I currently own a Grandagon-N 75mm f/6.8 lens and am choosing a wider one to shoot architecture with my Horseman VH-R.
From extended use of my 35mm Nikon equipment I found most of my wideangle pictures were taken with a 24mm lens, a focal lenght I happen to like a lot, so I am focusing on the 55-58mm range.
Both the Rodenstock APO Grandagon 55mm f/4.5 and the Schneider Super-Angulon 58mm f/5.6 XL would fit the bill; I tend to favor the Rodenstock because it is a little wider and a better match for my Nikkor's field of view.
Looks like I won't be able to find any of the 8mm recessed lensboards Scott Bennet manufactured years ago; this is not altogether unexpected from what I gathered on the subject, and after all I never liked the idea of having to hack at the Copal 0 shutter in order to mount the lens on such a board.
I am therefore left the only option of mounting the lens on a flat lensboard and accepting limited movements; from e-mail exchanges with the owner of a 58mm XL I know it will work (thanks again, Howard),and I am asking your help with the Rodenstock APO Grandagon 55mm f/4.5:
1) Is it possible to get infinity focus with the front standard securely clamped on the bed track? According to published specs the difference in flange focal distance between the 58mm and 55mm is just 69.3 - 67.6 = 1.7mm ... I tried focusing my 75mm to infinity and then moving the front standard back 78.5 - 67.6 = 10.9mm and it did grab securely.
2) If the answer to 1) is affirmative, is it necessary to rise the front standard in order to keep the bed out of the picture in landscape (horizontal) orientation? From experiments on my VH-R it should be possible to rise the front a little further than what's needed to align the red and white dots ... anyone ever measured the available rise?
3) Is it necessary to turn the VH-R on its side in order to shoot portraits (verticals), or does the little rise available allow one to keep the camera upright?
4) How much forward tilt can be applied without the bed showing in the picture?
5) Is it possible to use the E67/86 center filter ... I understand its front element is 86mm in diameter!
6) Do the (front) lens itself and/or the lenboard's position make it difficult to use a cable release, setting the aperture and loading the shutter?
7) Any other advice/comments from first-hand experience?