Mount a APO-Nikkor 480mm f/9 in a 4X4 lensboard? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, everyone.

Anyone know if I can mount an APO-Nikkor 480mm f/9 barrel lens in a 4X4 lensboard?



-- Peter Chipman (, March 27, 2002


I highly doubt it; the front element alone is 3 5/8 inch diameter. In fact I'd say no but anything is possible if you are tenacious enough or want to pay SK Grimes enough. The aperture-ring flange thingy (is that what its called) is almost 5inches, which would be real problematic. It looks like the one on mine could be grinded down to about 4 inches, but that would cause other problems.

I have a huge iris diaphragm that fills my 6x6 lensboard. the 480 juuuuust squeaks in, and only stays there because the lock knob happens to lock in front of the aperture-ring flange thingy. I have to loosen it to change the aperture.

-- Wayne (, March 27, 2002.


What other Barrel lenses in that focal range (less than 540mm, more than 450mm) can fit in a 4X4?


-- Peter Chipman (, March 27, 2002.

Peter: Yes, you can, it is a really tight fit. I had maybe 0.030" on each side to keep it within the bevel on the back of the board. I had a machinist make a 4X4 board for me (fits my Deardorff and my Zone VI) and the metal board was threaded and the lens screwed in. If you try a surface mounted flange it probably won't fit. Even with such a board, you can't screw the lens in all the way or the aperture scale interferes with the camera. If you try using a retaining ring on the back of a conventional lens board, it will probably interfere with the bevel on the board fitting the light trap on the front of the camera.

-- Kevin Crisp (, March 28, 2002.

I have a 45cm Goerz RD Artar mounted on a Super Graphic board (which is smaller than 4X4, approx. 3 3/4" square)and a 19" non-RD Artar which screws into the same flange, so I can't imagine a 480mm RD wouldn't fit nicely on a 4X4 board. These are both f11 lenses. Goerz kept the size of their lenses down by making the maximum aperture smaller as the focal length increased. The outer diameter of the mounting flange on my 30" f 12.5 RD Artar is 4". If the sides of the flange were milled off a little, I think it could squeeze onto a 4X4 board. I also have a 19" f9 Rodenstock Apo Ronar mounted on a 4X4 board. The top and bottom of the flange had to be milled off a bit to clear the bars that hold the board on. The only criticism I've heard about Apo Nikkors is the large size. Optically they are supposed to be wonderful, although I don't know if they are better than Goerz or Rodenstock.

-- Leonard Robertson (, March 28, 2002.

I recently had Steve Grimes mount a APO-Nikkor 480 in a Betax #4. Due to the size of the lens the lens has to use the original flange as the mounting method (or it can be threaded directly into a board.)

The flange is larger than 4" by about 3/4 inch. The diameter of the rear lens barrel is 3.5 " The rear of the lens projects behind the mounting face of the flange by about 1 1/8"

So the answer is, yes, it can be mounted on a 4X4 board but not so easily.

I use all my lenses on a 4X4 boards but since these are adapted to a Sinar it seemed to be easier to just use a Sinar board in this instance.

It was nice to note that Mr. Grimes removed a large "shell" from the lens when mounting it in the shutter. It is much smaller after the mounting than before.

-- Bob Eskridge (, March 28, 2002.

I have an APO Nikkor 480 f9 also that I am planning to mount/use but just haven't quite figured out what/how yet. However, I'm curious about mounting it on a Copal 3 as I have seen some sold already in a Copal 3. Can this lens mount right on a Copal 3? or was that another version of this lens? Mine came from a graphic arts process camera and is really huge so it seems that it could not fit on a Copal 3. I'm happy to hear it's well regarded as mine is absolutely clean as a whistle and I picked it up for almost nothing.


-- Paul van der Hoof (, April 01, 2002.

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