    For this setup I'm adhering to Edward Weston's rule: "Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic."

  8. #8

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    Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by letchhausen View Post
    For this setup I'm adhering to Edward Weston's rule: "Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic."
    Imagine all the shots that wouldn’t exist if Ansel followed that line.... ;-)

  9. #9

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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    Yep, good that he was willing to explore and haul that gear around.

    As for the C1, I'm still mulling the tripod plate scenario. I need to see how a Majestic attaches to a tripod. I'm worried it's not a simple screw like most heads.

    Since no one has weighed in on Catlabs bright ground glass and Steve Hopf isn't answering my email, I bought a basic GG from Photofinder on ebay listed as a perfect fit for the Calumet C1. If it turns out that I'm pursuing 8x10 more extensively than my initial plans, I'll look into something in the "bright" (fresnel) category and has grid lines.

    I also found an adapter on ebay that is listed as being C1 compatible to adapt Linhof boards from zbimal. It says Deardorff, but in the description mentions Calumet C1. So those two questions are taken care of. Love it when vendors tell you that they have your specific item.

    The last question was cleaning. The previous owner told me that the corrosion is aluminum rot of some sort and that vinegar would take care of it. Which is good because on Photrio, someone told me that to clear magnesium corrosion you need to use some nasty solvent to keep it at bay. I'm hoping that the vinegar treatment and wire brush will help. I'll update this thread since there are some "I restored my C1" posts on the internet, but light on specifics. I'm hoping to clean it off enough to use, not restore. I like the idea of tearing it down, cleaning and repainting, but I don't trust myself to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

  10. #10

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    Re: Calumet C1 Repair and questions

    There are Arca style plates that are longer than normal and have two screws or a slot in which the screws can move, so you could hopefully get both screws to line up with your mount holes. Like these:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...QR_Camera.html
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...era_plate.html

    I don't actually own either of these or a C1 so I can't tell you if they'd work, but there are a lot of different sizes and shapes of Arca compatible plates. (I use a similar long dovetail rail for a Vixen-style clamp for telescope mounts.)

    I've cleaned up oxidized / corroded aluminum with vinegar and fine steel wool. One has to make sure the wool doesn't flake onto everything. A wire brush might take off material too quickly to manage.

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