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Thread: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    16

    Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    just picked up a Calumet monorail, it is the battleship grey one, with the light colored bellows and the viewing screen is gridded with red lines if that helps. It has a leather handle on top and a pair of levels, that I can only assume were yellow but now have clear fluid in them.

    The serial number is #16684, and other than the little C at the top is all the markings on it.

    I would like to find out whatever I can about it.

    I have been looking around the net for pictures of them and I am also noticing that the front (where the lens is mounted) is a fair bit recessed from the standard.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    S.W. Wyoming
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    1,137

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    Without a picture it's hard to be certain, but it sounds like a Calumet CC-400 series. Originally manufactured by Kodak as the Master View, it was later picked up by Burke & James and Calumet. It was made under various names for quite a long time. It's a stout camera. More suited to studio work than lugging around in the field. Still plentiful and inexpensive.

  3. #3

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    Hello - sounds like you have a recessed lens board for a wide angle lens. You could probably find a regular lens board on e-bay or maybe a new one from Calumet. The
    Calumet view cameras are fine cameras. There are no geared adjustments, just friction type. Everything works. They made a very practical wide angle camera with a short rail and belows. It sold for less than a bag bellows for more expensive cameras.

    Dan C

  4. #4

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    Feb 2008
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    16

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    No Dan, the board is not recessed, the lens board holder is recessed, it seems that the plate that has the sliding grip for the lense board is attached to about an inch thick piece that is then attached to the part that does rise

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    16

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    I will go photograph it right now and try to upload the images.

  6. #6

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    Feb 2008
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    16

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    Ok here is a topview It shows the huge recess from the front standard.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    16

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    And here is a side view, that suggests that the last person took this thing apart and didn't quite put it back together the right way

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    16

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    Ok, I flipped the uprights on the front carrier now so they are going in the same direction. Of course, that also means I messed up the heads on 2 of the 6 little bitty screws that hold the mounting plates to the standard. I doubt it will matter much, but just in case does anyone know what size these things are?

  9. #9
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    Jul 2007
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    Tim from Missouri
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    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    Absinthe,

    I bought the WA version of this camera a couple of years ago for my architectural work. Needed several replacements parts. Believe it or not, Jose at Calumet repairs still had everything I needed including the WA bellows. You might check with him to see what's left.

    I can't tell for sure from looking at your shots of the camera, but it just might be that someone has modified this normal range camera (16 inch monorail and standard bellows) by exchanging the normal for the WA front standard which is heavily recessed so it can work without resorting to recessed lens boards.

    I did that exact thing with one of these that I owned when I was in my teens. Hated the recessed boards because I couldn't get fingers in to the controls so I bought the WA front standard and swapped them out. Took about fifteen minutes and nothing more than a small Phillips screwdriver.

    Bellows is a little stiff for extreme movements, but bottom line is it worked much better with the flat boards and gave me almost the exact same offset. Ergo: I got the same bellows action that I would have with the recessed boards anyway.

    For all I know, you may have stumbled across the one I did this to about 40 years ago. Great cameras with some features I wish I had on my more modern monorails.

    Have fun with it.

    Tim
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    132

    Re: Dating and Modeling a Calumet Monorail

    why would you want to date and model a camera? i don't understand.

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