Calumet verus Graphic ViewII

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by CAPTKEVIN, May 7, 2009.

  1. CAPTKEVIN

    CAPTKEVIN Member

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    I am fairly new to 4x5 and bought a Graphic View II with a 210mm lens
    I enjoy using it and it works great. I just bought a Calumet 540 with a Caltar II-n 210 mm with a compendium lens shade w/filter drawer.
    Now iam not sure which one to keep? I have not used the Calumet as of yet
    I do mostly outside landscape pictures. Is one camera better then they other?
    Any help would be great
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Try both and see which one you like better. For landscape I'd have looked for a field camera but that's a different issue -)
     
  3. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    I agree with Nick. If you don't need the money and they are not taking up too much space, then use both until you decide which one better suits your needs. I know nothing about the Calument. I had a Graphic View II and discovered that it is not easy to pack up and move around. Also, it doesn't like short focal length lenses. With my 90mm Super Angulon, the bellows was really cramped and didn't allow for much movement. I had to get a recesssed board and the Compur shutter on the Super Angulon barely fit, making it hard to adjust.

    If your main interest is landscape, then I would sell both and get a field camera, probably with a 90mm lens, or something in that range.
     
  4. photobum

    photobum Member

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    I would use both alot on the same subjects and see which felt more instinctive to use. That's the one to keep. If you like wide angle hunt down a Calumet wide #402. I bought one in mint condition for a hundred bucks a few years ago. It's a dream for wide angles up to 135mm but it will focus up to a 190mm lens at around 50 feet.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    what is the rail like on the calumet ?
    if i remember correctly the rail on the gvII is
    triangular. i sold mine years back so i could afford a toyo 45cx ..
    and i miss it ...

    i'd keep the one with the sturdier rail ...
     
  6. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Round bar stock rail with a slot cut down the bottom
     
  7. Allen

    Allen Member

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    Isn't the Calumet 540 the square rail model made by Cambo? The parts are interchangeable with the square rail Cambo models and the bellow and backs are interchangeable with all Cambo models. I believe the round rail model is the Calumet CC400. If it's the square rail model I would keep it,you can find rails from 12 inches to 30 inches and bellows from bag bellows to extra long bellows.
    It's a very versatile camera.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you can change out the bellows + rail as allen suggests,
    i would keep the calumet in a heartbeat.

    while the gvII is a good camera,
    because the rail and bellows are
    permanently attached .. you kind of have your
    hands tied if you want to use much longer than a 210, or shorter than a 90mm ...
    (not to mention the compendium shade for the gvII is not very easy to find )

    have fun!
     
  9. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I have a GVII that I've had for around a year now. I use it mostly for architectural type shooting (city landscapes) so most often I use it with a 90mm Optar or Angulon (I have a 90mm Nikkor-SW f8 but I've never tried it in the GVII - with the large rear element I don't think it would fit very well). As someone else said, it's not very good for those applications. Even with the recessed board, movements are difficult. It's also pretty much non-portable without its case. I recently bought a 5x7 B&J field camera (thought it was a 4x5 when I bought it) which seems much more packable (although still a big heavy beast). I haven't tried it with a wide lens yet to see if that would be better.

    Dan
     
  10. CAPTKEVIN

    CAPTKEVIN Member

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    I guess I will have to try both cameras I have the cases for both cameras and the one for the Calumet is quite a bit larger. Both cameras have 210mm lens I wish I could try them out with a 90mm. The Calumet is a 1984 and the GVII is 1967 or so. I am having trouble finding a lens board for the GVII. It looks like the Calumet will be a little more cumbersume to use and to carry. It looks like I can still get parts for the Calumet But the GVII parts are not as easy to find even on ebay. The Calumet does have the square rail
    and the GVII have a triangular rail. I payed $100.00 for the Calumet and traded a Mamiya C3 for the GVII
    I wish I could keep both but I will never use both cameras I know that.
    Thanks for the help
     
  11. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    A flat board is easy - it's the same as the ones for the Anniversary Graphics - a piece of wood and a table saw or router is really all you need. As for the recessed boards, I have an extra one of those if you're interested.

    Dan
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    there are also folks on graflex.org who make and sell recessed boards for the GVII ...
     
  13. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I've had a Calumet 400 wide angle model and still have a GVII. I gave the Calumet to a friend---not because I didn't lik it (I did) but because I wanted my friend to have a good 4x5 camera. I eventually missed it and replaced it with the GVII.

    They are both fine cameras and capable of everything more modern (read expen$ive) cameras can give you.

    My advice: Keep the one you enjoy using the most.

    I kind of get a kick out of my GVII all tricked out on a Tiltall tripod---aluminium overcast! :D