Do I need a reccesed lens board? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does a 90mm lens(235 coverage)need a reccesed lens board for a 4 x 5?

-- mike byrnes (, April 14, 2001



That will depend on the construction of the particular 4x5 camera that the lens will be used on. You'll need to check the technical specs for the camera itself. If you let us know which camera you will be using, someone might be able to give you an answer right away.

-- Ken Burns (, April 14, 2001.

Usually not. But as said, depends on camera.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 14, 2001.

I've never had problems focusing a 90mm SA on my Calumet Woodfield, but your post raises an additional question: If a standard board works on a given camera, would a recessed board provide any improvement in terms of camera movements? Would these improvements (if any) be significant enough to justify the cost of the board?


-- Dave Willison (, April 14, 2001.

Note to Dave: Regarding more movements with a recessed lens board, an easy way to check with your camera would be to mount the lens, focus it, then extend the focusing track about 3/4 to one inch and see how much more movement you have. You may get a little, but recessed boards are a pain in the butt unless you like setting and operating your shutter down in a hole. It is difficult to attach a cable release and the settings on some shutters are very difficult to read and to reach.


-- Doug Paramore (, April 14, 2001.

Recessed lens boards might be not strictly necessary with 90mm but infact are always an advantage in terms of additional movements, true that some of them (Linhof and clones) are difficult to operate because aperture, lens opening and cocking of the shutter become difficult but these operations are a little problem but added movements are an distinct advantage. The best system though is the Wista and the Walker, their approach is radically different and instead of recessing the lens board they couple two boards , the one attached to the front standard and the other about 1" behind this attached to the first one by means of four metal cyliders used as spacers (cannot be more desciptive , you would have to see it!). This guaratees lateral acces to all lens functions and allows a normal design to take up to 47XLmm lens.

-- Andrea Milano (, April 15, 2001.

On the cost of recessed lens boards: Shen-Hao recessed lens board are cheap(er) than Linhof's and very good they retail in Europe for 60 EUROs+ Tax and sending.Pro Domo Mea!

-- Andrea Milano (, April 15, 2001.

Linhof recessed lensboards 001016 include a cable release quick release socket and a right angle sync contact so the shutter is more useful then simply sinking it in a recess.

Tell me, does the cheap board include these conveniences?

Linhof lens boards made in the past 5 years or so have been made on new milling equipment that makes the boards to such tight tolerances that there is no play in them when mounted in Linhof cameras made in the past few years.

Tell me, do the cheap lens boards fit so loosly that they can move within the standard? If so they do not maintain proper alignment.

Yes there are cheaper lensboards the Linhof's. Some of them affect the opical performance of the lens. Some of them do not center the lens on the film as the hole is in the wrong spot and some of them are not user friendly.

But yes they are cheaper. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why they are cheaper.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 15, 2001.

Bob shows once again that even when not mentioning Linhof and comparing any of its superlative products with other products he manages to feel attacked anyway. I merely mentioned the existence of a type of lens board I never said anything about Linhof or else. Anyway I don't want to open old wounds but i believe that in this world of ours there is space for all sorts of products even though some people would rather see one brand being the sole brand. Some people buy Beef other Buy chicken and nobody tells them what they have to like, if you like filet mignon you eat it but if you happen to prefer tripe nobody is supposed to rebuff you for this, this is the essence of freedom. Let other people have opinions and although manteining your point live and let live.

-- Andrea Milano (, April 16, 2001.

Sorry I now noticed that I did mention Linhof and compared them to Shen Hao! My apologies to BOB, my point is still valid though,please loosen up, no need to be so uptight, if someone has the bucks for Linhof's probably would buy it, and all the others buy something else.There is no harm done. Those who buy WV wouldn't normally buy Rolls.(Am I being fair to Linhof enough?)

-- Andrea Milano (, April 16, 2001.

Don't worry about Bob -- he enjoys nothing better than discouraging potential customers by browbeating them on the internet.

Mike, if you could repost what kind of camera it is that you use, perhaps someone could offer more information.

-- s. ballard (, April 16, 2001.

"Those who buy WV wouldn't normally buy Rolls

Most call it a VW

-- Bob Salomon (, April 16, 2001.

Some asked earlier, "If a standard board works on a given camera, would a recessed board provide any improvement in terms of camera movements? Would these improvements (if any) be significant enough to justify the cost of the board?"

From the few cameras I've used, if we are speaking in terms of ease of use and versatility, I'd rate interchangable bellows with the capacity to use bag bellows very highly --- maybe a recessed board would come in second...but all this depends very much on the design of the camera itself. My current monorail has a bag bellows and my press camera has a recessed board. The recessed board certainly allows me to focus quickly and easily and I don't have trouble setting or adjusting the shutter, but excessive movements when the bellows are compressed risk crinkling the leather bellows of the press camera. Since the lens on the recessed board does not have enough coverage to allow extremes of movement, it's not really an issue. My first view camera was a Graphic View II --- no interchangeable bellows. In that case, with wider lenses, a recessed board was a necessity -- without it, the bellows became so tightly compressed that movements were near impossible.

-- william blake (, April 16, 2001.

"Those who buy WV wouldn't normally buy Rolls
Most call it a VW
-- Bob Salomon (, April 16, 2001.

Wow, Bob, making fun of people's typing skills -- you're pretty hardcore. Can I hang out in your part of the playground? I want to see how many kids you punch in the nose during recess...

-- william blake (, April 16, 2001.

speaking of typing skills -- end italics.

-- william blake (, April 16, 2001.

Thanks Everybody, I am driving a (VW) calumet and mounted my 90mm on a flat board yesterday and shot a interior of local theater, I seem to have lotsa(sp) movement and the shots came out very satisfying (B&W). What a great thread for info, Thanks again, Mike

-- mike byrnes (, April 17, 2001.

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