Wista Lens Boards -- Why the Offset Hole?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I use a Wista 45SP metal field and have a question regarding Wista's predrilled lens boards. Why is the hole offset toward the bottom of the lensboard? With the camera back removed, the rear element of the lens is displaced off-center by approximately 1/2 inch. Not only does this effectively reduce my front rise (one of the more valuable view camera movements), but it also prohibits closing the camera with certain lenses attached that would otherwise fit when I use a board with a centered hole. What gives?
-- Matt Long (email@example.com), December 18, 1998
It was a not uncommon practice a while back to drill off-center lensboards to augment meager front lateral movements, R&F and shift. I think Gandolfi still does it on their "classic" series, and I've seen my share of off-cenmter Deardorff boards.
Have you tried mounting the board in another orientation? Is that possible? I'm not familiar with the Wistas, but from my perspective that would seem the usual reason. Have you called or e-mailed Wista or their U.S. distributor?
-- Sean yates (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 18, 1998.
Some of my real Linhof Technika boards do this too, whereas my "clone" Technika boards from Bromwell are center drilled. Otherwise Sean is correct, it is to make up for lack of front fall or rear rise.
-- Ellis (email@example.com), December 18, 1998.
The flat Linhof boards are drilled with the opening below the centerline because of the way the camera is constructed. When a lens is installed in one of these boards it is actually in line with the groundglass back on my Technika (no built-in rise.)
I have a recessed board that has a hole not as off-center. This results in a built-in rise for the wide angle lens being used. And I have had a hard time getting used to that.
Technika boards are designed in such a way that the can be installed on the camera in only one way. They cannot be mounted up side down.
-- Bob Eskridge (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 19, 1998.
I thought that the offset accounted for some feature in camera construction, as in the case of Bob's Linhof. However, with the Wista's board, the lens is displaced lower and does not fall in line with the ground glass. Like Linhof, Wista lensboards can only be oriented in one position.
Thanks to everyone for the input.
-- Matt Long (email@example.com), December 19, 1998.
All of my 4x5 lenses (except for my Graphic lenses)are mounted on Linhof Technika boards and are mounted on cameras either directly or with adapter boards. The original Technika boards I have are drilled low in accordance with Linhof specifications as mentioned in previous posts; most of my clone boards are usually center drilled. To standardize things, I have swapped away my low-drilled boards and now obtain undrilled or pilot-drilled boards and have them center drilled for both 4x5 and smaller 8x10 lenses.
Some non-Linhof cameras that take these boards have guide marks on the front standard mounts that compensate for low-drilled Technika boards.
-- Henry Stanley (HTStanley@prodigy.net), December 20, 1998.
I also use a Wista SP. I think the low hole position simply allows a little fall that would be impossible with a centered hole. I leave my lens board raised with the hole centered; it does close up in this position. The Wista SP, like most technical camera, has plenty of front rise and I've never been bothered by losing a few mm of it, but if you shoot architecture this might be a concern.
-- Chris Kulczycki (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1998.