How to Mount a Copal 3 lens on my Toyo 45AX? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a Toyo 45AX. Now I am getting the superb new Schneider Apo Tele Xenar 400/5.6 Compact lens. This is not huge lens but does have a Copal #3 shutter.

Is there anyway to make lens this fit on my Toyo 45AX? Toyo does not make a #3 lensboard for the 45AX. Is the diameter of the #3 hole more than the 110mm of the lensboard? Is that why?

I can get a Linhof Technika lensboard in #3. And can also get a Linhof to Toyo adapter. Will this solution work?

Please help! I am desperate as I have already ordered and paid for the lens!

Thank you!

-- Sol Campbell (, September 03, 2000


If you want to avoid the cost of the Linhof Technica board, you can get a generic (not Linhof not Wista but no name possibly from Bromwell) Technica #3 board from B&H.

This does not answer your question about whether it will actually work, however.

-- John Hennessy (, September 03, 2000.

One thing I forgot to mention is that Toyo does sell a blank lensboard. But who one earth do you drill a hole into it? Is there a company out there that can drill a hole?

-- Sol Campbell (, September 03, 2000.

Steve Grimes at will drill lensboards.

-- David Goldfarb (, September 03, 2000.


Just buy a pre-drilled or undrilled Toyo board and have it drilled to the proper size by a competent machinist. If you don't have one in your area, as David mentioned, Steve Grimes does this work and is very good at it. Also, if you do have a local machinist you can work with, the hole dimensions for all the standard shutter sizes can be found on Steve's very informative web site at:

Unless you already have all your other lenses mounted in Linhof boards, the Toyo - Linhof adapter is a very expensive solution to a problem that has a much simpler and less expensive solution.

Finally, you might also consider a Canham board. Canham makes a pre-drilled #3 board that sells for $30 new. One precaution: Toyo 110mm boards fit the Canham, but in my experience, it can be a rather tight fit. Since I don't own a Toyo, I haven't tried a Canham board on a Toyo. In theory, it should fit, but best to try, or ask some one who has, before buying. The Canham boards are very nicely machined, and at $30 they are a bargain compared to what most other manufacturers charge for metal lens boards. You might want to call someone like Jeff Taugner at Badger Graphic (800-558-5350) to ask for guidance. Badger sells both Toyo and Canham, so he should be able to try a Canham board on a Toyo camera and let you know how it fits.

Good luck, and please let us know how you like your new APO Tele Xenar. It looks like a great long lens for cameras with limited bellows draw.


-- Kerry Thalmann (, September 03, 2000.

Any machinist can drill any size hole you want in a blank board. You can get adjustable hole cutters to fit any drill press. It ought to be a five minute job. Lens boards aren't rocket science, even though some companies would have you believe they are to justify obscene prices for them.

-- Doug Paramore (, September 03, 2000.

Thanks to all that replied. Looks like I will get one of my #1 lensboards and have Steve Grimes turn it into a #3. I hope the Apo Tele Xenar will then work effortlessly with my Toyo 45AX.

I will let you know what I think of the lens when I get it. I got it because of its good coverage and super fast speed. I also got a great deal on it. I paid $1475 for it, which makes it a bargain compared to the Nikon T ED's.

-- Sol Campbell (, September 03, 2000.

You should not have any problem fitting this lens on a Toyo 110 mm lensboard. The hole for a Copal #3 is 65,3 mm .If drilled #3 sizes are not available, you might have to get a plain undrilled board and have it drilled (you can also do it yourself). Is the AX a flatbed? If it is like the A II in terms of flange (324mm?), a slightly extended lensboard would give you better close-up possibilities (I think the lens has 285mm at infinity). I don't think Toyo has one but you can have a machinist make you one from a flat lenboard, adding a 4 cm. barrel (more might add too much stress to the camera) or find a third parties solution. I am myself considering the 10cm (when combined) extension tubes from Wista (I have Linhof type lensboards) to give my VX some more extension. (Can be seen on this web page:)

Would you be willing to give us some feedback on how this lens performs on your camera? I would be highly interested! Thanks.

-- Paul Schilliger (, September 03, 2000.

Seems a lot has already been said while I was preparing my answer!

-- Paul Schilliger (, September 03, 2000.


The 45AX is identical to the 45AII with the exception of the revolving back. The maximum extension is 321mm. I also have a 100mm extension back so I should be able to use the lens for some nice portraits too. I don't want the extension too much in the front beacause like you said that will upset the balance and it is a heavy lens.


-- Sol Campbell (, September 03, 2000.

Sol, this back extension seems great! I wish there was a similar back (or front) extension for the VX!

-- Paul Schilliger (, September 03, 2000.

"I wish there was a similar back (or front) extension for the VX!"

There is if you have the Technika adapter board. It is made by Wista

-- Bob Salomon (, September 03, 2000.

