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Thread: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

  1. #1

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    Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    My background of 4x5" cameras includes Speed Graphics, Crown Graphics, Toyo Views and Cambo Views. Recently, I wanted a lighter weight view camera so purchased a lovely Chamonix. This is where I became confuzzled - all of the other 4x5" cameras I have worked with needed lens boards where the hole was in the center of the board but the Chamonix uses boards where the hole is lower than the center of the board. Why?

    I understand that the folks at Chamonix use a Linhof Technika-style lens board where the hole is off center. Why would they do that? There certainly were other styles of lens boards extant with centered holes. When they were a new company designing cameras from fresh scratch, why not simply use lens boards with centered holes? Is there an advantage to an offset hole? Would a center hole board not be easier for the photographer to align the center axis of the lens and film?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by AtlantaTerry; 11-Jul-2017 at 20:26. Reason: Cleaning up my prose.

  2. #2

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    If you look at Chamonix's website they say that they can custom make your lens boards the way you want them.

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/lensboard.html

    Chamonix's can use Linhof Technika boards or Linhof Technika style boards. True Linhof boards have the holes off center for Linhof Technika cameras. The Linhof Technika style boards made by other manufacturers have the lens holes in the center. At least that is what I have seen. I use the Technika style boards with holes in the center for some of my lenses for my Wehman camera.

  3. #3

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    If you look at Chamonix's website they say that they can custom make your lens boards the way you want them.

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/lensboard.html

    Chamonix's can use Linhof Technika boards or Linhof Technika style boards. True Linhof boards have the holes off center for Linhof Technika cameras. The Linhof Technika style boards made by other manufacturers have the lens holes in the center. At least that is what I have seen. I use the Technika style boards with holes in the center for some of my lenses for my Wehman camera.
    Alan, thank you for the reply. Geez, I wish I had this information at hand when I ordered the camera along with several Carbon Fiber lens boards because their default is to have an offset hole. If the offset is not needed for their cameras, why then is it their default??? To do that seems like they just slavishly copied the Technika boards! It seems kinda dumb to my way of thinking. Maybe Hugo can offer up an answer.

    Yes, I know I can buy the boards with a centered hole because there are several vendors who offer them. My favorite boards that I have tried are made by Gaoersi - very nice quality for a reasonable price (the boards have a gold coat of arms in the upper right corner). BTW, Nikon in Japan also offers centered hole Technika-style boards through their resellers.
    Last edited by AtlantaTerry; 12-Jul-2017 at 00:28. Reason: Cleaning up my prose.

  4. #4

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    Thinking of my sold Shen Hao:
    Having a centered hole, this would automatically place the front standard out of the axis of the camera ( rise).
    Using a centered hole is possible but would loose some rise distance, because there then is already 1 cm rise.
    This were possible reasons I have seen on my Shen Hao.

    Ritchie

  5. #5

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    Bromwell Marketing also makes custom lens boards.

    http://www.bromwellmarketing.com/boards.htm

    I've swapped emails with Ted Bromwell and he seems like a really nice guy.

  6. #6

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    With Linhof-type boards, there are two "centers". One (#1) is obviously the middle of the top and bottom edges. But there is also another "center". That is the middle of the light ring/baffle on the back (#2). #1 and #2 are not in the same location. I've seen Linhof-type boards with the hole centered on #1, centered on #2, 10mm lower than #1, 10mm lower than #2. The list goes on.

    It really is a mess because some camera manufacturers don't mention if the camera needs an off-set board, and by how much -- mine didn't. Most lensboard sellers don't mention where the hole is "centered", and many photographers don't know, or even think about, which is best for their camera(s). It's important, especially for lenses with small image circles. A good test is to set your front standard to the ZERO setting and see if the middle of your ground glass is perfectly lined up. If it is, you need boards with the hole at #1. If it is not, line it up and measure how much your hole needs to be off-centered. You might be surprised.
    Last edited by xkaes; 12-Jul-2017 at 14:09.

  7. #7

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    Wista and Toyo also make Linhof Technika type lens boards with center holes. There used to be Nikon, Fuji and NSE brands as well. I have some used Toyo and Wista boards available, and can also get you new Toyo boards.

    Kumar

  8. #8

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    On my Chamonix I added 2 "dots" to the front standard to align either an offset or a center mounted lens. I color coded the 2 pairs of dots on the front standard to match a color coded dot on each of my lens boards.... simple solution.

    Challenge for me was how to know when the lens was accurately centrally aligned on axis to the back standard.... suggestions very, very welcome on how to easily do this.

  9. #9

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Challenge for me was how to know when the lens was accurately centrally aligned on axis to the back standard.... suggestions very, very welcome on how to easily do this.
    1. Cover the hole in the lens board with a piece of cardboard.
    2. Make a tiny hole in the center of the cardboard as accurately as possible.
    3. Take the camera outdoors.
    4. See if the light is hitting the center of the glass.
    5. Adjust as necessary.

    Kumar

  10. #10

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    Re: Why is the Chamonix lens board hole off center?

    Quote Originally Posted by B.S.Kumar View Post
    1. Cover the hole in the lens board with a piece of cardboard.
    2. Make a tiny hole in the center of the cardboard as accurately as possible.
    3. Take the camera outdoors.
    4. See if the light is hitting the center of the glass.
    5. Adjust as necessary.

    Kumar
    Thank you... Greg

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