Lens shades on field cameras

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Greetings all, As I add toys to my Tachihara woodfield, I find that I'm a little stumped as to a good approach for a lens shade on the Tachi - what do field shooters typically use? The Tachi doesn't have provision for the attachment of a compendium, and although my local dealer has some "wide angle" lens shades for 35mm (they seem awfully short to do any good), I'm also not sure if they will accomodate the 70-75 deg view angle of LF lenses. Any suggestions?

-- Paul coppin (coppin@execulink.com), October 12, 2001


My advice, which others will disagree with, is don't bother with a lens shade. I use my hat or the dark slide to shade the lens and have never noticed a problem.

-- Mark Windom (mwphoto@nwlink.com), October 12, 2001.

I just use a couple of sizes of rubber lense shades on my Linhof IV and help them along with my hat or hand or body etc. They aren't perfect and don't often work well with much rise or shift but are better than bare lens and hat. A compendium would work better but I have enough to carry and fiddle with.

-- Bob Finley (rfinbob@aol.com), October 13, 2001.

Calumet makes a nifty little 3x3 inch clip-on filter holder with 2 barn doors that fold out. It is shirt pocket size and fits lenses up to 67mm filter size. The barn doors are adjustable for use with any focal length/movement combination. The only drawback: only two sides are shaded, but it works well enough for 90% of flary situations. Regards, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (ScudderLandreth@compuserve.com), October 13, 2001.

I use the Cokin P-size filter holder for split neutral density filters, the occasional polarizing filter and 81b warmer. Cokin also sells hard plastic, stackable lens shades for this filter holder. I find it to work nicely at a low cost. Be sure to look/test for vignetting with wide angles lenses. jj

-- Joe Johnson (joseph.johnson_85@gsbalum.uchicago.edu), October 13, 2001.

Paul, Try this for size before spending big bucks on a Lee hood. Get yourself some matt black matting/mounting board (cheap and for this it doesn't even need to be archivally stable - joke!). Cut two squares from the board, approx 6 to 8 inches square. Place them back to back, black surface facing out and stick (use double sided tape). Then take strips of black electricians/gaffer tape and run these along the four edges. Voila...a lens shade! Fits easily into a pocket in your bag/pack and one side is also the perfect place to stick memos re:ASA settings, filter factors etc . If you find it doesn't suit then you could always spend a few hundred dollars on the Lee system (probably the best there is) regards Paul

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), October 13, 2001.

A cap or dark slide held to shade the front of the lens, as mentioned above, is a fine solution since there is no additional bits stuck onto the lens to catch wind, etc.

Compendiums can take quite a buffetting and vibrate out front of the lens. The Cokin, Lee, Sinar and other stckable shades general fail by reflecting light from the surface opposite the light source back into the lens, causing another source of flare to be shielded byt guess what? A cap or darkslide held to shade the lens-chade.

Cheap, portable and effective ... cap or darkslide.


-- Walter Glover (walterg@netaus.net.au), October 13, 2001.

Paul --

On my Rodenstock Sironar /150mm I use a metal hood, 49mm. It is a generic Japanese product, bought at B&H for 9.95. They don't have it listed in their catalogue, perhaps they list it online. I am sure if you call them they know what you mean. I use the same brand, but larger on my Contax 35mm, I considered it a great find.

-- Marcus Leonard (marcusleonard@yahoo.com), October 13, 2001.

Paul...an idea... I shoot in both format MF et LF... I manage to use a lens shade for both (I hate to carry duplicate..)... so... I bought a screw-in adapter for my LF lenses in order to use my Hassy lens shade (adjsutable for different lenses and fold flat)... it works for me...hope this help...

-- dan n. (dan@egmail.com), October 13, 2001.

