View Full Version : Storing Lenses - Boards Vertical or Horizontal?

Scott Rosenberg
30-Jul-2004, 12:23
good day...

i am about to start constructing small boxes to hold each of my lenses. i have seen the gnass products and while they look good, i would rather have the lenses in individual boxes. this gives me more freedom of arrangment in my backpack, and in case of inclement weather or strong winds or when shooting in a precarious location, i only have one lens out of my pack at a time.

before i finalize the design of the cases, i was wondering if one lens orientation was benefical to another. that is to say, is it better to store the lenses with the boards perpendicular to the ground or parallel to the ground?

knowing that i do a lot of hiking with my gear, there is going to be vertical shock as i hike, so i would assume the perpendicular orientation would be best, but am hoping to hear from folks who know more than i do.

i know the lenses should be stored wide open with the shutters uncocked and set to 't', but could not find any information regarding the orientation of the lenses.

thanks, scott

Brian Vuillemenot
30-Jul-2004, 12:28
Actually, the lenses should be stored stopped down all the way.

30-Jul-2004, 13:07
If the box is padded enough, I doubt it matters. Since your pack will be in one of two orientations (veritical on your back, horizontal on the ground), it doesn't matter how you put the lens in the box since it will in one of two orientations anyways.

I would make the boxes so that the lens board goes in flat when the box is sitting on a table. I think it's easier to grab the lens that way.

I'd be interested in seeing your results - my wife messed around with making some boxes for me, but found that it was difficult to make something that was both good looking, and functional.

Regarding how to store the lens with the shutter, I've always read that the shutter should be stored wide open, but I doubt if it matters, at least with newer lenses. Every new lens I've purchased has come with the shutter wide open, so if it comes from the manufacturer that way...

Older lenses, who knows.

30-Jul-2004, 13:39
I've used DLT (a type of data tape) cases to hold some of my thinner lenses while mounted on Graflex boards.

Just glued some felt in 'em, and they were ready to roll.

Matt Long
30-Jul-2004, 13:43

There have been posts in the past where some individuals have experienced rubbing on the lens due to the combination of flimsy lens caps and bulbous lens elements. That being said, I would lean toward packing the lens with the lens board in a vertical orientation to avoid the possibility of having the contents of your backpack shift and bear down upon your lens case. Yeah, I know that the chances are unlikely that the force would be sufficient to compress your case and press in on the lens cap, but why take chances? That's my .02. Cheers!

Jean-Louis Llech
31-Jul-2004, 09:21
I use Gnass cases and they are excellent products.
However, I understand you may prefer individual cases.
Before you start constructing your boxes, have a look to the website of Filmholders.com : they manufacture individual lens cases in cordura with foam : Filmholders, (http://www.filmholders.com/) and a direct link to the soft cases. (http://www.linkline.com/personal/awbent/softcase.html) (Bottom of page).

Dan Fromm
31-Jul-2004, 09:37
Not to be a complete idiot, but why make your own containers when there are perfectly good food storage containers on the market?

I keep lenses, both in barrel and on board, in food storage containers. Rubbermaid brand bought from one of our local cheap outlets and (shock! gasp! yes!) Martha Stuart brand from K-Mart. One of their great advantages is that they're dust tight. And yes, I buffer each lens in foam.



Brian Ellis
31-Jul-2004, 23:23
"I know the lenses should be stored wide open and the shutter uncocked and set to T."

I've never heard of setting the lens to T when it's being stored. Why is that supposed to be preferable to setting it at B or at some specific speed? I wouldn't think it matters where the shutter is set, especially if it's uncocked.

Scott Rosenberg
1-Aug-2004, 04:17
thanks for all the great information. to those asking about my shutter remark, that's just something i read, or remember reading, somewhere along the way. i guess there's not a quorum on that issue.

Jean-Louis Llech: the cases at filmholders.com look great, however, i could not find one with a rigid side and foam inners. i've sent an email to them checking to see if they offer such a product.

Dan: i went to several stores in my area, but could not find a container of appropriate size. since storage space in my backpack is a premium, i want a container as small as possible. the best thing i was able to find pre-made was a floppy disk case measuring 4x5x6... pretty close, but there's still some wasted space in there. if i were to fabricate my own cases, they would be precisely the right size for the lenses. i've got a garage full of wood working tools, but would prefer to find something lighter and stronger than 3/8" ply.

thanks again, scott

Dan Fromm
1-Aug-2004, 06:52
Scott, two thoughts.

About storing lenses with the shutter open, perhaps you were thinking of storing or shipping shutters. A shutter with no lens in it to protect the diaphgragm leaves and shutter blades is very vulnerable. The late Steve Grimes told me to send shutters open and with both ends securely blocked so that nothing could enter. Rather like wearing a belt and suspenders, but still a good idea.

About compact storage. I have one lens, a monster telephoto, for which I haven't been able to find a food storage container to fit. It now lives in a Lens Wrap. I was initially not comfortable with the idea of a Lens Wrap, bought one because it was clearly better than a towel. So far no dust has got in and, since I haven't dropped the lens yet, not physical damage yet either. Lens Wraps come in sizes, visit the Calumet or B&H sites.



1-Aug-2004, 16:24
Well, if it makes any difference, my hard case that came with my 8x10 stores lenses in plastic dividers (spaced so the whole board just slides in slots in a compartment of the case) and they are stored in a vertical orientation. Obviously this is the easiest to build, but I can say that it's used in at least one commercial (i hope) case.

Paul Metcalf
3-Aug-2004, 09:41
I have a repair manual for Graphex shutters (from Graphex) and it states that shutters should be stored on "T" because the main spring is in a non-tension state at this setting (not sure why "B" wouldn't be the same) thus prolonging the life of the main spring. But, I tore apart an old Graphex for kicks, and the main spring isn't set into tension until it's cocked. So my guess is this warning is unfounded. I would definitely not store any cocking shutter with the shutter cocked for the above reason (how much memory is set into the spring over time when cocked is a good study for some bored metallurgist).

As far as storing the shutter with the shutter blades open or closed, I have noticed that a really large old shutter's (it's at home and the name escapes me right now) aperture blades tend to get sticky when laying flat and closed for a period. There is actually some deflection in the blades and it looks like they sag if laying flat. So, I store all of my lenses open for this reason only. Off.