View Full Version : Mentor Panorama II 13x18 and Kodak Aero Ektar 178 sharpening issue

15-Jan-2017, 08:09
I become happy owner of Kodak Aero Ektar 178, manage to make a plate to mount. What was the surprise for me when I couldn't sharp anything further then 1 meter. Kind of confused, I have a Toyo 45 Cf and never had that issue. It would be great if someone explain me, what the heck I'm doing wrong. The below getting shorter so I have to move camera or object. What about If I want to take a whole body. Kind of bizarre. Any advice help. Would be very much appreciated.

Dan Fromm
15-Jan-2017, 09:28
It sounds like y'r camera can't compress enough to focus a 7" lens mounted entirely in front of the lens board on a subject farther than 1m from the film plane. I'm not familiar with Mentor view cameras but y'r problem isn't that rare. Remove the tripod mounting block and reattach it to the rail in front of the front standard. This will let you bring the standards closer together.

15-Jan-2017, 11:44
Well I'm going to try. Not sure wether mentor will let me do it. But seems I'm going to struggle to get anything decent.

15-Jan-2017, 12:56
The shutter box which is part of the front standard on your Mentor is quite wide my guess is you can't get the film plane to ficus at Infinity because the camera won't compress/close up enough. This is why the common choice with these lenses is a Speed Graphic which has a rear focal plane shutter.


15-Jan-2017, 13:02
Well thanks guys, seems like won't have a much fun with it. Wonder only why if I move camera away from the object, shouldn't then below move forward to be able to focusing. I put a zeiss 210 mm and there is no problem at all. I know is a different lens, but that different. 159818 So, it kind of contrary to my knowledge. Btw on the image sharpening is on the hart, so you can see the distance.

Dan Fromm
15-Jan-2017, 13:34
Thanks for posting the picture. It shows what I suspected.

The tripod mount (goes between tripod and rail) limits how much you can compress the camera. There's a knob on the tripod mount. Unscrew it, lift up the top of the mount and remove the camera and rail from the mount. Put it back on the mount with the front standard behind the mount. You will then be able to move the front standard backwards towards the rear standard to focus on distant objects.

You don't understand the relationship between extension -- think of it as the distance between the standards -- and the focused distance. Extension is a minimum when the lens is focused at infinity, is increased to focus closer.

15-Jan-2017, 14:34
Thank you for a help. I do appreciate. I did what you have advised me and should get some more inches. Thinking as well to do different plate, to mount lens dipper. Could help I guess.

Dan Fromm
15-Jan-2017, 15:21
Your goal should be to set the camera up so that the distance from the lens' diaphragm to the film plane is less than 178 mm, ideally around 165 mm. If this isn't possible with the bellows fully compressed, well, you'll need to use a different camera, perhaps a 9x12 Panorama.

Oh, and by the way, I don't know whether a 7"/2.5 Aero Ektar will cover 13x18 at portrait distances. It certainly won't at infinity, the lens was made to cover 114mm x 114mm, i.e., a 161 mm circle.