B&H Catalog # TOLB3F Mfg Catalog # 180618

From the B&H website, Toyo field lensboard w/#3 hole.

-- John Hicks (, September 03, 2000.


Thank you! You saved me a lot of hassle. So it IS available after all. It is amazing that the Toyo web site, which is very comprehensive does not list this lensboard.

I will be ordering it from B&H on Tuesday.


-- Sol Campbell (, September 03, 2000.

Thanks Bob,

<<"I wish there was a similar back (or front) extension for the VX!" There is if you have the Technika adapter board. It is made by Wista >>

Yes, I mentioned it above. But the Toyo back extension has an advantage in that it allows for some movements without vignetting It might also be safer to weaken the back side rather than the front side, knowing that the front has to absorb the shutter shake. Giving it a second thought however, I fear it would act as a lever on the monorail standard and false the focus, especially with an added rollfilm back. Shouldn't this kind of extension work great on the back of a Technika? But it would require a spring-back fitting on one side and therefore would be expensive. The Toyo extension for A II is simple and back packable but expensive. You can have a long bellows and rail extension for that price, but the implementation is not as easy.

-- Paul Schilliger (, September 04, 2000.

Hi Sol, I see you have already recieved some good advise on your question. I think you made a good choice going with the Toyo board. I don't think anyone said they accually have used a copal 3 shutter on their Toyo. I have and the only problem I had was if you want to mount the shutter straight as it should be the lever for the apeture will hit the side of the front standard. One solution is to rotate the shutter 90 degrees or do as I did and use a spacer to gain clearance. I work in a G.M. car dealership and found that the spacers used in G.M. rear axles are the right size and give about one quarter inch space. There may be better ways to do it but this worked for me. IF you want to use this method let me know and I will get you the part number for the spacer they only cost a couple of bucks Bill Bartels

-- Bill Bartels (, September 04, 2000.


Thanks for letting me know. Yes I am interested in the GM Part. Could you be kind enough and let me know the part number? Also where can I order it from?


-- Sol Campbell (, September 04, 2000.

OK Sol, you already have your lens board problem solved, but, I want to pass along a different way I made a lens board for my Schneider 360/6.8 Symmar-S lens w/ a Compur #3 shutter (weight about 3.1 pounds). My 4x5 is a homemade wooden camera with a 1/8"x4" square black plastic board that came with the kit. I had replaced the plastic board with wooden ones so it was not being used. I enlarged the hole by first making a hole pattern from a piece of scrap 1/4" plywood and then routing the hole to size with a 1/2" diameter flush cutting bit on my woodworking router. I mounted the front element of the lens and shutter on my board, attached it to my camera, and then threaded on the lens rear element through the bellows. The pattern took about an hour to make and cutting the hole less than a minute. No Cost, no drilling and the pattern can be reused to cut more boards when I finish building my 8x10. Harry

-- Harry Martin (, September 05, 2000.

Just crusin' and found this question.

You can look all over and find a used #3 Toyo AII board. (many hours of work)

Or, you can buy a #0 board or #1 board and have it drilled or milled to 65.5mm. There's at least 1 machine shop in every town over 25,000. Cost is around $10-$15.

I use several #3 lenses on 4 cameras: Sinar, Cambo 8 x 10 folding, Toyo View, and Toyo AII. No problem at all on the Studio Cameras and Cambo. But for the Toyo Field, a #3 lens is a little heavy to be carrying around in the field and is a little heavy on the front standard. Constantly using a #3 with the lenses that would mount in it, over time, would probably weaken the front tilt locks. There's nothing I really use a 240mm for on my field camera. I really like the wide angles which are much smaller and lighter.

I have found a great way to incorporate all my lenses to fit all my cameras. I have them mounted on the smaller Toyo AII (110mm x 110mm) lensboards, including my #3 Compur & Copal shutters. I have adapted a couple of Sinar boards to the AII, as well as the Toyo View and the Cambo 8 x 10.

I have found used Toyo AII boards all over between $10 & $30 drilled already to 00, 0, 1, or 3. Those, even needing drilling, are far less expensive than the used Sinar boards I would need (around $45 to $60). And much much less time it would take switching lenses when I changed cameras.

I made two of the adapters myself, just access to a drill press, vice, and file.

Considering the smallest camera someone would shoot if having two or more cameras, it would be a great idea to do the same, making all his lenses fit all the cameras. My lenses and small boards fit in the Zipper bags I use with medium padded wraps, taking much less space in my bags & cases.

-- Al Harrison (, January 28, 2001.

In the previous response, the 8 x 10 camera is not a Cambo but a Calumet folding. I made an adapter for the lensboard to fit the camera but shortly after making the adapter, I bought a Sinar 8 x 10 format kit.

-- Al Harrison (, January 28, 2001.

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