advice on buying this camera... Calumet 405?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
The camera is a Calumet 405. The camera and bellows are in mint(-) condition. The monorail is 25/26 inches long which allows the use of long lenses. It includes a case (exc+ condition) which houses the camera and monorail. The camera has all movements in the front standard i.e rise, fall, and shift, swing and tilt. The rear standard has shift, swing, and tilt. The rear ground glass and film holder can be rotated and locked in any position.
Would this Camera be any Good?? What would be a fair price??
-- Kyle Frongner (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 14, 1998
The 400 series cameras are very basic view cameras from the 60's and 70's. The 405 is usually black, with a revolving back (which is nice) the long bellows mean a really long and combersome rail to carry around. I bought a second rail for my camera which I cut down to 12", I carry this rail into the field with me. Nice thing about the 400's is that the parts from a 400 usually fit a 404, which fit a 401, which fit a 403, ect... Calumet marketed so many of these cameras that you can usually find parts. These cameras are built very well, though they lack the refinements of newer view cameras, but what the hey, it's the glass that makes the picture, the body is just the delivery system. You will find a lot of these cameras in schools, and they are very good cameras to learn on. As for pricing, KEH is listing a 403 (short bellows) for 399.00, this seems a bit high. I usually see the 403/405 cameras for between 250.00 and 300.00 for the body, at trade shows, and in the newspaper. If you get lucky you might get a decent lens thrown in for around 500.00. The older grey 400 cameras (basicly the same camera a few added refinements and cosmetics) can be had for under 200.00, body. Overall the 400 series are good cameras, very basic, a pain to carry in the field, good availablity of parts and accesories, and built to last.
-- Britt Leckman (email@example.com), February 16, 1998.