Interchange lens between large format cameras : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Question: I have a lens which I want to use it on 2 different kind of large format cameras (non-compatible lens board, no adapter between them), what's the easiest way of doing it? To unmount the whole lens from one lens board and mount it to another lens board takes too much time. A second way I can think of is to get a second identical shutter assembly and mount that on the other lens board. To switch the lens, unscrew the front and rear elements from one shutter and screw them onto the other shutter.

The second way seems logical (I have not tried it yet), is there anything I missed that this can not be done? Another doubt is that I have never seen in the Shutterbug that a shutter assembly is sold just by itself, nor I know how much the shutter (say a Copal 00) cost.

-- R. Ying (, December 07, 1997


You could get a custom adapter from a machinist which specialises in photographic work. I have also seen adds for a lensboard system where lenses are mounted on small discs, and then adaptors between discs and your front standard are sold for different sizes of front standards. I think your idea is quite feasible, with the only caveat of having to avoid to get dust inside the lenses during that operation. Calumet sells copal shutters #0,1,3. The #0 is around $200. However, the #00 is no longer in production and I don't know where to find one.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, December 07, 1997.

You are in luck as there is an adapter that bayonets on to the lens boards. You get the adapter and put one on each body you are going to use. Then you mount each lens on the bayonet piece and can interchange all day long. I have not seen the advertising for a bit, but older issues of View Camera may have some info. If I can find it I will post it here. It sure looked nice for field work as the bayonet mount pieces on each lens were smaller than a lot of lens boards.

-- Dan Smith (, December 07, 1997.

I located the information on the bayonet universal lens mount system for view cameras. Contact MC photographic, 2235 harris Circle, Cleveland, Tennessee 37311. The phone is (615) 339-1898 Give them a try and see if it solves your needs. I got the info out of View Camera Magazine, steve simmons excellent publication.(Jan/Feb 93 issue)

-- Dan Smith (, January 18, 1998.

One low cost technique....particularly if you know someone with access to a lathe, is to mount your lenses to 77mm screw on lens caps. Then mount female threaded caps (these are available in filter stack cap sets) to the camera lens boards using small screws and epoxy. This system works well when you are moving lenses among camera systems.

-- Jerry Molnar (, February 21, 1998.

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