View Full Version : large lense boards cameras

Doc West
3-Mar-2005, 12:17
I am looking for a large format camera that accepts particularly large lenses of 165mm ( 6.75") diameter or more. Any suggestions as to lense boards (and corresopnding cameras) that are larger than 6.75" are welcome. =-Gary augustian@lycos.com

jerry brodkey
3-Mar-2005, 13:56
It's not the diameter of the front of the lens that counts. What matters is the size of the shutter
which usually rests on the lens board and the size of the rear elements which have to go through the
opening when you put the lens board in. The most common large lens boards are the sinar and the toyo.
The sinar is the same size as the horseman. The sinar/horseman is about 5 1/2 inches square and the
toyo is a little larger. There aren't many lenses that won't be accomodated by these boards.

David A. Goldfarb
3-Mar-2005, 14:07
If you're interested in historic portrait lenses, Sinar-sized boards are fairly small for any lens longer than about 14" or so.

I recently saw a B&J 11x14" camera, which Jason Greenberg Motamedi ended up purchasing, and I think that one uses 9" lensboards, which would leave plenty of room for a big portrait lens on the order of 18" and a Packard shutter behind the board.

Bob Salomon
3-Mar-2005, 14:25
A Linhof Kardan lens board is 6 3/8" square. Of course you can not use the entire area of any lens board as the mounting clamp takes up some space.

3-Mar-2005, 14:32
I'd have to measure but the outside of the board on my Cambo Super is about 9". But the I think only about 7" are actually opened up. The rest is blocked by the lip on the camera. But a 165mm hole is going to mean either a metal board. A thick one. Or one alot bigger to have enough strength left over after you open that hole.

Kerry L. Thalmann
3-Mar-2005, 14:42
Of the current cameras, I believe ARCA-SWISS has the largest lens boards at 171mm. The actual maximum hole size will be a bit smaller to accomodate the light trap on the back of the board. Several of the antique portrait cameras used 9" (~241mm) lens boards. I believe a few even took 11" (~279mm) boards.


Oren Grad
3-Mar-2005, 14:58
Glenn Evans is showing a ROC 14x17 with a 7" board and an 11x14 F&S with an 8" board:


Warning - this listing is a very long single page with lots of pictures, takes a while to load.

Armin Seeholzer
3-Mar-2005, 15:58

Sinar has also a special larger lensboard if needed I is a special 8x10 bellows needed wich only goes from 8x10 down to 5x7 13x18 and then you take a 5x7 formatframe and you get about 18x18cm lensboard.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
3-Mar-2005, 18:31
As David mentioned, I just bought an 11x14 Burke and James camera with 9x9 lensboards. I have a few very large and fast portrait lenses, some which are as large as yours. I did quite a bit of research looking for cameras with very large lensboards, and found very few. I chose the B&J, but also noted that a few studio portrait cameras (read: no front movements) also use 9x9 boards. I also have an 8x10 ANSCO Studio Portrait which uses the same 9x9 boards. Unfortunately, another problem I noticed with cameras with large lensboards, like the two which Oren mentions above and my studio camera, is that they have very short bellows draw. I chose the B&J because it was the best compromise. I am curious however about the Cambo Super that Nick mentions.

3-Mar-2005, 19:11
Some, but not all of the old Agfa/Ansco 8x10 cameras accept 7 1/2" lens boards.

3-Mar-2005, 20:04
I measured my lensboard. It's 8 1/2" x 8 1/2". The opening on the camera is actually 7"x7". The camera came to me with about a 40" rail. Bellows are about the same length. Not much less. Rear movements are tilt and swing. Front I think is complete but to be honest I'm not sure if it has shift. None of the movements are geared. Makes rise or tilt kind of fun on the front. My copy of the camera came with two tripod mounts. Both have the same problem. The mount is held together by two screws [machine screws I guess]. On both mounts the right screw showed signs of being tightened repeatly over the years and both were almost stripped. To the point neither could be made tight enough. I rotated the screws and for the moment everything is fine. I assume with heavy use the screws will need contious tightening. But they look common enough.

Doc West
3-Mar-2005, 21:47
Many thanks for answers. Perhaps my huge 890mm Nikkor will find a camera to fit its dimensions. I am particularly interested in Arca and Cambo cameras. Could not find anything called Cambo Super. Calumetphoto catalog and website have Cambo 45SF marked as 'super field'. If that 4x5 is the one with large lense boards, might give it a try. 14" rail with 25.5" extension is almost as good as two 25.5" (that's an impressive 50" bellows draw), but even at 40" this Cambo would seem to require a set of 2 bellows and a $412 coupling standard, and that gets to be somewhat expensive, unless there is some place to obtain inexpensive singular extralong bellows that fit the 45SF.

jerry brodkey
4-Mar-2005, 10:28
I wasn't familiar with the Cambo Super so I did a google search and

first off it came up with an eBay auction going on now. Actually going off in 4 days:


4-Mar-2005, 10:32
Mine is the 8x10. The one in the ad is 4x5.


That's mine.

Dominique Cesari
4-Mar-2005, 10:37
About an Arca solution : the lensboard is 171x171 mm, but the frame is only 142x142 mm wide .

Maybe your 890 mm has no rear block and could fit, with only little vignetting , and perhaps annoying flare, at full aperture.

Doc West
5-Mar-2005, 01:34
Dominique, at least 6.25" has to pass through the opening. That's 150 mm. So if the frame can be accommodated (smile)...