View Full Version : Mounting an older lens...

27-Dec-2014, 08:41
Hi All,

I have a 19" Goerz Artar lens (see pic) that I'd like to mount for use on an older model 8x10 Arca Swiss monorail camera. The lens board holder that I have uses Linhof style metal boards. Should I try to find a similar style lens board or possibly make my own? I think even most thin woods would be too thick to use with the lens board holder.

The lens does not have a shutter and I plan on using it without one.

Any ideas/thoughts would be appreciated.



Jim Noel
27-Dec-2014, 09:00
Obtain a piece of aluminum of the correct thickness and make your on lensboard I have done so many times over the years.

27-Dec-2014, 09:18
Thanks Jim. I'll give that a try.

Would I be correct in assuming I would need to use small bolts in lieu of screws to hold the lens on?


27-Dec-2014, 11:46
I'd buy a Linhof style board they are inexpensive, a lot less work, you'd need to cut the correct sized hole, the boards file out easily as well. And yes get son=me small countersunk nuts and bolts.


Alan Gales
27-Dec-2014, 12:31
While your lens is in the flange, take a pencil and put a mark top dead center. After you drill your hole in the lens board put the flange in it and turn the flange until your pencil mark is top dead center. Then take your pencil and mark where you want your holes to be drilled for the bolts. By doing this your lens will end up mounted on the lens board the way you want it.

It may not matter to you since your lens is in barrel but it's pretty important to most of us with shutter mounted lenses.

Michael E
27-Dec-2014, 14:35
My Tachihara uses Technika boards, but without need for the lower cut-outs.

I use 2mm plywood (the high grade, 5-ply kind) and have it cut to size at the store. One cheap sheet of plywood makes quite a few lens boards. I cut the holes with a simple jigsaw to the size of the rear thread. I put the barrel in the hole and fasten the flange from the other side. No screws needed. You can even screw the barrel into the soft wood without a flange.

Peter Yeti
27-Dec-2014, 17:45
Jackie, I'd buy a Linhof Techinca style lens board (Linhof, Wisner, Shen Hao, Toyo, Tachihara etc) rather than making my own (have done that, too). You can't easily make the profile yourself that keeps stray light out and they are readily available anyway. Check the size of the flange. If the outer diameter is less than 80mm, it's comparably easy. Then you "only" need to drill the hole and can use the flange as retaining ring. If it is bigger, this won't work on a Technika board. If the thread diameter of the lens is 75mm or less you can mount it by using a retaining ring, which probably needs to be custom made. You'd need a metal workshop with a lathe to do that. I'm currently working on mounting a big old Petzval on a Technika board and it's quite a lot of work...

Good luck,


28-Dec-2014, 05:46
Thank you All for the great suggestions.

I was going to go with Ian and Peters advice of buying a pre made board but the width of the flange is 84mm so that wouldn't work. Since the flange can be removed I could drill a hole and get a custom made retaining ring to hold it onto the board.

I'm considering sending it off to SK Grimes for proper mounting if it is within my budget.

It's not a horribly valuable lens but it is clean and fungus and scratch free and I think it would be fun to play with as I'm thinking of starting out using photographic paper for my 8x10 negative material.

Thanks again.


1-Jan-2015, 13:09
sounds like making extra work and expense if you're talking about having new components made... much easier to just get a cheap generic metal board [they're not flat so it's hard to replicate it at home], cut/file an appropriate size hole [doesn't have to be a very exact size] and then use a few cheap/small brass nuts and bolts from the hardware store to fix the mounting ring you already have. That's what it's there for! And the ring can be taken off easily enough if you want to remount the lens on something else later... KISS Principle usually works out fine.

Peter Yeti
1-Jan-2015, 16:32
Andrew, your idea is nice in theory but won't work in practice if the lens flange is too big (like most probably in this case). This would work only, if the flange diameter is small enough so that the nuts fall inside a circle of less than 80mm. What could be done is to trim the outer diameter of the flange on the lathe to use it as a retaining ring. This wouldn't be my choice because the orignal flanges are much sought after, but it'd be an option.


2-Jan-2015, 10:47
It's OK if the flange exceeds the lensboard size IF the lensboard face doesn't recess into the front standard. That depends on the camera and I'm not familiar with that one.
shows a recent one where I could get away with that. Make sure the inside portion of the lens does not hit camera parts too, like bellows or front standard.

2-Jan-2015, 14:16
If there are enough threads on the lens, you can use a very large washer as a spacer on the inside of the board to raise the surface enough to clear the ridge. Then use the flange reversed as a jam nut.

Pardon the very rough sketch. Looking at the backside of the board with the washer.


2-Jan-2015, 16:09
I'm sitting here with an 82mm outer diameter flange which is pretty close to yours unless you've referenced the mounting thread... I love a technical challenge!

I still think you should be able to make a flange of 84mm OD sit on the front of a technika board using it as a mounting flange like it was designed to do without having to cut or file the flange. [I have a number of old flanges that had a bit cut off to make them fit on a smallish board].

sure, you cannot use the original flange as a jam nut from behind [!], but I think you'd just manage to sneak it onto the front of the lens board and run some screws right through using the existing holes in the flange... depending on how your boards mount on the camera, you may or may not need to make a shim from some MDF or plywood to lift the flange forward and cut the shim so the mounts can slip in behind? But probably not.

