View Full Version : Busch Pressman modern lenses

18-Feb-2005, 15:24
Hello everyone,

Has anybody updated/install new/modern lenses on their Busch Pressman. I have a 150mm scheiner form the 50's.
I am thinking of updating the lens. Currently the camera closes with the lens in it.

Again thank you for your advice.

Kevin Crisp
18-Feb-2005, 16:46
Carlos: The only real knocks on the camera are the hard to find lens boards, and their small measurements, which means that certain lens with large rear groups can be hard to fit since the opening in the front standard isn't that big. (Lenses such as the 210 f:5.6 Schneiders, for example.) You can check the dimentions of the later Symmars on Schneider's website, but from my experience there isn't any huge size difference between the original convertible symmars and the -S ones and the APO ones. You're already using (and folding up) a lens larger than the original press lens it probably came with. When I had a Busch I took off the 135 press lens and put a Schneider symmar 135 "S" series on it and it worked just fine. You shouldn't have any problems just by getting more modern versions of the same lenses which fit now. If you have a Schneider 150 symmar on there now, and it is in good shape, and you use a lens shade when you need it, I think you'll be disappointed if you are expecting a big improvement in image quality by using a modern one. If that is your only lens you might consider getting a wide angle to use with it, unless the 150 does everything you want to do.

Darin Cozine
18-Feb-2005, 16:58
My pressman had a mounting plate for the bellows that restricted lenses to a 57mm rear diameter. This was large enough for a 90mm f8 super angulon or 210mm Symmar convertable. I have a 210mm caltar-S ii (the same as the symmar-s) that had a 63mm rear element. I had to take off the bellows and cut out some of the metal to get the lens to fit.

The 150mm symmars are very small and I think if you get a new one you will have no problems mounting it. Aftermarket lensboards are often sold on ebay (in fact I even used to sell some).

BTW, what do you think of the pressman. I recently sold mine, but I loved the precise and sturdy camera.

Kerry L. Thalmann
18-Feb-2005, 17:07
Although the larger modern lenses won't fit through the tiny front standard opening on the Bush Pressman, there are still plenty of newer lenses that will. Lenses like the 180mm and 240mm Fujinon A and 200mm Nikkor M should fit with no problem (not sure if they will fold up inside the camera). Even some lenses in a Copal No. 1 shutter should work. Lenses like the 210mm f6.1 Schneider Xenar (or Caltar Pro), the 210 or 240mm G Claron. Most modern 135mm and 150mm standard lenses should work. In a longer lens, the 300mm Fujinon T should work fine (but won't fold up inside the camera).

The key is to only look at lenses in No. 0 or No. 1 shutters and check the rear diameter. I'm not sure how big the opening is in the front standard, but you can measure it and compare it to the rear cell diameter of any lens you are considering. Schneider includes rear diameter specs for all their current lenses, and many of their "vintage" models at:


Data for current Fujinon Lenses is available at:


Current and recent Rodenstock lens data can be found at:


Nikon specs at:


The hardest part will be finding a modern wide angle that will fit. The 80mm Super Symmar XL should fit no problem (but movements might be limited by the non-interchangeable bellows). It's big brother, the 110mm Super Symmar XL might also work. Another possibility might be the 75mm f6.8 Grandagon-N, or equivalent Caltar II-N - check the rear diameter.


19-Feb-2005, 10:04
Wow, if this message board had existed on the first day I owned a large format camera, this is the question I would have asked.

My friend and mentor recommended the Busch as an inexpensive, unusually nicely made camera. I scoured ads in Shutterbug, and finally found an old guy who dealt cameras out of his house somewhere in the midwest who had one. I bought it, it showed up, it was beautiful ... and then I noticed the size of the port hole. I ran with the thing to my college darkroom and took a look at all the (modern) lenses, and my heart sank.

I called the guy up and explained my problem. He was sympatheitc. "Oh, no, you're not going to fit one of those lenses through there, unless you take it apart every time you use the camera." But now that he had a better idea of what I was looking for, he suggested trading for either the linhof or the toyo that he had sitting around. After much discussion, we decided on the Toyo (a little more rugged for field use), and that's that's the camera I've been using since.

That Busch sure was pretty, though. I wish it had worked.

19-Feb-2005, 10:44
Again great forum, and thanks everyone that contribute info.
Yes I had to send the board to a machinest to make the hole bigger to fit the Xenar. It looks like the sticky point is the folding up.
It looks like more research.

Thanks again I love this forum. I wonder what people did 30 years ago without internet.

19-Feb-2005, 11:10
It's not just modern lenses. I can't use my wonderful 8.25" Dagor on the Busch because it's in a humongus Ilex shutter. (It goes just fine on the Technika, even allowing the front door to close.)

David F. Stein
20-Feb-2005, 04:45
Although the larger modern lenses won't fit through the tiny front standard opening on the Bush Pressman, there are still plenty of newer lenses that will.

It's a wonderful camera. Accept it for what it is and enjoy, just as we do with so many other classic, vintage items. I use the 135mm Optar on it and it is no slouch. Great PICTORIAL quality and resolution ain't that bad, either.