Compendium shade: camera or lens mounted ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Is there any clear reason to prefer a lens mounted shade to a camera (font standard) mounted shade or vice versa ? I noticed that on the lens, it's easier to access the controls, while on the camera, it's easier to use circular filters (particularly the polarizer) and less likely to vignette with them. No big difference there, it seems. I've read somewhere in this forum that the camera mounted variety transmits more vibration in windy conditions, but I am not sure I understand why.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, November 29, 2000


Q: The camera mounted shade usually gives you more flexibility to tailor it to different lenses and configure it when movements are used. The adjustable type can be tilted or moved up when a lot of rise is used to avoid cutting off the top of the image. This is expecially good with wide angle lenses. The same can be said of camera swings. The ones with the filter slots work good with the square filters. Some of the camera mounted shades flip up out of the way when you need to get to the lens. I use both types. The lens mounted ones work fine if you can find a square one. As for vibration, the larger area of the camera mounted shades could cause more vibration in the wind, but I usually stay indoors then.


-- Doug Paramore (, November 29, 2000.

I have mentioned vibration of camera mounted shades... specifically the Toyo Field compendium shade. Because of the way it is cantilevered, unless the back of the shade can also rest against the lensboard, it has a nice resonance on its two arms. For small lenses, you can adjust it so that it rests on the lensboard, but the opening is not big enough to encompass all shutters.

-- Glenn Kroeger (, November 29, 2000.

The ability of a lens shade to provide direct adjustment for movements is a function of it's design. For example, the Canham and Arca Swiss are camera mounted, and do not adjust for movements. Linhof is camera mounted, and does adjust for movements. Today, no one offers a lens mounted shade which adjusts for movements, however such a design is possible.

If I owned a camera brand who offered a shade which adjusted for movements, I'd prefer that approach just because of that capability.

-- Larry Huppert (, November 30, 2000.

The LEE lenshade is lens-mounted and adjustable for movements. It is also self-supporting and so is very light. The have square and rectangular "wide-angle" versions.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, November 30, 2000.

A simple camera mounted 'flag' over the lens will keep flare at bay, and this doesn't need to be any more elaborate than a piece of card stuck on a wire. It's easily bent to where it'll do the most good, and the least harm.
I've never experienced internal camera reflections that were bad enough to warrant the use of an all round matte.

-- Pete Andrews (, November 30, 2000.

The Lee lens shade is NOT truely adjustable for movements. The shade has a built-in "foundation kit" which snaps to any of the Lee adapter rings. The shade cannot travel up, down, left or right relative to the front of your lens. It is fixed dead center. If you do movements, you must pull back the shade in the direction of the movement to prevent vignetting. For example, if you have used rise, then you must pull back the top of the shade. Pulling back the shade has the effect of lessening the effectiveness of the shade. If you use moderate to large movements, you must pull it back so far that it isn't worth using.

If you use Lee style filters which require rotation (e.g. polarizer & ND grads), the use of their shade is even more difficult, particularly with wide angle lenses. My solution has been to stop using the Lee shade entirely. Instead, I've taken to using a piece of black foamcore to shield the lens from direct sun.

-- Larry Huppert (, November 30, 2000.

I gently disagree with Larry. I use the Proshade, which is made by Lee but is smaller and fits the Cokin holder. You can deform the shade up and down, and side to side, as well as tilting the front of the shade. Even that does not "lessen" the effect. I am able to the opening to coincide with the film coverage based on checks from the front and back of the setup. In addition, the Arca-Swiss shade is more "fully" adjustable having a sissors style movement.

What is not easily done with Lee, Proshade or Arca-Swiss is to change the aspect ratio of the opening to match the aspect ratio of the film. The 4-bladed style Linhof works better there.

-- Glenn Kroeger (, November 30, 2000.

I would think the camera mounted style, like the one Toyo sells, would offer the most protection from scattered light. I believe Woody Walters did a test that demonstrated their superiority with a coated lens, but can't be sure that's correct.