The screw holes would end up pretty close to the raised part of the board's rear surface contour for the light seal and you might need to file down the nuts to squeeze them inside the light seal?

any chance you could scan the flange or photograph it absolutely straight on? if you can I'll print it out to life size and see how it looks against a board.

2-Jan-2015, 16:47
you cannot use the original flange as a jam nut from behind

Why not? See above,

2-Jan-2015, 18:16
Why not? See above,

the idea is fantastic and very practical but I don't think the dimensions quite fit

I measured my technika as well as the board... the hole in the front standard is 84mm and the outside of the ridge in the board is 83 so there's a bit of wiggle room when you mount the board/lens
so if the OP's flange is 84mm there'd be zero room to move for getting the flange in when you mount the assembly on the camera [I'm assuming the adapter the OP's using has technika dimensions]

2-Jan-2015, 19:28
Good point. I would need the parts on the bench to learn.

Dan Dozer
3-Jan-2015, 08:09
If the lens flange is a little too big for your metal Linhof boards, you might consider using a piece of plywood from the local craft store about 1/4"thick and mount your lens to it. Then screw through the back of the metal lens board into the wood board the lens is mounted onto. The thickness of the wood board may space the lens out far enough away from the front of the camera so the flange doesn't interfere with the camera front. I've done this with several lenses on my Linhof Technica boards.

3-Jan-2015, 12:31
Thanks everyone. Lots of great ideas for mounting the lens to the Linhof board.

The flange is not too big for the board. The issue with mounting the lens is that the holes on the flange for mounting fall over the area in the back that has the ridge.

Is it possible to file the ridge in the areas where the mounting bolts would go?

3-Jan-2015, 13:17
The issue with mounting the lens is that the holes on the flange for mounting fall over the area in the back that has the ridge. Is it possible to file the ridge in the areas where the mounting bolts would go?

that's why I was fishing for a scan to get exact dimensions....
I guess you could grind back the ridge on the lens board to run the bolts through but if any part of your nut or bolt was standing up proud of the board surface and extended past the old edge of the ridge it'd possibly/probably foul on the inside of the camera's mounting area [that would be bad]

if you ran the bolts through from behind and counter sunk them so they were flush with the board's rear surface there wouldn't be a problem with fouling but you might not have a lot of metal left to grip them... you'd have to try it and see. If it wasn't going to be stable perhaps it could be reinforced by bonding some ply to the front of the board?
if you lost a couple of small sections of that ridge you probably wouldn't have problems with light leaks but you could possibly reconstitute it with a bit of ingenuity [maybe cut little bits of plastic to fit and glue them in place? or little plugs of felt?]

if the holes in the flange fall JUST inside the ridge you might be able to just cut back the bolt heads to squeeze them inside the ridge rather than grind off sections of board ie run the bolts thru' from the back, grind off a section of the head to make it fit, have the nuts at the front and use a bit of cardboard as a washer to protect the surface of the flange if required.

bottom line, I'm thinking a generic technika board is pretty cheap so maybe just start drilling a few holes in one and see where it leads you!

what do you think ?

3-Jan-2015, 13:50
I had a similar need, but with a dual purpose. I have 2 very different lenses (240mm Zeiss Apo-Tessar and 16.5in Goerz Red Dot Artar), both mounted in No. 4 Acme Synchro shutters, which had the screw in flanges. The flanges fit both lenses interchangeably, so I wanted to be able to switch the lenses between two different boards (Technika and Canham). As it turns out, the flanges pretty much fit right into Copal #3 holes, but lacking a drill press to properly mount them, I farmed it out to SK Grimes. I did try using the flange "as a retaining ring" instead of permanently mounting the flange to the board, but that did not work on the Technika board because it interfered with mounting on the camera. Anyway, I'm happy with the results, and I can switch lenses between the two lens boards by just unscrewing them from the flange. The only rub is that when I switch the lenses, they do not line up perfectly (12 o'clock position) as they did in the other flange.

The two lenses.

Flanges mounted.

Lenses mounted on the boards.

Rear view with lenses mounted.

3-Jan-2015, 14:04
this is the ideal, but your flanges are a bit smaller than the jpoutasse's problematic one so the mounting screws are well inside the raised ridge on the back of the lens board...

of course this does raise a question:
I presume the jpoutasse is using an adapter on his Arca camera to take technika type boards... so if the camera's original lens boards are significantly larger than technika type boards, what about mounting the lens on the larger type board and just put up with the fact it doesn't match the rest of the kit?

3-Jan-2015, 14:18
jpoutasse, do you think you could SCREW the flange into place [rather than "bolt" it] and then grind back any protruding section of screw? The aluminium in the boards is pretty soft so if you predrilled it, it might self tap with a steel screw. And if the screw thread got mucked up doing that you'd replace it with a new one till it went thru cleanly. Back to potentially sacrificing a board because it's relatively cheap... and trying to think of solutions that don't require any special tools.

3-Jan-2015, 20:38
so if the camera's original lens boards are significantly larger than technika type boards, what about mounting the lens on the larger type board and just put up with the fact it doesn't match the rest of the kit?


It didn't occur to me that I could replace the whole front board until you mentioned it. I was thinking I would have to get a Linhof board.

I can get a front board with a smooth back (no ridges around the opening) off of Ebay. They have a board with the Copal #3 65m opening that is closest to the lens diameter which is 63mm. All I would need to do is screw or bolt the lens on.

I don't mind if it doesn't match as long as it works. :o)

Thanks again for your help.