View Full Version : How do I mount a lens in a lensboard?
This may sound like a dumb question (it does to me), but how do I mount a lens in a lensboard? I just got a camera, lens, lensboard, etc and need to mount the lens before I can use everything. I was kind of hoping that the lens would come with instrcutions, but it didn't.
Thanks for you help Dan
Carefully unscrew the rear lens element from the shutter. Then, unscrew the retaining ring from the shutter. Put the lensboard over the shutter, so that it faces forward and the shutter sticks through the hole. Center the lens as you want it in the shutter, then carefully screw in the retaining ring. Make sure it is tight enough to hold the lens- it helps to use a lens wrench for this. Finally, carefully screw the rear lens element back in, and you should be good to go.
The process could vary a bit depending upon exactly what you have. Is it a lens in a modern shutter (e.g., a Copal 1 or 3)? Or is it an older shutter with a mounting flange? Is your lens board already bored to match the shutter or do you need to have the hole bored? Do you know what diameter bore you need? Sometimes the retaining rings are cut with a step and it's that step which needs to fit through the hole. (But the step length can't be longer than the board is thick!)
Although the process is basically quite simple, there can be some subtle variations which can surprise you. Do you know how you want the lens oriented on the board? For one of my lenses there was only one way it could be oriented and still be able to attach a cable release. It wasn't obvious and I only discovered it after the fact.
If you're reasonably mechanically adept, I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out. But the wording of your question suggests that perhaps it might be wise to send it off to S.K. Grimes (http://www.skgrimes.com) at least the first time around to save on surprises.
Sometimes the retaining ring will have screw holes in it to attach it to the lens board. In that case, you need to be sure that you have the orentation of the shutter as you want it when it is tightened down before you locate the retaining ring.
Also some shutters have a locating screw on the back that is used to keep the shutter from turning when you make adjustments. If you have that screw it must either be removed or you have to drill a hole to accept it in the lens board.
The retaining rings on my lenses have two notches on opposite sides of the ring that are used to tighten the ring. It's impossible to tighten the rings adequately by hand since you can't really grip them. You need some tool that will fit into the notches and allow you to rotate the ring until it's very tight.You can use the prong of a fork, which is what I used to do but I always found it a little scary since a slip of the fork could damage the lens. I bought a spanner wrench from S.K. Grimes for about $30. Calumet sells these tools also. They'll make your life much easier and last a lifetime. They are adjustable so that they'll fit rings of any conceivable size. I wouldn't send the lens to Grimes just to have it mounted on the lens board. It's a simple thing to do yourself with a spanner wrench (or even with the prong of a fork if you're careful) and they'll charge you at least as much as a spanner wrench would cost.
Thanks for all of the help. I am ready to mount the lens and feel confident in the process. I already have a pre-dirlled lens board, the lens and a spanner wrench, but wanted to check to be sure I knew how to do it. I had a good idea, but reassurance was what I was looking for.
Thanks to everyone who responded.
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