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Thread: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

  1. #21

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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dann Corbit View Post
    Those are the bellows lengths. The rail lengths are 20 inches for the CC-400 and 26 inches for the CC-401
    Dann, fwiw, I concur. The specs are on pp.5 and 17 of the catalog linked by my Pastafarian brother Rick A, above.

    Sorry you got a rude response to your question.
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 19-Sep-2020 at 19:54.

  2. #22
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    This is a CC-401:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Calumet-CC-...53.m1438.l2649
    I asked the seller to measure the rail. It is 26 inches long. I was going to buy this one (it's a great price) but I would have to return the current (2nd CC-400) and so I decided to just swallow my pride and keep this current setup.
    My plan is to use one of the CC-400 cameras with 120 film (why not a 120 camera then? Better lenses, along with tilts, swings, etc). I already have the backs for it. The second camera will be strictly for 4x5.
    I could just use one camera, but I see several benefits to using two cameras in this way. Firstly, the 120 film usage will be hard on the ground glass. This way, I will have a glass that stays clear and the other one will take the beating. Secondly, having a couple of pre-loaded 120 backs will speed up shooting should I want to use both cameras. And if some day I have a driving need to shoot 4x5 at more than 400mm, I will buy a longer camera then (maybe even an 8x10).

  3. #23
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Roberts View Post
    Dann, fwiw, I concur. The specs are on p.5 of the catalog linked by Rick A, above.

    Sorry you got a rude response to your question.
    Rude responses are probably good for me, as a reminder I need to put in more effort before posting instead of using the forum as a tool to entice others into doing the work for me. I guess that part of my problem is that right now I don't really know where to look for things. But that will come with time.

  4. #24

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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Feel free to email me any questions. I’ll be happy to answer whatever I can.

  5. #25
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Roberts View Post
    Feel free to email me any questions. I’ll be happy to answer whatever I can.
    Thank you for the offer. That is very generous. It reminds me of the sig I use in the chess programming forum:

    "Taking ideas is not a vice, it is a virtue. We have another word for this. It is called learning.
    But sharing ideas is an even greater virtue. We have another word for this. It is called teaching."

  6. #26

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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    As people have said, KEH, while a good place, has some problems. I ordered a basic Cambo 4x5 from them once, and they sent the much fancier (and much larger) geared model, in a large box with one piece of packing paper thrown in, the camera bouncing around loose inside. The rail had punched several holes out the side of the box, in different places, and the front standard was bent out of shape (camera sent extended!). So there's that. But both Cambo and Calumet had too many similar models with tiny differences and different names, so not getting it right is sometimes understandable.

    In this case, I wouldn't get too bent about 2" less bellows. You might soon discover that a view camera racked out to its max isn't really a fun thing to wrestle around anyway, and that moving to a slightly shorter lens usually acts about the same with a lot less hassle. In my opinion, the only reason to use max extension is for a really unusual lens that isn't similar to a shorter one you already own, like maybe that 20" Portland that cost you as much as your car. But I bet you don't have that problem, and the missing 2" is theoretical at this point.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  7. #27
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    As people have said, KEH, while a good place, has some problems. I ordered a basic Cambo 4x5 from them once, and they sent the much fancier (and much larger) geared model, in a large box with one piece of packing paper thrown in, the camera bouncing around loose inside. The rail had punched several holes out the side of the box, in different places, and the front standard was bent out of shape (camera sent extended!). So there's that. But both Cambo and Calumet had too many similar models with tiny differences and different names, so not getting it right is sometimes understandable.

    In this case, I wouldn't get too bent about 2" less bellows. You might soon discover that a view camera racked out to its max isn't really a fun thing to wrestle around anyway, and that moving to a slightly shorter lens usually acts about the same with a lot less hassle. In my opinion, the only reason to use max extension is for a really unusual lens that isn't similar to a shorter one you already own, like maybe that 20" Portland that cost you as much as your car. But I bet you don't have that problem, and the missing 2" is theoretical at this point.
    Well, the bellows difference is 22 inches - 16 inches = 6 inches.
    Now, 16 inches is: 16 inches x 2.54 cetimeters/inch = 40.6 cm = 406 mm. Pretty long already. As soon as you go over 360mm the price goes nuts, especially if you want a fast lens.
    And 22 inches is: 22 inches x 2.54 cetimeters/inch = 55.9 cm = 559 mm. That's a pretty exotic lens. I doubt if I could afford one that was in excellent shape and was fast. I think that a fast lens is important for telephoto. Even a small, variable breeze is going to introduce some wobble. The longer the lens stays open, the fuzzier the exposure is going to get. Telescopes solve this problem using a pier (and sometimes a clamshell, even for amateur setups... my cousin has such a setup). Of course, that is a non-starter for regular photography.

    So, while the math was off a bit, the reasoning is fully correct. You have convinced me even more fully that I do not need the CC-401.

  8. #28
    Dann Corbit
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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Further, telephoto designs (e.g. the Fujinon T 400 mm f/8) don't need the full 400mm for focus at infinity due to the telephoto design of the lens itself. So it would be a truly exotic lense that needs more than 400mm to focus at infininte. Of course, at 400mm, the bellows would probably be strained too much for movements, so 360mm is probably a more realistic length for actual use. I am just guessing there, however.

  9. #29

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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    Sorry Dann, I did some thinking and realized that it's been at least 25 years since I worked with those cameras. Have fun with yours!
    BTW the last time I used a long-rail Calumet, I had a 19" (480mm) f/11 Goerz red-dot Artar lens on it. Plenty long for me!

  10. #30

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    Re: Rail size for a CALUMET 4X5 CC401?

    The CC-401 has a 22" bellows, but like most monorail cameras, there's a standard on each end, which doesn't overhang the ends of the rail in any photograph I could find, so it's kind of obvious that the rail is longer than the bellows.

    The fact that it took three pages for the experts to come to this conclusion suggests that a novice to large format photography should not be castigated for being concerned.

    Dan (C): Whether you return it or not, let KEH know they screwed up and sold you the wrong camera.

    Because if this clip from the 1965 Calumet Camera catalog is to be believed, they did.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by grat; 19-Sep-2020 at 17:35. Reason: tyopgrapchic faill

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