The ones designed to flip up out of the way are pretty easy to use. I could see them being a source of vibration, but then so is the bellows - so wait for the wind to die down. The tree branches and flowers will be blurred anyway. Unless that's what you want of course.

I know Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee use big rubber folding lens shades like what Tiffen, et. al. sell. However, they don't use filters much either.

I use this thing from Calumet: Universal Gelatin Holder Item No: BG9000 $41.95. I think Adorama or B&H sell it too. It'll fit on lens barrels up to 70mm in diameter.

It cost less when I bought mine. It's two barn doors, like for a light, that clip onto the lens. I modifed mine by gluing black felt to the inner part to make it less reflective. It weighs only a couple of ounces and is completely adjustable and folds very flat. It doesn't cover the entire lens though. It is designed to accept 3" gelatine filters in cardboard mounts, but I use mine with my glass screw-in ones.

When all is said and done I supposse it depends on what approach you take - gelatine, resin, glass, and how you choose to mount them - Lee, Tiffen, B&W, Calumet, etc.

-- Sean yates (, November 30, 2000.

I use a "Flarebuster", which is basically a rubber covered wire (very substantial) which has a hot shoe mount on one end and a small bulldog-type clip on the other. It comes supplied with a number of small reflectors and a small circular foam disc that acts as a flag. I have replaced this disc with a larger square of black card to ensure adequate shading. I understand that a version exists that has the clip on both ends. Does the job and very cheap, about 18 (U.K pounds). But if I'm in a rush I do use the piece of card handheld!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, November 30, 2000.

If you're rich you can use multi-coated lenses. Personally, I prefer a Stetson, AA style.

-- Bill Mitchell (, November 30, 2000.

The lens type may not provide enough clearance between the camera bed and the shade to allow the shade to be rotated when using a polarizer. This was the case with me when I bought a Linhof Technika and tried to use the Lee system with it. With my previous camera (a Tachihara) I was used to screwing the shade onto the lens with the lens mounted on the camera. When I tried that with the Linhof, it wouldn't work unless the front of the lens extended beyond the camera bed. The problem can be solved with most filters by screwing the hood onto the lens before mounting the lens on the camera (thought even that is somewhat awkward) but this won't work with a polarizer since the hood needs to be turned while it is attached to the lens. The problem is avoided with a camera mounted shade because the shade is attached to the top of the camera. I'm sure this isn't true of all cameras but it's something I'd check out before buying a lens mounted shade such as the Lee.

-- Brian Ellis (, December 04, 2000.

Calumet's current catalog (page 116) shows a Multiclip for $13.95 (less elsewhere). Just clip the appropriate size black matte board in one end and clip the other to your front standard (top or side as needed) for a lightweight, inexpensive, compact and fully adjustable shade that keeps both hands free for shooting. This also allows easy access to lens controls and is sturdy enough to stay in place once you have made your movements and backed it out of your viewable area. Works with all focal lengths and filter combos. Coat the jaws with gaffer's tape to prevent damage to your camera.

Good Luck!

-- Jim Blecha (, December 05, 2000.

This post is turning into the Lens Shade Encyclopaedia. Wow! I have the Lee, with the rotating polarizing problems on a field camera. The Linhof shade is almost the solution I have been seeking. Problem: too small to take-in the rotating Lee filter holders. Solution? make the Linhof shade bigger so that the Lee holders sit inside the shade. That would mean replacing its bellows and 2 frames by larger ones. Also, it may be possible to fit onto one of the frames a photo-light style set of barn doors and dispense with bellows and the other frame. Has anyone tried this?

-- Julio Fernandez (, December 12, 2000.


Re: barn doors,

That's what the Calumet Universal Gilter holder is - two barn doors with a spring clip to hold it to the lens barrel and a slot for one gelatin filter 3" X 3". I glued two pieces of black felt to the inside of mine to make it even less reflective.

-- Sean Yates (, December 12, 2000.

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