Monorail for CC-400 Calumet 4x5 Camera

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by miss.annette_leigh_haynes, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. I need a extension for a 20" Monorail or replace the Monorail. CC-400 Calumet 4x5 Camera
    I only have 14" I need 14 1/2 from the Focal Plain to Focus to Infinity using 370 mm Symmar 210 mm f1:5.6/370 mm F!:12 Have no Idea where to find an Item like this.
  2. AJG


    This camera doesn't have an interchangeable rail or bellows--Calumet used to sell three different versions: one for wide angle lenses, yours for general use, and a long bellows version. If I were you I would look for the long bellows version of the Calumet that you have or a different monorail camera with interchangeable rails/bellows, such as a Cambo, Toyo, Sinar, or Horseman to name a few. In the current market, none of these should be that expensive.
  3. I looked through 4 LF places and nada. Finding on CL would be nearly impossible (?). But, your local machinist should be able to extendend the rail several inches. It would be worth a try, me thinks.
  4. Miss Annette, I was reading your other thread on this topic as well. Here's a suggestion which will get me castigated, because it's breaking the rules: try using your convertible Symmar with just the front cell.
    Yes, I know you're supposed to use only the back cell when you convert it, but you're going to get a soft image anyway, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. It may be OK for purposes like portraiture, if you can focus close enough. You'll probably get the best results using a small aperture, but the green aperture numbers on the scale will not be applicable. If you're shooting black and white, you may benefit from a yellow filter to cut out some of the chromatic aberration.
    The advantage of this is that the front cell, facing in its ordinary direction, will have an approximate focal length of 370mm like the back cell, but it will require less than 370mm bellows extension.
    I've been there and done that (30 years ago) and I had the same problem as you. I had a 180mm convertible Symmar. I didn't have enough bellows to focus the back cell alone on my old Linhof Color (which is sort of like a Technika body on a monorail). I took a few test shots using just the front cell. I recall they were soft, but I don't know if they were much worse than the back cell alone. I can't recall what it did to exposure, and you'd have to run tests.
    The thing is, if you use the back cell alone, facing in its usual direction, it acts like a retrofocus lens. You'll need about 16 or 18 inches of bellows to focus the 370 lens, like Jose Angel said in the other thread. If you use the front cell, it will act like a telephoto, and you'll only need maybe 10 or 12 inches of bellows to focus at infinity.
    Some great photos have been taken with dreadful lenses, so don't agonize about the details too much. Just get out there and try it out, but make sure you tell us what you learn.
  5. Calumet C Monorail extension
    Will this Item work on my 4x5 CC-400 Calumet Camera?
  6. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    If you had a longer rail, would your bellows draw out long enough to use it?
    I don't know about that extension. On my camera, the rear end-knob is missing from the rail, and the end is plain, and wouldn't attach anything. I can't say about the front end. You need a small Allen key, I think, to get the knob off and see if you can fit an extension. I doubt it; an extension is not mentioned in the manual for the cameras (which is reproduced at Camera Eccentric: ).
    I have the opposite problem; I have just bought a CC-401, with 22 inches of rail, and I'm trying to use it with a five inch lens, so I have to lean over quite a lot of projecting rail to look at the screen. It's perfectly usable, just a little inconvenient, so I'm not tempted to cut the rail down; I may want it for a longer lens later. I am thinking about getting a local metalwork shop to make me a shorter rail, as Leszek suggested above; haven't investigated how hard it might be to switch rails.
    Good luck!
  7. Hmm. Another example of the corrupting power of found money. Original poster, your choices are:
    buy a CC-401 if you must have an old Calumet 4x5 camera.
    give up on using your convertible Symmar converted.
    buy a modular view camera that will let you add extension, replace bellows, add rail or replace the existing rail with a longer one, ... FWIW, I'm invested in the Cambo SC system, which is fully modular. It uses 1" square rails; 1" square aluminum extrusions can be bought in many hardware stores, 1" square 80/20 t-slotted extrusions are available up to 97" long and are quite inexpensive. Standards and bellows are easily found. I'm not well-acquainted with the Sinar system, which is also modular and indefinitely extensible. I have the impression, could be mistaken, that used Cambo cameras and bits cost less than the Sinar equivalents.
    Pete, if you unscrew the rail's end caps the standards and tripod mounting block can be run off the end. Been there, done that.
  8. AJG


    I would grab the camera that Kent linked to--if your lens is mounted on a Calumet board, you could just mount it on the camera and start making portraits. Any other likely solution will take a lot more time and probably cost almost as much when you're actually ready to take pictures.
  9. The simplest solution depends on how much CLOSER than infinity you may wish this lens to focus. If the answer is not much, just buy a recessed lens board for this camera off of ebay. Then have the hole cut to the proper size for your shutter by a qualified machinist, and........mount the lens backward so the board becomes an extension board instead of a recessed board. That should add close to 1.5 inches to the total available length without having to fiddle with having a new rail made.
  10. I agree with Tim Ludwig's suggestion, however recessed lens boards sometimes have an extra lip for light blocking. You don't get this when you reverse the board, but you could just add some thin, closed-cell black foam on the rim to insure a light-tight seal.
  11. Hmm, well I have a Calumet 22" cc- 401 and would rather have a 14". I thought the cc-400 was 14" and the cc-401 was 22". Actually, I just
    purchased and it is yet to be delivered. Seems like you can just hacksaw off a length of rod though.

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