I just picked up a Calumet 4X5 camera! But need a bit of help.

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by FITBMX, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. FITBMX

    FITBMX Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I was at an estate auction to buy some lenses, and I got this Large format that I wasn't planning on. It has the hard case, original tripod, and some filters.
    I am going to sell it because I will be moving and can't take it. I could also use the money and don't have the money to really play with it.
    Here are my questions.
    1# The shutter doesn't close 1/30 sec and slower, it just stays open. From 1/60 sec and faster works great. Any ideas? I know nothing about these lenses/cameras and don't really know if it is something I can repair or not.
    2# The lens has some fungus, it isn't too bad yet but needs to be taken care of. Should I clean this out myself? Are these lenses harder to work on than an SLR lens?
    3# What would you say it is worth? On ebay they are around $300-400.
    I also have the focus cloth and a heavy blue double layer cloth that has velcro on the corners and is marked Calumet. (I don't know what it is for)


     

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  2. FITBMX

    FITBMX Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  3. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's a Copal #1 shutter. The gear escapement that governs the slow speeds is likely gummed up and dirty. It has to be removed and cleaned -- not too difficult just watch out for the Jesus springs.

    The lens is a Rodenstock (re-branded) Sironar which is an excellent lens and still valuable minus the fungus. You should treat the exposed glass surfaces with alcohol but the fungus will have etched the coating at this point and there's not much you can do except stop further damage.

    Nice tripod. I'm not too in touch any more with values but I think your $300 to $400 would be a little low however there's that fungus.

    Joe
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    "...a heavy blue double layer cloth that has velcro on the corners and is marked Calumet. (I don't know what it is for)"

    Commonly referred to as a "lens wrap"...
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Looks more or less okay... the fungus is not "too bad"..but most people are NOT keen on any amount of fungus...a few years ago for $5 I bought a gorgeous (on the outside!) Alpa 50mm lens and a thread mount extension tube set at Goodwill and it was TERRIBLY fungus-filled. This?? Ought to have almost no practical affect on pictures...but it's like a fly in a bowl of soup...a tough sell.
     
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  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Have you checked out the bellows to make sure it's not cracked or split due to age?

    Also, what about film holders? And your plan to develop the film?
     
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  7. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The shutter is going to cost the buyer about $120-150 to get overhauled (full CLA).
    I had a shutter overhauled about 8 years ago, and I think it costed about $120.​
    BUT, personally, I would NOT touch a lens with fungus. Unless you KILL it (really truly KILL it so it does not grow back or spread), it will only get worse, and it could spread to other lenses. So to me (and as @Derrel said others), the lens is worthless. Fungus is like mold in a house, a hassle and expensive to deal with. Even if it is KILLED, the glass is etched, will that affect the image quality, maybe. And the only way to fix the etching is to regrind the lens element $$$.

    So for me, the only thing of value is the camera itself and the tripod.
     
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  8. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I'd love to see some empirical evidence of this.
     
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  9. FITBMX

    FITBMX Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for all the info! I found a video on YouTube about cleaning a slow Sironar lens, so I will check it out.
    The tripod was luck, I hadn't paid much attention because I have tripods. But I started thinking that my brother has been filming some YouTube videos and has been using my tripod, so I bought this one on a whim. I didn't even know it went to the camera until I got home! LOL I wouldn't want to go too far hiking with it though, it is a heavy bugger!

    I picked up a lens the same way once, I couldn't even see through the front element! They took it back though.
    I am going to clean these lenses I just got, they were cheap enough I don't have much to lose and I am sure I can do it.
    Thanks for the info too! :)

    I moved the focus around and shifted it, the bellows seem to be just fine. Which is a little surprising because I have a feeling this has been in storage a very long time. Judging from the slides there seems to be very little to no use on this camera.
    I will have to research and see what the film holder looks like, I don't know what to look for. I am not planning on using this, I will just get it all working and sell it. I don't have the time or money to mess with it right now.

    I will do the rebuild/cleaning and fungus removal myself, it shouldn't be too bad and is worth a try. :)
     
  10. FITBMX

    FITBMX Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had never heard of that either.
    These lenses all have fungus issues because the house had bad mold and moister problems, and all of the camera gear had been sitting a very long time.
     
  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Just flexing it won't let you know if the bellows is good. It can have small holes or cracks that are light leaks. I don't know how you're going to 'get it working' without actually running some film through it.
     
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Film holders are usually made of hard plastic if they weremade from the 1950s or newer, but the old film holders were made of wood. They are rectangular devices and are double-sided. On each side is a metal dark slide that protects the loaded film from light exposure.

    I was thinking about that double side the cloth you said had Velcro on the corners if this smallish like 16 x 16" square then it is a lens wrap, also useful for protecting other things but usually large enough to wrap a lens and it's because his rewar I was thinking about that double-sided cloth you said had Velcro on the corners: if it is smallish like 16 x 16" square then it is a lens wrap, also useful for protecting other things but usually large enough to wrap a lens and its Lens board. If it is a very large cloth, Then perhaps it is intended as A focusing cloth,one that you put over your head So that you can see the ground glass more clearly.

    One thing you can try is to limber up the grease/lubricant that is gumming up your slow speeds. Obviously this has sat unused for a long time. Click the shutter quite a few times at a fast speed and then go down to 1/30 second and see if the problem persists. Sometimes after 50 or 60 clicks the mechanism will loosen up. Often times a quick fix is to disassemble the lens and to remove old thick lubricant with a few drops of lighter fluid.
     
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