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  1. #1

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    Modifying a Calumet monorail

    I have a Calumet CC400 4x5 monorail camera that sits idle since I bought a 4x5 Tachihara field camera. The Calumet has about 20" of bellows and rail. It can focus my 90mm lens at infinity but the bellows are then so scrunched up it has little room for movements. The Tachihara allows more movements when using the 90 but it too becomes limited when lots of rise is needed when photographing buildings.

    I don't do enough architectural shooting to warrant getting another camera so I came up with an idea. Calumet has another model monorail for use with wide-angle lenses. I believe it is the CC402, aka wide field or wide angle. It's very similar to my CC400 but the bellows and rail are about 8" long. I think the 402's front standard is the same as my 400, but is reversed on the rail allowing the standards to get closer for short lenses. And if I'm not mistaken the 402 does not have a bag bellows, just a much shorter pleated bellows.

    My idea may or may not be practical. I've thought of removing the bellows from the front standard on my 400, reversing the standard, reattach the bellows after shortening it ala the 402, and shortening the rail. Essentially I would be trying to make the model 400 look and work like the model 402.

    For those familiar with these cameras, does my idea sound feasible? Your advice and comments would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Rick

  2. #2
    bobfowler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Haug
    I have a Calumet CC400 4x5 monorail camera that sits idle since I bought a 4x5 Tachihara field camera. The Calumet has about 20" of bellows and rail. It can focus my 90mm lens at infinity but the bellows are then so scrunched up it has little room for movements. The Tachihara allows more movements when using the 90 but it too becomes limited when lots of rise is needed when photographing buildings.

    I don't do enough architectural shooting to warrant getting another camera so I came up with an idea. Calumet has another model monorail for use with wide-angle lenses. I believe it is the CC402, aka wide field or wide angle. It's very similar to my CC400 but the bellows and rail are about 8" long. I think the 402's front standard is the same as my 400, but is reversed on the rail allowing the standards to get closer for short lenses. And if I'm not mistaken the 402 does not have a bag bellows, just a much shorter pleated bellows.

    My idea may or may not be practical. I've thought of removing the bellows from the front standard on my 400, reversing the standard, reattach the bellows after shortening it ala the 402, and shortening the rail. Essentially I would be trying to make the model 400 look and work like the model 402.

    For those familiar with these cameras, does my idea sound feasible? Your advice and comments would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Rick
    I wouldn't mess with modifying the bellows, just make a bag. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to hold in the dark and keep out the light!
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Bob. If I go ahead with the modification, making a bag bellows sounds like a good idea. I could then save the original bellows for another project or for someone who needs a replacement.



 

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