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  1. #1

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    New Calumet 4x5 questions

    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. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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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. #3
    polyglot's Avatar
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    This is a typical shutter as viewed from above/behind the camera:


    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. #4

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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. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Probably better than the instruction manual.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6

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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. #7

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

  8. #8

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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. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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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.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #10
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwriter View Post
    Also, this lens has f/stops for 14" and 8 1/2"
    22 11
    11 8 ...etc what is this?
    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.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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