Another variation on the darkslide theme is (if you have enough bellows extension and time to set this up) to position the darkslide so it hangs about halfway over the front standard (being careful to avoid vignetting), and drape the darkcloth over it so that it holds the darkslide in place and also shields the sides of the lens. If you try this, also be sure to check that the darkcloth isn't causing the bellows to sag and impinge on the image area.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), October 13, 2001.

I use my dark cloth to shade the lens.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), October 13, 2001.

Hi Paul

I use almost 35 mm lens shades but only on the 300mm a normal one on the others always a wide one, but up to now I did`nt find one for my Nikon f 4,5 90mm on thad I do it with the darkslide. Would be a good test if it is still needed for the todays MC lenses! God light and interesting shadows to all!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), October 13, 2001.

Hi Paul, Robert White's in the UK sell a gadget called a 'Wiggly Worm' - a flexible 'arm' that can be attached to the front standard. A piece of card can then be attached at the other end. This allows you to flex the shade into the optimum position, without any danger of vignetting. Lee system is good, but in my case (86mm filter thread on a 240mm lens) no wide angle filter ring is available, and the standard ring causes vignetting minimum movements.

-- Stephen Vaughan (stephen@vaughanphotos.freeserve.co.uk), October 14, 2001.

Paul, Re: the "wiggly worm", I've got one but don't use it - nice idea but the weight of the "flag" pulls the arm down! A good idea would be similar to the flarebuster (Gran View I think) but instead of attaching the arm to a cold shoe or to the front standard, with the arm attached to a thin plate that sits between the camera bed and tripod head - nice and sturdy and would allow you to position the flag anywhere! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), October 14, 2001.

I use only wide-angle lenses on my Ebony SW45. I'm considering the Lee holder and screw-in adapter rings with the wide-angle compendium shade. If anyone uses this system I'd like to hear about it.

-- Arthur Gottschalk (Arthurwg@aol.com), October 14, 2001.

Paul, in your question you do not state which lens you are using (is it a Rodenstock 35mm? or does 35mm refer to 35mm cameras?), so I will offer a suggestion that may and may not be helpful. I am not sure if your Tachihara has an accessory shoe on top of the front standard. If it does, Ebony makes a lens shade clip that will work quickly and well- -at least with moderately-wide or longer lenses. (Super-wide lenses really will not handle lens shades of any kind, especially if you are using a center filter, since the filter will occupy the small space that would otherwise be designated for a shade.) Anyway, the Ebony clip is attached to the camera shoe and rotates on a little ball head. All you need to do is attach a darkslide, a piece of cardboard, or black plastic to the clip. For longer-than-super-wide lenses, it is very useful.

-- Michael Alpert (alpert@umit.maine.edu), October 14, 2001.

First off, thank you all for the many and varied responses - I see that one really is only limited by one's creativity here. To the last response ,Michael, the 35mm reference was to so-called wideangle screw-in shades offered for 35mm camera systems. I don't think I could get a 35mm LF lens in the Tachi (or be able to hold it up!). No, I have a variety of lenses from 90-240mm. The Tachihara does not have any attachment points (at least so defined) on the front standard. I did notice that Adorama has advertized(magazine)a compendium as an accessory, but its not on their web site. I have the Cokin system in A and P, but have found vignetting on my MF system to be problem at times and so assumed it would likely be worse on the LF. The Cokin X-pro might be better, if there is something in that kit. At any rate, you all have given me lots of alternatives, so thank you for that!

-- Paul Coppin (coppin@execulink.com), October 14, 2001.

There is a common misconception about lens shades, which is why some people think that your hand or a dark slide or a hat or something else like that will work just as well. The time when you need a lens shade is not just when direct sun light is striking the lens (which is when your hand or a dark slide will work fine). When you really need a lens shade is when you're photographing in bright but diffused light. In that situation extraneous light is striking the lens from all sides and your hand or a dark slide or something like that won't work very well. You need a lens shade. I used the Lee system with a Tachihara and it worked well. The only thing I didn't like was the cost of the Lee polarizer - $150 or so.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), October 17, 2001.

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