Enlarger lens/lensboard question

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Well, I just got an enlarger lens for my 8x10 Elwood, and it is a sweet lens, 360mm Rodenstock APO in mint condition; but this thing is HUGE. I got out the lens board for my other lens to compare, and it looks like the flange on the 360 will overhang the lensboard, and after I drill the hole, there's only going to be about 1/8" or so of wood at the long edges. This lens feels like it could go 7-8 pounds, so this is a scary thought. I'm thinking so far my options are reinforced wood, have someone machine one out of aluminum, or maybe some sort of strong plastic. Any experience in this area? I gotta find a way to make this lens work on the Elwood! Thanx!

-- Brad Daniels (zone3@pdnt.com), September 08, 2000


Having a piece of aluminum machined and anodized is the route that I'd take.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), September 08, 2000.

Hi Brad, I've had very good luck with model aircraft plywood, and you find it in a hobby store. You did not mention the thickness required for your enlarger, but hobby plywood comes in various thicknesses. As it is wood, it's easy to work with inexpensive tools. I don't know how the board attaches to your enlarger. The shear stregth of ply ought to carry 7 to 8 pounds, but I don't know how it attaches to the machine, and so I can't swear to it. I used this method on 4X5 Besslar; it worked for me. Good luck, David

-- david clark (doclark@yorku.ca), September 08, 2000.

I have an Elwood 8x10 and a somewhat smaller Schneider Componon 360/5.6. When I mounted the lens I found that the flange extended past the outer dimensions of the narrow length of the lens board. What I did was to use the old board that I had, cut it out wider with a hole saw and painted it flat black, then centered the flange on the outside (pointing down) of the board around the hole and drilled through the board in the flange mount holes to mount the flange to it with bolts passed through to washers/nuts inside (rather than screws). Then I just carefully and neatly hacksawed off the flange where it extended past the board and screwed the lens into the flange. It has never even hinted at falling. The board and enlarger clips that hold the board are strong enough to hold the weight, and the bolts make sure that the threads cannot pull through or strip. It's ugly but funtional, and cheaper than having someone do machining. Bolting the flange to the board makes the board stronger too, so you don't have to worry about it cracking. I also use black silicone adhesive from a hardware store under the flange and nuts to seal all potential light leaks and to make it that much more strong and safe. It smells for awhile but dries down to an odorless seal.

-- Rob Tucher (rtphotodoc@juno.com), September 08, 2000.

"Well, I just got an enlarger lens for my 8x10 Elwood, and it is a sweet lens, 360mm Rodenstock APO in mint condition; but this thing is HUGE."


There is no 360 Rodenstock Apo Rodagon enlarging lens.

The longest Apo Rodagon enlarging lens is a 150mm.

What you have is a 360mm Apo Process lens from a graphic arts process camera. All Apo Rodagons longer then 150mm are process lenses.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), September 08, 2000.

Brad, you may want to look into using aluminum and powder coating it a flat black. Get a machine shop to machine it for you. Powder coating is more resistant and cheaper to anodizing. There are powders that will result in a texture (which you want to avoid) such as Ridge Black, a Raven Black is more what you are looking for and is smooth and matte. The other alternative to Powder Coating is using Tremclad spray paint. If you wash and degrease your aluminum plate well, you will get very good adhesion.

If you are stuck-up for someone to cut out the board, give me the dimensions via email and I will make one for you out of aluminum with a matte black finish. I'm in the office-furniture business so i'll have it cut on CNC machinery. I live in Canada so I don't know if this is an option. I hope this helps. Good Luck. Dave.

-- Dave Anton (Daveanton@home.com), September 08, 2000.

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