New Calumet 4x5 questions

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ezwriter, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Made the jump to LF and bought a Calumet CC 400 4x5 camera. Printed out the manaul from Mike Butkis great manual
    site but it says NOTHING about all the controls on the front, most of the manual is about tilts/swings.

    Is there a better manual? Have no idea what some of the levers,knobs on the lens do.

    2-theres no filter threads on the 210mm lens. How do u attach filters? It only has an elastic dustcap. Thanks in advance.
    I have The View Camera by Shaman but it talks mostly of tilts/swings too.
     
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    By "controls on the front", do you mean the lens/shutter controls?

    Usually there's a lever to cock the shutter, a ring to adjust speeds, a lever to adjust the aperture and a lever to open/close the shutter for preview mode. And a screw-terminal for the release cable - do not try firing without a cable as you WILL bump the camera and get blur.
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    This is a typical shutter as viewed from above/behind the camera:
    [​IMG]

    from left to right, there is:
    - black plastic triangle, this opens/closes the shutter for focusing,
    - X-sync port for flash
    - cocking lever (big silver thing), push it to the right to set the shutter
    - aperture lever, currently set to f/22
    - speed ring, currently set to 1/30
    - shutter release lever

    Order of operations to compose/shoot is:
    - open the shutter
    - open the aperture
    - focus the camera
    - stop down the aperture (any fraction of a stop permitted)
    - select your desired speed (WHOLE stops, no intermediate settings permitted)
    - check your DOF is sufficient
    - close the shutter
    - insert the film holder
    - cock and fire the shutter a couple times; doing so proves to you that the shutter is closed
    - cock the shutter
    - remove the darkslide
    - fire the shutter
    - replace the darkslide
    - remove the film holder
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A camera like your Calumet can take 100+ years worth of lenses and shutters. The shutter Polyglot posted is typical but there are zillians of others. If the lens has no filter threads then it sounds like it may not be one of the usual suspects like a Symar. If you post a picture of what you have we can probably give you some more specific advice.
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  6. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    thanks! That helps a lot. Shoulda said the lens is a Ilex_calumet 210mm f4.8.
    The controls i dont know are like a shutter release that says M BLUE F WH X RED with a knurled knob inside the lens next to it.
    And a 2pc knob that looks just like what you set the time with on an old watch on the top left of the lens,next to shutter.
    The cable release is is a bad spot whoever designed this, its recressed so its hard to screw the release in straight w/o stripping the threads.
    will check that website thanks again!
    ez
     
  7. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    I guess i hold the filter in front of the lens then?
     
  8. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Also, this lens has f/stops for 14" and 8 1/2"
    22 11
    11 8 ...etc what is this?
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Ilex refers to the shutter.

    And the two sets of f/stops mean that the f/stop scale is designed for a convertible lens - one that can be used in two or more configurations to provide two or more focal lengths.

    You need to post a photo of the lens and shutter.
     
  10. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    As you are starting to see LF isn't like smaller cameras, they aren't pretty packaged products like Nikon, Canon, or Leica's are and where the manual covers most everything.

    Assembling a LF system is pretty much like assembling various versions of Frankenstein, or his bride, as needed to suit your whim of the moment. There are very few rules and all kinds of variations are possible.

    So on to your lens.

    Typically with a convertible lens the short length, your 8-1/2" here, is the norm for the lens when fully assembled.

    If you unscrew/remove the front element from the shutter and the rear element is used by itself the lens will normally provide a longer focal length, say 14". Certain shutters are marked for both options.

    The markings on the shutter are only accurate when using the elements that the shutter was packed with originally, which is the most likely situation. The front lens element should indicate both focal lengths matching the shutter, if not the elements may have been changed which would mean that all the aperture markings may be wrong, this is less likely but very possible.

    Even lenses that aren't marked as convertible can be disassembled and the individual element groups used separately to change focal length or to get various effects. Casket set lenses take this to a whole different level allowing you to mix and match elements at will. Like I said above, there are very few hard rules in LF about what can be cobbled together. In these cases you need to do the math to figure out the f number.
     
  11. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Well took some test shots today. with Arista 100 film. First three negs totally black. last one totally clear. D76 for 6mins per the dev paper. ideas?
     
  12. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Thanks for the info! Guess ill use the 8 1/2 fstop marks. BTW i used increasing exp times for the 4 tests, 1 sec at f/11,f8...etc . no images.
     
  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Is that stock D76? Try it at 1+1 for about 9:00 or 10:00 for greater economy and less solvent effect (sharper grain).

    Even with gross (4 stops) overexposure, you should still see an image on the negative. Perhaps you accidentally exposed the first three sheets to daylight? Easy mistake to make when starting out.

    What did the lightmeter say for these exposure tests? If you're not sure of your exposure, try making some test exposures in Sunny-16 lighting (full direct sun). f/16 at t=1/ISO is the right exposure (assuming you're focused near infinity therefore no bellows correction required), so try f/22 1/30s for EI60, which is a good speed for the Arista 100.
     
  14. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Take the lens off the camera, open the aperture all the way, operate the shutter at each speed setting while watching the shutter work. Hint, point the lens at a light bulb.

    Does what you see the shutter do make sense in terms of time open at each setting?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2012
  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Make sure you remove the correct dark slide, the one nearest the lens not the one in the rear. This will ensure you dont expose the wrong sheet of film. As for the clear sheet, you most likely didnt expose it at all.
     
  16. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Second time out- got some images! Thanks for all your help guys. i think i did expose the box, turned the light on in the darthroom instead of the fan!
     
  17. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The control that says M BLUE F WH X RED adjusts the flash for flashbulbs or electronic flash. Leave it on X for electronic flash. The other control you ask about may be for opening the shutter for focusing without setting the shutter to T. I'd have to dig into a box of old shutters to refresh an ancient mind as to just how it works.