Calumet 4x5 camera : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Dear Sir or Madam,

I need some advice of the Calumet 4x5 camera, does anyone using this brand camera and what your comment of it, and how about the 45NX Calumet, this is the one i am going to buy from a used camera store, and i need some advice on purchasing Calumet camera on it, does it reliable? etc., i used the calumet camera before when i in a photography school (that is a student kind calumet model camera). This calumet 45NX camera is still in good shade, only come w/ the bellow.

I realy don't need a 4x5 camera but i would like to have one, so far i using 35mm and 120 camera for wedding and port. And i did shop around a 4x5 camera a while and they are all around/over 2000 plus, so did anyone can recommond me a good advance beginner 4x5 view camera?

Thanks for your advice and time and have a nice day.

jack ngan

-- jack ngan (, October 07, 1998


I and many others have started with Calumet cameras. To put it in a nutshell: they work. I still have a number of 4x5 chromes from wilderness trips taken with my old gray Calumet camera with the long 22inch rail. It was a handful and the monorail was flimsy & flexed a bit, but the camera did its job and is still being used today, long after I sold it. If you buy one knowing it isn't a Sinar or Linhof and plan on using it you will probably get more than your moneys worth from it. Calumet makes decent, servicable and very usable view cameras. Couple it with a decent lens and you should have a package that will last quite awhile.

-- Dan Smith (, October 08, 1998.

You may want to seriously consider the new Calumet Cadet camera if you do not need interchanagable bellows. The Cadets are inexpensive "student" level cameras.

The Calumet 45NX is built by the Dutch manufacturer Cambo, an old and well respected name in photography. parts and accessories are easier to find both new and used. As Dan said, as long as you know you are not buying a Sinar, Linhoff, Arca Swiss or other premium camera you will not be disappointed. You may also want to look at the Arca Swiss "Discovery" model (under US$1000.00). For Arca try Photomark in Phoenix,AZ; the F-Stops Here in Santa Barbara, CA; or Badger Graphics in Wisconsin. Also check's classified page under Large Format

-- Ellis (, October 08, 1998.

The new Toyo 4x5 monorail (model name, anyone? I should've checked seems much more capable and versatile than the Cadet and for not much more money (I think $600 street?). If you're near a Calumet store, they have both on display, so you can compare....

-- Bill Daily (, October 08, 1998.

As long as the bellows is in good condition, and all the knobs are in place and work smoothly, the old Calumet should be fine. Put a good lens on it and you wont be able to tell any difference between a negative from the Calumet and one from a Sinar.

I can recommend the new Calumet Cadet as well. I recently purchased a Cadet outfit with the 150mm Caltar lens for $750. I am very pleased with it. It will also accept some accessories for the Cambo view camera, as indicated in the Calumet catalog. These include slide locks to convert it to an international (Graflok) back, and various focussing hoods and magnifying hoods that attach to the ground glass holder.

-- Tony Brent (, October 08, 1998.

The new entry level Toyo looked nice in the ad I saw - probably lots of details on their web site. I should imagine it can use a number of Toyo accessories?

Also, I believe that the Calumet Cadet is a pared down Gowland that they have the licence to produce.

-- Tim Atherton (, October 08, 1998.

Check out the current issue of Popular Photography, in which about a dozen 4 x 5 cameras under $1850 are rated and compared. There is also a good primer on LF photography. Unusual for this publication, which usually focusses on 35mm and APS.

-- Stewart Ethier (, October 09, 1998.

The new Toyo 4x5 monorail DOES seem much more capable and versatile than the Cadet and for not much more money...and the old Calumets are fine...

But the best monorail "getting started" camera value I've found is a used Toyo 4D. Can't change the bellows, but very sturdy, precise and now dirt cheap -- I've seen mint examples from $300! Most Toyo accessories fit, and you can get used Toyo adapter boards that take the de facto standard Linhof Tech boards (a real plus!). Combine this low-cost jewel with a used Tachihara, Wista or Toko (also take Linhof boards), and you've got a real low-cost combination of studio and field cameras with a common set of lenses/boards. You can go a long way with this outfit and learn a lot before you decide to invest mucho $$, Swiss francs or Yen in an Arca-Swiss, Sinar or the new super Toyos.

-- Henry Stanley (, October 09, 1998.

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